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'Cancel your travel plans': Santa Clara County urges caution during holidays as COVID-19 cases rise

Officials advise against gatherings with other households with few intensive care unit beds available

Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody advises the public against holiday gatherings with people outside of their household during a press conference in San Jose on Dec. 23. Courtesy Santa Clara County Public Health Department livestream.

At an emotional press conference Wednesday on the cusp of Christmas Eve, Santa Clara County health leaders begged the public to cancel their holiday travel and gathering plans to help prevent further skyrocketing COVID-19 cases.

The region's hospitals are in crisis mode due to the surging cases, with only 35 remaining intensive care unit beds throughout the county. Eight out of 10 hospitals have fewer than five available beds. Three hospitals have fewer than 10 beds of any kind left, said Dr. Ahmad Kamal, COVID-19 director of health care preparedness.

"As of today, there were 68 patients in the emergency room waiting for a hospital bed who did not have one," he said Wednesday.

Reports of people planning to travel for the holidays has alarmed county and health leaders as the number of new daily cases has topped 1,200 per day, they said. The skyrocketing number of hospitalizations since Thanksgiving when many people traveled and gathered outside of their households is straining the health care system. An increased number of cases after the holidays would tip the system into uncharted territory, they said.

"If we have a surge on top of a surge, we will definitely break. We cannot afford that," county Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said.

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All of the numbers are going the wrong way and the reality is grim, she added. In spite of imploring and begging people not to travel, officials saw a steep rise in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths after Thanksgiving. As of Dec. 23, 632 people have died from COVID-19 and 631 people are hospitalized with the virus in the county; nearly 60,000 people have tested positive, county Counsel James Williams said.

In mid-November, a week before Thanksgiving, an average of three people died per day due to COVID-19. A month later, that average increased to nearly six people per day. The county’s seven-day average positivity rate as of Dec. 13 was 7.7%, the highest since the pandemic began in March. That’s compared to 3.4% on Nov. 19, one week before Thanksgiving Day, and 1.3% on May 27, county officials said.

"I understand that this is a very hard message to hear. It is not the message that we want to be delivering on the eve of holidays where our tradition is to come together, and the message is even harder to do than to hear. But we cannot emphasize enough that this is a matter of life and death. So please, do not gather. Celebrate with just those in your household. If you have plans to travel, go home and cancel them. Cancel your travel plans. Celebrate over the phone, over social media, over Zoom. Cook a meal in your home and enjoy it with just the people in your home. It can save a life. It will save a life and it's very important to do," Cody said.

If the county sees another surge that looks anything like Thanksgiving "we are going to see a crisis," Williams said. COVID-19 is close to being the third largest cause of death in the county this year after cancer and heart disease.

Kamal begged people to cancel their travel plans and gatherings and to stay home. With hospital resources dwindling, there is a real risk that many sick patients will not have a bed in the hospital and many more could die.

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"We are talking about people in gurneys without a bed to go to; we are talking about people not getting hospital care. We are talking about rationing what scarce resources our exhausted health system has left to those who will benefit the most. We are talking about people dying who should not have died. And when hospitals are at that point where they are rationing care, where they are having to turn away people who desperately need their services, it's no longer just about COVID, but everybody. It's about people in a car accident; it's about people with a heart attack. This will affect all of us," Kamal said.

Although the number of cases appears to be slightly softening a month after Thanksgiving, it's not enough to prevent disaster if people again travel and gather and spike the surge, county officials said.

"This is the time when we want to come together, when we need to come together, but we cannot come together in person. ... It's just not safe this year. One of the enormous, enormous challenges of COVID is that it's silent. You can't see it; your loved one doesn't look dangerous. And you can have chains of silent spread that end in someone being hospitalized or end in someone dying. But if we each do our part and we stay just within our household bubble, we can prevent people from dying and that is what we must do. That is the holiday gift that we must give each other," Cody said.

Watch the full press conference here:

Santa Clara County elected leaders and public health officials discuss the latest local COVID-19 trends at a press conference on Dec. 23. Courtesy Santa Clara County Public Health Department YouTube channel.

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

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'Cancel your travel plans': Santa Clara County urges caution during holidays as COVID-19 cases rise

Officials advise against gatherings with other households with few intensive care unit beds available

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Dec 23, 2020, 1:46 pm

At an emotional press conference Wednesday on the cusp of Christmas Eve, Santa Clara County health leaders begged the public to cancel their holiday travel and gathering plans to help prevent further skyrocketing COVID-19 cases.

The region's hospitals are in crisis mode due to the surging cases, with only 35 remaining intensive care unit beds throughout the county. Eight out of 10 hospitals have fewer than five available beds. Three hospitals have fewer than 10 beds of any kind left, said Dr. Ahmad Kamal, COVID-19 director of health care preparedness.

"As of today, there were 68 patients in the emergency room waiting for a hospital bed who did not have one," he said Wednesday.

Reports of people planning to travel for the holidays has alarmed county and health leaders as the number of new daily cases has topped 1,200 per day, they said. The skyrocketing number of hospitalizations since Thanksgiving when many people traveled and gathered outside of their households is straining the health care system. An increased number of cases after the holidays would tip the system into uncharted territory, they said.

"If we have a surge on top of a surge, we will definitely break. We cannot afford that," county Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said.

