Coachella Valley Independent

Indy Digest: Oct. 3, 2022

Good news: As you probably know, the updated COVID-19 vaccines are here!

Bad news: Many people don’t want them.

Reuters reports:

Around two-thirds of adults in the United States do not plan to get updated COVID-19 booster shots soon, according to a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), a health policy nonprofit organization.

Only a third of adults polled said they either already received the updated shots or plan to get the booster as soon as possible, the poll found.

The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna Inc. shots, updated to target more recently circulating Omicron subvariants of the coronavirus as well as the original strain, were authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration late last month.

Around 18% said they would wait and see whether they would get the new booster shot, while 10% said they would only get it if it was required. Around 12% of adults surveyed said they would definitely not get the shot, while 27% said they were not eligible because they were not fully vaccinated.

You can find the complete results of the KFF poll here.

On one hand, I can sort of understand why more people are hesitant to get these bivalent shots, which target both the “original” SARS-CoV-2 strain, and the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron variants. COVID-19 isn’t as deadly now, especially if you’ve been vaccinated previously … and, well, some folks are vaccine-d out. I have friends who are due, if they followed their doctor’s advice, for:

  • The bivalent COVID-19 booster.
  • The flu shot.
  • TWO monkeypox shots.
  • TWO shingles shots.

That’s a lotta damn shots.

On the other hand … COVID-19 is still very dangerous. More than 400 people are still dying every day in the U.S. of the disease—and long COVID is a very real problem.

Also: We’ve lucked (?) out in recent months, because no variants have yet come along to unseat BA.4 and BA.5 as the dominant strains. According to the Palm Springs wastewater testing done last week, more than 96 percent of the virus detected was BA.4 or BA.5:

I was fortunate (?) to get COVID-19 only after I’d been vaccinated and boosted, and I, thank heavens, avoided a serious case and long COVID issues. But now that there’s a shot that is specifically designed for the dominant variants … I’ll be getting that vaccine, thank you very much.

Barring eligibility or disqualifying health issues, you should, too.

—Jimmy Boegle

From the Independent

Supporting Shadow Casts: Barry Bostwick Celebrates 47 Years of ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ at Agua Caliente Rancho Mirage

By Matt King

October 3rd, 2022

Barry Bostwick, aka Brad Majors, is now starring in “The 47th Anniversary Spectacular Show” tour, coming to The Show at the Agua Caliente Rancho Mirage on Friday, Oct. 7. The event will feature a costume contest, some words by Bostwick, and a shadow cast.

The Venue Report, October 2022: Kenny Loggins, Lewis Black, Leanne Morgan—and Much More!

By Matt King

September 30th, 2022

A look at Coachella Valley’s October’s entertainment offerings.

October Astronomy: There’s a Whole Lot of Retrograding Going on This Month

By Robert Victor

September 30th, 2022

A look at what the skies will offer in October 2022.

A Disservice to Marilyn: Netflix’s ‘Blonde’ Feels Like an Incoherent, Sad Horror Movie

By Bob Grimm

October 3rd, 2022

There’s definitely room for a biopic that takes a strong, painful look at a life that ended far too early and featured many forms of abuse, both external and self-inflicted—but this certainly is not it.

The Indy Endorsement: The Poblano Shrimp Enchiladas at Salsa’s Restaurant

By Jimmy Boegle

October 3rd, 2022

Salsa’s menu offers plenty of things to enjoy, from Mexican-restaurant standards to a lot of fresh seafood,

The Lucky 13: Andrew Russell, Singer/Songwriter and Guitarist for Burgundy Blues

By Matt King

October 3rd, 2022

Get to better know Andrew Russell, the brains behind Burgundy Blues, which just released its debut album.

More News

The aforementioned wastewater testing done on Sept. 26 and 27 shows the lowest COVID-19 virus levels in months. Per the report: “The average number of copies (per liter) recorded at the city’s wastewater treatment plant decreased. The average of 255,676 copies/L from the previous week went down to an average of 172,136 copies/L for September 26 and 27.” Fingers crossed these numbers keep going down … and that no nasty new variants show up.

