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About this blog: So much is right — and wrong — about what is happening in Palo Alto. In this blog I want to discuss all that with you. I know many residents care about this town, and I want to explore our collective interests to help ...  (More)

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When will this end?

Uploaded: May 12, 2020
Who would have ever thought that a tiny little virus, a microorganism, would have the wherewithal to cause our entire world to come to a standstill? Hundreds of countries have been affected by COVID-19; most countries have empty streets as residents stay locked inside their houses; million are infected and thousands have died. Who would have ever though this all could happen in one month?

I think we feared a nuclear bomb or two might explode, causing chaos and damage in one part of the world. But not the entire planet, as this little virus has accomplished.

We’ve been great locally about trying to control the coronavirus. We’ve stayed at home. Our roads are nearly empty, our traffic jams have disappeared – in fact, traffic has disappeared, we’ve patiently stood on lines spacing our selves six feet away from another, we are wearing face masks, our stores are uncrowded – and we haven’t complained

Our skies are bluer, the air is cleaner, and airplane noise has disappeared. In Italy, the filthy canals in Venice and now clean and blue, we may be controlling our CO2 emissions, our dogs are getting more daily walks, -- there are a lot of good things that are happening. Many are finding that working from home may be preferable from going to the office every day. So there are a lot of good things happening.

And terrible things. Thousands are unemployed, our economy is tanking (as are other economies around the world), people are going hungry, “vacation” is so last month in what we think about, our federal government response to the virus has been a series of nonhappenings which is why our deaths are higher than those of an y other country. It’s very scary.

So now we are asking, when will this end? Will we have a vaccine?
When will we be back to normal?

Humans live on hope, and our leaders hopefully promise us things will get better. We wait for summer heat that may, possibly, harm this little microorganism; we see a leveling off of viral occurrences, we see states trying to open up, for various practical and political reasons.

And yet, and yet, Dr. Anthony Fauci said at a Senate hearing on Tuesday a big resurgence of the virus will come this fall unless we continue the lockdown. Opening up states for business does not help. The summer heat probably won’t get rid of this virus. And if we do have an autumnal breakout, we will not give up hope, but probably will get depressed. How many more will die?

I don’t want to sound like a pessimist, and I am neither a scientist nor an economist, but when I look around I think we have serious problems facing us in the near and distant future.

Let’s say a vaccine is found, which would be great. But it will be awhile before we all get it, because it takes time – a long time -- to produce a vaccine for 360 million people.

And when will people feel it’s safe to go back to work? Or to a restaurant or a theater? After they have a vaccine?

What about our schools? Our children have lost a half-year of studying, and when they return to the classroom, students will be at different levels, depending on how much home schooling they have had. Will they need a vaccine first? How do we make up for half a year?

Look at our downtowns. Palo Alto is pretty much shuttered; restaurants are open for take-out only; some restaurants many not – or are not – surviving, as in bankruptcy. When they are gone, how do we find new ones to replace them? How do we find retail to move into our downtown? And when – two or three years from now? Our city budget is being cut $40 million – is this the beginning or the end of the cuts? When will hotels get filled up, and when will the city get the hotel taxes it relies so heavily on? And when will people shop in stores and pay sales tax again?

What about all those dreams about future projects – a new police station, a bike bridge across 101, BART coming to San Jose? Most are being put on hold. For how long? Each project represents a lot of construction people going back to work.

I don’t know when things will become normal again. I am (almost" /> sure it will not be this fall, but maybe next spring? I have hope; we all must have hope.

Our lives and our society will change, in what ways I do not know, but we are great people, and when we put our minds to it, can accomplish more than we know.

Hope springs eternal.
We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

 +   3 people like this
Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Downtown North,
on May 12, 2020 at 2:25 pm

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

Hey, Diane Diamond -- you ask a lot of questions for a lady from New Jersey?!

Web Link


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Menlo Park,
on May 12, 2020 at 3:11 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Sadly a vaccine will probably take at least a year and it probably will not be 100% effective.

We are in this for the very long haul and the new normal will be very different than the old normal.


 +   14 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 12, 2020 at 6:07 pm

You forget to mention, domestic abuse, child abuse, suicide, alcoholism, drug addiction, opioid dependency, depression, obesity, probably more.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Anon, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 13, 2020 at 8:37 am

I think we all need to recognize the mental health fallout we see now will get worse, and, try to prepare to cope with it:

Web Link

In my opinion, though, the world is going to shift away from the previous frenzy of shoulder-rubbing big entertainment events, crowded restaurants, bars, etc. The previous few decades have been good for extraverts who love constant social-physical contact. Covid-19 is all bad news for them. People will develop habits of physical distancing. Even with effective vaccines, many favorite gathering spots will be gone, because the economics will have changed.

Might as well start figuring out now how we can cope without so much close physical contact with strangers.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Hal, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on May 13, 2020 at 8:46 am

"What about our schools? Our children have lost a half-year of studying".

You must be a fan of funny math. Schools will be closed to end of year which is only 1/4 of year lost at school. Teachers are teaching from home and students are learning from home. Although not ideal, you are truly clueless about what teachers are teaching and how they are doing it. I strongly suggest you visit the Districts web sites in area and read the stories for once rather than writing them. Just my .02


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Time Waits For No One, a resident of Crescent Park,
on May 13, 2020 at 9:30 am

The development of a SAFE & EFFECTIVE vaccine will take months to develop & implementing an efficient nationwide vaccination program with take time based on its availability to the public at large.

Until then, it would be far easier as well as practical to implement a mandatory self-testing program prior to opening up the country to regular activities.

I am picturing a disposable self-testing kit similar or along the lines of a home pregnancy testing kit that would also identify COVID-2 which is the viral building block of COVID-19 as well as the common cold.

These could be produced cost-effectively & distributed accordingly.




