Friday update #2

Quickly recapping the last two posts:

  • Donald Trump has tested positive for COVID-19. So has Melania.
  • Shelby County Health Directive 13 will likely be issued next week. It’s possible that food-related requirements for serving alcohol in restaurants and bars will be dropped.

CNN has a look at Trump’s risk now that he has COVID-19. His supporters may think he is Superman, but he is an obese 74-year-old man. The Trumpster’s risk of hospitalization is 5 times greater, and death 90 times greater, than someone 18-29 who has the virus. His reported weight of 244 pounds makes him three times more likely to require hospitalization than a person of average weight for his height.

Dinstuhl’s Fine Candies has reopened on the Main Street Mall. Come show them some love… after all, we all deserve a treat after 7 months of this mess. They’re located next door to the Majestic Grille/Cocozza.

Cafe Keough is hiring a barista, which is a sign they will be open again soon. Great local folks making quality products. I know a lot of you are addicted to the Starbucks down the street, but give Keough a try one day once the doors are back open. 12 S. Main in the ground floor of the Number 10 Main apartments.

Live music returns to Momma’s at the corner of Crump and Kentucky tomorrow night 6:30-9:30 with JohnnyMaestro LIVE! He’ll be joined by the duo of Mike Sweep and former American Idol contestant Chris Johnson.

Backbeat Tours is offering a special Mojo Tour to celebrate Memphis Music Month every Friday and Saturday in October, beginning today. Guests will receive a souvenir shaker and can be a part of the band while riding (note that County Health Officer Dr. Bruce Randolph would frown upon singing), and there will be a stop outside Galloway United Methodist Church in Cooper-Young. There there will be a live performance in the very first spot where Johnny Cash performed before a crowd.

Memphis in May has a merchandise sale going on right now. Score some gear from Music Fests and BBQ Fests gone by, with T-shirts starting at $3.

From WMC Action News 5: MPD investigating car break-ins Downtown and in Harbor Town. It’s believed the thieves are looking for guns, because a Gucci wallet and a checkbook left in cars were not taken. Leaving wallets in cars parked in the downtown of a major city? That’s not very smart.

Kemmons Wilson Companies have unveiled their design plans for their new HQ in the former Spaghetti Warehouse building.

Discover Memphis Naturally is a new initiative to connect people with all the things there are to do outdoors in our fair city. Whether you want to bike it, paddle it, climb it, park it, or view it, this site has the info you seek.

Take a jacket if you go out tonight. predicts a low of 46.

Tin Roof’s Green Room will host DJ Epic tonight at 7.

POLITICO Playbook has a What happens now? look at COVID-19 in the Oval Office. The Guardian notes that the October 15 presidential debate could be in jeopardy.

On Tuesday, Don Jr., Ivanka, and Eric accompanied Trump on Air Force One on the way to the debate. No one was wearing a mask. So it’s possible Beavis & Butt-head and Kremlin Barbie could be positive too.

Amazon is banning the sale of “Proud boys, stand back and stand by” merchandise. Trump used the quote during Tuesday’s debate.

Iowa and Georgia have flipped in RealClearPolitics’ no toss-up states map projection for the Electoral College. That would give Joe Biden a 375-163 landslide.

Keep scrolling if you want to read the COVID-19 task force press conference recap from yesterday. Back tomorrow with more news.

Health Directive 13 planned for next week; fewer restrictions possible

In today’s COVID-19 task force press conference, Health Department Director Dr. Haushalter and Health Officer Dr. Randolph announced that, if COVID-19 case data continues to trend well over the weekend, they will issue Health Directive 13 sometime next week.

Dr. Randolph emphasized that customers at restaurants will still be expected to sit to be served alcohol, and that bar areas will remain closed – but he did not mention FOOD! So it sounds like the stupid requirement that customers must order food to be served alcohol might be going away, along with the equally stupid requirement that customers can only remain at a restaurant for a maximum of 2 hours.

Dr. Haushalter, in response to a media question, said that a closing time later than 10 PM for restaurants and bars will be under consideration as well.

However, they wished to stress that safety measures will still be enforced at facilities – masking, social distancing, and handwashing. Indoor dancing is also expected to remain prohibited in the upcoming directive.

A laser focus on facilities identified as contributing to spread will be adopted. Those facilities will be investigated. Where they are found to be violating safety protocol, the owners will be educated, and if necessary. the facilities closed.

Revised indoor and outdoor capacity at sporting events will also be under consideration for the next directive.

Dr. H advised not to let COVID-19 stop you from your normal health practices – schedule your annual physical if you need one. Get your flu shot.

