Health

Reopening Schools and Debunking Demagoguery

June 23, 2020 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / June 21, 2020

Education professionals throughout America are feverishly engaged in preparing for the first school year in the unprecedented Sars-Cov-2 era. Simultaneously, demagogues are pushing an often uninformed agenda.

For example, congressmen Jim Banks of Indiana and Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin have introduced legislation to force all schools to open with in-person classes by September or else lose federal funding.

At the same time McKinsey and Company, the 74 and other school privatization friendly groups are loudly proclaiming that an education gap disaster will devastate Black and Brown children if we do not reopen brick and mortar schools immediately.

Education Leaders are Getting Ready for Fall

Across California and the whole of the US, parents, students, teachers and administrators are involved in intense school reopening discussions with less than two months to go in some cases. County Health Departments in both Los Angeles and San Diego have indicated that masks will be mandatory for all students and school personnel.

California’s second largest school district, San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD),

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2020 Election: It’s Not Biden vs. Trump, It’s COVID-19 vs. Trump

June 23, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

President Trump’s “Comeback Tulsa Rally” flopped. Over a million reserved tickets, but only 6,200 attended, which proves several alarming facts.

First, the nation’s much vaunted intelligence community and the President’ campaign “genius” were both AWOL.

Big question: Why didn’t anyone tell Trump?

His nominees head the CIA, the FBI, local and national Republican party apparatus. They remained silent? How about his “digitally superior” campaign team. They stayed mum? All too cowardly to inform the president that a disaster loomed? He shoots the messengers?

How in the world was the President of the United States allowed to get on a plane and fly to Tulsa without any knowledge that the overflow stage for a massive outdoor crowd was being torn down, due to no crowds, and that the arena itself was not even half-full?

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Young Adults Now Make Up Largest Number of COVID-19 Cases in California

June 19, 2020 by Source

By Artie Ojeda / 7SanDiego / June 17, 2020

Young adults between the ages of 18 through 34 now make up 44% of positive COVID-19 cases in California. The figure is up from 29% compared to one month ago. The age group represents the largest share of COVID-19 cases in the state.

The new data is provided by Bay Area epidemiologist George Lemp, who crunched numbers provided by the California Department of Public Health.

There is no definitive reason as to why there is a marked increase in positive cases in the age group. But it coincides with the reopening of many businesses, including bars and restaurants in the state. There’s also been an increase in the availability of testing.

“In general, younger people feel like they’re invincible. They move away from the mitigation strategies, the masking, and social distancing,” says Dr. William Tseng, MD, with Kaiser Permanente in San Diego.

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As San Diego County Reaches ‘Trigger’, Gov. Newsom Says ‘Put the Mask On’

June 19, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Just when many people thought it was safe to go back out … San Diego County reached the so-called “trigger” – or at least one of them – that could require public health officials to retract decisions that allowed a variety of businesses, parks and activities to reopen or restart.

County officials on Thursday reported that there are now eight community outbreaks that had occurred in the seven-day period from Thursday, June 11, through Wednesday, June 17. Sufficient to trip the trigger.

This was going on just as California Governor Newsom announced a statewide order requiring everyone to wear a mask in most indoor settings and outside when maintaining a physical distance from others is not feasible.

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Latinos Have Higher Rates of COVID-19 Because of ‘More Physical Affection’? Push-Back Against Dr. Wooten’s Claims

June 18, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

There’s been some push-back against San Diego County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten’s assertion about why Latinos have a higher rate of infection from the COVID-19 virus.

The head of the Chicano Federation of San Diego County, Nancy Maldonado, takes Wooten to task for her “simplistic explanation” of the impact of the virus on the Latino community.

On Wednesday at a press briefing, Wooten discussed the issues that could trigger county officials to reconsider the loosening up of the restrictions that have been in place due to the pandemic.

Wooten also reported that the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths have been disproportionately high in the Latino community. Wooten was not quoted directly but the SD Union-Tribune reporters put it this way:

Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten said there are multiple reasons why the virus is having a more severe impact on the Latino community, including the presence of more underlying medical conditions and a tendency to show more physical affection. (OBRag emphasis.)

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Public Health Official: San Diego County Close to Trigger that Could Force Modification to Loosening of Restrictions

June 18, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego County’s Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten at a Wednesday press briefing reported that three new community outbreaks now bring the total to six within one week. That is just one away from the number that could trigger the county to modify its loosening of restrictions that have occurred recently away from closures due to the pandemic.

If the trigger is reached, county health officials could reverse or halt the reopening of local businesses, parks, etc.