All of the numbers are going the wrong way and the reality is grim, she added. In spite of imploring and begging people not to travel, officials saw a steep rise in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths after Thanksgiving. As of Dec. 23, 632 people have died from COVID-19 and 631 people are hospitalized with the virus in the county; nearly 60,000 people have tested positive, county Counsel James Williams said.

In mid-November, a week before Thanksgiving, an average of three people died per day due to COVID-19. A month later, that average increased to nearly six people per day. The county’s seven-day average positivity rate as of Dec. 13 was 7.7%, the highest since the pandemic began in March. That’s compared to 3.4% on Nov. 19, one week before Thanksgiving Day, and 1.3% on May 27, county officials said.

"I understand that this is a very hard message to hear. It is not the message that we want to be delivering on the eve of holidays where our tradition is to come together, and the message is even harder to do than to hear. But we cannot emphasize enough that this is a matter of life and death. So please, do not gather. Celebrate with just those in your household. If you have plans to travel, go home and cancel them. Cancel your travel plans. Celebrate over the phone, over social media, over Zoom. Cook a meal in your home and enjoy it with just the people in your home. It can save a life. It will save a life and it's very important to do," Cody said.

If the county sees another surge that looks anything like Thanksgiving "we are going to see a crisis," Williams said. COVID-19 is close to being the third largest cause of death in the county this year after cancer and heart disease.

Kamal begged people to cancel their travel plans and gatherings and to stay home. With hospital resources dwindling, there is a real risk that many sick patients will not have a bed in the hospital and many more could die.

"We are talking about people in gurneys without a bed to go to; we are talking about people not getting hospital care. We are talking about rationing what scarce resources our exhausted health system has left to those who will benefit the most. We are talking about people dying who should not have died. And when hospitals are at that point where they are rationing care, where they are having to turn away people who desperately need their services, it's no longer just about COVID, but everybody. It's about people in a car accident; it's about people with a heart attack. This will affect all of us," Kamal said.

Although the number of cases appears to be slightly softening a month after Thanksgiving, it's not enough to prevent disaster if people again travel and gather and spike the surge, county officials said.

"This is the time when we want to come together, when we need to come together, but we cannot come together in person. ... It's just not safe this year. One of the enormous, enormous challenges of COVID is that it's silent. You can't see it; your loved one doesn't look dangerous. And you can have chains of silent spread that end in someone being hospitalized or end in someone dying. But if we each do our part and we stay just within our household bubble, we can prevent people from dying and that is what we must do. That is the holiday gift that we must give each other," Cody said.

Watch the full press conference here:

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

Comments

YP
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 23, 2020 at 4:03 pm
YP, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 23, 2020 at 4:03 pm

Sorry after 9 months of arbitrary lockdowns, randomly enforced, often no data behind the decisions, and leaders that are hypocrites ( Exhibit A- Gavin Newsom at French Laundry) I will be keeping the travel plans I made months ago.
I will continue to wear a mask and socially distance, but I'm not giving up my plans. If law enforcement has an issue I will say I'm headed to a BLM protest as "protests and demonstrations" are still allowed. LOL!!


JR McDugan
Registered user
Palo Verde
on Dec 23, 2020 at 4:21 pm
JR McDugan, Palo Verde
Registered user
on Dec 23, 2020 at 4:21 pm

"Santa Clara County health leaders" recently kicked the 49ers out of Levis Stadium, forcing them to relocate to Arizona to play their "home" games. What did that accomplish? Hint: Nothing useful. How many lives were saved by kicking the 49ers out of the county? Hint: Zero. "Santa Clara County health leaders" have no credibility left thanks to their asinine policies.


Donald
Registered user
South of Midtown
on Dec 23, 2020 at 4:22 pm
Donald, South of Midtown
Registered user
on Dec 23, 2020 at 4:22 pm

YP - the virus doesn't care about enforcement of lockdowns, whether leaders have been hypocritical, etc. All that matters is people meeting and travelling to spread it. The problem is not Gavin Newsom or County health officials. The problem is our people who are not behaving properly. So go ahead and LOL until you, or someone you love, is on a ventilator and can't laugh or breathe at all.


YP
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 23, 2020 at 4:33 pm
YP, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 23, 2020 at 4:33 pm

@ Donald, the people I will see have less than 1% chance of being on a ventilator given their demographic. They have more of a chance getting killed in a car accident picking me up at the airport.
For those of you so worried about the risks, I understand that, please stay at home, order all foods and necessities online and come out of your caves in 2023.


Shwonder Sharikov
Registered user
Barron Park
on Dec 23, 2020 at 4:59 pm
Shwonder Sharikov, Barron Park
Registered user
on Dec 23, 2020 at 4:59 pm

[Portion removed.]

Wear a mask, distance, meet friends and family outside but live your normal life (you have only one)


Old Steve
Registered user
St. Claire Gardens
on Dec 23, 2020 at 5:01 pm
Old Steve, St. Claire Gardens
Registered user
on Dec 23, 2020 at 5:01 pm

@YP, Their odds of survival may be very good. What if they get it from you and give it to somebody else who dies? What about that car accident, when all of the emergency room nurses are busy caring for Covid patients? People have been making good and bad choices since the 16th of March. If we all make better choices, fewer die and we get done sooner. Should we deny health care to people whose phones give up the fact that they have broken the rules? What type of enforcement would you suggest? National leadership early would have helped the most, but we did not get it. Should we all surrender and just wait to see who dies without care or family present?


