• Ongoing coronavirus / COVID-19 discussion: how is the pandemic affecting your community, workplace, and wellness? 🦠

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Coronavirus and other pandemics

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
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Thankfully I had just bought two big jars of Fleischmann's yeast (one jar for bread machines and one regular) back in February when I went on a little mini baking kick.

I made our first trip to the grocery store in 3 or 4 weeks yesterday morning and I decided to go to two stores. I went to the pricier local chain first for meat, seafood, some fresh baked goods, frozen foods, and most of the fruits and veggies. The last time I went to Kroger they were fully stocked again so I decided I'd go there for some staples and canned goods and condiments that I didn't want to pay the extra $0.20 for at the local store. Well, Kroger was out of some of the things we needed like soy sauce, white vinegar, rice vinegar, and some other condiments though the rest of the store (except the butcher counter) was pretty well stocked. The only other thing I couldn't find were disinfectant wipes, but those weren't really on my list anyway.

As much as I like the people that work at my Kroger and that it's only a couple blocks from my house, I think I'm done with it for big grocery trips.
 

kms

Cyburbian
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6,414
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I understand yeast is and will continue to be in short supply for several months. We lucked out when I managed to score two huge 2 lb. packages of active dry yeast a few weeks ago which were promptly put in the freezer and should see us through the next couple years. But yeah, before that we were scrambling to buy those little three pack envelopes of Red Star or Fleischmann hit or miss (~80% miss) for several months. I recommend getting the largest sized container you can when/if the opportunity presents itself, even you don't think you'll use that much yeast. Worst case scenario is a portion of it goes bad and you're out $5.
I've always bought bulk yeast to keep in the freezer. The jar is about empty. Its been frozen there for 5+ years.
 

Maister

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One more thing I've noticed concerning grocery shopping in the age of covid, is how lots of things are becoming more expensive. I haven't run the numbers, but anecdotally it seems like our typical shopping bill is like 20% higher than usual. Also, grocery store 'sales' seem rather half-hearted affairs, featuring oddball items at prices that don't seem like much of a discount.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
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14,943
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We've noticed the grocery bill creeping up since say about 2016. Not sure what caused that.
 

dandy_warhol

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9,415
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One more thing I've noticed concerning grocery shopping in the age of covid, is how lots of things are becoming more expensive. I haven't run the numbers, but anecdotally it seems like our typical shopping bill is like 20% higher than usual. Also, grocery store 'sales' seem rather half-hearted affairs, featuring oddball items at prices that don't seem like much of a discount.
Try being gluten-free in the age of Covid. :oops: Bread is easily $6-8 a loaf. Needless to say we don't eat much bread.
 

Maister

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We make our own pizza dough but haven't done much with GF bread baking. Maybe I will add that to Itty Bitty's homeschooling curriculum.
Try this recipe. It doesn't have that super crumbly texture you find so often with other GF loaves:
 

michaelskis

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I support the mask requirements even though I hate wearing them. But a new issue has come up. People are wearing the same mask without washing it, they are touching both sides of it, and overall rendering it useless. Additionally, some of the medical professionals have noticed upticks of other illnesses because of this. One local radio guy said it best, "Treat your mask like underwear. Change it every day, wash before uses, and if it gets soiled, don't put it back on."

One question that I have is in terms of other factors that may or may not result in one seeing the effects of COVID-19. Personally know a dozen people locally who have tested positive for it. Only 2 showed a fever and the other 10 were asymptomatic or the symptoms were such that it was not unusual for them (allergies, soreness from working construction....). The two that had the fever recovered very quickly and the others got tested because their significant others tested positive or there was some other non-symptom reason they were tested. The odd part is there is no real defining factor that they all share in terms of why it did not cause them to have symptoms. I know of other people who were hospitalized for it, and in every one of those cases there was some other health condition that was a significant issue.

Why do you think that some people are completely asymptomatic?
 

Planit

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Why do you think that some people are completely asymptomatic?
Damn it Jim I'm a doctor, not the president! I don't know.
(sorry I couldn't resist)

There's evidence mask wearing helps. There's no evidence not wearing one doesn't. It's more about someone's personal hyenine and belief that this is a real thing. If you are complacent about COVID19 or don't think it's that serious in the first place, you'll continue to be. You might wear a mask because that's the rule, you won't care to wash your mask. IMHO
 

DVD

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Has your belt size also been creeping up since 2016? If so, I believe I have your answer....
Why yes, how did you know? Are you stalking me?

