Monday, February 01, 2021

CoViD-19 Mistaking 'Open' for 'Safe' | Missing 'Weak Ties' | Late Night Twitter Wars | Twisting Words | COVID Is Still Deadly | Mayor Gloria Hosts Vaccine Town Hall (VIDEO) |

My Trees Have Now Been Slaughtered (Taken 12.9.2020)

Darren and I were totally gonna rage last night and of course, we both zonked out. Unfortunately it meant I napped at night and ended up waking up and watching Friendsgiving on Netflix which was pretty funny. I ended up going to bed but just endlessly scrolling through my phone and discovering late night Twitter. I got caught up with university and government epidemiologists fighting over school openings, Biden diehards joining with trolls lighting up a hashtag of #BlueMAGA, the idea that basically Biden is the same as T***p and lied about $2,000 checks, and people outraged over Governor Cuomo and Governor Newsom. I have a lot to say about all of those things, but I'll throw them after the jump and just keep it simple here. 
I ended up staying up all night, finally falling asleep around 8am, which I guess was ideal because then the developers came and cut down our trees. Darren made sure to vacuum, run my fan and air conditioner, and generally make noise so I wouldn't hear them and go chain myself to the trees or shoot arrows at them. By afternoon, Darren got Nova from her sleepover and it's been a pretty normal Monday. News is still bonkers, but what can we do? It will be this way for some time. I may skip tomorrow's media briefings because we have our San Diego Zoo reservation, but we'll see. Stay safe out there. 

I said I have a lot to say about the twitter wars, but actually I'll keep it as short as I can. 

On school openings, as I said the other day, everyone wants children in schools. Everyone also wishes we weren't in the middle of a pandemic, that we had done better and known more faster than we did. Everyone wishes that US "experts" weren't politically influenced and would've been straight with us (see: knowing that the virus passes via aerosols as far back in February but not mentioning that until late summer, knowing that masks work in helping with the spread, knowing that asymptomatic spread was possible, even if not yet proven.) I don't need to rehash all the pro and cons, the studies saying transmission in kids is low or high or on the rise or whatever, but we have very specific metrics that need to be met before we're sending our tween back to school, which includes lower community transmission, lower teacher to student ratios inside classrooms, HEPA ventilation, compliance of distancing and correct mask wearing, allowance for adequate time for students to use bathrooms (many of these girls will be dealing with their periods for the first time), and proper sanitization/hand washing after using facilities. We're pretty sure this kid is not going back to school until the fall.   

That kinda overlapped with Governor Cuomo. People are outraged (though hard to say where the trolls come from) about his media briefing on Friday. I watched the whole thing on Friday. I was moved by it. You can watch it here or read the transcript here. Basically there was an audit that people from nursing homes who were taken to hospitals and died there were counted as hospital deaths, not nursing home deaths. This means a lot of people labeled as hospital deaths could/should be considered nursing home deaths statistically, but for data purposes, where you die was counted so there was no double counting or under counting of actual deaths. People seized upon him saying, "Who cares where they died?" while making the larger point that EVERY SINGLE DEATH has been tragic. But it spun so far out of control that a few users were pushing for a recall or impeachment. I don't love the guy, but I do believe he and Newsom have been fighting hard for their states who were intentionally sabotaged by the last administration. 

I'm not even gonna bother with the $2,000 vs $1,400 in addition to the prior $600 check thing with Biden. Anyone who can compare this man to that man is insane, willfully ignorant, or just intentionally miserable. I consider myself progressive and very liberal, and I know this administration isn't going to do everything I want or hope it to, but I also know that day 1 we were living in a better country for having him in and the other, out. 

I think I'll steer clear of late night Twitter for awhile. It is a dangerous and wily place. And as for this California recall, I hope it doesn't make the ballot, but if it does, as I said on Twitter "Republicans in California use recalls because they know that they have no chance of winning an actual election. The former mayor of San Diego is a total piece of shit and would stand no chance in an *actual* election, even with the billionaires trying to buy the election for him."  

  • COVID-19:
  • Politics:
  • Other Reading:
    • The Pandemic Has Erased Entire Categories of Friendship There’s a reason you miss the people you didn’t even know that well. - The Atlantic (1.27.2021)

      It was a little funny to come across this article last night after what I'd written about losing family over pandemic disagreements. It got me further thinking Mr Rogers style, "who are the people in your neighborhood?" and so it was funny to find this article.
      I miss the Casbah, all my coworkers and all the people I see regularly and the strangers who appear once in awhile, or nights when I'm selling merch for bands.

