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Santa Clara County restaurants, congregations can resume indoor service as COVID-19 cases drop

Original post made on Oct 13, 2020

Restaurants and congregations in Santa Clara County will be able to reopen for indoor service on Wednesday under a revised public health order that loosens many of the restrictions that have been in place since March.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, October 13, 2020, 2:50 PM

Comments (38)

Posted by Ardan Michael Blum
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 13, 2020 at 8:13 pm

Ardan Michael Blum is a registered user.

The [president] can say that Covid is nothing. And he will be voted out of office soon I trust! Here, at this time, we are making a huge mistake to open indoor events. We are seeing a 2nd wave hit Israel, the UK, parts of NYC and largely as a result from opening closed areas and saying "it is all fine". We should WAIT. Long term support for the economy comes from a vaccine.

Posted by Allison
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2020 at 9:14 pm

Allison is a registered user.

I agree with the Arden. We should WAIT! Why open up? For the sake of our children and placing them back in schools, we need to continue to keep things closed so our cases stay low. I do NOT want to see the cases surging again due to re-openings. No no no.

Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Oct 13, 2020 at 9:46 pm

chris is a registered user.

About 100 people were standing in line tonight outside Ramen Nagi elbow to elbow. No social distancing.

I notice Local Union 271 reopened tonight after their health closure but they were far from their usual capacity.

Posted by sbw
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 13, 2020 at 11:59 pm

sbw is a registered user.

@ Ardan, a vaccine at best will be 60 percent effective. Meaning that 40%, 132 million, of the 330 million citizens who receive it they will not be protected from acquiring or disseminating the virus. These stats come from all of the leading government epidemiologists. If just 50% of the remaining 132 million acquire the covid disease, that totals 66 million people. If the death rate is 3% conservatively that amounts to 1,980,000 deaths, 2 million. That would be the extreme conservative end.

If you believe that going back to normal will be attainable after a vaccine has been administered to everyone, you would be wrong and deceived.

Posted by Yolanda E. May
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 14, 2020 at 7:32 am

Yolanda E. May is a registered user.

@sbw Your error is assuming a 60% effective vaccine. @Ardan is right!

Posted by jr1
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 14, 2020 at 10:50 am

jr1 is a registered user.

The community can now determine the economic damage done by government officials. The virus had to be addressed, but people need to examine the damage associated with the virus. Depression and other problems have been occurring. My point is simple, I think the state of California along with Santa Clara should have used the "Florida" approach when addressing issues regarding health and the economy. This also includes people's overall mental and physical health.

Posted by Ardan Michael Blum
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 14, 2020 at 1:03 pm

Ardan Michael Blum is a registered user.

Note to the writer who thinks (above) that "If you believe that going back to normal will be attainable after a vaccine has been administered to everyone, you would be wrong and deceived" I would say that if 60% of the population was protected this would be a HUGE step.

I would say that in addition to the protected people (for how long is yet to be determined) there will be many of the 40% remaining who will gain, as in the case of say the Pneumococcal vaccine protection, a partial resistance and/or the function of the vaccine will be to "inform the body's immune cells to not go into hyper mode".

Most of all if we get to 60% clearly protected and keep using masks and good social distancing we will move towards herd immunity by 2022.

Chances are high that the mutation of the virus over time will be an issue against the herd immunity idea, but, frankly, right now it is not at all certain that a vaccine will be "60%" effective. It may be 80% effective and maybe it will require several shots per year or ... Who knows. Just now is not the time to open up indoor spaces!

Posted by Ardan Michael Blum
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 14, 2020 at 1:08 pm

Ardan Michael Blum is a registered user.

Had to come back! Just read this: "The community can now determine the economic damage done by government officials". There is one word on my mind which is not fit for a family accessed newspaper. I have said that word, it is not politically correct and starts with M. Like M for Moron, yes that letter.

To that poster: WE ARE TRYING TO KEEP PEOPLE HEALTHY. ECONOMIC DAMAGE is not what is being aimed for by any official I know.

Posted by iSez
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 14, 2020 at 2:10 pm

iSez is a registered user.

Economic damage was a goal of lockdown. Not initially, but we have been locked down for too long. Our family has been fine but for the average American who has not saved money (past articles claim people only have $400 in savings) I can only imagine the stress. Hopefully, our nation learns from this and curbs spending frivolously as those who lived through The Depression were affected.

The U.S. is at $200,000+ COVID deaths, considered a "pandemic". Did you know that up to 60,000 people die from influenza every year? No publicity on that. My 95-year old aunt caught COVID at a nursing home, had a short fever, little cough, and lived to tell. Doctors know more about how to treat COVID now so the survival rate is higher and in general, those who die have pre-existing conditions. The media only posts the number of deaths, no mention that our country is larger than others. China was not disclosing their death rate numbers truthfully. Their incinerators were running 24/7. It's difficult to know which countries are telling the truth about their numbers.

