Sunday Commentary: We Could Re-Open and Be Relatively Safe – but We Won’t Be, the Way People Are Acting

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Anyone else feel you are watching a slow moving train wreck unfold before your eyes?  Hands covering your face, fingers slightly open to allow yourself a glimpse?

Photos across the country show a mix of responses, some responsible—temperature checks, masks, gloves and distancing.  Then you see photos of masses of people with no masks, no distancing—they are tired of being locked up, I get it.  But they are acting foolishly.

I have been told this week, if I don’t like it, I can stay home.  I love how you believe you have the freedom to do what you want and forget that you don’t live on an island.  You are not just putting yourself at risk, you put at risk everyone you come in contact with—the employees, the workers, and eventually first responders and hospitals.

Wearing masks and social distancing has been called living in fear.  I see.  We take precautions to protect public safety every day.  We inspect airplanes and elevators.  We wear seat belts and have installed airbags.  We wear helmets.  We wear sunscreen.

But there is also a difference—when we wear seat belts, sunscreen, and helmets we are largely protecting ourselves.  When we wear masks, we are protecting others.

The experts warned us to not open too soon.  I actually felt that if we could social distance, symptom check, limit crowds and wear masks, we could do a lot more.  The reality is that we could have and not spiked the numbers.  But people are not acting responsibly.  And so what will happen is that this is going to be far worse, we will probably have to completely shut down again, and the economy will be far worse because of that.

People like to talk about freedom.  But they forget the second half of the equation—with freedom comes responsibility.  If you are only putting yourself at risk, I would say, have at it.  Just sign a waiver so you don’t take up a hospital bed or a ventilator.

What are the risks here?  One of the problems is that people have focused on the death rate as the key statistic.  As we approach 100,000 deaths in the US, the NY Times has put the names on the front page to illustrate the loss.  Ninety-seven thousand deaths, 1.6 million cases.  You can do the math on that and get six percent.  I agree that’s too high.

That’s the problem.  People can discount the actual risk because most people don’t get this bad.  The people who do are either elderly or have risk factors.  It becomes a calculated risk that many people are willing to take.

But they are not looking at the people who get sick for a month and don’t have to go to the hospital.  Or they do go to the hospital, have to be sedated on a ventilator away from their family and isolated for weeks.  Or experience severe and permanent lung damage.

Make no mistake, this isn’t Ebola that will kill half of those infected, but it’s also not the flu either—which is less infectious, has a lower fatality rate, and can be mitigated with vaccines.  Eighty percent of the people who die from the flu were not vaccinated.

So what do you do if you’re me?  The last three times I had the flu, I ended up in the ER.  I don’t believe I would survive this.

I came out with a list to protect my family and myself:

  1. Will not do business in any location where the server or employees are not wearing a mask—I already had to do that once this past week. I told the employee I was leaving because they were not wearing a mask and that I would write a letter to their owner to explain why.
  2. If there are people inside who are not wearing masks, I will leave.
  3. If there are more than ten people inside or if there is a line even with social distancing and it’s inside, I will leave—the thing that they are finding is that length of exposure matters because you can get exposed to more virus over a longer period of time.
  4. For the same reason, until there is a vaccine, I will not send my children to school. Even with huge amounts of precaution, if they are in a place where the virus is present for a period of hours, their risk of infection goes up.
  5. Will not go to a sit down restaurant—again, you can take precautions, but staying in a place of potential exposure for 30 to 60 minutes is a risk I’m not willing to take. BTW, I have been eating take out up to ten times a week, so I think I have done my part to help local downtown restaurants.
  6. Will not engage in business that requires me to be in close contact with anyone— and I told my wife she can’t get her hair and nails done, and will have to wait on massage, etc. You can take huge amounts of precaution but, at the end of the day, if the other person is a carrier, you are defeating several of the protocols for protection.
  7. No travel—no hotels, no air flight until there is a vaccine.

For those of us at risk, we have to figure out ways to stay alive in a world where people are only worried about themselves and not thinking of the impact of their actions on others.

There is some encouraging news this week on vaccines and some of the research suggests that non-symptomatic people are less likely to be able to spread the virus due to a lower viral load.  But until we get over that hump, I think we are going to have a rough six to 12 months—especially with people throwing caution into the wind.

—David M Greenwald reporting


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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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117 thoughts on “Sunday Commentary: We Could Re-Open and Be Relatively Safe – but We Won’t Be, the Way People Are Acting”

  1. Keith Olsen

    There’s a good chance there will never be a vaccine, there never has been one invented for any Coronavirus.  Our hospitals never got over run except for a few in NY and even they weren’t as bad as predicted.
    Oxford scientists working on a coronavirus vaccine say there is now only a 50% chance of success because the number of UK cases is falling too quickly
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/oxford-scientists-working-on-a-coronavirus-vaccine-say-there-is-now-only-a-50-chance-of-success-because-the-number-of-uk-cases-is-falling-too-quickly/ar-BB14wquW

     

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      I’m skeptical of that article. This is the quote: “Scientists involved in one of the world’s leading studies into finding a vaccine for the coronavirus say there is currently only a 50% chance of success because the number of people in Britain with the virus is falling too quickly.”

