CVIndependent

Fri10232020

Last updateMon, 24 Aug 2020 12pm

Daily Digest

15 May 2020
by  - 
I’ve been asked several times why we don’t regularly post COVID-19 stats here in the Daily Digest, and the answer is simple: Statistics, when put in the proper context, are important and revealing. When they’re not, however … they can be confusing and misleading. Take the total number of COVID-19 cases, for example. As of this writing, according to Riverside County, there have been 5,618 confirmed cases in the county. Since the start of April, that number has been increasing at a pretty steady pace—there have been a few peaks and valleys, sure, but overall, the pace has been pretty consistent for the last six weeks now. So … what does this tell us? Well, it tells us SARS-CoV-2 is still a problem. But that’s…
14 May 2020
by  - 
In response to yesterday’s Daily Digest, I received this email from a reader, which is reprinted here, verbatim: Is your paper written by one person? Articles picked by you? Just curious as to where you’re from? Palm Springs? Just not sure if this is a PS newsletter? This made me realize that a lot of you are new to the Independent—and that even some of you who have been reading for a while may not know much about me or the newspaper, and/or where these Daily Digests fit into things. So, if you’ll indulge me, here are my answers to that reader’s questions (slightly expanded upon and edited from my personal response to the reader): Is your paper written by one person? No. The Independent…
13 May 2020
by  - 
Forgive the tortured metaphor here … but the reopening train has left the station. And I don’t think there’s anything this country can do to get it back in the station now—no matter how dire things get. Late this afternoon, the Wisconsin Supreme Court—in a disturbing 4-3 decision—struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ stay-at-home order. The result is chaos: According to the Wisconsin State Journal, some counties have stepped in to issue their own orders, which remain valid. As for the other counties … “For now, it looks like businesses and restaurants in counties that have not prohibited opening may operate as they wish,” the story says. Closer to home, two Southern California casinos—Sycuan Casino Resort and the Valley View Casino and Hotel—just announced they’re reopening…
12 May 2020
by  - 
It’s been a crazy, confusing and all-round fascinating news day, so let’s get right to it: • Riverside County wants to move forward in the reopening process! That was the message sent today by the Board of Supervisors, who are trying to make the case to Gov. Newsom that we’re pretty gosh-darned close to being ready to move further into Stage 2. • Los Angeles County is going to be closed deep into the summer! That was the somewhat misleading message sent by this Los Angeles Times headline: “L.A. County could keep stay-at-home orders in place well into summer.” The headline was later changed. Why? Well, the story ran amok on social media, and late in the day, the county’s public health director, Barbara Ferrer,…
11 May 2020
by  - 
Last Friday’s Riverside County Board of Supervisors meeting and its aftermath were simply remarkable—one of the most stupefying series of political events I’ve ever witnessed. Here’s the short version: The supes voted unanimously to revoke three of county health officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser’s orders, as well as most of a fourth. Instead, the county will now defer to the state’s weaker (and, in some cases, less-clear) orders. Frankly … the revocation of the orders involving golf courses and short-term lodging, and the partial revocation of the order involving schools, won’t change much. But that fourth one … in terms of sending a message, at least, it’s a doozy: The supervisors voted to revoke Cameron’s requirement that face masks be worn, and social distancing protocols be…
08 May 2020
by  - 
For my friend Matt, it was the permanent closure of Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes—a restaurant where he had his first job—that made him fully realize the world we knew in early March was gone forever. “I actually cried a few times yesterday, and it’s not just over big-chunk chicken-noodle soup and focaccia bread,” Matt wrote on Twitter. “It’s the realization that our lives will not ever ‘go back to normal.’ Our world is rapidly changing, and change is inevitable. I just didn’t expect it to be this fast.” So many places, institutions and businesses are going to be wiped out by the pandemic and the resulting economic downturn—which may very well qualify as a depression by the time all is said and done. We are going to…
07 May 2020
by  - 
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to play the exciting game that is most definitely NOT sweeping the nation: Six Degrees of Separation: Whackadoo Conspiracy Theory Edition! However, Kevin Bacon was not available, so we will be seeing how many degrees of separation you—YES YOU!!!—are from the newest conspiracy star in all the pandemic-stricken land! We’ll start off with Judy Mikovits, Ph.D. She’s the star of that new documentary you’ve likely seen some of your friends posting on social media, even though they really should know better. In an effort to be fair and open-minded, I actually tracked it down and watched it today. My Impression: The documentary is 1) well-crafted and slick, 2) undeniably interesting and 3) completely packed with easily refutable and deeply-harmful-if-believed nonsense!…
06 May 2020
by  - 
It’s often said that you can’t prove a negative. However, that’s not accurate: Mathematically, you generally can. It is accurate, however that you can’t disprove a conspiracy theory to a conspiracy theorist. This is something I have learned, painfully, over the years during many squabbles with them. For example, there was the guy who wanted me, while I was the editor of the Tucson Weekly, to expose how Sept. 11 was an inside job. The key piece of evidence, he said, was the fact that the World Trade Center 7 building collapsed, despite not being directly hit by a plane. So I sent him some articles, including one from Popular Mechanics, thoroughly explaining why WTC 7 collapsed. “Well, that stuff is obviously faked,” he said.…