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Bay Area extends stay-at-home order to May 3, adds new business restrictions

Original post made on Mar 31, 2020

With the number of coronavirus cases rising and health systems bracing for a surge of patients, Bay Area health officials extended on Tuesday the regional stay-at-home order until May 3 and announced new restrictions on businesses.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 31, 2020, 2:20 PM

Comments (82)

61 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 31, 2020 at 2:53 pm

Thank you for keeping us informed, Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online! These are trying times for all of us -- but we're all in this together.


Posted by Trump fired the national pandemic team
a resident of Evergreen Park

on Mar 31, 2020 at 3:10 pm

Due to violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are only visible to registered users who are logged in. Use the links at the top of the page to Register or Login.


33 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 31, 2020 at 3:22 pm

The county needs to offer testing to anyone who wants it. Right now, getting a COVID-19 test is too difficult, even if you have some symptoms.


42 people like this
Posted by Rambutan
a resident of Ventura
on Mar 31, 2020 at 3:39 pm

Glad to see protections being extended to construction workers for non-essential projects.

While I am sorry some projects will be delayed, we must do everything possible to save lives now.


28 people like this
Posted by Valerie
a resident of Los Altos
on Mar 31, 2020 at 3:50 pm

I'm getting really worried about the impact on the local economy and safety, and am questioning whether these incredibly strict measures might become more harmful than helpful in a long run. When I say safety, I mean many vulnerable people losing their paychecks for weeks and weeks [portion removed.]


27 people like this
Posted by @ Valerie
a resident of Los Altos
on Mar 31, 2020 at 4:35 pm

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


41 people like this
Posted by YP
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 31, 2020 at 5:00 pm

We continue to crush the most economically disadvantaged with these draconian measures. Their voices aren't being heard instead those most likely to come through this ok are dictating terms that are unsustainable for millions.

Massive layoffs( 3.3 million last week), small business closings and the social ills to follow, drug abuse, broken families, crime.

[Portion removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by Valerie
a resident of Los Altos
on Mar 31, 2020 at 5:08 pm

[Post removed.]


19 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 31, 2020 at 6:41 pm

Could Dr. Sara Cody have alleviated the spread earlier if she had shut down Santa Clara County schools 2-3 weeks before she shut things down when Santa Clara County were number 2 in the most COVID-19 infections in the United States?

2 to 3 weeks earlier shut down would have prevented a lot more spread, which may have led to less draconian measures now.


24 people like this
Posted by Suspicious
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Mar 31, 2020 at 6:48 pm

Someone is trying hard to derail any effort to fight this battle with their postings.

Why?


59 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 31, 2020 at 6:51 pm

> but we're all in this together.

Except that if you are a non-symptomatic celebrity you can get a test, or a mask,
or gloves, or food, or shelter at any time, but if you are a sick citizen - no tests
available. Enough with the slogans! Let's see action and results!

There is no way this is going to be over or safe in a month.


14 people like this
Posted by Rational
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 31, 2020 at 7:11 pm

Here’s a simple thing everyone who has not yet lost their job or income (such as many tech workers being productive from home) can do: keep paying your service providers. Either with promise of service once things open up, or otherwise. We can probably take the edge of the blow. We are doing this with our hairdresser, gardener, nanny.


80 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2020 at 7:25 pm

@Valerie, YP, others

The website fivethirtyeight has done a couple of articles on part of your question. As economists look at these things, the benefits far outweigh the costs -- something on the order of 8 Trillion dollars. Web Link

But, one of the points is surely a problem, which is the cost and impact of unemployment on low-income people in impacted services industries. I think it is appropriate for the government to try to offset the lost income.


19 people like this
Posted by Kevin
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 31, 2020 at 7:27 pm

"However, developments that have at least 10% of their units designated as below-market-rate will be allowed to proceed."

Makes no sense to me why residential construction is being shut down. They are small affairs and the workers typically maintain a lot of distance from each other. Then there are subs that work by themselves. Why is there an exemption for those large projects that include 10% BMR? These projects typically have larger crews that do not stay more than 6' apart on occasion. Highly political bias, I think.

Can we please have a rational, rather than an emotional approach?


25 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 31, 2020 at 7:28 pm

This graph says it clearly ....

Web Link

WE MUST REQUIRE PEOPLE GOING OUTSIDE TO WEAR MASKS - IMMEDIATELY.

The countries with the lowest rates of infection are among the most densely
populated countries ... Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong.

MAKE IT SO ASAP --- PALO ALTO CITY GOVERNMENT.

Markets and stores must require shoppers to wear masks to enter the store.
There are indications that the CoronaVirus can linger in the air for hours, and
in an enclosed place like a supermarket that is going to end up to be a
breeding ground for disease if we do not stop those particles from getting
in the air in the first place.


