Saturday, March 06, 2021

CoViD-19: A Look At San Diego's Vaccine Deliveries | Senate Passes $1.9T American Rescue Plan | After Cutting Pay, Gig Corporations Bitch About Lack Of Workers |

My mask makes my face look crooked, but it's what we got in the moment. (Taken 3.6.21)

I can't really say what inspired me to continue to post on sddialedin during the pandemic except that it put me in a habit that felt useful and I'm the kind of person who wants all of the available information on something to ease my anxiety about it. And so a year has passed and I'm happy to have one shot in the arm and this pandemic diary of sorts to look back on. (Though still not over yet; this site isn't going anywhere.)
There are a lot of things to mourn about the past year, but poor people don't ever get sabbaticals, either, so even though there's a lot I coulda, woulda, shoulda done with the time -- organize my photos on hard drives, fully clean out the studio, get in better physical health -- in so many ways I have appreciated the time with my family unit, the gardening and time outside, the yard sports, being able to be more politically engaged, fixing up our catio/balcony, cleaning out closets, organizing the studio enough to make it our speakeasy a couple time a week. These are all good things. And today, with the Senate passing the American Rescue Plan, I feel a little more secure until the Casbah can reopen to it's full glory later this year. I hope other Americans realize how momentous this is. 
And so with that, I slept in today while Darren and Nova took the dog for a short hike, I had my daily fruit and cheese bowl (new habit) and then we went on a bike ride to City Heights library to drop off a DVD and pick up a book. I wish I had felt more comfortable leaving the house during peak pandemic, but I just didn't, so this was maybe my third time getting on my bike in a year. It was definitely a struggle going against the wind on the way home, but it struck me that we saw almost 100% mask compliance throughout City Heights. One might conclude that this area saw more deaths and illness than other areas so the people are not messing around, but it made me feel way better than a few of the hikes we attempted when nobody could be bothered to mask up just for the moments you approach other hikers. Maybe I can loosen my pandemic agoraphobia and venture to the places I love and miss so much like Fiesta Island Dog Park, La Jolla Cove, Mission Trails, San Diego River parks and trails. 
Now I'm writing from my parents' house and I guess we're technically breaking the rules because my sister and the girls are here as well as my cousin which would make us 4 households. But their living room and kitchen is bigger than my whole apartment, so I think we're good sitting around with masks on, fans on, windows and doors open. 
Today was supposed to be some sort of National Log-Off/Screen-Free Day or something or other, but I started a project last night that I thought I would share. Stay safe out there. Lots more after the jump. 

Friday, March 05, 2021

CoVID-19: California Updates Activity Tiers, Including Theme Parks and Stadiums | San Diego Surpasses 1 Million Vaccines | Pandemic Induced Agoraphobia | San Diego Zoo Inoculates Great Apes |


Bonobo at San Diego Zoo (Taken 10.27.2020)

I like to keep things up to date around here, I'm a little behind on email. My mom brought Nova home today, so we hung out in the backyard and catio for a while. After she left, Darren got tacos from El Panson and we spent the afternoon on the catio working and reading and whatnot. By late afternoon, Darren and I made our way to CVS so I could get my Pfizer vaccine. I certainly think the tier system is not really fair, but I also know that all the experts say to get one when you can, so I did. I feel fine, but I'm gonna log off so we ca have some family TV time. 
Since we spent most of the day outside, I only caught part of the White House briefing and part of the Governor's Zoom with state senators to sign AB/SB 86 to get kids in schools. I kept seeing the story about the San Diego Zoo's great apes getting COVID vaccines, so I shared that here, and there's other weekend reading, including an interview about post-COVID agoraphobia and anxiety. I also included the revised Activity and Business Tiers based on the new equity goals, including theme parks and stadium openings. I included those as jpegs at the end of this post. I'll work through the rest of my email this weekend and share if there's anything noteworthy that I missed. In the meantime, stay safe out there, and #rocktheshot as soon as you can. 

