In NYC, we’re under some restrictions. 100% of non essential workers are not allowed to go to work. But, there are many essential workers.

You know the obvious ones, medical professionals, EMT’s, pharmacy workers, anyone who deals with food, truckers and delivery people, garbage haulers.

But what about the less obvious ones?

The staff in large apartment buildings are considered essential. Our handyman, doormen and porters are in attendance. We have come up with a volunteer list to take over these jobs if necessary at some point, but for now, our building is existing somewhat normally.

Some have commented on this blog if liquor stores should be considered essential. I understand why they are, but I can’t help but fear of the troubles this may cause down the line.

Construction workers are considered essential. On one of my short forays onto Facebook (I should delete the app because my only feelings after looking at it are fear and depression, but not about the virus, but about how stupid some people are in the face of a crisis) I noticed fellow New Yorkers commenting on whether or not construction was an essential occupation. I’m not talking road maintenance or things that obviously need to be fixed, such as fixing something that is broken. Should the high-rise down the street continue with construction? Pros and cons.

What about the grey area of construction? My particular apartment building has been undergoing renovations for about a year (necessary structural things) While the actual structural work has been completed, our planters in front of the building, which needed to be shored up, are not done. On Monday, work continued on fixing the planters. I pitched a fit to the treasurer of the co op board:

Me: Why is making sure we have trees in front of the building essential?

treasurer: they’re working outside. Don’t we want it done?

me: but they have to come into the building to use the bathroom. I thought we had a limited visitor rule in place

treasurer: the city says they’re essential, so they continue the work

me: that’s just stupid

treasurer: Fine. What’s for lunch?

me: get it yourself

So, should all construction workers be considered essential, or should be done on a case by case basis? Pros and cons.

Now how about jury duty?

I presently have a friend who is serving on Federal Grand Jury duty. Which in her case means she has to travel from Westchester, a suburb just north of NYC, to lower Manhattan. Every day. In and out of two hot spots.

While I get the right to a speedy trial…

What is the best way to handle jury duty and selection and trials and the law part, dun dun dun, of law and order?

Again- pros and cons.

Oddly, my friend just texted me a cartoon of a really hairy hand, with super long nails, and the caption- we may have to redefine essential… And it’s funny, because we all have things that we consider essential…but now I’m peaking into tomorrow…

So construction- jury system…

What do we think- pros and cons?

Or other things deemed essential that you consider questionable…

my husband’s friend has not been tested yet, but I don’t know if it’s due to lack of testing equipment or being an ostrich. My husband remains fever free and full of taste and smell.


78 thoughts on “Huit- Essentially

  1. No stay at home yet here in AZ but the Governor was working on a list of essential services but was really a list of what could stay open and still adhere to the social distancing…like golf courses. So it may be NY also looked at the situation of working outdoors and how many people are grouped together and if the job situation might not contribute to the spread.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Here in Washington State, we are also on mandatory stay-at-home–except for “essential services.” Interestingly, the State designated cannabis retailers as an essential service. They have been very busy (I’m told).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Though, I must admit, should we want people taking things that lowers their common sense? Blogger Claudette said she was out taking a solo walk (she’s in Toronto) and she passed a bunch of high teens who were not only not practicing social distancing but we’re running around getting too close to others, and generally acting like morons….so….I’m really torn


  3. I don’t get why construction is essential. I also have some questions about take out only restaurants or delivery. One cook or delivery person can infect a lot of people and it’s a week or more before those know that they are infected.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In nyc, many people have really tiny kitchens so they are just not able to store food, etc. plus, the workers who are essential need to be fed. The clinic down the street doesn’t have a kitchen, etc. but I totally understand your point of view. See, it depends on the construction. There’s stuff that is being done for building maintenance….I get that that needs to continue. But the other stuff….I’m not sure. There’s a lot of Grey. That’s why i threw the question out to the crowd


      1. Excellent point about different situations from place to place. Not everyone has much storage.

        Blanket solutions and statements are problematic but so is complete discretion.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Every situation has to be looked at independently. That’s the big problem with decisions…you make them to help most people, but it’s impossible to make everyone happy, or everyone safe. Every decision has unlimited numbers of cons, and side bars. Again….wouldn’t want to be a leader now

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It should be considered like elective surgery if the building is not able to function safely, then okay.
    I can handle the isolation if we are all doing our part, but people are under the assumption if they are not showing symptoms or anyone they know then they are fine to hang out. I believe the people who are younger and healthier and not showing symptoms are becoming the carriers.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think you’re right…the carriers are asymptomatic or had a small cold that they didn’t consider anything other than a cold. And yes…they’re carrying and spreading

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pool guys are considered essential in Florida.. had a good laugh about that, but honestly, it’s easy to steer clear of people if you’re just servicing pools..
    Now if you’re the “extra service” kinda pool guy..that’s gonna be a bit different..but not sure if those exist outside of the movies…😉

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I just received jury duty notice yesterday for the last week of April. I have yet to go on line and do whatever I need to do. I am hoping there will be a comment section as I have an opinion or two about this. Will they be dropping the jury number so there is less than 10 people congregating per recommendations in this state? If so, how will that be a legal jury? Anyway, this will be interesting to see how it plays out!!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it is crazy, but trying to look at both sides, what are they to do with the accused? What are their rights? They have a right to a speedy trial and a right to a jury trial. I guess I don’t know the right answer here, which seems to be the case a lot lately. I have my opinions, but as much as I hate to admit it, my opinions, or anyone’s opinions, are not always right. Maybe right for me, but maybe not right for others.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s exactly why I’ve been asking people to do pros and cons and not definitive statements. Everyone thinks there opinion is right, and therefore what should be done, but they don’t explore the other side or possibilities. I have strong opinions on things, but they’re just that, my opinions, and may not be the right answers for mankind in general

