Saturday, June 19, 2021

May Flower: Final Words

Saying goodbye to the plannedemic -- for now.

"Lifting of pandemic restrictions brings surprise, elation; As of May 29, all businesses and venues in the state will be able to reopen at full capacity" by Janelle Jon Chesto and Anissa Gardizy Globe Staff, May 17, 2021

In a major move heralding the end of pandemic-era regulations, Governor Charlie Baker on Monday said Massachusetts will lift all restrictions on businesses Memorial Day weekend, moving up the full reopening date by two months. It was a telling sign that the state is returning to something akin to normal after more than a year of death, sickness, and punishing lockdowns.

As of May 29, businesses will be able to reopen at full capacity, and mask regulations that have been in effect since April of last year will be limited to just a handful of higher-risk locations. Before these changes, venues such as nightclubs and spas were slated to reopen Aug. 1 statewide and on Aug. 22 in Boston. Baker also said Monday that the state of emergency, which gave him wide latitude to impose pandemic restrictions, will be lifted June 15.

Later in the day, Acting Mayor Kim Janey said in a press conference that Boston would align with the state and also lift all COVID restrictions on May 29 — a reversal of her earlier position that the city’s reopening timetable would lag the state’s by three weeks.

The sweeping changes arrived almost exactly a year to the day that Baker first announced his four-phased reopening plan, which was rolled out — and rolled back — as COVID-19 caseloads fluctuated. The full reopening, coming two months earlier than anticipated, aligns with new guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday.

While the masking restrictions will be lifted across most businesses, some will remain in place, including in K-12 schools (except for outdoor recess), health care facilities, and other settings that host vulnerable populations. Face coverings will still be mandatory for all riders on public and private transportation systems. The state is encouraging unvaccinated people to continue wearing masks and continue distancing in most settings.

The announcement puts Massachusetts on a reopening timeline similar to those in other New England states. Connecticut will lift most pandemic restrictions this week, and Rhode Island is planning to eliminate all capacity limits May 28.

“Massachusetts is on track to reach its goal of vaccinating 4.1 million residents by early June,” Baker said at a press briefing. “We have made tremendous progress, and that’s why we are able to do what we’re doing here and what we’re proposing here today.”

Health experts were also optimistic that Massachusetts is ready for a full reopening.

David Hamer, a physician at Boston Medical Center and a Boston University epidemiologist, said he doesn’t foresee the state backtracking on its progress in the coming months, as long as key COVID-19 metrics continue to trend downward.

Still, he suggested that people err on the side of caution when deciding whether to wear a mask in crowded indoor spaces, such as grocery stores and movie theaters, since they don’t know the vaccination status of others.

“Transmission is decreasing, but it is not gone,” Hamer said. “I’m still a little hesitant to have everybody unmasked in indoor places where there are crowded conditions and a mixture of individuals that are vaccinated and unvaccinated.”

Business owners and advocates were largely elated about the news.

“It’s huge,” said Ryan Jones, vice president of operations for the Lyons Group, which operates more than 20 bars, nightclubs, and restaurants, including Avalon, Bleacher Bar, and Loretta’s Last Call. “I think if we have the proper direction from state, city, and the CDC, then at some point we need to get back to as close to normal as we were before.”

“Today is the best day in the restaurant industry since March 14, 2020, and May 29, 2021, is going to be an even better day,” said Bob Luz, president of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association. “We’re thrilled and ready for it.”

Many business owners said they were surprised by the news, and anticipated it will take time for things to go back to a sense of normalcy. Some may keep mask mandates in place indoors for a while. Others said that while they’re thrilled to reopen, they’re still a long way from recouping losses sustained during the last year.

Erinn Danielle, the owner of Simply Erinn’s Unisex Hair Salon in Cambridge, said she will still require clients to wear masks.

“I don’t know when I will change my mind,” she said. “I have to keep my team and my clients safe. People will not be welcomed in the salon without a mask until we are comfortable.”

Jarek Mountain, managing partner at Yellow Door Taqueria in the South End, said Monday’s announcement caught him off guard. “I was not expecting that today. Now I’m going to have to hire about 20 new people if we’re going to go back to normal,” he said. “It’s going to be wild.”

Mountain said he was glad to have some alignment between CDC guidelines and state regulations, as he was already seeing some confusion among out-of-state patrons who came in over the weekend.