 +   14 people like this
Posted by George, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on May 13, 2020 at 10:07 am

States have shut down their economies based on questionable assumptions, suspending basic rights with no limits on how long and how far they can extend these confinement's. This, they say, for our own good. The science proves it. And so, we wait. While we wait, our economy crumbles and only faint hope remains that enough of the highly complex systems that support us will survive to meet everyone's needs.
No one has ever experienced a shutdown of the economy like this with such far reaching effect. No one. The American economy has never experienced such a massive, self-inflicted Stoppage. Government is in uncharted territory - the same government , like California with it's 56 billion shortfall, that thinks the federal government will cover all the costs indefinitely - as if it can.
It will end when people realize that we have to make sure the economy keeps going while we look for medical solutions. We'll see. Citizens are capable of exercising caution and making their own decisions.
Open it up.


 +   12 people like this
Posted by Wake up!, a resident of Mountain View,
on May 13, 2020 at 10:45 am

what is of even more concern is the general presumption that we need to make these huge changes in our shopping, travel, lifestyles in general as if this virus is going to be around forever. What a horrible thought that we move forward living in our respective little bubbles, sanitized and separate from everything. What a dystopian outlook and frightening that so many are almost gleefully planning for it!

@Anon, I hold you as one of these....you keep making these statements about how things are going to be oh so different and people are going to physically distance themselves and we won't have big gatherings anymore...how do you know this? You also have been one of the strongest advocates for complete and total shutdown. Perhaps, just maybe, try to envision a world where everyone isn't frightened to death by .001% death rates. A world where many of us are willing to take that very small risk and actually love our lives. Not everyone feels as you. Man of us are very hopeful that we will get back to a very healthy, open style of loving. This virus will not be around forever. Just as SARS and Dvola passed, so too shall COVID. so stop with the permanent projections.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 13, 2020 at 11:02 am

If the world doesn't get back to how it was there will be suffering at a very different level.

I am not talking about the big concerts, sporting events where thousands of people are close together and generally don't interact. I heard of a funeral/memorial that took place on Facebook Live, people from all over the world were able to tune it, but that has to be emergency practice only. Large concerts need big screens to see the performers and live sports suffer without instant replays and commentary and for many the action is better seen by camera than being part of the crowd.

What will be missed are those large gatherings where hundreds of people are supposed to be interacting and want to be able to have close contact because of a shared event. Weddings, graduations, school sports and concerts, church services, funerals and memorial services, etc. These are things that are highly valued and really need that human touch.

There are also concerns about those who live alone. Not just widowed seniors, but those who are divorced and perhaps living apart from their children, those who are single without a significant other. In fact, in days of social distancing how will people meet a significant other? What will future first dates look like? What will future date #10 look like?

Hospital visits for those who are recovering from injury or non-Covid diseases are vital to the recovery of someone who is hospitalized for a period of time. Covid patients are not the only ones who are stuck in hospital without visitors.

As humans, we are not only social beings, we are used to touch, a firm handshake, eye contact, even high fives, are valuable to our psyche. It is hard to make eye contact if a meek bow forces us to look to the ground rather than in the eyes of someone we are being introduced to. I am not interested in someone's shoes when being introduced, but I am interested in their eyes and their smile.

I agree, the future may change a little, blowing out birthday cake candles are not such a big deal. But some of the interaction we have taken for granted in the past, the human interaction that shows we are a caring community of real people and not hygienically hidden faces and hands covered in latex should not become the norm.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Wake up!, a resident of Mountain View,
on May 13, 2020 at 11:02 am

Apologies for the typo, meant to say “many of us are very hopeful that we will get back to a very healthy open style of LIVING"


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Anon, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 13, 2020 at 12:03 pm

Posted by Wake up!, a resident of Mountain View,

>> living in our respective little bubbles, sanitized and separate from everything. What a dystopian outlook and frightening that so many are almost gleefully planning for it!

You don't have to be "gleeful" about something in order to plan for the possibility. Do you have a will written and on record? Reality is forcing us to think about the future right now.

>> @Anon, I hold you as one of these....you keep making these statements about how things are going to be

Not "going to be", but, probably will be.

>> oh so different and people are going to physically distance themselves and we won't have big gatherings anymore...how do you know this?

It seems highly probable at the moment, based on what is currently known (which is not enough, but, that takes time). You are free to disagree.

>> You also have been one of the strongest advocates for complete and total shutdown.

Actually, not. I'm thinking about what a re-opening would look like that will keep R-nought less than .99 (more or less, with variations, depending on what we learn about the actual propagation). What you seem to be objecting to is that "we" may have to make major changes. Well, we may. That is the inconvenient reality.

>> Perhaps, just maybe, try to envision a world where everyone isn't frightened to death by .001% death rates. A world where many of us are willing to take that very small risk

The science currently does not support that point of view. I could give you 100 links, but, they won't tell you what you want to hear.

>> and actually love our lives.

Actually, although it would be inconvenient, I could love my life without, e.g., big crowded sports events, crowded restaurants, crowded bars, etc. You, apparently, -love- crowds, so, it is more difficult for you to imagine being "happy" without crowds. That is why we are having this conversation in fact. And yes, I understand that a lot of people love crowds, physical contact, etc. They just may have to change their behavior.

>> Not everyone feels as you. Man of us are very hopeful that we will get back to a very healthy, open style of loving. This virus will not be around forever. Just as SARS and Dvola passed, so too shall COVID. so stop with the permanent projections.

I'm more worried about more traditional family gatherings. I think the loss of these is much more serious than the loss of crowded bars or basketball games. Weddings, funerals, big anniversaries, etc. There seems to be something about funerals in particular for transmitting SARS-CoV-2. I'm sure people are working on understanding why. It is a particularly cruel outcome of the virus, but, please remember-- it isn't the virus that is "cruel". It is actually quite dangerous to personify microbes and ascribe "will" to them. Other people are often injured as a result. We need a science-based survival strategy.

