OK, so I’ve done ONE thing in the orange zone…

This morning, Mandy shared this “very helpful chart.” The guy she retweeted had said no one will catch his family “engaging in anything in the yellow or above.”

Yeah, well, I can’t quite claim that.

If y’all recall, I went and got a haircut a couple of weeks back. I investigated before going and thought it was a safe bet under the circumstances, but I think it will be awhile before I do so again. I’m thinking about ordering a barber’s clipper set from Amazon, and learning to cut my Dad’s hair as well as my own.

Anyway, I thought y’all might find it interesting, so I pass it on.

There’s one thing you’re not seeing, of course. It’s at the bottom. You just can’t see it because it’s in the infrared zone: “Attending a Trump rally.”



13 thoughts on “OK, so I’ve done ONE thing in the orange zone…

  1. bud

    Pretty reasonable list except for “going to a beach”. IF the beach is very crowded then perhaps a 5 is accurate. But on many beaches it is very easy to social distance. Plus it has the added benefit of being outside in the full sun, an environment not favorable to COVID-19. I’d say going to Edisto Beach for an hour or so would rate a 2 at worst.

  2. Bryan Caskey

    This seems arbitrary in some ways. For instance, why is playing golf higher than tennis? Both are in open air, and both allow you to stay well away from other people. Did “Big Tennis” lobby for this? 🙂

    How is going to the beach (where you can isolate, as bud also mentions) the same as going into someone else’s house?

    The “attending a religious service with 500+ other worshipers” should really just be “going to any event with 500+ attendees”. Why specify religious service, as opposed to a conference?

    The last of “going to a bar” seems also highly fact-specific. What if it’s an outdoor bar where everyone socially distances? Is that less? What if that bar is at the beach? Does that increase the risk? What if the bar is where you play tennis? Does that lessen the risk?

    I would generally agree with the idea that the more you interact with people, especially in confined spaces, the higher your risk, and this graphic generally does that.

    1. Mark

      I think it’s about the likelihood of social distancing, as in golf you might share a cart and stand around the tee and maybe also the green more closely. But tennis has people sweating and breathing on balls which will likely very soon after be hit by a swinging, vaporizing racket or else caught in hand – which then likely wipes sweat from the brow thereafter.

      I used to think tennis was a super safe social sport, but I’m having second thoughts on this.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Well, as a guy who’s played a lot of both over the years, I would say tennis is generally safer than golf. With golf, there’s going into the clubhouse before and after, riding with someone else in the cart (if you’re playing cart golf) moving around together on the green, etc.

        But nothing is perfect, folks. This is all generally speaking. Obviously, you COULD get in a more risky position playing tennis than golf, given certain circumstances.

        As for going to the beach. I was at the beach last week, and every moment you’re there you have to be thinking consciously about staying away from other people, and sometimes things happen that you can’t help. For instance, you’re walking down the beach, being careful to stay at least 6 or maybe 10 feet away from people, and suddenly a child darts in front of you so that you almost trip over him or her — which happened a couple of times.

        My wife and I would walk every day at about 8 p.m., which is generally after the heat and after the crowds. But starting Wednesday, even at that time there were enough people that it was hard to see immediately a safe way through them. So we started walking around the neighborhood, away from the beach, after that….

        Oh, and of course none, absolutely none, of the people wore masks. I certainly didn’t. I couldn’t. You just don’t get enough oxygen in that heat. Maybe it’s all those years of asthma, but I’m kind of sensitive to that. (It’s the same deal with mowing the grass: I’m allergic to the grass and the dust, but if I try to wear a mask, I feel like I’m smothering. Better to just treat the allergic reaction later.) If I’m not getting enough air, I get out of the situation…

        And bottom line, that’s the answer. The safest thing is to stay away from the beach, and not play golf or tennis…

    2. Ken

      I don’t think it’s arbitrary. Obviously it can’t take every variation of every specific circumstance into account. But it’s likely the rankings are based on contact tracing of where past cases were contracted.

    3. Barry

      Bryan wrote “ The “attending a religious service with 500+ other worshipers” should really just be “going to any event with 500+ attendees”. Why specify religious service, as opposed to a conference?”

      —-Uh, who is holding 500+ attendee conferences right now? Anyone? Where in SC? Name them. Many places of business aren’t even approving travel or rental cars, let alone business conferences. It’s just not an issue now.

      This is South Carolina. We have some high profile large churches. Some have exhibited a desire to hold services no matter what officials suggest. So yes, specifically singling out churches was appropriate.

  3. Bart

    Apparently I am the pariah of the blog because I have engaged in at least one activity in all of the color zones. I belong to two fitness centers and one is a division of one of the local hospitals. The one that is a division of the local hospital doesn’t follow the antiseptic guidelines of cleaning the equipment and social distancing as the commercial center. It has fewer cleaning stations and less enforcement than the commercial center. I try to go at least 4 times a week now and get in 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours each time. The equipment is wiped down thoroughly after each use at the commercial center. If not, the offending member is given one warning, no second chances.

    Have had my hair cut twice and the procedures and isolation of each chair is great. No waiting inside, drive up, call in and then the hair dresser comes to the door to let you in.

    Have been to the mall, grocery shopping, visited a relative and had dinner with the family and other activities that bring me into contact with others. Try to respect social distancing but at times, it is physically impossible especially at a supermarket. The lines waiting to checkout create a crowded situation and shoppers are within 2 – 3 feet of each other on the days when the weekly specials are advertised.

    I did go to a buffet for a take-out but there was not a large crowd and was in and out in a few minutes.

