Homeless Corner No More

Our Smart & Final shopping trips dropped from once or more every seven days to none over several weeks—until today (the store stocks a different, and pricier, cat food that’s not our preferred brand). Look what we missed, although I can say from driving by over the weekend that the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 testing site is a rather recent addition.

I am accustomed to seeing indigent folks hanging out on that corner; uh-oh, somebody won’t be happy about losing their spot. Perhaps the test site is meant to reach the many homeless who are frequent fixtures in that area of San Diego neighborhood North Park (along University Avenue between Mississippi and Texas streets).

Testing is crucial to keeping fears of infection high to justify whatever mandates officials hope to reinstate. But why wait? Yesterday, the County declared Monkeypox a “public health emergency” in response to a whopping 46 cases (all men and mostly gay), with one person hospitalized and no deaths. Yikes! Break out the HAZMAT suits.

Monkeypox doesn’t spread easily. But Coronavirus variant Omicron BA.5 is unstoppable, and loads of testing is sure to detect boatloads of new infections—all while ignoring that hospitals aren’t overwhelmed, nor are masses of people dying.

Official County data through yesterday puts the number of new infections at 1,446—in part possible because of free home kits and sites like the one in the Featured Image. That number is up from 900 on July 31, 2022 but down from 1,917 on the 29th. See what happens when testing lags? More is necessary to jack up the numbers.

COVID-19 accounts for a scant 3.7 percent of hospitalizations, while the case fatality rate remains steady at 0.6 percent. There were seven deaths attributed to the virus between reporting periods. Forty-seven patients are in ICU with COVID-19 but not necessarily because of it (SDC health data doesn’t specify). County-wide, 246 ICU beds are available.

Tell me there isn’t something ominous about the juxtaposition of signs in the photo: Smart & Final COVID-19 Testing. If this were a Twilight Zone episode, the Grim Reaper would be waiting to poke a cotton-swab stick up your nose. Can you say brain bleed?

Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/800 sec, 28mm; 10:26 a.m. PDT, today. I used Leica Q2 for three shots. The first is presented, and it’s the best despite my being across the street (yes, this is a close-crop).