TL/DR: We need a strategy to re-open fundamental industries in manufacturing, distribution, and, in services, that will work in the near future while keeping the spread of Covid-19 low (R0 less than 1).

"Hope is not a strategy."


 +   12 people like this
Posted by Former PA resident, a resident of Mountain View,
on May 13, 2020 at 12:24 pm

"The development of a SAFE & EFFECTIVE vaccine will take months to develop. . .Until then. . ."

Regrettably, many ignorant or willfully self-deceptive references have been appearing about "a vaccine" or even "the vaccine," as though there had ever been any basis for confidence that one will exist.

No vaccine has ever been available for any type of coronavirus. Many serious viral diseases (studied for far longer) resist intensive efforts to develop vaccines. One article: Web Link

For the indefinite future, we have only the basic protective measures now in use. Those are what kept the 1918 flu pandemic from spreading further. Eventually it died out as fewer and fewer infectious people passed it along.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on May 14, 2020 at 1:00 am

Great article ... but while airplane noise is less frequent, it seems to be worse when it does happen. The planes I do hear seem to be coming in lower and louder.

Zeke Emmanuel has been saying that COVID-19 is - if everything goes perfectly - going to be about a 3 year ordeal before there is a vaccine. That assumes that there can be a effective vaccine made, and that is protects us for a reasonable amount of time.

To rebuild we need lower startup prices - rents for people and businesses for one, costs of living for people and a lot of public help for companies, and a jettisoning of the corporations buy up and control everything.

We rarely if ever goto the movies any more, and the last time we did it was very uncomfortable. The audio was way too loud and the seats were way too close to the screen. Why go through that aggravation. Thinking about the theater or concerts, those are nice, but they are more profitable with more people, and more people means bigger crowds and people jammed in closed together. No thanks. I'd much rather watch stuff on video. The last big concert we went to was the Rolling Stones, and we had a choice just sitting there; look down on the tiny spotlit figures on stage, or focus on the giant video screen that actually let us see stuff.

As far as all that future nonsense, bridge, police station ... it is about time we start to get a perspective on how much growth and new stuff we really need. We just build a huge fire station on the edge of Rinconada Park when the old station was serving fine. East Palo Alto had a new station so status conscious Palo Alto had to have one too.

Put a moratorium on growth and rebuilding, and live with what we have more sensibly and frugally. Put a bigger emphasis on service and maintenance. Instead of building big new stuff that we do not run very well or maintain, let's just find ways to run what we have better and more effectively, and maintain it as if we need to use it for another century.

Look at the patterns of the future .... and let's not just chase all the old mindless habits, and find newer better cheaper ways to do stuff - and a better way to hire more people, pay them enough to live on, and break jobs into shifts so more people can work. I read somewhere that there was a system someone came up with where people would work 4 days, and then go off for 10 days to see if they had Coronavirus. If not, back to work for another 4 days, if so, they were off work until they were over the virus and tested negative.

When we look clearly at how this one virus disaster has affected us it is time to admit to ourselves that our who government and business from top to bottom has been acting completely irresponsibly ... and at a time when we remarkable new management protocols and analytical skills to evolve our lives in new, safe and more fair ways.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on May 14, 2020 at 1:06 am

Wake up ...
> what is of even more concern is the general presumption that we need to make these huge changes in our shopping, travel, lifestyles in general as if this virus is going to be around forever.

Go back to sleep! ;-) If it is not this virus that will be around forever, it will be the next one. Maybe for a change we ought to keep our eyes open and plan for the future - as we failed to do this last time.

Not to mention for decades we have accepted flu and other deaths from diseases in the tens of thousands. Why should we do that. We can do better. No need to see people dying from the flu, and no need to get a cold every year and have to go through a week of unpleasantness.

We should be laser focused on how to make things better, not on how to keep in place and reward those who have not been doing their jobs and yet sucking up all the excess money in the world.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by 11/780, a resident of Fairmeadow,
on May 14, 2020 at 5:52 am

> Sadly a vaccine will probably take at least a year and it probably will not be 100% effective.

Nah, Peter, it won't be 100% because the cra-cra brigade of vaxxers who won't take it.

Thas cool. Let them have covid parties AFTER my family gets the immunity get-out-of-jail-free card. We'll bring the punch bowl.

Fools. Darwin will cull the herd. Always did, always will.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown North,
on May 14, 2020 at 11:09 am

AP News has a good report on what we need to do right now. 84,000 Americans have already died from COVID-1 and I really do not want that number to double. Web Link


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Survivors , a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 14, 2020 at 11:29 am

The fear mongering has got to stop. There is no evidence that opening up our economy with public mask requirement will cause cases to double. Number manipulation, unfortunately has become a tool for bureaucrats to control the elective. If there has been 84,000 us deaths, then there is good news that there have been 1,345,000 US CORONAVIRUS CASES THAT HAVE LIVED AND RECOVERED! That's the number to focus on.


 +   11 people like this
Posted by Wake up!, a resident of Mountain View,
on May 14, 2020 at 1:12 pm

COVID numbers as of May 13 (Web Link)

United States population: 331,000,000
COVID DEATHS: 84,575
% death: .00025551

California population: 40,000,000
COVID DEATHS: 2,974
% death: .00007435

Santa Clara population: 2,000,000
COVID DEATHS: 130
% death: .000065

People. Honest to god....WAKE UP! [Portion removed.]


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 14, 2020 at 2:40 pm

[Post removed; please cite sources for your assertion.]


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 14, 2020 at 4:12 pm

I am not too surprised that my previous post was taken down. I would love to provide sources, which I have seen, but they have been taken down.

There is a lot going on that we are not being told or allowed to know.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Talk is Cheap, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 14, 2020 at 4:57 pm

@ Wake Up!

