News

Reopen California? That's the toughest phase yet, Newsom says

When will Californians emerge from house confinement? What will life look like?

In a roadmap unveiled Tuesday with top public health officials, Gov. Gavin Newsom said he will not lift his shelter-in-place order until adequate suppression and mitigation measures are in place to prevent future flare-ups. That means tracking down the sick and isolating clusters of new infections, arming hospitals with adequate equipment and setting new guidelines for schools and businesses to reopen.

In short, it might be a while. The governor told reporters not to even ask him about the timeline until hospitalizations and intensive care caseloads begin to drop. To his point, Monday marked California's deadliest day so far with 71 deaths for a total of 758 lives lost.

"In two weeks, if we see a continued decline, not just flattening, but a decline … ask me then," Newsom said.

Nearly four weeks in with signs that a state lockdown was slowing the spread of the coronavirus, the governor offered a glimpse of post-pandemic life where restaurants check temperatures at the door, servers in masks offer disposable menus and diners sit at tables spaced 6 feet apart. And until most of the population is immune to the virus and a vaccine is available, Newsom said, mass gatherings such as music festivals and sporting events are "not in the cards."

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support Palo Alto Online for as little as $5/month.

Learn more

California is not alone in taking a conditional approach. Despite President Trump's enthusiasm for opening the economy as quickly as possible, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the country was "not there yet."

What it suggests is that this is not the end of the pandemic, but only the end of its chaotic and deadly beginning.

"This time period we are entering is not about going back to where we were before," said Department of Public Health Director Sonia Angell. "It won't look the same."

With the number of new cases each day appearing to fall in some pandemic hotspots, calls to reopen the economy have been growing louder.

But the economy isn't likely to rebound by executive edict alone. A recent Ipsos poll estimates that 70% of Americans view going to the grocery store as a highly or moderately risky activity. People can only be expected to resume business-as-nearly-usual when they are convinced it is safe to do so.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Sign up

California's economic prognosis is already grim. Forecasters at the University of the Pacific project an 18.8% unemployment rate for California in May — up from a 2019 average of just 4%. One third of the expected job losses are concentrated in the typically low-wage food service sector.

And the state is forecasting a 61% drop in tax collections between April and June, which includes the busy tax filing season.

Before lifting the lockdown, there is plenty of work to do — and plenty of details to fill in.

The Newsom administration outlined criteria to modify the shelter-in-place order: the state will need to develop the ability to test, track and isolate those who are sick; to make sure that hospitals are ready to handle any potential fresh outbreaks; to ensure that businesses are able to operate with new social distancing guidelines; and to monitor new cases.

How do we defrost the economy while keeping the virus in check?

For weeks, public health officials, epidemiologists and economists have been mulling that question. And though specific plans vary, a consensus has emerged: a massive new public health surveillance system has to be built that will allow public health officials in every county of every state to track down, isolate and quash new infections before they flare out of control again.

"We have to have the logistics in place to be able to identify small brush fires in the community and extinguish them before they become raging wildfires," said Jeffrey Martin, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco.

In practice that means, at the very least, there has to be much more testing.

But even as California's test count climbed to 215,400 tests as of April 13, another 13,200 people were still waiting on results. On April 4, Newsom announced a new partnership with UC Davis and UC San Diego to create "a minimum of five to seven hubs where we have high-throughput."

One of the hubs is at UC Davis but the state Department of Public Health would not identify other hubs or how many tests they're running.

Parts of California remain desperately short of testing supplies — such as Placer County, home to the first person to die of the novel coronavirus in the state. The county has only about 40 kits for collecting specimens left.

While the vast majority of Placer County's testing goes through commercial and hospital labs, people living in the county's jails or homeless shelter are prioritized for testing by Sacramento County's public health lab, Aimee Sisson, Placer County's public health officer and public health director, told CalMatters Monday.

"They have been essentially impossible to find," Sisson said. "It means that I don’t get to test everybody who I would like to test."

Even if adequate testing shows the rate of new cases slowing, the task of limiting new infections will continue. That requires gathering, analyzing and sharing vast quantities of testing data. It will also mean identifying new infections as soon as they occur, figuring out a way to isolate the new patient, and identifying and quarantining their recent contacts, too.

There are different ways to accomplish all of this, and none are easy. Madera County, for instance, typically has two to three people to investigate potential exposures to infectious diseases like tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections. But with the coronavirus pandemic, the county has leaned on sheriff's deputies and probation investigators to bolster their team.

