Indy Digest: Feb. 20, 2023
It turned out to be a very different weekend than we’d planned.
The in-laws arrived for a visit on Friday; they drove down from Reno for a long weekend of golf, food and relaxation. After the hubby, our friend Bryan, and I checked out the Modernism Show and Sale’s preview night, we met Harry (my father-in-law) and Deb (his wife) at Billy Reed’s for a nice dinner.
On Saturday, we all met for lunch at Manhattan in the Desert, with some friends of Harry and Deb’s who are spending some time in Palm Desert. That night, Harry and Deb came over to our place for homemade pizzas. While Harry seemed fine at lunch, he seemed quite different when he arrived at our apartment: He was stuffed up and congested.
Sunday morning, he took an at-home COVID-19 test. It was positive. So was the second one he took.
Harry and Deb decided to drive back to Reno, two days early.
As I write this on Monday, I am sitting here with one question on my mind: Now what?
Three years into the pandemic, or endemic, or whatever the hell this is now, the guidance on what one’s supposed to do when exposed to SARS-CoV-2 is clear as mud. Garrett and I are vaccinated and boosted, and we got the updated booster, too. We feel fine (knock on wood), and the at-home tests we took were negative (knock on some more wood). Therefore, the CDC says we’re cleared to go out into public as long as we’re wearing masks.
We cancelled our plans last night (Sunday) and stayed in, but tonight, we’re supposed to go meet a friend—someone we haven’t seen since COVID-19 arrived—for drinks. We can wear masks … except for the part where we’re drinking.
So, yeah. Now what?
We’re leaning toward going tonight. We’ll test ourselves before we go (fingers crossed they remain negative!), and I’ll wear a mask when I am not eating or drinking. Chances are, if we test negative, we aren’t contagious. But who knows?
Right now, we’re hoping Harry and Deb (who has since gotten sick as well) get better soon. We’re also hoping we’re doing the right thing as we navigate this strange new world of ours.
From the Independent
Bridging the Coachella Valley: Flooding Frequently Closes Vital Roadways Like Indian Canyon Drive—but Solutions Are Finally on the Way
By Kevin Fitzgerald
February 17th, 2023
According to a Palm Springs City Councilmember, two bridge projects in the city are already funded; she’s working on getting funding for the other two.
Revelations and Philosophies: The Bent’s Production of ‘Gently Down the Stream’ Is an Astonishing Theatrical Experience
By Valerie-Jean (VJ) Hume
February 19th, 2023
Who knew the second production of The Bent, which focuses on LGBTQ+ theater, was going to be such a knockout?
Escape to Palm Springs: Jukebox Musical ‘Mid-Century Moderns’ Finds a New Home at Oscar’s
By Valerie-Jean (VJ) Hume
February 18th, 2023
Mid-Century Moderns is interesting and entertaining—and a lot of us can relate to “escaping” to Palm Springs.
Purple and Painful: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ Is Boring and Surprisingly Unoriginal
By Bob Grimm
February 20th, 2023
Paul Rudd has always been fun in his many Marvel appearances, but this time, his shtick grows a little tired.
Performers Give Time and Talent to Palm Canyon Theatre (Nonprofit Submission)
By Cara Van Dijk
February 18th, 2023
Palm Canyon Theatre launched a new Cabaret Fundraising Series this season with a variety of one-night-only productions. Performers donate their time and talents.
• The members of the Desert Sun NewsGuild walked out of work on Friday—on the second anniversary of their unionization—engaging in a one-day strike and demonstrating at the Forever Marilyn statue. You can see photos and get the NewsGuild’s perspective via their Twitter feed. Key quote: “We gave Gannett our economic proposal in October, after our members discussed why our current pay is unsustainably out-of-line with the cost of living in our growing SoCal region. We have heard nothing back from the company on this proposal since then. We also take this step knowing more change is in store for our newsroom, with our executive editor taking a new position next month. We call on the company to maintain (and boost!) our current staffing levels, including by having a full team of editors who allow us to thrive.”
• A new study indicates that natural immunity from getting COVID-19 provides just as much protection from serious illness and death as two vaccine shots. NBC News says: “The study was the largest meta-analysis to date to look at immunity following infection. It included 65 studies from 19 countries and compared the risk of developing COVID again in people who had recovered from infections to people who hadn’t been infected through September. People who had hybrid immunity, or immunity from both infection and vaccination, were excluded. … Dr. Bob Wachter, the chairman of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said he did not expect the protection acquired from infection to be as robust as the meta-analysis found. ‘The protection against severe infection, both the extent and the length of it at almost a year, is really surprisingly high,’ said Wachter, who was not involved with the research.”
• California’s population continues to shrink. Our partners at Calmatters examined why: “Just counting out-of-staters coming in and Californians leaving, the state’s population saw a 871,127 net decline. If you’re wondering why the state lost a congressional seat at the beginning of this decade, this is why. This isn’t a national problem. It’s a California, New York, Illinois and Louisiana problem. California is one of only 18 states that saw its numbers decline and had the fourth biggest drop as a share of its population. … But not all of California is shrinking at the same rate. And no surprise, housing seems to be the key explanation why. A San Francisco Chronicle analysis of local population changes between 2010 and 2020 found that the fastest growing city in California was the East Bay bedroom community of Dublin, which permitted four-times as many new housing units per person as nearby San Francisco.”
• Several U.S. senators are asking Kroger—the parent company of Ralph’s—about accusations of wage theft. The Huffington Post says: “Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) sent a letter to Kroger (last week) asking whether the grocery store chain plans to pay its workers who say they were victims of wage theft. Kroger employees have recently filed a spate of lawsuits alleging that the company’s new payroll system has left their paychecks short. As HuffPost recently reported, one union said it had received hundreds of employee complaints regarding incomplete pay or unauthorized deductions. Warren and Sanders told Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen that they would like some answers. … In a proposed class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in Virginia, one Kroger worker said her health insurance premiums had been deducted twice from her paychecks, while another said the company had failed to pay her time-and-a-half for her overtime hours.”
• President Jimmy Carter, at the age of 98, has entered hospice care. A historian, writing for The Conversation, says Carter’s much-maligned foreign-policy efforts as president deserve another look: “The criticism of Carter’s foreign policies seems particularly mistaken when it comes to the Cold War, a period defined by decades of hostility, mutual distrust and arms buildup after World War II between the U.S. and Russia, then known as the Soviet Union or Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). By the late 1970s, the Soviet Union’s economy and global influence were weakening. With the counsel of National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, a Soviet expert, Carter exploited these weaknesses. During his presidency, Carter insisted nations provide basic freedoms for their people—a moral weapon against which repressive leaders could not defend.”
• And finally … if you grew up in the West, and you’re over the age of 35, you undoubtedly are familiar with the TV commercials featuring car dealer Cal Worthington and “his dog Spot” … which was never a dog. The Los Angeles Times reports that after four decades, the Cal Worthington era is coming to an end: “Automobile dealer Calvin Coolidge Worthington decided to have a little fun, attract attention, and empty his lots with ‘My Dog Spot’ TV commercials featuring a live, snarling gorilla. The commercials, in which he also used other animals as a dog named Spot — a penguin, camel, elephant, bear, lion, hippopotamus, and tiger—helped Worthington build an empire of 27 dealerships that sold more than 1 million cars. Many of those commercials were filmed under the large ‘Worthington Ford in Long Beach’ sign at the dealership he bought in 1963. Now that sign has come to mark the end of an era. Worthington’s family said they have sold the 3-acre business, the last dealership still bearing the name of the legendary car salesman who died in 2012.”
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