South Riding Proprietary

The South Riding Proprietary is a homeowners’ association (HOA) that acts as a defacto local government for the South Riding community in Loudoun County, Virginia. At the proprietary’s annual meeting on May 19, 2020, three seats on the Board of Directors are up for election. Members of the board serve three year terms. South Riding property owners may cast votes for these three board seats either by attending the annual meeting in person, or by submitting a proxy vote ahead of time. Proxy votes may be cast using paper ballots that were mailed to property owners, or electronically on the South Riding Proprietary web site.

The annual meeting must achieve a quorum (combining in-person attendance and proxy ballots) of at least ten percent of all South Riding property owners. If a quorum is not achieved, the meeting will be recessed for a period of less than thirty days. At the resumption of the meeting, a quorum of only five percent is required. The meeting may then be repeatedly recessed and resumed until the five percent quorum is achieved. The South Riding Board of Directors cannot seat members or perform any official work without a quorum.

Five candidates appear on the director ballot: Dr. Gopal Bethi, David Christopher Brent, Kip Lowe, Karen MacDowell, and Gary Smith. Property owners may vote for up to three candidates, and may write-in other names if desired.

. . . Continued

You might have come to my web site today looking for some kind of April Fools joke. I do one nearly every year. Sometimes they’re pretty funny (if I don’t say so myself). Last year, I broke with tradition by launching my half-serious presidential campaign. I thought it would be funny to leave people wondering if it was an April Fools joke or a serious endeavor. Surprise! It was both!

My original plan for this year was to continue the tradition. A month ago, when I started to set it in motion, I thought it would be funny to do something related to quarantines or viruses. That became less funny as time went on. As the COVID-19 outbreak moved from a Chinese problem to a worldwide problem, and as my local, state, and federal authorities took more and more serious action to try to slow it down, my original plans quickly got overtaken by events.

I considered doing something different for April Fools Day here on the site, but I ultimately decided against it. In part, I didn’t have enough time to start over. And even if I did, it’s hard to be hilarious in such a strange time. What could I joke about while I’m under a government-imposed house arrest? What’s hilarious in the midst of a widespread and deadly viral outbreak?

I don’t mean to discount the power of diversion. I’m still reading and enjoying the satire on The Babylon Bee and the The Onion. And I am not condemning those who chose to plow ahead with their April Fools plans . . . I especially liked the one from A Blog To Watch, since I’ve been really into wristwatches lately. Everybody is dealing with this crisis in their own way. Some deal with it with laughter. Some deal with it by not really feeling like laughing. This is, in almost every way you can imagine, uncharted territory.

I am a Catholic, and I coordinate the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) program at my home parish. This is the process by which adults—whether they be non-Christians or Christians from a non-Catholic background—join the Catholic Church. I went through this program myself in 2008-2009. So, not only do I have to stay home each Sunday, since there are no public masses being held in my diocese, but I have had to tell five people who were intending to become Catholics at Easter that we will have to delay their reception into the church that Christ founded. This is heartbreaking for me. I’m sure that it is heartbreaking for them.

And yet I am lucky. My day job was mostly work-from-home anyway, so shifting to full-time work-from-home was no serious problem. My income is unaffected. And even if it was, my family is financially stable and can ride out a storm for at least a couple of months. I am well aware that others are not so lucky. Even many people who thought they were in good shape a month ago have found themselves suddenly unemployed. This can be the consequence of poor planning or poor decisions, but when something like this comes along, that’s not always the case. Some are completely innocent, and are being ‘punished’ by circumstances anyway. Life is not fair.

There is a lot more that I could say about the COVID-19 crisis. You should not be surprised to hear that I have opinions about all of this . . . about how we got into this situation, about how our governments are handling it, and about the best path forward. I might post about some of this in the future. But, today, I mainly want to ask you to pray. Pray for the people who have been killed or harmed by this virus. Pray for the leaders of our governments (even those you don’t like) that they might make good choices. Pray for an end to this crisis.

And if you, like me, are lucky enough to have a stable income in the midst of all of this, please consider making a donation to a reputable charity that is working to help make things better for others. I personally recommend Catholic Charities USA, the American Red Cross, and the CDC Foundation.

Governor Ralph Northam (D-VA) has issued Executive Order 55 (PDF link), which orders all Virginians to stay at home amid the worldwide COVID-19 viral outbreak. According to a statement from the governor’s office, Virginians may leave their homes only for certain permitted reasons, including “to seek medical attention, work, care for family or household members, obtain goods and services like groceries [and] prescriptions, . . . and engage in outdoor activity with strict social distancing requirements.”

Northam also ordered all colleges and universities in Virginia to cease in-person instruction, ordered all public beaches closed, and ordered a cessation of all short-term private campground reservations.

An earlier order, Executive Order 53 (PDF link), remains in effect as well. It imposed a statewide prohibition on public gatherings of more than ten people, closed K-12 schools through the end of the academic year, directed that nonessential recreational and entertainment businesses be closed, and directed that dining areas at restaurants be closed.

Restaurants are permitted to continue offering delivery and take-out service. Essential businesses like grocery stores are permitted to stay open but have been instructed to adhere to federal social distancing guidelines. Other businesses are also permitted to stay open but must limit themselves to ten patrons at a time and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

These restrictions will remain in place until June 10, 2020, unless amended or rescinded by the governor before then.

President Donald Trump (R) has won a majority of available delegates for the Republican presidential nomination and is now the presumptive Republican nominee. There is no serious national opposition to the president for the Republican Party nomination and he has won each party primary, caucus, and state convention held thus far.

With wins in today’s Republican primaries in Florida and Illinois, Trump is now all-but certain to receive his party’s nomination—an outcome that was essentially guaranteed all along. He is expected to be formally nominated at the Republican National Convention in August.

Meanwhile, the Democratic primary battle continues. Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) holds a widening lead over his opposition, but is still only a little more than half-way to gaining a majority of the available delegates. The Democratic National Convention is expected to be be held in July.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

The coronavirus outbreak has the world on-edge, and everybody seems to be concerned about catching it. The virus, SARS-CoV-2 (formerly known as 2019-nCoV), typically causes flu-like symptoms and appears to spread easily from person to person.

There are ten steps that you can take starting right now to reduce your risk:

  1. Wash your hands at least twice a week.
  2. Avoid licking any unsanitary doorknobs and handles, faucets, gear shifts, smartphones, and mailboxes.
  3. Affix surgical masks to your hands and feet in all public places.
  4. Add a teaspoon of hand sanitizer to your coffee or tea each morning until the outbreak is over.
  5. Install antivirus software on all your home appliances, entrances, and garage doors. Run checks regularly.
  6. Fire at the virus with a pellet or airsoft gun to humanely discourage it from approaching your home.
  7. Play dead. Viruses are only interested in living hosts.
  8. Eat lots of kale and Brussels sprouts to make your body an inhospitable environment for life.
  9. Use disinfectant wipes in place of your usual clothing, accessories, and umbrellas.
  10. Play Limp Bizkit music at all times at the highest volume you can tolerate. This will reduce unnecessary exposure to normal human interaction.

Updated, March 14, 2020: This post is called a “joke.” If you take it seriously, I pity you. You should seek help. If you are trying to find real information about the COVID-19 outbreak, please seek information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control or your local health officials.