Using your numbers:
United States population: 331,000,000
COVID DEATHS: 84,575

No problem you say.

"According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), in 2017, about 19,500 Americans died from homicidal assaults"a rate of about 6 deaths per 100,000 people."

United States population: 331,000,000
COVID DEATHS: 84,575
Death from homicidal assault 19,200

Wow, if the number of Covid deaths is so much greater than death by murderous assault, then by your logic, why are we spending money on police? 20,000 deaths by murder is nothing! They were mostly poor people, too, and disproportionately people of color, by your logic, that makes murder a non-issue.

CDC reports about 1.38million cases about now. That's about a 6% death rate. If not for the mitigations, it would be much higher. Citing the whole population as you have done is meaningless, because not 100% have been infected. If 100% were infected, and 6% of 331,000,000 people died, that would be 20 million Americans dead.

That's assuming that all the many more millions of infections leading to millions more chances to mutate did not result in a new and more virulent strain.

An untrustworthy response that results in more deaths than necessary will further hurt our economic standing in the world, just like the pointless trade war hurt farmers and manufacturing, which was already in a recession before the pandemic because of the import taxes/tariffs, no matter what this potus spins about to say he gives a hoot.

See, a selfish man who doesn't know how to get friends except to buy them and extort their loyalty can do okay for himself if he only cares about money. But he's not doing anyone in the nation any favors, including economically and security-wise, by alienating all our international allies. He quite literally does not know how to do anything else except alienate, divide, and shake down, he absolutely has no clue how you make friends and allies who stand by you through thick and thin.

You posted the manipulative and meaningless percentages elsewhere. What exactly do you hope people will get out of it, since the majority of the total population you cite has not been infected, thanks to SIP measures. Why make that sacrifice for nothing? Can't our nation now pivot to helping people make money by doing important work for our nation from home while we gradually reopen things without having to pit death falsely against economic security? If a lot of people die, it's only going to make other countries not want to do business with us. Our leader is already costing us respect and allies around the world bigtime.

4 times as many Covid-19 deaths in the first couple of months of the year than annual homicide rates! Homicide schmomicide, right? (Lies, damned lies, and your statistics.)


 +   5 people like this
Posted by 11/780, a resident of Fairmeadow,
on May 14, 2020 at 5:04 pm

> I would love to provide sources, which I have seen, but they have been taken down.

Doesn't sound like much of a "source" you have "seen" if they took it down and you can't find it.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Wake up!, a resident of Mountain View,
on May 14, 2020 at 6:01 pm

@Cheap....or you could say that the number infected is HIGHLY undercounted since we obviously haven't been able to test everyone. So we know, absolutely, 100%, that the actual number of infected is higher than the number reflected.

So then we can make a guess that out of a population of 330,000,000, if just 5% have been infected that would be 16,500,000, again with a death rate of 85,000 we are now down to .5% death rate. 5% not a good number for you%. Let's assume then that just 1% of total population infected....that's still a rate of 2.6%, WELL below your scarier (and inaccurate) number of 6%

See, you can work numbers a lot of different ways and what again, I don't understand is why so many want to twist make it look worse than it actually is.

And do not put false suggestions on me....I've never said “open the doors, get back to normal", we need to slowly and cautiously open with smart measures in place. We need to watch these numbers that we daily learn more and more about, very closely and pull back when we see increases. But we need to stop this fear mongering and shaming. There is no one answer and there are many possible options.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Anon, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 14, 2020 at 6:06 pm

Posted by Wake up!, a resident of Mountain View,

>> What a horrible thought that we move forward living in our respective little bubbles, sanitized and separate from everything.

>> @Anon, I hold you as one of these....you keep making these statements about how things are going to be oh so different and people are going to physically distance themselves and we won't have big gatherings anymore

@Wake up!, I would like you to seriously consider the case of semi-rural Nebraska. Not too long ago, Nebraska barely registered on the Covid scale. Several things happened, but one was particularly of note. Several low-population counties had large Covid-19 outbreaks:

Web Link

If you read the numerous articles about the meat-processing plants that have high Covid-19 numbers, you can't help wondering how much (how little?) it would add to the price of beef to re-engineer these plants to drastically reduce risk. Now, I'm not in that business and never have been, but, the plants' descriptions can't help you think that of course they had problems. The workers are packed together like the carcasses they are working on, the workers have limited fresh air, high noise, they have to shout in each other's faces to communicate.

You have to ask is it necessary? Could it be fixed? How many cents per pound would it add to make this a healthy environment for the workers? I'm bringing this up again because this current public health disaster could-- probably won't be, but -- could lead to improvements in employee working conditions in many industries. And, coincidentally, it could result in less sick leave, lower rates of flu, colds, etc., and it might even turn out to save some of the companies money.

As I have read about these packing plants, it is very clear that returning to "normal" is a bad idea regardless of Covid-19. We should be able to do much better than what was "normal" previously.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by chris, a resident of University South,
on May 14, 2020 at 9:05 pm

South Korea and Taiwan were very well prepared for the pandemic and have suffered few deaths.

What Diana does not discuss, but only vaguely alludes to, is that the US made blunders of epic proportions.
Rather than pay the price for that blunder across society, Diana would have the old, the medically vulnerable, the poor, and minorities suffer the consequences while the upper and upper middle classes remain ensconced in their bubbles.

In WWII, there was a much greater sense of shared sense of sacrifice. Now the predominant ethos seems to be “I've got mine and I'm not going to share it."


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Midtown,
on May 15, 2020 at 4:00 am

@chris

There is no comparison between the threats posed by Nazi Germany/Imperial Japan and COVID-19. What an awful analogy. [Portion removed.]
It's a global pandemic. The US wasn't significantly unprepared compared to other countries. Britain's own prime minister got the virus.

