Don’t Lick Doorknobs – COVID Update 7-22

We are a world away from where we were last July. Many people have begun to forget all about the pandemic, especially if they don’t watch cable news… and especially if they weren’t personally touched by it with illness or loss. It is important to remember that people were though. I know someone personally who was not permitted to visit his mother in her nursing home. He had to watch her die through a window. If you were lucky, count your blessings. If you weren’t, then you understand.

I interact with a lot of people and go to meetings with people from all over the state. I normally get sick once or twice a year. I have not been sick since February of 2020. I have been more diligent about hand washing, cleaning things that I touch, avoiding touching dirty things, etc. I avoid close talkers. I enforce personal space. The knowledge that you lose is amazing. I remember being taught in filthy 1970’s New York how to work a public toilet with my shoe. elbow the door, etc. When we were sick, it was cover your mouth, don’t share towels, wash your hands and face a lot every day, etc. We used to do a lot more to protect against infection.

I am making a conscious effort to think more about minimizing my risk with simple things that I can do. I like not being sick, so I am going to try hard to continue doing these things. I hope you do too. While we’re at it, if you are not vaccinated, talk to your doctor. Don’t take my advice on vaccines. Unless your neighbor is also your doctor, don’t take their advice. Don’t let a talking head or politician convince you whether or not to vaccinate. Talk to your family and the only person qualified to give you health care advice, your doctor. ~ Steve

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Giving Thanks – Memorial Day

It is time for my annual expression of thanks, and admonition.

Please do not wish anyone a “happy Memorial Day”. This is the day we honor the thousands who have given their lives so that we can enjoy our way of life. This is a solemn day, and our dead heroes deserve our reverence and gratitude.

Today, you may criticize the government and not be arrested for it. You may choose where to go and what to do. You may decide to run for office, or move to another town or state. The people who protected your freedom to do all these things, and more, are pictured above. Take a moment to thank to thank them this weekend. ~ Steve


Decoration Day

On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed.

The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Civil War soldiers buried there.

Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.

It is unclear where exactly this tradition originated; numerous different communities may have independently initiated the memorial gatherings. And some records show that one of the earliest Memorial Day commemorations was organized by a group of formerly enslaved people in Charleston, South Carolina less than a month after the Confederacy surrendered in 1865. Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day.

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Opening back up

Barring another outbreak or surge, things are opening back up. This does not mean that you should stop being careful. Using safe best practices will help ensure that once things are open, they can stay that way. While many mask requirements are being lifted, using one is still allowed and probably a good idea. You may have heard that the statewide mask mandate has expired and wondered why you still have to wear one in a business. Last year, before the statewide mandate, businesses opened and were given best practices to adhere to. That is where we are now. Additionally, some local municipalities have their own mask orders. Their authorization and requirement to protect public health in their town or city allows them to do this. ~ Steve

All New Hampshire state employees to return to offices by May 10

‘We expect to be fully operational and in person,’ governor says


State government employees who have been working from home during the coronavirus pandemic will be back in their offices by May 10, Gov. Chris Sununu said Thursday.

“All agencies are getting the same message, we’re not picking or choosing certain agencies or divisions or departments,” he said. “We expect to be fully operational and in person, with buildings open to the public, with public access for the business transactions that have to happen one on one.

While Sununu lifted the statewide mask mandate earlier this month, state offices remain subject to any municipal ordinances in their particular location, according to his office. The ordinance in Concord, however, where many state offices are located, only applies to retail businesses.

Individual workers can wear masks if they prefer, Sununu said.

“Obviously we always want them to feel safe, it’s always an option for them to have,” he said.

People on unemployment will need to show they’re job hunting

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Starting next month, New Hampshire is once again requiring that people receiving unemployment benefits be looking for work.

“Traditionally, you had to prove that you were searching for gainful employment while collecting unemployment benefits,” Gov. Chris Sununu said at a news conference Thursday. That was waived last year during the coronavirus pandemic.

Since, the economy has rebounded and New Hampshire has one of the lowest unemployment rates, at 3%. Starting May 23, residents are being required to look for work while on unemployment benefits. It doesn’t mean that if a person can’t find work, they will lose their benefits, Sununu said.

“There are tens of thousands of high-paying jobs across the state available today,” he said. “It’s just an awesome opportunity.” He said in one recent virtual job fair, there were over 100 employers offering more than 3,000 jobs, but only about 140 job seekers showed up.

Sununu said jobs need to be filled, especially in tourism-related areas, restaurants, hotels, and tech and manufacturing.

New Hampshire Works job centers will be opening to the public by May 10 to assist people. Job fairs are scheduled May 6 for veterans, May 11 for students, graduates and individuals using adult education programs, and May 13 for people in the construction industry.

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