Of the six outbreaks, Wooten said, only two are in restaurants; one is a private residence and the others are in businesses of various types. So what is a “community outbreak”? It is defined as three or more confirmed cases from different households contracted in the same location. Outbreaks in nursing homes and other congregate living facilities are not applied to the trigger total.

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Congressional Committee Investigates Why San Diego VA Stopped Treatment that Helps Suicidal Vets

June 17, 2020 by Source

by Brad Racino / inewsource / June 17, 2020

Following an inewsource report that the VA San Diego Healthcare System has stopped paying for a drug treatment that helps suicidal veterans, a panel of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs has begun investigating the decision.

El Cajon veteran AJ Williams, featured this month in the inewsource investigation, was interviewed Monday by a staff member from the House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. A representative from San Diego Congressman Scott Peters’ office also participated.

Williams is one of several veterans pulled from ketamine treatments at a private clinic and ordered back to the VA to be treated with a controversial nasal spray President Donald Trump has touted as “incredible.”

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Latest COVID Charts for San Diego County – 9,000 Cases by Friday, June 12

June 12, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Here are some of the latest charts on the status of COVID-19 in San Diego County. By time many readers view the above chart, the total cases for the county will be over 9,000.

The number of people in San Diego County who have tested positive for novel coronavirus infection hit 8,998 Thursday, June 11, 161 more than were reported Wednesday, county officials said. Those additional positive tests were among 4,997 that the county received for a positive rate of 3 percent. The 14-day rolling average positive rate remained at 3.1 percent.

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George Floyd and 100,000 Are Dead But We All Can Soon Go Sit on the Beach

May 29, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

George Floyd, the Minneapolis African-American man who told police, “I can’t breathe” multiple times while former Officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on his neck for over 8 minutes before he died, has joined our country’s history, as the latest victim in a lynching of a Black man. But Floyd joins our history at a devastating moment.

It was announced this week that 100,000 Americans have now died due to COVID-19.

Chauvin, the former Minneapolis cop – who was caught on a passerby’s phone appearing to have a depraved disregard for Floyd’s life as it drained away before our eyes and the millions around the world who have now seen the video – has been arrested as of today for third-degree murder after parts of Minneapolis – including a police precinct station – burned last night.

The 100,000 Americans who have died in just 4 months,

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More Thoughts From My COVID-19 Diary

May 28, 2020 by Source

More COVID-19 Thoughts for These Past Weeks

By Steve Zivolich

The morbidly obese, with a heart condition, in my elder at risk group, liar in chief, wants us to take hydroxychloroquine, mmmmm well, think I will wait for the science.

Pretty cool, due to working at home, I don’t have to wear pants to work.

Just saw a hog farmer say she was distraught about having to euthanize her stock that she cannot sell. Well, what does she think happens when she sells it to the slaughter house? Pass the faken bacon.

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The Swedish Government Didn’t Enforce Social Distancing — and Now It’s Paying the Price

May 27, 2020 by Source

by Blake Fleetwood / Washington Monthly / May 26, 2020

In late March, when every other European country was in a lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Sweden remained the outlier. Instead of imposing strict shelter-in-place orders, officials decided that Swedes could be relied upon to follow sanitation guidelines themselves. Restaurants, shops, and recreational spots stayed open.

After all, Sweden has an excellent national health care system that ranks third in the world (the U.S. clocks in at a dismal 44). And with the Swedes’ low levels of obesity and diabetes, their generally good health and ample supply of hospital beds offer far better odds against COVID-19. But even with these advantages, many Swedes did not stay at home. Sweden’s experiment in waging a lax battle against COVID-19 cost the country dearly.

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UPDATED: Trump Plays Golf While Americans Die From His Incompetence

May 26, 2020 by Staff

By Peter Wade / Rolling Stone / May 25, 2020

While the U.S. pandemic death toll approaches 100,000, the president left the White House for one of his personal golf courses.

President Trump, who has faced mounting criticism for his administration’s mishandling of the coronavirus crisis and his lack of empathy throughout, decided to leave the White House on Saturday to play golf.

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More Charts to Worry and Think About – San Diego County COVID Cases and Deaths as of May 21

May 22, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Here’s more charts to worry and think about – some negative, at least one positive. They’re all from the San Diego Union-Tribune tracking program current as of May 20, and one from today’s issue, current as of May 21.

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Most Citations Issued by San Diego Police for Violations of COVID Orders Were in 92107 Zip Code Area

May 22, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The most citations that San Diego Police officers have issued for violations of the orders put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic were in the 92107 zip code area – which include Ocean Beach and Sunset Cliffs.