Hopefully, people continue to wear masks (spitting in people's faces spreads germs) but people are tiring of them and Americans lack discipline.

The vaccine will be helpful even at 60% because people will at least have partial immunity.

BTW, it's time to get the influenza shots. PAMF requires appointments. Every year, it's different strains and the medical community tries to predict which 3 strains will be common. So you can still catch a flu strain that is not included in the flu shot.

Posted by Dick D.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 14, 2020 at 3:17 pm

Dick D. is a registered user.

rergards Greenmeadow's remarks –

Concerning the "wisdom"of following the Florida scheme, I would like to note that Florida is now in the throws of a horrible and growing infection rate, especially where they have "opened up". Should we follow their "lead"?

Posted by Chris
a resident of University South
on Oct 14, 2020 at 3:46 pm

Chris is a registered user.

ISez, you have laid out the lack of discipline and the lack of safety net which was resulted in the US as the biggest failure in the world.

You may not care, but China, not just the leaders, but the people, are laughing at us.

Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 14, 2020 at 3:56 pm

The Voice of Palo Alto is a registered user.

1. The community can now determine the economic damage done by government officials.

What were these government officials supposed to do? If you were a government official and were told something like “1000s of people may die if we do not shut down,” you would have also made the decision to shut down.

2. Depression and other problems have been occurring.
Depression is not worse than death.

3. “My point is simple, I think the state of California along with Santa Clara should have used the "Florida" approach when addressing issues regarding health and the economy.“

Florida is literally the worst state to follow For anything regarding the pandemic.

4. My 95-year old aunt caught COVID at a nursing home, had a short fever, little cough, and lived to tell

Ok. I am happy she lived but she also likely got very lucky.

5. The U.S. is at $200,000+ COVID deaths, considered a "pandemic". Did you know that up to 60,000 people die from influenza every year

No more flu/Covid comparisons in this comment section. (That should be edited Bill and not me).
Also, there have now been over 1 million deaths worldwide. That is why this is a pandemic.

Web Link

Key statement:
It’s more deadly—and much more contagious.

6. Doctors know more about how to treat COVID now so the survival rate is higher and in general, those who die have pre-existing conditions

There are some truths here but please provide evidence with a link for evidence about a current “higher survival rate.”

7. “a vaccine at best will be 60 percent effective.”

This is misinformation. We do not yet know the effectiveness of a vaccine as we do not yet have a vaccine. So the rest of your posted numbers thereafter is just math based on a false premise. I do agree with you though that even with a vaccine we won’t be going back to normal anytime soon.

Posted by jons
a resident of another community
on Oct 14, 2020 at 7:11 pm

jons is a registered user.

I read with some interest the comments in support of continuing the various shelter restrictions..... it is especially interesting how few references there are about the WHO and CDC reports about the collateral damage caused by these edicts.

Doesn't anyone want to consider the rise in suicides related to the shelter mandates in their opinions? Aren't those people important? Why doesnt anyone want to consider the people who were terrified to go to the hospital because of the edicts and ended up dying from other causes when they didnt have to? Why doesnt anyone want to consider the people who's finances have been destroyed by these edicts and now are reduced to poverty.?

I appreciate your concern about the threat of Covid to those in the highest risk categories.... but do you really want to ignore the deaths of others ? Do you really want to dismiss the harm to others?

Posted by jr1
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 14, 2020 at 7:30 pm

jr1 is a registered user.

The virus was bad, but look deeper into the problems now being faced by Americans.
Depression, alcoholism, divorces, students failing to attend school, and the economic damage.
Several small businesses around the county are destroyed.
The Governor of Florida handled the situation far better than the Governors of New York and California.
Gov. Cuomo certainly blew it-look how many people died.
Gov Newson seemed to be out to lunch, literally.
I have far more faith in some of the other governors who had a balanced approach while keeping the death rate down.
Look at the number of people who died in New York compared to Florida.
Florida is a larger state, and the Governor of Florida was far more equipped to handle the problem than Newson.
President Trump could have handled the situation better, but Americans need to understand China is at fault they spread this virus to over 185 countries.

Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 14, 2020 at 11:59 pm

The Voice of Palo Alto is a registered user.

I am not sure why you keep citing Florida as an example to be followed during the pandemic. It was actually Newsom who has won more praise for his handling of the pandemic, at least more so initially back in March.

I am speculating here, but I think you are saying the Florida Governor allowed business to reopen and found some sort of balance between disease control and the economy. But that’s just not true.

Here is an article about how Florida became an epicenter:

Web Link

Here is another article about the Governor’s approval rating falling:

Web Link

To the first part of your post about depression etc. It’s just a no win situation. Open up and more people get sick. Stay closed people battle depression and unemployment. We are just in the midst of a horrible time.