      Maybe he’s referring only to their particular study. Because cases aren’t falling that fast elsewhere. The wording is very confusing.

      1. Alan Miller

        yeah I don’t get that wording either.  the daily death rate has been falling in the UK, from a peak of around 1000 down to around 300 recently.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          That being the case, why would that preclude them from developing a vaccine and do they mean just this study?  Why does Keith not clarify this stuff?

        2. Keith Olsen

          LOL, they’re Oxford scientists.  I know they know more than me and I’m pretty sure they trump you too David.

          Why don’t you explain why you used a crowded beach picture from 2 1/2 months ago when rules have changed so much since then.

          You stated:

          Then you see photos of masses of people with no masks, no distancing—they are tired of being locked up, I get it.  But they are acting foolishly.

          But then post a photo from months ago when people were being told not to wear masks.

          Just goes to show you, you can’t always trust what you read or see on the Internet.

           

    2. Tia Will

      Keith

      If there were never to be a vaccine for this virus, it is an even better argument for a permanent change in our behaviors starting now. Some of the most effective interventions cost us nothing. Handwashing & ubiquitous hand sanitizers, facial coverings, 6 feet separation, choosing to shop when there is no congestion, developing an alternative to handshakes cost us nothing and could save lives.

    1. Keith Olsen

      I was just at the state beach in Pacifica and people were being very responsible, all social distancing with many wearing masks even though they were outside.  It’s been my experience that people are acting responsibly everywhere I go.

      1. Alan Miller

        I don’t consider wearing masks on a beach responsible behavior.  I’m all about masks, but doing something meaningless only shows that people don’t get it at all.

        1. Keith Olsen

          Alan, I didn’t wear a mask on the beach.  It’s outside and we socially distanced ourselves from other people.  But dang, people are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.  It didn’t hurt that some did wear masks.

        2. Alan Miller

          didn’t hurt that some did wear masks

          I wasn’t sayin U, you said others.  It doesn’t hurt as in spread the virus, but it shows that people don’t understand mask use and don’t care to educated themselves about it, and it confuses people.

    2. Keith Olsen

      I found it, that photo is 2 1/2 months old from a Florida beach during the March 8 to March 15 spring break.  That was much nearer that start of the pandemic when people were being told not to wear masks.

      Since the article is about the reopening I feel you should’ve used a current photo, not one that’s over 2 months old.

       

        1. Ron Oertel

          Regardless of what this video shows, I would agree with Keith that it would be better to use a current photo in the lead for an article, if you want to make a point regarding current conditions.

          I don’t think anyone “disagrees” that there’s a relaxation of restrictions occurring.  And, that some don’t abide by restrictions, regardless. Nor would they disagree that this varies, by location.

          In any case, this kind of reminds me of the photo you used of a kid on a bike being “grabbed” by a stick, in an article regarding the claw.  Never did hear the story behind that, though it was called-out by a commenter on here, as I recall.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            Just used the stock photo I had previously to illustrate the point. Didn’t give it a lot of thought

        2. Ron Oertel

          Just wondering – what was the story behind the photo of “the Kid, the Stick, and the Claw”?

          Coming to a theater near you, by the way.

          I’m not finding it in the archives, at the moment.

        3. Keith Olsen

          As David wrote just a few days ago in an article about conspiracy theories:

          The amount of misinformation and sometimes disinformation out there is appalling.  People are posting memes and unreliable “news” links without checking to see if they are posting current or accurate information.
          Some people will thank you for pointing out it is false, misleading or dated.  Some will argue with that.

          Where’s my “thank you”?

  2. Ron Oertel

    and I told my wife she can’t get her hair and nails done, and will have to wait on massage, etc.

    Well, some of those do seem “superfluous”, but – you tell your wife what she can and cannot do?  😉

    And – she can’t figure this out on her own?

    O.K. – I just saw that it’s a “wish list”.

  3. Alan Miller

    Anyone else feel you are watching a slow moving train wreck unfold before your eyes?

    Yup.

    Hands covering your face, fingers slightly open to allow yourself a glimpse?

    No, don’t touch your face!

  4. John Hobbs

    David’s list is very similar to mine. Anyone not taking these precautions should get together with like minded folks in a small bistro or bar and share stories of their oppression and a viral load. I’ve had it with these self-entitled parasites.

  5. Jeff Boone

    I’ve had it with these self-entitled parasites.

    No pejoratives there. Interesting use of that term though.  I seem to recall that your livelihood is funded by the public trough.

    Parasite: an organism that lives in or on an organism of another species (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other’s expense.

    So, if we are going to demand precise speech and the correct use of words based on their meaning, you (assuming I am correct about the source of your livelihood) and this $465,411 per year person below, would be the more accurate self-entitled parasitic actor getting your money nutrients at other’s expense.

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/05/barbara-ferrer-social-welfare-queen-los-angeles-lloyd-billingsley

    1. Tia Will

      Jeff

      I agree with your promotion of precise language usage and do not ever agree with dehumanization. So now, I would like to express very clearly what my beliefs are with regard to those individuals and groups not following facial covering and social distancing mandates.

