COVID-19 verse – a rather sad poem

By Roger Straw, Benicia CA, March 27, 2020

Editor – Covering coronavirus these past weeks, I’ve often been startled to think of previously unthinkable implications.  This morning’s news brought firsthand stories of bereaved families who could not be with their loved ones in the ICU as decline set in.  My heart is heavy thinking of so many going through the worst of this pandemic.  – R.S.

DEATH AT A DISTANCE

A coronavirus death,
Sudden and quick,
Unexpected, viral, wheezingly thorough,
And alone.

A social distance death,
A solo death,
Boxed and caged and tubed
To oblivion.

No distancing the grim reaper.

A family apart,
Set off and away,
A family in tears, light-tears apart,
Love without incarnation,
Loveloss torn asunder.

Are we to hold a Zoom funeral?
A flat-faced, big screen memorial?
Will Facetime be our only solace?

Roger Straw, March 27, 2020

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    Trump administration taking advantage of coronavirus crisis – polluters winning big

    U.S. dramatically rolls back rules for polluters – companies can now monitor themselves during the outbreak.

    Letters from an American, by Heather Cox Richardson, March 26, 2020  

    March 26, 2020

    Heather Cox Richardson, American historian and Professor of History at Boston College and Author, Letters from an American

    The United States now leads the world in confirmed coronavirus cases. At least 83,377 people have tested positive for the virus, a leap of 17,166 cases. At least 1,295 have died. As nurses and doctors struggle on the front lines of this pandemic, Trump and his supporters insist that fears of the disease are overblown. In Louisiana, a pastor of a Baton Rouge megachurch is continuing to hold services in defiance of orders from Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards against large gatherings. Pastor Tony Spell of Life Tabernacle Church says he is not worried about Covid-19. “The virus, we believe, is politically motivated. We hold our religious rights dear and we are going to assemble no matter what someone says.”

    The United States now leads the world in confirmed coronavirus cases. At least 83,377 people have tested positive for the virus, a leap of 17,166 cases. At least 1,295 have died. As nurses and doctors struggle on the front lines of this pandemic, Trump and his supporters insist that fears of the disease are overblown. In Louisiana, a pastor of a Baton Rouge megachurch is continuing to hold services in defiance of orders from Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards against large gatherings. Pastor Tony Spell of Life Tabernacle Church says he is not worried about Covid-19. “The virus, we believe, is politically motivated. We hold our religious rights dear and we are going to assemble no matter what someone says.”

    The Labor Department reported last week’s unemployment claims, and they are higher by far than expected. More than 3.28 million workers filed unemployment claims, and the system is so backlogged many cannot get through. The unemployment rate jumped to 5.5 from last month’s 3.5%.

    Despite the jobs numbers, investors regained faith in the markets. On Thursday, the stock market rose again for the third day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 1,351 points, or about 6.38%. With an all-over rise of more than 20% since Monday, the market is out of the bear territory it had entered with the falls of recent weeks.

    Investors might have been cheerful about the market in part because the Trump administration has drastically rolled back rules for polluters in this crisis. Companies can now monitor themselves during the outbreak. The Environmental Protection Agency will not issue fines for breaking certain laws for reporting violations of air, water, or hazardous waste violations. The new order asks companies to “act responsibly.” Compliance is retroactive to March 13.

    This EPA order dovetails with other regulatory rollbacks taking place while we are focused on the deadly pandemic. The administration is rushing through regulations to weaken environmental laws since Congress can overturn a regulation or federal rule within 60 days of it being finalized, and Republicans are increasingly concerned that voters will turn against them in the 2020 election. So they are in a hurry to get their rollbacks on the books before the 60 day mark.

    The House of Representatives is set to take up the Senate’s $2 trillion emergency relief bill. The House is not currently in session, so House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy agreed to a voice vote, which would not require all 430 members of the House to return to Washington. But at least one representative, Thomas Massie (R-KY), is considering opposing the bill out of concerns about its cost, which would require the presence of all the representatives for a roll call vote.

    All eyes are on the coronavirus as we become the nation hardest hit by it.


    Notes:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html

    https://thehill.com/homenews/house/489793-house-leadership-advises-members-to-return-to-washington-as-massie-weighs-roll-call-vote-on-stimulus-package

    layoffs: https://washingtonpost.com/business/2020/03/26/unemployment-claims-coronavirus-3-million/

    EPA: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/climate/epa-coronavirus-pollution-rules.html

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/house-leaders-seek-to-expedite-emergency-aid-package-amid-uncertainty-about-gop-lawmaker-delaying-measure/2020/03/26/392c9dba-6f7d-11ea-a3ec-70d7479d83f0_story.html

    jobless claims: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/unemployment-jobless-claims-economy-stimulus-small-business

    stock market: https://www.cnn.com/business/live-news/stock-market-news-today-032620/index.html

    Tony Spell: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/louisiana-pastor-defies-coronavirus-order-draws-over-1-000-people-n1168501

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      Latest report on Covid-19 in Solano County – three new cases on Thursday, March 26

      UPDATE: See Latest report on Covid-19 in Solano County – Good news, NO NEW CASES on Friday, March 27


      Solano County update on March 26, 2020

      Solano County reported 3 new positive cases today for a total of 34.  Our coronavirus data curve is on a steeper upward trajectory.  Everyone stay home and be safe!