Posted by jr1
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 15, 2020 at 4:41 pm

jr1 is a registered user.

I've also cited New York where Gov. Cuomo did everything wrong.

Posted by Liberty and Justice
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2020 at 4:25 am

Liberty and Justice is a registered user.

If you look at data on the CDC's website, you can see that both California and New York have have fewer cases and deaths in total and per capita in the past week than Florida.
Web Link

New York was hit early but they got things under control. The worst hit states right now, when we have a lot more information about how to bring things under control, are all red states.

Things began in China, but they quickly got things under control to such an extent that they haven't even had a recession. We could have done that, too, except for an incompetent federal government [portion removed] and a potus who studies have shown is the single greatest cause of the spread of misinformation about the virus.

That places taking the most restrictive and serious measures up front are now faring better or not even facing recession is consistent with what we've learned from the 1918 pandemic -- places that took the most extreme measures early to get things under control ended up rebounding the fastest and suffering the least economic damage. The fact that so many other countries also suffered exponentially fewer deaths than the US and were able to reopen their economies because of more competent national responses, no, you cannot blame this on China.

Given that fair-minded people should not just just let false misleading things [portion removed] that are dividing and harming us pass unnoticed:

-No, Cuomo did not to every thing wrong. New York is now in better shape than Florida. As @Voice points out, Florida has become an epicenter now, when we're months into this and there is no excuse for it. That's only going to hurt any ability to get back to normal.

-The US has had more deaths per capita than Sweden which essentially did nothing at all about the virus.

-Your wording is so misleading as to be false. No, China did not go out and "spread" this to the entire world. They are not at fault for what's happening now anymore than the US is to blame for the 1918 flu pandemic despite the first known case reported in Kansas. S$&&t happens. Things like this are going to happen again because that is the nature of the world. Blaming the place where it starts for everything that happens later when the outcome would be different if the response were competent at any point later is wrong.

One of the problems here is that the Republican Party began 50 years ago to attack our own governance (of, by, and for the people) from the inside and to enforce policies favoring governance of, by, and for the super-wealthy (plutocracy). They stopped being willing to allow their ideas to be honed in the marketplace of ideas that is politics but instead turned to lying for power. The result was the extreme wealth inequality, the richest essentially taking all the wealth and income from the middle class and poorest. Politics no longer became competing for the good of the country, but one party trying to hang on for the good of the country (democrats) and the other trying by their own admission to weaken our government and destroy it (republicans-- I believe they used the term drown it in a bathtub). They taught Americans to hate their own democratic government instead of trying to improve it, making it so much less functional, and weakening it to be vulnerable to foreign powers and pandemics. Investment in our nation was decimated beginning with Reagan.

We could worked together as a nation and done BETTER than China, if our national government and our health care system and public health system were not in such utter disarray. The thing that people are not talking about is how much danger we are putting ourselves in because of rightwing political hacks getting control of our nation and destroying the functioning of the US government.

Everyone who cares about our national security should read the book The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis (Moneyball, The Blind Side), to at least get a little bit of a reality check about what our government does, and why it is so dangerous to just remain so willfully ignorant about continuing to attack and weaken our nation from the inside as Republicans have been doing.

Please, all you fairminded people out there, stop mollycoddling people on the right just because they explode any time you bring up a fact that burst their bubble of lies. Beware of the third person and the use of "we"-ness. "We" are so divided -- NO, Republicans and especially this administration have divided us, beginning with Reagan destroying the Fairness Doctrine and the rise of a news organization whose purpose was to create a false framework to further the ideology supporting plutocracy from the right. There is a different between trying to fight against that, and being the instigator of that.

There seems to be no consequence severe enough to wake people on the right up from that false framing, not the 2008 housing crash at the end of 8 years of almost total Republican control (and all the cronyism, massive budget deficits Republicans always seem to run up on the state and federal level, etc). You do know that Democrats are unequivocally better for the economy and have been for 100 years?

If you care about small businesses,@ jr1, vote for Democrats, they are better for the economy, that is an indisputable fact. They actually care about competent governance. Our government is the reason we are a first-world nation, and the reason we have the kind of freedom and possibilities that this nation enjoyed mid-20th century. Republicans' destruction of it has caused them and other enemies to say that, see, our form of government doesn't work, that it demonstrates communism is better -- and Republicans and their constant S$%&^tstorm of lies that well preceded this administration and their giving up on honing themselves and our nation but instead tearing us all down are the reason.

For the sake of our national security, for the sake of the people who will not have to die, vote for Biden and then stay involved (for sure keep voting), because our nation has suffered in ways most people on either side of the aisle don't even get while they watch the shiny bouncing reality TV show train wreck that our government has become.

Posted by Resident here
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2020 at 1:48 pm

Resident here is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

Posted by Steve Dabrowski
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 17, 2020 at 5:59 pm

Steve Dabrowski is a registered user.

