With all of us being cooped up due to the Arlington COVID-19 shelter in place orders, still get outside safely. Arlington has a lot of parks and resources available. And they are NOT crowded now. Nature is a wonderful cure for cabin-fever and related depression. I thought this would be a fun little video to share.
For example, we are practicing what we preach, to relieve our own cabin fever stress.Nobody is immune to the emotional and mental effects of social distancing. My spouse of 39 years, Ande Cook, and I recently drove to this spot, which is about 30 miles East of Yellowstone National Park. It was awesome and stimulating. Nothing refreshes our perspectives and sense of grounding, like nature. So get outside, just keep your distance from others. Not travelling now? No problemo.Arlington has a lot of parks and outside space resources available to all, and they are not crowded. Plenty of opportunities to be outside, safely. We often walk down along the river and parkways and bike paths in Arlington.
About the Video: I did not count them, but this is probably a 100-head herd of Elk in the video we made. Males shed their antlers months ago, so there are both males and females in this group. They will calve in the first week of June. Adult elk weigh between 500 and 750 pounds. We were approximately 300 yards from the elk, using our super-telephoto lenses so as not to crowd the wildlife. With the snow melted they are enjoying easy feeding now after a long winter.
As most Arlington residents know all too well now, we are
under a statewide shelter-in-place order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Various
types of businesses are exempt from the closure order and deemed essential, based
on their necessity to the people or their low exposure potential for the spread
of the virus (less than 10 people congregating, etc.).
Cook Bros. and Arlington are on it
Cook Bros takes this seriously and is also subject to many regulatory controls and processes, including building permits and building progress inspections. Fortunately, our Arlington County building department is as progressive as Arlington residents.
Although the Arlington county building department physical offices are currently closed, building permit and inspection processes remain fully active, but in a VIRTUAL manner now! That’s right, crucial construction regulatory processes can continue operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, safely for all, due to the to the forward thinking of the Arlington County Building Department.
Here are a few facts about the Arlington County Building Department
Arlington has been processing electronic plan submissions/review and fee payments for several years, in an effort to reduce paper use. This practice takes on a new meaning in our COVID-19 environment.
Cook Bros helped Arlington Beta
test their current system from the very beginning and have been utilizing the
electronic platform since they rolled it out, so we are well equipped to
efficiently and competently accomplish all requisite permit application and acquisition
Arlington had already been
experimenting with virtual inspections for several months before COVID-19
arrived in the USA and had their first internal tests of their system about two
months ago. This forward thinking allowed the Arlington County Building Department
to move their inspection operations to a virtual platform efficiently when this
became necessary in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic- to keep all builders
and inspectors safe.
In the past two weeks (since late March) Arlington has been able to accommodate every inspection request that has been made, completing approximately 1400 virtual inspections during these two weeks according to Shahriar Amiri, Arlington County’s Chief Building Official.
Recently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic,
Arlington County was asked by the Commonwealth of Virginia to lead a virtual
seminar on how-to run and operate a virtual building department. And to share
with other building jurisdictions in the area the measures Arlington has already
implemented. 160 building officials from all over the country attended, a
true validation of both the importance and urgency of this topic as well as Arlington
County Building Department’s leadership.
For several years Mr. Amiri has convened a monthly Arlington Contractor’s focus group that Cook Bros’ President and General Manager, Steven Tinter, proudly serves on, to provide feedback and exchange ideas on code changes, code interpretations, processes, etc. During this COVID-19 pandemic Mr. Amiri has switched these to a virtual platform and has moved them to once a week in order to keep everyone apprised of what is going on in an ever-changing pandemic environment.
Cook Bros and Arlington… “partners”
Cook Bros and the Arlington County Building Department are literally, on the cutting edge in this COVID-19 pandemic and continue to serve and keep people safe.
Hope everyone is well. And doing their part by avoiding becoming infected or spreading the Coronavirus and its current disease we all know now as COVID-19. Arlington is successfully Dealing with the pandemic.
These are trying times for everyone. Nobody is escaping the widespread social, economic and health effects of this pandemic, Cook Bros. included. Here in Arlington, Virginia, we have been fortunate to date, not having any infection case reports among all of our contacts. This includes employees, customers, suppliers and other associates we have had contact with.
Cook Bros is on top of this pandemic
We are staying on top of the current and evolving guidelines, regulations, best practices and recommendations. With our official designation in Arlington, Virginia, as an “essential” business, we take our responsibilities seriously… both personally and professionally.
And rest assured we are taking all reasonable precautions and actions to keep our employees, customers, suppliers and other associates healthy and safe in this unprecedented pandemic situation.
We are OPEN for business, on the jobs daily and adapting our business practices as prudent and appropriate. For example we are now doing most of our business meetings, virtually, using video conferencing instead of in-person. It is working great! Also, our workers are all using masks, sanitary wipes, hand-sanitizer and gloves where applicable and appropriate.
We will get thru this together and be a stronger society as a result. Stay safe and keep up the good work helping us slow and stop the spread of this virus and better times are ahead for the USA. I am proud of our customers, employees, governments, fellow citizens and the business community’s responsiveness and cooperation in this dark time.
On Wednesday, 25 March 2020, we just published our completely redesigned Cook Bros. Website. Hope you like it and find it useful and functional. We would appreciate any recommendations, comments and feedback so we can continue to improve our site.
New High Quality Photos
Most of our work has been and is in Arlington. We are actively upgrading our photography (long overdue!) and as you will see, mixing new high quality images with the old lesser-quality ones as necessary. See some in our Additions page here https://cookbros.org/additions/
We cannot “go back” in time to re-shoot the old ones, as many are as much as 30 years old now. In many cases, the homes we did the projects on have had one or more new owners since we completed the work. So bear with us on some of the “older” photos and know all future ones will be high quality. Like a couple hundred of the new ones on this site are. Over time, we will add a lot more projects and their photos.
Many Enhancements to come
Cook Bros. is doing a lot of “housekeeping” to our business. Like producing this new website. And including implementing new customer relationship management software (“CRM” by BuilderTrend) for online customer and project management and this Blog!