[email protected]
Registered user
Mountain View
on Dec 23, 2020 at 5:12 pm
[email protected], Mountain View
Registered user
on Dec 23, 2020 at 5:12 pm

Lets give the readers the actual dashboard it is here regarding the ICU capacity, which is only 11% (Web Link.">Web Link 42% are COVID patients.

Also the Blueprint dashboard is found here (Web Link and it reports a 7.6% positivity rate and adjusted 25 per 100,000 people currently infected and the adjusted test rate of 362 per 100,000.

Finally when it comes to the capacity of the hospitals there are only 1754 non ICU beds in the county, and we have NO BEDS LEFT if you look at this dashboard (Web Link

You really need to look more carefully. We are actually at maximum capacity at this time and some people are going to die because of that alone, not COVID.

No more of your misleading information on this discussion, I hope.




Paloaltonian
Registered user
Fairmeadow
on Dec 23, 2020 at 5:30 pm
Paloaltonian, Fairmeadow
Registered user
on Dec 23, 2020 at 5:30 pm

Recall gavin. We're presently living in a dictatorship that uses the term science as a cudgel to maintain the media driven narrative of doom. Go out and live your life. And wear a mask. Oh, for those who weren't aware, people die and are born every day. And so it goes.



















Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 23, 2020 at 6:06 pm
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 23, 2020 at 6:06 pm

>'What type of enforcement would you suggest?

^ The only kind that might work are totalitarian measures (i.e. the PRC)...but who would want to live under those social & political conditions?

>"National leadership early would have helped the most, but we did not get it."

^ Curious...why doesn't Boris Johnson (UK) catch as much flak as POTUS45 for his lack of national leadership in this matter. The UK remains a festering hellhole for Covid-19.

Bottom line...the coronavirus is mutating & not going away anytime soon despite all of the measures currently in place.

Kauai/Hawaii had one of the lowest Covid-19 rates in the U.S. & cases have now skyrocketed.

Lockdown + re-opening + lockdown + re-opening = the same old story.

Had travelers from the PRC been banned from entering the country along with those from Europe back in DECEMBER 2019 when the initial scientific acknowledgement of Covid-19 was revealed, maybe things might have turned out differently in the United States.

And if local & regional isolation is the prescribed best course of action towards containing the coronavirus, then global isolation also applies to a certain extent.

Novel diseases emanating from other countries needn't make their way into the United States if entry from abroad is scrutinized.


Anneke
Registered user
Professorville
on Dec 24, 2020 at 7:37 am
Anneke, Professorville
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 7:37 am

I truly find it unbelievable that people willingly ignore the risk of getting COVID. Three weeks after Thanksgiving, the surge of COVID infections and deaths has been enormous. Unless it touches you or anyone in your family or close circle of friends will it change people's thinking.

Being extremely careful as advised by Dr. Fauci, can be the difference between life and death, not just for you but for other people as well.

May be New Hampshire would be the state to live in for people who don't plan to adhere to present COVID rules: "Live free or die" is New Hampshire's motto!


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 9:19 am
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 9:19 am

The Covid-19 virus has mutated again...this time in Africa/Nigeria.

Web Link

In lieu of (or in addition) to regional U.S. 'lockdowns', perhaps more exigent & harsher international travel restrictions into America should also be initiated/implemented.

Novel/exotic viruses from 3rd world (as well as modern) countries should never have made their way into the United States in the first place...preventable to a certaint extent by stricter immigration regulations, mandated long-term public health quarantines upon arrival from abroad, and/or a documented 'clean bill of health' upon entry.


For those of you so worried about the risks
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 24, 2020 at 10:09 am
For those of you so worried about the risks, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 10:09 am

@YP suggests that people who are so worried about the risks stay home.

The problem is that if the hospitals are full then everyone is at risk because sh*t happens. What if one of my parents has heart failure and there is no room or staff are stretched too thin? What if one of my kids is in a car accident?

This is my problem with attitudes like @YP has and with people ignoring the rules. It is about hospital capacity. I feel like it is beyond selfish to not take this seriously.


Chris
Registered user
University South
on Dec 24, 2020 at 10:16 am
Chris, University South
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 10:16 am

YP,

You are the reason the country has failed. If you come back after you travel (good luck), make sure you quarantine. The ways things are going, the county will either put a big quarantine sign on your house (remember scarlet fever in the 50s) or better yet, lock you up in a hotel room (see Taiwan). I hope you live to regret your decision to travel.


Michelle
Registered user
College Terrace
on Dec 24, 2020 at 10:54 am
Michelle, College Terrace
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 10:54 am

For all of you cool and funny people planning to travel - please sign a do not admit declaration so you don’t take a hospital bed. You can do whatever you want but you cannot risk the lives of healthcare workers and essential workers who don’t have the luxury of staying home. It’s cool - you can be funny and snarky as you die at home.


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 11:07 am
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 11:07 am

>"I hope you live to regret your decision to travel."

^ Curious...what is so important about traveling this time of year?

A Hallmark inspired family get-together
& having to endure the same old blather & sibling pretentiousness which is oftentimes so characteristic of the holiday season?

Of note...the Waltons are EXTINCT.