When I was born FDR still had a few months to go as President of the United States of America. Now in the first quarter of the 21st Century the country and its citizens seem to have little resemblance to the people who suffered the 10 year deprivation of the Great Depression followed by another four years of war that saw the home front with ration coupons, blackouts and many severe restrictions, yet often working together under very difficult circumstances.

Now after a few months of pandemic restrictions there is hue and cry over having to wear a mask and missing dinning out. For sure the economic conditions now are extreme, and suffering is great, but still it seems the last centuries' hardships were met with a much larger measure of grit than is shown today.

Perhaps the people who say the American Century is over are really right. During the 2016 election one writer opined that Donald Trump liked to call his opponents losers, but if he were elected President then for sure the world would look at the United States as a country made up of losers. It seems as if this prediction has finally become reality.

Surely we can muster the effort to follow proper health guidelines as a nation for the months to come and get through this adversity with dignity and grace and saved lives.

Posted by Liberty and Justice
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2020 at 12:17 pm

Liberty and Justice is a registered user.

@Steve Dabrowski, well said. The trouble is (per my post), given the way the party on the right has been operating, if you catch yourself saying things like "surely we can muster" (notice the "we" or the third party usage, as in, the country is so divided), it ignores that there is no "we" so long as a whole side of the political spectrum has found it's power in dividing us for plutocracy, and escalating lies over time to do so.

Posted by Liberty and Justice
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2020 at 12:57 pm

Liberty and Justice is a registered user.

Especially in this time, when we as a nation are beginning to grapple with the unending systemic racism and its harms, and our very national security is in peril associated with ignoring the incompetence and destructive selfishness and greed in DC (with many who worked in this administration giving strenuous warnins in that regards), it is a damaging complicity to allow divisive falsehoods above trying to blame those who have been trying to deal with mitigating the pandemic for some kind of ludicrous conspiracy to harm the economy, to be printed in the name of "bothsiderism," if someone pointing out the objective pattern of lying underlying those falsehoods cannot also speak up. Remember this? (You can see a video of John Ehrlichmann saying it in the documentary "13th")

"“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

Those lies laid waste hundreds of thousands of lives and families, destroyed whole communities, and put off for yet again many more decades equality and justice for black people in this country. Back then I remember seeing a 60 Minutes even air an episode purporting to support the idea that blacks were fundamentally more violent than whites.That kind of scheming and lying never stopped, and became the reason for the success of destructive laissz-faire economics, and the Republican quest to destroy our government ("drown it in a bathtub" as Newt Gingrich called it, and establish a permanent majority which is fundamentally anti-democracy). It has underpinned our division today and the fact that 1/3 of the country cannot even see the danger from ignoring the incompetence and corruption of the administration, but find it easy to believe ludicrous conspiracies such as that Covid and the response are somehow plots.

Yet today, when the campaign for re-election of their potus hinges almost exclusively on bold, demonstrably wrong lies about the Democrats -- making old people frightened and anxious of rioting, looting and burning that has been grossly exaggerated (lied about) and the threat of old-style communism (which they seem to have no sense of history about, the Nazis used that exact argument about communism to scare people and seize power -- they lied, too) -- it's barely even mentioned in the media. I mean, if the only criticisms the Republicans can have about the Democrats and their nominee for the presidency are such bold lies, that says a lot about how much better the Democrats have become.

Lies on the right have become their modus operandi, about which much has been written even by conservatives. For example, longtime Republican strategist Stuart Stephens just wrote a book called It Was All a Lie by Stuart Stephens (the article: Trump is a Symptom, not a cause of Republican decline.)
Web Link
In it, he discusses what really amounts to a conspiracy of deception to further rightwing power. All of this has everything to do with why we are in this situation now. Yet above, the discussion blaming closures and ongoing economic damage on some made-up plot that adherents only find easy to believe because of a long history of such lying on that side of the aisle (the practice of which is well establlshed by many nonpartisan studies)is allowed as if it's the equivalent of talking about epidemiology.

The similarities to the early days of AIDS and the early days of climate change discussions are striking, in the sense that a lot of harm was done when the media opted for "bothsiderism", and airing of views that had grown based on a political practice on the right of getting the upper hand through falsehoods, hate, prejudice, a willful indifference to facts and science, and the results caused damage that ripplid forward and amplified.

China and many other nations that reacted with a coordinated national response, including South Korea, haven't suffered the deaths or prolonged pandemic, and they haven't suffered recession, either. We had incompetent, dishonest, self-aggrandizing and self-serving national leadership that inflamed sentiments like yours that are unhelpful at best. I have had a "mild" case of Covid bad enough that I wear a mask and wouldn't want to get it again, and probably hasn't been counted. Chris Christie got the best care and was 7 days in ICU, is only now telling people to wear their masks. Just because someone's old aunt fared well is not generalizable. We've had over 200,000 deaths and many times that in hospitalizations and medical costs in less than a year, WITH mitigation measures such as they were.