      I consider them terrorists using this definition:

      ‘a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.’

      Many of you are going to consider this too strong, or inflammatory. But hear me out. What would we call someone who knowingly loosed a substance that they knew might be sarin or anthrax in a crowd? I suspect many of us would find that consistent with terrorism. Prior to the discovery and dissemination of information regarding asymptomatic spread, I would have ( and was) much more judicious and diplomatic. But now, no one in that crowd has any excuse for not knowing they may be carrying the virus and may be exposing others.

      1. Alan Miller

        But now, no one in that crowd has any excuse for not knowing they may be carrying the virus and may be exposing others.

        I disagree . . . stupidy is a valid excuse.

      2. Jeff Boone

        Tia:

        Glad to read that you reject dehumanization.  But unfortunately you go on to dehumanize people.  No, “terrorism” is not precise nor is it accurate.  In fact, there is more in common with terrorists and the administrative state that dictates allowable dress and socialization.   Clearly ideology (secular theology?) plays a part as the blue states are much slower to open than are the red states.

        It is really a matter of choice.  If you are fearful of catching the bug then chose to stay inside.  If you are not fearful, then chose to go out.  I am so sorry that this simple prescription is so difficult for some to accept and thus justify so much economic destruction.  Suicides are already up.  It is just the beginning of a trend where the damage from the government reaction to the virus will exceed the damage from the virus.

        1. Alan Miller

          In fact, there is more in common with terrorists and the administrative state that dictates allowable dress and socialization.

          Oh, bullsh*t, JB.  “No shirts, no shoes, no service” – and that’s just social preference and maybe a tad of hygiene.  But deadly virus?  Then it’s “the administrative state that dictates allowable dress and socialization”. c’mon!

        2. Jeff Boone

          You must wear a Burka (a tinier version over your nose and mouth.)  Because otherwise your presence may infect the rest of the population.  Maybe the administrators will not stone you to death for lack of compliance, they clearly will jail you and fine you.

        3. Mark West

          “If you are not fearful, then chose to go out.”

          I have friends on both sides of this debate. What I find interesting is that most of my friends who share Jeff Boone’s opinion often share this same talking point, if you are fearful, stay home, and by extension, if you are brave go out. The funny thing is, though, of my friends who are choosing to stay in, most all have science or medical training (or are close to someone who has). Whereas the friends who are yammering to open things up right away, like Jeff, have little or none. I’m not staying home because I fear the disease, I am staying home because I am listening to the experts and am making an informed, rational decision. Jeff, and those who share his point of view, are largely ‘flying by the seat of their pants’ and hoping for the best. I hope for their sakes, and for those that they love, that they are right. For my part and for those that I love, I will stick with science.

        4. Jeff Boone

          For my part and for those that I love, I will stick with science.

          Just to clarify, you are sticking with medical science, not social science.

          And I challenge the “flying by the seat of their pants” characterization as everyone I know that have a different opinion that those that advocate keeping the economic shutdown going until the November election are quite informed of the actual epidemiological statistics.

        5. Jeff Boone

          That Burka thing just sounds anti-Muslim, but it’s so bizarre I can’t tell what it is.

          Tia started this connection with terrorism.  It has nothing to do with religion.

        6. Mark West

          JB: “everyone I know that have a different opinion that those that advocate keeping the economic shutdown going until the November election are quite informed of the actual epidemiological statistics.”.

          Just like your favorite POTUS, you know far less than you think you know. A little humility and a tad bit of empathy would go a long way. I wish you and yours well.

        7. Tia Will

          Jeff

          Who did I dehumanize? Terrorism is a uniquely human activity. You did not address my issue of the knowing spread of a pathogen at all.  Would not consider someone potentially spreading sarin or anthrax a terrorist? How about the provision of smallpox laden blankets to NA. I suppose that was ok, because after all, if they were “afraid” of the blankets, they shouldn’t take them?

           

        8. Jeff Boone

          Who did I dehumanize?

          Let’s try it this way.  I someone that does not wear a mask can be correctly labeled as being a terrorist, then someone supporting politicians and government bureaucrats forcing the shutdown of the hundreds of thousands of small businesses, and arresting people because they don’t follow the dress code rules, can be correctly labeled as being a terrorist.

          See there?  Your use of the word is inaccurate.  Words like “terrorist” and “racist”, to name a few, have specific meaning and are too often recklessly thrown around by the very people prone to accusing other people that don’t share their ideological views as using so much imperfect and hateful speech.

    1. Tia Will

      Todd

      Given the characteristics of many restaurants: small space, relatively poor ventilation, and duration of time in one space. And given the characteristics of dining in general which preclude continuous facial covering and often involve loud speech, laughter, coughing and occasional episodes of brief choking and throat clearage, with lack of distancing from the servers as they move from table to table, I sincerely doubt that home ID is going to make much difference.

      I favor opening distanced outdoor dining but remain skeptical of the safety of opening indoors. I continue to support the locals frequently by ordering take out and delivery, but I cannot justify indoor dining at this point.

