Jersey Jack – June 2020


Advice on What to Do With Worry

Concentrate on the Things You Have Control Over

Jack Guarnieri

by Jack Guarnieri, Jersey Jack Pinball &

How you doin’? I know, you probably want a do-over for 2020. Maybe you think back on a day in January or February of this year and wish it was then. I have and I’m a person who lives with a lot of faith and hope, and always going forward. Today, it’s harder to go forward as we are facing this headwind of the virus and all that it brings with it, much of which we still do not understand. As I write this in early May, the New Jersey governor extended the stay at home order for another 30 days.

We’re told that staying home at this point will save lives, not just those of others, but your own, too, by reducing your exposure to someone or something carrying the virus. We all should continue to educate ourselves. We need to read and learn about the virus and understand what we need to do to stay healthy. Anyone can get the virus but not everyone can fight it off. We are losing some really beloved, great people.

But, have faith and don’t despair. Get busy and stay busy. Clean out a drawer, paint a room or paint a picture. Luckily for most of us, we have technology. I’m not talking about being able to binge-watch shows on TV but to provide a way to stay socially connected to other people, letting us see them even if we can’t physically be with them in this moment. It’s a really difficult time but we have the opportunity to make the best of it.

Somehow, I didn’t know I would also learn new terminology –– medical and otherwise –– from several daily and nightly briefings from various outlets. The truth is that I’m really concerned about the whole world and my country, state, community, friends and, of course, my family. We all are. And by now, we all realize that things will be different when we get to a “new normal.”
Nobody knows what that is or what it will be. Nobody knows when “it” will be “over.” Nobody knows when people will feel like being with other people who aren’t part of their immediate family.

Will people just snap back like a rubber band and go out to bars, concerts, ballgames, FECs? I certainly hope so.

I would hate to live in a world where I cannot shake hands, hug people or give a kiss on the cheek. Maybe that world won’t exist for a long time though.

What happens before then? Some of that’s up to us, some of it’s up to others. Like many circumstances we find in life, we count on strangers to protect us, whether it’s to fly and land our planes safely, to care for and teach our children or to feed us. Now, we’re depending on others to just stay home out of harm’s way.

I’m old enough to know that it’s going to be okay. I’m also young enough to believe that. My simple advice: Concentrate on the things you have control over. For me, the things I can’t control, I give to God. You may do something else, but whatever you do, don’t worry about them.

Eat right, get your sleep, exercise, read, write, think, take a walk, wear a mask when going outside, lay in the sunshine at a safe distance from others and do the things you always wanted to do but had no time to do. Think of it as a gift; be positive about it.

Unless you’re working as a nurse, EMT, first responder, truck driver, health worker, delivery person, pharmacist, grocery store clerk or someone on a team working on a vaccine, you may not be “essential” and it’s certainly out of your control. If you are doing any of those jobs, thank you. When this is all over you should be honored with a ticker-tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes in NYC.


Jack Guarnieri started servicing electro-mechanical pinball machines in 1975 and has been involved in every phase of the amusement game business since then. He was an operator in NYC, then began a distributorship in 1999,, selling coin-op to the consumer market. In January of 2011, he founded Jersey Jack Pinball (named after his RePlay Magazine pen name), which builds award-winning, full-featured, coin-op pinball machines. Email Jack at jack@


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