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Palo Alto may make face masks mandatory during health crisis

Original post made on May 5, 2020

Concerned that Santa Clara County hasn't gone far enough in mandating face coverings for people venturing outside during the pandemic, Palo Alto is considering its own law to require them.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 5, 2020, 12:02 PM

Comments (66)

Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on May 5, 2020 at 12:29 pm

Good quality washable masks are cheap to make (like $1 each). The city should just give them away to all residents or ask local supermarkets to sell them at cost.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 5, 2020 at 12:44 pm

Many places of business, Costco, Safeway, banks, etc. are already requiring them.

Why does the city of Palo Alto have to waste effort on making a rule that people are already doing?

Virtue signalling comes to mind.

Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 5, 2020 at 2:32 pm

I don't mind, as long as the enforcement is done by the traffic enforcement unit, which will prioritize ticketing speeders, stop sign/red-light runners, and aggressive drivers/tailgaters.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 5, 2020 at 2:52 pm

Palo Alto is too progressive in its views. Let people live and do the right thing without telling everyone what we have to do. This is not a communist city, but politicians are trying to make it one.

Posted by TimR
a resident of Downtown North
on May 5, 2020 at 3:03 pm

Every order I've read about in other cities basically requires them when outside your home and inside another structure. Which is exactly what I do now in Palo Alto. But I don't--and will not--wear one when out jogging. With proper route planning, it's easy enough to avoid other people altogether.

Posted by S_mom
a resident of Community Center
on May 5, 2020 at 3:24 pm

They should add this requirement in conjunction with opening up more businesses for phase 2. I think they could have done it earlier, but right now given how low Palo Alto's numbers are it gives less credibility to their decision to do it right now (some will ask why are they adding restrictions when we've currently beaten the numbers down so low?). I have nothing personal against such a decision (and do choose to wear a mask out of the house) but I think if they were smart they would roll it into the phase 2 reopening using the argument that they are increasing exposure risk by opening up so it makes sense to mitigate it with masks.

Posted by Chris Dewees
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 5, 2020 at 4:01 pm

Inside establishments, makes sense. Outside walking, running, biking, etc., no.

Posted by Chris
a resident of University South
on May 5, 2020 at 6:41 pm

Why does Palo Alto CC debate everything forever? Cupertino CC did this a long time ago and they have a case rate much lower than Palo Alto. It is not necessary to reinvent the wheel.

They spent last night debating whether the shortfall was going to be $20 million or $40 million. They are wasting millions of dollars while they are debating. They should have starting cutting last month.

Posted by Politicians are Hypocrites
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 5, 2020 at 6:46 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by Malcolm
a resident of College Terrace
on May 5, 2020 at 7:29 pm

Yes, to masks inside stores (unless their aisles are more than 20' wide.)

Outdoors in Palo Alto it is very easy to stay away from people, especially when running or biking. Although downtown when the stores open the sidewalks could be problematic.

Posted by Dan
a resident of Professorville
on May 5, 2020 at 8:59 pm

I would like to see our city council laser-focused on our economy, and in particular helping our struggling small businesses, and our jobless citizens.

We have a unprecedented and epic economic disaster going on that needs an enormous amount of focus and energy. There is real suffering going on.

Don't waste time on topics others that are more knowlegeable and doing a good job on are already in charge of. Leave public health to public health officers.

Posted by Masked Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on May 5, 2020 at 9:37 pm

I was at Midtown Safeway late afternoon today. I hadn’t been at Safeway since SIP. There was a sign requesting people to wear masks - almost everyone was wearing one except two younger woman . It’s selfish to others to not wear masks. The clerks were wearing masks. I was surprised that there was no crowd control entering the store nor any wipe downs of the carts. Safeway should be doing more and if we need a law, so be it .

Posted by Niclas Gyllenram
a resident of Professorville
on May 5, 2020 at 10:54 pm

Or you could just not use face masks at all and be 100% open, like Sweden. Also, the face masks give zero actual protection and if anything is more likely to give people a false sense of safety and take risks they otherwise wouldn't. Can we please start to act responsibly some time soon?

Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on May 5, 2020 at 11:45 pm


Next to staying away from people, wearing a mask is highly socially responsible.

Have you checked out Taiwan? They have had minimal COVID-19 and they reopened schools in February, before they were even closed here.