In South Korea, citizens who have been infected have been required to download an app that tracks where they've been and who they might have infected. In their pandemic recovery report, researchers at the Center for American Progress recommend that the United States develop some version of the app. But they acknowledge that a more "civil-liberties-sensitive solution" would have to be adopted.

Google and Apple recently announced plans to develop a similar contact tracing system that uses the Bluetooth on people’s phones to track when people get close to one another. The idea is that public health officials could use this data to track potential contacts via their own apps.

But between the potential for false positives and concerns about privacy, it seems unlikely an app can replace the people needed to do the work.

"App or no app, the vital work needs to be done by trained public health professionals at the local level who are trained in privacy concerns and conduct thorough and confidential contact investigations," said Kat DeBurgh, executive director of the Health Officers Association of California.

Newsom agreed. While the state is vetting apps, he said, "we have to supplement that technology with the workforce."

To that end, Newsom said the state is training "thousands of individuals" working with AmeriCorps and California Volunteers as well as existing state staff to bolster California’s capacity to identify people infected with the novel coronavirus, and trace their potential contacts.

California's roadmap is part of a regional partnership with Oregon and Washington. The Western States Pact is meant to provide a shared framework for relaxing social distancing mandates and to start reviving each state’s economy.

The governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Massachusetts and Rhode Island announced a similar collaborative confederation on the East Coast.

"This virus knows no boundaries, knows no borders. You can’t build walls around it," Newsom said Monday.

Prior to the pandemic, an allusion to building walls would have been an obvious dig at President Trump, Newsom's chief ideological foe and a frequent Twitter sparring partner. Since the beginning of the crisis, the two have been remarkably cordial, regularly swapping praise.

But the formation of these pacts is itself an acknowledgment that the federal government has yet to offer an overarching lockdown policy or guidance.

President Trump said Monday that the decision to reopen each state’s economy was his to make, asserting "when someone is president of the United States, their authority is total." Tuesday, he modified his response amid a report that federal officials drafted a national plan for getting back out.

"They know when it’s time to open and we don’t want to put pressure on anybody," Trump said. "I'm not going to put any pressure on any governor to open."

CalMatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California's policies and politics. Read more state news from CalMatters here. Ben Christopher can be emailed at [email protected] and Rachel Becker can be emailed at [email protected].

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by the Almanac, Mountain View Voice and Palo Alto Online here.

Craving a new voice in Peninsula dining?

Sign up for the Peninsula Foodist newsletter.

Sign up now

Follow Palo Alto Online and the Palo Alto Weekly on Twitter @paloaltoweekly, Facebook and on Instagram @paloaltoonline for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Reopen California? That's the toughest phase yet, Newsom says

by /

Uploaded: Wed, Apr 15, 2020, 9:10 am

When will Californians emerge from house confinement? What will life look like?

In a roadmap unveiled Tuesday with top public health officials, Gov. Gavin Newsom said he will not lift his shelter-in-place order until adequate suppression and mitigation measures are in place to prevent future flare-ups. That means tracking down the sick and isolating clusters of new infections, arming hospitals with adequate equipment and setting new guidelines for schools and businesses to reopen.

In short, it might be a while. The governor told reporters not to even ask him about the timeline until hospitalizations and intensive care caseloads begin to drop. To his point, Monday marked California's deadliest day so far with 71 deaths for a total of 758 lives lost.

"In two weeks, if we see a continued decline, not just flattening, but a decline … ask me then," Newsom said.

Nearly four weeks in with signs that a state lockdown was slowing the spread of the coronavirus, the governor offered a glimpse of post-pandemic life where restaurants check temperatures at the door, servers in masks offer disposable menus and diners sit at tables spaced 6 feet apart. And until most of the population is immune to the virus and a vaccine is available, Newsom said, mass gatherings such as music festivals and sporting events are "not in the cards."

California is not alone in taking a conditional approach. Despite President Trump's enthusiasm for opening the economy as quickly as possible, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the country was "not there yet."

What it suggests is that this is not the end of the pandemic, but only the end of its chaotic and deadly beginning.

"This time period we are entering is not about going back to where we were before," said Department of Public Health Director Sonia Angell. "It won't look the same."

With the number of new cases each day appearing to fall in some pandemic hotspots, calls to reopen the economy have been growing louder.