Luz said that restaurants, which are currently seeing staffing shortages, will probably do a soft rollout before coming fully online to pre-pandemic levels. More importantly, the announcement is a signal that as the state heads into its high season for tourism, “Massachusetts is open for business,” Luz said. While acknowledging that international travel isn’t likely to be as robust, he expects regional travel to take off. “I think people are going to flock to Boston,” Luz said. “The Cape and Islands are already reporting mid-summer [levels of] sales in May, which is unheard of.”

Tourism industry representative had lobbied the Baker administration to move up its final reopening date to earlier in the summer, after state officials announced the Aug. 1 date last month. At that point, Massachusetts was behind all other states in the Northeast in lifting all COVID-19 restrictions on businesses. Now, it’s squarely in the middle.

“Our industry has suffered a lot and waited a long time for this,” said Martha Sheridan, chief executive of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. “When they made that August announcement, we lost events, no question about it.”

Cindy Brown was among the overjoyed executives on Monday. As chief executive of Boston Duck Tours, Brown was prepared for a summer of shepherding her armada of amphibious touring vehicles at half-capacity, or 15 or 16 people instead of 35.

“I’m so relieved I can’t even tell you. It just turned our entire year around,” Brown said of Baker’s announcement. “This literally changes everything.”

The phone was ringing off the hook at the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority Monday afternoon. Its first traditional conference since the pandemic began, to be held by the Heart Rhythm Society in late July, will draw about 7,000 cardiologists and other cardiac care professionals to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

The MCCA had kept the event on the calendar even with the uncertainty around the state and city reopening rules. Most of the convention center’s events had been further delayed, long before the Aug. 1 announcement, spokesman Nate Little said, but now, the agency is getting calls from people looking to book smaller meetings and other short-term events at the BCEC, the adjacent Lawn on D, and the Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center.

“The phone is ringing for the right reasons and not the wrong reasons,” said Little, referring to the drumbeat of cancellations and postponements his agency previously faced. “It was only bad news for 14 months,” and while Baker expedited when offices could return to full capacity, most white-collar employers aren’t expected to bring back their workforces until after Labor Day. So far, that’s not changing. After all, many employees with kids have already scheduled camps and other summer plans, thinking that they would be working from home again this summer.

Jim Rooney, chief executive of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, said many employers are in no hurry to rush workers back to their stressful old routines, particularly during the summer.

Janey said that the overall drop in COVID-19 cases in the city prompted her to align the city’s reopening plan with the statewide plan. “There’s a lot to celebrate today; the numbers are going in the right direction, and we need to keep them going in the right direction,” Janey said.....

I know I'm not getting my hopes up:

"Those in the restaurant business call it “enforcement fatigue,’' a weariness that comes from almost a year of policing patrons, telling them their party is too large, they can’t linger longer than 90 minutes, and they have to order food with their drinks. Now, it’s getting worse. As more people are fully vaccinated, some patrons think the rules no longer apply to them, sparking sometimes nasty confrontations, and with the current dining restrictions in place until the end of May — and not eased entirely until August — those in the industry are frustrated. Public resentment of coronavirus restrictions has, in part, cost Big Night Entertainment Group eight managers who quit, said Jamie Pollock, vice president of operations for Big Night Entertainment Group’s Boston venues, which include Empire, Scorpion Bar, and Guy Fieri’s Tequila Cocina. He’s personally witnessed situations where guests become “extreme and in-your-face, or they use vulgarities on our staff” and some employees have decided they no longer wish to deal with that. Jon Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, said this awkward transition phase, when the public’s perception of the pandemic is at odds with the state’s phased approach out of it, was “bound to happen.” Employees at consumer-facing establishments, from restaurants to gyms to grocery stores, have been acting as a kind of informal public-health police, trying to ensure customers follow pandemic-era guidelines so their businesses can remain open without risk of penalty. Lynne, a server at a South Shore restaurant who asked that her last name not be used, isn’t shy about telling guests that “they (should) know the rules by now” and encouraging them to eat elsewhere if they would not adhere to them, but even when restaurants follow the restrictions, she said, customers have figured out how to get around them, such as coming in for drinks and then not touching the one food item, such as a plate of fries, that they ordered for the table. Some ask to move tables when their 90 minutes are up so that they can restart the clock....."

