CVIndependent

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Last updateMon, 24 Aug 2020 12pm

Daily Digest

17 Jun 2020
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In yesterday’s Daily Digest, I mentioned that I’d ask Riverside County officials about the alarmingly high COVID-19 positivity rate, as reported on the county’s latest weekly District 4 report. (District 4 consists of the Coachella Valley and extends over to Blythe.) To repeat what I wrote yesterday: “The positivity rate is up to a disturbing 16 percent. However … if you divide the number of positives (345) by the number of tests (4,840), you get the positivity rate—and while the report explains that there’s a lag because tests results can take 3-5 days to come in, the difference between 345 divided by 4,840, or 7.1 percent, and 16 percent is so massive that it doesn’t seem possible for all these numbers to be correct; it’s…
16 Jun 2020
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It’s time for Gov. Gavin Newsom and, if possible, the California Legislature to make the usage of face masks mandatory. It’s time. We see what’s happening in other states—most notably our neighbors to the east—where hospitalizations continue to skyrocket. We also keep seeing science come out showing how stunningly effective the use of simple face masks can be in slowing the spread of SARS-CoV-2. What else are we seeing? We’re seeing concerning local upticks in hospitalizations. We’re seeing local business owners—trying so hard to do the right thing—upset after influxes of customers, many of whom are from out of town, wandering in without wearing masks, in violation of local mask mandates. We’re seeing local health officials fleeing from their jobs due to public and political…
15 Jun 2020
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Happy Monday, everyone. We have more than 20 story links today, so let’s get right to ’em: • It was a big news day for the U.S. Supreme Court. In a landmark 6-3 ruling, the court ruled that gay, lesbian and transgender workers are protected by federal civil-rights laws—and Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch (!) wrote the majority opinion. The court also more or less upheld California’s sanctuary law by declining to hear a challenge to it. • This just in, from the city of Palm Springs: “In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, continue to flatten the curve and keep residents and visitors safe, the city of Palm Springs would like to notify the community that this year’s Fourth of July fireworks spectacular…
12 Jun 2020
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Happy Friday, everyone. I have to warn you that today’s Daily Digest is pretty depressing … so proceed with caution. I am sorry to send you off into the weekend with such concerning news, but that’s my job—so here we go. Today’s news: • My friends, I beg of you: Please take precautions against COVID-19. As more and more of the Coachella Valley reopens, the numbers are getting worse and worse. The number of COVID-19 patients at Eisenhower Medical Center as of Wednesday is nearly twice as high as it had ever been before an uptick in cases began there around the start of the month. • Horrifyingly related: The Los Angeles Times reports that some people are so opposed to the idea of wearing…
11 Jun 2020
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10,000. That’s the milestone Riverside County reached today—the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. It’s a sad milestone, and it’s not the last sad milestone we’re going to hit before this pandemic is over. Folks, there are so many things in life we can’t control. However, there’s a lot regarding this pandemic we can control—and you know what those things are: Wearing a mask when around other people. Washing your hands frequently. Staying home if you may be sick. Do it. Today’s links: • Speaking of people not doing what they can control: During Las Vegas’ reopening week, Los Angeles Times writer Arash Markazi saw some people taking precautions … and a whole lot of people not doing so. He said the Cosmopolitan was especially bad:…
10 Jun 2020
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Toward the start of the stay-at-home order, I remember telling a friend (on a Zoom chat, of course) how much I looked forward to that wonderful day when the lockdown was over, and we could meet for happy-hour and hug again. Ah, how naïve I was. If only it could be that simple. We could meet for that happy hour again on Friday, as bars will be reopening that day. However, the scene would not be like it was in my mind’s eye. When I imagined that wonderful day, I didn’t imagine face masks and socially distanced tables—nor did I imagine the agonizing, scary dilemma going out to a bar would present. And that hug? It’s definitely too soon for that. Nothing seems simple in…
09 Jun 2020
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Let’s get right to the day’s news: • I owe Supervisor V. Manuel Perez an apology. In this space last Friday, I called his attempt to get the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department to review its own policies “pretty weak,” because, well, he was asking THEM to review THEIR OWN policies, more or less. Here’s what’s happened since. First, the department’s union announced they were opposed to the idea because, in the words of the union president, “There is no need to suggest or invent problems that do not exist in the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.” Then Sheriff Chad Bianco—the one who has recently been on Fox News—said he didn’t want a “political” process, and pointed out that the County Commission doesn’t have authority over him.…
08 Jun 2020
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Before we get into the news of the day, I have one simple little request for some of you out there in social-media land: Can everyone please stop with the posts in which you’re rooting for the reopening effort to fail? I get it: A lot of people, including many smarter than I am, think that the state is reopening too fast, too soon. I also understand that many humans have a burning desire to, when proven right, gloat and say, “I told you so.” However … using just one example I saw recently, it does nobody any good to—on a business page announcing reopening plans—comment with a “Coronavirus likes this” image. We know sooooooo very little about this virus and this disease—we’ll be getting…