Before you proclaim your lack of ignorance about masks, please educate yourself about countries that have lower death rates than the US, not ones that are higher like Sweden.

Posted by Barry
a resident of Professorville
on May 5, 2020 at 11:56 pm

This past Sunday there were dozens and dozens of people socializing at Heritage Park and none of them were wearing face coverings. It appeared that groups stuck together so there was no interaction between different households. I highly doubt that the local police will be forcing these people to put on masks if the ordinance is enacted because it’s clear the mask is unnecessary except when entering businesses. Palo Alto City Council grandstanding once again while they look the other way as the city coffers are being drained by their inept governance.

Posted by better than nothing
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 6, 2020 at 1:48 am

Surgical mask filter and fit performance Web Link

"Conclusion: None of these surgical masks exhibited adequate filter performance and facial fit characteristics to be considered respiratory protection devices."

Posted by Granny R
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 6, 2020 at 2:59 am

Santa Clara County ruled masks are "recommended" but not "required" for an interesting reason. They were concerned that people who can't wear masks in certain situations, or who have medical conditions that make it hard to breathe when wearing a mask, would be shamed by others for not complying. Most people in Palo Alto are very good about wearing masks....I don't see the need for Palo Alto to go beyond the recommendation of the County.

Posted by Lovelover999
a resident of College Terrace
on May 6, 2020 at 10:08 am

[Post removed.]

Posted by lthenous
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 6, 2020 at 10:09 am

We are not dependent on your health system, health care or your list of euphemized health phases/words you use to butter up and fool the naive and week so you can degrade their/our bodily systems to an even higher degree then what you’ve already done with your completely atrocious anti life out right crimes on humanity. Crimes on humanity which are of the highest order.

We depend on, clean pure air, clean pure fresh water, clean pure fresh food(frugivorous digestive system and Biology) and a clean pure fresh environment all of which you guys & week corrupt naive fearful humans have done their best to compromise and neglect us of. We have none of these basic dependencies met right now in this time period or for as long as I can remember. [Portion removed.]

When we have these basic dependencies met the only part of the medical system we need is accident based trauma & poison units. We sure as hell don’t need the other 99% of this mostly parasitic industry….

Why is our water infiltrated with brain and nerve damaging poisons? What is our food supply grown in/with. Why is our food supply grown with brain and nerve damaging poisons? Why is our air being sprayed day after day? Why is our environment being destroyed?

Posted by frugivore
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 6, 2020 at 10:11 am

[Post removed.]

Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Community Center
on May 6, 2020 at 10:34 am

I think this is a great idea. Even though we'd like to think PA is a progressive, caring city the fact is that people AREN'T wearing masks when they are out. We need sometimes to remind people to do the right thing, be courteous of others and be mindful of your actions. This has nothing to do with 'big brother' or government oversight. It has everything to do with being a thoughtful community member.

Posted by County/State Calls the Shots
a resident of Midtown
on May 6, 2020 at 11:09 am

To City Council: The Governor and County are calling the shots. We don't need the City Council (people with no medical backgrounds or healthcare policy training) getting involved in making healthcare policy decisions. Focus on the $40m in cuts you're going to have to make and let the county health professionals do their jobs. Ridiculous.

Web Link

Posted by CC
a resident of University South
on May 6, 2020 at 11:11 am

I am in full agreement that face masks should be worn ALL of the time outdoors.

As an avid neighborhood walker, I am disgusted by the joggers and bicycles that wiz by without letting you know theyre coming from behind. Right up close, NO masks. Huffing and puffing spreading their germs.

In other countries, masks are everyday life. Seeing as we’re in the middle of a pandemic, why should be even question this!

Please make masks a requirement!!! For the health of all of us!

Posted by Asymptomatic? Wear a mask!!!
a resident of another community
on May 6, 2020 at 11:25 am

You can find data to support or refute wearing a mask while cycling or running, I was of the mind that it was OK NOT to wear a mask during these activites. I have changed my mind, I am not sick but do not want to be infected by a 'mask-less' asymptomatic person... "given that I am going faster and breathing harder when cycling, do I need to keep a greater distance? Am I potentially spreading my germs to a larger area? Because we still don’t know, I feel safest wearing a mask, and fellow cyclists should do the same." source.... Web Link I was out at Shoreline yesterday, none of the cyclists or runners passing us at a brisk pace wore masks, if they feel they are immune from COVID19, that may not be the case for others, ride your bike or run in remote areas, away from other people.