> "For all of you cool and funny people planning to travel - please sign a do not admit declaration so you don’t take a hospital bed."

^ Sounds reasonable...but highly unlikely.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 11:24 am
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 11:24 am

In a Darwinian world those who elect to use their personal "freedom" to ignore essential virus protection precautions would simply bear the consequences of their actions.

In our world of the COVID pandemic unfortunately those people who ignore essential virus protection precautions place others at involuntary risk by their self-centered actions. In particular, they risk the lives and health of our health professionals and emergency responders as well as the more vulnerable in their own families.

With freedom comes responsibility.

Why have our leaders at all levels not insisted on and inspired us to accept and embrace our responsibilities?


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 11:29 am
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 11:29 am

>"Why have our leaders at all levels not insisted on and inspired us to accept and embrace our responsibilities?"

^ Because such widespread public
acceptances & embracements cannot be mandated by law with the possible exception of totalitarian regimes.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 11:32 am
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 11:32 am

"Because such widespread public
acceptances & embracements cannot be mandated by law with the possible exception of totalitarian regimes."

Wrong. Many even more democratic nations than the US have accomplished this and without resorting to heavy handed legislation but rather by raising the bar of social responsibility led by superb elected officials.


Love Thy Neighbbor
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 24, 2020 at 11:40 am
Love Thy Neighbbor, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 11:40 am

I love my family, friends, and neighbors. I will hunker down with my nuclear family to help stop the spread. We are gathering on Zoom for church this evening and for cocktails tomorrow. Last night we gathered on Zoom with a group of childhood friends. Keeping socially distant is an act of love. Mature love requires self-discipline. We can do this.

Members of my extended family whose children went back to school on the east coast are now battling the virus--six people in one household. Their children brought the virus home to mom, dad, and 91- year old grandma. They struggle with feelings of guilt for this mistake. Young people can get sick and die--though they are less likely to die and more likely to become carriers who spread it to more vulnerable people. Help battle our society's enemy--a virus that is rapidly becoming the

The selfishness excpressed by some on this thread reflects willful ignorance and childish self-centeredness. We can all do better. Rise up. Join together against our common enemy, Covid-19 spread. Love Thy Neighbor.


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 11:41 am
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 11:41 am

>"Many even more democratic nations than the US have accomplished this and without resorting to heavy handed legislation but rather by raising the bar of social responsibility led by superb elected officials."

^ Like Boris Johnson of the UK & Guiseppe Conte of Italy? Think again.

Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand might be the only exception but NZ is a small country.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 11:50 am
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 11:50 am

"Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand might be the only exception.."

Hardly. Add Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Finland,South Korea,Norway and even India. All have death rates PER capita much lower than the US (1008 per million)


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 11:58 am
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 11:58 am

>"Hardly. Add Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Finland,South Korea,Norway and even India. All have death rates PER capita much lower than the US (1008 per million)"

^ With the exception of India, all of the aforementioned countries have less population than the United States.

And speaking of India...

Web Link


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 12:11 pm
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 12:11 pm

India's death rate per million is 106 vs TEN times that for the US of 1008.

Lee - No matter what the FACTS are you will always find some way to ignore them. You can always say that US is bigger, smaller, higher, lower etc. whatever suits your purpose. How about just agreeing that we should be learning from other countries who are doing MUCH better than we are?


ndn
Registered user
Downtown North
on Dec 24, 2020 at 12:20 pm
ndn, Downtown North
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 12:20 pm

Paltoaltonion claims we are in a dictatorship. Sir/Madame, I was living in a dictatorship decades ago and it didn't look at all like the California we know. Your point is completely wrong and it serves only to demonstrate ignorance and lack of awareness of conditions. Argue the facts, not your political opinions.


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 12:33 pm
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 12:33 pm

>"How about just agreeing that we should be learning from other countries who are doing MUCH better than we are?"

^ The lesson to be learned (if any) is severely restricting foreign travel into the United States pending a clean bill of health.

Then again...hindsight is often 20/20.


JB
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 12:38 pm
JB, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 12:38 pm

[Portion removed.] If you want to blame anybody, blame the President for ignoring scientific recommendations and downplaying this deadly virus. Blame all of the Republicans in government who refused to wear masks and suggested that others do the same. How many times do I have to hear "I have the God-given right to...blah, blah, blah". No, you don't have the right to infect others just because you would like to travel. You especially don't have the right to infect healthcare workers who have been working frantically to save people dying of Covid. If you or your loved ones end up in the hospital, get down on your knees and beg forgiveness. When did Americans become so selfish??? Please think of others, not just yourself. Even if you get a mild case of Covid, you could become one of the long haulers who have been suffering neurological symptoms for months after they got infected. We have only 35 ICU beds as of yesterday in Santa Clara County, and 68 people are waiting in the ER since there are no beds available for them. Are you even paying attention to what is happening here in Santa Clara County, in California, and around the nation and world? If the UK virus mutation that appears to increase the transmission rate comes here to California or the U.S., then things will be even worse. Instead of whining and blaming others, please think of others. Think!!


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 12:39 pm
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 12:39 pm

" The lesson to be learned (if any) is severely restricting foreign travel into the United States pending a clean bill of health."

