Tag: SARS-CoV-2

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Where are the Oscar Mayer Cold Cuts and Nathan’s Franks?

Someone might blame the so-called supply chain crisis for this unnamed (I won’t say) supermarket’s empty packaged, prepared, processed meat section. I’d like to think that to celebrate the World Series and return to big gatherings before the big screen following more than 18 months of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns that a whopper shopper cleared out the Bologna, hotdogs, and other deli delights for the big game.

The temperature gauge is in the red, which could indicate cooling malfunction—that despite stocked goods on either side of the empty section. As I walked by, a store employee wheeled a cart stacked with boxes of deli-fresh replacements. You’re welcome to blame the supply chain, and who doesn’t these days? I won’t.

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Marathon Mania is Back

Today here in San Diego, more than 20,000 runners participated in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Series Marathon and Half Marathon, which occurred concurrently. The routes go through and around my neighborhood of University Heights—Hillcrest, Normal Heights, and North Park. Highway 163 partly closes down for participants, too. SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns forced cancellation of last year’s event.

My wife and I walked along Georgia towards the bridge that crosses over University Ave., hoping to see runners below. But the bulk of them had long gone by. The Featured Image shows a small group coming up to the misting and watering station along Georgia Street between Lincoln and the overpass. I used Leica Q2 to make the moment. Vitals, aperture and shutter speed manually set: f/8, ISO 100, 1/250 sec, 28mm; 9:40 a.m. PDT.

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We’re Negative!

A few days ago, my wife developed a nasty cough, accompanied by flu-like symptoms that include fever; while subsiding, they persist today. SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 is obvious concern. The Delta variant is highly communicable, whether or not somebody is vaccinated. Think nature’s inoculation: Everyone will catch the Novel Coronavirus now. Being vaxxed often will not prevent infection but reportedly minimizes the worst symptoms of the disease. Regardless, everyone is bound to develop some degree of natural immunity if the B.1.617.2 variant continues to be easily transmitted.

Annie’s cough sounds pretty bad. One of my neighbors is an ICU nurse, who asked about my wife and reassured me that her coughing, while frequent, is strong. That’s good. We own an oximeter, which I use to check her blood oxygenation—and it’s excellent! Still, we had to consider COVID-19, since Delta assures SARS-CoV-2 will infect everyone. With Annie hacking so often, and the possibility of spreading the virus—even masked—we decided against going out for a test, like we did eight month ago.

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The Haunted Dollhouse

If this scene is to scale, you should be very concerned about the size of the spirits hanging around your place. The question: Are bigger ghosts merely more menacing or do they pose greater threat to the living?

I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image and companion on Oct. 16, 2021. Vitals for both, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/30 sec, 28mm; 2:56 p.m. PDT. Whoa, look at that shutter speed and no camera shake—although in this instance a little motion blur would add appropriate ambiance.

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There’s No Vaxx for That

During last year’s SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns, electric scooters nearly disappeared from San Diego streets. But as the pandemic becomes endemic, and activity approaches some semblance of normalcy, the two-wheel rentals return.

If SARS-CoV-2 could be a metaphor, first electric bikes, then scooters, suddenly were everywhere three years ago. County-wide, communities had no natural immunity (e.g. ordinances) to prevent the e-rides from clogging sidewalks or from masses of people zipping about—jeopardizing themselves and other citizens. City councils imposed restrictions to, ah, flatten the curve—to prevent quite literally the flattening of some riders. But the scooters spread unchecked until COVID-19 lockdowns crushed the scourge.

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Parents Protest San Diego School District Vaxx Mandates

Late afternoon, my wife asked: “What is all that honking?” Annie was right. Car horns could be heard in the distance, occasionally and repeatedly tooting. We turned to one another flummoxed over the sudden roar of cheering that reminded of sporting events. What was going on nearby—and where? I left to find out, following the sounds that piqued our mutual curiosities.

Our University Heights apartment is located about .8-kilometer (one-half mile) walking distance from administrative offices for San Diego Unified School District, where a sizable crowd had gathered with picket signs. As I arrived, a woman’s voice bellowed over loudspeakers advocating against vaccine mandates and for parents’ rights to choose for their children—not the government nor SDUSD. What I didn’t understand: The school board scheduled a 5 p.m. PDT meeting to vote on a proposal requiring staff and some students to be vaccinated. How ironic: They cowered in isolation via Zoom, while parents protested in person.