[Portion removed.]


 +   15 people like this
Posted by 11/780, a resident of Fairmeadow,
on May 15, 2020 at 5:54 am

> the US made blunders of epic proportions.

> The US wasn't significantly unprepared compared to other countries.

Fantastic re-frame! Shift from discussion of Trump's disastrous pandemic RESPONSE to pandemic preparation.

Going on with your frame about preparation - notice how McConnell admitted he lied to you on Fox? About the comprehensive pandemic plan and training sessions that the Obama team left Trump?

McConnell said the pandemic plan didn't exist, and came out yesterday and said the pandemic plan was handed over to team Trump during the training, but was ignored by Trump and his grifters.

Diana this ends when we have vaccines. Absent that, it ends when the world shuts down (and then testing tracing) and completely stops the spread, which will bring back consumer confidence, making it worthwhile to reopen businesses.

The second shutdown, in response to the second wave that these crazy 'openers' will bring upon us, will be awful. Far more destructive to the economy than the first shutdown.

Impatient children want their cake and eat it too.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Midtown,
on May 15, 2020 at 6:50 am

Have you read the pandemic plan? What makes you think it would have made a huge difference when so much is still unknown about COVID-19? Its so easy for you blame Trump *in retrospect*, and yet the fatality rates are higher in the UK, Italy, Spain, France, Brazil, Belgium and the Netherlands. One could argue both political parties are culpable, seeing as the Left also downplayed the pandemic and were busy causing a massive distraction with their frenzied impeachment push.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 15, 2020 at 8:29 am

[Post removed due to lack of authoritative sourcing.]


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Wake up!, a resident of Mountain View,
on May 15, 2020 at 9:47 am

@resident, keep speaking these truths and we can only hope some begin to think outside this incredible bubble and open their eyes. I still don't understand why everyone's clinging to this dire, drastic, morbid outlook when the numbers continue NOT to add up! Why do you want to live your life in fear and negativity? We took the necessary measures, mitigation brought our hospitals the time they needed, brought our manufacturing the time for PPE. Now we need to start to open up and move on.

Look at the numbers! They are nowhere near the threatened projections. And since they aren't, now they're threatening a massive breakout in the Fall. I'm going to say here and now. There will be no massive increase in the Fall or anytime for that matter. This is an illness (Yes, a horrible one) that will be around likely forever, just as the flu has been.

I'm going to bookmark this and I can't wait to come back in 4 months and say “I told you so".


 +   12 people like this
Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown North,
on May 15, 2020 at 10:53 am

Another news report about a business violating his state's shutdown order. He catches COVID-19 and has spread it to other customers. Scofflaws and the people who encourage them are just making the disease more deadly. Web Link


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Former PA resident, a resident of Mountain View,
on May 15, 2020 at 11:09 am

Resident, a resident of Midtown, 6 hours ago: "The US wasn't significantly unprepared compared to other countries."

WHAT?!? See for example Web Link What else don't you know about the different international responses?

Whole current US dilemma (political spins/bickerings included) arose precisely because the US was complacent and underprepared (despite years of warnings and new epidemic outbreaks elsewhere). Not so in some countries, which quickly implemented travel controls, testing, and selective isolation -- so that only active and probable Covid cases were quarantined. Result: Far less economic impact, most people move around, and baseball resumed after a temporary delay.

The US had to quarantine everyone, because it lost control of the situation in critical early weeks and lacked adequate epidemic intelligence to discern where outbreaks existed and who was at risk.

And by the way: Even without any "vaccine," 1918's lethal flu pandemic faded out after somewhat more than a year.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by What Will They Do Next, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on May 15, 2020 at 11:17 am

Vaccine does not equate to immunization. If it did, there would be no more influenza, AIDS, the common cold and a variety of other disease. On rare occasions vaccines granted immunity (polio, malaria to name two). Anyone thinking there'll be one ready in a year or less isn't being realistic.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Diana Diamond, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on May 15, 2020 at 11:34 am

Diana Diamond is a registered user.

@ Chris-

You wrote: Rather than pay the price for that blunder across society, Diana would have the old, the medically vulnerable, the poor, and minorities suffer the consequences while the upper and upper middle classes remain ensconced in their bubbles.

Please do not ever put thoughts or words that I never said into your comments. Of course our country's response to t he virus has been terrible, but I never never would have said nor do I believe at all that the old, medically vulnerable, poor and minorities should suffer the consequences. I would never say, much less think, something like that. I resent your implying that I would.

Diana


 +   15 people like this
Posted by Faro, a resident of College Terrace,
on May 15, 2020 at 12:15 pm

"were busy causing a massive distraction with their frenzied impeachment push."

Try harder. Look at the number of Trump golf outings and rallies in January and February.

Facts matter to the Real World. They just never get heard by the fox world.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Be accurate, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on May 15, 2020 at 12:39 pm

@ one of the "residents" and some cheerleaders:

The US response is in chart #3
Web Link

It is the PER CAPITA number of cases. Absolute worst in the world. Only Chile and Peru may overtake once they get to the same number of days after first infection.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Vaccines work, a resident of Esther Clark Park,
on May 15, 2020 at 1:11 pm

Vaccine does not equate to immunization. If it did, there would be no more influenza, AIDS, the common cold and a variety of other disease. On rare occasions vaccines granted immunity (polio, malaria to name two). Anyone thinking there'll be one ready in a year or less isn't being realistic."

You should become more acquainted with viruses before you talk.
Polio, measles, mumps, chicken pox, shingles, smallpox, hepatitis a and b, rubella, Japanese encephalitis and the lit goes on, not to mention vaccines against tetanus, diphtheria, anthrax etc.

