I case you missed it last night… and you probably did because who expects a post from me at 6 PM on a Friday?… the health department dropped Health Directive No. 15. Gotta love how they drop this thing at an hour in which they won’t be answering the phones, will be out of the office for two days after, and won’t be at a press conference in front of a microphone until half a week later.
Given what we had heard might happen, this wasn’t near as bad as it could have been. Restaurants, even limited-service restaurants, will still be allowed to stay open, even for indoor dining. The main things they will have to do differently are close at 10 (previously it was midnight) and only seat parties of no more than 6 together, and only 4 of those 6 can be adults and they must be from the same household (which is completely unenforceable; are we going to have to start bringing MLGW bills when we eat out to establish proof of residency?) Capacity is limited to 50%, but social distancing effectively did that anyway prior to the directive.
The big change for patrons, and I missed this when I did my update last night, is that masks have to remain on even at the table when dining at a restaurant. You can only take them off when eating a bite of food or taking a sip of your beverage. To me, that sounds like the task force is trying to make it as inconvenient as possible to go to restaurants so more people will stay home. The GM of Tin Roof commented that you’d need a “hall monitor” to enforce that rule. Yep, that was about what this has come to.
I noticed that smoking indoors is prohibited in all establishments in the directive; is that new for No. 15 or has that been in there and I missed it? Of the Downtown spots that’ll affect only Bardog. As a nonsmoker, I have no problem with this regulation whatsoever.
Gyms remain open too, but you must have your mask on at all times unless using the swimming pool or shower.
This could have been much, much worse, but I still feel bad for my bartender friends who make a big chunk of their money from 10 PM to midnight. Obviously they’re not happy with the new directive. Of course, I also feel for those who’ve lost a loved one to COVID or who have come close.
Here’s how I think we’ve got to look at it: 100 days from now will be March 1. Things won’t be cured then, but we will be well on our way. Vaccination will be fairly far along and we’ll have a president who is not nutsy cuckoo. We just gotta hunker down and remember We Are All One and we’re all in this together. That includes the bartender who just saw her income get clipped by 40%. That includes the teachers who badly want to see their children in person. That includes people like me who want to be fairly safe while retaining some semblance of normalcy. That even includes people on the far ends, the anti-maskers who think this is all a hoax and the preachy preachies who think we should be in lockdown until next summer because #PeopleBeforeProfits.
Enough about COVID. It’s Saturday and that means college football. Let’s see what we’ve got:
- Memphis hosts Stephen F. Austin at 11, carried on premium subscription service ESPN+
- In a game with CFP implications, #3 Ohio State hosts #9 Indiana at 11 AM on FOX
- Not ranked vs. ranked but still a big game: #4 Clemson travels to Florida State. Here’s hoping the ‘Noles end Clemson’s playoff hopes for the year.
- #7 Cincinnati goes on the road to UCF in a make-or-break game for the Bearcats’ playoff chances. ESPN, 2:30.
- #10 Wisconsin vs. #19 Northwestern in a big game to establish the pecking order in the Big 10, ABC, 2:30
- #23 Auburn gets a turn at the doormat of the SEC, Tennessee, this week at home. ESPN, 6:00.
- Huge rivalry game: #14 Oklahoma State at #18 Oklahoma, 6:30, ABC
No shortage of good games today. As always, if you’re looking for a place to watch multiple games at once, my top recommendation would be Max’s Sports Bar. He has outdoor TVs and a really nice patio with heaters, although you won’t need those today.
The Memphis Tigers basketball team has announced its full 2020-21 schedule. Notable nonconference games:
- November 25-27 – Bad Boy Mowers Classic in Sioux Falls, SD – Tigers could face three NCAA tournament teams in three days – but more on that in a minute
- December 2 – first home game of the season vs. Arkansas State
- December 5 – at Ole Miss
- December 12 – vs. Auburn
Certainly a better nonconference schedule than the Tubby years, when the Tigers could expect to see names like Xavier and Samford on their list of opponents.
Geoff Calkins thinks the Tigers should do what millions of Americans are doing and change their Thanksgiving plans, meaning the Tigers should give up the chance to travel to South Dakota and play up to 3 March Madness-caliber teams. Calkins is right. It positively sucks that he’s right, but he’s right. Chances are too great the Tigers could bring back COVID with them. Also there’s the “role models setting an example” kind of thing. Kids and adults who look up to Penny will be more likely to give up their holiday plans if he gives up his.
For those who don’t want to take the time to read Calkins’ article, South Dakota has the second-highest number of new cases per day per 100K of any state (145.8 according to COVID Act Now; Harvard says stay-home orders should be considered above 25 per 100K).
From Insomnia Cookies:
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The Flyer’s Hungry Memphis blog has a look at King & Union Bar Grocery in the former TGI Friday’s space in the Doubletree. Man, that food looks scrumptious. I gotta get in there!
The news stations reported this earlier in the week, but now the fabulous local crime website Scoop Memphis has picked it up: Intoxicated man leads police in 10-15 MPH chase down trolley tracks
5:25 and I already have this post ready to go. I’ve been an extreme morning person since I started writing professionally; let’s face it, there’s not much reason to be up late at night anymore. Back tomorrow with more news.