Sunday, January 23, 2022

CoViD-19: 'Stealth' Omicron Isn't New | Russia - Ukraine Aggression Heats Up |

 

Lesser Flamingo at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 1.23.22)

All weekend I was bookmarking and tagging things to put into a weekend post, but they all feel kinda unimportant now, as I'm sure they'll all be rewritten about in a day or two anyway. All you need to know is that there are still 3/4 of a million cases a day on average, and even if we're coming down, that is A LOT. So keep being safe out there. The weekend data is pretty useless at this point since so many jurisdictions don't report, so I'll just leave that for weekdays. 

We had a great weekend, or exactly what I wanted. It was relaxing, I slept in, I finished one book and started another, sat in the yard now that our fence is fully installed, had some good time with the menacing kittens, we visited my parents to help my dad in and out of his bed with the lift, watched some football, and spent this afternoon at San Diego Zoo Safari Park obsessing over rhinos and birds to avoid the big crowds in more popular areas. As I said on Twitter, I still really hate the NFL as an organization and I cringe seeing the crowds, but the games themselves were pretty fun to watch, especially seeing some overhyped quarterbacks knocked back down a couple rungs. 

I'm hoping this week is a little smoother than last. We're still getting random maintenance around the pad -- now that we have new neighbors the property management has to make sure things that have fallen by the wayside are up to snuff, but hopefully it will be less disruptive and I can get my rituals of Zoo time, work time, and home time back in some balance. For now though, I shall shut this laptop down and put my head in a space that prepares me for whatever the week may bring. 

Stay safe out there. 

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Things To Do In San Diego: Saturday, January 22-Thursday, January 27, 2022: Guttermouth | Joan Osborne & The Weepies | Augustana | Robert Delong | Casbah 33rd with Starcrawler |

Sold Out Crowd at Current Joys (Taken 1.19.22)

I was hoping to get these done much sooner today, but it is what it is. I'll try to get back on track for doing them Monday or Tuesday so that I don't have to waste my weekend doing them. The end of January was supposed to have some amazing shows, and while there's still lots of good stuff, there are definitely a lot more cancellations and postponements that weren't there just a week or two ago. But if you look at the photo above, it isn't hard to see what is going on. People aren't getting boosted, and they're only wearing masks when asked or when someone has to tell them, standing in crowded spaces with poor air exchange and ventilation. I should've spent the pandemic building Corsi-Rosenthal boxes and sold them to venues. Darren worked another packed night last night at the Casbah and at least he has the benefit of going outside frequently and not having to really be in the same spot for too long, but I'm still gonna make him test again in a day or two. I was actually starting to look forward to Son Volt and dipping my toe back into show action after relaxing a little after working on Tuesday, but of course, they have their own outbreak among their band and crew, so I'll consider it a bullet dodged. 

Stay safe out there. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

CoVID-19: 2,621 US Daily Deaths Say Pandemic Isn't Over | TFG-Appointed Judge Blocks Federal Employee Vaccine Mandate | Celebrate Roe. Fight Stigma. Say Abortion. | Governor Addresses Rail Theft |

 

My Favorite Mandrill (Taken 1.21.22)

I'm gonna keep it short because I already got that post in this morning. After doing my post and the brief listings, Nova was home early because of finals so she and I went to the San Diego Zoo while Darren rested since he's working late tonight at the Casbah for Emo Nite. It was such a pretty day and while more crowded than Thursday, was still a pretty chill as far as crowds go, and less mommy militia stroller army to dodge. We stayed till closing, picked up some fries and wings from Canada Steak Burger and came home to yummy burgers that Darren cooked up. Now he's working and Nova and I are watching The Hate U Give because her class is reading it at school. Of course she read ahead and finished it -- I would never let her watch the movie before finishing an assigned book. Buuut...it's super intense so I'm gonna cut out. Not sure when I'll get to the rest of my listings but I'll do my best to have them in time for Saturday night. I found out today that Son Volt has canceled for Sunday because members of their touring party tested positive and while that really sucks, I'm also glad I don't have to put myself in a crowd again before I'm ready again. 

Stay safe out there. 