On the good side, it's gone down considerably and all the fresh produce costs more than when I ate crap.
 

AG74683

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Why yes, how did you know? Are you stalking me?

On the good side, it's gone down considerably and all the fresh produce costs more than when I ate crap.
This is a huge problem. They talk about food deserts and all that, but in general buying fresh produce at the grocery store for meals costs more than just getting a sodium heavy frozen meal. I bought heavily into the food box meals (Hello Fresh and Plated) but frankly the cost just didn't add up. I think that's a huge contributor to obesity and type 2 diabetes in the United States. Farmers markets and fresh produce are available in many countries at completely dirt cheap prices and their diets show it. We have a "farmers market" here, but it doesn't amount to anything beyond a few heirloom tomatoes.
 

WSU MUP Student

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This is a huge problem. They talk about food deserts and all that, but in general buying fresh produce at the grocery store for meals costs more than just getting a sodium heavy frozen meal. I bought heavily into the food box meals (Hello Fresh and Plated) but frankly the cost just didn't add up. I think that's a huge contributor to obesity and type 2 diabetes in the United States. Farmers markets and fresh produce are available in many countries at completely dirt cheap prices and their diets show it. We have a "farmers market" here, but it doesn't amount to anything beyond a few heirloom tomatoes.
Re: Farmer's markets - It seems like nearly every community has one here and some are much better than others. The one closest to my house is probably one of the worst around here: just a bunch of overpriced artisanal prepared foods, arts and crafts, flower arrangements, a vendor taking orders for free range poultry and pork and grass feed beef, and some fancy food trucks (though one in particular does have some really good hot dogs). There are maybe 1 or 2 vendors there that actually sell fresh produce. Their price is a little high but not unreasonable. The selection is awful though. I've been trying to convince my dad to get a stall there since he could sell tiny decorative bails of straw for $20 (out by him a full bail goes for about $5) or bundle up some cornstalks that he was going to throw out and sell them as fall decor. The real money maker would be to take orders for a side of pork or a whole hog at about 3x the cost of what it is by their house.

The county parks department hosts a farmer's market a few days a week on our office campus and that one is actually pretty good. It's much larger than most of the ones around here and draws in a lot of larger vendors from the truck farms in the more rural counties that border us. In the spring they have really good prices on flats of flowers and pots of annuals or perennials and this time of year they are usually very well stocked with a lot of fresh local produce at better prices than the grocery stores. That market is in an area with a lot of poverty and our parks department has worked with our office and the health department to make sure the vendors consistently have healthy options at competitive prices. A few years ago they even worked it out so that you can use your Bridge Card (Michigan's food stamp system) there.
 

Veloise

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5,803
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Re: Farmer's markets - It seems like nearly every community has one here and some are much better than others. The one closest to my house is probably one of the worst around here: just a bunch of overpriced artisanal prepared foods, arts and crafts, flower arrangements, a vendor taking orders for free range poultry and pork and grass feed beef, and some fancy food trucks (though one in particular does have some really good hot dogs). There are maybe 1 or 2 vendors there that actually sell fresh produce. Their price is a little high but not unreasonable. The selection is awful though. I've been trying to convince my dad to get a stall there since he could sell tiny decorative bails of straw for $20 (out by him a full bail goes for about $5) or bundle up some cornstalks that he was going to throw out and sell them as fall decor. The real money maker would be to take orders for a side of pork or a whole hog at about 3x the cost of what it is by their house.

The county parks department hosts a farmer's market a few days a week on our office campus and that one is actually pretty good. It's much larger than most of the ones around here and draws in a lot of larger vendors from the truck farms in the more rural counties that border us. In the spring they have really good prices on flats of flowers and pots of annuals or perennials and this time of year they are usually very well stocked with a lot of fresh local produce at better prices than the grocery stores. That market is in an area with a lot of poverty and our parks department has worked with our office and the health department to make sure the vendors consistently have healthy options at competitive prices. A few years ago they even worked it out so that you can use your Bridge Card (Michigan's food stamp system) there.
*bale

IMG_4268.JPG
 

kjel

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I've always bought bulk yeast to keep in the freezer. The jar is about empty. Its been frozen there for 5+ years.
Check out nuts.com. They are in NJ, ship super fast, and have a 1lb bags of dry yeast for sale for $5.99.
 