Thursday, March 04, 2021

CoViD-19: Mask Up Even When You Jab Up | State Outlines Equity Distribution & Modified Blueprint For Safe Reopening | Youth Sports Returns To CA Via Settlement | Photos: San Diego Zoo |


Agapito is so big, I can't tell if this is him or his mom. At San Diego Zoo (Taken 3.4.21)

I got my sleep schedule somewhat back in order and so I actually woke up bright and shiny this morning. It was nice to have a chill day with Darren as we cycled through the White House media briefing, the Governor's media briefing, and the press conference about the youth/high school sports settlement. I'm gonna keep it tame because I had a good day and I don't need to point out that our numbers are already lowered enough such that outdoor sports can start, and frankly if you let your kids do indoor sports right now, I can't say anything that is going to change your mind. 

Today the governor had a lot of new information, confirming that the state will be allocating vaccines to the lowest quartile of "Healthy Place Index Identified Zip Codes" and once those specific zip codes have hit 2 million vaccines (it's around 1.6 million right now), the state will adjust the cases per 100k required to move tiers for counties, namely that counties can move from purple to red at 10 cases per 100k instead of 7. So I guess that timeline tracks for what we all expected anyway, meaning all of these stupid lawsuits have been a complete waste of time, money, and effort. So there's all that. 

Nova decided to stay at my parents' house another night because she gets time with my sister's puppy, despite there being no school tomorrow and construction is at a standstill from the rain. We wanted to take advantage and go shopping for a couch but I think we're just frustrated because of our weird doorway being so narrow, our options feel so limited. So instead, we had lunch at home then went to the San Diego Zoo for a few hours. It was a little crowded but not too bad, and I'm trying not to be mad at the membership hikes since I won't have to worry about it for awhile, but the rebranding is actually pretty cool and they already changed the sign out in front on Park Blvd. And the merch is really cool so if money isn't as tight for you, go spend all of your money there. After the Zoo, Darren made an amazing lobster dinner with spaghetti in bechamel and now I'm a happy camper so I'm gonna wrap this one up. Stay safe out there and get your vaccine when your time comes up.

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

CoViD-19: Skip The Guilt, Get Your Vax When You're Eligible | Fauci "Don't Declare Victory" | More On San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance | Comic-Con 2021 Remains Online | Stream Fanboy on Amazon |

Today is World Wildlife Day (Taken at San Diego Zoo 2.18.21)

I'm finding it so curious that I'm seeing news story after news story that San Diego may be moving tiers "as early as next week" as I read online. Nathan Fletcher alluded to modifications of the formulation of the tier system by the state because they were set before vaccines were available, so the projections of X amount of cases today doesn't necessarily translate to Y hospitalizations in 3-4 weeks. (At one point, the projection was 12% of all cases ended up hospitalized. That has dropped dramatically.) But for now, the old rules remain. "To advance, a county must meet criteria for movement to the next less restrictive for the prior two consecutive weeks in order to progress to the next tier; which can be achieved by either or combination of criteria described: Meeting the Adjusted Case Rate, Test Positivity, and Health Equity metric criteria for a less restrictive tier or meeting the criteria for movement to the next less restrictive tier through health equity accelerated progression." All of this still indicates we'd have to get red by Tuesday and stay there for a second week before we actually move to the red tier, but I guess it could all change should the tier system be modified. Tonight the state has indicated that in fact, 40% of vaccines will be reserved for certain zip codes, 1.6 million doses have already been distributed to those specific areas and the tiering could change once 2 million doses have been distributed, which could also mean the tier system stays the same but the offset could dramatically improve the "health equity accelerated progression." (Here's the AP News story that came out late Wednesday night. According to the article, moving from purple to red can happen at 10 cases per 100k instead of the current case/100k of 7. Right now, San Diego is still at 10.8)

In case I haven't been clear, I still think this would be a huge mistake. We messed up and let restaurants and bars open before and it meant that most schools never got to open. Can't we let this play out? Get the teachers vaccinated, get the schools open, then we can all go party at breweries, eat at restaurants, go to Padres games, and whatever else we're so desperately vying to do once we see community transmission is way down? I understand the political pressures, I understand the optics of trying to get things back to 'normal' before the March 13th anniversary of the first shutdown, and the rapid drop in cases is all good news, but I just feel like we need to slow our roll. 