    The list is a good guideline but I agree with Bryan. It is a bit arbitrary especially the 500+ church attendance risk. I too question the selection of a church service over other 500+ gatherings where exposure is even greater. Why not just list any place where 500+ can gather for any reason whatsoever? Of course, this puts a damper on Joel Osteen and his mega-church crowds.

    1. Barry

      Other than churches, who is holding conferences with hundreds of people right now?

      I know of 4 companies that have canceled group meetings of 10 people so far in July. Most businesses still aren’t approving business travel.

      But churches are meeting. They aren’t being singled out. The guidelines are addressing what is happening right now.

      1. Bart

        I am not aware of any churches holding services with 500+ in attendance since a pandemic was declared and mass gatherings prohibited. If you cannot understand the list singled out churches and not other gatherings, then what is the point of even responding? But you did.

        When police officers go to outdoor drive-in church services and take down license plates with implied threats of fines by the local and state authorities, exactly what does that say to you? They are sitting in their vehicles, not gathering in the sanctuary sitting in pews in the traditional sense.

        When thousands of protesters can march unimpeded in dozens of cities across the nation, how is that okay even though it is for a worthwhile cause? Interesting article in Politico. Link below. Come to your own conclusion using whatever logic you deem necessary. However, I disagree with the approval of the protests based on the advice of medical experts that they now contradict the very reasons they have been supporting for everyone since the beginning of the pandemic.

        And before you blow the “racist” or Trump supporter dog whistle, this is about being fair and consistent across the board for all. If the protesters against the shut down are criticized for their gathering, then how can it be acceptable for protesters against police brutality to gather in even greater numbers. Link to Politico in reference to the issue. Read and decide for yourself if the explanations are reasonable or an exercise in convoluted reasoning to excuse the mass gatherings during protests.


        FWIW, I am aware of more than 4 companies cancelling group meetings of over 10 people not only in July but since March. I deal with several different large companies in my job and the normal meetings that involve anywhere from 5 to 20 people have been cancelled on a consistent basis. As for business travel, I am aware of several companies who have cancelled all business travel and require client contact from home offices via email, phone, or teleconferences.

        Nothing new here since I have been operating out of my office at home for over a decade and conducting business over the phone, internet, email, and teleconferences.

        1. Barry

          Churches have been “singled out” because some churches in some states have defied public orders, had regular services, and paid the price for it. The church I attend almost did the same thing.

          Conferences with 500+ Folks in attendance are not being held anywhere. It’s not an issue. Conferences with Not even 50 people are being held.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      Actually, I have trouble thinking of anywhere other than church where I might be around 500+ people. I go to the fair each year, and that’s about it. And if we have one this year, I doubt I’ll go.

      And of course, I haven’t been to Mass since I guess about mid-March, or whenever it was the bishop shut them down. They’ve started back — with social-distancing rules that I think keep the crowd well under 500. But I don’t go; I stream it on Facebook.

      I can’t imagine why a church would be having services with more than 500 people now. And I definitely can’t imagine any other gathering that large happening now, and if it happened, I can’t imagine people with commonsense going…

  4. Randle

    Every time I go out, I feel like I need to go to confession, as I feel I am taking a risk and exposing my husband. I swam last week along with two other people at MUV’s pool, as I really was having trouble breathing. I tested for the virus; the breathing problems are long-standing, but I wanted to be sure. You can reserve a lane; I reserved the largest one, with no one on one side. I was able to keep a minimum of 8 ft. away from the lady dog-paddling next to me. Neither she nor the other swimmer were breathing hard, and the windows were open, but I still felt extremely uncomfortable and left after 40 minutes. As I was leaving, a young man was at the front desk which, along with the front door, has several signs stating masks are required. He was asking the attendant if he had to wear a mask. Why no, rules don’t apply to you. Not going back.
    Had my haircut a month ago. Decided to brave it after Brad survived his. My hairdresser is conscientious. Wait in the car, he takes temp before you go in, sanitizes chair and equipment before and after each client, allows a half hour between clients, everyone is masked, one other client in the salon briefly. Haircut and out. Worried for several days because virus was starting to surge.
    Eye doctor yesterday to check on pressure as steroid nasal spray had caused cataracts and elevated pressure. Decided going blind was bigger risk, so I kept appointment. It was a zoo. I signed in and refused to wait in waiting room, was very glad I was wearing a face mask and shield, completed my tests and complained along with a fellow patient about the crowding. Also said something to doctor, who asked in surprise, “Are you worried about CoVid?” I said yes, as we are in the midst of a pandemic. Everyone was masked, but way too many people milling about. Only office I have been in that allowed that many people in at once. Disgusted.
    I am now swimming at a friend’s backyard pool, because I am concerned that if I don’t do something about this breathing, I will be in trouble if I catch the virus. A few days of swimming, and the symptoms are gone. This is the most risk-free thing I do and the best for me, but I hate to impose.
    Pressure washers came today. No need to be in contact with them. They broke a faucet and got water behind an outside outlet with the pressure washer, shorting out the kitchen, which is connected to it for some reason. Plumber came and went, no real contact. Electrician came; we were masked, he carried his with him and put it in the counter. It was dirty. We figured out the problem was outside. He came in briefly to tell us what needed to be done, no mask, and I locked him out of the house after that and disinfected the entire kitchen.
    This is exhausting. And it will only get worse, as the virus is out of control, and the state has no leadership.
    Everything feels less safe because so much virus is circulating and hospitals are filling up. There is no excuse for this level of callous incompetence, or most people’s inability to follow simple precautions. Personal responsibility is a joke. Stupidity rules.

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