In a Phase 1 Environment

By Kenneth Cooper

Stay At Home Order Day 61: Yes, I know this has left some of you tired. I know this has left some of you poor, weary, a frustrated, huddled mass yearning to breathe free. I know there may be a few places and side-pieces you haven’t seen in a while. But now that the stay at home order has been lifted, there’s a few do’s and don’ts you should consider before hitting the streets. First of all…


wear a mask. It’s kind of important. It’s kind of required. And it kind of works. Droplets unintentionally shoot out from the mouth when we speak. The mask absorbs them, and as a result those potentially corona-corrupted droplets don’t hang in the air, infect some poor unknowing soul, and possibly put them in the hospital or the morgue. Speaking of masks…


listen to Senator John Kennedy or those trying to turn wearing a mask into a political issue. Nobody is proposing you wear a mask in the shower. But even if you do don a mask (outside), and pack a pocket full of hand sanitizer or gloves, in the midst of your excitement to breathe free…


go out and hug your grandma just yet, or throw a big party, or think that because the mayor turned the faucet on for a trickle you can flood the streets like a levee breach. We’re still fragile, and you’re still safest at home, but at the same time…


embrace the new new new New Orleans. There’s a plethora of reasons why. For one, black people are actually included in the iteration this time. But not strippers, initially, which is weird. You can go out and have somebody cut your hair, play with your nails and feet, sit 6 feet apart at restaurants and movie theaters, but you can’t have a socially-distanced butt gyrate in front your face, even if you both have on masks? Maybe it’s because a bar has to have a food permit to open up during Phase 1, and come to think of it, I’ve never seen anybody eating a hamburger at a strip club. I could be wrong.  Anyway, those businesses that are open and trying to survive at a quarter-mast need all the revenue they can get. Their employees who are struggling to pay bills could also use a paycheck, and the city budget could definitely use the sales taxes. Plus, the quicker we show that we can gather safely in moderation, the quicker we’ll move to the next phase, and prevent the city from falling so deep into a recession that we’re left wondering if the cure was actually worse than the disease, or whatever phrase the president is running around saying these days. One more thing, if your phone happens to ring and you answer it…


hang-up on a contact tracer. Yes, it’ll probably be a pretty invasive call where some stranger tries to get all up in your business, wanting to know who you’ve been with and where, but it’s necessary. Now that the number of cases have dropped, the city has the hospital and testing capacity to handle the virus as long as it gets those who have it isolated and off the streets. Talking to a tracer doesn’t mean the NOPD is going to show up at your door and drag you to the UMC (at least we hope it doesn’t come to that), but it will help to encourage those who have been exposed to get tested before the virus spreads and has us right back under a stay at home order. So…


your part. The city has its lamp lifted beside the golden door. Enter cautiously, in moderation. Better to be safe than once again tired, poor, frustrated, and huddled in a mass of weary.

2 thoughts on “How To Get Your Mind Right”
  1. Wearing a mask is not a political statement. Wearing a mask is part of our civic responsibility. Wearing a mask shows that we care about others. Wearing a mask shows that we want people to be healthy enough to work, earn a living and spend money. If we care about reviving this economy, then we must agree that we need people who care enough of your product to purchase it. We need healthy people to revive a healthy economy. Wear your mask as a sign that you care about a healthy New Orleans, a healthy 504.

  2. Sharing false narratives that asking you to wear a mask is nothing but propaganda being spread by lying Trump Administration. People that push those statements are cult like followers and privileged people. Ignorance has been given to much attention compared to science, facts and the truth. Some major media outlets are compromised by the 1%. Why would you believe a man that has a record of lying, destroying, ruining and intent on destroying this country flawed and all. Why would you continue to support white supremacy unless you are one of them. Open up your ears and your eyes and see that they are the real threat not the Mask. Mask up for the greater good not for a select few.

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