Since you seem concerned about the economy, note that Moody's has said a Democratic sweep would be best for the economy:
Web Link
This is likely in part because the overwhelming objective evidence is that DEMOCRAT ARE BETTER FOR THE ECONOMY and have been for 100 years through all manner of national changes and crises. If you care about the economy, care about getting to the truth.

Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Oct 18, 2020 at 1:07 pm

chris is a registered user.


If the virus has started in the US and spread to China, do you think it would have made a difference. Americans like you are looking for a scapegoat for their own deficiencies.

Posted by Liberty and Justice
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2020 at 5:04 pm

Liberty and Justice is a registered user.

I am not sure it's helpful to question the motives of individuals who have been steeped in that framing which can be traced back to the plutocratic motives of a very few. With the end of the Fairness Doctrine, Fox News was able to say pretty much what it wanted with no fact checking, and the tactics they use are so effective and inculcating people into their framing, we now have large groups of Americans whose families can't even talk to each other, old people who are miserable, frustrated and scared in their old age because that serves the political needs of those spreading the misinformation on Fox.

Fox, ALEC, you can question the motives of people swirling in those orbits, leadership in the Republican party such as those who promulgated Laissez-faire economics as a Trojan Horse for cutting top tax rates and turned it into a kind of cult/religion that is damaging us and our economy to this day. Those who brought us the Southern Strategy, Nixon and those in his orbit who plotted to change the courts to serve the richest rather than protecting the poorest and downtrodden, etc, you can question their motives. (They were largely successful as the Supreme Court has been a majority conservative for an unbroken 50 years, and while we're all watching the bouncing ball of culture wars issues, they have ruled time and again for the plutocracy over ordinary people. Read the new book Supreme Inequality.) The people who plotted to exclude the poor and immigrants from the census and discourage voting, you can question their motives, too.

But questioning the motives of those who bought into all that isn't helpful. I think instead, it's important to take the time to point out when people are wrong, say what's true, and keep doing it even if they throw hissy fits for being disagreed with. I think ultimately the answer has to be a sustained swell of voting and people on the left not just descending into complacency like they did after electing Obama, and restoring the Fairness Doctrine when the mandate is no longer so tenuous as now because of fickle liberal voters.

A lot of people buy inot the Fox world because they believe Republicans are better for the economy, and thus they justify away a lot of other misbehavior, when in fact Democratic administrations have been better for the economy for 100 years (roughly the time when they have had their current philosophical outlook). You can always cherry pick some indicator over short enough period of time and make an opposite argument, but if you choose a reasonable stretch, say, 20 or 25 years, ANY stretch of 25 years for the last 100, Democratic administrations have outperformed Republican ones by a lot.

A lot of what turned people away from Obama was a pretty false narrative about his economic performance that took hold in the Fox viewership because people were already so ill informed because of being Fox viewers. And yet Democrats are kind of blowing it by not learning how to present the facts and argue for the truth. I watched both potus and veep debates, the Republican candidates were just unloading dog whistle after false dog whistle. They weren't debating, they were capitalizing on all the groundwork of false framing that has been laid especially via fox news. Pence was the worst because he was using the current trendy tactic on the right of accusing an opponent of what he and his side are most guilty of, saying things like, you are entitled to your opinion but not your own facts, etc, when objectively it is Republicans who are doing that. Democrats look like deer in headlights instead of learning how to name those tactics and keep honing their arguments.

If Democrats learned to do that, we wouldn't be here today, because we might have saved the Republican party from this ignominious result and taking our nation down with it. Every false, seemingly loony thing said by a Republican today is groundwork for a future false framework that will be much harder to counter. It's why there is so much evidence that Democrats are better for the economy yet people continue to vote for Republicans who always seem to drive up debt and deficits, even in good times, cut services, damage the economy, destroy long-term efforts to benefit the people. You can blame the Kochs for their motivation, but someone like @chris isn't all that unreasonable to conclude what he's concluded, given what he's been steep in because of those whose motivations you can question.

Posted by Dick D.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 18, 2020 at 6:56 pm

Dick D. is a registered user.

Gee folks, some how a "conversation" here about COVID and local easing of restrictions, somehow has drifted into a political arena, not unusually beating the drums centered around the temporary resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Av. and his party vs. the opposition . . .

Perhaps we could return to the very casual attitude of many of our fellow townsfolk seemingly taking the loosening of restrictions as if was back to our old ways . . . exemplified by the remarks about people lined up, elbow to elbow, few facemasks, etc. at one of local restaurants.

