Monday, August 31, 2020

COVID-19 San Diego Modifies Public Health Order | Anti-Maskers Are Everywhere | #OverdoseAwarenessDay | Some Event Industry Pros (Not Me) Demand...Something?

Newman The Sandcat at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 8.30.2020)

It's been quite a day today. Nova started her distance learning today and it seems to have gone off without any tech difficulties, but our property management company told us weeks ago that they'd be doing extensive work on the property, including a bath/shower replacement and we heard nothing since. Of course today they show up and started demoing the bathroom of the empty apartment below us, so we're gonna have to get Nova some noise cancelling headphones with a microphone, as they're not exactly known for their speedy completion of projects around here. 
I didn't expect to be up early this morning, but it meant that I watched the #overdoseawarenessday press conference and the event industry demonstration, too, though that was a little more confusing. It's unclear if they're demanding guidelines, a timeline for reopening, full reopening, or aid and support for the industries under the umbrella...venues, event planners, weddings and related industries, and more. What I do know is that I don't trust Supervisor Desmond as far as I can throw him. 
The County also had a media briefing and the biggest takeaway is that there will be modifications to the public health order as it relates to indoor dining and business safety plans, including required registry of patrons names and phone numbers when inside newly modified businesses. Those details are below. I had a lot to say about a lot of things today, so at least you've been warned. Off to see my sea lions. All the news, after the jump.