Nothing else going on around here. We let the thunderstorm dictate our day and stayed in all day. Nova has opted to stay at my parents' house so we've been just lazing around staying warm and cozy. Last night I finished Ginny and Georgia on Netflix and I want more. Now I have to find something else to watch. And while talking about TV, you can now stream Fanboy on Amazon. Support Ben!! And stay safe out there...

CoViD-19: More Pressure For Aerosol Guidance | San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance: New Name, Jacked Rates, Blockout Dates | Voting Rights Act Under Threat |

San Diego Zoo (Taken 2.18.2021)

I had so much email on Tuesday, I decided to do an in-between post to get it all out of my system. Unfortunately that also meant I was awake when I got the press release about the newly renamed San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and it triggered a flashback: a couple years ago we were at a party at the zoo and overheard a conversation from a guy who worked for the Zoo and he was bragging about all the ways he was planning on increasing revenue streams. I have blogger ears and I remember how much his comments pissed me off because he was clearly of a higher income bracket than most people at the event. I remember feeling like this person was so out of touch and how everything he was bragging about would literally make the zoo inaccessible to a wide swath of San Diegans. 
And now here we are. I love the San Diego Zoo and I'll do what I can to maintain the level of membership that I have, though there isn't a direct equivalent, but it also really, really pisses me off. I love the organization, I love the conservation efforts and partnerships they have around the world, but jacking up their prices right now feels super tone-deaf. All that said, I'll probably make a visit later today. We'll see. In the meantime, stay safe out there. 

COVID-19: Vaccines For All By May | Global Cases Rise After Weeks of Decline | It's About Time: Dr Seuss Enterprises Ceases Publishing Racist Books |

The last time the tram was open at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (3.13.2020)

Watching the news pisses me off so much. How is it that they have such a knack for finding the most idiotic people to interview? Today some wealthy white teachers who teach in wealthy white areas were bitching about not getting vaccine appointments because schools have their own prioritization. It's literally been three days that teachers were added to the list, maybe settle it down a minute? Meanwhile, the idiot governor of Texas is opening everything and ending mask mandates and President Biden is a better human than me because I would just stop sending vaccines and government support to any state that won't mandate masks. 

It was a late night Monday around here so today was kind of a wasted day, though we did do a substantial Costco trip. It had been awhile and the speakeasy was running low on booze so I wanted to get us all stocked up before the next insurrection on March 4th. We also got a pizza which definitely hit the spot. 

I don't have a whole lot else to say today but there's lots of news, including that the San Diego case rate is now 10.8, which is promising but not quite good enough, but if the rate keeps dropping, we could get to the red tier by the end of March. It sounds like things are getting ready to open up a little more, I noticed that the San Diego Zoo is hiring tram and bus drivers so hopefully those come back soon, and Nova's school announced they'll be back in person in a hybrid model starting April 12, which is far sooner than I ever predicted. Hopefully BIden is right and we can all get vaccinated by May and beat the variants from overcoming all of our efforts and sending us back to square one. Stay safe out there. 

Monday, March 01, 2021

CoViD-19: Vaccine Free For All | More Evidence For Aerosols | CA Schools Inch Closer To In-Person Education | Empty Nesting |

One of my last shows...Sudan Archives at Casbah (Taken 2.29.2020)

Darren and I are once again empty nesting while Nova stays at my parents' house. We thought construction would resume next door, but apparently they failed their first inspection so they have to rehire the tractors and excavators to give us that gentle feeling of 12 hour earthquakes all over again. So I'm gonna keep it short because there's gonna be a lot of news this week and I already have a shitload of links for today. 