The Globe spoiled the meal so I will step outside for some fresh air before tossing out the rest of the plate:

"Massachusetts public health officials have for the first time disclosed how many people in the state have tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated, and the total underscores the remarkable effectiveness of the three available vaccines. “This is very good news,” said Dr. Eric Rubin, an immunologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and member of the advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration that cleared the three vaccines for emergency use in the United States. “The vaccines aren’t perfect but they’re awfully good, and these data suggest that they’re working as well in the real world as they did under the ideal conditions of the original trials.” Rubin, who is also editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, added that “while we expected that some people who are vaccinated would contract the illness, most evidence suggests that these people are getting much less seriously ill.”

If that's all it does I will pass on the genocidal gene therapy the criminal $ources are calling vaccines when no one was getting seriously ill anyway and the simple fact is we all have herd immunity when it comes to coronaviruses:

"Immunity to the coronavirus lasts at least a year, possibly a lifetime, improving over time especially after vaccination, according to two new studies. The findings may help put to rest lingering fears that protection against the virus will be short-lived. Together, the studies suggest that most people who have recovered from Covid-19 and who were later immunized will not need boosters. Vaccinated people who were never infected most likely will need the shots, however, as will a minority who were infected but did not produce a robust immune response. Both reports looked at people who had been exposed to the coronavirus about a year earlier. Cells that retain a memory of the virus persist in the bone marrow and may churn out antibodies whenever needed, according to one of the studies, published on Monday in the journal Nature. The other study, posted online at BioRxiv, a site for biology research, found that these so-called memory B cells continue to mature and strengthen for at least 12 months after the initial infection....."

Of course, it is no longer any mystery as to why the pre$$ reads as it does to the woke!

It's a criminal abomination at this stage, as ho$pitals overu$e medical te$ts and procedures that don’t help patients because “it can’t hurt to take a look” when, in fact, sometimes it can.


The progressive organization run by Biden allies is called Building Back Together, and it will air minute-long television commercials next week in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia, and Wisconsin that highlight the president’s response to the coronavirus and his wide-ranging economic plans while planning to spend over $3 million on a monthlong effort.

Now take a deep breath because America is not a racist country. Far from it in fact. There is still more opportunity, or was, here than any other place on earth if you wanted to improve your station and make a life; however, it soon won't be due the money-printing.

That is all masked by my pre$$ as the small electorate chooses potentate tyrants who are above the lawIt's no better on the national level, and it is in fact worse. There is no neutral ground so we will be forced to resist with no one to defend us from the heap of sh!t.

Given the region, the question must be asked: when Jews are attacked in America’s streets, who speaks out because antisemitism appeals to unhinged political fanatics across the spectrum — from alt-right trolls to anti-Zionist zealots.

I'm surprised he didn't nominate Dicky Neal because he was the only other alternative, but he is needed el$ewhere becau$e the rich should pay more in taxes and was the Capitol Riot an FBI false flag used to frame patriots as domestic terrorists?

The answer would appear to be an emphatic YES, and it wouldn't be the first time they set someone up!


Now raise your fists to let them know you mean business!

Time for a Midnight Run to California in the party bus!

The out$ider is now an in$ider, and I don't think his campaign will ever recover after they all laughed at his stinky britches!

The thug who once pointed a gun at a pregnant woman's belly has been martyred, even as 
acting Mayor Kim Janey on Thursday laid out a plan to combat violence during the summer months and also urged residents to avoid using fireworks, which are illegal for individual use in Massachusetts. She says they will “promote peace and healing in our communities this summer” during an afternoon briefing at Boston Police headquarters, where she was joined by several officials including Acting Police Commissioner Gregory Long and Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins. The anti-violence plan for the summer includes ramping up youth jobs and engagement activities; addressing “gang hotspots” with “direct intervention” by city police; offering learning programs at schools; providing outreach and “direct services” to residents aged 17 to 24 whom police have identified as more susceptible to violence; and connecting “gang-involved” residents to building trades work programs, as the summer youth jobs program will help thousands and “provide mentoring with youth who are at risk for gang recruitment.”

Now can you imagine what it must be like to live in Palestine or a U.S. war zone?

Of course, the important thing is for civic and business leaders to be planning for what’s next and the goal shouldn’t be getting back to normal — normal has changed. It’s now about perfecting the new normal. We have all changed this last year; so, too, must the economies in which we work and the concept of a long weekend isn’t new. The Atlantic magazine recently proclaimed that “superstar cities” like San Francisco, New York, and, yes, Boston are in trouble. Most vulnerable are their transit systems, where the loss of ridership forces services cuts which in turn results in even fewer passengers and reduced revenue, resulting in a “terrible spiral.” The three-day weekend is only one example of what could change post-pandemic now that the pandemic taught us a better way to do public business so drop the manslaughter charges. 

