I took Penny for her run and also watched my neighbor getting ready to move to Chico to continue his college education. I got an email today from Jonah indicating that he will be leaving early Saturday morning to fly to Texas for his summer internship program in dairy operation.
San Luis Obispo County has received approval from the State of California to move further into Stage 2 of the governor’s Resilience Roadmap. That means restaurants will be allowed to offer dine-in service and retail businesses can open for in-store shopping. On Tuesday, county officials submitted a revised attestation form to the California Department of Public Health, requesting the ability to further reopen the economy. This came after Governor Gavin Newsom relaxed the criteria counties would need to meet in order to be approved for the next step of reopening. Today San Luis Obispo County reported two new cases of COVID-19, bringing the county’s total to 249. Three people are hospitalized, including two patients who are in the ICU. Health officials say 23 people are recovering at home and 222 people have recovered. San Luis Obispo County has had one death attributed to COVID-19.
The mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, has been working overtime to try to get Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church to close its doors and stop gathering in person, despite the church being able to do so in a safe and considerate manner. (Less than 15% of building capacity, temperature readings at the door, making gloves / masks / hand sanitizer available, blocking off seating sections, and disallowing socializing after church) . This church has been leading the way in its fight to stay open and have services, challenging governor J.B. Pritzker’s draconian stay-at-home laws. They rightly believe that the executive order discriminates against churches by restricting in-person worship services to no more than 10 people while allowing commercial and non-religious entities to accommodate large crowds. As a result, the church has launched federals suits to be exempted from the shutdown but were the subject of a judicial shaming when the judge slammed them as “being selfish” for wanting to reopen. The church has since filed an emergency injunction. But the mayor’s thuggery and vexatious attitude were on full display when she ordered “No Parking” signs along the streets for nine blocks around the churches, even though their members don’t park on the street, and they have their own private parking on site.
The ‘No Parking’ signs were placed all around the church in multiple directions, and police were out to tow any wayward vehicles they could find. Furthermore, the mayor had police block off a large parking lot of nearby bank, despite the church having leased that parking lot for nearly 20 years and having permission to use the private property. The parking lot functions as the primary parking for the church, but 5 squad cars were on site to ensure that no one enters, in effect choking off ease and access to the church. One member, Raul Tomsa, live-streamed the event with commentary, demonstrating the actions of the city of Chicago and the mayor are beyond the pale, and lengths that petty tyrants will go to exert power and dominance.
Dr. Wendy Wooten, microbiologist, stated, “Masks do protect you and others to a certain degree – obviously you are not going to be transmitting as much aerosols (which is where the virus would be spread) from your mouth and nose with a face covering. However, they are not 100% impermeable. That being said, if you wear a face cover AND you practice social distancing you absolutely are decreasing the transmission of virus due to BOTH practices.”
Researchers have found that wearing surgical masks can significantly reduce the rate of airborne COVID19 virus transmission, according to a study released on Sunday. The study, conducted by a team of scientists in Hong Kong, found the rate of non-contact transmission through respiratory droplets or airborne particles dropped by as much as 75 percent when masks were used. “The findings implied to the world and the public is that the effectiveness of mask-wearing against the coronavirus pandemic is huge,” said Dr. Yuen Kwok-yung, a leading microbiologist from Hong Kong University who helped discover the SARS virus back in 2003. It was released by the department of microbiology at the University of Hong Kong and comes as world leaders, including the World Health Organization (WHO), have questioned the effectiveness of face coverings outside of medical settings. The study, described as a first of its kind, placed hamsters in two cages, with one of the groups infected with COVID-19 and the other being healthy. They placed the animals in three different scenarios to analyze the effectiveness of the face coverings. In one scenario the mask barriers were placed only on cages with the infected subjects, another saw the masks covering the healthy subjects, and the third saw with no mask barriers at all. For all of the scenarios, a fan was placed between the cages to allow for the transmission of respiratory droplets. They found that when the mask was placed over the infected cage the infection rate dropped to just over 15 percent. That infection rate went up to 33 percent when the mask barrier was only used to cover the healthy hamsters’ cage. With no mask barriers at all, roughly two-thirds of the healthy hamsters were infected with the virus within a week, the study found. Researchers added that the hamsters who were infected even with the mask barrier had less of the virus in their bodies when compared to those infected without the masks. “In our hamster experiment, it shows very clearly that if infected hamsters or humans — especially asymptomatic or symptomatic ones — put on masks, they actually protect other people,” Yuen said in a press conference on Sunday, according to Sky News. “That’s the strongest result we showed here. Transmission can be reduced by 50 percent when surgical masks are used, especially when masks are worn by infected individuals.” He said up until we have a vaccine for the virus, what remains practical is either social distancing or wearing a mask. Last month, a separate study published by a group of international experts, created a model that shows cases of the virus could be cut significantly if “(near) universal masking” is adopted. “Universal masking at 80 [percent] adoption flattens the curve significantly more than maintaining a strict lockdown,” researchers wrote in the study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, as of last week. “Masking at only 50 [percent] adoption is not sufficient to prevent continued spread,” the researchers added. “Replacing the strict lockdown with social distancing on May 31 without masking results in unchecked spread.”