18 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2020 at 7:35 pm

Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park

>> WE MUST REQUIRE PEOPLE GOING OUTSIDE TO WEAR MASKS - IMMEDIATELY.
>> MAKE IT SO ASAP --- PALO ALTO CITY GOVERNMENT.

As far as I know, there still are no masks available for normal retail. Fortunately, I have a mask left over from a project that is still usable, but, most people don't. Somebody needs to prioritize production of masks. You can't "REQUIRE" them if they are not available.


9 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 31, 2020 at 8:00 pm

Anon a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

True, that is a good point.

I tried buying some online and the earliest delivery I could see was in one month.
Someone must have masks, or some governments must be able to get masks
to people. It is better to have one mask to even reuse since the idea is to catch
particles coming out of our mouths.

Can our City Government find someone locally who can manufacture masks and
sell them or distribute them - especially at the greatest places of possible infection -
at the entrances to grocery stores.

We need local government or state government action fast!


52 people like this
Posted by Paly Teacher
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 31, 2020 at 8:53 pm

@Resident

Yes, she could have shut down schools 2 or 3 weeks prior. She could have also done it a month prior.

Are you a physician with decades of public health experience? If not, with any due respect, I'm going to listen to Dr. Cody.


5 people like this
Posted by S&G
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2020 at 9:07 pm

We discussed delaying with our contactor on March 17. He told us he's allowed his guys to opt-out, but many are hand to mouth and can't last very long w/o work maybe putting them into greater danger. They get no voice in this.

I've been closely following the statistics. The next restriction should have been: Everyone must wear masks! That is, masks on if someone will come in close contact with others in stores or other essential work. This will largely stop asymptomatic people from spreading covid-19 which is probably >90% of how the virus spreads.

The county is not putting in place the most basic things:
(1) Report all test results! Currently, they only require positive results and so we have little idea of what the actual spread is.
(2) Expand testing to allow test on request for anyone. Then expand the category of "essential work" as long as everyone gets tested and has no symptoms and is negative and is wearing a mask.

This will allow lower-wage workers to go back to work and help keep our economy going.


5 people like this
Posted by Maybe later
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 31, 2020 at 9:08 pm

CPA- at this time it is more important that health care workers get the masks. Then people on the front line of providing services - grocery store workers, mailmen, delivery drivers etc. Then afterwards when there are enough masks available we can talk about it. Finally, the city council is powerless to pass the legislation you are suggesting. In this time, they should sit quietly and let the adults in the state decide what is to be done.


2 people like this
Posted by Masks
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 31, 2020 at 9:22 pm

> As far as I know, there still are no masks available for normal retail.

This is only true of N95 masks and then, only because the US will not allow the import of KN95 masks from China -- they could be imported in millions but the US has not certified them. They may be a bit worse than our N95 but WAY better than nothing.

On the other hand, surgical masks are indeed available. I will leave a source below which they'll probably cut off, but I got 100 surgical masks to allow us to shop for 3 months. They arrived in a little over a week.

Everyone should be required to wear masks if they go into stores or other crowded spaces.

You can buy surgical masks, no shortage at all from alifosale. Only order for your projected needs until summer.


12 people like this
Posted by Downfall
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Mar 31, 2020 at 10:12 pm

I am very happy to see the requirement that businesses that stay open must have a social distancing plan. My experience shopping for groceries since the shelter in place order has been very mixed. Costco and Piazzas were very positive with a well spaced line outside the store with a limited number let in at a time, good spacing inside at the checkout lines, and plexiglass barriers between customers and cashiers. I made the mistake of going in to walmart to get one item and looked like nothing at all had changed from their standard operations, very disappointing but not surprising for walmart. Midtown safeway was somewhere in between.


4 people like this
Posted by Community Member
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2020 at 12:53 am

One important clarification in the updated orders is landscaping for cosmetic purposes, maintenance, or upkeep - NOT ALLOWED. Living in a community, the landscaping company keeps coming out with their leaf blowers, and doing just that, blowing leaves and debris, and dust. Don't know why they are not getting the message.

And I agree about masks. Out of respect and appreciation for those who work in grocery stores in particular, customers should wear masks. Homemade ones are fine for those not working in a medical setting. Patterns are available online. Easy to make.


6 people like this
Posted by Jenny
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2020 at 2:13 am

According to this article, in Santa Clara County, grocery stores are going to have to mark the floors so people stay 6’ away. Also states that no reusable bags can be brought into the stores. Yuck, we have to use the dirty carts and baskets? Web Link


17 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2020 at 2:14 am

SFO and SJC remain open for business even though the normal precautions (social distance of six feet and frequent hand washing) are not effective within the confines of an aircraft cabin. The HEPA filters used to filter cabin air are designed to filter out 0.3 micron particles not viruses which are much smaller. The dry air at altitude dries out the thin layer of mucus that helps protect the sinuses from infection and the overhead ventilation ports can blow viruses that pass through the cabin filters onto the face and into the eyes.

