Apple has closed its stores in New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island) to indoor traffic over fears of rising COVID cases. Customers ordering online can still pick up products outside retail locations.
The response follows a spike in COVID-19 cases due to the rapidly spreading omicron variant. It’s not known how long the closures will last.
With the new, more contagious variant of the virus, Apple is tightening its policies. The company said two weeks ago customers would be required to wear masks when visiting retail locations. Previously, Apple only required masks in regions that imposed mandates.
“We regularly monitor conditions and we will adjust our health measures to support the well-being of customers and employees,” the company said in a statement Monday. “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.”
MacDailyNews Take: Using Apple’s “logic,” the retail stores should have been shut every cold and flu season for the past two decades if the company really “regularly monitors conditions and adjusts health measures to support the well-being of customers and employees.”
As we wrote earlier this month 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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