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Sunday, November 27, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: Ready to get stuck when the time comes

Editor’s Notebook: Ready to get stuck when the time comes

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It’s still going to be weeks, maybe months, since my category (Group 1c, sub-section 9, for those playing along at home) gets its turn in the vaccination conga line.

But being the go-along-to-get-along kind of guy that I am, I on Friday went onto the state health Website and got myself a place in line.

(For those of you thinking that an article on me getting a vaccine should be headlined One Little Prick Signs Up for Another, I beat you to it. But we have to have a little decorum around here.)

We all remember that it was a rather calamitous rollout of this vaccination process in the Old Dominion, but officials seem to have gotten it together and things are rolling more smoothly. Nothing for me to do now but wait my turn and attempt, as best possible, to steer clear of the virus.

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Speaking of waiting, the ad manager at our sibling publication in Texas, the Fort Worth Business Journal, reported last week that he had spent eight hours standing in line outside a local church, just his turn to get his first shot. As the owner of our company (a Cayman Islands corporation …) noted playfully when he heard this tale: “Did you sell any ads while you were waiting?”

LIBRARY REOPENING IS SLOW (BOO!) BUT KUDOS TO STAFF: Yours truly loves libraries. Apparently much more so than the Arlington County government leadership, which has been almost criminally lackadaisical in coming up with a reopening plan, even though we are now a year into the pandemic.

But as of last week, the Shirlington and Westover branches reopened, sort of, and on Friday I stopped by Shirlington to see how things were going (and pick up some books I’d placed on hold).

First off: Kudos to staff, who were very friendly and helpful, although clearly they’ve been warned against getting too close to patrons. (That’ll evolve in coming weeks; human nature always wins out, as has been proved in the approach to public-health rules at high-school sporting events. But I digress….)

One wonders if the whole library-reopening thing in Arlington has been set up for purposeful failure. Giving people a scant 15 minutes before they are shooed out (although I doubt there will be much shooing unless one truly overstays one’s welcome) is hardly rolling out the welcome mat. Most every other library system I know of that has such time restrictions puts it at a half hour, at least.

And if this is all about “following the science” as government tells us it is (except when the science favors things the local leaders don’t like), then shouldn’t temperatures be taken when one enters the library? Not that a temperature check tells a whole lot, but it seems an extra layer of protection for all involved.

Down at the McCaffrey Southern Command Center on the Gulf Coast of Florida, where libraries have been reopened since last July (yep), everybody gets a temperature check. Last I heard, deaths from library visits hadn’t topped zero, let alone thousands, there.

— Scott McCaffrey

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