Besides all of today's reading, we spent some time in the yard, watched Jen Psaki and Newsom's briefings, and made AMAZING tacos with birria we got over the weekend from El Panson. We're now listening to a man who is screaming his head off in the alley so I imagine the police will make another appearance on our street tonight, but hopefully not. It's so hard not knowing the right thing to is he having a mental illness crisis or is he just entertaining himself (Darren thinks he was imitating a sax solo.) And let's be real, wellness checks often don't turn out so  well for those being wellness checked. 

Anyway, we're like two old people around the house watching late night monologues and having a little house party of two, so I'm gonna cut. But before I do, I want to say that there's a lot of reading if anyone actually clicks around my links, but one of the reasons the aerosol transmission issue is so important is because until the CDC makes it more of a focal point of their guidance, companies, businesses, and schools can continue doing less-effective or non-effective NPIs (non-pharmaceutical interventions) like plexiglass screens, without having to address the real problems of air quality, leaving workers especially vulnerable. Like how can schools open windows and doors when for school shooter protocols, they're supposed to remain locked? Or worse, they don't have windows that can even open? It's frustrating. Nova's school is all modular buildings but so many schools have decades old buildings and air systems that should've been dealt with the last several times school bonds have passed, but instead the money was spent on football fields and lights and new administration buildings while actual classrooms continued to degrade. The whole system needs to be burned down and rebuilt, but shy of that, we deserve to know that our kids safety comes first and right now, it's just a bunch of dancing bologna. Stay safe out there. 

Sunday, February 28, 2021

CoViD-19: County Reports Lowest New Cases Since October 21 | Speakeasy & Spaghetti Shenanigans |

Me and Darren (Taken 2.18.21)

Nova has been staying with my parents so she can do online school away from the construction happening next door. (Side note, they did work today even though it is illegal to do construction in San Diego on Sundays.) When we dropped her off tonight, my mom sent us home with leftover spaghetti.
On the way home, my mom called and asked if we'd eaten the spaghetti yet. No, we were still driving home, I told her. "I'm embarrassed to tell you this, but be careful because I think I dropped 4 little screws and 4 little buttons in the sauce by accident."
She then proceeded to tell us an elaborate story about how they could've ended up there, "but the sauce is really good, so you should eat it anyway. Just be careful."
No way we're eating the spaghetti. 

Besides that, Me and Darren started watching Celia on Peacock which is super great and we hung out in the speakeasy last night. We got in a fight with the bitch next door (the same one who cut our bushes last summer.) They had a party all day in their backyard so they were stupidly drunk. I was outside when the lady and her sister came out the front door and one of them FELL OFF THE PORCH. I asked if she was okay and they started talking shit, calling me a "pinche metiche" (fucking nosy) among other names. I told Darren who then went outside to see what was up and the ladies charged at him screaming obscenities in Spanish. We had words with them about that. Then they were trying to get into their car and Darren was yelling how stupid they were for being so drunk and getting into the car, telling the sister that the neighbor needs help for her dementia. It wasn't pretty but at least they thought better of getting into the car and went back into their house. So much drama on our little block. I didn't even mention that there was yet another police incident at our gas station over the weekend with Crystal, the woman who is always screaming at her boyfriend in the alley, and the boyfriend who is always trying to calm her down. He's black and she's white and I fear one day her insanity is going to get him shot, but what can ya do if he stays and keeps putting up with her? 
Duh-ra-ma. Stay safe out there. Don't eat any screws or buttons. I'm skipping news today, but today's data is after the jump. 

