It’s a tricky three-day weekend. We’d like to be recreating with friends ... but we’re worried about all the warnings that social gatherings are the greatest contributors to increasing COVID-19 cases. How about properly distanced gatherings? It’s going to be very hot. Not a great weekend to be outside. How about outside in the water? The air quality is probably not going to be too great ... so ... not for long.

The last Friday bulletin from the Sacramento office of the National Weather Service is very brightly colored -- from yellow (low impact) to purple (extreme impact) ... We’re in the red zone today, purple Sunday and Monday. They say to watch out for the heat and the smoke.

It will likely be in the 110-degree range later this weekend. There could be gusty winds and they warn to be watchful for fires, which could spread rapidly.

The NWS also warns that it’s not just bad outside for humans -- it’s bad for pets and livestock, too. And, we would assume, wildlife of all sorts. We’re not supposed to leave water standing around for mosquitoes to breed, but we sure can make an exception this week -- animals need water to be standing around. Keep some out there for the birds and bees and critters. If you have dogs that live outside, make sure they have shade and plenty of fresh water.

The Labor Day Weekend is going to be a big disappointment to our dog, Vern. He likes to be outside, but not for long if he can’t see one of his humans ... and the humans at our house will be staying mostly in the house. That also means we probably won’t be taking the long weekend hikes we usually do. He’ll be moping around.

We’ll try to think of some activities to keep his border collie brain occupied. We’ve been working on teaching him to pick up his toys and put them in a bucket ... he’s going along with it, but you can tell he sees no sense in it.

Somewhere along the line we will go out for a little while. We’ll screw the pressure nozzle onto the garden hose to rinse off the patio. It will be a ruse. We’ll be doing it purely to watch him go crazy and try to bite the spray. It’s hilarious. Is that wrong? I don’t know, but he’s smiling when it’s over. We dry him off and go back in ... and he’s got something to think about for a while.

**

Thumbs Down: Epidemiologist Dr. Robert Herrick, who keeps track of the numbers reported on the Bi-County Health website for COVID-19 said in a town hall meeting earlier this week that we’re averaging about 15 new cases per day – about twice where it needs to be in order to be taken out of the state’s most restrictive category. He said the county is probably at a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10 for how it’s currently responding to the pandemic and is trending in a positive direction.

He believes that it could take a month or two to get to that point where more businesses are allowed to open back up, but it will require residents to be diligent and continue practicing the various safety tenets.

We don’t love hearing that. We want to move to a less-restrictive tier as soon as possible. But it’s clear that it’s all on us. We need to try our hardest to stay out of situations where we’re likely to come in contact with the virus; we need to wear masks to slow the spread; we need to wash our hands more often; space ourselves out in lines and at outside dining areas; use sanitizer ... hang in there. We need to hang in there.

When we’re back from the holiday, we’re going to start inviting everyone to post notes about how businesses and people are doing things the right way.

**

Ugh: We’re not saying our (somewhat older) friend is a curmudgeon ... but he did send us these one-liners:

– Whoever decided a liquor store is more essential than a hair salon is probably a bald-headed alcoholic.

– The spread of COVID-19 is based on two things: 1. How dense the population is. 2. How dense the population is.

– Younger people cough and worry they have the virus. When I cough I worry I’ll pee.

– Remember when you were young and wished the weekend would go on forever? Happy now?

Recommended for you