  • COVID-19: The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard reported 6.01 million US cases and 183,258 deaths as of 1:30pm EDT on August 31.
  • State of California- No Media Briefing today 
    • California COVID-19 Stats:
      • 4,176 New Cases/704,085 Total Cases (0.6% increase)
      • 28 New Deaths/12,933 Total Deaths (0.2% increase)
      • 5.3% 14-day test positivity rate
  • San Diego County Media Briefing
    • COVID-19
      • County Libraries are working on reopening with limited capacity. Hope to have hours and operating procedures updated soon.
      • We have a higher case count and spread now than we did in June with the last reopening. 
      • We also have schools and higher education opening simultaneously, which could be vectors of spread and outbreaks and increases the danger.
      • Red means "substantial community spread"
      • Largest county in red zone. We want to move forward not backward. 
      • Revisions to public health order effective 9/1 at 12am:
        • Dining inside must have masks on at all times except when actually consuming food or beverage (may not remove just by being seated)
        • Recommending/stongly suggesting indoor dining prioritized for households sitting together; not mixed households
        • Businesses that are reopening indoors (salons, restaurants, gyms)
          • Must have guest signin/appointment log/registry with name and phone number for guests entering business
          • Any businesses with changes to operating procedure from new guidances MUST update safe reopening plans specific to your sector
      • County is abiding by State guidelines. Must maintain tier status for 3 weeks. Last 2 of those 3 weeks must meet metrics for next tier before moving
      • Outbreak investigations have been opened for SDSU. Looks at 13 cases as an outbreak for SDSU. But looking closer at focused outbreaks within the campus (specific dorms)
      • Last reopening was 100%. Movies & Churches were only ones with portioned reopenings last time. Tiered system now should help but people still need to be compliant and vigilant. 
      • 10pm curfew is still in effect for restaurants
      • County still seeking clarification from state if retail/grocery must move back to 50%
      • State Data:
        • 253 New Cases (Last 14 Days)/38,302 Total Cases
        • 3 Deaths (Last 14 Days)/682 Total Deaths
        • 5.8 daily cases average/100k population 
        • 3.7% Test Positivity (Last 14 Days)
        • 5.8 Case Rate per 100k (7-day daily avg with a 7-day lag) - Updated 8.28.2020
        • 3.8% Testing Positivity (7-day daily avg with a 7-day lag) - Updated 8.28.2020
      • County Data:
        •  304 New Cases/38,604 Total Cases 
        •  0 New Daily Deaths/682 Total Deaths
        • 79.4 cases (78.6 State Reporting)/100k population (14-day case rate)
        • 5% Daily Test Positivity/3.7% Test Positivity (14-day average)
        • Case Investigation is 96%
        • 2 New/16 Community Outbreaks (7-day)/67 Active Outbreaks
  • #OverdoseAwarenessDay
    • County Marks Overdose Awareness Day: “No one has to Die” - County News Center (8.31.2020)
    • There's something so galling listening to Supervisor Gaspar claim to fight for the most vulnerable among us in her speech about 645 drug overdoses in 2019, yet still fight against measures in place to fight COVID-19 which has claimed 682 people in 6 months.
  • San Diego Event/Live Entertainment/Wedding Sectors Push For Guidance:
    • This announcement was being shared on social media:
      CALLING ALL ENTERTAINMENT, HOSPITALITY, EVENT INDUSTRY WORKERS AND RELATED BUSINESSES: Supervisor Desmond is holding a press conference where he will be asking the Governor to return control of San Diego back to the County. After careful review of the new color coding system, we have realized that our industry will never be able to move forward. In fact, it’s set up for us to fail once the regular flu season starts. The concession for 25% indoor capacity at restaurants and the 10% allowed at gyms was in response to the pressure that was put on him last week. He knows it’s not enough for the overwhelming majority of businesses to survive another 3 months.
    • Here's my Facebook response:
      I will not be a pawn to Supervisor Desmond's bullshit. If he cared about our industry, he could've spoken up during budget hearings to make a fund to support the music industry while we're closed. As I recall, he did no such thing and raised no such concern. Instead, he's using us to fight against the severity of this virus, against mask wearing, and wants us to accept that more people are gonna die and get sick and just be cool with that. I 1000% will not be at nor support his Monday protest so please stop asking me to be on board and share. We can get back to live music and events when people start complying with the very simple asks of mask-wearing and social distancing and stop the spread of the virus and disease.
    • Of course, I watched the entire conference. These are my takeaways:
      • Watching all of the speakers. Common thread: Making up their own stats and data. Claiming the Governor is "picking favorites" and not using data to drive decisions. (Someone brought up the Governor's winery which is in a blind trust)
      • Comparing big box stores to indoor dining is a false comparison. Let's refresh: Successful Infection = Exposure to Virus x Time
      • Complaining that 'regulars' can't come in. A huge reason people aren't dining out IS BECAUSE WE'RE IN A FUCKING PANDEMIC. A strong contingent of people have no desire to eat in a restaurant at this time. And the ones who are, are completely disregarding safety measures like mixing households, drinking and eating for extended amounts of time unmasked, and are the causes of the outbreaks, of which a majority are in restaurants/bars. 
      • "Stunting the creativity of our chefs" is not a reason for reopening. 
      • I have absolute sympathy for everyone out of work. I am out of work, too. In my opinion, the majority of the speakers don't understand the data, are willfully ignoring the data, or haven't been paying attention to what has happened in our state and country since March (and rewinding to when we know things actually hit the US back in January.) The reality is still that The US represents approximately 24% of the total global COVID-19 incidence and 22% of the total global deaths, despite accounting for only 4% of the global population. (Johns Hopkins Center For Health Security, 8.26.2020)
