Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘California

Another shut down due to COVID-19: San Francisco Bay Area and Lebanon

Santa Clara County Executive Dr. Jeff Smith stated, “The only treatment we have now is shelter-in-place.”

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) — As of Friday, COVID-19 cases rose in more than 40 states. The CDC is forecasting there could be 175,000 deaths by August 15.

For the second day in a row, California reported a record daily number of deaths.

The state has more than 435,000 cases and a 7-day test positivity average of 7.9- percent.
(Positive testing need to be brought down to less than 2% for any re-opening to normal life)

App users: For a better experience, click here to view the full map in a new window

Among the signatories is them, Dr. Travis Porco. He’s a professor with the Francis I. Proctor Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology at UCSF.

“I believe everybody that signed that, endorses that, and sees this crisis for what it is- a crisis that’s not gotten any better,” Porco explained. “It’s only gotten worse.”

The letter came with the warning, “If you don’t take these actions, the consequences will be measured in widespread suffering and death.”

Dr. Porco adding America’s struggle to contain the virus is evident on the world stage.

“I think we’ve already failed in comparison to many countries,” he explained. “We’ve seen many countries act swiftly and efficiently to crush the pandemic. They’re reopening and they’re doing fine. We didn’t. We couldn’t do that.”

Additionally, State Senator Steve Glazer recently introduced a proposal that would require residents to once again shelter-in-place. His vision would keep residents across the state doing so until the rate of positive tests over two weeks dips below two-percent.

“If our objective is to kill this virus, a shelter-in-place, as difficult as it will be- is the medicine we need to take,” Glazer told ABC7 News.

“Unfortunately, we reopened too soon, and people didn’t respect the need to create physical distancing in their regular conduct of life,” he continued. “That has meant that infection rates continue to go higher, and higher, and higher. Hospitalizations are at record levels. People who have died, record levels.”

San Jose was recently named as one of 12 cities being tracked by the feds as COVID-19 cases rise.

County Executive Dr. Jeff Smith addressing what it would take to stop the spread.

“The only treatment we have now is shelter-in-place,” he told ABC7 News.

“So, a very vigorous effort at social distancing on a statewide level would be very effective in knocking down the spread of the virus and decreasing the amount of the virus in the community.”

He continued, “It doesn’t have to mean closing down a bunch of businesses. There are lots of businesses that can operate with social distancing by using certain protocols. But it does mean getting people to wear masks, to prevent gatherings, to decrease the number of people indoors, and to make sure that there is monitoring and enforcement of the rules.”

If we don’t, health experts fear inconsistent messaging, unenforced policies and push back over mask wearing can be devastating.

“There’s nothing that’s ever been less political than the coronavirus,” Dr. Porco said. “I mean, the coronavirus doesn’t care if you’re a Democrat or Republican. Or what your religion is, or what your ethnicity is. We’re just food to that thing.”

The letter also implores lawmakers to listen to the experts.
Writing:

“Public health professionals have made clear that even after we’ve contained the virus by staying at home, in order to reopen American cities and towns safely, we will need:

  • – Enough daily testing capacity to test everyone with flu-like symptoms plus anyone they have been in close contact with over the last 2 weeks (at least 10 additional tests per symptomatic person). We currently have only 35-percent of the testing capacity we need to meet that threshold. The more people get sick, the more testing is required.
  • – A workforce of contact tracers large enough to trace all current cases. That’s 210,000 more contact tracers than we had in April, but the number keeps going up as infections rise. Most states are far short of the number of contact tracers they need.

In addition, we need more personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep essential workers like health professionals, emergency responders, and grocery store clerks safe.”

VIDEO: Can coronavirus particles remain airborne longer than we thought?

Some doctors are suggesting coronavirus particles remain in the air for longer than we thought after an infectious person exhales.

Porco adding, without taking action, “We don’t want to see overwhelming healthcare institutions. We don’t want to see people running out of ventilators and the sort of death and economic disruption that that’s going to cause.”

Understanding a second shutdown would be devastating for many, he explained, “I think a lot of people would love to comply with the orders, but they need to put food on the table. A lot of small businesses need help. So I think as long as we support people that we’re asking sacrifices of, people will understand.”

“We need you to lead,” experts pleaded in the open letter. “We remind you that history has its eyes on you.”

To read the full letter, click here.

INTERACTIVE: Here’s the reopening status of every Bay Area county

If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.

