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 into that more in a moment—that we really don’t know how all of this is going to go. Yes, it’s quite possible we’ll see a debilitating spike causing another shut-down; after all Arizona—you know, the state just to the east of here—is in the midst of a COVID-19 spike so serious that the state health director has told hospitals to activate their emergency plans.
However, I sure hope we don’t have a second wave (or, more likely, a second spike in the first wave)—because you know what will happen if we do have another shutdown? A whole lot of people will be hurting, in a whole lot of ways. It means more sickness and death. It means financial loss and the destruction of dreams. It could mean chaos—even more than we’re seeing now.
By all means, speak out, but do so with love and concern. Be kind—and don’t root for failure.
• Here’s last week’s District 4 COVID-19 report from the county. (District 4 more or less = Coachella Valley.) The numbers are, in some cases, not great. Hospitalizations are up, as is the 7-day positivity rate. On the other hand, the ICU numbers remain fairly low; the valley saw one COVID-19-related death in the week.
• This New York Times headline will make you want to go bang your head against the wall: “Hospitals Got Bailouts and Furloughed Thousands While Paying C.E.O.s Millions.” Do a search in the article for Tenet, the owner of Desert Regional Medical Center, JFK Memorial Hospital in Indio, and the Hi Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree. You won’t like what you read.
• Sign No. 345,969 that we know very little about the disease: A recent study seems to indicate that the actual spread of SARS-CoV-2 started later than previously thought.
• Sign No. 345,970 that we know very little about the disease: The Conversation reports on science showing that 80 percent of coronavirus cases are spread by just 20 percent of people infected with the virus—including, it is believed, some people who are asymptomatic.
• Sign No. 345,971 that we know very little about the disease: Meanwhile, a high-ranking World Health Organization doc says asymptomatic people actually DON’T spread the virus much. NOTHING MAKES SENSE ANYMORE.
• Sign No. 345,972 that we know very little about the disease: The New York Times polled 511 epidemiologists on when they expect to do what used to be “normal” things again—like go out to eat, or travel, or hug someone. Well, the results were all over the damned place.
• This article is almost a month old, but worth a look, given the news about a vaccine has been encouraging as of late: Even if we do have a vaccine, we may not have enough glass vials to put the doses in. Sigh.
• The state superintendent of public schools today announced guidance for school reopenings. Things will be quite different.
• The Washington Post today reported on a new study indicating that the shutdowns may have prevented 60 million COVID-19 cases in the U.S. Wow.
• Las Vegas is open again. How is it even possible for large Vegas-style casinos to operate in the midst of an active pandemic? The New York Times takes a look.
• From the Independent: I attended the June 6 “Enough Is Enough” rally and protest at Ruth Hardy Park. It was a moving, inspiring experience. Here’s our photo gallery—and you’ll be hearing more from several local protest-organizers in the Independent in upcoming days.
• The “Justice in Policing Act” was introduced by congressional Democrats today. NBC News offers some details.
• Here’s where the United States is in June 2020: Teen Vogue has just run a story on how law-enforcement tactics, like the use of tear gas and the seizures of masks, at the protests against systemic racism are worsening the spread of COVID-19.
• OK, I am going to repeat that again, because it’s so awful, and weird, and slightly inspiring (go Teen Vogue!), but mostly awful, that it bears a second look: Teen Vogue has just run a story on how law-enforcement tactics, like the use of tear gas and the seizures of masks, at the protests against systemic racism are worsening the spread of COVID-19.
• OK, here’s a CNN headline that perfectly illustrates the toxicity in sooo many law enforcement organizations across the country: “Florida police organization offers to hire cops who were fired or resigned over police misconduct.”
That’s enough. Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Fight injustice. If you have the means, please consider becoming a Supporter of the Independent. We’re back tomorrow.