Eric Anthony Rodriguez

Eric Anthony Rodriguez

We all probably need a break from our confinement due to COVID-19. Well starting Monday, Florida will be in Phase 1 of its three-phase reopening plan. While Florida is in Phase 1, certain restaurants, state parks, many stores, museums and libraries may open but only operate at 25% capacity. The South Florida counties of Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade will not be participating in the Phase 1 opening. Those who are older than 65 or have an underlying medical condition are still advised to stay home. Everyone is encouraged to wear masks whenever it will be difficult to keep at least six feet between you and others. Bars, nightclubs, gyms and movie theaters will still be closed, and groups of more than 10 should be avoided.

All of this time indoors has caused many people to go crazy and to put themselves in danger in order to protest the stay at home orders. Residents in California, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Tennessee, and Washington held protests to open up their states. People were also protesting in Orlando even after the announced partial reopening of Florida. Many of the protesters are not social distancing and some even carried guns while demanding the government change course on its COVID-19 response.

One individual in particular seems to really be losing his mind from being cooped up. Elon Musk tweeted that one of his company’s stock price was too high last Friday. The move cost investors more than 10 billion dollars and lowered the value of his own Tesla stock by about 3 billion. Mr. Musk has made frequent tweets stating that the country should be opening up more quickly, but he was in a particularly strange mood on Friday. Besides losing himself a few billion dollars by bad-mouthing Tesla, he declared he was selling almost all physical possessions, including his house, and that he was devoting himself to Mars and Earth. Will someone please take Mr. Musk for a walk!

While Elon tweeted he will be selling his house, he made sure it was known that the former home of Gene Wilder could not be torn down or lose any of its soul. I wonder if a bathroom remodel would affect the house’s soul? I also wonder how Gene Wilder would feel about the current occupant of his former house.

All of this current hubbub about Gene Wilder’s house brought to mind so many of his movies that I enjoyed. He was the best Willy Wonka ever, and Silver Streak had many laugh out loud moments. I think I will watch the movie where Wilder and Richard Pryor hatch an outlandish plan to break out of prison. The name of it is right on the tip of my tongue.

Eric lives in Suwannee County and is a public school educator. He is an independent contractor. You can reach him at

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