But the economy isn't likely to rebound by executive edict alone. A recent Ipsos poll estimates that 70% of Americans view going to the grocery store as a highly or moderately risky activity. People can only be expected to resume business-as-nearly-usual when they are convinced it is safe to do so.

California's economic prognosis is already grim. Forecasters at the University of the Pacific project an 18.8% unemployment rate for California in May — up from a 2019 average of just 4%. One third of the expected job losses are concentrated in the typically low-wage food service sector.

And the state is forecasting a 61% drop in tax collections between April and June, which includes the busy tax filing season.

Before lifting the lockdown, there is plenty of work to do — and plenty of details to fill in.

The Newsom administration outlined criteria to modify the shelter-in-place order: the state will need to develop the ability to test, track and isolate those who are sick; to make sure that hospitals are ready to handle any potential fresh outbreaks; to ensure that businesses are able to operate with new social distancing guidelines; and to monitor new cases.

How do we defrost the economy while keeping the virus in check?

For weeks, public health officials, epidemiologists and economists have been mulling that question. And though specific plans vary, a consensus has emerged: a massive new public health surveillance system has to be built that will allow public health officials in every county of every state to track down, isolate and quash new infections before they flare out of control again.

"We have to have the logistics in place to be able to identify small brush fires in the community and extinguish them before they become raging wildfires," said Jeffrey Martin, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco.

In practice that means, at the very least, there has to be much more testing.

But even as California's test count climbed to 215,400 tests as of April 13, another 13,200 people were still waiting on results. On April 4, Newsom announced a new partnership with UC Davis and UC San Diego to create "a minimum of five to seven hubs where we have high-throughput."

One of the hubs is at UC Davis but the state Department of Public Health would not identify other hubs or how many tests they're running.

Parts of California remain desperately short of testing supplies — such as Placer County, home to the first person to die of the novel coronavirus in the state. The county has only about 40 kits for collecting specimens left.

While the vast majority of Placer County's testing goes through commercial and hospital labs, people living in the county's jails or homeless shelter are prioritized for testing by Sacramento County's public health lab, Aimee Sisson, Placer County's public health officer and public health director, told CalMatters Monday.

"They have been essentially impossible to find," Sisson said. "It means that I don’t get to test everybody who I would like to test."

Even if adequate testing shows the rate of new cases slowing, the task of limiting new infections will continue. That requires gathering, analyzing and sharing vast quantities of testing data. It will also mean identifying new infections as soon as they occur, figuring out a way to isolate the new patient, and identifying and quarantining their recent contacts, too.

There are different ways to accomplish all of this, and none are easy. Madera County, for instance, typically has two to three people to investigate potential exposures to infectious diseases like tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections. But with the coronavirus pandemic, the county has leaned on sheriff's deputies and probation investigators to bolster their team.

In South Korea, citizens who have been infected have been required to download an app that tracks where they've been and who they might have infected. In their pandemic recovery report, researchers at the Center for American Progress recommend that the United States develop some version of the app. But they acknowledge that a more "civil-liberties-sensitive solution" would have to be adopted.

Google and Apple recently announced plans to develop a similar contact tracing system that uses the Bluetooth on people’s phones to track when people get close to one another. The idea is that public health officials could use this data to track potential contacts via their own apps.

But between the potential for false positives and concerns about privacy, it seems unlikely an app can replace the people needed to do the work.

"App or no app, the vital work needs to be done by trained public health professionals at the local level who are trained in privacy concerns and conduct thorough and confidential contact investigations," said Kat DeBurgh, executive director of the Health Officers Association of California.

Newsom agreed. While the state is vetting apps, he said, "we have to supplement that technology with the workforce."

To that end, Newsom said the state is training "thousands of individuals" working with AmeriCorps and California Volunteers as well as existing state staff to bolster California’s capacity to identify people infected with the novel coronavirus, and trace their potential contacts.

California's roadmap is part of a regional partnership with Oregon and Washington. The Western States Pact is meant to provide a shared framework for relaxing social distancing mandates and to start reviving each state’s economy.

The governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Massachusetts and Rhode Island announced a similar collaborative confederation on the East Coast.

"This virus knows no boundaries, knows no borders. You can’t build walls around it," Newsom said Monday.

Prior to the pandemic, an allusion to building walls would have been an obvious dig at President Trump, Newsom's chief ideological foe and a frequent Twitter sparring partner. Since the beginning of the crisis, the two have been remarkably cordial, regularly swapping praise.

