Tag: COVID-19

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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).

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Spidey Steaks

As I write, Preview Night is coming to a close at San Diego Comic-Con, which returns for a full festival following a two-year hiatus in response to SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19. The virus overshadows the show nevertheless. Attendees must wear face masks or other protective covering and provide proof of vaccination or negative Coronavirus test within 72 hours.

Interestingly, the popular culture event implemented those rules before recent rise in COVID-19 infections mainly caused by the BA.5 variant. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts SD County in a high-risk category, although deaths aren’t dramatically rising nor are hospitals overwhelmed. Case fatality rate is 0.64 percent, while most people infected show slight to no symptoms. Hey, just saying.

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Let the Kids Breathe!

Seriously, San Diego Unified School District?  SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 mandates are back, starting yesterday. Students are required to muzzle up—uh, wear masks—once more. Because of the time of year, you might ask “Who cares?” Some kids are taking summer classes, then there are the year-round schools like Alice Birney Elementary.

Granted, Omicron BA.5 rapidly spreads. But the virus is unstoppably contagious—and that’s without factoring the science too often ignored by policymakers: Because of its small size, SARS-CoV-2 easily passes through most face coverings, like those that youngsters wear.

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Does Anyone Care Enough to Comply?

While my household has ample supply of masks, including environmental and medical N95s, I have absolutely no plans to cover up should mandates return—and looks like they will; in Los Angeles County, at least, and possibly here in San Diego, too. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention returns both areas to the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 high-risk category, which could lead to resuming face-covering requirements.

As of yesterday, according to official public health data that excludes Long Beach and Pasadena, 1,107 people are hospitalized in LA County—up from 606 about thirty days earlier. One-hundred twenty-nine are in intensive care, or about 11 percent of capacity. Daily Coronavirus deaths: Four, which is down from six on June 14. And that’s a health emergency enough to bring back mask mandates?

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Let the Music Begin

This evening, after a two-year hiatus because of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns (and fear), Friday-night Trolley Barn Park musical concerts resumed here in University Heights.

I passed by minutes before the players took the stage and while people settled in for a pleasant evening shared listening and commiserating. Temperature was a comfortable 22 degrees Celsius (72 F). Even now, as I write, 20 degrees (68 F) refreshes park-goers.

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The Cats of University Heights: Defender

The number of dogs living in the neighborhood exploded exponentially during the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns. Northern California is fido-country, and high-techies suddenly able to work from home hightailed south, where lofty salaries ($296,000 median at Google) made buying or renting in San Diego comparably affordable for San Francisco-area escapees. Can we send them back?

How many mutts can one person, or couple, own? Gotta ask because I see fewer people walking one dog and many more leashing two, three, or more—and that’s without tallying the overall increased numbers. Not surprisingly, doggy decorum demands harassing cats; do these NorCal migrants simply not know better because they lack feline finesse or are they merely amused letting their beasts taunt kitties?

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Comic-Con’s Crazy COVID Conniption

To close out the month, and first half of the year, we connect the somewhat distant past with the not-so-far-off future. San Diego Comic Con returns July 21-24, 2022 with Preview Night on the 20th. The show floor, or break-out sessions, will look nothing like the Featured Image, taken seven years ago.

SDCC apparently didn’t get the memo that SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 is endemic and no longer pandemic. Locally, people move freely about without being required to wear masks, be tested, or verify vax status. Based on the official tally, the cumulative-calculated case fatality rate in San Diego County is 0.64 percent. Meaning: Your chance of surviving Coronavirus is better than 99 percent, while more than 85 percent of those infected likely show no symptoms.

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Teachable Murals

If there were alternate realities, in another my wife and I would have purchased what we call the Schoolhouse nearly five years ago. Location, nearby Alice Birney Elementary, was one of the appealing attributes—that and misguided speculation San Diego would never allow any type of overdevelopment nearby the kids.

A block-long, multi-residence high-rise is under construction across from the school and SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 restrictions kept away students for more than a year. Both are ambience-killers. We’re better off with the decision made in this reality.

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Perspective Highway

During the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns, I got into the bad habit of photographing alleys, buildings, and streets—yeah cats, too—but have yet to get back to people. They have come out of their dwellings, so I have no excuse.

That as preface, I present a pair of photos where humans are present but unseen. Hey, these aren’t self-driving cars. The view looks out from the University Avenue bridge in Hillcrest onto slow-moving traffic along California State Highway 163.

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We All Need a Smiley Break

Flashback two years, to May 2, 2020: SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns compelled Californians to avoid anyone and to otherwise practice so-called safe social distancing. The seeming hardship would pale compared to racial riots that would erupt weeks later.

One of my neighbors literally put on a happy face—among several encouraging, or funny, street decorations to adorn this University Heights property and/or the sidewalk straddling Meade Avenue. Seems like every time I walked by something different greeted. Thank you.

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WHO Dunnit? Sweden or the United States?

Yesterday, my wife and I read an essay that praised Sweden’s approach to combating SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19. The prescient tome published two years ago, only about a month after World Health Organization declared a pandemic. The country chose not to shutdown, unlike many others across Europe, North America, and parts of Asia. Outside health officials, assisted by the news media, lambasted the plan: Keep the economy and society stable while letting viral spread quickly achieve herd immunity.

I wondered: How well did Sweden fair and how does the outcome compare to the United States? So, today, I moseyed over to the WHO’s website for a look. As of April 22, 2022, in Sweden: 2,498, 388 confirmed cases (e.g. infections), from which there are 18,689 deaths. Divide one into the other and you get a case fatality rate of .75 percent.

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The Angry Birds

Somebody is unhappy about all the talk that avian flu will lead to poultry shortages in the worst scenario and soaring selling prices in the better one. Look at those grim faces dominating the Featured Image captured on April 14, 2022 using Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 100, 1/80 sec, 28mm; 10:39 a.m. PDT.

You can panic, and be sure smug prognosticators of doom are correct, when Costco rotisserie chicken sells for more than the long stable $4.99—or simply is unavailable.