Coachella Valley Independent

Indy Digest: June 23, 2022

I’ve been writing and reporting on it for close to 2 1/2 years now. In fact, it’s the thing that birthed this newsletter.

And, well, the damn thing finally got me.

While we will never know for sure, our best guess is that my husband and I were exposed at some point during a full day of air travel. It was a Saturday, and the airports were packed. Whenever we were around people and not eating, we wore masks. About 95 percent of the people around us didn’t..

We felt fine on Sunday and Monday. In fact, I had lunch with a colleague on Monday—and that night, four of our friends came over for dinner.

Tuesday morning, I woke up with a sore throat. I didn’t think much of it—due to allergies, I regularly have a mildly sore throat—until my husband told me that he, too, had a sore throat, and felt like he was “coming down with something.” So we broke out the at-home COVID-19 tests.

The positive line appeared almost instantly on mine. To double-check things (I thought perhaps I placed too many drops on the indicator), I took a second one, of a different brand. It, too, came up positive. (Interestingly, my husband tested negative with the at-home test; he was able to get a PCR test later that day at CVS. The results arrived the next day—confirming he, too, was positive.)

The phone calls to my colleague with whom I had lunch, and the friends with whom we had dinner, were not fun. I felt guilty, like I had done something wrong. They assured me I had not.

Later on Tuesday, I started to feel like crap. By Tuesday night, I had a 101.3 degree fever and felt terrible. As I tried to go to sleep, my eyes burned, as if I’d rubbed them after slicing up a jalapeno. I couldn’t believe this was a COVID-19 thing … but sure enough, it can be.

As I went to bed Tuesday night, I was concerned about my ability to get our July issue to press by our Thursday evening deadline. Thankfully, the brain fog I had at times Tuesday was gone on Wednesday.

As I write this Thursday, my husband and I are both managing. This now feels like an average cold to me; I am tired and have a cough. It feels a little worse to my hubby. I am petrified to think how this may have gone had I not been vaccinated and boosted, and had my husband not been vaccinated and double-boosted.

By now, most Americans have had COVID-19—and a whole lot of us will get it again, because the new omicron subvariants are quite contagious, and very good at evading immunity. According to Palm Springs wastewater tests, virus levels have been very high now for two full months, as regular readers know.

Be safe. Get boosted. And you may want to consider wearing a mask when you’re indoors and surrounded by a lot of people.

—Jimmy Boegle

From the Independent

The Aquifer: Local Agencies Say the Coachella Valley’s Water Supply Is Secure Despite the Ongoing Drought—but the State’s Water-Use Restrictions Still Apply

By Kevin Fitzgerald

June 21st, 2022

The Coachella Valley is not like the rest of the state—and the area’s water districts want you to know that. The reason: Despite a relentlessly warming climate and the lengthy drought, we have The Aquifer.

Hiking With T: How to Avoid Trouble While Hiking in the Desert During These Months of Extreme Heat

By Theresa Sama

June 22nd, 2022

If you’re a regular reader, some of what follows may seem redundant from columns this time last year—but if you follow the local hiker-rescue statistics during the months of April through September, you will agree that some things need to be repeated, for safety’s sake!

The Lucky 13: Karla Anderson, Frontwoman for Labia Minora, Performing July 23 at The Hood in Palm Desert

By Matt King

June 21st, 2022

There’s a new punk band in town, and Labia Minora is quickly making its presence known throughout the valley. After only a handful of shows, the band has already established a garage-punk sound—and a following.

The Weekly Independent Comics Page for June 23, 2022!

By Staff

June 23rd, 2022

Topics touched on via this week’s comics page include FBI provocateurs, the big lie, being outmanned and outgunned, the Taliban—and more!

More News

Riverside County’s got monkeypox, The Press-Enterprise says: “The first probable case of monkeypox has been reported in Riverside County, public health officials said Wednesday, June 22. Tissue samples from a man under the age of 60 in the eastern part of the county came back positive for the virus known as orthopoxvirus, Riverside University Health System–Public Health announced. … The Riverside County man, who was not identified, was seen in an outpatient setting and did not require hospitalization, the release states. Further testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will confirm whether it’s monkeypox, the release states.”