Things To Do in San Diego: Friday, January 21, 2022: Emo Nite | The English Beat | Quel Bordel | Shiner | + Music News: Head & The Heart, Trombone Shorty, Punk In Drublic |

 

Current Joys at Music Box (taken 1.19.22)

I really need to get out of the house and get some sunshine today, so I only did Friday listings. I'll get to the rest of the week later tonight or this weekend. Shows are in full swing, and you need to be safe. I was both impressed by how many people at Music Box with how many people were wearing face coverings but also dismayed at how many people wear gaiters or loose masks or wear them under the nose. Get it right, Kids! You're not protected if you nose is out or if your mask is sagging around your face. I took my CO2 monitor and it was wildly moving, when the a/c is on to when it clicks off periodically when it achieves peak temperature. Ventilation is key in all our venues and everyone should be monitoring this information to prevent outbreaks. Mostly, keep that KN95 on when you're not drinking. Yes, that means between sips for maximum protection. 

Stay safe out there.  

CoVID-19: Record Americans Out Sick | When To Take PCR vs Antigen | US Requiring Full Vaccination For Entry At Ports of Entry, Ferries | 2022: The End of Roe? | VOSD Digs Into Trash Strike |

Wolf's Monkey Caught In A Big Yawn (Taken 1.20.22)

On Thursday I told you I'd get a second post in, but after 3 hours at the San Diego Zoo, taxiing Nova to and from piano, and then going to the second half of my niece's soccer game, I was pretty beat. I did some of this post but couldn't keep my eyes open, so I went to bed by 10:30 and set an alarm to wake up to work at 2am but blew that off until finally getting up at 7 so I could get the work newsletter out (officially 3 minutes late.) So here's yesterday's news, I guess, and I'll again try for a second post tonight, but I feel like I also have to do listings today, so we'll see how much staring at my laptop my eyeballs can handle today, not to mention how much ass-on-couch time. Ideally I do all of that, and still get in a Zoo trip and a last call (7:45-8:30 is peak) Costco trip later tonight.  

Saba & Mawe (Taken 1.20.22)

It's kinda funny how when I was only posting about music on this site how much hot goss I could catch just going out for a night of shows. And I suppose that is still the case, though I may be a little more out of touch than back in the day. But now it's true at the Zoo, too. Like yesterday, I learned that while Indah, the female orangutan that had a baby boy on January 4th is out in her habitat, the baby is not and is under veterinary care until she is healed enough to be reintroduced and care for him. I haven't heard what complications she had, but it sounds like it got pretty scary. I can't imagine if they lost her so soon after losing Satu just before Christmas. I also learned that the male baby Masai giraffe born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park on what would've been Betty White's 100th birthday had to be euthanized as he wasn't meeting the markers - standing up, nursing - required for survival and couldn't be helped with medical interventions.  This was sad news as I heard it while admiring baby giraffe Mawe, born 11.29.21. I think she knows the sound of my camera since I was there the day she was born because she makes the goofiest faces at me. 


I also learned that the maned "wolf" has a partner! I've only ever seen one at a time in the habitat and yesterday there was a pair, so it's possible they're hoping for some puppies if these two can make the magic happen. 

The Zoo is possibly in their dead season right now, which makes it an amazing time to renew your membership and spend some time there. Even for as much as I've been going the past several years, there are always new things to see and discover. Like yesterday the Wolf's Monkeys were "talking" to me and I'd never really spent more than a moment with them, so that was super cute. They sound like those little plastic whistle with a little tiny fan in them when they squeak and it is the cutest thing ever.   

There's a lot of talk about the US peaking or plateauing with the current omicron variant, but just remember that isn't a cliff, and we'll likely continue to see as many cases on the fall as we saw on the rise. Yesterday there were more than 2500 deaths in the US. "Mild" should've never been used, and there's still huge differences in outcomes for vaccinated/boosted vs. unvaccinated people. At the current rate, we'd hit 1M American deaths by March. Even if the rates come down sharply and we can have a relatively normal spring/summer, it's not long for the next variant or waning vaccine immunity, or whatever the next thing is, to knock us back on our knees. So be vigilant in your risk assessment and mask wearing and all the things. 

