The Daily Memphian has the info on the updated plans for the remodeling of Tom Lee Park. This proposal does more to connect the park to surrounding neighborhoods as well as other parks to the south and the promenade on the north. Construction will focus on those connections in the first half of 2021, allowing Music Fest and BBQ Fest to remain in Tom Lee in 2021, but they will have to move for a year in 2022.
Silly Goose has re-opened for dine-in, and Socially Distant Perjorie and I went down there for a PBR yesterday.
Up until yesterday, it had been open primarily for take-out. The barrel tables are back in the middle of the room, the TVs are back on, and seating with proper social distance has been restored to tables, the patio, and the bar.
Insider tip for you… when the Goose switched over to take-out during house arrest, they re-priced their pizzas at $10. So far they have not raised the prices back up yet. If you’ve been craving a wood-fired pizza, now’s the time to get one at a great price.
There won’t be a DJ this weekend, but Daniel is going to see if he can get a playlist from one of his DJs.
As your number-one source of news and information about The Edge District, it is my pleasure to report to you that Sun Studio has announced a June 1 re-opening date. Before that, they will post a COVID-19 protocol on their website that will be in place to keep staff and visitors safe.
Ghost River Brewing Co. has logo-themed functional headwear that can be used as a mask on sale in their taproom for only $5. The taproom is open (outdoor seating only, one person allowed inside at a time to order) Wednesday-Saturday 4-9.
Itta Bena, the restaurant atop B.B. King’s club at Second and Beale, is back open every night at 5 PM, serving their famous she-crab soup and their other favorites. Call 901-578-3031 or visit OpenTable for reservations.
Someone who works on Beale Street told me that establishments on the street can stay open until 11 now, adjusted from the previous closing time of 10 under the street’s re-opening plan.
Here’s a recipe to get you good ‘n hammered over the Memorial Day weekend: Long Island Iced Tea Pops
Former Grizzly Mike Conley continues to keep Memphis close to his heart, having recently made a donation to Code Crew, which will help supply Wi-Fi and laptops to help students with distance learning.
From the Orpheum:
Tune in on Saturday, May 23 at 7:30pm for Kelley Mickwee and partner Ben Jones on the sixth installment of Memphis Songwriters Series: Virtual Voices on our Facebook or YouTube ✨Watch previous Virtual Voices concerts here: https://t.co/NuUqFwEdE4 pic.twitter.com/qBbhgrHYh8
— Orpheum Theatre (@TheOrpheumTN) May 20, 2020
All right let’s look at a few notes from yesterday’s press conference. Mayor Strickland and health department director Dr. Haushalter attended.
Memorial Day tips
Dr. Haushalter was asked a great question: With Memorial Day gatherings coming up this weekend, what advice could she offer to help people stay safe?
One of her big concerns about the spread of the virus was potlucks where many people touch a serving spoon. Haushalter recommended having one person in charge of serving the food, the spoon being touched by that person only, wearing gloves if possible.
Other tips Haushalter gave for weekend gatherings:
- Use disposable utensils, plates, bottles
- Wipe surfaces down frequently
- Protect seniors, and help kids understand why they can’t be around their senior relatives right now
- Outside events are better than inside
- Don’t hesitate to cancel plans if you feel sick
- Courtesy crews will continue to monitor parks over the weekend to educate visitors about social distancing
I’ll add one.
- Don’t be afraid to be THAT WEIRDO who wears a face mask inside a bar – and if you hang out in the same bars as I do, I can promise you that you won’t be the only one. We aren’t in high school anymore, and the nerds are the cool kids in this case.
The health department reported 127 new cases out of 1701 tested yesterday, a 7.5% positive rate (EDIT: Oops, looks like I got this number wrong. The Health Dept. website shows an even higher rate of 9.8%). That’s a higher positive rate than we have seen in a while. Dr. Haushalter pointed out that cases where the virus was transmitted by those who went out on Mother’s Day are starting to show up in the data.
She was asked at what positive rate would she become concerned enough to consider tightening some health regulations. Haushalter said if the positive rate went north of 10%, she would be concerned. She reminded everyone, however, that the positive rate is just one piece of a constellation of data the COVID-19 task force considers as a whole.
The duplication rate is the number of days it takes the number of cases of the virus to double within a community. When China and Italy were raging with the virus, the duplication rate was once every 5 days. Since the incubation period of COVID-19 is 14 days, this overwhelmed the hospital system in those nations. Shelby County is at once every 26 days. That is good, and we want to keep pushing that number farther and farther out to flatten the curve.
The replication rate, sometimes called R or “R-nought,” currently sits right around 1 for Shelby County. That’s down from a reported 1.14 last week. R represents the number of people infected by each person who has the virus, so a lower number is better. 1 or below 1 is ideal. Below 1 represents the point where the virus can’t find new hosts and starts to die out. Wearing masks, social distancing, and washing hands help lower the replication rate.
A look at the contact tracing course…
This isn’t from the press conference by the way, just an entertaining note on which to end this post. One of my Facebook friends took the online contact tracing course, I’m assuming the one offered by Johns Hopkins for free. She posted screen shots of workbook questions, which I will paraphrase here:
- A woman tests positive for the coronavirus. She tells you that she works as a bartender at a popular local nightclub, and she worked sick for a couple of nights before she came in for testing. What do you do?
- A married man tests positive for COVID-19, and his side chick tests positive too. His wife, of course, is one of his contacts who you have to inform. How do you handle this?
I may have to take a day off from going out this weekend and take that course, just for fun.
Back tomorrow, or later today if the need arises.