Dr. H also advised to think about travel as we approach fall break for schools – whether it’s really necessary, and if it is what precautions need to be made including taking extra masks and hand washing supplies.

Commissioner Willie Brooks announced that a $50,000 grant has been given to Memphis Area Legal Services to prevent COVID-related evictions in his district, District 6, which includes Raleigh, Frayser, and Nutbush. Call 901-432-4633 and tell them you’re calling about District 6 eviction relief.

Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

Thought-provoking article in The Daily Memphian this morning: Suburban mayors wait on Health Department following governor’s order. Gov. Bill Lee ordered this week that all capacity requirements be removed from businesses and gatherings, but the order does not apply to the six counties that have their own health departments, including Shelby County.

The mayor of Arlington assured his constituents that leaders are “working on solutions.” Bartlett mayor Keith McDonald believes the Shelby County Health Department should follow the state’s lead in the removal of restrictions, although he agrees “maybe we don’t jump quite as far” all at once.

I mean, think about it. If you go out to a bar in Tipton or Fayette County, you can stay as long as you want without any requirement to order food. You can sit at the bar. You can stay until the place closes at 3 AM. Whereas, in Shelby County, you can only stay two hours, you must order food to purchase alcohol, you can’t sit at the bar, and you can’t dine in after 10 PM. In other words, Shelby is No Fun County thanks to the joint COVID-19 task force.

Yesterday Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) proposed eliminating autonomy for the SCHD and the five other health departments that operate independently from state directives.

The DM article says the joint task force has a conference call Friday. I would love to be a fly on the wall for that one. Nothing moves a bureaucrat into action faster than threatening to take their power away.

Of course, the COVID-19 task force has a press conference at noon today, their final Thursday press conference before moving to a Tuesday-only schedule. I bet there will be questions about the governor’s order.

WMC Action News 5 has a story about the Rumba Room and its effect on the salsa scene and the Hispanic community here in Memphis.

Phish will release audio from its June 14, 1995 Mud Island concert today. It contains the longest version of “Tweezer” ever recorded, clocking in at just over 50 minutes. The gospel rarity “Don’t You Want To Go,” performed only a few times in concert, is also part of the set.

Memphis Music Month has launched. The events include Downtown Dinner + Music, a live, acoustic, safely distanced music series encouraging Memphians to support local restaurants. There will also be virtual tours of Memphis attractions, social media takeovers by local musicians, and many concerts, discounts, and giveaways. The Downtown Dinner + Music Series kicks off tonight at Cordelia’s Market 5-7 PM. Candy Fox will perform at Harbortown Bend Rd., Chris Milam will play Harbortown Circle, and Antonio Hobson will play the corner of Jackson Ave. and North Main.

A plan to renovate the historic Nylon Net building at 7 W. Vance into apartments now calls for its demolition. Developer Chance Carlisle calls it “the worst building I’ve seen in 20 years.” Materials from the original 1904-07 historic building will be reclaimed and will be used to reconstruct the facade, retaining the original architectural style.

Hearing rumors that another Downtown restaurant may expand its hours to include breakfast. Let me do a little more searching around to see if this story has wings, and if it does it’ll land here on this blog.

Classic rock band Smokestack Lightnin’ plays The Vault Friday from 6:30 to 9:30.

Well damn! The Cardinals made the playoffs! I guess I’ll have to start caring about baseball again. They play the San Diego Padres on ESPN at 6 tonight. It’ll be game 2 of the series with St. Louis up 1-0. Adam Wainwright and Zack Davies will be the starting pitchers.

From Grind City Brewing Co.:

Oh Happy Day! 🍻We will OFFICIALLY be opening our doors to the public starting THIS Saturday & Sunday! Come by Saturday from 12pm-10pm & enjoy some Grind City Brews along with

Smashed Eats

! Come back on Sunday from 12pm-7pm for some more brews & LadyBugg Meals On Wheels! As we will be following Covid guidelines, a mask will be required upon entry. We can’t wait to see y’all there! Cheers!

Grind City is at 76 Waterworks in the far north end of Uptown. To get there, take North Second Street. It’s about half a mile past the 3-way stop at Second and Chelsea. Hmmm… might have to make a trip up there this weekend… that’ll require a Lyft though. Walking there from the Downtown core is only an option if you have good sneakers and a concealed carry permit.

Tickets for the Thursday night movie series at the Mallory-Neely House are sold out. Because COVID RUINS EVERYTHING, they are limited to 45 guests per movie. The next showing will be Charade on Thursday, October 15. Tickets are $8 adults, $5 children, kids under 2 free. Food trucks will be on site.

That’s it for now. Most likely I will be back between 1 and 2 with a recap of the No Fun County COVID-19 joint task force press conference.