      I miss going to The Office and hanging out with Julie, or going to Ken Club and chatting with Devlin, or being able to freely hang with Tim F, Jeff, Jakey and so many others.

      I miss eating at restaurants like Riki Sushi, where all the staff knew Nova's special order, but not a chance I'm eating raw food from anyone at this point in time.

      I miss going to La Jolla Cove to hang with my sea lions and the seals at Casa Beach but I can't trust tourists to follow the most basic of rules, especially because we couldn't even trust them in the before times to give adequate space clearance for the pinnipeds.

      Funny enough, I even miss chatting with random Uber drivers on the way home from the Casbah.

      I'm a shitty friend, super self-involved, and I just don't reach out enough to the people I love and friends I even like just a little. If we're not friends on socials, then I certainly have no idea what you're going through. 

      But this article kinda gave me hope in the way that high school reunions work; you may not be in touch but hopefully we can all just pick up where we left off, even if it is with the scars of this pandemic- the isolation, the loneliness, the distance, the change in behaviors that are sure to come.

      If anyone is even reading this...I love you. I can't wait to see you in whatever the world looks like when this is all over. 
    • A 2nd grader at a Christian school was expelled for telling another girl she had a crush on her, mother says - CNN (1.29.2021)
    • Lives changed by gun violence: Gun violence survivors share their stories in their own words - Everytown For Gun Safety (National Gun Violence Survivors Week 2021 February 1-7)
    • Year in Hate and Extremism 2020 Edition - Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Media Briefing with Jen Psaki:
    • President communicated with NWS, FEMA, Governors about Nor'easter
    • President meeting with Republicans seeking to shrink recovery package
      • IMF, Moody's, other economists project current package will accelerate economy, jobs, is the correct path forward
    • Congress of Mayors (over 400) sent a letter urging approval
    • President working to release Hurricane Maria relief funds (from ages ago)
    • White House fence is not permanent but won't come down until safety threat has diminished 
    • FEMA is working with states, including asking states for National Guard
    • Media Questions:
      • Meeting with Republicans not a forum to make or accept an offer. Risk isn't that the package is too big, but that it is too small. 
      • More important to go big or bipartisan? He think they can do both, but if can't that it can get done through reconciliation.
      • They put their ideas forward and opportunity to discuss, but president maintains that the size of the package has to be commensurate with the size of the dual crises of the pandemic and the economy 
      • Gamestop is under jurisdiction of SEC. Congressional intervention is encouraged on policy issues. 
      • CBO saying economy will be back to pre-pandemic levels by summer without intervention, but this answers a different set of issues; doesn't address getting shots in arms, getting food on the table, helping pople who can't pay rent and are at risk of eviction
      • Vaccine data collection isn't currently adequate with race/ethnicity data, Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, COVID-19 Equity Task Force Chair will be out front in the next few days addressing this very issue
      • Reconciliation will move forward with Schumer and Pelosi. "Winners make policy, losers go home" Mitch McConnell, 2017
      • Intelligence briefings to Trump are being discussed but nothing to report.
      • Domestic Terrorists/White Supremacists review is ongoing. Will be more to share. 
      • Immigration Executive Actions on Immigration expected on Tuesday after expected confirmation of Mayorkas.
  • Global COVID-19 Stats (JHU 2/1/2021 10:22pm):
    • 103,418,646 Known Cases
    • 2,238,286 Known Deaths
  • US COVID-19 Stats 
    • (JHU)
      • 26,317,623 Cases
      • 443,355 Deaths
    • (COVID Tracking Project):
      • 119,747 New Cases/25,937,115 Known Cases (4%+ Change over 7 Days)
      • 1,562 New Deaths/433,751 Known Deaths
      • 93,536 Current COVID-19 Hospitalizations
      • 18,572 Currently COVID-19 patients in ICU
      • 6,086 COVID-19 patients currently on ventilator
  • California COVID-19 Stats:
    • State of California Safe Schools For All Hub
    • Vaccination progress dashboard
    • Aggregate California ICU Bed Availability: 0.0%
    • R-effective: 0.78
    • 15,358 New Cases/3,258,706 Total Cases (0.5% increase)
    • 211 New Deaths/40,908 Total Deaths (0.5% increase)
    • 7.3% 14-day test positivity rate
    • 15,212 COVID-19 Hospitalizations (-464 patients, -3.1% from prior day)
    • 3,949 COVID-19 ICU hospitalized in CA (-98 patients, -2.5% from prior day)
    • 1,290 ICU beds available (+92 from prior day)
  • San Diego County 
    • Free Testing Sites and Schedule in San Diego
    • VaccinationSuperstationSD
    • Vaccination Dashboard
    • COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics Coming to La Mesa (Superstation), San Ysidro
    • State Data:
      • Southern California ICU Bed Availability: 0%
      • R-effective: 0.81
      • 1,274 New Cases/238,039 Total Cases
      • 0 Deaths/2,603 Total Deaths
      • 67.7 cases/100k population (Assessed on 1/26. Unadjusted Case Rate)
      • 12.6% Test Positivity (Assessed on 1/26)
      • 16.7% Health Equity Positivity (Assessed on 1/26)
      • 1,347 COVID-19 hospitalized patients (-5 patients, -0.4% from prior day)
      • 387 COVID-19 ICU hospitalized patients (+10 patients, +2.7% from prior day)
      • 161 ICU beds available (-1 from prior day)
    • County Data:
      • San Diego County Update - County News Center 
      • 1,082 New Cases/239,124 Total Cases 
      • 0 New Daily Deaths/2,619 Total Deaths
      • 497,600 Doses Shipped/322,572 Doses Administered
      • 10% Daily Test Positivity/10.4% (7-day avg after 7-day lag)/8.0% Test Positivity (14-day average)
      • 49.6 cases/100k population (Assessed on 1/26. Adjusted case rate per 100,000 excluding prisons.) 
      • 91% Case Investigation
      • -3.6% Day Over Day COVID-19 Hospitalizations (1,271 patients. 15% decrease over 30 days)
      • 19% ICU Capacity (385 patients. 4% increase over 30 days)
      • 37 Staffed ICU Beds Available 
      • 11 New/57 Community Outbreaks (7-day)
        • Business 24
        • Retail 2
        • Faith-based Setting 2
        • Government 5
        • Daycare/preschool 7
        • Healthcare 4
        • Construction 1
        • Food/Bev Processing 4
        • tk-12 school 5
        • Warehouse/Distribution 2
        • Comm-Based Org 1
Todd Gloria held a town hall on vaccines. I haven't watched but will save this one for later.