The Governor of Hawaii has imposed a mandatory 14 day quarantine for anyone arriving in Hawaii by air and the Governor of Florida has imposed a mandatory 14 day quarantine for anyone arriving in Florida from New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut.

For an ex airline pilots perspective on corona virus and airline flying see the video linked below. For a deeper dive see the comments from aircraft maintenance workers in the comments section below the video.

"Corona Virus and Airline Flying"
Blancolirio ~ March 5, 2020 Web Link


11 people like this
Posted by Sky
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 1, 2020 at 5:28 am

Everyone should wear masks if they go to shops or other crowded places.


18 people like this
Posted by Who has a mask
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 1, 2020 at 5:51 am

@sky

Who has a mask ?


8 people like this
Posted by MIDPEN: STOP THE SPREAD!
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Apr 1, 2020 at 8:19 am


MMidPen is utterly failing our community right now.
The guidance of 6 feet away of for casual conversational distance.
Fouced exhalations that come with coughs, sneezes or forced exhalations extend that distance to as much as 6 meters. That's how far the droplets can travel.

KNOWINGLY drawing crowds into their parks by keeping large lots open then trying to manage the crowds, when we have been told ENDLESSLY to avoid crowds is pure folly.
The State Parks and Beach lots have been closed. What makes midpen users immune to infection and not State park goers?

Spread the crowds, lower the curve, attract the crowds, infect a community.
The parks can still stay open, just like beaches and state parks.
Just close the crowd attracting lots.

If I chose not to donate to Midpen this year, it will be because of how they handle this in the next few days and i will address this specifically in a letter or phone call when I am asked for a donation.

It's a few weeks. Get with Science Midpen!


15 people like this
Posted by MIDPEN: STOP THE SPREAD!
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Apr 1, 2020 at 8:22 am

Correcting above, should be: "Forced exhalations that come with coughs, sneezes or heavy breathing(running) extend that distance to as much as 6 meters. That's how far the droplets can travel."

#6feetnotenough

Web Link


5 people like this
Posted by Resident.
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 1, 2020 at 8:26 am

[Post removed.]


66 people like this
Posted by Fed deaths projections = Fifty 911 Attacks
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Apr 1, 2020 at 8:38 am

Federal guidance says 100K to up to 240K dead should be expected
Given a conservative estimate of 150K dad, that the equivalent amount of lives lost as in 50 911 attacks.

Given the Federal guidance, that is like having FIFTY 911 attacks from Jan to June.

That's TEN 911 attacks EVERY MONTH for FIVE months!!!
Think about that: BOOM: a 911 hits Monday, then BOOM, another 911 hits Thurs, then BOOM another 911 hits Sunday. Now repeat that cycle 47 more times, EVERY WEEK for FIVE months.

Who's OK with that? Who thinks that is not a big deal?

Remember, the death numbers are bipartisan, just like the disease.


18 people like this
Posted by Where are all the tests?
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 1, 2020 at 8:45 am

@resident

It's called the Pandemic Paradox. Don't do enough and thousands of people die. Do too much, people are safe, and then whiners complain you didn't have to do all those things.

Which camp are you in?

[Portion removed.]


10 people like this
Posted by @Resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 1, 2020 at 8:55 am

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


6 people like this
Posted by C
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 1, 2020 at 9:06 am

> As far as I know, there still are no masks available for normal retail.

I think one of the mistakes made in slowing the virus was not to tell those going outside in public to wear a mask -- and it turns out that you don't need a store-purchased one. A DIY mask made from a t-shirt or even using a scarf will work, though obviously not as well as an N95. The masks work because they prevent those who are infected -- and, remember, the virus is asymptomatic during its incubation period *and* you cannot get tested before this period -- from unknowingly spreading the virus. Also, masks prevent you from touching your face, another way of being infected.

The CDC is now considering recommending "face coverings" instead of "no mask" : Web Link

Usage of masks "flattened" growth of coronavirus cases in Czech Republic
Web Link


Posted by Pence Task Force
a resident of Evergreen Park

on Apr 1, 2020 at 9:11 am

Due to violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are only visible to registered users who are logged in. Use the links at the top of the page to Register or Login.


10 people like this
Posted by S_mom
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 1, 2020 at 10:13 am

Does anyone know what the ending goal is of the shelter in place? I am in favor of it, but it would be nice to know what the plan is for when it should be lifted. Are there certain number goals, like getting down to xx number of new infections per day? Are we waiting for the numbers to trend down? Are we waiting for 0 new infections per day? Widespread testing availability? Vaccine availability? Again, I'm not at all saying we shouldn't be sheltering in place now, but I do wonder what needs to happen for us not to be sheltering in place.


10 people like this
Posted by cmarg
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 1, 2020 at 11:04 am

Make your own mask or wear a scarf around your mouth and nose. Here is a link for making your own mask.

Web Link

It is a local person who is explaining how to make masks.