Stay safe out there. 

Thursday, January 20, 2022

CoViD-19: San Diego Stalls at 75% Vaccinated | Biden Holds Press Conference; Touts First Year Accomplishments. Media Cries "Too Long" | Manchin & Sinema Prove To Be Sellout Corporate Shill Cowards |


Fishing Cat At San Diego Zoo (Taken 1.14.22)

I was startled awake around 5 in the morning because of a circling helicopter and I never really, truly fell back asleep. It's all good though because I was able to work through most of the email and articles I missed yesterday as I watch Biden's press conference and as this nice man is in my house fixing the holes in our walls that were the result of upgrading our electrical something or other. Which also means I think I'm gonna call it a day here so I can try to go see the baby orang at the San Diego Zoo. I will do another post later tonight with today's news. 

Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

CoViD-19: Sign Up Open For Free Tests (Biden Did THAT!) | Omicron Death Wave Still To Come | San Diego Zoo Announces Zooborn Orangutan | County's New Districts In Effect | Support Humane Society Registries |

 

Karen and Aisha, 10 days after the baby boy was born  (Taken 1.14.22)

So we did it. We worked at Music Box on Tuesday night and we'll be doing it again on Wednesday night. Current Joys and Dark Tea were good and their fans are obsessed. Because most of the crowd were minors, there wasn't a lot of booze flowing so I felt pretty good with everyone wearing masks, but we'll still probably do tests on Friday or Saturday before we visit my parents again. It was a long shift, however, so I don't really have anything else to say other than it is margarita time and my Wednesday post may not come until Thursday since it will be a big data day but it doesn't generally post until late afternoon. Plus we have to be up early Thursday because our management company is coming to repair some holes in the walls that they had to cut out months ago when they updated our electrical boxes. So yeah. I hope everyone is able to go onto the government site to register for free COVID tests. 

Stay safe out there. 

Monday, January 17, 2022

CoViD-19: With Or For Can Be Medical Tipping Point | MLK Day | San Diego Unified Updates Decision Tree | Tongan Volcano Energy Reached West Coast | Trash Strike Ends |

 

Mama and joey at San Diego Zoo (Taken 1.14.22)

Well, it had to happen. Just when San Diego is completely spiking with cases, I had to accept work. Darren and I will be working at the Music Box on Tuesday and Wednesday for two sold out shows with Current Joys. I know that the Music Box has taken COVID protocols seriously so there is some comfort in that. But the Biden Bucks are mostly gone and we aren't really in a position to turn down work anymore; my salary is not enough to cover all of us, so it has to happen. And of course we'll be masked and hopefully the crowd is compliant in that respect, but I just have to overcome the anxiety of subjecting myself to a sold out, indoor, partially maskless crowd. It's too bad we can't just set the merch up outside on the balcony. I might have to bring my air purifier...though I know it would do nothing in that massive room, it could be like a security blanket at least; some comfort even if it does nothing. We have enough rapid tests at the moment to test before we have to help my dad again. 

We had a completely uneventful weekend which was exactly as I wanted. I read an actual book...it's been a while since in November all library cards expired and you had to go in person to renew, which we finally did when we picked up the free COVID tests. [By the way, if anyone is still looking for rapid tests, I've had good experiences with this website for other things, though I don't know how long delivery will take. You'd also have to find out from your insurance how they're handling reimbursement (which only covers $12/test)] We also have been going back and forth to my parents a lot because we have to help use the lift to get my dad from bed to chair and then go back at night to move him from the chair back to the bed. It's a pain in the ass, but it sounds like my Godsister has recovered from her bout with COVID so hopefully she can resume her assistance soon, though I think my dad appreciated having someone over to watch football with him. And they had us pick up a Lefty's stuffed pizza, so I cannot complain about that at all. 

Nova will return to school tomorrow and hopefully her teachers are all recovered and done with quarantines and isolation. Last week I wrote about why guidance for isolation and quarantine is so challenging, because the rules are different if your vaccinated, boosted, or unvaccinated and whether you're symptomatic or not, and its good that San Diego Unified is working with the best scientists from UCSD to revise their decision tree, which I've shared at the end of this post. Fingers crossed that when data resumes tomorrow we get some reprieve from the massive numbers we've seen. I doubt it, but maybe this shit has burned through everyone it can. 

