With temperatures soaring, it may be time to sit back in the grass and contemplate the world. Here’s a bit of cloud-gazing:
Party loyalty: So, former Gov. Jon M. Huntsman Jr. is trying to get people to register as Republicans in order to vote for him in the party’s closed gubernatorial primary next month; and now former state Democratic Party chair Jim Debakis says he’s crossing over so he can vote (for some unnamed candidate), too. He told the Deseret News he’s urging everyone to “get into this fixed, rigged election.”
People are talking about the “new normal,” or pandemic-induced lifestyle changes that will linger after the virus is gone.
You can debate the pros and cons of permanently working from home — maybe we have to go stir crazy to make the air cleaner — but two parts of the pandemic world ought to go away as quickly as possible: virtual school and virtual government, at least until we find a way to do both better.
SALT LAKE CITY — If I want to know how clean a restaurant down the street is, I can quickly go to slco.org/health/inspection-reports and check it out.
Just now, I spent five minutes and found out a favorite place of mine didn’t wash its utensils frequently enough at the time of its last inspection, and it was using a hand sink to wash sanitizing rags. It’s up to me to decide whether this changes my dinner plans.
Unemployment has hit 14.7% nationwide, according to a Labor Department report last week that hinted the real rate might be more like 20%. We haven’t seen numbers like that in 80 years.
So, is it time for Broadway to do a reprisal of Annie? Should we search for the next Shirley Temple or Fred Astaire to help get us through? Will bread lines and street urchins selling apples become a regular part of our lives in the new ‘20s?
In other words, are we heading for another Great Depression?
By now, it’s becoming clear that Utah is doing better than just about any other state when it comes to controlling the COVID-19 outbreak.
The first question is why, but the second, perhaps more relevant, question is, does this mean Utah will be better able to rebound economically when all of this is over?
How well is the state doing? The worldometer.info website, which tracks facts associated with the pandemic daily, has consistently ranked the state third or fourth in deaths per 1 million population. On Tuesday, Utah was fourth, with 21. But the four states ahead of it (two are tied for first), are mostly rural, with the exception of Hawaii, and its population is far less than Utah’s.
I’ve spent the last several minutes studying a certificate from the Department of Justice, dated June 26, 1956. It’s my mother’s official naturalization certificate, signifying the day she was sworn in as a U.S. citizen in Rochester, New York.
It brings back a lot of memories.
Not from that day. I didn’t come along until three years later. No, the memories have to do with stories she would tell me about World War II, about America and freedom.
I took a leap of faith Tuesday and got a haircut.
Friends may look at me and the hair desert on my dome and wonder why, but the little I have on the sides was becoming irritating as it bunched against my ears.
The suburban Salt Lake County barbershop I chose didn’t require masks. I’m not sure the barbers were operating six feet apart. But I did wait patiently as my barber meticulously sterilized his tools and wiped down the seat between clients.
Welcome to the brave new world, which looks almost like the one we left in March before we all were sent to our rooms.
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Jay Evensen is the Senior Editorial Columnist of the Deseret News. He has nearly 40 years experience as a reporter, editor and editorial writer in Oklahoma, New York City, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. He also has been an adjunct journalism professor at Brigham Young and Weber State universities.