Health Directive 17, which will loosen restrictions a little for Shelby County, will be released today and will go into effect Saturday at midnight. Key points county health officer Dr. Bruce Randolph made yesterday concerning restaurants:
- Capacity will increase from 25% to 50%
- 6 people maximum per table. Tables must still be distanced so that diners not in the same group are 6 feet apart
- Restaurants still have to close for dine-in at 10 PM
- Live music is allowed, but performers must be 18 feet from the audience and 6 feet from each other
- Dancing is only allowed outside
- Smoking (including vaping and hookahs) is not allowed indoors
- 2 hour limit on service
- Dr. Randolph didn’t comment on whether bar seating would be allowed, but I’m fairly certain the answer is no
Health Department director Dr. Haushalter said the reproduction rate of the virus has dropped to 0.89, so COVID’s spread is no longer exponential. (Should we call a number below 1 logarithmic spread?) New case numbers are down. The positivity rate, although still too high at 14%, is substantially down from previous weeks.
The Health Department folks say a list of businesses closed due to violating health directives is on the shelby.community website. WHERE?????
The CA’s Jennifer Chandler has a look at new Downtown breakfast restaurant Sugar Grits. It’s run by the same folks as Zinnie’s and Ben-Yay’s is located in the ServiceMaster building on Second Street. For those who work nearby, note that they’ll have a grab & go. In my entire life, all but 6 months of which was lived in the South, I have never had grits and red-eye gravy. I’ll have to do something about that soon.
I want to take a minute to note the passing of Krazi Beckii, my neighbor, friend, and hairstylist, and an icon of the late 1980s Memphis scene. She was one of a kind and lit up every room she was in. My thoughts go out to all who loved her.
The Memphis Flyer reports that Sushi Jimmi is starting his own cooking channel on YouTube.
It’s always a pleasure to discover new writers on Medium, the platform where I write professionally. I discovered a new writer yesterday: Kamala Harris. (That article is not marked as behind the paywall, so you should be able to click through and read)
Here are a set of articles on the history of Inauguration Day in the United States. Did you know the Trumpster is not the first president to skip his successor’s inauguration? These presidents skipped too:
- John Adams, 1801 (Thomas Jefferson’s inauguration)
- John Quincy Adams, 1829 (Andrew Jackson’s inauguration)
- Andrew Johnson, 1869 (Ulysses S. Grant’s inauguration)
- Richard Nixon, 1974 (Gerald Ford’s inauguration)
NBC News has a viewer’s guide to today’s inauguration.
The BBQ team made the decision this week that we aren’t going to do BBQ Fest 2021, to be held May 12-15. Because only about one-third of Shelby County will likely have been vaccinated against COVID at that time, there will be many restrictions and protocols in place – masking, social distancing, capacity limitations, and the like. Our team felt such restrictions would prevent us from offering a fun time for our team members, their guests, and our sponsors. The Moody Ques will be back in 2022, though.
I held off sharing my personal feelings about BBQ Fest being scheduled for its normal May slot until the team could figure out its plans. Now I will say it – I am relieved by the team’s decision and stand behind it 100%. If the team had decided to compete this year, I would have taken a year off. BBQ Fest is spring break for adults and I wouldn’t want to take part in it any other way.
Dignity, compassion, and competence will have returned to the White House by the time I get off work, and I am so ready for it, Wednesdays have been stay-home-and-write days lately but not this one. I’ll be out celebrating! Back tomorrow with more news.
Donald, you’re fired.