The reason we need a vaccine each year against flu is because the virus mutates.
And yes, vaccine development for some diseases has not borne fruit yet. But vaccines have been a success. Despite what Jenny McCarthy tells you.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Midtown,
on May 15, 2020 at 1:48 pm

@Be accurate

The chart you linked supports my post. Several countries rank higher than the US in deaths per capita, and I stated them specifically.

The graph showing the US curve way above the others represents sheer numbers of cases, which makes sense because the US is a drastically bigger country. But what strikes me is the highest curve is the number of people that recover, which is why I think the damage caused by shutdowns is so disproportionate to the damage caused by COVID-19.
Is your TDS so strong you can't correctly cite your own source?
Thanks for the link, though!


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 15, 2020 at 6:46 pm

Let's look at this another way.

Santa Clara County was the first to close. Shortly afterwards, 6 Bay Area counties agreed to be a region and do things together.

That alignment has now broken down. All other Bay Area counties are reopening, but not SCC. We are right beside San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and other counties nearby are reopening. We are not. What is the difference between Palo Alto and Menlo Park? Does the creek stop the virus? Of course not.

We are pawns in the politics of government. We have Dr. Sarah Cody, who may be a wonderful doctor and a very understanding person, but she is not a business leader or an economist. Why does a doctor make decisions about business? I have nothing against listening to medical opinion particularly on medical issues. But medically speaking why does 1 mile away open and not where I live?

We were given guidelines about social distancing, about hand washing, about mask wearing in confined spaces. We are obeying them. Are we now going to be forced to remain to shelter in place until there is a vaccine? Are we now going to be forced to remain to shelter in place until we have no deaths for 2 weeks? Are we going to continue to be treated like little children and not responsible, intelligent adults? Are we going to be left to suffer the consequences of all our small businesses not surviving because they are unable to return to offering their service in another 6 weeks, or 6 months' time?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 16, 2020 at 1:20 pm

Perhaps the BBC article will be considered authoritative.

Web Link#_=_


 +  Like this comment
Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde,
on May 17, 2020 at 5:08 am

Under current restrictions, California's new daily Covid case rate has stabilized around 2000 new infections per day. California population 40 million, cumulative number of cases currently fewer than 100,000, long way to go before any "herd immunity". At this rate it will take over 5 years to infect just 10% of us. (5x365x2000 = 3.65 million) NO END IN SIGHT. How can any relief of lock-down restrictions not accelerate this curve? Our statewide Covid death rate is not declining. Maybe we can loosen up locally if we build walls at county lines and quarantine anyone or anything entering.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by J.U., a resident of another community,
on May 17, 2020 at 9:16 am

@Wake Up " May 14

This website Web Link has been posting data for weeks similar to yours although it delves into how many people are required to “try" to save 1 live which right now runs 17-1270 (they use various scenarios and cite the sources of their numbers). The main page at this site also shows several possible overall death rates, again multiple scenarios.

To try to put this into an image:
Picture a bus with 17 to 1270 people in front of it. In order to try to save 1 life, that bus is going to plow through those people. As can be easily imagined, there will be some people who are unscathed and some that leave with some type of positive feeling (maybe due to having assisted an injured person) BUT a lot of people are injured, shook up, and traumatized and their quality of life is negatively affected and some will die an earlier death because of what injuries they received.

Skipping bus attack injuries and returning to covid-19, a couple of ways that SIP greatly reduces quality of life or increases risk of death: domestic violence (easy to look up online), social isolation and chronic loneliness are both linked to increased mortality rate (and simply take the joy out of life) shouldn't be hard to look up but you can start here Web Link

Anyhow, I simply can't understand how damaging the lives of so many people (job loss, chronic stress... there's a decent list at the first link) to try to save 1 life can seem acceptable to the community at large. I'm just not wrapping my head around it.

>Why make that sacrifice for nothing? - @Talk is Cheap " May 14
This notion scares the bejeezus out of me because like a gambler on tilt (unable to stop) we run a serious risk of continuing a course of action just to justify the prior investment. Between the fear and the human bent to justify past investment, I am really scared of how extreme our responses are likely be. (Particularly given how many orders from above seem to mimic TSA's carry-on rules on mashed potatoes and pies; mashed potatoes " NO; pies " YES... unless the rules have changed for the umpteenth time.)

Well, ‘stead of dwelling on this further, I'm off to see if the cast page of the “Covie Covid" comics has any updates. TP's entries are hilarious. Web Link


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Wake up!, a resident of Mountain View,
on May 17, 2020 at 12:27 pm

Thank you J.U., you were better able to highlight the point I've been trying to make. I posted this on another article this morning and it was deleted because it was “repetitive". It was my first post on that article and actually many of the article a repetitive so you're going to get similar comments so why really was it deleted other than the moderators do not “like" these truths and want to continue to promote and push a certain narrative. And keep the fear going. Here's my post:

This is not about science. It's all about politics and control and fear. I am not afraid of this virus, but I am in total fear of what is happening to our people. This is beyond insane. Shaming people that they're selfish for wanting to get back to work, to be able to keep their businesses from failing, to earn $ to pay their rent, their mortgages, get groceries.

The numbers do NOT add up. Period. And when it became obvious that they are no where near the projections, it then became not about flattening but that we need to avoid the “threatened IMAGINED second wave" (of which there is NO PROOF). And there was about a weeks worth of hysteria over “strange ailment affecting kids" but that didn't really pan out so it's off the wire now. About three weeks ago when all the rallies started, people were projecting “just you wait, there's going to be a huge spike in numbers"....there hasn't been. Seriously, when you read this it reads like a tabloid.

And now it's down to “We have to wait for a cure or vaccine". How in the hell are we supposed to wait that long without our economy crumbling. This is INSANE. The numbers do NOT ADD UP.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Exactly, a resident of Midtown,
on May 17, 2020 at 12:32 pm

@J.U "...we run a serious risk of continuing a course of action just to justify the prior investment."
Exactly, beautifully stated. Pride might be another way to describe it. Changing directions means admitting you were going the wrong way in the first place. Humans are what they are. It takes a strong force to interrupt pride.