      1. Alan Miller

        > remain skeptical of the safety of opening indoors.

        Me too!  And to open a restaurant is no easy feat.  You have to order food, predict supply draw-down, bring on the correct number of employees, advertise — what if any number of things goes wrong, such as:  1)  People don’t trust eating indoors and don’t come back; 2)  The cost of opening doesn’t justify the expense and one has to shut down again – or maybe that’s the end of the cash supply; 3)  Someone comes in who’s infected, maybe from out-of-town, and spreads the virus to multiple customers and employees — now the restaurant is facing shutdown and million-dollar lawsuits; 4)  They are unable to entice employees to come back when they are making just as much on Covid-19 unemployment.

        1. Todd Edelman

          cannot justify
          skeptical

          Indeed, I start my letter with “restaurants need to fully emphasize dine-out options and the County/City should help facilitate this with bureaucratic and financial support.”

  6. Ron Oertel

    From article: “But there is also a difference—when we wear seat belts, sunscreen, and helmets we are largely protecting ourselves.” 

    When we wear masks, we are protecting others.

    Just a “fun fact” – that two out of the first three examples are also “mandated”.  Sometimes, using the justification that medical bills impact all.

    So far, sunscreen is still a “choice” (but has some negative impacts on ocean life).  I learned about that while visiting the UCD marine laboratory, in Bodega Bay.

    https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/nanomaterials-sunscreens-and-boats-leave-marine-life-vulnerable

      1. Ron Oertel

        Yes, but David had used that as a “contrasting” example of something where failure to use them doesn’t impact others.  And yet, there’s still laws regarding helmets and seatbelts.

        It wasn’t intended as an opinion comment.

        I do recall that some motorcyclists objected to the law when it was implemented.

        Now sunscreen, on the other hand (at least some types) cause more damage to marine life than many people know, or might “intuitively” think.  There’s starting to be laws regarding particular types, as well.

        https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/03/health/hawaii-sunscreen-ban/index.html

        Now, bicycle lights (for nighttime use) are another matter. 🙂

      2. Ron Oertel

        And now, some people are starting to use helmets while skiing.  To my knowledge, no resort (or ordinance) requires them, so far.

        Probably a good idea, though.

        Bottom line, people are never as “free” as they might think.  If you doubt that, try wearing “whatever you want” into just about any workplace. Or, exercising your “freedom of speech”, there. (Or, even “after work”, for that matter.)

        Nor do you have total freedom of speech, on here.

        One wonders if participation on here can come back to haunt us, someday – in the “land of the free.” 😉

        But yeah, put a mask (or muzzle?) on, before I drift off too far.

  7. Alan Miller

    I pretty much agree with this article 100%, and my list is similar, especially regarding anyone being indoor without a mask.  (Except I won’t leave, I’ll tell the motherf*cker what a selfish f*ck they are and get the f*ck out of the store.)  I also am not doing takeout, though I may change my stance on that if the numbers are going in a positive direction (for humans, not the virus) a month hence.

    I don’t know what they are thinking even considering indoor dining.  With the recent CDC studies released that indoor circulation, talking, singing, coughing and being in an enclosed space with an infected person is probably the prime transmission method, and less so via surfaces — well, what are “they” thinking.

    Also, a yoga studio announced they may be having in-person classes soon – with masks not required.  Given the recent CDC findings on enclose spaces and activities such as singing, coughing, talking loud and heavier breathing increasing the release and transmission of the virus from an infected person, how could the county allow this?  I’m flummoxed.  Thankfully, they will still be offering online classes so I can stay home – but I’m concerned about the increased probability of spread.

    1. Ron Oertel

       (Except I won’t leave, I’ll tell the motherf*cker what a selfish f*ck they are and get the f*ck out of the store.)

      Some of the results of that type of conflict can be seen on the news.  Sometimes resulting in something worse than the coronavirus.

      1. Alan Miller

        Except that with every news story I’ve seen, it is usually the person without a mask that is the aggressor.  People doing their part and wearing masks aren’t standing up for their right to not be infected by arseholes.

        1. Ron Oertel

          Except that with every news story I’ve seen, it is usually the person without a mask that is the aggressor.

          Not sure if that’s (totally) true, but probably all the more reason to not confront in that manner.

          I’m not doing it, at least. I’d suggest letting the business handle it, assuming that it’s required.

        2. Alan Miller

          Of course it’s required.  Unless the person has a disability.  I suppose I should ask before calling them a selfish f*ck.  If the person is inside not wearing a mask, the store already hasn’t handled it.

          1. Don Shor

            The order states:

            11. A Face Covering is also not required by this Order if an individual can show
            either: (1) a medical professional has advised that wearing a Face Covering may pose a risk to
            the individual for health-related reasons;

            It is not actually your right to ask the individual if they have that exemption. All they have to do is state it to the business owner or manager. We don’t have any right to ask them what their medical issue is, as that is private. So if they say they have an exemption, we have to let them in without a mask.
            Again, I strongly urge you not to confront other customers in a privately-owned business about their use of a mask. I know you feel strongly about this, but your attitude expressed here will cause problems for business owners and employees if you actually confront people in the manner you’re suggesting. If you aren’t happy about the enforcement of mask usage in a business, just leave. Likewise, if you don’t want to wear a mask, don’t come in. Tell the owner or manager somehow about your concerns. But please don’t make life any more difficult for retailers than it already is.

