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Friday, April 24, 2020

Maybe you’re ahead of me on this one, but I just found out that you can buy groceries at Panera’s. And they’re not alone. A quick search of “restaurants selling groceries” reveals that this coronavirus innovation is nationwide. This is one of the pandemic changes that I hope lasts. It helps keep produce in the restaurant supply chain instead of being plowed under and it develops diversification that hopefully will enable some businesses to survive not only this lockdown period but the economic changes to come.

Even as we anticipate opening up in the near future, we continue to make adaptations. And this is appropriate. There is still a very contagious virus around and we are still learning about it. Tracing back is vital to understanding how it started and how it spreads, but right now I’m more interested in looking ahead, getting a better understanding of immunity, evaluating treatments like convalescent plasma, and developing vaccines.

Although we will have to begin gradual opening of our businesses and schools in the near future (some states are doing it this weekend, some countries are beginning as well), vaccines are our best long-term solution, as they are with so many viral diseases. But there’s hope. Here’s yesterday’s update from WHO via: “Six Coronavirus Vaccines Under Clinical Trials”: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/six-coronavirus-vaccines-under-clinical-095241043.html . In addition to the six vaccines in clinical trials, 77 more vaccines are in preclinical testing. This is a worldwide pandemic and the efforts to bring it under control are, appropriately, international.

So why am I excited about getting groceries at restaurants? Because we’re going to get out of this. As a senior interested in staying independent at home as long as possible, I like anything that make food easier to get. Besides, Panera’s is selling bagels by the dozen– and cream cheese.

Related Headlines:

“Here’s when stay-at-home orders are expiring in each of California’s 58 counties,” Los Angeles Times, today.

“California effort will employ restaurant workers to provide meals for seniors amid coronavirus crisis,” Los Angeles Times, today.

“Journal the pandemic and those weird grocery store trips — with help from Michelle Obama,” Los Angeles Times, April 17, 2020.

“Restaurants are transforming into grocery stores because of coronavirus,” CNN Business, April 8, 2020.

Why am I doing this?

The coronavirus pandemic will be indelibly written on our memories just as the Great Depression or the Battle of Britain left their mark on past generations. It is my intention to journal the events of these days from three perspectives: as a retired medical technologist, a historian (Ph.D., 2014), and an ordinary person living through an extraordinary crisis.

You are on History’s Edge.

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