I had a personal information challenge the other day... and I failed!
Maybe this has happened to you as well.
We were about to visit a friend's house for dinner--socially distanced, of course! The plan was to go to their house and dine outdoors. With the late afternoon breezes coming off the bay, it seemed like a safe-enough thing to do. We'd be more than 2 meters (6 feet) apart at all times. Why not?
|Monet's Lunch on the grass - Le déjeuner sur l'herbe. Musée d'Orsay.
It would just be the four of us in the garden at a long table under the trees. I made a lovely nectarine-raspberry crostata for dessert, they supplied a kind of lentil-veggie stew and a couple bottles of wine.
But as I was walking out the back door, warm crostata in hand, I noticed a headline on the hardcopy of today's local newspaper: "Call it anti-social distancing" with a sentence in the first paragraph that caught my eye: "..backyard barbecues...are prohibited under the state's COVID-19 health order."
Was the thing I was about to do prohibited by the latest state regulation?
Technically, what we were about to do wasn't a barbecue in any way (which is, as you know, a meal or get-together at which grilled foods are served--we didn't have a grill).
Nevertheless, I thought I'd spend a few minutes and see if I could find the relevant state regulation.
I checked the paper--maybe they'd have some useful links on the article. Nope. Unfortunately, this paper doesn't make the current edition available online until a day or two after hardcopy publication.
I did the obvious searches and spent about 15 minutes searching around, but failed!
This was a frustrating experience, so naturally, I thought I'd turn it into a SearchResearch Challenge. Can we come up with a search strategy for finding the latest and most relevant regulations about behavior?
Here's the Challenge for this week:
1. Can you find the local--and CURRENT--COVID regulations about what is permissible behavior in your town/city/county/state? Once you've found them, what was your strategy?
This is clearly news you can use in our time of COVID.
How does one find the currently operative regulations about whether you need to wear a mask, or limits on get-togethers, or length of self-quarantines?
Clearly, we need to find the latest regulations. But how can you do that? How do you figure out what government agency has authority to issue health behavior regulations (or suggestions, as the case may be)?
While I'm curious about what the regulations are where you live, I'm MUCH more interested in how you found those regulations. What thought process did you follow to locate the relevant documents?
Be sure to let us know what you did. I fully expect that the strategies will be different from place-to-place. (What works in Portugal might not work in California and probably won't work in Canada or Mexico.)
I'll summarize what we find next week.. after we've figured out what is allowed.
(For the record, we went and had a lovely dinner, blessed by zephyrs of ocean air, under the spreading branches of an apple tree as the sun set behind a grove of massive eucalyptus trees.)