The End of Restaurants as We Know Them?

Sadly, one of the sectors of the economy taking a major hit during the pandemic is the restaurant industry. Many places have gone out of business and those that remain are struggling to figuring out a way to create a new kind of business model that promotes financial viability.

When restaurants ramp down and close there are all kinds of ripple effects in the economy. People lose jobs and supporting industries, which include farmers, also feel the pinch. If one looked at the pandemic solely from an economic viewpoint that would mean that opening all public businesses would be the highest priority.


Brattleboro and Vermont COVID-19 Dashboard Numbers – September 2020

Welcome to September. Here is the continuation of daily COVID-19 dashboard numbers from the Vermont Department of Health, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, and MA and NH counties that surround Brattleboro.

You can find the August numbers here,  July numbers here, the June numbers here, the May dashboard reporting here, and the April numbers here.


Bupkis

The literal meaning of the Yiddish word bupkis is nothing. But as is the case with many Yiddish words, bupkis can add richness and nuance to the description of situations. For example: I got bupkis for presents from my friends on my 70th birthday. Bupkis implies disappointment and some degree of anger, as well as an expectation of a specific kind of behavior from friends.

As the current pandemic unfolded in this country it became clear that the American health care non-system is not meeting the needs of a large segment of the population. It was not exactly a revelation, but it should have been a wakeup call.

Politicians offered their usual meaningless rhetoric and there was no legislation put forward to address the sickness of the health care system. In fact, the pandemic legislation that passed became a financial windfall for obscenely rich Americans while the rest of us were thrown a few crumbs: political bupkis.


The Great Vaccine Hype

Listening to news reports one might think that the only way that we can move from pandemic mode to some degree of post-pandemic normalcy is to have a vaccine to rid us of COVID 19. Any vaccine that is developed will not magically make COVID 19 go away. It might help a little, but a magic bullet cure is unlikely.

The sound bite, short-attention span world is not suited to explaining complex issues such as how vaccines are developed and how they work. Instead, the world sees hope when a lab developing a vaccine sends out premature press releases of success so their stock value can increase.

There are well established scientific protocols in place for vaccine development and they all require years of trials and research. Sometimes vaccine development efforts are successful and sometimes they are not. When a vaccine is developed and made available to the public it takes years for us to see the big picture of how the vaccine works.


COVID 19 Update

It is clear that the United States is doing a deadly poor job of controlling the pandemic. There are too many people who think that having a beer and mingling in crowds is more important than saving lives. And there are too many people in power who have turned the pandemic into a political battle.

As of July 20, 3,834,208 Americans have been infected with COVID 19 and 142,601 have died. The U.S. has had 24% of the 606,173 deaths worldwide.

Most other countries have slowed disease spread because they have had organized government efforts to provide citizens with the tools to stay safe. There is no national effort in this country and that means the numbers will continue to rise and more people will die, despite the best efforts of individual states.


Brattleboro VFW is Opening!

Good news!! The Brattleboro VFW at 40 Black Mountain Road is scheduled to open Monday, June 15th. Our new hours will be Mon-Fri from 11am-7pm. Sat & Sun from 1pm-7pm. Yes, we will be serving lunches Mon-Fri from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, with doors opening at 11 am. There will be slight price increases at this time, with prices subject to change. Our lunch specials will now be $7. Lunches will be served on our hall side due to social distancing restrictions. Entrance will be through the glass doors, and the public is welcome to lunches. Hand made burgers, fries, chicken wings, chicken fingers, etc. are still available. Watch our Facebook page for changes and updates (Vfw Post 1034, Carl Dessaint, Brattleboro, Vt)


Vermont COVID-19 Cases – June 2020

For better or worse, we start the June dashboard numbers roundup, with numbers from the Vermont Department of Health and Brattleboro Memorial Hospital with looks at nearby counties in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

You can find the May dashboard reporting here, and the April numbers here.


Brattleboro Area Hospice’s Taking Steps Brattleboro Online Q&A

Brattleboro, Vermont.  May 20, 2020 10 -11 am Brattleboro Area Hospice’s Taking Steps Brattleboro (TSB) program will host a zoom Advance Care Planning/Advance Directive Question and answer Information session. If you are interested in attending, please contact Don Freeman by email: don.freeman@brattleborohospice.org  or calling 802.257.0775 ext 101 and leave your contact information so that you can receive the emailed zoom invitation and/or telephone call-in number.  

Interested people are encouraged to attend this informational session to ask questions about how to complete or update an Advance Directive for healthcare including where do I find the forms, who should be named as an healthcare agent, who do I give the completed form to, and how do I talk with my family about my healthcare wishes if I am unable to speak for myself? Anyone over 18 years old should have a completed Advance Directive. This is the third weekly zoom informational session, which will be held each Wednesday from 10-11 am through June 24, 2020.


