As We See It: On Covid and cigarette smoke; closed bars, but not casinos; and did those whackos steal our Q


“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.”

It would be interesting to know how many of the 180,000 people dead, as of this date, actually lived on Fifth Avenue. Who would have thought on Jan. 23, 2016, when “The Don” made that disgusting boast, he wouldn’t actually shoot someone, but that his inaction, his lies, his need to “look good,” his failure to lead, would make him responsible for over 180,000 deaths. Lives that could had been saved had he actually done something.

What is even more disgusting than his 2016 statement, is that in 2020 he may get re-elected, even after being responsible for 60 times the number who died from attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

We don’t know how the US Postal Service cutbacks will affect the mail-in ballots for the general election. We can tell you from experience that postal delivery of the Las Vegas Spectrum has been affected for the past four or five
months. We received a warning from our mailing house, earlier this year, stating that changes at USPS would likely delay mailing of our magazine. It has. While dismayed, we didn’t understand why. Now we do.

On the subject of masks and social distancing. If you come up to me and offer to shake hands or worse, offer a hug, that tells me you’re doing it out of reflex. It tells everyone you most likely are not practicing social distancing on a regular basis or you still wouldn’t be offering hugs or handshakes on a reflexive basis.

It’s hard. I’ve tried to use the “prayer clasped hands, nod and slight bow” for years, rather than shake hands. It was easy to forget when a hand was extended but now with COVID-19, it comes naturally. Bows are a traditional greeting in East Asia, particularly in Japan, Korea, China and Vietnam. It’s a gesture of greeting and respect. It’s something we should adopt and no, it shouldn’t go away with COVID-19. It also helps stop the spread of colds and flu.

While I’m not a scientist, it seems if cigarette smoke can be smelled, then you’re likely breathing air that may be contaminated with COVID-19. Loren Wold, PhD, an expert in airborne particulate matter says, “What we don’t know is how far the particles can go. We know that the virus can attach to (cigarette and vapor smoke) particles and can travel three, four, or five times farther than they would be simply being in the air.”

If normal breathing can spread the disease, which is why face masks are recommended to keep your particles from spreading to others, then what happens when smokers are nearby? They typically exhale more forcefully, meaning the particles they push out of their lungs can travel farther.

The next time you’re around a smoker, consider the fact they have little regard for your health and you should protect yourself by getting as far away as possible. The fact smoking is still allowed in casinos, also tells you something about Gov. Steve Sisolak and his COVID Mitigation Task Force.

Considering the information just related, let me address Sisolak and his Task Force’s recent announcement that bars must stay closed another two weeks, maybe longer. After saying there was a 75% chance that bars could reopen, they weren’t told until mere hours prior to the possible opening time. Allegedly, the Task Force told big gaming a full day earlier. That meant that many bars spent precious resources ordering food, fruit and beer in anticipation of a probable opening that didn’t happen.

Most bar employees, many of whom had ended their unemployment insurance on June 30 when bars had reopened for 27 days, are desperate to get back to work. Their unemployment insurance ended but their rent, their car payments, insurance and mortgages did not. Likewise for the small business owners. Licenses, including licenses for every gaming device which they can only operate at 40 to 50% capacity when they do reopen, continues. Rents, insurance, equipment maintenance, utilities, all continue with no regard whether the business is open or not.

While most business owners are responsible and try to make the best of a bad situation, others found ways around the rules. Is a bar with a food truck outside, now a restaurant? Bars with food can pack the customers in with little regard for masks or social distancing. When a restaurant isn’t serving food but remains open for alcohol, isn’t it then a bar?

If we learned one thing from Prohibition, it’s that people will drink and socialize, whether legal or not. If we’re going to open the casinos and open the restaurants, isn’t it time to open the bars? It reminds me of a few months back when most retail stores were forced to close, but retail stores that happened to also sell groceries, were allowed to stay open. That must have stung if you sold home goods but not groceries or fashion apparel but not groceries on the side.

So Gov. Sisolak, let’s operate fairly and with a bit more integrity. If you’re going to open the big casinos so people can gamble and drink, open the bars so people can drink and gamble. We’re good with social distancing but let’s make the mask mandate work and that means no smoking in public. If Nevada is serious about stopping the spread of COVID,
then stop the smoking in public places and keep the masks on.

Our friend, Hugh Jackson of the Nevada Current recently had this take on COVID-19 and the resort industry, “Other states identify superspreader places/ venues/events. Nevada doesn’t. Why not? Short answer (Hugh’s version): The hot spots are owned by the resort industry, and the State of Nevada is the resort industry’s bitch, no matter which party is in charge.”

Well said, Mr. Jackson.

Back to Trump                                                                                                   If he does decide to take a gun and start shooting on Fifth Avenue or elsewhere, the only solace we may have is perhaps the NRA won’t be around much longer to defend him. Looks like the NRA may soon face the same fate as the corrupt, Trump Foundation, which thanks to New York prosecutors, no longer exists.

QAnon and boat people                                                                          What’s with Trump world and boats? Their wacko affiliate supporters at QAnon believe Dems are trafficking in babies, holding them on yachts and eating them. They held a Trump boat parade on the Willamette River in Oregon and while recklessly causing wakes, they sank a local boat with eight on board. In another boat parade for Trump, off the coast of the Hamptons, the lead boat was aptly named, “Team Deplorable.” In a strange twist of irony, former chief Trump campaign strategist and consultant, Steve Bannon
was arrested for fraud while sunning himself aboard a 150-ft, $27 million yacht. We wonder if the feds looked to see what the yacht’s chef was preparing for dinner.

Speaking of QAnon, just when you thought our community had cornered the market on the letter “Q,” we see all these nut-jobs wearing t-shirts, proclaiming, “I am Q.” There was always some disagreement in our community over whether the letter “Q” meant “Queer,” “Questioning,” or both.

Now, we have to wonder if it also means “Bat-Ass-Crazy.”

President Mike Pence and Vlad’s kool-aid                                            You’ve heard the pundits wonder aloud whether Trump will go peacefully
from the White House, assuming he loses the November election. Some have speculated that Trump would resign on Jan. 19, allow Mike Pence to be sworn in with just enough time to pardon him for a few hundred federal crimes. Then, just as the New York authorities arrived to arrest him on state crimes, he would take Air Force One and flee to Russia. One had to wonder if Russia would repatriate Air Force One.

Here’s our take, after seeing what happened to the Russian opposition leader, Alexey Navalny. Vladimer Putin will have no use for Donald Trump, once he’s no longer president. Our advice to The Don, if he does flee to Russia, “don’t drink the kool-aid.”