Today I installed my new computer. Thanks to Titus Shanks, who put in several hours setting up the computer, installing programs, and transferring files from my laptop, the process went smoothly. I took Penny for her run and did a little work around here.

Health officials reported today there were two new confirmed cases of COVID-19, increasing the countywide total to 214. Officials indicate 172 patients have fully recovered, 35 are recovering at home, six are in the hospital, two of whom are in an intensive care unit, and one person has died from COVID-19. The Public Health Department says it has conducted 2,142 coronavirus tests at its lab, while private labs have tested 2,150 individuals for the virus. The data from the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department show nearly 60 percent of all cases are in north county. Officials say 94 of the 214 cases are in individuals between 18-49 years old; 60 are in people between 50-64 years old; 44 are in those 65 years old or older and 16 are in minors.

The wearing of masks can be confusing with conflicting reports on the effectiveness of there use. In order to enter, many businesses require you to wear a mask as a way of protecting workers and customers, but at the Little Caesars in Santa Maria, a customer who refused to wear a mask got so mad police said he broke the front window of the business. Masks seem to be everywhere — at the grocery store, the beach, in the car. Some people even make them look fashionable, but it is not part of everyone’s wardrobe. The big question then “Are masks necessary in public situations?” The use of masks can be confusing, however. In March, the U.S. Surgeon General said people did not have to wear face coverings in public then made a U-turn and asked the CDC to investigate the effectiveness after learning people could be asymptomatic. Currently, the CDC recommends people wear face masks in public when social distancing is not possible, but some people see it as just that a recommendation. Goleta, Pismo Beach and Grover Beach are among cities currently considering mask requirements. San Luis Obispo County Public Health officials said Friday the county mirrors CDC guidelines when it comes to wearing a mask in public; however, it is not requiring the them since there is not enough information to prove the use is effective or harmful.

A new report from a multidisciplinary group convened by the U.K.’s Royal Society concludes that wearing face masks in public, even if they are homemade cloth ones or surgical masks, can help to reduce the deadly virus’s spread.

“Our analysis suggests that their use could reduce onward transmission by asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic wearers if widely used in situations where physical distancing is not possible or predictable, contrasting to the standard use of masks for the protection of wearers,” the report notes. “If correctly used on this basis, face masks, including homemade cloth masks, can contribute to reducing viral transmission.”

However, not everyone agrees with the report’s conclusion. Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, stated that the report “falls short of delivering new evidence and too casually dismisses precautionary principle when addressing the possibility that masks and coverings could have negative effects on people’s behaviors. “Until more evidence is delivered in either direction, that’s all advice can be based on, opinions,” he added.

Ben Killingley, consultant in acute medicine and infectious diseases at University College London hospital, also criticized the report. “The report is overly optimistic about the value of face coverings and it is incorrect to conclude that the evidence shows that face covering can reduce viral transmission in the community,” he said. “There is in fact no good evidence that face coverings achieve this.”

Penny wondering what I am doing and hoping for a treat.

A brown and white dog looking at the camera

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©Copywrite MPFitch

The top of an old abandon building as seen from the top of a rise.

A large tree in a field

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©Copywrite MPFitch

Published by mpfitch

I am a retired disabled veteran and am actively involved with a Baptist Church on the Central Coast of CA. I am a photographer who likes to shoot portraits and scenic photographs.

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