Wearing a mask less of an inconvenience as compared to being on a ventilator with a feeding tube inserted through a hole in my stomach.

Posted by Ursula
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 6, 2020 at 11:28 am

I have mixed feelings about this.

On the one hand, the latest County order appears to mandate face coverings indoors:
"For the purposes of this Order, all businesses that are operating at facilities in the County visited or used by the public or personnel must, as a condition of such operation, prepare and post a “Social Distancing Protocol” for each of these facilities" and part of the protocol is "Requiring face coverings to be worn by all persons entering the facility, other than those exempted from face covering requirements (e.g., young children);"

On the other hand, the County keeps changing the content of the April 29th order, without changing the date or listing the changes they are making. Originally the order appeared to mandate face coverings even outside, but it no longer does. It said "out in public" which is open to interpretation. I would think "out in public" would include things like being in line at Piazza's, going to an outdoor market, or being in a City park with others (other than perhaps Foothill Park), but would not include being out on your bike or walking.

When this is over, the Santa Clara County Grand Jury should consider an investigation into why our County's response was so much weaker than other Bay Area Counties.

In the meantime, Palo Alto should probably follow the lead of other cities in Santa Clara County. Kudos to Tanaka and Kniss for raising this issue. Hopefully Mayor Fine and the other council members will make thus unanimous

Posted by Ursula
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 6, 2020 at 11:45 am

Asymptomatic: I see the same thing on the Stevens Creek Trail and going through Shoreline. It can be very crowded with people passing very close, but they are not wearing face coverings.

In situations where you're out in public, even outside, face coverings should be required. Some of the other Bay Area Counties do have that requirement. For some reason Santa Clara County's response to the pandemic has been less vigorous than that in other Bay Area Counties even though we have one of the highest death rates per-capita. It's very strange and there seems to be no explanation.

Inside stores I see a very high compliance rate already, and as some people pointed out, even without a City or County requirement many stores are requiring face coverings on their own. A City or County order just gives stores the ability to defend their position with "it's the law."

Posted by Wake up
a resident of Mountain View
on May 6, 2020 at 12:05 pm

[Portion removed.] Seriously people....stop, take a breath, and look at what’s happening. The numbers are not adding up! And as soon as they weren’t, do you not see that the narrative then changed from exponential deaths now to “it’s going to come worse in a second wave”. So now y’all are clinging to this new fear.

Why do you grasp and hold these fears so strongly? What has happened to our land of free and brave and courageous? You allow the media to stir up these fears, why? [Portion removed.]

Posted by NotAtPaloAltoWholeFoods
a resident of College Terrace
on May 6, 2020 at 12:43 pm

Whole Foods in Palo Alto has a sign saying that people should wear masks to enter. Most people do. Not all. The store employee does not stop the mask-less people from entering the store.

Should the employee be enforcing the masks? Or is the sign more of a suggestion?

Posted by What Will They Do Next
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 6, 2020 at 1:42 pm

@ Wake up...I've got a timer on your post. I concur with everything you said. Many scientists and physicians see what's going on behind the scenes and are beginning to question the establishment and big pharma. Something isn't right.

Posted by Cultists On The Loose Again
a resident of Mountain View
on May 6, 2020 at 2:05 pm

And right on cue, the COVID-19 deniers that seem to be in on every discussion on this board show up *yet again*.

It's amazing to think that even though the facts clearly go against everything they post on the current pandemic, they continue to recycle the same discredited alt-right talking points, over and over and over again.

[Portion removed.]

Posted by TinFoilHatter
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 6, 2020 at 2:07 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on May 6, 2020 at 4:22 pm

In an more ideal world....say if H Clinton, Obama, either of the Bush's, John McCain, Bill Clinton etc. were President.

1) we would have not had a demobilized force to fight pandemics
2) the President would have paid attention to the daily briefing documents telling him or her that this was coming...way back before it all broke
3) We would have instituted a nationwide mandatory Stay in Place order.
4) Testing would have been ramped up, with the national capacity for 10 to 30 million per day
5) such testing would be backed by an army of contact tracers and people to assist with isolation. Then when "opening up" (elective surgeries for instance as a start) the testing and followup would be in place, stomping down any spot resurgences
6) The President would have just at first tried to deny the threat, calling it at a rally "a hoax". Then done various back and forth contradictory things---saying it's up to the Governors then telling his supporters to go out and protest.
7) Instead the President would have taken a back seat and let the scientific experts run the show. Even if he didn't give a damn about lives lost, even if the most craven opportunist....he or she would have realized that good governance now lined up with political opportunism---this is a chance to shine.