But the formation of these pacts is itself an acknowledgment that the federal government has yet to offer an overarching lockdown policy or guidance.

President Trump said Monday that the decision to reopen each state’s economy was his to make, asserting "when someone is president of the United States, their authority is total." Tuesday, he modified his response amid a report that federal officials drafted a national plan for getting back out.

"They know when it’s time to open and we don’t want to put pressure on anybody," Trump said. "I'm not going to put any pressure on any governor to open."

CalMatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California's policies and politics. Read more state news from CalMatters here. Ben Christopher can be emailed at [email protected] and Rachel Becker can be emailed at [email protected].

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by the Almanac, Mountain View Voice and Palo Alto Online here.

Comments

Resident
Midtown
on Apr 15, 2020 at 9:28 am
Resident, Midtown
on Apr 15, 2020 at 9:28 am
4 people like this

[Post removed.]


resident
Downtown North
on Apr 15, 2020 at 10:44 am
resident, Downtown North
on Apr 15, 2020 at 10:44 am
9 people like this

[Post removed.]


palo altan
College Terrace
on Apr 15, 2020 at 11:23 am
palo altan, College Terrace
on Apr 15, 2020 at 11:23 am
6 people like this

Sweden reported a record 170 new coronavirus deaths today in a widely-expected surge after the Easter weekend. : Web Link


@(so-called) Resident
Mountain View
on Apr 15, 2020 at 11:41 am
@(so-called) Resident, Mountain View
on Apr 15, 2020 at 11:41 am
26 people like this

Let's have a look at the numbers, shall we?
From the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 website:
Denmark -- 309 deaths
Norway -- 145 deaths
Finland -- 72 deaths
and
Sweden -- 1,203 deaths

Care to guess what the difference among these Scandinavian countries happens to be? Denmark, Norway, and Finland all put in *actual* shelter in place policies, including closing down all non-essential businesses. Sweden, for reasons that no one can seem to grasp, has not. And they are paying the price.

So, "Resident" -- please take your nonsensical posts, and just go away.


Resident
Midtown
on Apr 15, 2020 at 11:44 am
Resident, Midtown
on Apr 15, 2020 at 11:44 am
4 people like this

[Post removed.]


@(so-called) Resident
Mountain View
on Apr 15, 2020 at 11:49 am
@(so-called) Resident, Mountain View
on Apr 15, 2020 at 11:49 am
10 people like this

[Post removed.]


Gale Johnson
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 15, 2020 at 2:44 pm
Gale Johnson, Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 15, 2020 at 2:44 pm
4 people like this

What are Palo Alto's current statistics? Number of cases, hospitalized, recovered, deaths, numbers tested, and the results.


Gale Johnson
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 15, 2020 at 2:53 pm
Gale Johnson, Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 15, 2020 at 2:53 pm
2 people like this

That test, track and isolate criteria could be a show stopper for any early relaxation and getting back to a minimal level of normalcy. Stay tuned to see what the plan is for doing that.


Gale Johnson
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 15, 2020 at 3:33 pm
Gale Johnson, Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 15, 2020 at 3:33 pm
2 people like this

When I first heard and read about the term 'herd immunity' I conjured up an entirely different meaning of it...don't do anything to stem the pandemic...let it roll on...what are 2 million lives in a world of 6-7 billion lives. It would be a thinning out of the herd like what happens in nature...the fittest will survive to pass their immunity and ability to survive on down to their heirs. The weakest will die. That works in nature to the lesser animals in our entire animal kingdom. The food chain is fragile. I wouldn't be posting this if that held true in our homo sapiens realm. We have our wonderful doctors, nurses, and health care workers at all levels, trying to keep us alive so we can think about the issues, debate the issues, and write our Life Stories, our memoirs, and be able to describe our feelings and situation during this time.

Watching Chris Cuomo has convinced me that the idea of actually wanting to get the disease, so you would be immunized for life, is not the way to go. I was a victim of the 1979 flu. Worst 3-4 days of my life. I felt like I could die and in a few rare moments wished I could.