How can we responsibly respond to the problem at hand – the virus. The other stuff will get settled sometime after November 3rd.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 18, 2020 at 10:48 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

NYC orthodox community posing real risk for covid resurgence there. Mayor and governor struggling to get them to take vital prevautions against covid. It ain’t over in NYC....

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 18, 2020 at 11:23 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Or in the Upper Midwest. Excellent article in the Washington Post about how the 500,000-person Sturgis motorcycle rally was a superspreader event Web Link but the difference is that many of the governors in that area are loosening not tightening restrictions even though many states are hitting record levels this week.

Do a search on Sturgis and Covid.

Posted by LIberty and Justice
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 19, 2020 at 3:32 am

LIberty and Justice is a registered user.

@ Dick D.
Given how other economies that had a well-coordinated national response got things under control so quickly, with very little loss of life and illness, and South Korea for example offered us their testing to no avail, and given how many false political narratives there were posted above, and given how essential our pulling together would be for an effective stimulus, I'm afraid the national politics have everything to do with what's happening locally.

I almost wish the feds would wait for a new administration stimulus, because many of us have so little trust in this admin, I'm wondering whether we'll have to count the WH silver. We need stimulus with accountability and a trustworthy government. This potus hasn't just responded incompetently to this pandemic, he's gutted our federal government, which we leave unrepaired at our peril. This, again, not only has everything to do with DC, but it has everything to do with the history. Even if things change Nov 3, there is a mountain of things to do to repair competent governance, national security, trust with our allies, and above all, communication with the public so that for this and everything else, we can pull together as a nation.

You know, a lot of people wished Oprah Winfrey would have been picked as VP. While I believe of the 4 potus/veep candidates, Harris would make the best potus, I think a lot of people thought about Winfrey because she is such an effective communicator. Unlike some of the politicians who were in the past, she has a journalism background, and communicates in a highly effective way. I really hope if the administration changes, that a position is created for her to not just communicate with the public, but to keep holding publicly televised town halls, to break down the divisions and get people working together again for our nation. If anyone could get us to a shared vision again, with politics as competing public goods, it's Oprah. It's going to have to happen.

But point well taken, though -- on a more local note, does anyone know if the new movie theater near Showers is going to have something like the AMC $99 rent-a-theater deal?

Posted by jr1
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 19, 2020 at 11:13 am

jr1 is a registered user.

People have to remember this virus came from China, not from either political party. The solutions are not going to come from either political party. I just voted, and left the position for President empty. I don't have any faith in either person. Politicians may be elected, but medical people will solve the problem. We only have to look at 2009-10 and see that 60 million people were infected with H1/N1 and the government did little to solve the problem.

Posted by jr1
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 19, 2020 at 11:46 am

jr1 is a registered user.

[Portion removed.] Oprah I enjoyed watching, but she is unqualified to be Vice President or President. There are far more qualified people that Oprah, like several US Senators or Governors (in both parties). What is really disappointing the Democrats had over 20 running, and they selected the worse person. They did what the Republicans did in 2016, they had over 15 running and picked the worse person. In 2016 the Independents had an excellent candidate, this year they didn't pick a good person. Regarding Fox News they are just like CNN except on the other end of the political spectrum. I would not be concerned about either channels since Fox has about 7-9 million viewers and CNN has about 4-5 million viewers in a country of 330 million people. When you examine the numbers the simple conclusion 97% of the public doesn't watch either channel.

Posted by Natalie Fisher
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 19, 2020 at 12:58 pm

Natalie Fisher is a registered user.

In Santa Clara County, malls and retail have NO capacity limitations for indoor business.
I can't get an answer from the city of Palo Alto as to why these are exempted from capacity limitations. Anyone have an answer?

Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2020 at 12:08 am

Parent is a registered user.

[Portion removed.]

I think it's hilarious that anyone could call Oprah unqualified when she's a successful businesswoman/executive, is trusted and known by hundreds of millions of Americans, and has a background in journalism, i.e, she knows a lot about people and the world. She's certainly more qualified than anyone currently in the WH.

But that's not really the point I was making. My point is that the administration needs a communicator. If you listen to what our enemies are hearing these days, though, it can't come too soon.

Solving our problems together and reuniting our nation will require a communicator. Getting through this pandemic and restoring our nation will require more than just voting in a new administration.

Ever since the Republicans under Reagan especially began their assault to destroy our government, our form of government that we fought wars to get, the reason we are a first-world nation, and considered the greatest on earth, has needed a defender. We have this crazy situation in which we have people talking about the Constitution like it's a religion yet failing to understand that our Constitution establishes our GOVERNMENT which they simultaneously want to destroy as evil and inept, and never appreciate the cognitive dissonance.

I think everyone should read The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis (The Blind Side, Moneyball). He decides to try to understand 3 departments of government about which he knows nothing. About which most people know nothing. And sadly, if we did, if there were a national communication on the level that only someone like Oprah could organize in a trustworthy and trusted way, we would be better off for and united for our common good.