[Portion removed.] There are MANY lessons to be learned from other countries who are doing MUCH better than we are

Travel restrictions, like lockdowns, are only useful if they are a part of an integrated national plan that also includes masks, social distancing, widespread testing, contact tracing and isolation of infected individuals.


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 12:44 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 12:44 pm
Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 12:57 pm
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 12:57 pm

>"Travel restrictions, like lockdowns, are only useful if they are a part of an integrated national plan that also includes masks, social distancing, widespread testing, contact tracing and isolation of infected individuals."

^ Using your logic...then the key was not to have permitted suspected Covid-19 carriers into the United States IN THE FIRST PLACE sans proper quarantine measures and comprehensive pre-screenings.

The recommended wearing of face masks, hand-washing & safe distancing protocols should only be secondary & precautionary measures.

Let's not forget or overlook the FACT that the coronavirus did not originate in the United States.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 1:08 pm
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 1:08 pm

"then the key was not to have permitted suspected Covid-19 carriers into the United States IN THE FIRST PLACE sans proper quarantine measures and comprehensive pre-screenings."

Your statement presumes knowledge about the virus that we simply did not have at the time that the infection arrived in the US. By the time we knew what Covid 19 was and how to test for it the virus was already well established in the US.

Web Link


What you suggest is that we have closed borders all the time to keep out unknown viruses - hardly a reasonable approach.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 1:10 pm
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 1:10 pm
Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 1:22 pm
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 1:22 pm

>"Your statement presumes knowledge about the virus that we simply did not have at the time that the infection arrived in the US. By the time we knew what Covid 19 was and how to test for it the virus was already well established in the US."

>"What you suggest is that we have closed borders all the time to keep out unknown viruses - hardly a reasonable approach."

^ Swab tests were being administered as early as mid-December 2019 at various ERs except that patients were not being accurately informed as to the actual purpose.

Lab printouts will indicate a -/+ for SARS-2 which is a variant of the current Covid-19 virus...BTW, I had one & mine was negative.

In other words, the medical/scientific knew there was something going on but not revealing it to the general public at the time.

[Portion removed.]


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 1:35 pm
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 1:35 pm
[email protected]
Registered user
Mountain View
on Dec 24, 2020 at 1:52 pm
[email protected], Mountain View
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 1:52 pm

Peter You wrote:

“In a Darwinian world those who elect to use their personal "freedom" to ignore essential virus protection precautions would simply bear the consequences of their actions.”

Thank you for showing the danger of the situation.

But you wrote:

“Wrong. Many even more democratic nations than the US have accomplished this and without resorting to heavy handed legislation but rather by raising the bar of social responsibility led by superb elected officials.”

When Gavin Newsom took the bull by the horns and Dr. Cody tried to educate the masses they were met with claims of “totalitarianism” and threats. Isn’t it bad to see that many here are simply too irresponsible or worse? I thank you for also saying:

“Travel restrictions, like lockdowns, are only useful if they are a part of an integrated national plan that also includes masks, social distancing, widespread testing, contact tracing and isolation of infected individuals.”

You are right about it except for the fact we are going to always be behind the virus. We need to continually test EVERY person daily to achieve this right?

What we need to do proactively to actually get our hospitals in good shape is to take action to proactively prohibit the spread.

Now I here that Pfizer can get 100,000,000 doses of their vaccine done by July, that will only cover 50,000,000 of the 330,000,000 people in the country.

It will take at least 1.5 to 2 years to get EVERY person vaccinated, right?

So, lets start talking like adults and understand we still have at least about 2 years of patience we need to have. And to deal with the immediate control of the virus the only successful method is unfortunately a lockdown, because as you said, there are too many people out there that are irresponsible.


Terrence
Registered user
Green Acres
on Dec 24, 2020 at 2:12 pm
Terrence , Green Acres
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 2:12 pm

And yet, not ONE politician, health official, or county official (except in Tahoe) and not one newspaper (Including this one) or any other journalist in the entire State, has the fortitude to take on AirBnb because t is enforcing absolutely its "no cancellation, no refunds" policy -- and insisting that its landlords enforce it --in the face of the State and County directives. A fe deaths n means nothing to the newly public company, which apparently every public person in CA ss afraid to criticize or hold to account. Airlines and hotels are model citizens compared to this money-grubbing "shining example" of Bay Area corporate morals: it' forfeit your money, or risk your life.


theAlex
Registered user
Midtown
on Dec 24, 2020 at 2:16 pm
theAlex, Midtown
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 2:16 pm

Palo Alto Online staff:
Please do some kind of audit of Lee Forest's upvotes. I cannot believe that they aren't being artificially generated. I'd bet he/she has a conspiring group of people upvoting his remarks. His remarks are shameful and I refuse to believe this community would upvote them to this degree.


Laurie53
Registered user
another community
on Dec 24, 2020 at 2:19 pm
Laurie53, another community
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 2:19 pm

It's not the travel; it's the gatherings. Probably mostly happen within the county. Travel to most places is safer than staying here, especially if you drive.


WhatAboutme
Registered user
Midtown
on Dec 24, 2020 at 2:34 pm
WhatAboutme, Midtown
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 2:34 pm

"Lee - BTW you have obviously learned the sophomoric trick to self increasing your likes. It is best not to do it so quickly after you make a posting as that gives away your behavior."

Thank you, Peter Carpenter. This seems so obvious to me as this 'user' obtains likes by the dozens for his many caustic remarks.