I can't quite wrap my head around the notion of "stopping" a virus. Flatten the curve, slow the spread, yes, of course that makes sense. But how did it get into anyone's head that we can "stop" the spread? Biology is what it is. The virus will spread, no matter what, until enough of the population has had it, or has been vaccinated against it that it either literally peeters out or mutates so much that we have to treat it like the yearly 'flu season. That will have to happen. That is the real, natural world we live in. We cannot design reality! Human behavior has developed over thousands upon thousands of years - a couple of months isn't going to change anything over the long term! What worries me are the people who seem to think that we must be forced to change what we are, biologically and behaviorally. How is that even rational?


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 17, 2020 at 1:19 pm

What is becoming more problematic is the fact that anyone who wants to discuss any of the rationale behind what is going on is being shouted down, acceptable to an extent, or deleted, or removed.

I don't approve of name calling, or bullying, but I don't object to disagreement provided it is done respectfully. However, we have to be allowed to discuss issues as adults, as intelligent human beings, as independent thinkers.

Even before the Covid pandemic, there were problems with those who tried to prevent free speech. This was done by shutting down, no platforming, and name calling as the main practices. Now we have Covid and we are expected to just accept what the powers that be tell us without question.

Who chose who the experts are? Why were these experts regarded as being correct rather than other experts?

When I did science in school, I was taught that the correct way to do science was to make a hypothesis and then attempt to prove it while others attempted to disprove it. It was all done scientifically and the method seemed to be very respectful and the science itself was the motivator. All that has changed in the last 25 years or so. This is very wrong. Scientists were always disagreeing and through that disagreement research was done, various schools of thought were entertained, and over a long period of time, a very long period of time, a theory was accepted even if it could not be proven.

What is happening now is that science has become political. It can't be a good thing for science or for humanity. We have to disagree, we have to be challenged and we have to have more than one opinion even when discussing science.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown North,
on May 17, 2020 at 1:52 pm

Mother's Day church service in northern California exposes 180 people to COVID-19. The sick person had been tested for COVID-19, but didn't get the results until after the service. The county is now scrambling to identify and quarantine and test everyone who attended the service. Press release from the county health department: Web Link


 +   5 people like this
Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown North,
on May 17, 2020 at 1:59 pm

ABC News says many California doctor offices and medical clinics are shutting down because they do not have adequate access to COVID-19 testing or PPE. Web Link


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Wake up!, a resident of Mountain View,
on May 17, 2020 at 3:57 pm

@resident/another neighborhood the moderators are deleting my posts with no explanation.

@reaident/downtown horrible non-scientific article. Clinics are closing because everyone has been scared and threatened into staying home.

Look at the science. Better yet, LOOK AT THE NUMBERS.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 17, 2020 at 4:01 pm

@Wake Up and @Moderators at TS.

Colorado has started reporting deaths in 2 ways since May 15 and it makes for interesting reading. It counts deaths due to Covid and deaths where the deceased had Covid but death was due to another cause. Web Link This is a government website.

Now I would like to see similar for California. A simple request. I would like to see similar just for Stanford hospital. Another simple request. Perhaps Palo Alto Weekly could send a reporter.



T


 +  Like this comment
Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde,
on May 17, 2020 at 10:37 pm

Look at the numbers? What numbers? I'll try NY Times list of Calif Covid daily deaths. Average 10 days to smooth fluctuations, I get 80 deaths per day right now. The worst period was mid April's 10-day average of 84. Is that the vast improvement we needed to open things back up? Am I cherry picking? Maybe you're right and the trend won't change if we return to business as usual, because few people in their right mind would relax their vigilance.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Stevie T., a resident of another community,
on May 17, 2020 at 11:00 pm

I really appreciate finding some other people who are including math in their evaluations (shout out to @Wake Up and @J.U.) I'm going to add some more math for the simple reason that statistics sometimes don't resonate and most of us seem to be wired to respond very strongly when thinking of single life (no criticism of that), but able to step back a bit when discussing a group.

Catastrophic Scenario
6.78% World Case Fatality Rate (CFR), today from Our World in Data for Covid-19 deaths (USA from same source today is 6.05% CFR)
330M USA population (online this number, depending on source, runs ~328-331M)
80% infection rate (I've not seen higher and I want a catastrophic scenario here)

6.78% x 330,000,000 x 80% = ~18M deaths

330M - 18M = 312M left alive

Lopping off all zeros (the Ms) for every 18 deaths we have 312 people who need a reason to get up in the morning, a way to feed their kids, some hope... I'll go so far to say, some quality of life.

In wanting to save some of those 18 people (it will never be everyone), there is always the question of price, of how much you will take from the 312 people. A very unpleasant question that is actually pretty directly addressed on the site J.U. posted.

J.U. thanks for the link to the comic site. Loved TP "with a splatter of matter below and behind..." makes me smile just to think of it. The politics page though Web Link sad to say, I'm expecting a lot of Candidate Bs in the future.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Creature Features, a resident of Rex Manor,
on May 19, 2020 at 10:51 pm

Creature Features is a registered user.

@Diana Diamond

Dear Diana,
Maybe I have just seen too many movies, TV shows, read too many Sci-Fi books, but I was really stunned by your opening lines.

"Who would have ever thought that a tiny little virus, a microorganism, would have the wherewithal to cause our entire world to come to a standstill?"

Excuse me? Diana, have you never heard of "The Walking Dead"?

Since I was a little kid I have seen/read hundreds, maybe thousands, of imaginary stories from people predicting very similar things due to a virus or other causes. One of the most frightening to me as a kid was "Day of the Triffids" starring homicidal 8-foot tall walking plants from space.

