Apple closes retail stores to indoor traffic in New York City over COVID fears

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.

Apple closes multiple retail stores across U.S. over COVID fears

Jessica Bursztynsky for CNBC:

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

As we wrote back on March 9, 2020:

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    1. 28.9% of new cases in the U.S. reported for December 26 came from Democrat-controlled NYC.

      This development comes despite Democrat New York Gov./Ditz/Mafioso Replacement Kathy Hochul’s mask mandate having been in effect since December 13.

      1. You really are a lying sack of Trump!
        New variant hitting THE major point of entry in the densest populated city in the US.

        Now go find and report who’s in the hospital dying. Hint, mostly red and unvaccinated. By multiples.

        1. COVID is “over,” dummy.

          Tim Cook, way out in some San Fran bathhouse , just hasn’t received the memo, yet.

            1. CDC admits that PCR tests for COVID don’t work now that Trump is gone (thanks to Zuckerberg buying broken chain of custody COVID drop-off vote boxes in key Democrat swing state districts) and now that Biden faces Red Tsunami ’22 in the upcoming midterms.

        2. “Now go find and report who’s in the hospital dying. Hint, mostly red and unvaccinated. By multiples.”

          More like multiple opinions and lies not backed up by ONE FACT.

          Hatred for red and unvaccinated, NOTED. The left does not live in the real world…

  1. If Apple is so deeply concerned about the health and safety of its employees and customers, wouldn’t the realistic and prudent course of action be to shutter all retail locations, R&D and corporate locations permanently? If that is not a viable option, perhaps Apple could offer 10, 14 or even 21 days of paid sick leave (the previous recommendation from the CDC) to anyone with a tickle in their throat. Toss in some combat pay! That should get the job not done!

  2. Here is another statement that I find amusing from the MDN take: “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.”

    So it looks like the statement infers that people can acquire immunity naturally or through vaccines. It appears that the statement infers that vaccines are not natural, and if so just what are they, unnatural, supernatural or just another inference that humans and their activities and creations are not part of nature? That’s a pretty interesting schism.

    The effectiveness of both the vaccines and other forms of immunity is being determined as the pandemic unfolds and both allow for transmissibility and breakthrough infections.

    These are population features, and Apple can certainly determine how best they should run their retail stores. Gauging at their stock prices, Apple is doing pretty good overall.

    1. Numerous independent studies have demonstrated the power of immunity acquired by previously having the virus.

      A 700,000-person study from Israel in September 2021 found that those who had experienced prior infections were 27 times less likely to get a second symptomatic covid infection than those who were vaccinated.

      This affirmed a June Cleveland Clinic study of health-care workers (who are often exposed to the virus), in which none who had previously tested positive for the coronavirus got reinfected. The study authors concluded that “individuals who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to benefit from covid-19 vaccination.”

      Natural immunity is multiple times better than vaccine-induced immunity.

      1. I remember when it was called ‘immunization’ because the vaccine really did protect you from any further risk.

        Conveniently that term has been changed (along with the meaning of vaccine) to suit the current narrative of failure.

      2. Something Biden, Fauci, Big Media, Apple and far leftist Aussies locked in their homes by their panicking pansy government officials NEVER talk about.

        Why? Defeats the Left’s lockdown control over every aspect of our lives. Thank the maker I live in a thriving Red State. The other reason for Jab, jab, jab is campaign donations to Democrats and research donations to government agencies from Big Pharma and last but not least, profits, profits, profits! A sickening dishonest swamp exercise promising safety for all while insiders ENRICH THEMSELVES.

        Other numbers not released by Fauci and the Biden White House. How many have been vaccinated three times in less than a year and still contract Covid, pass it on and die? I get one flu shot a year and have not contracted the flu in 20 years.

        We have survived flu variants and colds yearly for over a hundred years. Same as Covid around longer a small minority perish most older with pre-existing conditions.

        Covid is a part of our daily lives and never going away despite the sanctimonious proclamations of Biden and Fauci they are going to ELIMINATE Covid. In a delicious twist of sweet irony Biden yesterday finally admitted the federal government cannot get it done. Something the average hick knew from the beginning.

        The good news is the average person has figured it out long ago and no amount of Biden/Fauci latest variant brainwashing and scare tactics will turn back the clock. Freedom!…

      3. That’s a nice article, thanks for posting it. I certainly agree that for COVID-19 viral induced immunity is likely and unsurprisingly to be better than a vaccine induced immunity.

        However, that does not address the % of the population that has the capacity (genetic or otherwise) to acquire immunity, and the symptoms to acquire immunity, i.e. what % of the population has to undergo hospitalization vs. the sniffles. There are studies coming out about long COVID-19 as well. For some people it’s more than just a flu.

        Your reasoning is spot on from a population perspective but on a personal level I think a person might think twice about getting immunity that is 27 better but has a higher probability of death or hospitalization than a vaccine.

          1. The death rates you post falls within the numbers for obligate parasites. Yes, death is one consideration but the symptoms of the disease is another. How sick people get is another consideration that many others find worthy as this is causing stress on health systems across the world.

      4. I would call you stupid, but evil is more fitting.

        Even if one were to accept the opinion (not yet conclusion) of Covid acquired immunity versus vaccine acquired immunity. What is the risk of acquiring such immunity over the zero risk of the vaccine?

        The author of your opinion link also says that those who have acquired immunity should not be immunized in order to free up doses for others. As if we have a shortage of vaccines…. We do need new ones though.

    2. Natural vs. artificial immunity are the commonly used terms when discussing immunity:

      Naturally acquired Immunity:

      Naturally acquired active immunity occurs when a person is exposed to a live pathogen and develops a primary immune response, which leads to immunological memory. his type of immunity is “natural” because it is not induced by deliberate exposure.Many disorders of immune system function can affect the formation of active immunity such as immunodeficiency (both acquired and congenital forms) and immunosuppression.

      Artificially acquired immunity:

      Artificially acquired active immunity can be induced by a vaccine, a substance that contains antigen. A vaccine stimulates a primary response against the antigen without causing symptoms of the disease.

      1. I’m very aware of those terms being used, and again it’s the inference and this is just a case that is pervasive through expressions that fragment humans from nature.

        Nature is all encompassing, it includes human beings and their artificial devices just a much as it includes bees and their honeycombs. Artificial is a subset of natural not mutually exclusive realms. There is a logic to say that a vaccine is both artificial and natural (all natural ingredients, created by a creature from nature). If one follows that logic then one would consider terms like “viral induced immunity” and “vaccine induced immunity”, both being natural forms of immunity, the latter being artificial.

        My point is that the inference that man is separate from nature is pervasive. This is just another example

        1. All your posts on this thread are tedious semantic inferences that ignore reality and struggle to make some esoteric alternative point sound important.

          Your deflections are hilarious when called out by others and pretend to understand, then back to more alternative WORTHLESS wording is hilarious.

          Your arrogant hubris keeps you blind and away from the truth and word games are totally irrelevant…

  3. 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.”


  4. Yeah, great take.

    Apple is being ridonculous.

    I had the joy of being at an ACC men’s basketball game this week. At least I enjoyed my company. Of course we all had our masks on. I took a handful of my snack, which I couldn’t buy in the venue, of course, and dropped the mask to eat it. Like many people who are in the mode of eating, I left the mask down. It wasn’t long before a fifty-something female venue staff made her rounds.

    Worriedly, she says, “oh sir, please put up your mask. Omicron is very dangerous.”

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