Week 6 and life drags on in the age of Coronavirus

By JOSH RESNEK

Many people I speak with say they are sleeping later and later all for the same reason – “Lunchtime is closer if you get up later.”

The day is also shortened just a bit if you spend more time asleep or tossing and turning in your bed, stretching over and over, rolling over again and again and falling asleep blissfully.

For the first few weeks there was something especially delicious about this. It is something we can all get used to, isn’t it?

Not having to go to work and getting paid is great.

Of course not everyone is being paid, and so many people have lost their jobs.

What is better than that?

Not having to pay your rent, your mortgage, your credit cards, your health insurance, your car payment, your car insurance, and your gas and electric bills because of the crisis is like a dose of powerful medicine that takes the rough edge off the collapse of the economy.

Sleeping in is great, work or no work. But it gets old, like watching television or listening to music, or reading novels or watching the clock as the days grind by.

The situation we are in with this virus still spreading reminds me of zombie movies.

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Virus spikes dramatically

Lack of test fails to capture scope

BY JOSH RESNEK

Everett has entered the fifth week of the coronavirus shutdown with rising infections, deaths, and a host of social and economic realities that are placing the city, the state and the nation under more pressure as time goes by.

Very little testing is being done here to determine the full sweep of the virus’ infection rate, which is believed by public health officials to be much higher than what has been reported.

The city reported Tuesday that 617 residents have been infected, up from about 400 last week.

That’s a dramatic spike.

Deaths are indeterminate but are likely in the 7-12 range or maybe a higher number that cannot be determined exactly because some victims may have died from the virus without knowing it.

In neighboring Chelsea, the virus infections have exploded. Chelsea is now number one in the state for infections. Everett is number six. Revere is number nine.

Testing for the virus remains non-existent here, except for those showing symptoms or hospitalized at various health facilities.

An estimated 20% of the Everett population might be carrying the virus, according to state public health officials. But this cannot be determined exactly without testing.

Also, the city has imposed a face mask ordinance requiring everyone entering public places five and older to wear a facemask or face covering.

The economic toll the virus and shutdown are taking on the city are becoming more evident as time passes.

At least five thousand Everett residents, maybe more, have been put out of their jobs in restaurants, clubs, gyms, bars, and commercial outlets of every kind.

Larger businesses too, have made layoffs and employee cuts across the board.

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City orders mandatory public mask use

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A woman wearing a mask walks along Broadway on Saturday during a spring snow storm. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

But where are the masks?

By JOSH RESNEK

All residents of Everett over five years old and entering public places like corner stores and food shops must wear face masks according to an edict from the city’s Health Department issued over the weekend.

This comes as a stern reminder how wearing facemasks are believed to aid and prevent those with the coronavirus from spreading it to others, as well as others wearing masks without the virus to protect themselves from becoming infected by others who have it.

The Health Department order is the result of many residents wearing facemasks here expressing concern about the many people out and about in this city not wearing them, who seem oblivious to the virus and its potential to kill people who become infected.

Councilor Mike McLaughlin has asked the mayor to consider taking funds from the “Rainy Day” cash account the city keeps for emergencies to buy facemasks and other protective gear so those without it can protect themselves and others.

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Oil prices crash 40 percent in one day

Consumers will benefit

By JOSH RESNEK

The near to complete collapse of the price for a barrel of West Texas crude oil Monday will ultimately lead to the lowest cost per gallon heating oil for Everett consumers since the early 1980’s.

Also, the price for gasoline is going to plummet after already dropping dramatically during the past four weeks.

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Broadway Gas & Service signage with $1.99 regular gas for sale. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

If nothing else, the shut- down of the American economy because of the coronavirus pandemic has cut demand so deeply for oil and gasoline, is something to marvel at.

Home heating oil is expected to cost Everett consumers about $1 a gallon when all is said and done in the weeks to come.

Gasoline per gallon is going to fall below $1 a gallon in the next few weeks.

Both heating oil and gasoline are expected to drop even lower through June, as industry experts say demand will continue falling with nowhere to put the world’s excess production of oil.

If you are a homeowner still heating with oil, a 200 gallon tank will cost about $200 very shortly – of course – the heating season will be over and the price will dip even lower because demand falls during the warmer months.

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Encore prepares for new challenges

By JOSH RESNEK

Right now, there is not much talk in the State House political pipeline or at the Massachusetts Gaming Commission when, and if, Encore Boston Harbor will be reopening any time soon.

With the coronavirus peak- ing this week and next, reopen- ing the Everett casino and hotel appears to be out of the question for April or May, but June might present a different situation for the company.

In Las Vegas, where Wynn Resorts holds a major position in the social and economic life of the famous Strip, company president Matt Maddox released yesterday a road map for a strict health and sanitation plan to make their facilities safe for tourists and gamblers alike when the reopening comes in the post epidemic period.

It is believed that a health and sanitation plan will be suggested for Encore in Everett.

Maddox has said he is hop- ing Wynn Resorts facilities in Las Vegas can re-open at least partially by mid-May or the end of May.

The companies guide to a safe reopening is believed to be the same guide that will be implemented in Everett at Encore Boston Harbor when the facility is allowed to reopen.

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