Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

Daily Digest

24 Jul 2020
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Happy Friday, all. We survived another week! Today’s news links: • Under pressure from the Trump administration, the CDC has released new school-reopening guidelines that The New York Times calls “a full-throated call to reopen schools.” Yeesh. • The governor today announced that the state would take more steps to protect essential workers. Key quote: “The governor said his administration has fallen short in educating businesses on how to safely reopen, and he's trying to make up for that with a new public information campaign targeted at employers. The state launched a new handbook for business owners and employers to support a safe, clean environment, with guidance on everything from cleaning guidelines to what to do in an outbreak.” • The much-needed next round of…
22 Jul 2020
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Good science journalism is hard to do. And SARS-CoV-2 is a tricky S.O.B. Those are today’s lessons, brought to you by The New York Times and The Washington Post, two undeniably great newspapers, which today brought us these online headlines: Can You Get Covid Again? It’s Very Unlikely, Experts Say. Can you get coronavirus twice? Doctors are unsure even as anecdotal reports mount. Yep: Here we have two stories, impeccably sourced and well-written, that on the surface come to two entirely different conclusions—on a question of utmost importance. “While little is definitively known about the coronavirus, just seven months into the pandemic, the new virus is behaving like most others, (experts) said, lending credence to the belief that herd immunity can be achieved with a…
20 Jul 2020
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Is it possible—just possible—that the coronavirus has peaked, at least for now, in the Coachella Valley? Maybe. Maybe not. But maybe. The county’s just-released District 4 report—District 4 includes the Coachella Valley and points eastward to the state line—shows that hospitalizations, case numbers and the weekly positivity rate are all inching downward. This is very good news … but don’t break out the party hats just yet. First: The weekly positivity rate is still 12.8 percent, which, while lower than last week’s rate, is still too high. The state’s overall rate is below 8 percent, and in order for things to reopen open, the county would need to get its rate below 8 percent. Second: We lost 24 of our neighbors to COVID-19 last week.…
17 Jul 2020
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Happy Friday! Here’s the latest: • First, a little good news: Local hospitalizations are beginning to finally move downward, after consistently rising for weeks. You can see Eisenhower Medical Center’s stats here. Now, whether this is a blip or a trend remains to be seen. A key quote from a Facebook post from Eisenhower yesterday: “Today we have only 56 COVID inpatients; a couple of weeks ago we had a high of 85, so a promising sign. We also have 1,533 positive patients that are at home in isolation because they did not need to be in the hospital. We are very worried that they might be spreading the virus to family and friends.” • After rumblings that some counties where cases are spiking could…
15 Jul 2020
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Make no mistake: SARS CoV-2 is ravaging the Coachella Valley, with highs in cases, deaths and hospitalizations. In fact, hospitalizations are so high in the Coachella Valley that a federal medical team has arrived at Eisenhower Medical Center to ease the burden on the hospital’s overwhelmed staff. Now is the time to take action: Stay home if you can. Wear a mask when you can’t. And wash your hands. We’ll get through this (again?) (still?); really, we will. But it’s bad right now. So take care of yourself, OK? More news: • After that depressing introduction, let’s start off with some good news: More testing facilities are coming—specifically, to RiteAid, including Coachella Valley locations in Indio, Coachella and Desert Hot Springs. • More good news:…
13 Jul 2020
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It’s July 13. Let’s check and see how things are going! • COVID-19 is running amok. • The state is locking down more businesses again—with gyms, hair salons and churches pretty much ordered to close today in most of the state (including here in Riverside County). • The federal budget deficit last month alone was $864 billion. • More and more small businesses, seeing no end of this mess in sight, are giving up and closing their doors. • The COVID-19 testing effort nationwide is becoming more and more of a fustercluck by the day, it seems. • The White House is openly trying to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci. • Meanwhile, the president is retweeting former game-show host Chuck Woolery’s conspiracy theory that everyone, including…
10 Jul 2020
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• Testing shortages are getting worse, both in Southern California and across the country. San Bernardino County has had to decrease the number of appointments at county-run testing sites from from 400-500 to 170-180 per day, due to supply shortages, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise. This. Is. Very. Bad. • For months, the country’s coronavirus death rate has been steadily decreasing. While, that isn’t happening anymore. • Meanwhile, did you know there was a safe injection we could all get that would possibly protect us from SARS-CoV-2? The Los Angeles Times is reporting that “scientists have devised a way to use the antibody-rich blood plasma of COVID-19 survivors for an upper-arm injection that they say could inoculate people against the virus for months.” The…
08 Jul 2020
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A while back, a reader complained that I never discussed the plight of people who are unable to wear face masks—so I asked readers who deal with that plight to write in, and explain how they handle (or don’t handle) that dilemma. Even though this Daily Digest is emailed to 4,000 people, and available to the entire world at, I received a grand total of … zero replies from people who say they won’t wear a mask. I did, however, receive replies from some people who said they have difficulties wearing masks—but do so anyway. “I have COPD, and it is VERY uncomfortable to wear a mask,” said one reader, who asked not to be identified. “It is hard to breathe through a paper…