The U.S. Economy, the Omicron Variant and Moving Forward

January 28, 2022 by Source

By Peter Bohmer

This is an edited version of Peter’s talk at Economics for Everyone Forum, January 12th, 2022, at Evergreen State College.

We live in a critical juncture of a deadly pandemic that intensifies as the Omicron variant surges. I will focus on the U.S. economy with a focus on labor. Also, the causes and implications of the growth in prices, i.e., inflation, for different social classes. I will analyze the Omicron variant and what it means for future employment, inflation and the availability of goods and basic services. I will briefly examine, Biden’s Build Back Better proposed legislation and conclude with suggestions on how we can organize for economic justice.

The U.S. Economy

If we measured how the economy is doing by the two most common measures, the unemployment rate and GDP or GDP growth, the economy is doing well over the second half of 2020 and 2021.

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A Short Writer’s Rant: ‘Where Are the Masks? And Where Is Everybody?’

January 19, 2022 by Source

By Paul Krueger

I recently spent a week in San Francisco, where every restaurant, coffee shop and bakery politely requested proof of my vaccinations before showing me to a table or preparing my take-out order. Some employees even politely asked for my ID, to make sure the names matched.

Everywhere I went, everyone was masked, and took pains to socially distance.

Back here in San Diego, not a single dining establishment has asked for my vaccine card. I see too many people inside stores without masks.

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Biden’s Reboot: ‘But, Wait for It.’

January 19, 2022 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

President Biden’s first year anniversary numbers look bleak.

According to the Morning Consult-Politico poll, 68 percent of respondents said that the country is going down the wrong path, while only 32 percent said the U.S. is heading in the right direction.

Once holding positive approval ratings in the 60 percent range, this collapse is significant. Chief among the concerns are inflation (seen at the gas pump daily); and COVID (seen in the news and neighborhoods daily) and still climbing.

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Study Finds Cannabis Compounds Prevent Infection By Covid-19 Virus

January 12, 2022 by Source

A Public Service Announcement

By A.J. Herrington / Forbes / Jan.11, 2022

Compounds in cannabis can prevent infection from the virus that causes Covid-19 by blocking its entry into cells, according to a study published this week by researchers affiliated with Oregon State University. A report on the research, “Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants,” was published online on Monday by the Journal of Natural Products.

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San Diego County Residents Cannot Find COVID Test Kits

January 4, 2022 by Source

By Anonymous Blogger

I can relate to the following article by Erik Anderson at KPBS. Within the last week or so, two of my roommates have come down with COVID. Another roommate was sent home from work because of the positives in the house.

That roommate did not have COVID symptoms but in order to get back to work, they had to test negative. Other roommates also wanted to be tested just to be on the safe side.

But, lo and behold, nobody could find those at-home COVID test kits. Several pharmacies were tried. Nothing.

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Where Are Nathan Fletcher and Todd Gloria Now That San Diego’s Pandemic Triggers Are In the Red

January 3, 2022 by Staff

We have an avid reader who raises a good point:

I’m probably missing the obvious, but I can’t figure our why Nathan Fletcher, who jump-started his tenure on the board of supervisors by literally stealing the spotlight every day with his COVID pronouncements, is now no where to be found on the issue.

His publicist won’t even respond to a request for any sort of comment, from the UT.

I’m sure other San Diegans have noticed him MIA, and would also appreciate any insight into his disappearance, as well as this new-found silence by other board members, the county health department, Mayor Todd Gloria, etc.

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Latest COVID Charts for San Diego County – Dec.28, 2021

December 30, 2021 by Source

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COVID Cases Rising in Inland Empire and Central Valley; Concerns for San Diego

November 9, 2021 by Staff

My weather app on my phone has been displaying daily totals of new COVID cases and deaths. Yesterday, the number of cases was 9,000 something. Today, it was 18,000 something.

In today’s LA Times, it’s reported that “COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen significantly in the Inland Empire and Central Valley,” and has raised the specter of a wider spike in California as the winter holidays approach.

Throughout California cases and hospitalizations hit a plateau after months of decline. In areas “with lower vaccination rates, such as Riverside, San Bernardino and Fresno counties, conditions are deteriorating, with hospitalizations up by more than 20% in recent weeks.

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‘A Spit in Time Saves Mine’

October 18, 2021 by Judi Curry

The Widow Laments Unhealthy Habit by Ball Players

By Judi Curry

I am a native Californian. More specifically, I am a native “Angelean” – born and raised in Los Angeles. As long as I can remember – granted, that is a long, long time ago – I have always been a Los Angeles Dodger fan. I remember in 1957, when the then “Brooklyn Dodgers” were allowed to move to Los Angeles, and the New York Giants were allowed to move to San Francisco how excited I was about the move.