2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2020 at 11:21 am

Posted by Community Member, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

>> landscaping for cosmetic purposes, [...] NOT ALLOWED. [...] the landscaping company keeps coming out with their leaf blowers, and doing just that, blowing leaves [...] Don't know why they are not getting the message.

You can tell them that leaf blowing is not allowed. I agree, both SCC and SMC have ordered landscaping contractors to do only what is required, and, not the purely cosmetic. Leaf blowing not allowed. Tell them.


10 people like this
Posted by Marie
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 1, 2020 at 11:29 am

I'm still hearing illegal leaf blowers in my residential neighborhood. Very annoying. The police have more to do than crackdown on these scofflaws and I'm not about to confront these idiots with the shelter-in-place rules. But I do wish more homeowners would take responsibility and tell their gardeners not to use gas leaf blowers.

Personally, I asked my gardener not to come for the foreseeable future, but I'm still paying him. It is my way to thank him for all his hard work over the years.


Like this comment
Posted by voter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2020 at 11:36 am

>> "Remember, the death numbers are bipartisan ..."

Any statistics on that?


6 people like this
Posted by What Will They Do Next
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 1, 2020 at 11:55 am

When will the county start releasing the number of people being hospitalized instead of just saying that our hospitals are beginning to fill? It's an important statistic. People are being sent home to deal with mild symptoms and a positive test. Many more than are being hospitalized. That sounds like a positive.


4 people like this
Posted by S_mom
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 1, 2020 at 12:54 pm

@What Will They Do Next -- there are some numbers in this article (the one associated with our comments, click "Web link" above):

"While the number of COVID-19 cases is climbing, county hospitals have yet to reach their capacity for treating patients. County Executive Dr. Jeff Smith said that as of Monday, the county's 11 hospitals had 152 confirmed COVID-19 patients and another 90 who are suspected of having COVID-19.

The county's hospitals have 1,475 beds and they have 611 ventilators available, of which 209 are now in use. The county also has 300 intensive care unit beds total, of which 119 are currently available, Smith said. Currently, there are 56 COVID-19 patients in ICU in the 11 hospitals."

Not hospital-specific information but still some information about county capacity.


7 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2020 at 12:54 pm

Posted by MIDPEN: STOP THE SPREAD!, a resident of Los Altos Hills

>> Correcting above, should be: "Forced exhalations that come with coughs, sneezes or heavy breathing(running) extend that distance to as much as 6 meters

Masks are actually a good thing, but, people need to understand that while they offer some protection for the person wearing the mask, the overall benefit is marginal. But, if everyone is wearing a mask, then those people who are sick but don't know it, who are asymptomatic for 1-2 days, will have less likelihood of infecting others. It is the same for social distancing -- it is as much about protecting others as protecting yourself. I guess some people think that is un-American or something, but, public health, in general, is about protecting everybody from everybody, not just protecting a single individual from everybody.

The bottom line is, if every person wears a mask, then, every person is at lower risk. But, we don't have enough masks.



11 people like this
Posted by MidPen is fighting this order
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 1, 2020 at 1:06 pm

By keeping their parking lots open they are enticing people to do the direct opposite of what we are being told to do wrt limiting any outside the home travel or activity to ONLY essential tasks.

Getting a run in at Rancho is not one of these essential tasks, but MidPen seems to be looking for some sort of loop-hole to keep the lots open, in direct conflict of what we are being told to do, putting ALL area residents at a higher risk of spreading the virus.

CLOSE THE LOTS!


2 people like this
Posted by Please close this thread.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2020 at 1:18 pm

Dear Weekly,

The negativity on this thread is not supportive of community efforts to maintain morale encourage people as they shelter in place. Please close this thread.

Previous generations were sent off to war. Let's work together, setting an example for our children and grandchildren, to tackle the challenges of sheltering in place. If you can, help others who may be in need. It will make you feel better. I promise.


3 people like this
Posted by Oy
a resident of another community
on Apr 1, 2020 at 1:38 pm

I agree we must ALL work together in understanding and acting by the spirit of the shelter orders.

I also agree that having large parking lots that draw people from different communities, then mix them on narrow trials and send them back into their different communities is DETRIMENTAL to the health of all surrounding communities.
We are NOT supposed to be community mixing but that is exactly what is going on at Rancho San Antonio, encouraged by the welcoming giant parking lots.

Drive-in users are getting off 280 from, where? Then shopping on the way home where? And getting gas where? MidPen really needs to look hard at this and see what they are doing to our community and surrounding communities by encouraging the violation of the shelter in place order.
We have to remember, this is extremely temporary in the grand scheme of things.

WE need to fight together, not look for reasons or grasp at straws to try and figure out how the easily understood directive does not apply to "Me".
The Gov said to be vigilant about abuse of the shelter in place order. I feel large parking lots at State Parks, Beaches and Open Spacees are an abuse of the order.