Let's pray for all those that are really being hurt and suffering at this time. That doesn't include professional team sports fans who have been paying thousands of dollars for season tickets. They can watch many archived videos of the most famous events and they can just snap that lid or cap off of their beer cans or bottles. I have no idea what beer costs at a ballpark these days. It was $6 when Pac Bell opened many years ago.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 15, 2020 at 3:43 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 15, 2020 at 3:43 pm
2 people like this

Last Weekend it was beautiful outside. Two people I know went by on bikes. Others were out walking and biking. And today the noise level in my neighborhood is loud with tree cutters, fence fixers, maintenance crews. And so why am I inside? There is a disconnect between what is actually happening and what we are told to do. It is like herding cats. Not going to happen.
A good place to go is Ace Hardware. You can by a plant or something to fix up your house. At least you can feel like you are accomplishing something.


come on
Charleston Gardens
on Apr 15, 2020 at 6:32 pm
come on , Charleston Gardens
on Apr 15, 2020 at 6:32 pm
4 people like this

[Post removed.]


come on
Charleston Gardens
on Apr 15, 2020 at 6:39 pm
come on , Charleston Gardens
on Apr 15, 2020 at 6:39 pm
11 people like this

@ resident

You only have 1/2 the story, now about jobs and lives destroyed from draconian methods to stop the disease. I applaud Sweden.
Do you have stats you can share with us of relative jobs lost etc in scandanavian countries that would give us a better picture of the tradeoffs


@Charleston Gardens
Mountain View
on Apr 15, 2020 at 7:10 pm
@Charleston Gardens, Mountain View
on Apr 15, 2020 at 7:10 pm
Like this comment

[Post removed.]


come on
Charleston Gardens
on Apr 15, 2020 at 7:16 pm
come on , Charleston Gardens
on Apr 15, 2020 at 7:16 pm
3 people like this

[Post removed.]


@Charleston Gardens
Mountain View
on Apr 15, 2020 at 7:24 pm
@Charleston Gardens, Mountain View
on Apr 15, 2020 at 7:24 pm
Like this comment

[Post removed.]


chris
University South
on Apr 15, 2020 at 8:44 pm
chris, University South
on Apr 15, 2020 at 8:44 pm
4 people like this

Somebody losing a job is a lot less serious than losing their life, particularly when that person is getting a sepubstantial weekly payment from the government. And if the health care system is overrun, the consequences would be a disaster for many more.

You can open up restaurants but if they are not known to be safe, they won’t have enough business to stay open.


@chris
Mountain View
on Apr 15, 2020 at 8:53 pm
@chris, Mountain View
on Apr 15, 2020 at 8:53 pm
2 people like this

Thank you for bringing truth to this discussion -- something that seems to elude a number of people commenting on Palo Alto Online.

As trying as staying in place has been for a lot of people, it is a lot more preferable to having a situation which is bound to happen in a number of states (e.g. Florida) who are determined to lift restrictions, even though they have not yet reached the peak of cases in their state.


HOW?
Mountain View
on Apr 16, 2020 at 12:24 am
HOW?, Mountain View
on Apr 16, 2020 at 12:24 am
12 people like this

OK, all you peoples who think we can just keep up this SIP indefinitely. At a very basic level, how are we supposed to get food when we’re not making any money? Just that. Just money for food? That doesn’t even account for the rent and utilities, basic necessities. HOW IN THE HECK DO WE PAY THESE BILLS WHEN WE ARENT GETTING INCOME??


Carrie
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2020 at 5:15 am
Carrie, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2020 at 5:15 am
12 people like this

Shut downs just prolong the inevitable.
Why are so many comments removed on this article. ALL OPINIONS have merit and should not be removed unless their is a vulgarity. Political opinions are just that, an opinion, and should be encouraged in a FREE society with freedom of Speech.


Tessa
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2020 at 5:39 am
Tessa, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2020 at 5:39 am
10 people like this

He talks about science dictating his decisions, but we have never shut down our Calif economy for a Virus before, and the shut down isn’t even working it is just lengthening the time to which you will be exposed. Open the economy May 1 and wear a scarf/mask (the only proven prevention). Scientist can’t even agree on the best distance for “social distancing” . Where is the factual science to close a beach and fine citizen $1000 to go to the public beach our tax dollars pay for! Stop holding our freedoms hostage bureaucrats.


come on
Charleston Gardens
on Apr 16, 2020 at 6:05 am
come on , Charleston Gardens
on Apr 16, 2020 at 6:05 am
5 people like this

[Post removed.]