Stay safe out there.  

Friday, January 14, 2022

CoViD-19: CDC Finally Updates Mask Guidance | Cal/Osha Update Requires No Symptoms + Negative Test For Return To Work | Russia "Prepping Pretext" For Invading Ukraine |

 

Baby Tapir's Not So Little Anymore. Look At That Face!! (Taken 1.14.22)

I feel like there was a lot more news today, but I'm super tired and we still have to go to Chula Vista to help my mom with my dad's transfer from chair to bed, so if there's anything that was super pressing that I didn't link, I'll maybe do a weekend post. Just know that there won't be new data until Tuesday and then that will be all backed up and meanwhile the Blood Bank is in crisis, hospitals are spilling out, and you're best off just minimizing your time in public as much as you're able. 

I would take my own advice, but we are due for a Costco run, and I needed to have an afternoon where my ass wasn't planted on the couch with this laptop on it, so I went back to the San Diego Zoo today. It didn't feel as crowded as it had on Tuesday, thankfully, and I noticed far more people in masks --- good masks at that --- so apparently the messaging is getting through, at least a little more than before. I'll probably wait out the Costco run as long as I can and definitely not do it this weekend. 

I'm looking forward to a very chill weekend and lots of catching up on sleep since the little demons woke me up after 3 hours of sleep to let me know it was time to eat and I never quite got back to sleep from that. I think there are a lot of new shows and movies rolling out on streaming so maybe I'll fire up the popcorn machine and have myself some movie nights. Or maybe I'll finish reading future apocalyptic war stories about US vs China vs Russia in 2034: A Novel of the Next World War. Or maybe I'll just do nothing and totally enjoy it all. 

Stay safe out there. 

Things To Do In San Diego: Friday, January 14-Thursday, January 20, 2022 | Supersuckers | LA Witch | Shane Hall Residency | Jamestown Revival with MIPSO & Robert Ellis | TOOL | Mariachi El Bronx |

Robert Ellis (Taken 5.11.2019)

I don't often get comments on my site, but yesterday someone asked where my "Things To Do" Listings were and I felt bad that I put them on pause. Life is going on whether or not I'm currently going to shows and there's an entire economy that survives off of live music, including my paycheck, so here are this week's listings from Friday through Thursday. Please note that all of these are subject to change, I'm having a hard time keeping up with all the postponed shows and cancelations, so always check before you head out for the night that your show is still happening. You should also note that if you're going to see TOOL (as of today it appears to still be scheduled), they have a super strict camera policy -- no photos or videos, even on your phone, and they'll eject you without a refund if you get caught. MJK is a weirdo, but I guess that's why we love him, right? Anyway, be safe out there. If you are going to shows, note that California requires masks indoors at all time when not actively eating or drinking, and for your own safety, you should pick up some high quality N95s, KN95s, N94s or the like. Your gaiter or bandanna is not adequate for your protection and for that of people around you. And obviously, if you have ANY symptoms you should stay home and test, and if you've tested positive, even if asymptomatic, you should observe the appropriate isolation and quarantine and test negative on an antigen before you emerge into the world to head to a crowded bar or venue. 

Stay safe out there.  

Thursday, January 13, 2022

CoViD-19: Omicron Is Everywhere | WHO:"Toxic" Hurdles Hampered Global Response | Domestic Terrorists Arrested | "Pro-Life" SCOTUS Is Cool If You Die As Cost of Doing Business |

 

Fennec Fox at San Diego Zoo (Taken 1.11.22)

Sometimes I have to remember that living in San Diego, the 8th largest city in the country, in California, the most populous state of the union, is vastly different than other places in the country. I haven't seen empty shelves. We didn't struggle to get tested when we wanted, or to get boosters when we were eligible. That is different now, but I've got my little stock of rapids when we need to test Nova after she goes back to school next week. She took us up on our offer of doing school from home until after MLK day. That decision doesn't come lightly - we know this comes with huge amount of privilege and isn't something everyone can do and we know that school funding relies on attendance, but perhaps keeping her home lightens the load on staff. And she's not a slacker; today she and Darren went to the library and she brought home a stack of 8 books. In the time it took for her class to read one chapter of "The Hate U Give," she had already read an entire book. You can read Matt Hall's twitter thread on the latest from San Diego Unified, which I'm sure we'll hear more about on Friday. 