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WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
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10,575
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46
Going further off topic AIB nuts.com, my FIL used to be the president of a company called Detroit Screw Works and my dad used to work closely with a company called Detroit Nipple Works. Those are either some of the best or worst business names ever.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
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20,157
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51
Yesterday our Governor announced that we keep things where they are until September 11th. This means the following:
  • Everyone has to wear a mask everywhere in public (No, not your car, but yes, in the parking lot)
  • Half occupancy for restaurants, churches
  • No 'gatherings' of more than 25 person
  • Bars Closed
  • Gyms Closed
  • Social distancing is mandatory
  • No alcohol sales for onside consumption in restaurants, microbreweries, and similar uses after 11:00 PM
There is a local gym owner who has already decided that he is closing up and selling off his equipment because he can't afford the rent without income as he has been closed since the end of March. This decision was the make or break point as this cash reserves ran out in July because he made significant investments back in January.
 

Whose Yur Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
11,396
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40
Yesterday our Governor announced that we keep things where they are until September 11th. This means the following:
  • Everyone has to wear a mask everywhere in public (No, not your car, but yes, in the parking lot)
  • Half occupancy for restaurants, churches
  • No 'gatherings' of more than 25 person
  • Bars Closed
  • Gyms Closed
  • Social distancing is mandatory
  • No alcohol sales for onside consumption in restaurants, microbreweries, and similar uses after 11:00 PM
There is a local gym owner who has already decided that he is closing up and selling off his equipment because he can't afford the rent without income as he has been closed since the end of March. This decision was the make or break point as this cash reserves ran out in July because he made significant investments back in January.
As the virus grinds on, I'm afraid this is going to happen to a lot of small businesses.
 

Hink

OH....IO
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As the virus grinds on, I'm afraid this is going to happen to a lot of small businesses.
It is. The government should be pumping money into allowing these businesses to stay closed until it is safe, but putting them in a place to succeed when it is safe.

I have a number of developers whom own real estate in our community telling me, that if they could get great loan rates from the government, or be able to provide free rent by getting some sort of government subsidy, they could help the small businesses in their properties. The government is trying to do too much, without really providing anyone with enough to make it work.

I love my mom and pop restaurants. I am really scared to see how few reopen.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
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10,575
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46
So late last week we learned our school district's plan for the fall. Many of the surrounding districts are doing fully virtual for the first quarter or half of the year for all grades. We can appreciate that decision but for our daughter's sanity, and our own, we were hoping our district would adopt some sort of in-person option. She's going into 5th grade and our district has landed on half days for all kids K-5 with Cohort A coming in the a.m. and Cohort B coming in the p.m. or you can choose to do entirely virtual. All students and staff will be wearing masks, kids will only be in the hallways (which will all be one way now) when they are arriving and leaving the school or going outside for gym or recess (no going to the cafeteria, no switching classes for art, etc.), buses are available but we'll probably drive her. And since the kids will be broken into a.m. and p.m. cohorts the already small classes should be really small this year.

We are conflicted about sending her in to the buildings but have decided that the cost to her mental health from the lack of physical interaction would be more than the risk of COVID to our family. Unfortunately, we realize this means we will probably not be seeing our parents or other older relatives for quite a while once school starts. For what it's worth, we've allowed our daughter to have a few playdates with one of her friends a few times over the last three weeks and her attitude has improved exponentially since then (unfortunately, we learned that friend will be doing all virtual this fall so they likely won't be seeing each other again when summer ends).

I feel like this is the hardest decision we've had to make up to now as parents (maybe the teenage years will be easy by comparison? :roflmao:), but I think we're doing what's right for us.

Our youngest daughter is entering pre-K. The preschool she goes to only has about 40 kids overall. They are not doing the daycare for the kids younger than 3 this year and using that staff to help make the remaining classes even smaller. Kids and staff there will be wearing masks as well and the plan is to also take the kids outside to the park across the street or just on organized walks as often as possible to try and get as much fresh air as they can.