The greatest illusionists; (September 13, 2009)

 

            The Federal Reserve, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, The Central Bank of France, and the Central Bank of Germany are spreading false data of economic improvements with the main target of cheating the public to regain “confidence” on the archaic liberal capitalist system.  For a year now no substantive regulations on liberal capitalism have been instituted.  The Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernarke is at it again; he said lately “We should not attempt to impose on credit lenders heavy restrictions that might prevent the development of new financial products and services in the future. We all know that the improvement of easier access to credit has reduced costs and widened the range of choices.”  Are not the liberal new financial gimmicks for easier credit that brought on the crash of 2008 and the several crashes before it?

            What “confidence” is these great illusionists trying to resurrect from the tomb without a clear alternative financial system?  So far, bonuses are extended to the financial acrobats crossing dry rivers while employees are sinking in troubled water and not finding decent jobs. The USA is experiencing an official rate of unemployment of 10% and the European States even higher rates. For 2010, the International Organization of Labor (IOL) is expecting an additional 60 millions of unemployed and an additional 200 millions of people earning below two dollars a day.

            The States of California, Illinois, and New Jersey have declared bankruptcy; they lost over 30% of their assets during the financial crash.  These States refused to increase taxes for decades and they are no longer able to increase taxes because of their restricting legislative structures. The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) is allocated a budget of one billion dollars to spend on 3,500 employees. The same SEC that failed to uncover Madoff’s practices for over 30 years and even asked for his expertise many times! There is this joke in the financial circle of Shadock maxim “The more you fail the higher the odds for success in the future”.

            There are several economic time bombs strewn around; they may blast one after another or all together. Among these time bombs we can explain the following: Obligatory Crash, Effective increase of interest rates, Refinancing of public dept, Monetary over valuation, and Newer and botoxed up (lifting) exotic financial derivatives.

           

            The public debts of the USA, France, and Britain are expected to reach 90% of the GNP in a couple of years; Japan will hit the 200% mark. Obligatory Crash is more imminent than forecasted previously. The real values of the treasury bills of these nations designed to refinance the public dept will collapse abruptly.  Chinese households have been saving for two decades and accumulated three folds during the last 7 years; these savings are re-invested in purchasing treasury bills of the developed States.  Pretty soon, the citizens of the developed nations will start bypassing their State middlemen and purchase directly Chinese treasury bills for higher returns; especially that the Chinese currency is endemically undervalued and cannot but goes up. Then, what will happen?  Would the USA declare the Chinese treasury bills illegal or not marketable in the US market?  The USA did that previously but antagonizing China is a different ball game.

            Effective increase of interest rates has been eating up any economic improvement in the indebted nations. The price of obligations has been decreasing. Let us say if an obligation returned $30 on the thousand and it is re-purchased at half the price for the same return then the State is effectively paying $60 for the thousand. Thus, with the doubling of the interest rate States will not find takers for new issues of obligations but by offering the higher interest rate.

            When allowed, central banks of States may refinance public debts by purchasing titles on the open market and thus sustain the prevalent interest rate.  This process is in fact creating new money printing and devaluing the currency value.

            The developed nations have monetary over valuated because they are unable to compete in other emerging markets like China, India, and Brazil. The exterior balance of commerce is thus in deficit and the currency keeps over valuating; it is a vicious cycle unless the developed nations reduce drastically the price of their products to be able to compete.  China is able to keep its currency under valued simply because it can afford to sell at competitive prices.

 

            Before WWI the economic principle was “Demands carry the economy”.  Then this principle was upturned; it now states “Offers carry the economy” which means “We produce and then we find ways to encourage consumers to purchase.  We entice the consumers by promotional gimmicks, by much lower prices, by creating new trends of standards of living, and by lavishing plenty of credits.” It worked for a while until what is being produced is getting too expensive, of lower quality, and basically not that essential in tight financial downturns.  How about educating the consumers of what is essential for resuming a decent life without the faked propaganda of what constitutes a “high standard of living”?

Introspection: Barbara (Addendum #1)

Barbara made me walk on air

Note: I have written most of the addendum of my autobiography at least six years earlier, as I was trying to learn more about my behaviors by re-creating my life story, during a somewhat depressed phase, after my return to Lebanon.  I have realized that the best refresher for memory is to recall your relationship with women.  It seems that the extreme mood swings of women leave strong marks on memory.  The resilient nature of women and their compassion, when in love, cannot but add clues to your emotional levels and the trajectory of improvement to understanding life’s complex fabrics. These addenda are sort of detailed introspection of the daily emotions.

I Should Have Told Barbara (Jan. 2003)

Sue insisted that I get in touch with her sister Barbara on my trip to Los Angeles. It was the  summer of 1976.