The fallen hero is remembered every single day of our lives if you read the history books at the library, but you can take that under advisement.

That provides the bridge to the next section:


"Massachusetts will dedicate more than $70 million for enhanced summer programs in response to reports of widespread learning loss during the pandemic, state officials announced Friday. The funding will allow school districts and community organizations to set up both classroom and recreational programs for students of all grade levels. “After a year of so much remote and hybrid learning, I think it’s crucial to give people these learning opportunities, and to give kids a chance to participate in them across Massachusetts,” Governor Charlie Baker said at a press conference at Galvin Middle School in Canton. Learning loss has been a significant concern for state officials, educators, and parents, as the pandemic disrupted schooling in unprecedented ways, cutting off equal access to educational resources for many students. Particularly hard hit were students in homes with inadequate technology or headed by parents working full-time front-line jobs, but with summer quickly approaching, state officials are worried that students could head into another period of learning loss without a concerted effort at intervention. Baker also announced Friday that the state’s pool testing program for COVID-19, which already had been offered to all school districts free of charge through the end of the academic year, has been extended through the summer. From Feb. 1 to April 25, the state has processed 61,839 pools — bundles of multiple samples — from 188 districts. Only 0.85 percent of pooled tests have come back positive for COVID-19....." 

The goal there is never-ending f**king testing for a fictitious virus that they neither contract nor spread, and they want you to go to summer school after being cooped up the last 14 months?

Of course, it's just a pilot program that becomes permanent, even if it is hard to build a team when you’re on Zoom

Now roll up that sleeve!

Then you can go dancing to your death with a movie made about it.

"A research professor at UMass Amherst was arrested Monday afternoon in Hadley for allegedly driving drunk and striking a baby stroller carrying a 17-month-old child, though the baby wasn’t hurt, according to officials and legal filings. Hadley police identified the motorist as Tammy Haut Donahue, 43, of Amherst, who was arraigned Tuesday in East Hampshire District Court on charges of OUI and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. A not guilty plea was entered for Haut Donahue, who was released on personal recognizance, court records show. Haut Donahue didn’t immediately return an e-mail seeking comment Tuesday afternoon. “Our thoughts are with the mother and her child following this very concerning matter,” the university said in a statement. “UMass Amherst confirms that Tammy Haut Donahue is a research professor in biomedical engineering. It is our understanding that the case is in the hands of the District Attorney’s Office.” Hadley police said via Facebook that the incident occurred around 2:30 p.m. Monday. “Hadley Police Dispatch received a 911 call reporting that a female who appeared impaired, operating a black BMW, struck a baby stroller in the Mountain Farms parking lot,” police wrote. “The 17 month old baby was in the stroller at the time, although there were no injuries as a result of the collision.” Haut Donahue’s biography on the UMass website says she conducts research in biomechanics. “Haut Donahue’s research work is in the area of analytical and experimental biomechanics with a focus on the musculoskeletal system,” the bio says. “As a principal investigator, Haut Donahue has been awarded about $14 million in research funding including $1.4 million in current support.” Her next court date is slated for June 8, records show."


"A veteran Dracut High School teacher who is also on the board of trustees for the town’s library system has been placed on administrative leave for handing out an “inappropriate” survey about sexual issues to his students, according to officials and social media posts. Eric A. Jackson was put on leave by Dracut School Superintendent Steven Stone after he learned last Friday about the survey, although his statement confirming Jackson’s suspension did not provide any information about its content. “Late Friday afternoon the district became aware that a teacher at Dracut High School had distributed a highly inappropriate survey to students. The district takes the health and well-being of students most seriously and has initiated a review of the matter,” Stone wrote in the statement. “The teacher has been placed on administrative leave pending that review.” Jackson has spoken briefly to WBZ-TV and has been identified as the teacher at the center of the issue by What’s Happening Dracut, a community access television program with a related Facebook group that is claiming credit for posting photos of the survey on its site as the impetus for the public attention to the issue. “I’ve been asked to make no comment. I appreciate checking up on me. I’m going to wait for the decision of the superintendent,” Jackson told WBZ....."