Saturday, February 27, 2021

CoViD-19: FDA Approves J&J Vaccine | In Late Night Vote, Congress Approved Rescue Plan | Supreme Court Is Out To Kill Us | Happy Birthday, Darren! |

Happy Birthday To Darren, 2021 Style (Taken 2.24.21)

I think I figured out what had me all rankled yesterday and it wasn't just that my lady time was harshing my vibe. I was just starting to feel like everyone was demanding things of me. I'm unemployed but it doesn't mean I'm just sitting around all day looking for something to do. I have a family, I have plenty of projects to keep me occupied, I have this site, which makes no money but keeps me alive inside, and I still get hundreds of email a day to sift through. I'm more of a recluse than I project and sometimes I just wanna be left alone. Last night once I got offline and everyone was asleep, I watched United States vs Billie Holliday on Hulu and it is so super intense and tragic and forces some hard looks at racism, government, sexism, domestic abuse, and opioid abuse, all in one life.

Today, the construction next door was non-stop from 7am to 7pm, but I made the best of it by getting into the studio and cleaning out my closet which felt like a good step in getting it more cleaned up and livable beyond our 'speakeasy' it has been. I'm listening to Barack Obama's book on audio so it was peaceful to just get into cleaning mode while playing it through the stereo. 

Today is Darren's actual birthday and we didn't do anything really special besides making amazing poke bowls using the yellowfin and shrimp from our Know Seafood order (use my referral code for $25 off!) Now he's on a nighttime bike ride, and hopefully that will shake his anti-birthday funk. Either way, I'm going offline for the night. Stay safe out there. 

Friday, February 26, 2021

CoViD-19: CDC No Duh Report: Safer Communities Mean Safer Schools | Petco Shuts Down Again Sat-Tues | Playing With Data |

Kashmir musk deer at San Diego Zoo (Taken 2.24.21)

Today I was the Kashmir musk deer. At the San Diego Zoo, she/he lives alone under a long walkway by the underappreciated aviary. It will look at you if you click your tongue and talk to it softly, but startles easily and really just wants to be left alone. 
I was up super late last night, the kind where night turns to morning and I only went to bed when the sun was up because I didn't want to ruin the rhythm of Nova's school day. When I did finally sleep, it was long and peaceful and I ignored texts and phone calls and emails all day. Sorry if you're one of the ignored, sometimes I just need the time. Darren and Nova went to Presidio Park for a little meet-up with our friend, but I'm not quite ready for social activity and the anxiety of being out in a world that feels like nobody else gives a shit anymore about this pandemic. I hate to be the party-pooper, but the rapid decline in cases has petered out and in some cases are going up again, so there's nothing really to celebrate and even more reason to step up the caution. 
I'm keeping it light on links today because honestly, everything is in a holding pattern. All the "news" was about what could happen over the coming days in weeks instead of things actually happening, so we'll learn about J&J or the Rescue Plan House vote or what is happening with vaccines that are going to places that shouldn't have them, like medical concierge companies or plastic surgeons who are doling them out against protocols. Maybe even someone will investigate how McKesson even got their contract since they can't seem to get the vaccines out on time, snowstorm or not. 
Again, sorry if you needed me today. I needed to unplug and let my body rest and have time with the family as we had a lobster and scallop feast to celebrate Darren's upcoming birthday. They're all asleep now and I may just follow suit. Stay safe out there. 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

CoViD0-19: California Tops 50,000 Deaths | Congressional Bigots Keep Bigotting | Shocker: COVID Spread High in Gyms | Vaccine Eligibility Expands |


Koala Joey at San Diego Zoo (Taken 2.24.2021)

The kid finally decided to come home today so we spent some time hanging out in the backyard, but without our trees it was actually too hot, so we took it upstairs to the catio instead. We created a game where we read the dumb media questions asked during the daily press secretary briefings and how we think Jen should/would answer. "I'm not going to negotiate legislation from this podium" is a popular one, but sometimes I imagine she just wants to say, "that's a stupid question I've already answered a dozen times and the President isn't going to comment on the last president's bullshit or let his past policies survive the next four years." Like seriously, some dumbass asked if Biden would invite the Texas senators on Air Force One when he visits Texas on Friday. Besides the fact that Cruz should be quarantining after flying, Biden isn't going to put insurrectionists and traitors on his plane.

