In My Humble Opinion

The domino effect

By JONATHAN CHARLES FOX
Posted 3/18/20

It’s another way of expressing what some would call a chain reaction. When dominoes are lined up with precision, it only takes one nudge to cause them all to fall in a pattern, which can appear …

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In My Humble Opinion

The domino effect

Posted

It’s another way of expressing what some would call a chain reaction. When dominoes are lined up with precision, it only takes one nudge to cause them all to fall in a pattern, which can appear either carefully orchestrated or interpreted as haphazard. In other words, when a small change causes a similar change nearby, it will then cause another similar change and so on. The term is best known as a “mechanical effect” and often used as an analogy to a falling row of dominoes. 

I have used that analogy repeatedly in the last week or so, as the Upper Delaware River region, local counties on both sides of the river, our own United States and the world-at-large have responded to what is now officially a pandemic, which my dictionary describes as “an outbreak of disease of global proportions.” 

Of course, the information initially reached many of us via television and the internet, where there is a lot of #fakenews being spread like wildfire of late, and I was unsure of what was and wasn’t true. As a result, I nonchalantly went on about my business and zipped over to the “Roscoe Beer Company Takeover” being held at Bixby’s Taproom last Monday at the Kartrite Resort and Indoor Waterpark in Monticello, NY.

“On a Monday, really?” I had said to the resort’s Director of Marketing Talya Regan. “I don’t go out on Monday… It’s a school night!” I wailed. The “takeover” I was told, is all part of the Taproom’s brand new “happy hour” program which is running Monday to Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. While I don’t imbibe, it’s no secret that I’m a big fan of events presented at the Roscoe Beer Company. And Talya Regan (IMHO) is no dummy, so she prevailed upon me to check it out by informing me that the tap takeover “would include a Q and A with the brewers, cool Swag (look it up!) and, of course, tastings,” which the dog was anxious to lap up, but she is still under age, so that didn’t happen. 

What did occur was a good opportunity to meet up with some pals after work amid more chatter about the newest coronavirus COVID-19, and what that crisis might look like as the domino effect began in earnest. “Yep,” I said to gal-pal Barbi Neumann Marty as we admired the décor in Bixby’s following a brief chat with Roscoe beer’s sales manager Mike Santamaria and assistant brewer Corey McKeon. “This virus thing is starting to look pretty serious. I’ve already heard about multiple cancellations,” I continued, “and they seem to be cascading, one following another, which is concerning. Don’t forget,” I added. “Covering public events is what I do for a living. I’m afraid that this is just the tip of the iceberg.”

An email from one of my medical practitioners momentarily sent shivers up my spine as I was advised that I, like tens of thousands around the world, are considered “high risk for contagion” since I have an auto-immune deficiency, suggesting that it would be prudent to practice “voluntary self-quarantine” in order to lower the chances of me being exposed to the virus. I did not care for the tone of the email, but still… I ran a few errands and stocked up on a few things—“just in case”—still unsure that I needed to take any drastic measures. 

That was just a few days ago. As the cancellations and closures rolled in, followed by another email from a different doctor with more dire predictions and advice to minimize risk, I didn’t panic, per se, but gave the idea of avoiding exposure more thought. “There’s this new term out there,” I texted to Barryville’s Debra Conway. “It’s called ‘social distancing’ and is literally the exact opposite of what my life entails. After all,” I wrote, “I’ve been called the social butterfly of the Catskills, although in hindsight, it doesn’t sound all that manly IMHO.”

“You’re ubiquitous,” she wrote back, referring to the illusion that I’m seen everywhere in the four counties, two states and sixty communities that make up part of my beat as TRR’s arts and leisure dude. “Okay, let’s say that then,” I texted back. “That doesn’t sound girly at all. I don’t even know how to spell it.”

Of course, by now we all understand the seriousness of what is playing out before our eyes as the dominoes continue to fall. It’s likely to get worse before it gets better, and we at The River Reporter are dedicated to staying on top of up-to-the-minute developments locally and globally. Follow us on Facebook and check out the latest info daily online at www.riverreporter.com. Most importantly, stay calm and be prepared. I’m once again humbled by the community support I’ve already seen throughout the region as helping hands reach out across county lines. As the dominoes continue to fall, our friends and neighbors help each other up. It’s what we do. United we stand.  



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