        3. Ron Oertel

          I wasn’t aware that this is the law everywhere (across the U.S.?), but not disagreeing with that.

          But yeah – if you see a person (already) breaking the law, there’s a pretty good chance that confronting them won’t make them “see the light”.

          It might make one of you “see stars”, however. I sincerely hope it’s not you.

          In any case, good luck with that.  I suspect that you might not have much problem within Davis, itself.

          I can envision some other communities/scenarios, where you might have your hands full. 😉

        4. Ron Oertel

          Is that right?

          Well, just goes to show how closely I’m following it.

          I’d always bring a mask, these days.  For one thing, I don’t want to be “confronted”.  (Nor do I want to make others uncomfortable.)

          Maybe it’s best to just stay in front of the computer, and comment on blogs. (Someday, a hobby I’d like to move on from.)

        5. Alan Miller

          It is not actually your right to ask the individual if they have that exemption.

          OK, I’ll just assume they don’t and call them a selfish f*ck.

          All they have to do is state it to the business owner or manager.

          Is that like when people could bring their comfort giraffe on an airplane, and the airline couldn’t ask for a doctors note?  That went well.

          We don’t have any right to ask them what their medical issue is, as that is private.

          THAT I agree with.  Big difference between showing a note and demanding private medical information.

          So if they say they have an exemption, we have to let them in without a mask.

          How do you know if they have an exemption?

          1. Don Shor

            How do you know if they have an exemption?

            They say so. That’s how this works. Don’t like it, then take it up with your county supervisor or the county health officer.

        6. Alan Miller

          They say so. That’s how this works. Don’t like it, then take it up with your county supervisor or the county health officer.

          I’m not taking it up with anyone.  I’m pointing out that that’s how low our society has sunk.  Neo-conservative (people) who don’t like face-masks for self-comfort or political reasons can just say “I have a disability”.  No note needed.  Just like you couldn’t ask for a note on neo-liberal comfort-pets – or that the label “doctor” became a joke when some became nothing more than paid note-writers that people had a “medical excuse” for pot.

          At least allow people the dignity of forging a note from a doctor.

        7. Todd Edelman

          Don wrote 

          just leave.

          I always talk to staff about such issues first, except to e.g. tell someone that a mask with a valve is not compliant, as they are most likely wearing one due to ignorance and a lack of robust communication from State and County actors.

          But a store is not private; it is semi-public space, which is why hands have to be washed by employees and so on… Thus direct action can be appropriate.

        8. Hiram Jackson

          Don: “It is not actually your right to ask the individual if they have that exemption. All they have to do is state it to the business owner or manager. We don’t have any right to ask them what their medical issue is, as that is private. So if they say they have an exemption, we have to let them in without a mask.”

          Does the business owner or manager have a right to ask non-compliant customers to leave if they’re not wearing an appropriate mask? (I’m thinking of the signs I’ve seen, “no shoes, no shirt, no service” and “we reserve the right to refuse service”)

          1. Don Shor

            Does the business owner or manager have a right to ask non-compliant customers to leave if they’re not wearing an appropriate mask?

            The way I read the law, we have to refuse to serve them, and we can certainly ask or require them to leave.

            “***Businesses must:***

            Require their employees, contractors, owners, and volunteers to wear a face covering at the workplace and when performing work off-site;

            Inform customers about the need to wear a face covering, including posting signs and advising those in line or in the store;

            Take reasonable steps to keep people who are not wearing a face covering from entering their business, and

            Refuse service to anyone not wearing a face covering.”

  8. John Hobbs

    I saw my first dangerous confrontation over masks yesterday, at a Smart and Final. I was afraid I’d have to act to help the store’s greeter, but another customer beat me to it when she walked out of the store, Lysol spray in hand, staring darts at the virus vendor and asked the greeter if there was a problem.  He left.

    I wear a mask to protect others as I’m likely to have been exposed during a recent surgery at UCD and was quite ill with the now well known high fever, dry cough, absence of appetite, insomnia and horrid ideations for about two weeks (Merry Christmas Happy New Year) afterward.

    I wear gloves because I sure as hell don’t want to get it again and don’t know if I have any immunity.

    I try to follow medical and scientific advice in this matter as in most. In the new “truth doesn’t matter, tell ’em it’s great” era some people find that tough. I have spoken to my own doctors and they believe that we are nowhere near the time to open back up. My primary is not anticipating in office visits before August if there are no new infections or CV19 deaths reported in the county for two weeks. (Sacramento)

    By the way, for anyone who thinks I am unaffected financially, not so. I’m paying for a new home with lots of special equipment for accessibility,my missus is wheelchair bound, I was supposed to have worked several shows with a band back in Chicago in March and April and a very lucrative Memorial Day gig for a corporate party at a country club, my favorite way to get paid, but instead I have the cleanest and best maintained guitar collection this side of the Mississippi. Though my physical condition is somewhat limited, I have found time in 30 to 45 minute segments to build a raised be garden, plant a tree and 4 rose bushes, pour a 9’by 9′ slab “(with the help of my son) and find most of the ten thousand things my missus is sure I lost in the move. (Mind is still AWOL.) The point is, if I can take this temporary sequestration, so can you. So suck it up and stay home. When you have to go out in public minimize your face print in the community. It could pay dividends beyond price. (Like not getting sprayed in the face with Lysol.)