[Portion removed.]

Instead we have a pathwork of sorts.

The Bay Area is relatively unscathed. Other (red states) never put in place any effective stay at home orders (though many citizens took it upon themselves). Other areas as well, some suffered heavily but now with Stay in Place, the virus is abating. Meanwhile many states which never really closed down are now "opening up".

Trump seems both unable and now patently unwilling to address this pandemic. For him it is now an opportunity to try and impose his will.

Back when the Soviet Union was doing it first H bomb test Stalin was asked "what do we do if it doesn't work?". His reply "we can shoot all the scientists" (they actually had a backup group of scientists ready with plans to execute the scientists if the H bomb test wasn't successful. Now Stalin wanted the H bomb test to work. But if not, then it was an opportunity for him to further impose his will. At first glance it makes no sense to shoot those scientists....but the more you understand that system back then it was a brilliant, yet evil, plan.

Imagine a Game of Thrones King whose Kingdom is beset by the plague. There are some rudimentary effective solutions....but those with knowledge of it are in a faction the King opposes. He would rather send them all to the block and force the subjects to endure the plague, proof of his power and ability to rule. Bloody the troops!

Thus it is with Trump. Forcing West Point Cadets to return for his little rally and speech. Captive audience. Encouraging his minions to embrace all sorts of unscientific ideas and pretend that effective public health measures impose on their "freedom". Blaming China, decrying Dr. Fauci and others, spreading the most vile and despicable of propoganda.

No plans for testing, or other effective action. Now openly calling for people to sacrifice their health and lives for his agenda.

Imagine two crocodiles, one blue and one red. They lay parallel to each other and each bite the other's tail. Then they both do "the death roll". That is our country now.

We in the Bay Area, and other areas like Seattle, CA generally, etc. have sacrificed with doing effective Stay In Place, masks, etc. But other areas (red states) are now exploding with the virus. And we will then have "backwash" if we open up. Many deaths will now occur more in the Red States. The economy won't rebound at all because of the meager opening in those states (many of the residents there--especially in the larger cities) will still hunker down. But the deaths will be blamed on China, the failure to administer The Dear Leader's Elixir Chloroquine, perhaps "her emails" etc.

[Portion removed.]

Praetorian Guard, where for art thou?

Posted by Wake up
a resident of Mountain View
on May 6, 2020 at 5:14 pm

The best thing Trump did (as did NZ and Australia) was to stop travel from China. [Portion removed.] @A NounEa Pus, I’d say you’re just as guilty of “propaganda”. Look at the overreach and control Newsom and his merry band have small feat with the familial relations, Pelosi’s got his back!

You have your reality, I have mine. I’m quite comfortable with mine [portion removed.]

Posted by Cultists On The Loose Again
a resident of Mountain View
on May 6, 2020 at 5:35 pm

Dude, what, exactly, do you have against actual facts?

Try putting some of them into your posts. Trust me, you (and everyone else here) would be much better for it.

[Portion removed.]

Posted by jim
a resident of Community Center
on May 6, 2020 at 7:16 pm

@Wake up

You're posting name is appropriate. You should wake up! Here are the facts.
Every time you speak, sneeze, or cough, droplets are leaving your pretty mouth. I want you to wear a mask that stops them IN your mask. As a consideration, I will wear a mask to protect you from my spittle.

Masks, if worn by everyone. will be the only near term way to slow the infection spread. Social distancing is great but unworkable on mass transit and many places where the 6' is impossible. I want to get back to living again. Will you help make this possible?

Posted by Wake up
a resident of Mountain View
on May 6, 2020 at 7:25 pm

I wear a mask everywhere I go. I have respect for other people’s concerns and fears. That doesn’t mean I agree with them. I think it’s unfounded and I am hoping beyond hope that in the next month We will look back on all these comments and think, good lord, what the hell happened here, how did this get so out of hand.

But I fear that it’s a long range hope. I think everyone here is entranced with and just want to embrace their fear.