Anyway, it was a lovely afternoon. Eventually Nova and Darren took a little trip to Andersen's Nursery and bought a ton of flowers to go in the planter they made out of a pallet so I'm looking forward to sprucing up the yard for a green spring and summer. 

I have barely gotten through any of my email today, however, so hopefully I can catch up tonight because if I don't dwindle it down, it just piles up and makes me cranky. I was trying to decide on pulling the trigger on a new couch but instead realized Living Spaces was still open so we went there to look at a couch I found online and thank goodness I didn't order it sight unseen because it was definitely not what we're looking for. But that store is massive, so at least I have an idea of what we're all looking for in our ideal sofa in our very small living room. Also, 8:30pm is a great time to go furniture shopping because the commission-driven sales people are too busy cleaning the floor and fluffing pillows to hound you every seven seconds. 

I may eke out another post if there's anything worth noting, but the big news today was that the US launched retaliatory air strikes on Syria, the parliamentarian ruled that the minimum wage hike may not be included in the American Rescue Act, and the bigots of congress voted against expanding the Equal Rights Act to LGBTQIA? people, but it passed anyway. I don't know when or how Schumer is going to end the filibuster, but it needs to happen NOW. The republican obstructionist party has got to go and everyone should be paying attention to how these people vote against their own constituents interests over and over again. 

Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

CoViD-19: CA Variants May Be More Infectious & Deadly | County To Expand Vaccine Eligibility On Saturday | J&J Poised To Get EUA On Friday | Biden Cancels EOs of The Last Guy |

I Love This Gorilla (Taken 2.24.2021)

Today was a much better day around here. I had a morning call with my music venue pals with SDIVA and Darren chippered up a lot. He made me a great lunch of shrimp & mac salad and after watching Jen's media briefing, we went to the San Diego Zoo. It was a little crowded since we didn't arrive as late in the afternoon as usual, but I attempted to use some of the information I got from the Tropical Photography video I watched last night, to mixed results. 
I watched some news and the County Media Briefing and the County Town Hall when we got home, and between those and a quick scan of my socials, there are a lot of crazy hot takes out there. So here I am with my own. 

I think there's a strong Venn diagram overlap of people complaining about slow vaccine rollouts and people who complain that they don't get tickets to sold out shows. Is it 4th grade we learn about supply and demand? Perhaps some of us should review, because holy shit! This is a GLOBAL pandemic. Our country failed in response in EVERY POSSIBLE WAY for all of 2020. Thankfully science moved forward with barely any of our cooperation and they found vaccines! And they have to manufacture them! And factories have to manufacture the vials and the needles and the pipettes and virtually nobody was ready for that because of the old covidiot in chief and now we're a month into this administration and there are still supply chain problems, and cold chain problems, and weather problems, and technology problems, and equity problems, but calm. down. man. We're all gonna get shots in our arms. Schools are going to open, and at least here, it's gonna be done safely. And little Johnny Quarterback will get his football season and you can look 30 years down the road and blame his CTE on the vaccine and not the fact that you let him play high school football and everything is going to be just fine. Ugh. 

And to Alexis Rivas hounding Fletcher about 2% of vaccines going to non-County residents. Fletch stumbled a little but I think the answer you were fishing for is that people are coming from Tijuana to get them. This is because anyone who works in healthcare in the county, even if they live in Mexico, can be vaccinated here. Same goes for American nationals or dual-citizen residents who are 65+. But nice try. 

So yeah. Next tier is starting on Saturday. For half a million people. Calm the eff down and wait your turn. In the meantime, stay safe out there.