Monkeypox is probably here to stay. CNBC reports: “The CDC, in a technical brief, said the outbreak is slowing as the availability of vaccines has increased, people have become more aware of how to avoid infection, and immunity has likely increased among gay and bisexual men, the group most impacted by the virus. But low-level transmission of the virus could continue indefinitely among men who have sex with other men, according to the report. The CDC said it does not have a projection of how many total people might get infected by the virus.”

Via The Conversation, a political-science professor previews what could happen as the U.S. Supreme Court is now back in session. A taste: “Some of the court’s most important upcoming cases focus on the future of affirmative actionequal treatment of LGBTQ people, and the control of election laws. The court will hear the cases in the fall and then likely issue rulings in spring 2023. As a close observer of the court, I think this term’s rulings will continue to reject the court’s previous liberal decisions and instead reflect a conservative interpretation of the historical meaning of the Constitution. At least three of those upcoming rulings are likely to profoundly influence people’s everyday lives in the United States.”

Related: Time magazine looks at another case the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing: “On the first day of its new term, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a long-running dispute over federal water regulation that climate activists argue could leave millions of acres of wetlands unprotected and potentially intensify pollution of America’s water system. Idaho couple Chantell and Michael Sackett have been waging a 15-year legal battle with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over whether they can build a home on their property near Priest Lake, Idaho. In 2007, the EPA told the Sacketts that they couldn’t build because the property includes wetlands protected by the Clean Water Act, the primary federal law regulating water pollution. The Sacketts first appealed on a procedural question up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which kicked the case back to the lower courts in 2012. A decade later, the Sacketts are back before the high court. Represented by the libertarian law firm Pacific Legal Foundation, the Sacketts are asking the justices to adopt a more limited test for determining which wetlands are covered by the Clean Water Act.”

CalMatters’ bill tracker gets its final update of the year, looking at the bills Gov. Gavin Newsom signed or rejected before the Sept. 30 deadline. A bit about a paid family leave bill Gov. Newsom waited until the final day to sign: “SB 951 by Los Angeles Democratic Sen. Maria Elena Durazo increases payments to workers from the state’s disability and paid family leave programs. Starting in 2025, workers who earn less than about $57,000 a year would be paid 90% of their regular wages, an increase from the current 70%. Other workers also would get a boost, receiving 70% instead of 60% of their wages. The bill would offset some of these costs by removing a cap on workers’ contributions to the program, which currently shields earnings above $145,600.”

• Related-ish, also from our partners at CalMatters: As gas prices near or even exceed previous records in the state, the governor called for a new tax on oil companies: “Gov. Gavin Newsom hadn’t even finished dispensing with all of the bills on his desk ahead of Friday’s midnight deadline before he issued a call for new legislation. ‘We’re not going to stand by while greedy oil companies fleece Californians,’ the governor said in a stern Twitter video, citing a lopsided surge in gas prices that has resulted in Californians paying about $2.50 more per gallon at the pump than the national average. Newsom asked state lawmakers to introduce a windfall tax that would cap oil companies’ profits, tax at a higher rate any earnings above that ceiling and return the money to taxpayers via rebates — potentially similar to those the state is set to begin depositing in millions of residents’ accounts this week.”

• And finally: Here’s a story from CNN headlined “How Spam became cool again.” While I question the accuracy of the headline, here’s a, um, taste: “Hormel has sold a record amount of Spam for seven straight years, and 2022 is on pace for another such milestone. The conglomerate behind Skippy and Jennie-O turkey says it can’t make Spam fast enough and is increasing production capacity. Spam is a trending ingredient on TikTok and on the menu at fine-dining restaurants in coastal cities. In 2019, a limited-edition Spam pumpkin spice flavor sold out in minutes. (You can still buy it on Ebay, where it goes for up to $100 per can.)” Thanks, but no thanks.

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Jimmy Boegle

Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent. He is also the executive editor and publisher of the Reno News & Review in Reno, Nev. A native of Reno, the Dodgers...