Protest the LockDown
Midtown
on Apr 16, 2020 at 7:29 am
Protest the LockDown, Midtown
on Apr 16, 2020 at 7:29 am
8 people like this

[Post removed.]


come on
Charleston Gardens
on Apr 16, 2020 at 7:46 am
come on , Charleston Gardens
on Apr 16, 2020 at 7:46 am
14 people like this

We were asked to shelter in place to "flatten the curve" , it's been four weeks and counting. We weren't asked to obliterate the curve, the flattening was to allow our health system and hospitals to get better prepared. People will continue to get this virus and die for months more. We've got to have a more balanced response.

When people lose their jobs bad things happen, depression, suicide, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, broken families. And now we've created 22 million unemployed!! And millions more likely to come. Yes government programs can help, but let's be realistic hundreds of thousands, perhaps many millions will be severely impacted, some forever.


George
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 16, 2020 at 8:19 am
George, Old Palo Alto
on Apr 16, 2020 at 8:19 am
8 people like this

It took time to see just how fast and how deadly this new virus was and as we now know, we were poorly prepared to scale up the response. People and administrators were caught unprepared in a modern global supply chain optimized for just in time production and stocking. None of this was helped by our increasingly sensationalist press hyping estimates of body counts and stoking fears and accusations. The models, we now understand, we're seriously flawed. 188 people are hospitalized now in Santa Clara County out of 1.9 million people with 76 in intensive care. 85% of the 65 people who have died from Covid-19 had one or more serious underlying health issues.
Hospitals, county officials, emergency services, and businesses and none of everyone else were prepared for this. In spite of that, there is sure to be plenty of scandal and finger-pointing to come.
It's quite reasonable to wonder if we didn't overreact. Trillions in debt on top of record indebtedness and massive destabilization of the global economy isn't going to be easy on the future as we begin to think beyond the shutdown and the tens of millions without work. Too many people, business, government agencies had little or no reserves to weather such a calamity and it's unlikely the public purse can support them much longer.
I think we have learned that wholesale shutdown across every sector and non-essential activity may not be the best reaction. 42% of the nation's counties have no cases at all. We have to learn how to keep going with more selective quarantines and better emergency planning. Everyone will think of this differently but a future plan has to begin with actual data in real time - sheltering and restrictions and resourcing where and when it develops to a point of critical and avoiding a total shutdown. We also have to prevent the officials from implementing testing and tracking requirements that brings us yet further to the state monitoring our every move. The 'testing' everyone' demands are a bad idea which only furthers the greedy ambitions of the surveillance state. We should be really careful about that.
In the meantime, everyone who can needs to get back to work with care. We don't want to see our economy degrade to where things slow to a crawl, the shelves are bare, and millions more fall by the wayside.


come on
Charleston Meadows
on Apr 16, 2020 at 5:23 pm
come on , Charleston Meadows
on Apr 16, 2020 at 5:23 pm
5 people like this

[Portion removed.]

I'm actually glad to see that states have the power decide what is right or wrong in terms for restrictions. BUT, if Governors are making decisions that shutdown businesses, dry up tax revenues, explode unemployment then deal with the consequences and don't run to the Federal government for a bailout.


Robert X Sung
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2020 at 6:00 pm
Robert X Sung, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2020 at 6:00 pm
14 people like this

I am so thrilled that so many anonymous posters have greater expertise than our health care professionals and elected government safety decision makers.

As to the poster who brought up Sweden, Sweden has much higher per capita death rates than the rest of Scandinavia.

Get a grip, folks. The economy is not coming back with a bang, but a whimper.

Having to shut down the economy a second time will be far worse than waiting it out and doing this in a proper fashion.


JR
Palo Verde
on Apr 16, 2020 at 6:45 pm
JR, Palo Verde
on Apr 16, 2020 at 6:45 pm
Like this comment

It will be 18 months or longer before a vaccine is developed and the SIP can be lifted. People need to come to terms with that and realize that there is no quick solution to this virus. We are not going to sacrifice lives at the expense of profits, it is out of the question.

Fortunately help is on the way in the form of stimulus checks, eviction moratorium, and donations from the community. We'll all get through this together.


SF
Community Center
on Apr 16, 2020 at 11:33 pm
SF, Community Center
on Apr 16, 2020 at 11:33 pm
6 people like this

@JR We cannot shelter in place for 18 months, So much privilege in even suggesting that. People would start looting/rioting and I wouldn’t blame them — you cannot expect people not to earn an income for more than a few months and our support systems are not robust enough to sustain them long term.