As a native, I always went to the Los Angeles Rams football games; the Los Angeles Lakers basketball games. Even though I was living in San Diego when the Rams moved to St. Louis, I always rooted for them – unless they were playing the San Diego Chargers. But this is not about the feeling of traitor-ship I felt when both football teams moved out of my city – and yes, I know the Rams are back – but….

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Stand With San Diego Kaiser Healthcare Workers

October 14, 2021 by Source

By Todd Walters and Grant Tom / Times of San Diego

The essential frontline healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente deserve more from their company. These unionized workers have given their all during the pandemic to provide the best care possible to their patients. Yet Kaiser Permanente has taken an inflexible and shameful position towards their employees.

Over the last few months, labor organizations that are part of the Alliance of Health Care Unions have been negotiating new national and local agreements with Kaiser to no avail. UFCW Local 135 is part of the alliance, as well as United Nurses Association of California/Union of Health Care Professionals, United Steelworkers, and others.

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Health Advisory Issued to Swimmers and Surfers Following Rains

October 5, 2021 by Staff

The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health and Quality Tuesday issued a general rain advisory to avoid water contact at all coastal beaches and bays due to recent rainfall.

Swimmers, surfers and other water users are warned that rain brings urban runoff, which can cause bacteria levels to rise significantly in ocean and bay waters, especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers and lagoon outlets.

Urban runoff may contain large amounts of bacteria from a variety of sources such as animal waste, soil and decomposing vegetation.

Bacteria levels can remain elevated after a rainstorm depending upon the intensity of the storm, volume of runoff and ocean conditions. Many coastal storm drains have permanent warning signs, but additional warning signs are not posted for general rain advisories.

Water contact such as swimming, surfing and diving should be avoided during rain and for 72 hours following the rain event.

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Radioactive Baby Teeth, JFK and Kids With Cancer

October 4, 2021 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to bring about a nuclear free world.

The fear of nuclear annihilation after WWII spread around the world along with radioactive fallout from nuclear bomb tests. Scientists began to document the presence of this radioactivity in humans.

One particular radioactive chemical, Strontium 90 (Sr- 90), received particular attention. As with other fallout, it does not exist in nature. Like its non- radioactive cousin calcium, if it enters our bodies, it concentrates in our bones and teeth, and can emit radiation there for about 200 years, potentially causing cancer and other dread diseases.

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I Was Euphoric in June. Look Where We Are Now.

September 8, 2021 by Source

By Luke Winkie / New York Times / September 3, 2021

My girlfriend and I wasted no time this spring. As soon as the Moderna vaccination fever left our bodies in May, we gleefully quadruple-booked every empty weekend left on the calendar. The itinerary swelled beyond precedent. Weddings, birthdays, family reunions and no-occasion rooftop hangs gridlocked into one another, evoking a logistical crisis every evening.

I chilled in the cheap seats at Citi Field, sucked in the stale air at the Alamo Drafthouse and drove to both northern and southern Vermont in the span of three weeks. The world was in bloom, and both of us were desperate to witness it firsthand. In retrospect, maybe we should’ve been more aware of the precarity. Only fools underestimate Covid

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Scripps Health Sees Record COVID-19 Daily Deaths in San Diego – Nearly All Unvaccinated

September 8, 2021 by Source

Public Service Report

By Matt Hoffman / KPBS / Tuesday, September 7, 2021

One of the region’s largest health care providers is reporting a single-day COVID-19 death record, nearly all among people who were unvaccinated.

“From last Thursday until (Tuesday) morning we’ve had 21 deaths — the highest was on Saturday with 6 deaths,” said Scripps Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ghazala Sharieff. “That is just, I can’t even describe what that feels like knowing that these are all preventable deaths. 92% of our patients are unvaccinated and we didn’t have to be here again.”

From Aug. 1 to Sept 7, there were 70 COVID-19 deaths at Scripps and 67 were those unvaccinated.

As of Tuesday, the hospital system is seeing 162 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, with 51 in the intensive care unit (ICU), Sharieff said.

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Neil Young: Concerts Are Super Spreader Events Held by Promoters More Concerned With Profits Than Safety

August 30, 2021 by Source

Neil Young pulled out of Farm Aid earlier in August due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In an August 23 op-ed, Young elaborated on his concerns which accused large concert promoters of valuing profits over safety.