Posted by Chris
a resident of University South
on May 6, 2020 at 7:42 pm

Wake up,

Society has every right to protect itself from you. What proof do you have that you are not an asymptomatic carrier?

Please do not enter Palo Alto if you refuse to wear a mask.

Posted by JR
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 6, 2020 at 8:16 pm

If establishments want to require masks to enter then that's their choice. They risk losing the business of customers who cannot or do not want to wear a mask, but that's their prerogative.

Under no circumstances can masks be required in public areas outdoors. The idea of it is so offensive that it is not worth considering for one second. [Portion removed.]

Posted by Wake up
a resident of Mountain View
on May 6, 2020 at 8:31 pm

@chris. What part of my post stating “I wear a mask everywhere I go” did you not understand?

Posted by What Will They Do Next
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 6, 2020 at 8:46 pm

@ Wake up ..... the fear is real. [Portion removed.]

Posted by Wake up
a resident of Mountain View
on May 6, 2020 at 8:58 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by stanford fan
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 6, 2020 at 11:11 pm

many bicyclists have no regard for their neighbor. how many times do walkers have to frantically dodge fast speeding bicyclists either on streets where they ride precariously close to walkers "huffing and puffing", or going through the underpass at California Avenue--which is narrow to begin with. At the beginning of the underpass going in both directions--there is a sign painted on the ground stating "WALK YOUR BIKE" and a sign posted that bicyclists should dismount their bike. And yet, some goons continue to speed through the tunnel like it is their right. Again, they have no regard for who else may be in the underpass at the time--children, baby carriages, older people, average people--it doesn't matter. More than not wearing a mask, is how bicyclists behave while riding on their bike--like it gives them superiority over everyone else. This must stop. Riding a bike does NOT give anyone the right to infringe on other people's space, or to put other people in danger. More than not wearing the mask issue--is people need to regard others whether walking, riding a bike, or driving a car. if everyone did this, Palo Alto would be a much safer place for everyone.

Posted by Lovelover999
a resident of College Terrace
on May 7, 2020 at 5:03 am

[Post removed.]

Posted by senor blogger
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 7, 2020 at 9:31 am

We're debating face masks when the City is getting ready to turn tree trimming and sidewalk repair over to the property owners because of budget problems. Let's get our priorities straight.

Posted by Rainer
a resident of Mayfield
on May 7, 2020 at 11:50 am

8 weeks ago I published an analysis with the title "The Trump-HHS lies about Masks will murder 10s of Thousands". “://” Read it!

I take no pleasure in having been correct.

Unfortunately despite the obvious facts internationally on the ground in many countries many comments here spout factual and philosophical non-sense. Often with the emphasis Palo Alto is special.

As believed the (Republican) Governors of Iowa and Alabama, before they had the first cases of Covid-19 and subsequent deaths.. Not doing anything proved, we are right, they proudly stated. Even 6 weeks ago. Look up how they are doing now “://”

2 punch lines could be / would be:
From the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI):

"Wearing a face mask is highly-effective in preventing the wearer from spreading viruses and other disease agents that are contained in airborne droplets which are released when coughing or sneezing. It is highly recommended that individuals wear face masks if they are exhibiting symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and other symptoms."
Even METI did not think about / know about the 30-50% asymptomatic spreaders of aerosols. But now we do, so everybody MUST wear a mask.

“”From second hand smoke research we know, there is no safe distance.
Anybody who has seen a shopper sneeze on a cashier knows that.

Even with up to 25 feet between you and someone with a lit cigarette, you could still breathe in 46 percent more particles compared to air without cigarette smoke. The damage cigarette smoke causes to the respiratory system can have long-term consequences for both children and adults.

And smoke particles and corona virus’ are surprisingly similar in their geometrical and weight properties. And my wife smells the smoke from a cigarette smoker on a wind-still day, 30 feet away.

Let me quote myself about masks on 3/15/2020 “://”
“”It is estimated that the transmission of respiratory illnesses is effectively interrupted if 80% of the population wears surgical masks which prevents particles above 1 micron to emanate from a speakers reach. The virus' stay with the speaker. These washable masks can be cheaply mass produced, or even home produced, like a Thailand Government program attempts. You look at a typical subway picture in China, or elsewhere in SE Asia, and you maybe more than 90% of travelers wearing a mask.