Men who have sex with men should be extra cautious regarding monkeypox. Science magazine reports: “Ever since monkeypox started to sicken thousands of people worldwide this spring, two big questions have loomed: Why is a virus that has never managed to spread beyond a few cases outside Africa suddenly causing such a big, global outbreak? And why are the overwhelming majority of those affected men who have sex with men (MSM)? A long history of work on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and early studies of the current outbreak suggest the answers may be linked: The virus may have made its way into highly interconnected sexual networks within the MSM community, where it can spread in ways that it cannot in the general population.”

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling made today could very well end up weakening California’s gun laws. Our partners at CalMatters have the scoop: “Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued one of its most significant gun law rulings in more than a decade, tossing out New York state’s tight restrictions on who can carry a concealed gun in public. Gun rights activists are celebrating the 6-3 decision, while advocates for stricter gun laws decry it. Both agree that California’s similar law may be next to be challenged. The ruling likely marks the most dramatic expansion of gun rights in the United States since 2008, when the Supreme Court clarified for the first time that the Second Amendment’s right ‘to keep and bear’ firearms applies to individual citizens, not just state militia members. But that ruling only affirmed the right for ‘self-defense within the home,’ leaving states with wide discretion over whether and how to restrict guns elsewhere. This ruling brings that constitutional right outside the home.”

If the Biden administration gets its way, the amount of nicotine in cigarettes will soon be significantly cut. The Washington Post says: “The Biden administration said Tuesday it plans to develop a rule requiring tobacco companies to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes sold in the United States to minimally or nonaddictive levels, an effort that, if successful, could have an unprecedented effect in slashing smoking-related deaths and threaten a politically powerful industry. … The administration notice said the Food and Drug Administration intends by May 2023 to develop a proposed standard ‘that would establish a maximum nicotine level in cigarettes and certain finished tobacco products.’ In a statement released late Tuesday, the FDA said the goal is ‘to reduce youth use, addiction and death.’ If nicotine were reduced, many addicted users would have a greater ability to quit, and young people could be prevented from becoming regular smokers, the agency said.”

And today, the FDA took action against Juul e-cigarettes. As CNBC explains: “The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday that it is banning the sale of Juul e-cigarettes in the U.S. Juul intends to seek a stay on the decision and is exploring options, which include appealing the decision or engaging with the FDA, Chief Regulatory Officer Joe Murillo said in a statement. The ban is part of the FDA’s broader review of the vaping industry following years of pressure from politicians and public health groups to regulate the segment as strictly as other tobacco products after vaping became more common among high schoolers. Juul had sought approval from the agency for its vaping device and tobacco- and menthol-flavored pods, which are available at 5% and 3% nicotine strengths. The flavors were not subject to a 2020 agency ban on mint- and fruit-flavored vaping products that were popular with teens.”

Proof that social media can, in fact, be good for something comes via this NPR report: “Daily Harvest, a food home delivery service, has issued a recall on its lentil and leek crumbles dish, after multiple customers complained on social media of stomach issues after consuming them. Users on Reddit, Twitter and Instagram reported experiences of nausea, vomiting and liver damage after consuming the dish. One Reddit user said their wife had symptoms, such as ‘extreme fatigue, dark urine, low-grade fever and whole-body itching with no rash.’ Another user said their mom ‘was as sick as a dog and puking a lot’ a day after eating the beans. The company published a statement Sunday advising consumers to throw out the dish and said it reached out to all customers who received it..”

• We’ll conclude with two events-based items—both of which involve air-conditioned, indoors goings-on. First: The Palm Springs International Shortfest is now under way! It continues through June 27. But if you’re, uh, in quarantine, note that the Best of Fest films will be available to watch online July 1-10. Get all the details here.

• And finally … one of my favorite regular events—one at which I was a semi-regular pre-pandemic—is returning in the July. Our friends at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club report via email: “After a 2-year hiatus, Monday Night BINGO is back at King’s Highway starting on July 4! BINGO is for sure the most popular and requested event at the restaurant, and we’re excited to finally have the balls rolling again. We have the beautiful and lovely Bella da Ball hosting, calling numbers, performing and giving away prizes. Hours are every Monday from 7-9 p.m. Reservations are strongly recommended as space is limited, and they can be made here: www.opentable.com/r/kings-highway-palm-springs. (Most folks play BINGO during dinner, however, for those who just want to come play, there is a $30 F&B minimum.) … Trivia is going to happen right after BINGO in the Amigo Room, 9-11 p.m.” Yay!

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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...