    1. Alan Miller

      Wow, that’s quite a tale.  Much as you and I spar on here, I wish you full recovery from your possible Covid-19 dual and financial struggles.

      And to harken to another thread . . . I don’t believe that gig money is dipping at the trough of the public dole.

  9. John Hobbs

    Alan, I make no excuses for my WORK in the Federal and local governments, I earned every cent, though frequently covered in mud and filth at least as cleanly as money lending. I have been looking forward to those dates I missed in no small part because all the band members are in high risk of dying from something. I have never worked at anything I didn’t love and believe was beneficial to others, save for a brief stint with Time-Life book sales.

  10. Alan Miller

    I make no excuses for my WORK in the Federal and local governments,

    Nor should you.  There are truths in the stereo types of guv’ment workers generally, and there are also many truly dedicated hard-working sorts.  Making an assumption that any one person is a certain way because they are part of a sometimes criticized group or class of people is an -ism, just like any other sort of -ism.

    1. Jeff Boone

      The point is that their income is protected.  The income of all the workers and business owners being forced to remain closed is not.

      But maybe the overreaction to the virus will eventually impact the guv’ment worker livelihood too.  I would NOT welcome that from a perspective of my interest to see minimal human harm, but I might have a moment of positive reaction in the hope that righteous perspective has been served.

      1. David Greenwald Post author

        “The point is that their income is protected.”

        That’s not true.  The first thing that is going to happen and soon is going to be that most government workers are going to take a pay cut.  And there may be layoffs depending on the length and severity of the downturn.  School districts are already laying people off.

      2. Alan Miller

        The point is that their income is protected.

        If you consider a initial 10% pay cut ‘protected’.

        Yes, it is extremely difficult to fire a government employee – but government employees are affected by the Covid-19.

      3. Keith Olsen

        That’s not true.  The first thing that is going to happen and soon is going to be that most government workers are going to take a pay cut.  And there may be layoffs depending on the length and severity of the downturn. 

        For the most part this hasn’t happened yet.  When it does I’m sure we’re going to hear a different tune.

        As the saying goes:

        A recession is when someone else loses their job, and a depression is when you lose your job.

      4. Tia Will

        “overreaction to the virus”

        I believe there are at least 100K families + those who are in prolonged recovery from the virus who would disagree with your characterization.

        I would characterize this differently. Much of the economic pain people are feeling is in fact due to the delayed reaction to the virus.

         

         

  11. Alan Miller

    Well, hey everyone!  A report back on “Alan Miller Goes to Nugget and Stabs a Guy with a Frozen Cod Because That Guy Wasn’t Wearing a Mask”.

    Well, on my first trip to a grocery store since March, I found EVERY person in the store was wearing a mask.  So no frozen cods being removed from abdomens at Sutter this evening.

    The public was great, respectful, generally getting out of people’s space.

    One complaint:  FAMILIES TOGETHER – the recommendation is that people going into stores in parties of ONE.  There’s a reason for this, families father together and are almost impossible to pass without getting really close to them.

    Nugget Markets was first on mandatory masks and have done a great job, but if anyone is listening from over there, here are some improvements you need to make:

    1)  Better training of your employees on social distancing – both employees that I asked where something was – walked right up to me – like 2.5 to 3 feet.  Seriously?

    2) You have lots of checkout lines – use every other one.  Why?  Because you have plexiglass between the customer and the checkout people – but the customer is standing right next to, and behind, the check out clerks at the next counter – like two feet away, with no plexiglass – Seriously?  No one but me has noticed this?

    3)  You still have to press at least one step of the card reader with a public pen.  Find a way to do touchless checkout.

    1. Ron Oertel

       A report back on “Alan Miller Goes to Nugget and Stabs a Guy with a Frozen Cod Because That Guy Wasn’t Wearing a Mask”.

      What – no “swordfish” available?

      Very funny, though.

  12. Tia Will

    Keith

    That is a really good illustration which clearly points out that if the coronavirus had been stopped initially, the economic crisis would never have occurred.

    1. Keith Olsen

      What’s your point?  It wasn’t stopped initially so we have to deal with what we have now, a severe crumbling economy that will most likely devastate many more people than the virus ever will.

       

      1. Jeff Boone

        Agree Keith – and it is only a rhetorical political talking point that the virus was not stopped early enough just like in the future we will have a political rhetorical talking point that the economy was shut down too long.   The difference of course will be that Nancy Peolsi was advocating for both mistakes.

      2. Tia Will

        Keith

        I have several points.

        1. The viral spread was not addressed promptly & is still not being addressed adequately on the federal level. Sending body bags to a reservation asking for medical supplies is just one example.