      • Pleas for guidance for weddings, events, outdoor festivals argue that swapmeets and farmers markets are routinely crowded, basically making them events. This is true. Those things should be shut down when they're in capacity violations and lack appropriate crowd control. But the reality is that a wedding, or a concert, or a street fair encourage much more personal interaction (not to mention usually a lot of eating and drinking involved), whereas when I'm at the Zoo or Home Depot or Target, I'm barely interacting, if at all, with anyone outside of my group. This is not generally the case in restaurants, at a wedding, or in a bar.
      • If you can't see the dangers of INDOOR gyms with multiple people exhaling droplets and aerosolized droplets, at this point you're willfully ignoring science.
      • "We still realize there is a pandemic out there" Desmond....the same fuckface who is spreading lies about "pure" deaths
      • As soon as the conference ended, Desmond went around SHAKING HANDS with the supporters. 
      • If this demonstration was about financial relief, I'm 1000% on board. But over and over, speakers expressed "arbitrary" rules for reopening and while I can respect the perspective of places like Cowboy Star who installed barriers, replaced their air filtration, and took expensive measures to reopen, however since the beginning, there should've never been an expectation to reopen at full capacity until the virus is under control, until we have advanced therapeutics, or a widely available vaccine. 
      • Many businesses took minimum safety actions and even if one feels safe in the environment, we cannot control the actions and behaviors of other patrons and trust they're doing the right thing. So yes, maybe the current guidelines are punitive, but the State tried self-policed compliance and our cases and deaths exploded.   
      • None of this is unique to San Diego or California. 
  • Other News/Reading:
    • Today is the final day for the California State Legislature to meet and pass bills before their session ends. Expect many new bills to hit the Governor's desk tonight. "Last day for each house to pass bills, except bills that take effect Immediately or bills in Extraordinary Session (Art. IV, Sec. 10(c)), (J.R. 61(b)(18)). Final recess begins upon adjournment (J.R. 51(b)(3))." 
    • California Senate Votes to Require Review of All Police Shootings of Unarmed People: The Senate OK'd the bill despite opposition from Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who has called a previous version of the bill “untenable and unreasonable” because it would cost his office up to $80 million a year. - NBC San Diego (8.30.2020)
    • Biden Charges That Trump ‘Can’t Stop the Violence Because for Years He’s Fomented It’: As President Trump unleashed tweets that seemed to support confrontation, Joe Biden gave a speech in Pittsburgh asking: “Does anyone believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is re-elected?” - New York Times (8.31.2020)
    • For the record, I support AB5 (with modifications for musicians, journalists, translators), and as an Uber driver, Darren would not have received pandemic unemployment which was urged by AB5 supporters and legislators. I strongly opposed AB 22 up for vote in November. Darren was a taxi driver for 20 years before he had to surrender to rideshare and has made less money annually because of their shady practices and business models. You should ask yourself why these apps have spent $111million lobbying and blitzing social media to support their positions. I found this to be a good primer: 'A totally different ballgame': Inside Uber and Lyft's fight over gig worker status: Labor activists are targeted in a social media campaign as gig economy companies spend millions to prevent workers from becoming employees. -CNET (8.28.2020)
    • Several news outlets and tweets had reported that the new California state guidances and guidelines came as a surprise, out of nowhere, all of the sudden. Here are just a few of the times from just last week when the governor discussed changes would be coming. (All transcripts from He has said from the beginning that businesses should be adhering to guidances, preparing their safety plans, ready for anything as the pandemic situation changes rapidly.  
      • (Media Briefing 8.24.2020)
        Tarryn Mento:...I wanted to ask about the guidance for reopening. That’s something a lot of people are looking for. And you said that there would be public health officers reviewing some suggestions over the weekend and wondering when we’ll see the final product.
        Gov. Gavin Newsom:You’ll see them this week. Real progress was made over the weekend. We had some good dialogue. We’re making some adjustments based upon the feedback we received on Saturday, Sunday. We had a meeting this morning on those guidelines and we will be working with others, not only in industry, but outside our local health officers and our state health authorities to socialize these guidelines and we look forward to having them out this week.
      • Adam Beam: soon will you allow for the reopening of the businesses you closed or restricted last month, as well as allowing inside religious services?
        Gov. Gavin Newsom: So the guidelines that I was just referencing in the last question will be out later this week and that answers the latter part of your question specifically.
      • (Media Briefing 8.26.2020) We have the ability to make decisions in real time that will advance our efforts to reopen our schools for in-person education, reopen our businesses in a more effective and efficient manner, in a more sustainable manner. And by the way, we’ll be putting out those guidelines Friday.
      • I’ll remind you, as we close on Friday, we’ll be putting out the new sectoral guidelines, our new framework based upon experiences, best practices, and expressed concerns and input that we’ve received over the course of the last many weeks and months, particularly over the last many days as we’re working with local health officials on augmenting and addressing their concerns, augmenting those guidelines based upon those concerns addressed or insight that they’re providing. And so Friday, expect that list.

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