“”If both sides interrupt the transfer to 90%, the combined Herd Interruption is 99%, Even if it would be only 75% effective, the combined protection is 94%.

“”In November, before the outbreak of Covid-19, China produced 200Million disposable masks per months. At the end of February she produced 115Million a day, that is over 3Billion a month. This still only 2 1/2 masks per Chinese per months. Koreans produce 2 1/2 masks per week (!) per person, and the Taiwanese do 3 per person per week. And we? So few, that even the great blabbermouth in the White House does not write home about.

“”Since the all-knowing God-sent President T. always knew it was a pandemic, how many masks did the "America First" US produce? And where are they? Still being vetted by the FDA? Like the 200 super-duper German artificial intelligence based Virus Testing Machines (VTM) collecting dust in a US Government ware house awaiting examination by the FDA? The German Open Source and the WHO fast and cheap testing kits, why were they not used? Where they not being used to defer to the more expense US Oligarch produced kits?

“”Let me say that again in different words: masks protect not only the wearer, they protect YOU! The innocent bystander. They protect the small fry (your precious children) who are gravitationally disadvantaged to catch the dropping balls of virus laden spit?

“”What did the Auftragstaktik practioner Jim Mattis say:: Diplomacy lowers the need for bullets [and coffins]. What does this former NATO Fellow and Auftragstaktik theoretician say: Masks lower the need for ventilators and coffins.

Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 7, 2020 at 12:07 pm

Posted by JR, a resident of Palo Verde

>> If establishments want to require masks to enter then that's their choice.

If you want to eat a deep-fried bacon cheeseburger with a 56-oz HFCS soda, that is your choice. But, you have no *right* to pollute the air we all breathe with viruses.

>> Under no circumstances can masks be required in public areas outdoors. The idea of it is so offensive that it is not worth considering for one second

I'm sorry, but, you don't seem to understand two things:

1) "Public health" -- this takes effect in circumstances when *your* illness affects the health outcomes of the *community*. Smallpox, Yellow Fever, Polio, Typhoid, Covid-19 -- there have been many instances in history when contagious diseases had to be controlled, not for *your* sake, but, for *our* sake.

2) How far a plume travels: Web Link

Posted by Fact Checker
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 7, 2020 at 12:52 pm

Why is this even up for discussion?

50% of people dying are in nursing homes. How many of us have loved ones in nursing homes?
We are putting our essential health workers at risk. How many of us have loved ones who are essential workers?
Two people wearing face coverings decreases transmission. How many of us want our loved ones getting Covid-19?
6 feet is just a breathing rule. Droplets from coughs, sneezing, and exercise breathing goes further. How many of use feel it's their right to spew their droplets on other people during a pandemic?
Our small business economy is withering. How many of us want our economy to wither.

Just wear a face covering. #DoTheRightThing

Posted by Alan
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 7, 2020 at 1:01 pm

How do you apply for a job as a contact tracer?

Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on May 7, 2020 at 6:52 pm

I need a drink...

Posted by Vlad Pado
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 7, 2020 at 11:31 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by Corruption
a resident of Stanford
on May 7, 2020 at 11:49 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by John Keynes
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 8, 2020 at 12:51 am

[Comment removed at request of poster.]

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on May 11, 2020 at 7:53 pm

People say that the government is trying to control us, blah blah blah

But let me tell you something. I've been out in public where someone has come up from behind me and started coughing,or coughed or sneezed an inch away from me in a store... Without a mask. And let me tell you, that is a very unpleasant experience. This is how diseases spread, very easily.

The one effective thing we can do right away is to mandate that every single person wear a mask in public. When others wear a mask, it's for your protection. When you wear a mask, it protects other people. It helps droplets from spewing everywhere. And even though you think it doesn't matter, you will realize it does, when the person who comes to next to you starts coughing.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 11, 2020 at 8:06 pm

According to a recent TV program, the microscopic droplets when exhaled can travel further then 12 feet.
Just imagine all bicyclist huffing and puffing. MAKE THEM WEAR MASKS.

Posted by better than nothing
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 11, 2020 at 9:34 pm

Upside of masked cycling is inhaling fewer gnats, especially evenings near baylands.

Posted by better than nothing
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 11, 2020 at 11:31 pm

... and item 7a was just now passed by council. Effective this Wednesday anyone outdoors in Palo Alto not wearing a mask will be guilty of misdemeanor (unless they are walking their dog). Waiting to see this in writing with all the fine print.