*St parks and Beaches have already shut down their large lots in keeping with the Gov's order and the spirit of what we are trying to achieve. It's time MidPen joins the fight. They have good science minded people there who right now are agreeing with me because they cannot deny the realities of this.


4 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of University South
on Apr 1, 2020 at 1:39 pm

Some people are saying the police have better things to do than enforce the order. But in most places crime and traffic are way down. I would think they have time to make their presence visible where the order is not being obeyed.


5 people like this
Posted by Look at MidPen's Facebook page
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 1, 2020 at 2:23 pm

People from Milpitas, Santa Clara, Fremont, all talking about how they plan on visiting the famous Rancho San Antoio during the shelter in place order.

WHAT!?!? This it the worst case scenario in trying to limit the spread and its going on daily.

[Portion removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2020 at 3:39 pm

Posted by Chris, a resident of University South

>> Some people are saying the police have better things to do than enforce the order. But in most places crime and traffic are way down. I would think they have time to make their presence visible where the order is not being obeyed.

I think we could start by asking each other to observe the order when possible. In this article Web Link about elevator etiquette in NYC, the following comments are made:

"Changing elevator etiquette is important but don’t expect building staff to police the elevators, says J'Nell Simmons, CEO of LandlordsNY.com, a social network for owners and property managers. She recommends sending out an email and posting signs on coronavirus building etiquette, and suggests residents need to do their part too.

"[...] shared a detailed memo in regards to the pandemic that includes new instructions for taking the elevator.

"The memo states: “Do not get into a crowded elevator, which while a subjective statement pre-Covid-19, may now mean no more than two people facing opposite directions. Please encourage and do not be offended by this practice—this is our current reality.” "


I don't think we can expect law enforcement to police every potential social interaction or directive violation. We need to speak up when people are not observing the directive.


1 person likes this
Posted by LosAltosDoc
a resident of Los Altos
on Apr 1, 2020 at 3:54 pm

"All businesses that continue to operate will now be required to prepare and post a "social distancing" plan detailing the measures they are taking to ensure compliance with county guidance."

Does the county realized that this will result in very long lines outside of grocery stores, which weren't designed for distancing? Our Trader Joe's in Los Altos had enacted this policy, and there are more customers waiting FOR A LONG TIME outside the store than there are customers in the store. Also, customers are not properly distanced those long lines --- most are at most 6 feet (with a shopping cart) apart and not the recommended 10 feet. Depending upon the direction of the wind, people in those lines, especially those without proper masks and eye protection, will be put at risk due to long exposure time and higher Covid aerosol exposure.

Given a 10 foot distancing rule, grocery stores will have only a small fraction of the capacity necessary to serve all of their present customers. And don't count on Amazon Prime to pick up the slack. Their home grocery deliver service is totally overwhelmed. I would recommend instead that grocery stores invoke "glove, gown, mask, and eye protection" rules --- like we used to have when we worked closely with MRSA infected patients in hospital "closed isolation wards".


3 people like this
Posted by bemused
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 1, 2020 at 4:05 pm

@Look at MidPen's Facebook page,

Maybe someone should alert them that the new order says you cannot go more than five miles from your residence for outdoor exercise.


2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2020 at 4:37 pm

@LosAltosDoc, @bemused:

The purpose of the orders is to reduce the risk that people pose to each other. Generally speaking, because of the greater volume of more turbulent air outdoors, risk of transmission is reduced compared to enclosed spaces. This is what an op-ed in the Japan Times Web Link had to say about this:

"One part of the science that’s been missed in the messaging concerns enclosed spaces — such as apartment building elevators. However, if there’s one place you might inhale lingering particles, it would be in an elevator of a crowded apartment building. Hence it might be better to take the stairs, if you can — they’d offer the young and able-bodied some much-needed exercise and decrease the risk in taking the elevator for older or disabled residents.

"If some smaller particles do hang in the air, they would be dispersed and diluted almost instantly outdoors. That’s why most of the experts I spoke with said that despite stay-at-home orders, they were walking, running or biking. That’s not a trade-off between public health and personal good, because you’re not putting yourself or others at risk unless you get near other people."


2 people like this
Posted by bemused
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 1, 2020 at 4:52 pm

@Anon, so you can't find someplace within 5 miles of your residence to walk outside? Not seeing that the two are mutually exclusive.


2 people like this
Posted by LosAltosDocc
a resident of Los Altos
on Apr 1, 2020 at 6:08 pm

[Post removed.]


15 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2020 at 6:09 pm

Nissim Taleb, author of "Black Swan" and "Anti-fragile", was recently interviewed on Bloomberg Markets & Finance:

"...we have known from Jan 26 when we issued our warning that effectively you should kill it in the egg if you can, and kill it very quickly... had we spent the money, or probably taken the hit, or transferred the risk to the airlines who would have taken the hit in January, we wouldn't be here today. The problem is we have too much connectivity. They did not want to spend pennies in January, and now we are going to spend trillions..."