I take the virus quite seriously, this user Lee, I choose to ignore. As, it is not in any way 'funny' what is occurring globally with the Pandemic. Somehow, the user uses humor and I find it not only insensitive, but juvenile.

This isn't reddit, and user 'lee' is a senior-citizen, I wish he had the wisdom of MOST of the senior-citizen's I know in Palo alto. I don't want meme's, nor sarcasm, but comments like yours, that that invite intelligent conversation, and find it very difficult, when commenters aren't from this community or are seeming in need of validity for that don't consider the values and concerns of locals.


WhatAboutme
Registered user
Midtown
on Dec 24, 2020 at 2:55 pm
WhatAboutme, Midtown
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 2:55 pm

'Alex is a registered user.
Palo Alto Online staff:
Please do some kind of audit of Lee Forest's up-votes. I cannot believe that they aren't being artificially generated. I'd bet he/she has a conspiring group of people up-voting his remarks. His remarks are shameful and I refuse to believe this community would upvote them to this degree'

Thank you!! How does this user obtain 42 'votes' in 1 hour. This is absolutely ridiculous, I refuse to believe any of my neighbors are reading these ridiculous comments and 'liking' them.


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 3:09 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 3:09 pm

@whataboutme:
Although I do find his constant +40 upvote thing very strange, Lee has the right to post what he wants to. Lee may be getting carried away with the AMOUNT of times he posts but I don’t really see him getting too carried with his actual comments. [Portion removed.] Who cares if you like or dislike Lee’s comments or tone? Who cares if Lee doesn’t have the same opinion of other senior citizens in Palo Alto? Peter and Goldy are posting 1000 times a day too but you don’t have a problem with that because you happen to like their comments. [Portion removed.]


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 3:12 pm
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 3:12 pm

@WhatAboutme/a 'resident' of Midtown...

If you scroll upwards, you will note that I too questioned the rapid 'like' count in response to a recent post as few commentaries here are truly worthy of deep consternation and/or unnecessary dismay.

That said & to reference some of your earlier quotes:

>"Somehow, the user uses humor and I find it not only insensitive, but juvenile."

>"...this user Lee, I choose to ignore."

^ Then by all means one might consider focusing on other distractions & pressing worldly concerns.

>"...user 'lee' is a senior-citizen, I wish he had the wisdom of MOST of the senior-citizen's I know in Palo alto."

^ Part of getting older & tapping into 'wisdom' is an emerging perception of the sardonic nature & ironies of everyday life.

That said...stay safe & healthy.




TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Dec 24, 2020 at 3:54 pm
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 3:54 pm

If you look at a map on the SCC Dashboard, it's clear that San Jose is the only place in the county you should really avoid for holiday get-togethers. Other places are doing pretty good. As for "mixing" with other Palo Alto residents, that shouldn't be a problem at all--infections here are very low.


WhatAboutme
Registered user
Midtown
on Dec 24, 2020 at 4:01 pm
WhatAboutme, Midtown
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 4:01 pm

@ The Voice of Palo Alto
Wow, thank you for your concern. According to you, I am VERY sensitive! You're right, who cares if I dislike Lee's comments. How self-serving of me, I must be very sensitive. How silly of me, I might even be silly woman, and cease commenting on local issues! Let me SIMMER down, I have to ask my husband about my silly sensitivities. [Portion removed.]


[email protected]
Registered user
Mountain View
on Dec 24, 2020 at 4:08 pm
[email protected], Mountain View
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 4:08 pm

Just a simple observation:

The "likes" on these websites are based on a "social network" model and are neither scientific, a valid poll of any kind, or even secured.

So basing the validity of a post on a "like" is a complete joke. Notice there is no "dislike" function?

As far as this aspect goes, it is not on topic, just another distraction, lets address the topic from now on?


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 4:15 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 4:15 pm
YP
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 5:35 pm
YP, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 5:35 pm

well I'm glad I've stirred some debate, aloha to all ... Enjoy your hovels this holiday season. Be safe , wear masks and get on with life.. take care


Bogus upvotes
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 9:34 pm
Bogus upvotes, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 9:34 pm

Lee isn't upvoting Lee's comments. Lee's comments are all over the map and when they go right-wing there is someone else who upvotes them. This distorts the discussion and may even encourage Lee to post more similar comments. This happens on other far-right posts too, not just Lee's. IMO the Weekly should detect and remove these bogus upvotes or just eliminate the ability to upvote.


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 25, 2020 at 12:04 am
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 25, 2020 at 12:04 am
Anneke
Registered user
Professorville
on Dec 25, 2020 at 10:15 am
Anneke, Professorville
Registered user
on Dec 25, 2020 at 10:15 am

Regarding Lee Forrest's many votes. I wrote to the editor of PaloAltoOnline about this several weeks ago. I discovered you can vote for yourself from different devices and PAO cannot track that. [Portion removed.]


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 25, 2020 at 11:01 am
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 25, 2020 at 11:01 am

As per YP/a resident of Crescent Park in his/her opening post...

>"I will be keeping the travel plans I made months ago."

^ While we are currently observing & practicing the prescribed/recommended public health protocols in regards to the Covid-19 pandemic, some others opted not to as reported by this recent URL.

A very lucky guy while I am staying home & scratching a few gifted lottery tickets from my X-mas stocking.

