Apple has temporarily shuttered at least eight retail stores in the U.S. and Canada over the past few days over COVID-19 fears. Apple in mid-December also reinstated its mask mandate across all U.S. stores.
Since Tuesday, Apple has closed the following locations:
• Dadeland in Miami
• The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach
• Lenox Square in Atlanta
• Cumberland Mall in Atlanta
• Highland Village in Houston
• Summit Mall in Ohio
• Pheasant Lane in New Hampshire
• Sainte-Catherine in Montreal
Such closures have become increasingly routine in recent weeks. Before the latest round, Apple shut and reopened eight additional locations, including stores in Texas, Maryland, Hawaii, Ohio and Ottawa. The closures typically lasted a few days each. A ninth closed store — Lincoln Road in Miami Beach — remains shut. In August, Apple also temporarily closed a location in Charleston, South Carolina.
“We regularly monitor conditions, and we will adjust our health measures to support the well-being of customers and employees,” Apple said in a statement. “We remain committed to a comprehensive approach for our teams that combines regular testing with daily health checks, employee and customer masking, deep cleaning and paid sick leave.”
As Covid-19 case numbers and the omicron variant surge across the world, Apple has started to limit occupancy inside its retail stores to promote social distancing. It has also restored its mask mandate across all U.S. stores and has once again put in plexiglass dividers to protect employees.
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote a week ago when Apple indefinitely delayed return of employees to its corporate offices over COVID fears:
In general, human-transmissible coronaviruses do not disappear. There is no such thing as zero-COVID.
COVID-19 is here to stay. It will very likely become endemic, yet pose less danger over time. People will acquire immunity via vaccines (effectiveness TDB) and naturally as they contract and recover from variants like omicron since the partially-effective vaccines permit not only transmissibility, but also breakthrough infections. Influenza and the four human coronaviruses that cause common colds (OC43, 229E, NL63 and HKU1) are, of course, also endemic, but a combination of annual flu vaccines and acquired immunity means that sane societies tolerate the unavoidable seasonal deaths and illnesses they bring without requiring lockdowns, masks, social distancing, indefinite return-to-work delays, etc.
At which point, if ever, will some people decide that wasting away their short lives in abject fear of a bad flu, very likely engineered by China and partially funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, in a hysterical self-defeating overreaction?
Adam Gopnik was writing about a different “disaster,” but, going on two years worth of “two weeks to slow the spread,” his words from August 2011 are a rather interesting read in late 2021 and something to bear in mind as you consume “news” media:
[T]he relentless note of incipient hysteria, the invitation to panic, the ungrounded scenarios — the overwhelming and underlying desire for something truly terrible to happen so that you could have something really hot to talk about — was still startling. We call disasters unimaginable, but all we do is imagine such things…
That, you could conclude mordantly, is the real soundtrack of our time: the amplification of the self-evident toward the creation of paralyzing, preemptive paranoia. The real purpose not to get you to do anything, but to get you so scared that all you can do is keep the television, or radio, on. This is obvious, and yet there is something truly helpful, really instructive, about experiencing it again after a month of absence and silence. Two things that ought to be apparent all the time become briefly clear to you again. First, that the media, television particularly, are amplifying devices in which tiny kernels of information become vast, terrifying structures of speculation. The news business is one in which a minimum of news is really given the business.
And second, that the reasons for this are essentially non-ideological; frightened people need news for reassurance, and want to get a more heightened experience by being frightened still more, and the business the people supplying the fright are in (which we’re in too, of course) is not really that of dispensing information but of assembling enough listeners or readers, preferably still caught in that same spirit of credulous attentiveness, to offer to advertisers or keep subscribing. — Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, August 28, 2011
— MacDailyNews. Visit and comment @ macdailynews.com (@MacDailyNews) March 9, 2020
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