        2. Addressing the spread now would save further economic pain in the future. This is not occurring.

        3. If the appropriate lessons from this pandemic ( early detection, safe repatriation, aggressively targeted shutdowns, adequate testing, tracing and supplies in the earliest stages are not learned and heeded, we will be facing this same circumstance again in the future.

  13. Tia Will

    Jeff

    OMG, where to start.

    1. “You must wear a Burka” – why the need to use such an exotic example when 1/2 the American population cannot go topless even in places where the other 1/2 can with the sorting done by gender. I have never heard you complain about this arbitrary rule. It seems you only dislike gender discrimination when it is not your favored form.

    2. “It was Tia” who started the conversation about terrorism. True. But I do not equate “terrorism” with Islam as you apparently do. Terrorists can be found in all groups as Timothy McVeigh clearly illustrates. It took you to make that particular link.

    3. “only a rhetorical political talking point that the virus was not stopped early enough”. I do not consider 100K lives lost and the economic devastation we all could have been spared this time & hopefully will be spared in future pandemics “only a rhetorical talking point”, and find it very sad that you do.

     

    1. Jeff Boone

      the American population cannot go topless even in places where the other 1/2 can with the sorting done by gender.

      I agree with you here.  As a libertarian, I am all in favor of personal choice as long as it does not harm others.

      But I do not equate “terrorism” with Islam as you apparently do.

      I don’t believe that I every wrote “Islam” as I don’t equate Islam with terrorism… only the subset of Islam that practices fundamentalism and extremism.

      I do not consider 100K lives lost and the economic devastation we all could have been spared this time & hopefully will be spared in future pandemics

      First, it is likely that the final count of COVID-19 deaths will be far less than the current count, and the final count will be further diminished by the victims owning other health maladies that ultimately lead to their death.  The data cleanup in Italy… the country that scared the rest of the world into draconian measures… is already clearing up the mortality tables with a very high percentage of victims being very old and very sick already.  Now certainly I will agree that even the very old and very sick should be protected… but that is the point.  We did not just focus on them… we allowed the administrative state to go hog-wild in a fake fear fest of common risk… risk that did not and does not exist for ~90+% of the population.

        1. Ron Oertel

          Sometime, I think you should go over the “categories” again.

          I don’t think that anyone falls into “one”.

          And truth be told, they’re all artificial creations, whose definitions and boundaries change over time. As one example, it’s mind-boggling to differentiate between progressives, liberals, leftists, etc.

          I suspect that only some people feel a total allegiance to one of these artificial categories.

          Despite being labeled a “science” in school, it seems that a lot of politics is anything but.

        2. Jeff Boone

          Except you’re not a libertarian.

          Yes I am.  A right-leaning libertarian.

          Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice, voluntary association and individual judgment. Libertarians share a skepticism of authority and state power, but they diverge on the scope of their opposition to existing economic and political systems.

          Any real conservative is a right-leaning libertarian.  The problem with the Republican party is that it drifted from that basis an into the big government camp.

          I also embrace communitarianism… and this connects with the libertarian view but also demonstrates the hypocrisy of some claiming to hold the libertarian view.  It gets to the globalist open borders view vs the thing the media and Democrats mislabel as “nationalism”.

          It is a hoot to me that Davis liberals practice a form of “Davis nationalism”… certainly demonstrating they embrace communitarianism… that view that Davis knows what is best for Davis… and that outsiders and their outsider views should be defended against.  There is a demonstrated cognitive dissonance with their ideological views for globalism and open borders while they build a farmland moat around their city to keep the population as ideologically pure as possible.

          Another way to define my ideological view is honest and practical libertarianism based on the real evidence of humanism… the common demonstrated psychological behavior of the human animal that transcends the myth that educational achievement results in control of nature.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            In my view your anti-government is limited to the fiscal side, most libertarians would be uncomfortable with your views on policing.

        3. Jeff Boone

          In my view your anti-government is limited to the fiscal side, most libertarians would be uncomfortable with your views on policing.

          I both agree and disagree.  I agree that some libertarians oppose the power of law enforcement, but most understand that the power of law enforcement is a manifestation of big government.  A true libertarian supports law enforcement required to protect individual freedoms.  I am against criminalizing victimless crimes… and also support restorative justice for young perpetrators of crime that results in de minimis harm to others.  But I am not in favor of opposition to swift and fair criminal punishment of those causing harm to others. That is a libertarian view because there is no liberty if people are allowed to harm others without just repercussion.

    2. John Hobbs

      ” and find it very sad that you do.”

      But I hope not surprising. His ilk have been very transparent, a term I know you like, about their prejudices and predilections since they began the cynical disinformation campaign against President Obama and their obstructionist reps in congress conspired to oppose anything Democrats proposed on a purely partisan basis. They may try to claim the moral high ground but their mendacious and antisocial behavior tells the truth, something they deem unimportant.

  14. Hiram Jackson

    In the 1918 ‘Spanish flu’ pandemic, there was some resistance to wearing masks, but public health officials were able to frame the measure as one to protect the troops as WWI was ending.  “Don’t be a mask slacker!”  But once the war ended, it seems compliance was not as good.