Another problem we suffer from is that people simply do not understand how things work. Your post is exhibit A. You say there were 20 better candidates, but Biden won the primaries. Could there have been a different outcome if there were ranked choice voting? Possibly, but we don't have ranked choice voting. If we did, the current denizen of the WH would never have gotten there.

It's breathtaking to me how many people maybe just didn't even have student elections in the 5th grade, in which the 2 most popular kids ran against each other and split the mainstream vote, so the class joker won, and everyone (failing to understand vote splitting) ran around surprised that that person was the most "popular." (i.e., Cruz and Rubio split the mainstream vote, and the guy that would have come in 3rd in ranked choice could then claim to be the most popular -- which worked since that party would worship a brick like it was God if it were nominated).

There is no equivalence between Fox and friends and CNN, but that's a discussion for another day. But you don't need millions of voting zombies to take over because of the electoral college, you just need a few thousand. Did you see the study that showed that the greatest source of misinformation about the pandemic is the current denizen of the WH? Again, this has everything to do with why we had this pandemic stretch out like this, why so many of our loved ones suffered and died without their families with them, while many other nations were able to open back up and never even suffered a recession.

it's not enough to just vote back in competent people, it will also be essential for our national governance to communicate, two-way, better with the public in order to unite us, help us understand, and get us solving our problems together again. There is probably no more qualified person than Oprah Winfrey.

Posted by jr1
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 20, 2020 at 5:59 am

jr1 is a registered user.

If I my choice for a real leader and a President, it would be Condi Rice. She has the experience, in the political and educational marketplace. She was a brilliant Secretary of State, and has high integerity. You may feel that Oprah is qualified, I feel Condi Rice is far more qualified. As I stated earlier a government elected leader isn't going to solve the problem. When I was younger, I thought government could solve all the problems, as I got older I learned government cannot solve most problems. Solutions come from the marketplace, business, educational and the scientific field. We all have choices in a democratic society to select the person to lead the country. I've always voted, this year I felt both parties selected terrible candidates.

Posted by jr1
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 20, 2020 at 7:46 am

jr1 is a registered user.

My only other comment to "parent" you really have to as they say "chill out" a little and get a sense of humor. If your older the word chill out was used to say calm down-I hope that doesn't insult you. Life is too short to get worked up about this issue. The country has been through far worse, so let the medical experts solve the problem. In November regardless of who wins, they are not going to solve the problem. As I stated earlier, as you get older you will learn politicians come and go, they don't really solve our problems. The last product the government actually introduced was Goretex, so don't count of the government inventing a solution for this problem. The medical community will come through.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2020 at 11:18 am

Parent is a registered user.

You keep steering the discussion to debating whether Oprah should be veep, and I'm not even discussing that issue. I'm talking about the need for a trusted national communicator.

The first need we have for a national communicator is to just get the word out better about what OUR government is and what public servants to. In the way the the public's understanding of and relationship to those who serve in the military has been improved since Vietnam (and remembering that they are government public servants, too), we need a much better appreciation of what public health is, what public health workers do -- who have faced death threats because of the misinformation which was easy to spread because most people have listened to the rhetorical attacking our gubmint for so long.

I think the next administration will not even be able to govern, much less facilitate all of us coming together to solve our problems, unless we get such a communicator. Doesn't have to be a person in office, as I have said more than once. It could be convincing Oprah to develop programmatic town hall content for network that is specifically focused on citizenship and understanding history, our government, how to solve problems, and bringing people together.

There is a documentary on Hulu "Totally Under Control" - the review by the Atlantic was very insightful. The documentary compares the progress here with South Korea's, where they haven't had the economic impacts, death or illness, and they talk about how sad they have been to watch what happened here because so much of their advanced health system came from here. They tried to help us.

Another great article in the Atlantic recently is about the nature of disinformation on the web and how it so fluently makes its way into Fox and Friends and into communities and discourse of people who aren't even on social media and don't think they watch too much TV. The disinformation is hurting our country.

The narrative that the nature of government is inherently bad with the cognitive dissonance that our Constitution is like scripture despite the Constitution existing to establish our government, and the attendant plutocratic/rightwing attacks on our democratic government since the Nixon/Reagan years, have so badly damaged our national strength, economy, and public infrastructure/commons, our enemies have been crowing quite effectively about how our it shows our democratic system doesn't work.

If you believe so much in the marketplace and competition, @jr1, why do you support a political worldview whose modus operandi has been total insularity from any honing in the marketplace of ideas that is politics, but rather using lying ever more deftly to avoid it (to establish a "permanent Republican majority" and seizing power despite actually being in the minority? And what does that party stand for anymore anyway? For what does it profit a man if he gains the world but loses his soul?)

