5/18/20

Today I took Penny for her run and toured around to different areas to see what was open. El Choro park and Dairy Creek Golf Course are open but the campground there is still closed. Morro Bay State golf course is open but the campground is not.

Today, county health officials reported three new cases of COVID-19, bringing the county’s total to 246. Two patients remain hospitalized in the ICU, another 36 people are recovering at home and 207 people have recovered. San Luis Obispo County has had one death attributed to COVID-19. County health officials report that 2,457 coronavirus tests have been conducted at the public health lab, and another 4,611 tests have been conducted at private labs.

After noting the number of people hospitalized in California is trending downward, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday he is reducing requirements to reopen, which will permit 53 of the state’s 58 counties to move more quickly to reopen. Last week, Newsom required counties to have no more than one new case of coronavirus per 100,000 residents every 14 days. He has now reduced that requirement to 2.5 new cases of coronavirus per 100,000 residents every 14 days, giving San Luis Obispo County the ability to reduce shelter at home requirements. Counties will still have to demonstrate to the state that the latest set of requirements has been met in order to move forward and open restaurants for modified dining. Sometime in the next two weeks, Newsom said he also plans to reveal specifics for reopening in-store retail shopping, barber shops and beauty salons and permitting sporting events without spectators. Newsom is facing a large amount of fallout from his unconstitutional closer of churches. With the churches planning to open Pentecost Sunday, May 31, the governor has worked himself into a corner. He is faced to chose between taking no action against churches that open against his orders which makes him look weak; call out the national guard to enforce his order because many sheriff and local law enforcement departments are refusing to enforce his stay at home orders which would be a political nightmare for him; or modify his order to allow churches to open because of what the data indicates.

Churchgoers defying stay-at-home initiatives amid the coronavirus pandemic could receive citations in the Chicago area. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said last week the city was preparing to enforce restrictions meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus against houses of worship holding in-person services. After churchgoers decided to attend services anyway on Sunday, Lightfoot said in a statement that city officials are working with law enforcement to monitor large gatherings, including ones of faith, according to the Chicago Tribune. “The local districts are reviewing reports of large gatherings that took place today at various establishments not abiding by the stay-at-home order,” the statement said. “Following that review, the Department will issue and mail citations where necessary.” Worshipers across the country have been growing restless with stay-at-home orders prohibiting in-person faith gatherings. Roughly 200 church leaders, including a handful in Illinois, signed an online petition dubbed Peaceably Gather, which was started by Texas megachurch pastor, Rev. Brian Gibson. The petition reaffirms a desire by the faith community to reopen states. The petition calls it a “deliberate slap in the face to religious freedom” that people can go to grocery stores or other retailers but not attend church. Chicago has taken one of the stricter approaches to enforcing stay-at-home policies and has threatened to fine residents who disobey it. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has set the current stay-at-home order for the state to last until at least May 30. There are things called models,”

Dr. Anthony Fauci explained to CNN’s Jake Tapper in March. “And when someone creates a model, they put in various assumptions. And the model is only as good and as accurate as your assumptions.” Over the past several months, models attempting to project outcomes have shown their limits. In March, the Imperial College model shocked the world with a projection that, without any interventions, the United States could lose 2.2 million people. The only solution, the paper argued, was widespread lockdown. Any loosening up of these lockdowns, it warned, would lead to a significant surge in cases and the collapse of the healthcare system. In the time since, experienced modelers have poked holes in this projection. One called the model “quite possibly the worst production code I have ever seen.” The IHME model, which has been cited by Dr. Deborah Birx and has influenced the White House, saw its death estimates bounce around like a beach ball from over 100,000 deaths to around 60,000, and now back up to around 150,000. The model also massively overshot hospitalization estimates — a key number given that fears of an overwhelmed medical system are precisely what justified the initial lockdown policy. To be sure, in the early days of the coronavirus, in a vacuum of hard data, models served some purpose. At a time when there were only a few dozen cases in the U.S., for instance, models helped make policymakers and the public understand the gravity of the situation. But now there are about 4.5 million cases of the coronavirus worldwide, and 1.4 million in the U.S. Different countries and different states have taken a variety of approaches to combating its spread. From this, policymakers have hard data upon which to base decisions. It is the data that should now guide their decisions on reopening. For example, with millions of cases to study, we now have evidence that there is much less risk of transmission in the outdoors. We know that nursing homes have been hot spots and that subways were a huge cause of the spread. We know that older individuals and those with underlying health conditions are at a significantly higher risk. While the risk is not zero among younger age groups, the disease is mild for them in an overwhelming majority of cases. Data have also started to show that many warnings about the risk of reopening have been false alarms. When Wisconsin held a primary election on April 7, there were warnings that it would trigger a major outbreak. That was nearly six weeks ago, and there is no evidence of a surge in cases as a result of the election. Experts have consistently warned that Florida, with lots of tourism and international travel and a high elderly population, was at severe risk of becoming a hot spot. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis was brutally attacked for failing to close its beaches quickly and for trying to reopen the state relatively early in reopening. Likewise, Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp was blasted as reckless for pushing to reopen his state in late April. Yet, both Georgia and Florida have exceptionally low rates of death per capita. Their healthcare systems were not overwhelmed, and so far, both states have seen cases consistently decline. There is nothing in the data, at least not yet, to back up what naysayers claimed based on models. Then again, the data could also lead to a more stringent approach. For instance, there are growing reports of a Kawasaki-like inflammatory syndrome developing among young children. It is unproven whether this is connected to the coronavirus. Without knowing the number of asymptomatic cases of the COVID-19 virus, it is hard to say how likely it is for those infected with the coronavirus to develop this syndrome. But if data show that this is a greater risk, then policymakers may have to reconsider their assumption that the risk to children is negligible. The overarching point is that models fill the vacuum in the absence of data, but as more data accumulates, it should now be driving policy decisions.

Dairy Creek Golf Course and El Choro Park no longer have barrackaids blocking their entrances.

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People are now able to use the dog park at El Choro Park.

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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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