Scarves Into Masks

I’ve been getting multiple emails a day from a variety of upscale shops. Messages include “Your new spring wardrobe is up to 75% off (ends tonight),” or “Start your day in our sale shirts: 4 for $184”. They’ve got to be kidding! Is anyone interested in stocking up on luxury clothes for spring when we’re in the middle of a lockdown in NYC?

Yes, I understand that business wants to return to “before”. But these promotions make me angry. What about being part of the COVID-19 war effort? I’ll make a list of those stores and, if we ever get through this, never shop there again. Unless I learn that they have done something to support the war effort.

Of course the health of our families, friends and people we know and love are our first concern, ensuring that everyone is taking every precaution to stay safe. That’s why in the midst of this tsunami of information and misinformation about the pandemic, I’m not looking to shop other then as needed for food. What I’m looking for currently is hourly, daily updates on three topics:

1) What credible, trusted courageous leaders are saying and doing; people like Governor Andrew Cuomo or Navy Captain Brett Crozier of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt.

2) What’s the actual, best information regarding protective masks? For now, the best advice seems to be to make use of them to protect others, but they are no substitute for staying at home or social distancing.

3) What is the status of vaccine development? There’s the possibility, according to a German scientist, that a vaccine used for tuberculosis, a bacterial-related, entirely different disease from Coronavirus, may be used as a stop-gap until a real targeted vaccine is developed and approved. The purpose of this temporary fix would be to stimulate antibodies that would make people’s better equipped to fight pulmonary disease.

So, understanding the goals of business to survive, and looking back to our full mobilization during WWII, let’s make “parachutes by day, nylons by night.” Our vast domestic economy does not need to fully retool … just enough to beat the virus fast. Yes, retool the automotive business in Michigan and the bourbon business in Kentucky. Luxury shops can provide scarves and shirts to be made into protective gear.

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