80 Facemasks Available

I just found a bunch of respirator-style facemasks in my closet. I’don’r even remember how I got them. I’d like to get ‘em out on the street, where they’re needed.

Right now, they are in two boxes, one containing 20, and one with 60 masks. I’d like to sell them in those quantities. Please call me if you can use them.


Brattleboro Area Hospice Virtual Advance Care Planning/Advance Directive Session

Brattleboro, Vermont.  May 13, 2020 10 -11 am Brattleboro Area Hospice’s Taking Steps Brattleboro (TSB) program will host a zoom Advance Care Planning/Advance Directive Question and answer Information session. If you are interested in attending, please contact Don Freeman by email: don.freeman@brattleborohospice.org  or calling 802.257.0775 ext 101 and leave your contact information so that you can receive the emailed zoom invitation and/or telephone call-in number.  

Interested people are encouraged to attend this informational session to ask questions about how to complete or update an Advance Directive for healthcare including where do I find the forms, who should be named as an healthcare agent, who do I give the completed form to, and how do I talk with my family about my healthcare wishes if I am unable to speak for myself? Anyone over 18 years old should have a completed Advance Directive. This is the second weekly zoom informational session, which will be held each Wednesday from 10-11 am through June 24, 2020.


Happy Walpurgisnacht Everybody!

Walpurgisnacht or Walpurgis Night is the eve of the Christian feast day of Saint Walpurga, an 8th-century abbess and is celebrated on the night of April 30 and the day of May 1.

Saint Walpurga is revered by Christians for battling rabies and whooping cough. Miracle cures are reported from ailing people who anoint themselves with a fluid known as Walpurga’s oil that drains from a rock at her shrine in Eichstatt, Germany.


How To Wear A Mask

Over the past few weeks I have been tempted to create a squad of the mask police. I have seen too many people who either don’t seem to understand how a facemask is supposed to work or they think half a job is better than none.

When I see people who do not cover their nose with a mask my blood pressure rises a little, but I have refrained from telling them how to use it correctly. Forty years as a nurse in a variety of settings has given me some credibility in this area, having probably spent hundreds of hours in close proximity to communicable disease while wearing a mask and other protective gear.

This isn’t rocket science. It’s actually pretty simple if you just put a little bit of thought into why you are wearing a mask. Although some masks are more effective than others they all have the same purpose: to stop the spread of disease.


Vermont COVID-19 Cases – May 2020

We’ll continue our daily dashboard number roundup, with numbers from the Vermont Department of Health and Brattleboro Memorial Hospital with looks at nearby counties in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

You can find the April dashboard reporting here.


Vermont Covid-19 Real Estate Guidance

Stay Home Stay Safe Sector Specific Guidance

New Rules effective April 20 for various occupations:
https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/business/stay-home-stay-safe-sector-specific-guidance

Guidance specifically for Real Estate


Blind Men and An Elephant

There is a lot of solid science to help us understand how to deal with COVID 19, the disease caused by SARS-Cov 2. Keep in mind that this disease is related to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) that occurred in 2002-2003, but experts believe that COVID 19 has somehow become more pathogenic.

We want to trust the experts such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, because he has become a prominent spokesman for delivering news that seems based in science and not politics.

But even Fauci and many other equally reputable scientists admit they wish they knew more about this new disease outbreak to provide guidance about the safest way for societies to proceed. Politics is clouding the picture and erring on the side of caution is the best advice for now. We need to move slowly while using the best available scientific information.


Coronavirus: Vermont AFL-CIO Crisis Demands & The Need To Rebuild The Economy Through A Green New Deal

Much progress has been made in the Green Mountains since the start of the Coronacrisis. And we should all recognize the rapid pace at which it was achieved. Together, as Vermonters, we have:

* Unemployment Insurance: Greatly lowered the qualifying thresholds for unemployment insurance;

* Worker Safety & Health: Seen most unionized cities and towns take meaningful steps to better protect the health and safety of workers;

* Feeding Low Income Children: Secured food for low income children;


Vermont Cases of COVID-19, April 2020

Here are the daily Vermont Department of Health COVID-19 Updates for April, 2020, as they are released. Also, surrounding county information for the Brattleboro area. Also, as of April 3, we’re including numbers from Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.


Blood Drive at Winston Prouty on April 14

Winston Prouty and the American Red Cross are hosting an upcoming blood drive on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, from 12 – 5 PM in the Prouty Gym in Brattleboro.

Blood levels are historically low. Red Cross protocols will ensure a safe environment for this essential event.