I don't really have anything else to report. As much as I miss going to the San Diego Zoo a couple times a week, my one trip this week was enough for me to sit it out a few more days or to less busy times. I'd be down for a universal mask mandate, even outside, just thinking about how many kids I saw the other day who were obviously sick and coughing and crowding into tight spaces like the viewing glass by the tigers or hippos, but I know there's no political will for more requirements or protections. The global undertone is to just let it rip and see where we land after everyone has been affected. Hopefully it's a nice weekend and we can at least go for a hike or a drive or even just hang in the yard. It feels like a lot of just waiting around for this wave to pass, and I guess I just have to be okay with that. Last night I spent four hours trying to find my photos from the Ronnie Spector show at the North Park Theatre from 2014 and was unsuccessful. Maybe it's time for some organizing.

Stay safe out there.  

CoViD-19: Omicron Slams All Sectors, Supply Chain, Schools | Gloria Delivers State of the City | TFG Throws Tantrum on NPR | Coachella Lineup Announced |

Mama Mandrill Cups Her Pregnant Belly (Taken 1.12.22)

I wrote quite an angry rant earlier today, but now that time has passed, I've deleted it and want to start fresh, though today's numbers are still pretty bad. It's gonna be like this for awhile. Testing is hard to come by, but San Diego County is doing nearly 45,000 tests a day, which is more than double what they had in December, and more than four times what they had last summer. If we all had been testing weekly like we should've been, perhaps they would've ramped it up sooner. Lots of coulda, woulda, shouldas with planning across all government, but it's super easy to be a Monday morning quarterback. Since we can't currently get Nova tested at school and all four of her teachers are out sick, we've given her the option of staying home for the rest of the week. Despite the messaging, there is no learning happening at schools right now and students are being asked to swim in a pool of virus, especially when they have to combine cohorts for lack of staffing. She's vaxxed and now boosted, but the same isn't true for many of the kids her age, so why just waft in virus when she can be home and do her work in Google classroom and let some days pass since they have Monday off anyway? 

Besides all that, I did nothing today because Tuesday was a pretty late night around here. Darren and I have been watching The Silent Sea so I'm gonna get back to it.   

Stay safe out there. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

CoViD-19: US Exceeds 1.4M Daily Cases | President Biden Pushes Voting Bills | Governor Newsom Addresses School Staffing Shortages with Executive Order | DOJ To Create Domestic Terror Unit |

 

Denny The Gorilla at San Diego Zoo (Taken 1.11.22)

What a difference a day makes. 

Last night I popped some melatonin and crawled into bed before midnight. My cat soon found my lap and we slept mostly through the night except when I had to adjust and she got mad at having to counter-adjust. But I woke up bright and shiny in the morning to the sound of the next door construction excitedly pouring concrete as if this was their lifelong dream as 5 year olds, and decided to go on the hunt for rapid tests. I was able to procure a couple at CVS Banker's Hill, again, so I guess that's a good go-to, at least for Tuesday mornings, though I don't know if we're wasting tests when none of us have symptoms. It was around 10 am and it was so nice out and the streets were empty and I drove through Balboa Park (I was coming from the North Park CVS via Upas), got to admire the new 4th and 5th Avenue Bikeways, and after the stop I called Darren to see if he wanted to go to the San Diego Zoo. 