In an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune Friday, May 22, writer David Hernandez reported that San Diego police issued 157 citations between April 2 and May 6. And most of them – 55 – were issued in the 92107 area. In comparison, 35 were for the 92101 zip code area – downtown, and 9 for 92109, which includes Mission Bay and PB. Most citations were issued in April.

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Nearly Half of San Diego County COVID Deaths Linked to Nursing Home Type Facilities

May 21, 2020 by Source

Nursing Home Advocate Asks ‘Where are our elected leaders?’ – Not Enough Is Being Done

By Lemor Abrams / CBS8 / May 20, 2020

New numbers show about a half of San Diego County’s coronavirus deaths are linked to congregate living facilities, like nursing homes.

California advocates for nursing homes are urging the state to step up testing and enforcement of safety measures at those facilities.

“We have all these so called elected leaders. Where the hell are they?” said Patricia McGinnis, founder of California’s Advocates for Nursing Home Reform.
Three months into the pandemic, McGinnis is losing patience.

“Look enough is enough. Forty-percent of the people in nursing homes have died,” she said.

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Does This San Diego Curve Look Like It’s ‘Flattening’?

May 20, 2020 by Source

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CDC: San Diego County Deaths from COVID Higher than Number Reported

May 20, 2020 by Source

Experts are confident that the numbers of deaths from COVID-19 are higher than reported; death rate 10% higher than average

By Mari Payton, Dorian Hargrove, Tom Jones and Jay Yoo / 7SanDiego / May 19, 2020

Data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicates the death rate since COVID-19 arrived in San Diego County is far higher than in previous years. The data provides a hint that the deaths for COVID-19 are likely far higher than the 209 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in San Diego County. And while the numbers from the CDC do not reveal the cause of death,

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‘What a Difference a Week Makes During COVID’ in San Diego County: 962 New Cases, 35 More Deaths

May 15, 2020 by Staff

The above SDU-T chart is from today, Friday, May 15, 2020, with the data good through Thursday, May 14. Compared with last week’s chart published Friday, May 8, with data good through the 7th, we can see the increases in total deaths, total cases and new positive cases. With increased testing, the numbers are bound to go up. Yet, in one week in San Diego County, there were 962 new cases of COVID-19 and 35 additional deaths.

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Coronavirus Diary Thoughts – 9 weeks

May 13, 2020 by Source

Via Steve Zivolich

Has this been an elaborate plan by our dogs to get us to stay home with them more and take daily walks?

Strangest mothers day ever. Sent my wife an ecard; the third try went through and arrived one day late.

Thinking of contacting all the women who told me they would not touch me with 10 foot pole; and asking if the would consider modifying it to a 6 foot pole?

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Michigan Lawmaker Escorted to State Capitol by Armed Black Citizens

May 8, 2020 by Source

By Lois Beckett / The Guardian / May 7, 2020

A black lawmaker came to Michigan’s capitol with an escort of armed black citizens on Wednesday, days after white protesters with guns staged a volatile protest inside the state house, comparing the Democratic governor’s public health orders to “tyranny”.

The state representative Sarah Anthony, 36, said she wanted to highlight what she saw as the failure of the Michigan capitol police to provide legislators with adequate security during the protest, which saw demonstrators with rifles standing in the legislative chamber above lawmakers. “When traditional systems, whether it’s law enforcement or whatever, fail us, we also have the ability to take care of ourselves,” she told the Guardian. Anthony became the first African American woman elected to represent her district in Lansing, Michigan’s capital, in 2018.

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San Diego County COVID-19 Cases – the Numbers, the Graphs, the Zip Codes and Map

May 8, 2020 by Staff

Here are the most recent numbers, charts, graphs and map of San Diego County COVID-19 cases. They are the most recent updated figures published today, Friday, May 8, as of May 6 and May 7 from the San Diego Union-Tribune and the San Diego County.

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Calling on My Fellow Citizens to Help Us All Keep Safe

May 5, 2020 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

If I have expertise
in anything
it’s kicking back,
chilling,
being at ease.
Why not,
since stress,
can buckle your knees.
But now
after maintaining
my cool
for 82
revolutions
around the sun,
I’ve become kind of an edgy
son-of-a-gun

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The Virus of Sextortion

May 4, 2020 by Source

By Richard Riehl / The Riehl World / May 4, 2020

It’s Cocooning Day 50, with no Covid -19 cases so far, in our Château Lake San Marcos community. Karen and I wear facemasks when we leave our condo to take daily walks. We discovered how to fashion a mask by using two rubber bands to hook over our ears to hold a hospital sock over our nose and mouth. We tried everyday socks, but discovered their thickness hindered our breathing. The thinner hospital sock souvenirs, if less fashionable, are more comfortable.

