On the coronavirus front, San Diego learned last week that it is in better shape than neighboring countries and the state as a whole.
As the saying goes, there is always someone worse off than you.
It’s tempting to get involved in what is considered positive news these days, but that doesn’t change the reality that the situation here and almost everywhere is bad and it’s getting worse and worse. This applies to both the coronavirus pandemic and the increasingly toxic policies that surround it.
However, some legitimate positive things happen – big and small.
Initial results from coronoavirus vaccine trials have shown promise.
Locally, unlike other parts of the state and nation, San Diego currently has adequate hospital capacity.
And Mayor Kevin Faulconer led a move to quickly help some businesses hit by the recent statewide write-off edict by allowing them to take their outdoor activities to parking lots, sidewalks and streets.
But a vaccine is still a long way off, even if there are no bumps in the road and development is accelerated.
Hospital capacity elsewhere is or is running out – Los Angeles is one of the increasingly stressed areas – so San Diego’s status will continue to be tentative.
Efforts to allow outdoor dining and retail to be beneficial for some, but that doesn’t make up for lost deals as they are again forced to shut down indoor service. Other companies are not allowed to open outdoors by the state or logistically cannot.
In the meantime, the spread of the coronavirus is worsening and, according to current data and forecasts, will continue to deteriorate for some time.
The county health authorities factually determined the coronavirus status of San Diego in relation to surrounding counties in southern California last week. There was no crowing.
Positive tests are being done more often than weeks ago, hospital admissions are on the rise, and the county’s contact tracing system is overloaded. People are still dying.
“The numbers are not going down, they are still increasing. . . “Said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county health officer, on Wednesday.
At the federal level, the Trump administration seemed to place more emphasis on Dr. Anthony Fauci than to undermine the actual pandemic.
The director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases has become a folk hero for many Americans for expressing his unvarnished view of the situation, which is growing increasingly grim and poorly reflecting administration.
After anonymous leaks, sometimes with flimsy information, about Fauci, the President openly criticized him, saying the director had “made many mistakes”.
Then Peter Navarro, the multiple failed politician and fringe economist from San Diego who has grown in prominence in the Trump administration, joined the fight.
But when his critical opinion pillar appeared in USA Today, the public clearly supported Fauci in that fight. Trump and White House aides said Navarro acted himself and that his play was not authorized.
However, a government source rejected the idea that Navarro had become a villain, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“Not only was he authorized by Trump, he was also encouraged,” the official said. The predictable rejections from the White House followed.
It was much wrong with Navarro’s column, and USA Today later admitted that it fell short of the newspaper’s fact-checking standards. USA Today also provided a story after the column was misleading and had no context.
During this side show, things got worse on site, both healthily and economically.
The New York Times said new infection records and re-locks could “push the country back into a spiral of recession.”
A report with a worse rating was previously published.
“The US economy is in a ‘depression-like crisis’ and will not return to its pre-recession peak until 2023,” the UCLA Anderson forecast.
In California, Governor Gavin Newsom responded to the surge in coronavirus cases by urging more companies to close again.
The frustration was even more noticeable than the first time.
But at the time, positive coronavirus trends and reopenings gave the wrong feeling that we were over our humps, despite repeated warnings that continued progress required disciplined adherence to socially distant guidelines – not just from government and corporations, but everyone.
Unfortunately, a lot of people didn’t pay attention.
Some have criticized Newsom and local officials for giving in to pressure and reopening too early. In retrospect, this may have been the case. But in an alternate reality, if everyone had done what they were asked when the economy opened up – and most of them – how could things be any different today?
People were understandably burned out from the initial month-long shutdown, and many held onto large casualties in addition to those affected by COVID-19. Now it feels like we’re going back to first place.
Amid the surge in infections, new closings, and alarming forecasts, people have expressed anger at Newsom and other government and health officials. But that has been the case for months.
In the early days of the new shutdown, something else seems to be happening. According to another Los Angeles Times story, “people turn each other on like never before.”
Many burdens are mounting: uncertainty about future federal support for companies and unemployed people, parents who have to leave their children at home at least at the beginning of the school year, and renewed freedom to shop, eat and socialize.
Much has been reported of persistent customers refusing to wear masks when joining a company. Now, according to the Times, other people are beating the mask deniers more aggressively.
“I’m angry at people who refuse to protect others,” said Dee Lescault, whose hair salon on Costa Mesa has just closed.
The situation is dire, but that doesn’t mean that substantial advancements are out of the question if people just wore masks.
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said if everyone wore a mask for a month or two, “we can get this epidemic under control.”
That seems so close, but it’s incredibly far away given the current attitudes.
Tweet of the week
Go to comedian Jim Gaffigan (@JimGaffigan)
“I can’t believe it’s March.”