      The chart at bottom right, “Cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases…” gives a clear picture of the infection’s trajectory in Solano County.

      Also of interest:

      • Differentiation between Total number of cases (34) and Active cases (15).  NOTE THAT active cases yesterday were also 15, thus all 3 of today’s new cases are not active.
      • Total number hospitalized (9 known, 2 more than yesterday)
      • Proportion of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 (coming soon)
      • Total number of deaths (0 as of March 26)
      • Total number of cases by age groups (0-18: 0; 19-64: 22; 65 and older: 12)  1 of today’s 3 new cases is aged 19-24.  2 are 65 and older.
      • Total residents tested today (coming soon)
      • The line chart at top right shows when these cases were tested over the last several weeks, (“Date of specimen collection”).

      Note:

      Solano staff refuses to divulge WHERE in the County the positive cases reside.

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        Benicia and Solano County schools extend school closures through May 1

        Solano County School Closure UPDATE

        Mar 26, 2020 | Latest News, nCoV

        Dear Solano County Families,

        Solano County Superintendents and Charter School Administrators have made a unified decision to extend school closures through May 1, 2020. This is a coordinated response that represents a continued effort to reduce the number of affected  individuals with COVID-19 and to keep our communities as safe as possible pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order N-33-20, the current Solano County Order to Shelter At Home, and in consultation with Solano County Public Health. The safety and wellness of students, school personnel, and the community are our highest priority.

        Solano County Office of Education, Solano County School Districts, and Charter Schools will continue to provide remote learning opportunities for our students. Food services will also continue for our students on a daily basis.

        This is difficult and uncharted territory and it will require patience, flexibility, and understanding from all of us. Our ability to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community will not only help to save lives, but will also determine when schools may reopen safely for students and staff. We are reminded by our Public Health Officials that it is crucial during this temporary school closure that every member of our community follow the illness prevention and social distancing requests made by state and local public health officials.  They include:

        • Maintaining social distancing
        • Washing hands often with soap and water
        • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
        • Staying home if you are feeling sick
        • Contacting your healthcare provider, if you are experiencing any symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing
        • Engaging  in regular exercise or physical activity

        Our situation continues to evolve and we will continue to communicate updates with any new information as we work through this together. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time and we wish you and your families safety and good health.

        26 de marzo de 2020

        Estimadas familias del Condado de Solano,

        Los Superintendentes del Condado de Solano y los Administradores de las Escuelas Autónomas han tomado la decisión unificada de extender el cierre de las escuelas hasta el 1 de mayo de 2020. Esta es una respuesta coordinada que representa un esfuerzo continuo para reducir el número de personas afectadas con COVID-19 y mantener nuestras comunidades seguras. como sea posible de conformidad con la Orden Ejecutiva 26-20 del Gobernador, la Orden del Oficial de Salud Local, y en consulta con el Departamento de Salud Pública del Condado de Solano. La seguridad y el bienestar de los estudiantes, el personal escolar y la comunidad son nuestra máxima prioridad.

        La Oficina de Educación del Condado de Solano y todos los Distritos Escolares y Escuelas Autónomas del Condado de Solano continuarán brindando oportunidades de aprendizaje a distancia para nuestros estudiantes. Los servicios de comida también continuarán para nuestros estudiantes diariamente.

        Este es un territorio difícil e inexplorado y requerirá paciencia, flexibilidad y comprensión de parte de todos.  Nuestra capacidad para mitigar la propagación de COVID-19 en nuestra comunidad no solo ayudará a salvar vidas, sino que también determinará cuándo las escuelas pueden reabrir de manera segura para los estudiantes y el personal. Nuestros funcionarios de salud pública nos recuerdan que es crucial durante este cierre escolar temporal que todos los miembros de nuestra comunidad sigan las solicitudes de prevención de enfermedades y distanciamiento social hechas por los funcionarios de salud pública estatales y locales. Incluyen:

        • Mantener distanciamiento social
        • Lavarse las manos frecuentemente con agua y jabón.
        • Evitar tocarse los ojos, la nariz y la boca.
        • Quedarse en casa si se siente enfermo
        • Comunicarse con su proveedor de atención médica si experimenta algún síntoma como fiebre, tos o dificultad para respirar.
        • Participar en ejercicio regular o actividad física

        Nuestra situación continúa evolucionando y continuaremos comunicando actualizaciones con cualquier información nueva a medida que esté disponible mientras trabajamos juntos en esto.

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