Saturday, August 15, 2020

CoViD-19 San Diego Day 3 Under 100/100k | Newsom Discusses Education | Proper Gathering Etiquette | USPS Is A Scandal Of Epic Proportions | La Jolla Cove Photos

Are you my mother? Juvenile pup and female on Boomer Beach (8.14.2020)

This heat wave is really just the icing on the cake, isn't it? It's bad enough we're all at home the majority of the time, now we get this insane heat and rolling blackouts to go with it. Keep your phones charged, my friends. It's 3 in the morning and still 75 in Normal Heights and it's still at least 84 degrees in my living room (which is as high as my Galileo thermometer can measure.)
Anyway, I'm pretty worthless in this weather. My wi-fi doesn't reach my bedroom (probably something we should take care of, stat), so I mostly waited until the sun went down to even start going through the day's news and briefings. Then I watched Knives Out which took all my attention. 
Being Friday, we did take Nova to soccer and visited the sea lions while she was there. This time we started on Boomer Beach, where Darren took a quick swim and I dipped my feet a little bit, too. Then we went to to our regular spot on the cliff over the Cove, but the sea lions claimed the little trail down. I joked that it was because they were tired of humans, but in reality I think they liked the cooler dirt instead of their regular white rocks, which I imagine were too hot for comfort. Anyway, there's a lot to get through today. I really hope the covidiot-in-chief is golfing this weekend because I really can't take anymore of his bullshit. Lots of stuff after the jump, with Friday's photos thrown in for good measure. 

  • State of California Media Briefing:
    • School Reopenings:
      • Learning in non-negotiable, but neither is safety
      • Obviously in-person learning is the preference, but can't be done until it's safe
      • State budgeted PPE for schools: masks, face shields, gloves, hand sanitizer, cleaning products, etc.
      • 96.1% of school districts were starting to provide technology for students
      • 91% of parents say they have the technology needed for distance learning
      • 71% of districts are confident that students and families will have the tech needed for distance learning
      • Rigorous Distance Learning New Statewide Requirements:
        • Access to devices and connectivity for all kids
        • Daily live interaction with teachers and other students
        • Challenging assignments equivalent to in-person classes
        • Adapted lessons for English-language learners and special education students
      • California designated $5.3 Billion of CARES money for school
      • 81% of funds prioritize low-income, students with disabilities, foster youth, homeless students, English-language learners
      • State procurg technology at scale to leverage buying power 
      • Guests: State Superintendent Tony Thurmond spoke about social wellbeing of students
      • Tom Steier (Co-Chair Economic and Jobs Recovery Task Force)
        • Bridging the digital divide for schools
        • ISPs have a responsibility to expand no-cost and low-cost plans so Californians can access online learning
        • Provide technical support 
      • New Executive Order Issued Today:
        • Prioritize actions to bridge the divide throughout state government
        • Direct agencies to pursued a goal of 100Mbps download speed
        • Outline actions to accelerate mapping, data collection, funding, deployment and adoption
        • Request the Broadband Council create a new State Broadband Action
      • Learning and Organizing for Online Learning
        • Counties are supporting districts with online platforms, curriculum, an training
        • Ensuring all districts have computers and connectivity for every student
        • Online instructions will offered in core subjects, arts, PE, and social-emotional learning
        • Large group, small group, and one-on-one supports and teacher office hours are planned
      • President State Board of Education Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond
        • Lots of San Diego specific information:
          • County is part of an "education consortium" providing lesson plans, curriculum, etc
          • County held parent focus groups
          • Parents and students, as well as the teachers, will start the school year with 'professional development' to learn how to engage with online learning, project work, and how to access help and teachers during 'office hours'
        • After the pandemic, we will be more resilient, have tech savvy students, and better connection between home and school 
        • Many districts prepared to have in-person education for special needs students where/when necessary (despite whether specific county is on or off monitoring list). Guidelines will be similar to childcare, probably available in the next week.  
      • California COVID-19 Stats:
        • 7,934 New Cases (4,429 Backlog/5,433 New)/601,075 Total Cases (1.3% increase)
        • 188 New Deaths/10,996 Total Deaths (1.7% increase)
        • Hospitalizations have decreased by 20% in past 14 days
        • ICU admissions have decreased by 14% in past 14 days
        • 6.2% 14-day test positivity rate
      • Statewide Energy Flex Warning:
      • About USPS: 
        • "Sabotage that's clearly intentional" "This could impact not just elections, but your ability to get quality care, your prescriptions, get information..." "I haven't experienced this in my lifetime, I don't know that any of us have, the weaponization of sorts of our postal system." "I am not a member of the Federal Government, however as a federal taxpayer, I demand and expect more of our country, and that first needs to be called out...I don't know that this is even a partisan issue...(there is) legitimate concern about sorting systems vanishing, concerns around basic fundamental life-saving delivery that has been part of our (postal history)." 
        • As for State of California, governor signed executive order for universal mail-in ballots and also for increased access points for dropping off ballots 
        • We have a 17-day provision as long as ballots are postmarked for certification of votes
      • Tax cuts were a huge mistake. "Looking forward to Biden Administration to right that wrong." 
      • Regarding Catholic School that opened in spite of State and County health orders: disappointed, Catholic schools focus so much on rules, so to break them is upsetting. The sooner we coordinate and model and follow the rules, the faster we can mitigate and eradicate this virus and disease.  
      • Haven't scaled testing capacity nationally as we should but signs of decrease are encouraging
    • State Data:
      • 4,991 New Cases (Last 14 Days)/33,661 Total Cases
      • 57 Deaths (Last 14 Days)/615 Total Deaths
      • 148.1 cases/100k population 
      • 9.5% Test Positivity (Last 14 Days)
    • County Data:
      • 406 New Cases (includes batch of prior tests)/34,065 Total Cases 
      • 7 New Daily Deaths/622 Total Deaths
      • 94.9 cases (96.3 State Reporting)/100k population 
      • 4% Daily Test Positivity/4.6% Test Positivity (14-day average)
      • Case Investigation is 96%
      • 4 New/24 Community Outbreaks (7-day)
    • Today is the 3rd day with cases per 100k of population under 100. (Numbers were not broken down between the new cases and the batch of past tests that came in. State will now review data to verify that we are off the monitoring list. Saturday will begin the 14-day countdown and if cases stay consistent or keep dropping in rate, on the 15th day, schools may reopen. San Diego Unified has made more stringent guidelines, including community spread and outbreaks, and thus will not reopen in 15 days, even if they are allowed.
  • COVID-19 Reading:
  • Other News:

Lastly, I'm getting more and more frustrated with people disregarding the guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. I even had to add a note to Nova's soccer coach:
Can you guys please, please enforce face masks and distancing for the girls? Every practice seems to get looser and looser and after practice we see all the girls huddling maskless. We have vulnerable people in our family and cannot continue soccer if the girls don't take the rules for intermixing more seriously. Thank you.  
I probably shouldn't have written it when I was drinking, but I think I made my point. Which was why we were so stoked to get this invitation from the mother of one of Nova's friends from school. THIS is how it's done!! 
Hello everyone, after much consideration, we have agreed to let the kids have a small gathering (1-2 friends each) outside in the back-40 to have water balloon tag and swim this coming Saturday. They missed having their annual big bash birthday (which was last week) party and we tried to think of a way to have one social gathering in a medically responsible way before school starts. The gathering will be 100% outdoors, everyone will be required to wear a mask and keep distanced from each other, there will be an outdoor hand wash station and multiple locations with hand sanitizer and hospital- grade spray disinfectant. Kids will only be allowed access to one bathroom which is accessible directly from outside and the room will be thoroughly disinfected prior to people coming over and we will have a wipe down of all surfaces with disinfectant between uses. The balloon preparation will be done while wearing masks and wearing gloves and we have a box of latex gloves for any of the kids that want to wear them as well as individual packs of alcohol wipes for each kid. We would like the kids to bring their own masks, however, we have a box of new masks if someone loses theirs or it gets wet or somehow no longer usable. Finally, we have an infra-red thermometer and will be taking temps as folks come in (I would ask that y'all check your temps before heading over as well). This may sound excessive or inadequate depending on your perspective but that seemed the only way to try this in our book, given the climate and status of the pandemic. We of course understand if anyone feels that they do not want to take any undue risk and respect everyone's opinion/decision. We are timing the gathering to be 2pm to allow folks to have eaten prior to coming over since we are not offering food for obvious reasons. We encourage kids to bring their own water bottles (and towels and sunscreen) but we will have a case of untouched water bottles as well that we will put out!
La Jolla Cove and Boomer Beach (8.14.2020)

The juvenile sea lions did not appreciate how close this lady was. Moments later, the barked and chased her away.

This barely visible sign is the City's feeble attempt at enforcement

These napping sea lions were so content until Brutus decided he wanted their cool shady spot

Brutus roughed up four other sea lions to take over their shady spot on the cliff trail 

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