Apple: This is what re-opening in the age of COVID looks like

With 100 stores un-shuttered around the world, and 25 scheduled to re-open in the U.S. this week, Apple models best practices.

Apple stores reopening practicesFrom a letter to customers by retail chief Dierdra O’Brien posted Sunday:

Face coverings will be required for all of our teams and customers, and we will provide them to customers who don’t bring their own. Temperature checks will be conducted at the door, and posted health questions will screen for those with symptoms — like cough or fever — or who have had recent exposure to someone infected with COVID‑19. Throughout the day, we’re conducting enhanced deep cleanings that place special emphasis on all surfaces, display products, and highly trafficked areas.

We’ve also taken this time to consider how we can serve our customers’ needs even more effectively, whether online or in our stores. For many stores, that will mean curb‑side pick‑up and drop off. If you choose to buy online, we can ship to your home or make your new items available for convenient pick‑up at our stores.

My take: Does it sound like Tim Cook expects the virus to magically disappear?

See also: Apple Stores reopen with masks, 2 meters and a gun


  1. Bart Yee said:
    I applaud Apple’s thoughtfulness in how it will operate its stores during the pandemic and in areas of risk or less risk.

    I do wish they would address the environmental in-store issues though, such as installing and ensuring sufficient HVAC airflow to clear out the store in X minutes or turn over the air X times per hour PLUS using replaceable charcoal activated HEPA – MERV 16 or above filters (near N95) plus UV or similar air purification (Both above seen in Lennox systems for home use). Obviously not easy if in a mall store but certainly possible in a company location built to LEED standards.

    The biggest problem Apple Stores face is social distancing a line of waiting customers outside the store’s entrance.

    May 18, 2020
  2. Tim Smith said:
    Damn. They’re going to look like Microsoft stores.

    May 18, 2020
    • Bart Yee said:
      True dat but without the lines outside.

      May 18, 2020
  3. katherine anderson said:
    You are right Philip; it doesn’t sound like Tim Cook expects the virus to magically disappear. (And Apple has the smarts to identify the smartest researchers out there who would know.)

    One of those researchers might be Dr. Jay Bhattacharya (Stanford). Though he agrees that social distancing should continue, he says social distancing is not the mechanism to eradicate this disease, let alone the tragedy of shutting down the economy. He says, because it has not been eradicated, and cannot be until a vaccine is produced (which could a long time yet), it will bounce right back when the social distancing rules are lifted.

    He has said all along, that the focus and resources should have been, and should still be focused on those people most vulnerable, the old and the poor. (As I understand Dr Jay, absent a vaccine, this is the only mechanism to eradicate the virus.)

    May 18, 2020
  4. Rodney Avilla said:
    Every time I read about eradication of corona COVID-19 with a vaccine, I am reminded of the influenza flu season of 2018. The influenza vaccine had been used for over 80 years (1st vaccine in 1933) and the deaths from the flu that year, as estimated by the CDC, were between 46 and 95 thousand in the USA. Many experts feel that number in realty was a lot higher, since many people with the flu were never tested, and many people whose death certificate stated pneumonia (50k per year) may have started with the flu. Don’t get me wrong; an effective vaccine would be very good news. As would effective treatment. But it won’t be the end of COVID-19. But maybe it will let us get back to ‘normal’.

    May 18, 2020
    • katherine anderson said:
      I agree with Rodney wholeheartedly, when you look at the numbers, you have to ask yourself, 46-95 thousand deaths in the US linked to the flu virus in 2017/18 (this according to the CDC; the Wikepedia entry states 60,000 deaths, with 1 million hospitalized), compared to the 90,000 deaths linked to Covid-19.

      Will this 90,000 include the hundreds of thousands of “Covid linked” victims, like my long-time friend here in Toronto, who was sent home from hospital emergency once the medical professionals satisfied themselves she did not have Covid-19.

      On April 5, my friend Denise (62 years) went to Toronto Western Hospital emergency experiencing intense pain in her back, shortness of breath. (She was over weight and a smoker.) Surely if this was not heart failure, it was something serious (like sepsis), and if left untreated would result in heart failure. But instead, once the medical authorities satisfied themselves Denise did not have Covid-19, they sent her home. She returned to emergency a few hours later, in greater distress, and once again she was sent home.

      She was found dead the next morning, collapsed on the floor of her apartment, her prescriptions for Tylenol-3 and morphine pills unfilled.

      So sad to think she was so poorly served. Many of you will think this is emblematic of the problems with universal medicine, which is what we have here in Canada.

      All I remember is I was so angry I became preoccupied with other people like Denise, those among the poor and disabled (Denise was deaf) turned away from hospital emergency. I went around to take a look, a couple times, the waiting rooms are empty.

      May 18, 2020
  5. Jerry Doyle said:
    There’s nostalgia here for what once was a town square where villages of people with like and similar interests could congregate to view the latest candies, taste them and learn further enjoyments together through participating. This is what Steve envisioned. It’s may be gone forever. I hope not, but what all of us do in life is ephemeral as life is itself. So, we will adjust but I can’t help but think those of us who grew up with the old Apple store shopping experience will retrospectively long for it as we long for the simple life in the ‘50s, viewing “Leave it to Beaver” and going to watch movies at the drive-in theaters.

    I don’t see myself waiting in a long line at my age. Besides, once inside I would feel the pressure to move quickly knowing others are outside looking inside and the imposition I am causing them by my salivating continually over all the new candies and tasting them one by one. So sad! I wonder what Steve would say.

    May 18, 2020
  6. Joe Murphy said:
    IMHO, and paraphrasing antennagate, Steve would say: Don’t do it that way.

    May 18, 2020

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