retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Reacting to yesterday's FaceTime commentary, one MNB reader wrote:

Enjoyed your comments on Medicare, I had the same experience last year when my wife and I made the transition. The people were terrific and made the entire process seamless, the good news is when you are ready for Social Security, you will find the same vibe. The Social Security experience was terrific, the people we dealt with were knowledgeable and responsive. Give credit where credit is due…nice job US GOVT!!!

Responding to our story about Hy-Vee launching a new liquor store format, MNB reader Pete Makris wrote:

Wanted to drop a note relative to the perception that total alcohol beverage consumption went up a lot last year during Covid.  Total consumption increased along historical trends (up a percent or two) but what clearly happened was a major shift from on premise to at home consumption.  Retail outlets exploded while hotel/restaurant of course suffered.

It will be interesting to see how the Hy Vee concept works, I would bet it will be a success.

On another subject, from MNB reader Kathleen Ottaviano:

My husband and I often laugh at how many pharmaceutical drug ads air during shows we watch, a marker of our age.  But recently we got to thinking about how many drug commercials run a long list of really severe side effects - - - even death!   Doesn't seem to slow their distribution.

And yet, here we are with a vaccine for COVID proven now to keep you from hospitalization and death and people won't take it.

I'd like to see the Venn diagram of people who take these drugs and those that think the vaccines are dangerous. 

And, from MNB reader Eric Carlson:

I read your response to the 0.0032% person and I don't think anyone has ever explained masks and responsibility that well. You were calm, factual, and you invoked religion in a way that the original commenter will (I hope) recognize as a true attempt to communicate your side of the discussion.


For those who misses that exchange, there was an MNB reader who said that while his church was requiring masks, he did not feel the need to wear one because, as someone who is fully vaccinated, he believed that he only had a 0.0032% chance of hospitalization.

I wrote:

It seems possible that your pastor did not explain that the reason you're being asked to wear a mask is not about you.  It is about protecting your fellow churchgoers.

The way I understand it, as public health officials learn more about the coronavirus and grapple with the implications of the Delta Variant, they believe that even those of us who have been fully vaccinated can contract Covid-19.  We may be asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, but we can still transmit the disease to others.  Like, in your case, maybe to that nice person next to you in the pew who may be immunocompromised and can't get vaccinated.  Or that child one pew ahead of you, who for the moment is too young to be vaccinated.  You know, those people who could end being among those who currently are filling up emergency room and intensive care units around the country.

Now, I'm no Biblical scholar, but it seems to me that Matthew 25:40 says,  "'Whatsoever you do to the least of your brothers and sisters, you do unto me,' says the Lord Jesus."   I wonder if that might be applicable here, and a way to think about your church's requirement.

I know that for many people, mask and vaccine mandates sound like oppression.  But freedom from oppression does not mean freedom from responsibility.

Sounds to me like your church is not just trying to save a few souls, but maybe even a few lives.  To which I say, Amen.

I'm glad that a few folks found this to be helpful.