    From The History Channel, 5 May 2020:  When Mask-Wearing Rules in the 1918 Pandemic Faced Resistance Most people complied, but some resisted (or poked holes in their masks to smoke)

  15. Tia Will

    For anyone making the claim that the “suicide rate is already going up”, I would love to see your source for this.

    1. Just last week I asked the county to provide statistics on suicides, calls to suicide prevention lines, domestic violence calls and other issues attributed to the lockdown or financial losses.

    2. Even if the numbers of suicides are higher, I would be interested in knowing how many are economy or isolation related vs how many are events related to despair over a loved one lost to COVID-19, or to survivors guilt or to an overwhelmed first responder or health care worker who has been pushed by circumstances to work outside their experience and scope of practice. Health care workers, MDs specifically, already have a relatively high rate of suicide which has been demonstrated long before COVID-19 but which has certainly been aggravated.

    1. John Hobbs

      I can find find no hard numbers for the USA suicide numbers but it seems likely that isolation and loss would amplify feelings of hopelessness in vulnerable members of the population. It is unknowable what the death rate, recovery rate or long-term disabilities resulting from the CV19 virus will be until we know the total numbers of infected, symptomatic and recovered and dead, but it seems very very unlikely the increased number of suicides will approach the number of CV19 victims.

    2. Robert Canning

      It is unlikely that we will actually know suicide statistics (other than anecdotal or partial counts) related to the pandemic for many months. Official stats for suicide deaths typically lag by almost many months. For instance we only now know official numbers for 2018. That said, I know that my clinical psychologist colleagues and I are already gearing up for dealing with increased hopelessness, despair, and distress associated with the direct and indirect effects of the pandemic and its economic consequences. One of the most difficult areas is how best to work with suicidal individuals at a distance. Telehealth has been in increasing use in the mental health field in the last decade but the need for increased physical distance will make it all the more important that providers learn how to deal with suicidal individuals via Zoom and other platforms.

  16. Tia Will

    John,

     it seems likely that isolation and loss would amplify feelings of hopelessness in vulnerable members of the population.”

    I agree that this seems likely. However, I see it as even more likely that the pain of COVID-19 related loss or feelings of inadequacy might be an even bigger factor. I know of five cases of provider, first responder suicide during the pandemic to date related to these feelings of personal despair. Prior to COVID-19, MDs commit suicide at approximately one per day in the US which is approximately twice the rate of the closest second. Add that to the already high rate of suicide amongst MDs, the frustration and despair associated with COVID-19  and you have a situation of increased suicides unrelated to isolation or job loss. We need to be very careful with collection of statistics and try our best to not assume a partisan significance they may or may not have.

     

  17. Keith Olsen

    But I hope not surprising. His ilk have been very transparent, a term I know you like, about their prejudices and predilections since they began the cynical disinformation campaign against President Obama Trump and their obstructionist reps in congress conspired to oppose anything Democrats Republicans proposed on a purely partisan basis. They may try to claim the moral high ground but their mendacious and antisocial behavior tells the truth, something they deem unimportant.

    There John, I FIFY.

  18. Ron Oertel

    Are you guys still talking about this?

    Or, maybe it’s moved on to something else (quite awhile ago, actually).  😉

    In any case, I’m just glad that it’s moved on from development advocacy – for the moment at least.

    Seems like the inmate release advocacy articles don’t get much traction.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      “Seems like the inmate release advocacy articles don’t get much traction.”

      They may not get a ton of comments, but they get a lot of reads. Cres’ article from this morning has more than 4000 views.

      1. Ron Oertel

        Just wondering – do those type of articles have a nationwide audience?  Or, can you tell?

        And, is that the direction you’re moving the Vanguard toward? Or, at least toward San Francisco, where those types of issues have a much bigger audience?

        In any case, it might be more interesting for those folks than Alan’s “fight with a swordfish”. (But, that’s what I enjoy hearing about.)

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          We have definitely been heavily expanding our regional and national coverage of criminal justice reform issues. That’s not to say that we are moving away from coverage of local Davis issues – we continue to do that.

          In terms of traffic, you get a lot of repeat traffic when you get a lot of comments and people are logging on to see the latest comments. On articles with few comments or no comments, most are one-time and unique views.

      2. Ron Oertel

        Also, is this the reason that you seem to be getting “bored” with commission and/or council meetings, from what I’m gathering?

        Had it with the small town environment, perhaps?

        Also, can you tell if one person views an article multiple times, for example?  Either directly via the website, or through Facebook?

        Personally, I don’t usually bother reading Cres’ articles, though I sometimes skim them. They’re not presented “factually enough”, for my tastes. Bias is just “dripping” from them.

  19. Ron Oertel

    In terms of traffic, you get a lot of repeat traffic when you get a lot of comments and people are logging on to see the latest comments.

    Thanks.

    Cres’ articles aren’t generating a lot of comments, though. Therefore, the 4,000 reported views aren’t accounted for by the small number of comments.

    I won’t push this any further, unless you want to discuss it here.

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