Here is Neil Young’s op-ed:

By Neil Young

Recently I pulled out of Farm Aid for fear that unprotected children may become infected with Covid by folks who went to the show, caught the virus, had no symptoms and returned home to hug their kids or someone else’s kids. I felt that we didn’t know what we were up against and we were endangering others, unprotected innocent children in particular. I know of tours that are out there and have to stop where they are and isolate in motels because one person among them tested positive. I ask myself, why are they out there?

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1,327 New COVID Cases, 8 Deaths Reported in San Diego County; Officials Encourage Indoor Mask Wearing

August 26, 2021 by Source

Public Service Information

by Elizabeth Ireland / Times of San Diego / August 26, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 1,327 new infections Wednesday and logged 8 coronavirus-related deaths, increasing the cumulative totals to 327,166 cases and 3,859 fatalities.

San Diego County’s case rate per 100,000 residents is 35.2 overall, 9.3 for fully vaccinated people and 66.9 for not fully vaccinated San Diegans.

A total of 16,915 tests were reported Wednesday, and the percentage of new positive cases was 7.8%. The 14-day rolling percentage of positive cases among tests is 7.3%.

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Vaccinations Are All About ‘One for all, and All for One’

August 18, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

So, only 60% of us Americans are vaccinated to protect ourselves and everybody else from the ravages of Covid-19?

That’s a sad scene.

Know what I mean?

That’s telling a killer virus to just do its thing.

And Covid, bound by rules set down by Mother Nature (remember her?) has no choice but to run free – which it is doing incredibly, spreading like a wind fueled prairie brush fire, giving into Mother Nature’s propensity, every now and then, for thinning human populations.

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Anti-Vaxxer OBcean Goes Off the Rails at County Board of Supes Meeting

August 18, 2021 by Staff

An OBcean went off the rails on Tuesday at a San Diego County Board of Supervisors meeting, as a group of anti-vaxxers criticized the Board for their vaccine mandates during public comment. Here’s a brief Daily Beast report.

By Blake Montgomery / Daily Beast / August 17, 2021

A San Diego County Board of Supervisors meeting descended into chaos Tuesday, August 17 as anti-vaccine activists gathered to make their opinions on vaccine mandates known.

According to local conservative outlet KUSI, several groups—ReOpen San Diego, Let Them Breathe, and San Diego Rise Up — gathered outside to protest and inside to give speeches demanding that the board bar employers and businesses from requiring proof of vaccination for employment or services. An OBcean named Matt Baker

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Deja Vu: San Diego County Asks Everyone to Mask Up Inside Public Spaces

July 28, 2021 by Source

Public Service Announcement

BY Jonathan Wosen / San Diego Union-Tribune / July 28, 2021

San Diego County officials asked everyone — fully vaccinated or not — to wear masks in indoor public spaces to slow the spread of the coronavirus, echoing a plea issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier Tuesday.

Unlike Los Angeles County, local officials aren’t mandating indoor masking, simply recommending it. But the new announcement still marks a shift from the county’s message over the past few weeks, during which it has encouraged San Diegans to get vaccinated while asserting that wearing facial coverings is a personal choice.

The news comes hours after the CDC reversed guidance it issued in May,

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San Diego County Spike in COVID-19 Cases Highest Since Early February

July 26, 2021 by Source

From KPBS – City News Service / July 23, 2021

San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency is seeing a significant spike in new COVID-19 cases, with 1,264 new cases reported Friday, the highest number since Feb. 5.

The increase in cases is not a single-day phenomenon, but part of a larger trend in recent weeks. In the 30 days between June 21 and July 20, 6,572 San Diegans tested positive for COVID-19. Of that group, 11% were fully vaccinated, while 89% were not. “We are facing a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” said San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher.

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COVID Cases On the Rise in San Diego County – What the Hell?

July 15, 2021 by Staff

In the U.S., with one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, newly confirmed infections per day have doubled over the past two weeks to an average of about 24,000, though deaths are still on a downward trajectory at around 260 a day.

As COVID-19 cases slowly rise in San Diego County – including an increase in Delta variant cases – new research is looking into why San Diegans still are not getting vaccinated.

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A Tragedy of Sight Averted – Hopefully

June 23, 2021 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

Seldom do I actually speak about myself. I have never liked to be the center of attention and even though I may write about my opinions, my personal experiences are kept at bay when possible. Having Covid in January changed some of that and the continuing saga is still in the forefront of a lot of my thoughts and experiences.

When I am asked how my recovery has gone I tell people I am about 95% recovered. The extreme fatigue is still there; the muscle tone in my legs is noticeably worse; but I still am able to get around with a minimum amount of difficulty. Except that the diagnosis I received from my Ophthalmologist last week scared the hell out of me.