Web Link

Lastly...

>"Lee's comments are all over the map and when they go right-wing there is someone else who upvotes them. This distorts the discussion and may even encourage Lee to post more similar comments."

^ Right wing or left wing...does it really matter as the pandemic has us all enduring 'broken wings' in our everyday lives.

That said...I am not not encouraged by vote counts...just the topics.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Dec 26, 2020 at 8:42 am
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Dec 26, 2020 at 8:42 am

We didn't travel (or have a large gathering for Christmas - just the two of us for the first time) but people are going to travel to be with family and friends regardless. It's Christmas.

As far as "likes" it's not unusual to have a lot of likes if your opinion is popular with people who think like you. I have noticed a certain gentleman usually has "two likes" the minute he posts. To me it's obvious he's liking his own comments at the beginning, but I don't really care.


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 26, 2020 at 10:07 am
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 26, 2020 at 10:07 am

In addition to modifying or cancelling travel plans during the holiday (aka pandemic season)....

I was talking with an elder neighbor who grew up on a small family farm during the Great Depression. He mentioned that though things were tough on everyone those days, his family always ate well because they had had chickens, livestock, & a vegetable garden on the premises.

Which brings me to this point...we too have a small backyard veggie garden. Nothing nouveau gourmet...just some basic root stuff like carrots, onions, & a few non-descript potato variants. Grocery shopping is kept to a minimum & a lot of other incidentals are ordered via Amazon or Costco delivery service.

Eating simpler can be another key towards getting through the pandemic & good home-cooking is often healthier + more economical than frequently dining out.

Besides...we have never been the types to patronize the countless pretentious, over-rated, overpriced dining establishments that innumerable yuppies & self-entitled-minded millennials tend to gravitate towards.

In our household...'eating to live' takes precedence over 'living to eat' as gluttony & excessive epicurean focal points are considered irrelevant & trivial preoccupations.

On the other hand, we do try to maintain a pretty good wine cellar.



[email protected]
Registered user
Mountain View
on Dec 27, 2020 at 5:09 pm
[email protected], Mountain View
Registered user
on Dec 27, 2020 at 5:09 pm

Peter,

I just saw that only 2,000,000 doses were delivered and administered so far on CNN.

Everyone said there would be 20,000,000 by the end of the month.

If this trend continues, the projections made are not even going to be close. they barely reached 10% of the projection in December.

If it urns out that the production is that slow or the supply chains cannot achieve even 50% of the projection, the vaccination program will double in time length, and that is if the vaccines prove safe and effective.

Imagine if only say 25,000,000 people get vaccinated by July of next year and only 50,000,000 by the end of the year? The Movie Contagion predicted this problem, and Trump and the like simply said, of we got this we just spend enough and we can do better.

It looks like that even if 2 more vaccines come on the market the best we might achieve is 100,000,000 people vaccinated by the end of 2021, Since there are 330,000,000 people in the U.S. that means it will be at least 2 years before we can approach enough people to START returning to normal, right?


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Dec 27, 2020 at 5:28 pm
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Dec 27, 2020 at 5:28 pm

"I just saw that only 2,000,000 doses were delivered and administered so far on CNN."

Relax. Shipments to the states through today total 10 million doses. The pipeline is being filled and the DAILY vaccination rate will be close to 2 million by Friday.

Web Link

Web Link


[email protected]
Registered user
Mountain View
on Dec 27, 2020 at 5:37 pm
[email protected], Mountain View
Registered user
on Dec 27, 2020 at 5:37 pm

Peter,

10,000,000 doses will only cover 5,000,000 people. That is in fact 50% of the predicted distribution so my comment is right on target, right?

WHEN are we going to get a REALISTIC production report?

WHEN are the medical professionals going to tell us that they are reporting "hopeful" performances, and we cannot BANK on them?

I am tired of the politics getting involved in medicine, aren't you?


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Dec 27, 2020 at 5:50 pm
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Dec 27, 2020 at 5:50 pm

G- I am NOT going to debate you. I just report the facts.


[email protected]
Registered user
Mountain View
on Dec 27, 2020 at 6:15 pm
[email protected], Mountain View
Registered user
on Dec 27, 2020 at 6:15 pm

Peter you wrote:

"Relax. Shipments to the states through today total 10 million doses. The pipeline is being filled and the DAILY vaccination rate will be close to 2 million by Friday."

You said the DAILY rate of vaccination will be 2,000,000.

That cannot be possible if the number of doses delivered can't be 2,000,000 a day.

Be careful for what you call FACTS. Say there are 10,000,000 doses delivered in a month, that means only 5,000,000 people can be given it in a month. Now maybe if you only give vaccinations per weekday and there are 19 weekdays in January, then the most you can vaccinated at that time is 5,000,000 divided by 19 which is 263,158 per day, or DAILY.

If you are going to give 2,000,000 DAILY doses in a month you will need at least 38,000,000 doses delivered a month.

You KNOW that is impossible.

Your FACTS simply don't ADD up.

You REALLY cannot expect us to take your claims as FACTS under these conditions?


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 27, 2020 at 6:23 pm
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 27, 2020 at 6:23 pm

In light of the various Covid-19 mutations & its re-emergence in countries that initially thought they had the coronavirus under control...perhaps best to just close down all points of entry into the United States PERIOD for the time being.

