CVIndependent

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Last updateMon, 24 Aug 2020 12pm

Daily Digest

21 Aug 2020
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Happy Friday, all. On one hand, we’re one week closer to the end of the pandemic. On the other, we’re one week closer to the end … period. Sigh. So … let’s get to the news: • Fires continue to devastate California, especially in the northern part of the state. As the Los Angeles Times grimly puts it: “A series of wildfires burning an area larger than the state of Rhode Island have depleted California’s firefighting resources and triggered requests for help from across the West, the East Coast and even as far as Australia.” • Among the things being threatened by the fires: A major power plant. • Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified before Congress today, pledging to make sure vote-by-mail ballots were handled…
19 Aug 2020
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California, to be frank, is a mess right now: According to Gov. Gavin Newsom, there are 367 major fires burning statewide right now. Let me repeat that, because it’s shocking: There are 367 major fires burning right now. The Los Angeles Times has a summary here. I also recommend checking out SFGate.com for free coverage of the various fires in Northern California. This is bad, folks. Other news of the day: • The Post Office, to be frank, is a mess right now. The American College of Physicians issued a statement expressing concern that the recent slowdowns in delivery could kill people: “Across the country millions of patients regularly depend on the U.S. mail to receive their prescription medications. There are already reports from the…
17 Aug 2020
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Happy Monday all! Let’s get right to it: • OK, so we’re in the midst of a crippling pandemic, and it’s hot as hell … and now we have to deal with possible rolling blackouts?! Yes, indeed we do—2020 keeps getting more bonkers by the day, doesn’t it?—and Gov. Gavin Newsom is less than pleased. He said today the power shortage was “unacceptable” and pledged an investigation into the matter. • How hot has it been throughout California? Well, Death Valley may have reached the hottest temp recorded on Earth in 90 years yesterday. • The Trump administration’s efforts to hamper the U.S. Postal Service has drawn the attention of Congress. Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the House back into session, and Senate Democrats are asking…
14 Aug 2020
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SAN FRANCISCO—The walk from the apartment to the doctor’s office and back was so depressing that my husband was ready to pack up and make the 480-mile drive back to Palm Springs that night—even though we’d been in San Francisco for less than 24 hours. “Most of the things good things about San Francisco are gone,” he said. “And all the bad things, like the homelessness, are far worse.” Because his work requires a semi-regular presence in the San Francisco-based office when pandemics aren’t raging, my husband has a small—we’re talking 200 square feet, no kitchen, no heating or a/c, no frills at ALL—studio apartment South of Market. We had not set foot in the apartment since Jan. 22, the day after he shattered his…
12 Aug 2020
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Let’s jump right into today’s news, because there sure is a lot of it: • Our partners at CalMatters look at Sen. Kamala Harris—soon to be the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, as you may have heard—and her distinctively Californian roots. Key quote: “Born and bused to school in Berkeley, tested by San Francisco’s cut-throat municipal politics and propelled onto the national stage as the state’s top law enforcement officer and then its first female senator of color, Harris’ approach to politics and policymaking were honed here.” • MedPage Today explains the hopes doctors have for something called a vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) called RLF-100 as a coronavirus treatment. The VIP was first developed 50 years ago—and this could be its shining moment. • More encouraging news,…
10 Aug 2020
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If being on social media weren’t an important part of my job, I’d be taking a break from Facebook right now. Why? Frankly … I could use a break from all of the hysterics. Let me make one thing clear: Now is a time when hysterics are understandable. Many of us are hurting. We’re broke. Or we’re tired. Or we’re watching our dreams die. Or we’re freaked the heck out. However … seeing this all play out, in contradictory fashion, within consecutive Facebook posts, is exhausting. First post: A friend of mine owns a nail salon. He’s freaking out because his business, his dream, is dying. He thinks he should be allowed to reopen, because he took all the appropriate safety measures when his salon…
07 Aug 2020
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The state of California’s response to the pandemic, as of late, has been a big mess. First: The state’s COVID-19 data reporting is all messed up. According to the Los Angeles Times, the state is dealing with a backlog of up to 300,000 test results—and is in the process of developing a whole new tracking system, because the current one is not up to the admittedly massive task: “(Dr. Mark Ghaly, the California Health and Human Services secretary) said the state would work through the backlog of records, which include COVID-19 tests and other health results, over the next 24 to 48 hours. He said state missteps compounded a problem that began with a server outage and promised a full investigation. “The data failure set…
05 Aug 2020
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Happy Wednesday, everyone. Let’s get right into it: • Remember how on Monday, we said that Gov. Gavin Newsom was expressing tentative optimism about a statewide decrease in COVID-19 cases? Well … it turns out there may or may not be a decrease at all—because the state reporting system is currently being hampered by technical issues. According to our partners at CalMatters: “California’s daily count of COVID-19 cases appears to be falling, but that may be due to underreporting caused by technical issues, state health officials said (Tuesday). ‘We’ve discovered some discrepancies,’ said Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s health and human services secretary in a press call. Data, he said, is ‘getting stuck’ in the electronic system that feeds information from test labs to both…