We are now two months past Nissim Taleb's January 26th warning. Passenger air travel is the polar opposite of social distancing and SFO and SJC are still wide open to passenger travel to and from airports located in domestic hot spots like New York, New Jersey, New Orleans, and the San Francisco Peninsula. Why?


"The Corona Virus is NOT a Black Swan"
Taleb's Probability Moocs ~ March 31, 2020 Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by bemused
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 1, 2020 at 6:11 pm

I was wrong! I thought all the counties had the same wording in their orders. But no! It seems the 5 mile restriction is a clause unique to San Mateo County's order. Not gonna try to understand. Enjoy RSA, you freewheeling Santa Clara County residents!


8 people like this
Posted by Reconciliation and repentance
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2020 at 6:22 pm

[Post removed.]


1 person likes this
Posted by Carrie
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2020 at 6:40 pm

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by @Carrie
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 1, 2020 at 6:48 pm

[Post removed.]


16 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2020 at 8:47 pm

I'm curious why so many comments are being removed. I was scrolling down through the comments section and see "comment deleted" without a reason. It's just gone. And one gets curious as to what someone had taken the time to post.

Remember, we may be under shelter at home orders, but this is still America where there is freedom of speech. Let's not censure people's opinions. We all need a voice. I know at the federal level they try to control the headlines, but unless there is a valid reason to remove a comment, it shouldn't be removed because the person who writes something has a different political bent or opinion on how things are being handled at the county or government level. All voices should be published.


2 people like this
Posted by Illuminato
a resident of another community
on Apr 1, 2020 at 10:21 pm

If everyone wore a mask in public, theoretically that would mean we could get back to business, because no one would be spewing virus particles unknowingly. That could never happen because you can't force everyone to wear a mask and there aren't enough to go around anyway. Maybe in the future a lot of people will be wearing masks for a long time, thinking that it protects them, but it doesn't cover the eyes. I thought it was illegal to wear a mask in public, maybe I'm wrong. No one has used it to rob a bank so far.


7 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 1, 2020 at 10:30 pm

Who has masks?

Fake nail salons / Vets / Dentists and oral surgeons / cosmetic botox "docs"

Give em up guys


7 people like this
Posted by Steel Jones
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 2, 2020 at 3:10 am

Agree with Resident of Downtown North -- this thread seems to be awfully heavily censor-- I mean, "moderated", to the point that one can't help but wonder if there's an ulterior motive at work. Is the moderator trying to control the conversation? Unless a comment is blatant spam or wholly unproductive insults or mudslinging, I think it would be better to err on the side of the free expression of ideas. If a comment is merely a little rough around the edges, well, we're all grownups; I think we can handle it.

Perhaps there should be some moderation in the moderation?


7 people like this
Posted by MidPen's Rancho San Coronio
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 2, 2020 at 7:08 am

Coronavirus hosting droplets from a sneeze have a "Muzzel velocity" of 50 feet per second as it exits the infected person, spraying a huge cloud into the air that hangs for a while. The guidance to avoid the droplets is a space of about 6 meters or more.
*This is a scientific fact.

Mixing individuals from one community to another is one of the most efficient way to encourage and continue the spread of the virus over large areas.
*This is also a scientific fact.

MidPen seems to be by ignoring science, placing the emotional "Need" for people to drive into (only) Ranch San Antonio above the need to stop the virus spread.


Posted by Dental masks
a resident of Evergreen Park

on Apr 2, 2020 at 8:55 am

Due to violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are only visible to registered users who are logged in. Use the links at the top of the page to Register or Login.


11 people like this
Posted by bemused
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 2, 2020 at 10:25 am

Btw, I've recently heard some judging of people who wear N95 masks in public. The complaint seems to be that the person is depriving others who need the mask more from having it. I have a bag of N95 masks at home, all from long before this coronavirus first showed up in China, all opened and already used multiple times by me or my family while doing home projects that create dust, etc. None of these masks would be in any way, shape or form usable by anyone else. I wore one to the grocery store yesterday. I doubt it does much for me, but I hope that in the case I have the virus but am not having symptoms, it will help prevent me from transmitting it to someone else.


Like this comment
Posted by Carlito waysmann
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 2, 2020 at 12:55 pm

" The idea that droplets hit a virtual wall and stop there and after that we are safe , is not based on evidence that we have about this virus transmission " said MIT researcher Lydia Bourouiba, she added " gaseous cloud that can carry droplets of all sizes is emitted when a person coughs, sneezes or otherwise exhales. The cloud is partially mitigated by sneezing or coughing into your elbow"
Bourouiba has researched the dynamics of exhalations,coughs and sneezes for years at The Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission Laboratory at MIT and found exhalations cause gaseous clouds that can travel up to 27 feet.