Vaccinations (for those so inclined), adherence to reasonable SIP protocols, safe distancing, the wearing of face masks in public, & periodic testing are all we've got to count on at present as this pandemic did not originate in the United States...it came from OUTSIDE.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Dec 27, 2020 at 7:03 pm
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Dec 27, 2020 at 7:03 pm

Pfizer vaccine began shipping Dec 14 - 2 weeks ago today.

Moderna vaccine began shipping Dec 21 - 1 week ago today.

In three shipment weeks (2 for Pfizer and one for Moderna)10 million doses have been delivered.

In addition to the 10 million first doses that were shipped a second 10 million doses are ready and have have been reserved for the second dose for each first dose recipient.

The Pfizer second doses will ship out 21 days after the first Pfizer doses were shipped.

The Moderna second doses will ship out 28 days after the first Moderna doses were shipped.

That is already a monthly rate (8 shipment weeks) of over 26 million doses.

Production and shipping continue to scale up and additional vaccines will probably be approved in January.


Web Link




Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Dec 27, 2020 at 7:10 pm
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Dec 27, 2020 at 7:10 pm

The Pfizer second doses will ship out 21 days after the first Pfizer doses were shipped.

Web Link

The Moderna second doses will ship out 28 days after the first Moderna doses were shipped.

Web Link


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Dec 27, 2020 at 7:19 pm
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Dec 27, 2020 at 7:19 pm

"The COVID-19 vaccine developed by the British drug group AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford has achieved a “winning formula” for efficacy, the company’s chief executive said on Sunday.

The vaccine, currently being evaluated by Britain’s independent medicines regulator, provides “100 percent protection” against severe COVID disease requiring hospitalization, Pascal Soriot said in an interview with the Sunday Times newspaper.


Approval is expected to be granted to roll out the shot on January 4, The Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported."

Web Link


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Dec 27, 2020 at 7:23 pm
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Dec 27, 2020 at 7:23 pm

Generals will tell you that wars are won because of superb logistics.

The Generals running the distribution system for COVID vaccines are doing a superb job.

Web Link


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Dec 27, 2020 at 7:30 pm
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Dec 27, 2020 at 7:30 pm

Gen. Gus Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed.



KELLY: Last question, and it's the very basic one. When might a vaccine - your best guess - be available that is effective and safe and available to every American who wants it?

PERNA: I think a safe and effective vaccine will be available initially in December at tens of millions of doses and will expand rapidly January, February, March, April for the total of the American people.

KELLY: So if I'm hearing you right, you're looking toward middle of next year for a...

PERNA: Yes.

KELLY: ...Widely available, safe, effective vaccine. That's your best guess.

PERNA: Yes."

Web Link


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 27, 2020 at 7:40 pm
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 27, 2020 at 7:40 pm

>"Generals will tell you that wars are won because of superb logistics."

^ Generals will also tell you that war is a numbers game as they estimate a certain % of losses to assure victory.

Speaking of superb logistics...for a West Point graduate, George Armstrong Custer didn't fare very well.

Hopefully the medical & scientific communities have all their ducks in a row.


TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Dec 27, 2020 at 8:41 pm
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Dec 27, 2020 at 8:41 pm

To my knowledge, the order not to travel has been in effect since the beginning of the "shelter in place" on Mar 19, 2020. And by now, many citizens no longer feel like following it. The deal was, we'd stay at home while he and his government worked with counties to expand hospital capacity. But he broke his part of the deal, and so now, the deal's off.


[email protected]
Registered user
Mountain View
on Dec 27, 2020 at 8:57 pm
[email protected], Mountain View
Registered user
on Dec 27, 2020 at 8:57 pm

TimR,

There is a shortage of Medical Care professional in the country required for this kind of care.

WHY?

Because the for-profit healthcare system only operated under "Just In Time operations, only staffing and supplying enough people to deal with STANDARD medical needs for an anticipated year. No reserve resources were established for a pandemic, especially regarding Critical Care professionals. These people need at least 4 to 6 years to train. It simply is impossible for them to appear out of thin air, no matter if it was Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Gavin Newsom, or anyone else.

Again, the only real control we had we lost starting in June of 2020. The was no DEAL regarding what is required to prevent spread, though politics and money eventually sabotaged it. The RUSH to try to return to unsafe living caused the mess twice.

Yes the reality was always that it was NOT going to be short, it should have been told to EVERYONE that this was a 2-4 year event. And if anyone claims it will be over in 6 months, they better have PROOF to substantiate it.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Dec 27, 2020 at 9:14 pm
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Dec 27, 2020 at 9:14 pm

"And if anyone claims it will be over in 6 months, they better have PROOF to substantiate it."

G- you have mastered the trumpian technique of stating something (claims it will be over in 6 months,) as a fact when nobody has made such a claim. "You all know that...." when actually nobody knows that.


[email protected]
Registered user
Mountain View
on Dec 27, 2020 at 9:17 pm
[email protected], Mountain View
Registered user
on Dec 27, 2020 at 9:17 pm

Peter,

Every so called COVID relief plan seems to only last 6 months, or shorter. That would imply they expect a miracle to occur and the crisis will be over.

Until we have a COMPLETE plan where the long term issues are addressed, we are never going to reach the grief/loss level of acceptance and take wise actions.


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