For those of you still wiping down groceries and other packages amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, breathe a sigh of relief: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now say that the novel virus “does not spread easily” from touching contaminated surfaces or objects — but experts warn that doesn’t mean it’s no longer necessary to take precautions in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Though it’s not clear exactly when, the federal health agency appears to have recently changed its guidelines from early March that initially said it “may be possible” to spread the virus from contaminated surfaces, now including surfaces and objects under a section that details ways in which the coronavirus does not readily transmit. Other ways in which the virus does not easily spread is from animals to people, or from people to animals, the federal agency said on its update page. “COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about how it spreads. It may be possible for COVID-19 to spread in other ways, but these are not thought to be the main ways the virus spreads,” according to the CDC. The CDC did, however, remind citizens that the virus does mainly spread from person-to-person, noting that the virus that causes a COVID-19 infection, SARS-CoV-2, “is spreading very easily and sustainably between people.” More specifically, the agency said the virus primarily spreads from person-to-person in the following ways:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs
- COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms
The change comes after a preliminary study from March suggested that the novel coronavirus can remain in the air for up to three hours, and live on surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel up to three days, prompting many to take to wiping down packages and other items. However, at the time, the study was yet not peer-reviewed, and, as Yahoo notes, did not determine if people could be infected from touching certain surfaces analyzed in the study. Dr. John Whyte, the chief medical officer for the healthcare website WebMD, called the CDC’s changes an “important step in clarifying how the virus is spread, especially as we gain new information.” “It also may help reduce anxiety and stress. Many people were concerned that by simply touching an object they may get coronavirus and that is simply not the case. Even when a virus may stay on a surface, it does not mean that it is actually infectious,” Whyte told Fox News in an email. “I think this new guideline helps people understand more about what does and doesn’t increase risk. It does not mean we stop washing hands and disinfecting surfaces. But it does allow us to be practical and realistic as we try to return to a sense of normalcy,” he added. Dr. William Schaffner, the medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, echoed Whyte. “The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person (within about 6 feet). Person-to-person contact is a highway. Touching infected surfaces are little paths, but they don’t carry the big viral traffic,” he told Fox News in an email. “To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the safest thing is to continue social distancing, wear masks, and wash hands frequently and thoroughly.” Indeed, the CDC on its updated page reiterated important steps to take to prevent exposure to the virus. Maintaining a “good social distance,” (keeping 6 feet away from others while in public), as well as washing hands often and “routinely” cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces were listed as key precautions. The news comes after The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in mid-April issued a statement saying that there’s no need to wipe down food packaging after you’ve returned home from the grocery store. “We want to reassure consumers that there is currently no evidence of human or animal food or food packaging being associated with transmission of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19,” the FDA said at the time.
Despite the coronavirus and stay at home orders, farming continues to go on. This is a field that has been mowed and raked into rows to dry from which hay bales will be made.
Hay bales stacked and ready for use.