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I Got the Golden Ticket

My wife and I cannot find an escape destination from SoCal. The SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 pandemic proved to be massive interference—from “stay-at-home” shutdowns to insanely rising house prices as newfound work-from-homers fled the cities for more affordable areas that we also considered. Perhaps we were too compliant Californians and locked down when getting ahead of the escaping herd would have made more sense. But we still search, with hopes of vamoosing this year.

That raises question: Will I be around for San Diego Comic-Con Special Edition, which is scheduled for Thanksgiving Weekend? I ask because—oh my fraking luck—the SDCC overlords blessed me (“praise be“, as they say on Handmaid’s Tale) with opportunity to buy a pass during open registration today. How could I refuse?

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Superhero Thanksgiving Weekend

Save the time! Tomorrow at 11 a.m. PDT, registration starts for Comic-Con Special Edition, which takes place Nov. 26-28, 2021 at the San Diego Convention Center. The homage to geek culture will be a smaller event than the typical July gathering, which was canceled this year and last because of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.

The latter still applies. Attendees, vendors, and any one else must “wear an approved face covering regardless of vaccination status”, according to the organizer. “Face coverings should completely cover the nose and mouth, fit snugly against the sides of the face, and not have any gaps”. Well, won’t that make a mess of costumes. In that spirit, I would love to see a group of vampires protesting the mandate—because they can’t suck blood while wearing masks. Or maybe someone should show up wearing Guy Fawkes mask.

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Alfa Romeo Spider

No one would call me a car guy. Still, I’m a sucker for classic, European vehicular styling—like that seen in the Featured Image and its companions. Today, while walking through University Heights to the Vermont Street Bridge that leads to shopping plaza The Hub in Hillcrest, I passed by my first-ever sighting of an Alfa Romeo sportster. If online image search steered me down the right road, this model is the Spider—and I am unable to pin down year of release. What a beauty she is (my blog, my pronoun choice).

The car was parked on Lincoln at Maryland, near where I photographed a Hummer in February 2021. Coincidentally, or not, both vehicles were outside the same home—just on different streets (it’s a corner property).

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We Voted Today

My wife and I dropped off our ballots at Garfield Elementary, which is located in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood. Crossing the parking lot, we saw three people, presumably all poll workers, sitting in folding chairs under an awning outside the school entrance. We had forgotten about masks, which the trio suddenly pulled out and put on before walking inside. Then a brave one came out to meet Annie and I, holding in outstretched arms a yellow canvas sack that blocked the woman from the two pariahs—meaning us. We dropped in our mail-in ballots, and she rushed away. Gosh, I sure hope that wasn’t the trash liner.

Californians are being asked whether or not they want to remove the governor. Unfortunately, opponents and proponents have framed the recall election in terms of Gavin Newsom vs front-runner Larry Elder, which distracts from the reason for everyone going to the polls. The special election is absolutely about Newsom vs Newsom, whether or not he should stay in office or be replaced. Nothing more matters. The answer is Yes or No.

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‘Run for Your Life!’

I don’t often get a chance to shoot the sign in Hillcrest—dangers of standing in traffic being one reason, when trying to get good vantage point. But coincidental opportunity presented on July 18, 2021 during the San Diego Half Marathon. We needed something from the pet store located on Washington Street; my wife dropped me there, and I walked over to University Ave. for a lively jaunt home. Timing with the event was happenstance.

On the other side of Fifth, I used Leica Q2 to capture four shots in fairly rapid succession. I chose and cropped the Featured Image for the juxtaposition of bicycle pusher, runners, and walkers—and to remind that the camera can produce super-sharp photos. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/400 sec, 28mm; 9:51 a.m. PDT.

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Why We Gave Up the Zoo

When my wife and I last visited San Diego Zoo, on July 21, 2020, we debated about whether or not to renew our residential membership before it expired. With much of California locked down in response to SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19—and closures returning—we decided to wait. Had we anticipated a forthcoming price increase, maybe our decision would have been different.

Our 2-adult annual pass during 2018 was $112, if I rightly recall, and either $129 or $149 when renewed. We could have re-upped for $160, with an offer that expired 10 days after our last walkabout among the critters. Since then, the animal refuge switched to individual-only pricing. For comparable benefits as before, which include no blackout dates, our combined renewal rate would be $218, which by my math is a 36-percent increase over our last renewal offer and 95-percent more than our 12-month pass purchased three years ago.