I was in the USA for less than 11 months, my first ever trip outside my country. The International Office at the University of Oklahoma arranged a trip for one week to California, for some of us new international students.

We were to meet American families in this exchange program.  I did not care meeting any American families for the time being, but I needed to get away in my second summer and wanted to see California.  I was 27 of age and had never tasted a cigarette yet.

The International student adviser knew about my Near Eastern origin. The program matched me with an old Jewish couple in Pasadena. The husband was very helpful and friendly but his wife gave me the impression that she agreed reluctantly to join the program. The house was large with an unkempt garden.  The interior looked old, traditional, very gloomy, and smelling like it was never aerated and reeking of old people. It is a crime to surprise youths with living among old people without prior preparations and warnings. We should be reminded that elder people are great people, still very much living humans, who could be funny, and could be functional…

We had a general gathering the first day with all the families and various students. Then we were given the daily program of places to see and whatever. We were to see Disney Land the next day for free.  I declined the invitation: Disney Land is for kids. I remember that I had another chance to visit Disney for free, two years later. I again declined. Disney was still just for kids.

Many years later, I discovered that everybody liked to see Disney, including kids. I never saw Disney in California, but the smaller version in Orlando with my nephews. My little nephews and nieces, then 5 in total, loved Disney but less than I did.

My old host drove me for two hours to the meeting place with Barbara. He drove two hours to pick me up three hours later. I still can visualize Barbra after thirty years, coming toward me in white shirt, long brown skirt reaching a little below her knees, almost touching her long brown cowboy boots. Her boots must have added several inches to her stature.


Barbara is not tall, but the vision is always of a tall and grand lady. She appeared taller than me but my pride increased correspondingly, being by her side. Her maybe dyed long blond-brown hair was raised over her beautiful head. She was glamor incarnate.  She hugged me and made me feel I was a dear friend, of long time, whom she missed badly.

She spoke with effusion and earnestness. She wanted to know all that is to know, instantly, about how her sister is doing, what about her sister’s boyfriend who was my friend, about their relationship, about Oklahoma her home State, about everything but me.

I was glad that I was not the object of the conversation then, but not so glad now. We walked together so close, and I was walking on air.  I felt that I must look the most glamorous guy, a most glamorous guy in the whole wide world.

I asked permission from my host family to move at Barbara’s for the duration of the program and they agreed. I walked to Beverly Hills the next morning to see her in the fashion store she managed. She received me like a VIP and was happy at my surprised visit. I wanted to be with Barbara every second of my trip to California.

I accepted to attend a conference in Los Angeles a couple of years later, hoping to see Barbara again. It was an important political conference but my heart was not in it. My friends drove me through Beverly Hills where the rich and glamorous live, but I was not impressed. Finally, giving up, they gave me a lift from Anaheim to West Hollywood. I called up Barbara and I invited myself to stay overnight at her apartment.  She had many friends.

She was attached at the moment to a fashionable young man, working in fashion and with fashion, but they had problems. She appeared depressed and disappointed and not in the mood for me. Her TV was on 24 hours.  I slept and woke up with the TV on.

I visited her six years later during my second extended trip to the USA: Barbara’s sister had told me that Barbara was married and living in Oklahoma City. She did not look the same Barbara. She was skinnier. Her skin looked darker, her face emaciated, down to earth, resigned and decked in simple blue jeans and an old black sweater.

Barbara was married to a full-blooded American Indian, she a half-blooded. A soft-spoken husband he was, a polite artist who toured the USA exhibiting his paintings. She stayed at home designing jewelry and managing her man’s business.

I had accepted her invitation for a Thanksgiving lunch. I went down to Oklahoma City for an important and specific purpose of mine: I was determined to tell Barbara my secret. I went down with my steady girl friend at the time:  I still had no car.

Barbara’s eyes had an ironic shine looking at my oriental short friend. She asked my friend all kinds of questions about our relationship, how we met and what are our plans. She said to me: “You know, someone needs news about your friend”. She meant that her sister needed to know the whereabouts of her ex-husband. I had lost track of the whereabouts of my friend too and could not be of much help.

Barbara was entitled to know the truth; that the first time she walked with me she made me feel that I was the most glamorous guy in town. But I did not tell Barbara the truth. I don’t recall that I talked during my two hours stay. Maybe it did not feel right at that moment. But I should have persevered on my initial decision: This truth is hers no matter what.

She could be sixty, but age does not erase the feeling, that to my young eyes, she was the most glamorous woman I set my eyes on. She could live to be a hundred, but age does not change the fact, that Barbara made me once walk on air.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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