Bourouiba said she wants to see recommendations made based on current science, not "policies based on supply , for example, because we don't have masks, PPE". It's well known PPE is in short supply nationwide and health care workers have been desperately trying to find effective ways to deal with shortages.



7 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2020 at 1:41 pm

Posted by Illuminato, a resident of another community

>> If everyone wore a mask in public, theoretically that would mean we could get back to business, because no one would be spewing virus particles unknowingly.

"Nope."

I just happened to see the Governor's news conference today, and, he addressed this point in several ways.

He said it should be OK to wear masks as per @bemused above, that you happen to have already, just don't acquire them in a way that redirects the new supply away from health providers who desperately need them.

He also stated that the masks effectiveness is marginal, and that they should be used as add-ons, after the first requirement is met of *physical distancing*. Keep your distance, then, wear a mask if you have one and want to wear it. But, first, keep your physical distance, with or without a mask.

>> I thought it was illegal to wear a mask in public, maybe I'm wrong. No one has used it to rob a bank so far.

Not illegal. Some people have frowned upon it because of fears that the masks were redirected away from health providers. But, of course, many people have masks already because of painting, sanding, sawing, etc. activities, and/or, asthma or some kind of pulmonary disease, or, smoke sensitivity to wildfire smoke, or, ... Anyway, the governor says it is OK, as long as you keep your distance first.


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Posted by Dish closed, Rancho San Coronio still open
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 3, 2020 at 4:25 am

The Dish is closed but thanks to huge open parking lots, You can still pack in and mix community exposures then take them back to spread in your community. Midpen is different than other lands, I guess. The virus must act differently there, or at least Midpen is denying science so we can take advantage of that.


10 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2020 at 1:27 am

An experienced airline pilot's view on air travel:

"my thoughts on air travel right now are, just don't do it."

"An Airline Pilot's Thoughts about Corona Virus on the Plane"
Gregg's Airplanes and Automobiles ~ April 1, 2020 Web Link


10 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Apr 5, 2020 at 11:16 am

Why is Phil's coffee open?


9 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2020 at 6:40 pm

From a recent article in Time Magazine:

"Two months later, as flight crews remain on the front lines of the fight against the virus, they fear airlines’ failure to heed their concerns has turned them into a dangerous part of the problem. In interviews and emails with TIME, more than a dozen flight attendants describe a continuing shortage of basic protection and a confounding lack of guidance over how to do their jobs without spreading the disease. Their gravest concern: that after weeks of working without proper supplies, they have been exposed to thousands of cases and in turn become primary transmitters to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who continue to fly every day. “It’s awful, because we know we’re definitely spreading it, seat to seat, city to city, person to person, hotel to hotel,” one Atlanta-based flight attendant who has been in the job for 15 years tells TIME."


"We’re Definitely Spreading It. Flight Attendants Fear Losing Coronavirus Fight"
Time ~ April 3, 2020 Web Link

"100 AA flight attendants, 41 pilots test positive for coronavirus"
USA Today ~ April 9, 2020 Web Link


10 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 10, 2020 at 12:07 am

Mercury News April 9 reports 47 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Palo Alto.

"San Jose, the Bay Area’s most populous city, accounts for 958 of the confirmed cases in Santa Clara County. No other city in the county has more than 100 confirmed cases, but Sunnyvale (65), Palo Alto (57) and Santa Clara (54) all have more than 50.
Milpitas (43), Mountain View (30), Campbell (26), Gilroy (24), Los Gatos (21), Los Altos (18) and Cupertino (17) are the other cities in the county with at least 10 confirmed cases. If there are fewer than 10 cases in a city, the county will not provide a specific number of cases".

People are unknowingly spreading the virus. (Thank you Jetman for the above info).

Don't accidentally kill someone. Please stay home.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 10, 2020 at 12:17 am

57 Confirmed Cases in Palo Alto - Correction.


Like this comment
Posted by S_mom
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 10, 2020 at 10:13 am

Is that 57 confirmed cases since they started tracking? I believe yes given the total numbers. What's the guess on how many confirmed active cases we have in PA right now then? 20? 30? Of course we have more than that because are only testing the cases bad enough to go to the hospital, but it's still a pretty small number. I wonder what they are going to do after May 3, seems like they should start easing up at that point assuming the numbers don't get worse...


4 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2020 at 1:55 pm

Posted by S_mom, a resident of Community Center

>> seems like they should start easing up at that point assuming the numbers don't get worse...

I know everybody is getting impatient, but, growth is still exponential, it is just that the doubling time is now ~8 days in California, rather than ~3 days when we started. Web Link . Be patient, stick to the program. That is how we will eventually be able to stay healthy.


6 people like this
Posted by S_mom
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 10, 2020 at 2:28 pm

@Anon - but that is statewide -- our county's numbers don't look like that, do they?
Web Link

What do you think the numbers need to look like before we can ease up?