I’m sure things won’t go completely back to normal for quite a while but I expect they will start opening the economy up significantly (perhaps while asking those privileged enough to work from home to do so) within a couple of months. I just don’t see how people who aren’t earning an income can survive otherwise. They’ll just have to monitor hospital capacity and make adjustments as needed, but we aren’t going to completely get rid of the virus by sheltering at home and we also can’t stay at home not working for the 18 months it will take to get a vaccine. So we just have to accept that we are going to have some more spread, but hopefully can keep it under hospital capacity.


FOX News
Downtown North
on Apr 17, 2020 at 10:31 am
FOX News, Downtown North
on Apr 17, 2020 at 10:31 am
14 people like this

I hear FOX NEWS encouraging right wingers to protest the shelter-in-place order. Photos of some of these protests show large numbers of people (often heavily armed) that are standing much closer than 6 feet apart and many are not wearing masks. I have to say that wearing masks to these protests means that maybe you don't really believe in what you are protesting for. What is the FOX NEWS end game? Some, perhaps many, of these protesters will catch the COVID-19 virus at these protests. Won't that just dilute the numbers of FOX NEWS voters?


Bill
Los Altos
on Apr 17, 2020 at 11:02 am
Bill, Los Altos
on Apr 17, 2020 at 11:02 am
5 people like this

It is time to start discussions regarding how we begin relaxing virus-related restrictions and get people back to work. Joblessness has been shooting up, businesses large and small have been collapsing, and people have started thinking long and hard about what the future holds.

The longer this goes on, we will have to deal with more deaths, divorces and unemployment-related social upheaval. This is a recipe for disaster.

Let's start talking about getting people back to work before it is too late.


R
Barron Park
on Apr 17, 2020 at 1:08 pm
R, Barron Park
on Apr 17, 2020 at 1:08 pm
2 people like this

@bill or put in place the needed support systems for people going through unemployment and increased stress from being cooped up in the same home together.

It seems like what you're getting at with deaths is how suicide rates have gone up in previous depressions (5-10% increase from the sources I've seen, annual number of suicides in 2017 was ~50k) -- though from a pure number of deaths perspective the increase in deaths from suicide would need to be 10x what they were in previous depressions to match the current number of COVID-19 deaths in the US (~32k). Obviously implementing robust programs to help deal with the stress and providing continuous support (e.g. guaranteed money each week/month for unemployment) could help keep any increase below what has been seen in past depressions -- keeping the programs in place after the current crisis is over could even lower the baseline suicide rate below what it was before.


I'm not saying that more suicides are okay, but there are trade-offs that make it much more complicated than just saying "alright people, get back to work before its too late" as doing that could result in even bigger consequences as far as deaths and livelihoods go.

As a parting thought, I found this article Web Link that has an interesting bite-sized summary of some research on deaths during the Great Depression. In particular the decrease in automotive related fatalities was interesting and is something that looks like is also happening with SIP (accidents, injuries, and fatalities in CA are down by half). Of course there are many differences between back then and today, so we probably won't have a clear picture of the outcomes of our decisions until this is all over (widespread vaccinations/immunity).


resident
Downtown North
on Apr 17, 2020 at 2:45 pm
resident, Downtown North
on Apr 17, 2020 at 2:45 pm
4 people like this

"California hospitals should be prepared to face significant strain from the coronavirus if social distancing measures are lifted, researchers have warned in a new study." Mercury-News report: Web Link


resident
Downtown North
on Apr 18, 2020 at 10:11 am
resident, Downtown North
on Apr 18, 2020 at 10:11 am
4 people like this

FOX NEWS says we should reopen the economy even if the national fatality rate increases by 3%.

Donald Trump says he doesn't want to decide when to open the economy. He wants the governors to make the hard leadership decisions so he can criticize them later.


Shameful
Mountain View
on Apr 18, 2020 at 10:36 am
Shameful, Mountain View
on Apr 18, 2020 at 10:36 am
2 people like this

Summerwinds Nursery was taking phone orders and bringing items to people!s cars, it was perfect and much needed for many. Apparently someone complained and the Sheriff shut them down, now they can only make deliveries. This severely limits their business and is absolutely ridiculous. And if anyone is aware of a way to help change this please say so, I will gladly get involved and help.

We need to open things back up. Perhaps not to the full extent that it was before but for gods sake, use some common sense and let these businesses stay afloat!


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.