What Governor Cuomo ACTUALLY said:

If you look at New York State, we have a lower percentage of deaths in nursing homes than other states. A third of all deaths in this nation are from nursing homes. New York State, we’re only about 28%, only, but we’re below the national average in number of deaths in nursing homes, but who cares? 33, 28 died in a hospital, died in a nursing home, they died. And I dealt with the loss of my father. The pain is so incredible and inexplicable and why and why and why? It’s a tragedy, it’s a tragedy. And I understand maybe the instinct to blame or to find some relief for the pain that you’re feeling, but it is a tragedy and it’s a tragedy that continues today. I believe everybody did the best they could. I believe the federal government, CDC, I believe they gave the best guidance they could. I believe they give the best guidance they can today. I believe the state Department of Health, they gave their best guidance and made the best decisions on the facts they had.

But it doesn’t mean people didn’t die and it doesn’t mean people won’t die today and people won’t die tomorrow, and it doesn’t mean that I’m not going to get up here tomorrow or Monday and read a death number on that screen, and think about the 100 people who died and then the hundreds of family members who are home crying that day, and that’s going to continue. That is the curse of COVID. Can you protect old people with comorbidities from COVID totally? No, no. If we could, it would be over. If it wasn’t over last year, it would have been over by now, right? It’s still not over. So I understand the pain. I understand the search for answers, but it was a tragedy and I feel the anguish and I feel the pain and I get the anger. My father died. I wish I had someone to blame. It would make me feel better maybe, but they’re in my thoughts and prayers. I believe, why COVID, why did God do this? I don’t know. I don’t know, but it was cruel and it was terrible and it still is. And luckily, I’m blessed with faith and that helped me at times of pain, but my heart goes out to each and every one and I feel it personally, and everybody should know, and when I do the death numbers on Monday, it’s not because everyone didn’t do everything they could to prevent it.

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