Add to that, countless serious science authors have presented serious works of non-fiction about a virus pandemic and the effects to our world.

"Who would have ever thought this all could happen in one month?"

I would point you to a little TV movie called "Where have all the people gone?", that virus killed off most of the people in the world way faster.

Your local library (once it opens) has many books you missed reading, not to mention the aforementioned "The Walking Dead" TV series.

30 days is a millenia to a virus.

"I think we feared a nuclear bomb or two might explode, causing chaos and damage in one part of the world."

How did you manage to grow up in the USA without being told on the TV news and from your teachers that we were all going to die in a massive nuclear war?
Remember 13 days in October? Non-fiction.
Don't you recall "duck & cover" drills in grade school? I do.

"But not the entire planet, as this little virus has accomplished."

NO, the virus didn't do this, WE DID IT to OURSELVES!

First, humans created conditions favorable for an old virus to mutate into a human infection. We have known for at least a century that certain behaviors will cause virus mutations to infect humans, but still, even in a modern city, humans wont stop doing it.

Like smoking that kills 500,000 people in the USA alone each year and yet people still smoke.

Second, when the virus was first noticed, the local government
(dictatorship) did everything it could to suppress or alter information that could have been useful to preventing the world-wide spread.

Third, world wide governments decided to destroy society in the effort to save it and almost everyone complied.

Don't blame nature for doing something we could have easily avoided by well-understood and minor sanitation changes (not costly changes at all) to certain ancient practices which serve no useful purpose in a 21st century world.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Rainer, a resident of Mayfield,
on May 19, 2020 at 11:06 pm

Rainer is a registered user.

The naiveling here, believing the Liar in the White House, says:

"The development of a SAFE & EFFECTIVE vaccine will take months to develop...

It may and probably will take years.

And it may have terrible side effects, and just make to DARS-Cov-2 more dangerous.
This is really a diferent beast say my friends who are biologists in the US, Germany and France.

Yeah, the epidemic US settlers inflicted on natives (and different settlers elsewhere) eventually ran its course - after 90% or more of the nat5ives were killed. In that respect we are all natives. Even the Chinese.

The infections seem to come through thin air - only total isolation sewm to really have made a dent.

If you are from the "live free and die tribe", you will get your wish. Sooner or later. Enjoy your AK47 while you can!



 +  Like this comment
Posted by Anon, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 21, 2020 at 9:18 am

Posted by Stevie T., a resident of another community,
on May 17, 2020 at 11:00 pm

>> 330M - 18M = 312M left alive

>> Lopping off all zeros (the Ms) for every 18 deaths we have 312 people who need a reason to get up in the morning, a way to feed their kids, some hope... I'll go so far to say, some quality of life.

>> In wanting to save some of those 18 people (it will never be everyone), there is always the question of price, of how much you will take from the 312 people. A very unpleasant question

The most unpleasant part to me is the insistence by some that we should "reopen everything" from bars to pro basketball games. Not all businesses are equal risk. High-risk businesses should stay shut unless absolutely necessary for life to go on. Sure, IMHO, speaking as one of the likely 18M who would die in your worst-case scenario. But, who is also likely to live another 15 years based on the previously-mentioned life-expectancy study. Why should I die 15 years earlier just so that someone can reopen a bar?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Henry william, a resident of Rengstorff Park,
on May 24, 2020 at 11:29 pm

post removed -- an ad


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 25, 2020 at 11:25 am

Something I have been thinking about this last couple of days is that I no longer know what "the end" will be.

As it stands, I believe the "Shelter in Place Order" for SCC will end on May 31. That I think is a legal order which will time out. Therefore, I suspect it will have to be extended or else everything goes back to before the SIP started. Now I could be wrong of course, but without an order that is in place, then there are no rules for us to obey so an extension of some type has to be invoked.

In reality, very little of the SIP rules have been relaxed. In fact some rules are even more strict such as face coverings that were not part of the original SIP. As we talk about reopening I have no idea what that really means. We can talk about phases, but we are still not free to do things such as go shopping, eating out, going to places of worship, going to entertainment or sports venues, children going to school, because when these places do reopen and we can go to them, there will still be restrictions such as social distancing, etc. Many of the big tech companies will allow employees to work from home forever. Some employees talk about moving out of the area, moving out of the State and even moving out of the Country, but still being employees of a company based here in Silicon Valley. The question of whether smaller tech companies can do the same is a fair thing to ask additionally.

As a result, I think it is worth looking at what "the end" will be. The end will not be life returning to the normal we had in 2019 until mid February 2020. We can ask ourselves if we will ever blow out birthday candles on a cake, shake the hand of a new acquaintance, or hug a friend to show them support or say a fond farewell? How will people go on "first dates" or even on "date number 10"? How will future introductions be made without a handshake, is an elbow bump going to give the required eye contact that a firm handshake allows? How will a kindergarten teacher introduce a class of new kinders on the first day? Here are your new friends, but don't get close to them! How will people give a ride to a friend to the airport, will the friend ride in the backseat? And what happens to the carpool to school? Will every parent have to take their own child to school and then pick them up afterwards? It used to be a person wearing a mask, a bandana, going into a bank was someone to be feared as a potential bank robber. Now someone without the face covering are those we are being told to not fear but report as being in the wrong. Is this complete turn round of values the new normal?

Will life become normal? Or will our new normal take over and the social niceties that have long made us human society disappear? Will a vaccine bring us back to becoming civil? Or will there still be those who demand that we live our lives as we have become accustomed to living over the past couple of months.

I fear that we are in danger of being more distant, less friendly, less accommodating, less civil and less respectful as a result of this SIP. It isn't the pandemic that has caused those traits, it is the SIP that has forced us to behave in ways we would not have dreamed of a year ago. We have to be very careful to bring back the good things that we have lost, because some of those things are very worth having. A smile goes a long way.


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