Posted by S_mom
a resident of Community Center
on May 12, 2020 at 6:55 am

@better than nothing

Actually, face coverings are recommended but not required outdoors. They are required for grocery stores/essential businesses, waiting in line to get into grocery stores, and on public transportation.

Web Link

Posted by better than nothing
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2020 at 8:01 am

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that effective at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, and continuing in effect until the cows come home...

"All members of the public, except as specifically exempted below, must wear a Face Covering outside their home or other place they reside"

Posted by JR
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 12, 2020 at 8:20 am

Face coverings inhibit aerobic respiration which is why most bikers and runners do not (and will not) wear them. I cannot bike or run anywhere near my desired pace while wearing a face covering. Even though the order clearly states the following: "Wearing a Face Covering is recommended but not required while engaged in
outdoor recreation such as walking, hiking, bicycling, or running", I fear that it will embolden those who have been harassing maskless exercisers at the Baylands and in other places.

Bikers, runners and all exercisers, let's be clear: there is no requirement for mask wearing when engaged in outdoor recreation. Do not let anyone harass you or intimidate you.

Posted by S_mom
a resident of Community Center
on May 12, 2020 at 8:34 am

@ better than nothing

I know the legalese can be tricky to parse, but I'm pretty sure masks are not required at all times outside.

"All members of the public, except as specifically exempted below, must wear a Face Covering outside their home or other place they reside in the following situations:" -- "in the following situations" is the key that you can't skip over -- the order is limited to the situations expressly described, which include inside and in lines to enter essential businesses, healthcare locations, and public transportation. Outside of those "following situations," a mask is not required.

And further on in the order it expressly states, "Wearing a Face Covering is recommended but not required while engaged in outdoor recreation such as walking, hiking, bicycling, or running."

To be clear, this is essentially the substance of San Mateo's face mask order as well -- it isn't required to be outside, it's just required when shopping, going to the doctor/pharmacy, and riding public transportation.

Posted by better than nothing
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2020 at 9:02 am

Ok, ok. From the extensive council discussion late last night it's not clear to me whether they know what they passed. Replay is not yet available. I anticipate further clarifications and will stay tuned. Over and out.

Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on May 15, 2020 at 12:33 am

Council member Greg Tanaka is founder of a company that would turn the shopping experience into a surveillance opportunity as the retailer scrapes data from our phones — last time I looked him up — so if that is still his business model it would be no surprise that he wants us to emulate the Chinese.
He also tapes people who come to his office hours.

—— I recommend as part of continuing coverage of the new biotech mandate GS or SD talk to (my Gunn classmate) Dr. Matt Porteus at Stanford about the potential use of CRISPR to defeat coronavirus. He works on using stem cells to cure sickle cell anemia. Walter Isaakson (who profiled Steve Jobs) wrote about this topic— redirecting the CRISPR experts — and toured a similar lab at Berkeley.

Happy 60th to our Miss Kniss — whose daughter was at Paly when I was at Gunn. Call Guinness: Mom and Daughter born in same year!!! Being our mayor keeps you young!!!

Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on May 15, 2020 at 12:42 am

Web Link

Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on May 15, 2020 at 12:46 am

A system for automatic visitor monitoring comprises one or more sensors and a processor. The one or more sensors can be configured to automatically generate electronic sensor data regarding visitors at a venue. The processor can be configured to process the electronic sensor data to identify one or more visitors. The processor can also be configured to identify one or more characteristics of the behavior of the one or more visitors or devices carried by said visitors. Even further, the processor can be configured to determine if two or more visitors are part of a single visitor group unit.
Link from Tanaka social media page to patent application
Hey shouldn’t he have to recuse On everything from who visits the library to police matters isn’t he turning us all into beta testing for his doomsday surveillance machine?

Posted by Ryan
a resident of Midtown
on May 15, 2020 at 12:55 pm

It makes sense to wear masks when going outdoors. They are cheap and help reduce the spread of respiratory diseases. Only downside: My glasses fog up when I wear them.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 20, 2020 at 10:18 pm

So now that we have the face coverings are mandatory, what will be the criteria for relaxing the ban, or is this something that will be there for ever?

I am not sure that a forever ban will be enforceable or sensible. I suspect it will stay on the books forever, but will gradually become obsolete.

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