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UC San Diego Study of Cannabis to Treat Migraines Looking for Volunteers

June 8, 2021 by Source

By Michelle Brubaker / UC San Diego Health / May 19, 2021

Alison Knigge was in elementary school when she started to experience migraines. They continued to get progressively worse as time went on, especially after the birth of her son.

“I would describe my migraines as a piercing pain. It feels like my brain is being squeezed. It causes extreme sensitivity to light and sound and horrible nausea,” said Knigge.

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5 Facts About Pesticides in Foods

May 11, 2021 by Source

Are They a Cause for Concern?

By Miguel Leyva

When shopping for produce, you might know that it sometimes comes with potentially harmful pesticide levels. Even organic food, grown without chemical additions, suffers from pesticide overexposure.

What you eat today may have been sprayed with pesticides. Pesticides are used on crops to control insects, weeds, and other pests that could harm the growth of plants. In addition to agricultural use, some pesticides can be found in homes and gardens for insect control.

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A Scare of Scares

April 27, 2021 by Ernie McCray

By Ernest McCray

Carlos, my youngest
and now only son,
has Covid-19.
But he’s got the battle won
it seems.

Yet, when the news reached me,
as quick as
a flash
of lightening
streaking across
the sky,
ghostly like images of
Debbie and Guy,
two children of mine
who have lived and died,
floated before my eyes
and I became weak.

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Are We About to Have a Fourth COVID Surge as Some States and European Countries Have Spikes?

March 30, 2021 by Staff

Yesterday, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) pleaded with Americans to not give up on using the measures we’re employed this last year to staunch the spread of COVID-19, and warned of a the possible coming of a Fourth Surge.

In an emotional address to the country, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, issued a dire warning of a sense of “impending doom” as coronavirus infections and hospitalizations tick up. Walensky said there are “continuing concerning trends” in the nation’s response to the pandemic, as the numbers of infections, hospitalizations and deaths are all rising.

The trajectory of the pandemic in the United States, she said, is following European countries like Germany, Italy and France, which have experienced a “consistent and worrying spike in cases.”

In her televised address, Walensky became emotional, and said:

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OB Walkabout: The Plague Year – One Year Ago

March 25, 2021 by Staff

by Joaquin Antique

In years past, the OB Rag‘s Walkabout series has tried to provide humorous and enlightening photo essays that capture the beauty and weirdness of Ocean Beach. On occasion it’s even been successful.

During the past week this reporter has walked the mean streets of Ocean Beach in search of elusive necessities such as hand sanitizer, rice, and prescription meds. In the process, a few photos have been taken that show some of our town’s varied responses to this horrible situation that has impacted every aspect of life in our community.

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San Diego County Back in the Red and Schools Are Back in the Green

March 17, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, San Diego County is back in the Red, tier that is! And San Diego area schools have been given the green light to reopen.

Dr. Wilma Wooten on Tuesday announced that San Diego County has attained a case rate low enough to rejoin the red tier Wednesday, March 17.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune:

In a biweekly COVID-19 update to the Board of Supervisors, the county’s public health officer foreshadowed the contents of the state’s weekly tier report, listing the score at 6.8 cases per 100,000 residents.

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SeaWorld Fireworks! Here We Go Again – But Why?

March 16, 2021 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

When you think of SeaWorld what do you think of? Shamu? Orcas? Dolphins? Seals? Sharks? Fish? What was the reason that Sea World started in the first place?

Let me give you some history:

“SeaWorld® opened its gates for the first time in 1964, founded by George Millay, Milt Shedd, Ken Norris and David DeMott. Originally planned as an underwater restaurant, the concept grew into a marine zoological park on 21 acres along the shore of Mission Bay in San Diego. With an initial investment of $1.5 million, 45 employees, several dolphins, sea lions, and two saltwater aquariums, SeaWorld drew more than 400,000 visitors its first year.

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New COVID Strains Show Need for Bold Strategies in Addressing Public Health in America

March 8, 2021 by Source

By Roberto “Rob” Camacho

In the unprecedented global crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States has been forced to take a hard look in the mirror and acknowledge societal ills and inequities which unattended have festered for decades.

Over the past twelve months COVID presented a chance to reimagine things such as housing, education, wage increases, access to technology, healthcare, and more. However, due to the actions of the economic elite, and a stubbornly complicit legislature, the lives of everyday people have been crushed to ensure that even in the midst of a deadly pandemic, the status quo has remained the same at all costs. Including the lives of more than half a million people in the U.S. who have died of COVID over the past twelve months.

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