In particular the hospital numbers look steady and not close to capacity - people do recover from the virus (or much more rarely, not), so it's not like the numbers are cumulative in the hospital, new cases come in and some patients leave. That's the rate that seems most relevant to me.

And our city numbers are quite low. Can we really justify not allowing people who really need money to work if our local numbers are still like this in May?

Personally, I think if our numbers hold they should ease up on restrictions locally -- not just go back to life as usual -- schools remain closed, tell the vulnerable to continue sheltering in place, ask anyone who can work at home to stay at home (and tell Apple, Google, Facebook etc to keep allowing work from home), but allow people who can't work from home to resume work if they need the money. If the hospital utilization starts to go up too much they can up the restrictions again.

We're limited by the statewide order but maybe they will allow localities to make individual determinations after May 3 if it looks like some areas are much worse than others. I just worry the economic burden on low income residents isn't being given sufficient consideration -- I don't see how low income people can continue to buy food with the current restrictions, and although evictions are halted we are going to be placing people in a rent budget hole they may never be able to climb out of. I don't think the scale of these issues can be solved with government economic relief, particularly with politics as they are now.

We can't predict the future and these are hard decisions, but to me it just seems like the wrong decision to place such a huge economic burden on low income individuals when our numbers look pretty steady and not close to hospital capacity.


2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2020 at 2:45 pm

Posted by S_mom, a resident of Community Center

>> @Anon - but that is statewide -- our county's numbers don't look like that, do they? Web Link

As I read the graphs, he last few days there has been a ~linear increase in the number of new cases of 60+ each day. That is "great", compared to doubling every 3 days, or even, every week. But, the number of new cases isn't dwindling, and, even this "limited" increase is the result of the draconian measures we are still applying every day.

>> What do you think the numbers need to look like before we can ease up?

SCC is one of the least isolated counties in the state. Under normal conditions, the airports are busy, business travel is high, business meetings are constant. We really need to see a statewide decline in cases first. We need to lag the rest of the state. We're "high communicators" here, so, if they're still getting sick, we will get sick again. Let's get a lot of practice being high communicators with FaceTime, Teams, and Webex.


10 people like this
Posted by S_mom
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 10, 2020 at 3:15 pm

@Anon

Respectfully, I don't agree. I think it's easy to say we should take the most extreme approach when you are high income and your job can be done from home so you aren't personally facing dire economic circumstances. I think there is a middle ground where we ease up on restrictions (but still keep a lot in place -- having schools closed is huge, and we could still tell a lot of people to work from home) and and try to achieve a balance where hospital usage may be higher but not over capacity and people who are currently income-less are allowed to earn enough money to eat. If we monitor hospital usage we can increase restrictions again later if needed, but I don't think everyone can afford to take the most extreme approach for months on end.


3 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2020 at 4:23 pm

@S_mom: The NY Times has a timely article on this paradox. If we behave strictly, the apocalypse doesn't happen, then, there is criticism that the "predictions" were overly alarming. We all need to understand this.

Web Link

I think we have to proceed to a "new normal" which doesn't include so much handshaking, sharing head lice, and togetherness. That is a big problem for all the hospitality industries, including bars, restaurants, cruise ships, airlines, and "standing room only" public transportation. We need less constant physical contact until we can get full control of this-- and that will take effective vaccines and a massive immunization campaign worldwide. It might happen-- in 2021.

In the meantime, I think a lot of industries can start operating, as long as they put training and technology in place. I see no reason why most people in construction and the building trades have to breathe the same air, for example. In IT, many people already attended meetings from their desks using, e.g., Webex. Bars and restaurants are another story-- the product *is* social contact, and, social distancing breaks it. I don't see a solution for this, because, merely sharing a salt shaker or a conversation can transmit SARS-CoV-2: Web Link

If you are in the restaurant business, better hope that vaccine arrives sooner rather than later.





5 people like this
Posted by Biz Owner
a resident of Portola Valley
on Apr 27, 2020 at 4:21 pm

Most people live paycheck to paycheck. People are bankrupted. Single mom’s have had their savings wiped out. People will start dropping off company paid health care. Rents may be pushed off a month or two, but evictions are going to ramp up. Cars will be repossessed. Food banks are going to be overwhelmed. S_mom is right, there has to be a balance of concern. We have to trust businesses to start opening soon!! Someone has to weigh all the impacts.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2020 at 2:49 pm

Posted by Biz Owner, a resident of Portola Valley

>> S_mom is right, there has to be a balance of concern. We have to trust businesses to start opening soon!! Someone has to weigh all the impacts.

@Biz Owner:

It makes a difference what kind of business. If the business is "high-touch" or necessarily requires breathing shared air, then, it should have an extremely important reason for being open. We don't need entertainment businesses in crowded spaces right now. Headline: "Coronavirus Lingers in Air of Crowded Spaces, New Study Finds":

Web Link



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