But by the time we called my parents and they requested our assistance a little later. My god-sister, who works in a salon, turned up positive from COVID, so she's isolating at her boyfriend's house and hasn't been able to help my parents. My dad has an electric Hoyer lift that helps him from bed to chair and chair to bed, but it requires more than one person to do it. So we went down in the afternoon, helped him, then went to the Zoo and I was so in my happy space. The mandrills, the gorillas, the hippos, the elephants, and the giraffes all gave me special love. But I do have to say, we kept our KN95s on all day, and the amount of parents with clearly ill small children who are probably completely unaware that their kids likely have COVID is really unfortunate. It would suck for the Zoo, but I wouldn't be against them bringing back the health screening to get in, or a big giant sign that says "DO NOT COME TO THE ZOO IF YOU HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID IN THE PAST 5 DAYS, OR IF YOU HAVE ANY OF THESE SYMPTOMS: HEADACHE, SORE THROAT, UNUSUAL BACK PAIN, COUGH, RUNNY NOSE OR OTHER COVID SYMPTOMS." 

All this to say, I had a good day. And I worked in between, but I haven't quite made it through all of my email. But if I push myself to get through all of it tonight, I might go crazy. So trust that I'll probably have another post in the morning or a mega-post tomorrow night, but it sounds like we're going to be back and forth between Chula Vista a lot this week so my days may be a little bit interrupted.  

Stay safe out there. 

Monday, January 10, 2022

CoViD-19: San Diego Surpasses 5M Total Cases, Nearly 50K Weekend Cases | Working While Sars-CoV-2+ | Newsom Releases Proposed Budget Blueprint | Cops Continue To Refuse Vax | A Birder's Big Year |

After essentially losing our backyard for a year due to construction next door, we finally have a fence again, a step toward normality. (Taken 1.9.22)

I would say that in general, I've been okay throughout this pandemic. I've long been a work-from-home employee, so that wasn't so different for me, and we've visited with family and had birthdays and holidays and shopping and trips to the Zoo and walks and hikes and all that kinda stuff, but I have to say that isolation is really isolating. I'm totally fine and have had three negative rapid tests since my positive PCR back in December, but there's this awful guilt that I could have spread it because I was completely asymptomatic and didn't actually know my result until 11 days later. We've been mostly laying low, but Nova's in school and resumed derby today after a holiday break, and whereas she was getting free weekly tests at school since the beginning of the school year, now we can no longer get her an appointment on campus. I'm seriously considering buying a pack of 25 home tests, but they'd set me back about $375 and that seems insane -- I feel like with toilet paper, the supply will level out in a few weeks, between the insurance reimbursements and the free tests from the Federal government and hopefully some ramped up distribution by the State, at least to schools, but then at that point, have we all already been infected? 

But all that to say that this still really sucks. I was looking through upcoming Casbah shows and we have amazing artists coming through. I haven't been to the San Diego Zoo or Safari Park yet this year. Then there's guilt about COVID, a middle aged woman's menstrual cycle, dashes of seasonal affective disorder, watching far too much news, and then just Mondays in general and today was a whole lot of ho-hum. 

And it is infuriating. If you're going to let nurses nurse while positive but asymptomatic, then say it's because we will cripple our health care systems if we don't. If you want kids in school because funding counts on it or because people can't work if they don't have free day care, say so, but please stop saying "schools are safe" when districts blew pandemic money on football fields and salaries instead of upgrading ventilation, procuring weekly tests for all, and not being able to truly and universally mandate vaccinations for all students and staff where it is authorized under EUA. In many ways, 2020 was the easiest year of the pandemic because while there was derision and divisiveness, you knew where everyone stood and we were all on the same boat with no vaccines. Now you have vaccinated, boosted, unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, previously infected, medically exempted and a host of other combinations and each should be following nuanced guidance. 

I promise I won't be so grumpy tomorrow. We're going to help my mom with my dad so he can get out of the bed and into his chair. In an ideal world it would be amazing to have been able to test daily, to have verified my PCR since my test was lost, to test for anti-bodies and t-cells and all that, but I'm just going to have to trust that 18 days after a positive has me in the clear and that I can protect everyone with an N-95. Then maybe I'll go to the San Diego Zoo. Because this couch life ain't doing it for me no more. Though on a bright note, over the weekend the next door project finally replaced our fence, so we have our yard and some privacy again, something we haven't had in a year. I can't wait to expand the garden. 

Stay safe out there.