_______________________

I will add that since our kids have been at home instead of in the schools nobody in this house has had so much as a sniffle. No colds, no flus, no stomach bugs, no lice, nothing. It just reminds me how gross kids are in general and thinking about all that just makes the decision even harder.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
10,575
Points
46
So late last week we learned our school district's plan for the fall. Many of the surrounding districts are doing fully virtual for the first quarter or half of the year for all grades. We can appreciate that decision but for our daughter's sanity, and our own, we were hoping our district would adopt some sort of in-person option. She's going into 5th grade and our district has landed on half days for all kids K-5 with Cohort A coming in the a.m. and Cohort B coming in the p.m. or you can choose to do entirely virtual. All students and staff will be wearing masks, kids will only be in the hallways (which will all be one way now) when they are arriving and leaving the school or going outside for gym or recess (no going to the cafeteria, no switching classes for art, etc.), buses are available but we'll probably drive her. And since the kids will be broken into a.m. and p.m. cohorts the already small classes should be really small this year.

We are conflicted about sending her in to the buildings but have decided that the cost to her mental health from the lack of physical interaction would be more than the risk of COVID to our family. Unfortunately, we realize this means we will probably not be seeing our parents or other older relatives for quite a while once school starts. For what it's worth, we've allowed our daughter to have a few playdates with one of her friends a few times over the last three weeks and her attitude has improved exponentially since then (unfortunately, we learned that friend will be doing all virtual this fall so they likely won't be seeing each other again when summer ends).

I feel like this is the hardest decision we've had to make up to now as parents (maybe the teenage years will be easy by comparison? :roflmao:), but I think we're doing what's right for us.


Our youngest daughter is entering pre-K. The preschool she goes to only has about 40 kids overall. They are not doing the daycare for the kids younger than 3 this year and using that staff to help make the remaining classes even smaller. Kids and staff there will be wearing masks as well and the plan is to also take the kids outside to the park across the street or just on organized walks as often as possible to try and get as much fresh air as they can.
Strike all that.

We just got notification that our district is now going to change to all virtual, at least into November. My wife is relieved as she was starting to have second thoughts about our decision but our daughter is beyond devastated. :(

No word yet on what our preschool is going to do. It's not associated with the school district but they often try to go along with what the district does. We shall see...
 

DVD

Cyburbian
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If it helps, my kids enjoy seeing friends online. They would still prefer to be in person, but maybe seeing a bunch of kids in a zoom meeting might be exciting?
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
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10,575
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46
If it helps, my kids enjoy seeing friends online. They would still prefer to be in person, but maybe seeing a bunch of kids in a zoom meeting might be exciting?
My daughter and her friends are pretty well done with Zoom meetings. I think they sort of overdid it when it was a new fun thing back in the spring. Maybe once school starts back up they'll get back into it.

She did sort of cheer up a bit when we reminded her that this means she can probably keep seeing her two best friends who were going to be doing all virtual.
 

DVD

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I think the kids also like the structure of doing school. At least until they get bored or annoyed with it like mine.
 

Lowland

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119
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So the outdoor meeting format we did last week was very successful, in my opinion. We utilized an outdoor pavilion, had a number of tables on one end spaced out to give the commissioners 6 feet of distance each, and were able to set up around 50 chairs spaced out for attendees. We utilized the picnic tables on the outer edges, which were filled as well due to a large turnout for the meeting. I'd say we had about 60-70 people there total (it was a contentious rezoning), but even given the amount of people it felt as safe an environment we could put together since our hands were tied from doing a digital one. Items to consider for anyone thinking of doing this:
-Bring paperweights for all documents. I'm glad I thought to, the breeze under the pavilion would have blown everything away.
-We had our projector and screen set up, make sure to anticipate where the sun will be to reduce glare. Also, we bought sandbags to weigh the thing down, it's like a kite in the wind otherwise.
-Volume is a concern. Our pavilion had ceilings that helped amplify anyone speaking, which is great because we don't have any sound system equipment. Better equipped municipalities may just want a mic and speaker.
 
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Putin announces first 'registered' COVID-19 vaccine from Russia's Gamaleya Institute; his daughter among those inoculated
The Russian Health Minister has said that plans are in motion to start a mass vaccination campaign against the novel coronavirus in October.