        Liked by 1 person

  7. My company is considered an essential profession. At first I was resistant to it. Now I realize, with over 3 million filing for unemployment, that I am so lucky. Outdoor construction, although nerve-wrecking for the potential of spread, is still keeping food on the table for a lot of folks. I think their employers (if good & ethical) are thinking about their safety every day. People just have to be smart. Excuse me, I’m off to wash my hands. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m pretty sure all of our local government that is considered non-essential is shut down. Courts do not appear to be in that essential group. Looks like your friend is dealing with federal and they haven’t shut down to my knowledge. That gives you another gray area to play with. When local and federal governments overlap and contradict each other.

    I have serious mixed feelings about the construction. If it is based on absolute need and safety, then sure. All others that require any kind of direct interaction with others maybe shouldn’t be happening.

    I know when my city declared, the mayor’s office got inundated with questions about what is and isn’t considered essential business. I was shocked when my Hubby’s company was declared an essential business. After it was explained to me, I kind of get it, but it was still a shock. It is one hell of a balancing act to find that line between what we can live with and what we can’t.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No kidding! I was president of my HOA for a while and that experience was worse than trying to herd cats or corral a bunch of kinder gardeners. I cannot even begin to imagine doing anything similar at a higher level.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. LOL hubby the treasurer. I have taken my son to work (he works at Borrow Lenses, a camera lending company owned by Shutterfly) and I wonder that they consider themselves essential but am kind of grateful that he is working at all since we could not afford to help him pay his bills. We live right across the street from the train station and he may take the train home. I am concerned about that but he assures me that he stays far away from people – if there are any – and we have sanitizing wipes outside the front door for him to use when he gets home. To your question, I have seen construction workers at a job site down the street from my son’s work. I think some is necessary, but perhaps not all. Jury duty is a good one. I don’t know if I’d want to go and serve right now but at the same time, since some of the people I’ve been typing for lately are attorneys, I’d like for them to keep working so that I can keep working. Catch 22 all over the place.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Why would the rights of the accused be more important than the right to health of the jurors? This I think trials should be postponed. There is a home remodel going on near us and I noticed the workers are maintaining a six foot distance from each other.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Innocent until proven guilty and right to a speedy trial. Our liberties and rights are very precariously teetered upon one another. Again, why I’m glad I’m not making decisions


  11. We’re all in uncharted waters now. There really isn’t any protocol for most of these questions. Common sense should prevail, but that’s in short supply as well. It probably is necessary for as many people to work as safely possible because those people are the ones keeping our economy afloat. Personally, I think jury trials should be postponed due to the close quarters. Really, no one is completely safe when you think about it unless they are isolationists who are completely self-sustaining. I just read some Amazon distribution centers have people who have tested positive for the virus. One thing is for sure, this pandemic is exposing everyone’s character and priorities (or lack thereof). Take care and be well. xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  12. As noted before, no easy answers and no blanket ones, either. I’ve never been a pot smoker, but due to some health issues, I’m trying to stay away from pain meds. THC/CBD cream does an amazing job easing my new knee while it’s healing, and THC gummies can help me sleep. So, I am glad the pot shops are open. They really are like a pharmacy.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I think trials and juries should be suspended for now. The system is all about continuances even in the best of times. As for the construction workers, let them work. I actually find outdoor work reassuring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In nyc civil is postponed, but not criminal. Just imagine the ACLU….and with construction it’s more about them being in mass transit.


  14. I think with construction that IF things got worse (Heaven forbid) of course they would no longer be considered essential. So why wait?

    Jury trials? Could they cut them down? Still, there is a ton of personnel involved as it is so cutting the size doesn’t negate that fact in the least. I don’t know. The wheels of justice grind slowly enough, so it’s hard to say stop them completely, LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This is uncharted territory, and no one really knows which of those “gray area” services are essential, until we stop them and find out they are. My husband still has to go to work because he runs payroll weekly, some live checks that can’t be done remotely. Luckily, he’s usually the only one in the entire office. My kids are lucky to have kept their jobs and be able to work from home.
    My guess is what’s essential also matters in the environment….New York has tons of people living on top of one another, making social distancing when venturing out very hard. Someone who lives on a 100 acre farm in Nebraska can keep right on working, no problem.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Glad you and your family are safe at home. I suppose essential is open to interpretation. Last week we had 9 virus positive students in my community and suddenly there now are only 2. Did they let those students go home? Are they quarantined there ? Spreading the virus in their wake. No predicting the course of this, but maybe the alcohol and hemp should be available 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We all have opinions, and I try to see perspectives. That one thing you learn as a lawyer, nothing is black and white. I enjoy your blog and the way you offer your perspective. Very insightful

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Glad your hubby is ok. : Hope you and your daughter continue to stay healthy. We haven’t left the property in days here and so far, so good. Thank goodness for internet and facetime. Good to have in order to connect with others.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. One person’s essential is another’s indulgence. I’m seeing a lot of judgement on social media about that variance. People exercising seem to be getting a lot of negative attention over here at the moment and phone lines have been set up in certain parts of the country to encourage ratting out our fellow citizens if we believe they’re not keeping to the regulations. Whilst there has been some flagrant flouting of regulations, I am concerned about where this could lead.

    Liked by 1 person

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