Thanks to Netflix, Prime Video, our “Social Distance Singers” YouTube production, and ongoing writing projects, we’ve been able to fend off the boredom of social isolation.

An unexpected benefit in our daily lives has been the unusual absence of scam telephone calls. But that hasn’t kept the online predators away. Yesterday I received this email

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‘Stay Classy San Diego’ and Other Sordid Tales of the Pandemic

May 4, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

The lunacy just keeps coming with the President’s corporate-funded brown shirts staging armed astroturf protests in Michigan and unarmed displays of batshit crazy elsewhere across the country, angrily agitating for an end to state governments’ oppressive attempts to keep more people from dying. Doug Porter ably outlined some of the key aspects of these festivals of hysteria and hate last week in his blog , [Ed.: here on the OB Rag as well] but I think what we are seeing is a phenomenon that is both a transparent bit of obscene political theatre and a manifestation of a much deeper pathology.

Back in the beginning of 2018, I observed in this space that the previous year had been a time of “generalized rage,” as Noam Chomsky aptly puts it. For Chomsky, the collapse of belief in American institutions of all sorts has produced a nihilistic disillusionment that has led to a generalized rage that effectively erodes all the bonds of solidarity

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A Gray May Day in Ocean Beach and Latest San Diego County Numbers

May 1, 2020 by Staff

Charles Landon of StudioCapeMay took this shot Friday morning, May 1, of early enforcement.

Here’s today’s latest graph published by the San Diego Union-Tribune of San Diego County total deaths and total hospitalized. What we are not getting is a graph showing the daily new case rate (it’s in the larger graph but not very prominent). It’s not all that encouraging.

For reference, here are earlier graphs.

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Only Orange County Beaches Are to Close Friday, May 1

April 30, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

It was all clarified by Thursday afternoon. Gov. Gavin Newsom has directed the the temporary close of only Orange County state and local beaches beginning Friday, May 1. He gave the order, after some confusion, after thousands of people treated this past weekend like it was a holiday at the beach, particularly in LA and Orange Counties.

Which means San Diego beaches are still open – but their strict restrictions still apply. Currently, beachgoers are allowed to surf and swim in the water, as well as jog or stroll on the beach. But they have to keep moving: Sitting down or sunbathing is not permitted.

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Effective Friday, May 1 San Diego County Orders Everyone to Wear Face Coverings in Public While with Non-Household Member

April 30, 2020 by Source

Effective Friday, May 1 everyone must wear face coverings whenever they are in public and expect to come within 6 feet of a non-household member. Face coverings provide a layer of protection that allows us all to stay safe from the spread of COVID-19.

All persons two years of age or older who are present in the County shall be in possession of a face covering when they leave their home or place of residence and shall wear it when they are in a business or within six feet of another person who is not a member of their family or household.

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Governor Newsom to Order All State Beaches and Parks Closed Again on Friday, May 1

April 30, 2020 by Staff

UPDATE: Around 12:30 pm Thursday Mayor Faulconer tweeted that San Diego beaches will stay open – with restrictions still. Here is what Faucloner said:

Great news: the Governor heard us. San Diego beaches WILL STAY OPEN under our plan approved by lifeguards and health officials. In a time of great crisis we don’t need knee-jerk policies. We need to keep a steady hand. It’s the only way to keep the public’s trust. Keep it up, SD!

It appears that California Governor Newsom will be ordering all state beaches and parks to close again on Friday, May 1. A memo sent to California police chiefs on Wednesday says Newsom will order all beaches and state parks closed starting Friday to curb spread of the coronavirus.

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Numbers and Graphs on COVID-19 Cases in San Diego County

April 29, 2020 by Source

Here are some sobering graphs and numbers on county COVID-19 cases from the San Diego County health department and one from the San Diego Union-Tribune. Does that curve look likes it flattening out?

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Harvard Has Released the Testing Plan That America Needs to Safely Reopen

April 29, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / April 26, 2020 – Updated April 29

Elizabeth Warren may not be running for President anymore, but “a plan” is still very much in vogue and demand. Especially given the still virulent nature of the COVID-19 pandemic gripping the world.

Fact. We cannot stay in lockdown forever—especially with the predictions of second and third waves of the virus.

Fact. We cannot “defeat the invisible enemy” by listening to the President, who has called it a “hoax,” promised a miracle, and recommended dangerous treatments.

Fact. There are better, faster, and more intelligent ways to defeat COVID-19.

Simply put, we are not doing enough of anything; hence, slowly failing at everything.

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