"Schools Superintendent Harrison Peters on Monday apologized for hiring an administrator charged with assault for allegedly forcibly massaging a teenage boy’s foot in a Warwick gym in April. In a letter to state senators, Peters said he had worked with Olayinka Alege for more than three years in Florida before deciding to hire him in Providence after becoming superintendent in 2020. “I thought I knew him,” Peters said in the letter, submitted to members of the Senate Committee on Rules, Government Ethics, and Oversight, “but I was wrong,” he wrote....."

Did you see the outfit the kid was wearing?

"A year after an agreement to sell Victoria’s Secret fell apart as the pandemic emptied malls nationwide, the chain will be spun off by its owner to become a separate company. L Brands, based in Columbus, Ohio, has been shopping the struggling chain elsewhere since the collapse of that deal and said it had held talks with a number of potential buyers, but it appears it could not come to an agreement on price. Victoria’s Secret has been trying to turn its business around, with an eye on changing the corporate culture, reinventing fashions, and redesigning stores. While the brand had been known for its sexy style, women have increasingly shifted toward more comfortable options, particularly during the pandemic when many have spent most of their time at home."

It has a woman-majority board, but Epstein's buddy owned and operated the thing so maybe you ladies should look elsewhere for clothing.

"Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky encouraged parents to get their children vaccinated during testimony Tuesday before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. The Food and Drug Administration cleared the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for emergency use in children as young as 12 on Monday, expanding access to the vaccine ahead of the next school year. Walensky said she knew some parents wanted to wait and see how the administration of shots to children goes, but urged children to ask for the vaccine if their parents were hesitant. “I would encourage all parents to get their children vaccinated. I know many parents are enthusiastic and have been texting me,” Walensky said. “Some parents want to be first, but I’m also encouraging children to ask for the vaccine. I have a 16-year-old myself, and I can tell you he wanted to get the vaccine. He wants his life back. These kids want to go back to school.”

Trailing now is Russia, as production issues slow distribution of the vaccine and Russian mothers are more hesitant than fathers about coronavirus vaccines for their children. Going to have to take them to the woodshed to get them to see the light, although there is more than one way to skin a cat (what evil soul could do such a thing?)

The Globe is late with the eulogies for this lost more than a year ago, in what can only be described as a deceptive presentation as the human mind incorporates it as current after this difficult year where you only saw them through the glass (you can now hide your ‘likes’ if it makes you comfortable).

"Akili Interactive, the Boston company that got the first prescription video game approved last June, has raised another $160 million in funding for its work on digital therapeutics. Akili plans to use the money partly to expand its marketing of EndeavorRx, a video game approved by the Food and Drug Administration for children with ADHD. The financing round brings the 10-year-old company’s total venture funding to $230 million. The FDA approved EndeavorRx as a way to improve attention function in children with ADHD as measured by computerized testing. Doctors can prescribe it to kids 8 to 12 years old who have an ADHD diagnosis and have demonstrated an issue with attention. The latest fund-raising round generated $110 million and was led by Neuberger Berman Funds. More than a dozen other new and existing investors also joined the round, including Amgen Ventures, Polaris Partners and M Ventures, Merck KGaA’s corporate venture capital arm, as well as Dave Baszucki, founder and CEO of video game developer Roblox Corp. Another $50 million was generated through debt financing, in the form of a credit facility with Silicon Valley Bank."


Thi$ al$o brightened their $pirit$:

"South Shore businessman Robert Hale and his wife Karen Hale once made the biggest donation that Connecticut College ever received. Now, they are topping their own record. College president Katherine Bergeron announced this week that the Hales have pledged $30 million to the school. That gift is the largest in the college’s history, beating the $20 million the couple gave in 2015. For Robert Hale, chief executive of Quincy-based Granite Telecommunications and owner of FoxRock Properties, the latest gift is a chance to give back at a time when many colleges are struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Other big beneficiaries from the Hales’ donations have included Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Deerfield Academy. Robert Hale also oversees the “Saving by Shaving” event, which has spurred the likes of Governor Charlie Baker and football star Tom Brady to shave their heads over the years, raising millions for charities each year....."

I will be back; however, not today.

The ball goes in and doesn't come out -- even if you are persistently calling for it and are a Stavvy $hooter.

It was an Epic series anyway and at least they got a bite at the Apple.

Time for a round of golf after the flight

I've refined my game and accounted for the breeze, so watch out for falling trees.

I hope they watered the green, but maybe not.