Associated Press Reports Skepticism:
Russia clears virus vaccine despite scientific skepticism
Some experts scoffed at Russian authorities’ assurances that the vaccine drug produced the desired immune response and caused no significant side effects, pointing out that such claims need to be backed by published scientific data.
The World Health Organization said all vaccine candidates should go through full stages of testing before being rolled out. Experts have warned that vaccines that are not properly tested can cause harm in many ways — from a negative impact on health to creating a false sense of security or undermining trust in vaccinations.
Human studies [in Russia] started June 17 among 76 [Russian] volunteers. Half were injected with a vaccine in liquid form and the other half with a vaccine that came as soluble powder. Some in the first half were recruited from the military, which raised concerns that servicemen may have been pressured to participate.
 
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DVD

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Our city hall has a mask rule. Everyone wears them except alone in their cube. Everyone is good about wearing them because you never know who will rat you out to HR. Also, we have good employees that respect the whole distance and mask thing.
 

WSU MUP Student

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We received a message yesterday that our 4-year-old's preschool will not be meeting in class to start the year. If the situation improves, they will reopen in November, but I'm not holding my breath. She was going to be in the PreK class this year and we can get some basic reading and writing in at home so I'm not really worried about that but she really benefits from being in school and being told what to do by somebody who isn't mom or dad, but that might just be her general demeanor for life. Who knows... it's hard to compare one of our kids to the other. My wife is sad that she'll miss out on socialization and making friends but I remind her that I never went to any form of preschool and I turned out fine (right? right?), looking at the addresses of most of the kids in her class, they'll all be at a different elementary next fall anyway, and she does already have a good friend right next door who she does get to play with outside in the driveway.

Of the kids staying home in the fall, I really feel most sad for that girl next door. She's going to be starting kindergarten and she when we'd see her outside over the past few weeks, she kept telling us how excited she was and she's been talking about it non-stop and now that's not happening.



______________________

It sounds like our office is planning to keep letting us work from home at least through the end of the year, especially now that most of the school districts in the region have decided to go to online-only school, at least into November.

Management sent us a message asking to let them know if each person's current work arrangement will continue working for them going forward and if we might need any special hardware (VPN, mobile hotspot, remote access to printers, etc.) or if we might need some FML to help care for kids who would otherwise be in some form of day care that is now unavailable. I did ask for an extra monitor that I could take home so I can have two monitors set up (my laptop plus the extra). I thought about just taking one of the monitors from my desk at work but there are honestly too many cords and it's plugged in through a series of hubs and I'm too old to figure out how to disconnect it.
 

Hink

OH....IO
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To be honest, I felt much much safer when working from home. I wish we could return to those arrangements, and not put staff's health in jeopardy just because somebody wants to complain about their neighbor's woodpile FACE TO FACE IN PERSON.
This is where I feel like government should be leading. It isn't that it isn't nice... it just isn't necessary.

I, too, feel less safe in our office. Working from home was annoying in a lot of ways, but I never felt unsafe.
 

MD Planner

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2,491
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37
I don't really feel any more unsafe at the office than I do anywhere else. We have been open the whole time and thus far (knock on wood) no employees have had it. Or I guess the better way to say it is no employees have been symptomatic. We have precautions in place and we're been very good about social distancing.
 
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Planit

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Of the 16 people on this side of city hall, 3 were sent home for exposure to someone and were allowed to come back with a negative test or 2 weeks & 1 just tested positive. None were/are in my department.
 

luckless pedestrian

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To be honest, I felt much much safer when working from home. I wish we could return to those arrangements, and not put staff's health in jeopardy just because somebody wants to complain about their neighbor's woodpile FACE TO FACE IN PERSON.
I have still gotten away with no face to face meetings with non-staff - Zoom or phone only - I say to people until the Governor's Emergency Order is lifted that this how I conduct business.
 

bureaucrat#3

Member
Messages
56
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5
We've already had a local high school football team go into quarantine and cancel the first three games. Another has said they would only have 20-30 percent attendance which will be an issue when they decide who will be allowed in. The marching bands from a couple of the local high schools are not planning to travel except to local rivals.
 

Maister

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We've already had a local high school football team go into quarantine and cancel the first three games. Another has said they would only have 20-30 percent attendance which will be an issue when they decide who will be allowed in.
Ticket sales in advance by lottery, maybe?
 
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