Indy Digest: July 14, 2022
One of the (very few) blessings the pandemic bestowed upon many of us was an appreciation of downtime.
Before mid-March of 2020, my life was busy … sometimes, too busy. Between work commitments and volunteer commitments and mixers and travel and time with friends and etc., I often found myself looking at my calendar and seeing very little open space.
Then came the shutdowns. We were told to stay home, and most of us did—except for “essential workers” who couldn’t work from home, but even they stayed home other than going to work.
While all that forced stay-at-home time was traumatic and, at times, depressing … for me and many others, it was also nice.
It was not a bad thing to be able to plan and then prepare tasty home-cooked meals (when we weren’t getting takeout to support local restaurants). It was lovely to curl up on the couch and enjoy some shows we’d never had time to watch before.
It was also a great time to be creative. A common theme in our arts and music coverage over the last two years has been that we’re now enjoying new paintings, songs, albums, stories, etc. that were birthed during the early portion of the pandemic, because creators had, for once, time.
When things started opening back up, many of us—certainly myself included—swore that the pandemic had taught us a lesson, and that we would not return to the rat-race, packed-calendar life we once had. We promised ourselves that from now on, downtime and “me” time would have a higher priority than before.
I swore this, and I genuinely meant it. Unfortunately, life had other ideas.
In this inflationary, politically terrifying, variant-filled version of “new normal” we’re now experiencing, life as busy as it’s ever been. Work commitments combine with that conference you really should attend and that show you want to go see and that drink you promised long ago to have with an old friend and the family commitments you feel bound to keep and that thing your spouse wants to do and that medical appointment you made two months ago and OMG.
I know a lot of you out there are nodding your heads right now, because you’re experiencing the same thing.
I really feel like a lot of us learned a lesson about the joys of downtime during the pandemic. But we’re really having problems putting that lesson into practice.
From the Independent
Candidate Q&A: Republican Rep. Ken Calvert Is Challenged by Democrat Will Rollins in California’s New 41st Congressional District
By Kevin Fitzgerald
July 13th, 2022
We asked incumbent Rep. Ken Calvert and his challenger, Will Rollins, the same six questions. Here are their answers in their entirety.
Interpreting the Greats: Tysen Knight Melds Iconic Art With His Own Style for His ‘MasterPiece MashUp’ Works
By Matt King
July 12th, 2022
Both the MasterPiece MashUp works and his documentaries show how far Tysen Knight has come in his career.
Caesar Cervisia: Some Beers Are Extra-Refreshing During These Summer Months—but Be Sure to Check Packaging Dates
By Brett Newton
July 14th, 2022
With summer upon us, it’s time once again to talk about the kinds of beers that can refresh and get your mind off of the heat.
July 14th, 2022
Topics addressed on this week’s comics page include light treason, fake news, a game of 21, kitty litter—and more!
• Since one of the things this Digest has come to be known for is, uh, the close eye it keeps on local sewage (specifically, the amount of SARS-CoV-2 in said sewage), I feel a duty to let you know Indio’s Valley Sanitary District has started posting info about its testing for the virus as well. Here’s a link to the report, which, frankly, is confusing, and focuses more on national stats than local ones. The best info comes from the graph up top, which shows results similar to that of Palm Springs: We’ve been on a high plateau (with some up-and-down variation) for several months, with a definite spike in recent weeks. Eek.
• I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the Valley Sanitary District’s motto, as displayed on the homepage: “Giving Water Another Chance.” Please take a break from reading this Digest to applaud.
• An indoor mask mandate is probably going to be reinstituted in Los Angeles in a couple of weeks. The Los Angeles Times reports: “Sustained jumps in cases and hospitalizations fueled by the hyper-infectious BA.5 subvariant pushed Los Angeles County into the high COVID-19 community level Thursday, a shift that could trigger a new public indoor mask mandate by the end of this month unless conditions improve. Health officials have long said the county was inching closer to the metrics for a new mask measure, and those warnings are now closer than ever as the latest COVID-19 wave continues to wash over the region. Should L.A. County remain in the high COVID-19 community level, which is defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for the next two Thursdays, a new masking order would be issued with an effective date of July 29.” Would any Coachella Valley cities follow suit? Don’t bet on it.
• But hey, another vaccine will soon be available. CNBC writes: “The Food and Drug Administration has authorized Novavax’s two-dose vaccine for adults ages 18 and over, the fourth COVID shot to get emergency approval in the U.S. since the pandemic began. The FDA decision comes weeks after its committee of independent vaccine experts voted overwhelming in favor of Novavax’s shot in early June, after an all-day public meeting in which they weighed data on the vaccine’s safety and its effectiveness at preventing illness from COVID. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still needs to sign off on Novavax’s vaccine before pharmacies and other health-care providers can start administering shots. Novavax was one of the original participants in the U.S. government’s race to develop a COVID vaccine in 2020, receiving $1.8 billion in taxpayer funding from Operation Warp Speed. However, the small Maryland biotech company struggled to quickly get manufacturing in place and its clinical trial data read out much later than Pfizer or Moderna.”
• From one pandemic to the (not-yet-declared but very possible) next pandemic: USA Today says: “As lines stretched around the block at San Francisco General Hospital with people waiting to get vaccinated against monkeypox, public health officials said Wednesday that the city had only 50 remaining doses. It’s one of multiple cities reporting surging demand for the vaccine. The disease, a milder cousin of smallpox, was first found in the United States in May. Cases have been reported in all but 10 states as of Wednesday, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tallied almost 1,000 cases nationwide. ‘This exhaustion of existing vaccine supply is happening exactly as San Francisco and other communities continue to see increases in monkeypox infections and exposures,’ said California state Sen. Scott Wiener, whose district includes San Francisco.” Currently, the only vaccines available in Riverside County are for people who may have been exposed.
• On Monday, this space mentioned the impending release of the first James Webb Space Telescope images … and if you have not seen them yet, you should know they’re pretty darned amazing. A professor of astronomy, writing for The Conversation, explains exactly what we’re seeing in each of these amazing pictures. A taste: “Webb pointed its mirror at the exoplanet WASP 96-B—a giant hot gas planet orbiting a star about 1,000 light-years from Earth—as the planet passed in front of its parent star. During this transit, a portion of the star’s light was filtered through the planet’s atmosphere and left a ‘chemical fingerprint’ in the light’s unique spectrum. The specifics of this fingerprint strongly suggest that there is water vapor, clouds and haze in the atmosphere of WASP 96-B.”
• And finally … a friend of mine sent me this for possible inclusion in the Digest, and I apologize for actually deciding to include it. The headline, from The Daily Beast: “Pittsburgh Nightclub Shut Down After Patron’s Truly Horrific … Stunt Goes Viral.” I took out a word where that ellipsis is, because I don’t want to set off spam filters. I’ll just say the missing word is a body part, and leave it at that. Key quote, from a judge regarding the matter: “We have people in Florida that saw that video. What does that say about us?”
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