Your perspective that "government can't solve all problems" is telling. I have only suggested that we, as a nation, need to unite and solve our problems. But our government is US (we the people), and our form of government was at least the reason we are such a powerful and successful nation. Tearing it down rather than honing it together to make it better only makes us weak and unable to solve problems as has happened with Covid. It is telling that the side engaged in lies for power for so long then chooses, instead of being awakened to the facts, to simply lie to themselves and the public about the pandemic, about the nature and value of a good public health infrastructure and response, etc.

Just helping people to stop seeing our government in the ridiculously cartoonish and "drowned in a bathtub" way you do above would be helpful. Without public investment via our government in one form or another for decades preceding its inception and development as the arpanet, this information superhighway we know as the internet wouldn't exist. Our pooled public resources can create solutions and resources that happen no other way, and frankly can't happen in other smaller nations. Our national labs would not exist if we did not invest via our government. This is not a false juxtaposition of public versus private as has happened on the right, though.

The strong narrative of disinformation and rightwing framing about our governance in your posts evidences the strong need we have for a national communicator to help us understand our history, our capacity to unite, and our strengths, before it is too late.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2020 at 11:50 am

Parent is a registered user.

I would like to point out how @jr1's replies to me demonstrate a habit that has developed on the right, relatively benign this instance, but not so benign usually or in the way it evidences a practice of the right's disconnect from facts or avoiding a need to understand another's perspective and new information presented in a discussion. This has everything to do with why we can't come together as a nation to solve this problem, why we continue to be harmed by disinformation in the Covid repsonse.

@jr1 hasn't responded to the substance of my posts, or has deliberately seized on something I said that wasn't the point at all, and continued to seize on it despite further clarifications. Mainly, @jr1 has chosen to make their posts ad hominem, attacking me, making unsupported suppositions about a stranger they don't know, etc. But there's a particular practice here that I hope people will start to notice, from people around them all the way up to the WH.

Above, I introduced the idea of our need for a national communicator of integrity by bringing up the fact of many people suggesting Oprah run for national office. Our potus has even felt the need to smear Oprah over that, since so many people had discussed it. The simple fact of my bringing that discussion up, without my own views on that issue, but rather to preface that I believe this comes about because of a deep need for a new and better trustworthy and trusted communication with our national government which includes real discussion, resulted in @jr1 to attack me personally, which thankfully has now been deleted. My reply, which suggested that @jr1 was attacking me for something I did not actually say, and refocusing on what I did, and suggesting @jr1 is the one who needs to take a chill pill, was a far cry from their attacking me saying I needed medical treatment for just mentioning that others have wished for Oprah Winfrey for national office.

But then notice what happens next (and was not deleted).

@jr1 says above "my only other comment to "parent"" follows with taking my exact response to @jr1, to take a chli pill, and amplifies the exact criticism back at me (in a more ad hominem way than mine, which was simply a response to @jr1's initial ad hominem attack).

I challenge others to pay attention to this tactic. The denizen of the White House has modeled this behavior and it has filtered down. The current veep used the tactic openly in the VP debates. The Republicans employed it very effectively (to the detriment of our nation) during the impeachment hearings.

If you are debating with someone on the right, and you make an apt criticism of them, they will take the exact criticism and turn it back on you later, often in the same discussion, regardless of how false the charge may be in reply.

Pence said to Kamala Harris: You are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts. That was something that originated from the left in response to the disinformation machine on the right, the potus's 20,000 lies since taking office (see the Washington post story that lists them). But since the right has become so untethered form any responsibility to the truth, they just turn it back. Harris was being factual, while Pence was interrupting to spool out one dog whistle after another, not even bothering to answer the questions posed. People noticed the interrupting, but missed the bigger more pernicious tactic: that when someone makes a due and apt criticism of someone on the right, they take it and turn it back on the person who makes it without any compunction to ensure it's apt or true.

If we do not all learn to recognize the tactics, then we are doomed to be harmed by them over and over, and our public discourse will not be beneficial, but rather simply serve to give more outlets for damaging false framing and narratives (mainly from the right, let's be real). The damaging consequences of the rise of these disinformation tactics are all in evidence now, in why this article even had to be written, and if we don't all start naming them and understanding them to take away the power the disinformers find in them, we will all continue to be harmed because of it.

Posted by Marianne Mueller
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 20, 2020 at 12:01 pm

Marianne Mueller is a registered user.

I am worried that everyone in the country believes a vaccine confers 100% immunity, I am not sure that even can be known and I look forward to some good explanation from reputable researchers on this topic as vaccines come available.

Posted by jr1
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 21, 2020 at 5:28 am

jr1 is a registered user.

Parent has certainly express her/his opinion- I'm done.

Posted by jr1
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 21, 2020 at 6:30 am

jr1 is a registered user.

To parent, I glanced at your response, I didn't say "chill pill" I said "chill out".
Looks like your editing my comments.

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