Coronavirus

Coronavirus prison break as jails are emptied

San Diego County and California prisons and jails were being emptied of prisoners this week, part of a dramatic release of inmates aimed at slowing the spread of the virus, which can race through institutional populations with deadly impact. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department released around 400 inmates without bail Wednesday and Thursday in compliance with a state order to reduce prison populations to prevent…


Say it ain’t so! 2020 SD County Fair a no-go

With coronavirus ravaging the land from sea to shining sea and then some, and the need to socially isolate and avoid crowds, was there any doubt the San Diego County Fair would happen. Nope, and it became official this week as the 2020 San Diego County Fair website magically transformed into the 2021 San Diego County Fair page proclaiming in large white letters: “We’ll see…


SD County officials waffle over COVID-19

San Diego County officials have held daily news conferences since the beginning of March to update the public on the coronavirus pandemic. Almost every day, they provide the latest numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths, recite the newest guidelines and rules for residents to follow, and explain the ever-changing steps they’re taking to curtail the spread of the highly contagious virus and the deadly disease…


San Diego ag all the rage in coronavirus age

Loss of business due to mass closures of restaurants, schools and corporate cafeterias in response to COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders has small farms looking to collaborate as they try to adapt to the crisis by finding new markets and changing sales strategies, according to Ching Lee, an assistant editor of Ag Alert, published by the California Farm Bureau. During a webinar last week aimed at helping…


Tales from the coronavirus home front

Tie a yellow ribbon Tie a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree first appeared in a 1973 hit song by Tony Orlando & Dawn. It was a reference to an unnamed prisoner, according to Dr. Jack Santino, a folklorist. Yellow ribbons became a national obsession during the 1979 Iranian Hostage Crisis as trees across the nation were decked out in them to show solidarity…


Coronavirus temporary federal pop-up hospital to open at Palomar Medical Center

Coronavirus fighting came home to roost Sunday, April 5 as San Diego County officials announced plans for a 250-bed federal temporary hospital to open at Escondido, helping expand the local capacity to treat patients during the viral pandemic. The pop-up “hospital within a hospital” will be installed on the 10th and 11th floors of the Escondido facility as a fully functioning hospital and will add to the…


ACLU: Release COVID-19 at-risk detainees (Updated 4/13 — Detainees released.)

Updated Monday, April 13….ACLU clients, Yusuf Ozdemir and Jane Doe, were released the night of Thursday, April 9; and Miguel Angel Benitez and Issis Yoselin Zelaya Sagastume were released the following Friday night. “Our plaintiffs’ release from custody is a victory for them and their families,” said Monika Y. Langarica, immigrants’ rights staff attorney with the ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties. “We urge ICE to continue…


Here come the coronavirus scams and frauds

Vaccine kits. “Silver Solution” treatment. Even coronavirus-fighting toothpaste. The swindles have begun. As Americans struggle to cope with the spread of COVID-19, they will also need to brace themselves for “disaster fraud”—those cons that rely on post-catastrophe chaos to separate people from their money.  In late March—two months after the first case was confirmed in the U.S.—the Justice Department filed its first enforcement action on…


California hospitals face coronavirus surge

California’s hospitals thought they were ready for the next big disaster. They’ve retrofitted their buildings to withstand a major earthquake and  whisked patients out of danger during deadly wildfires. They’ve kept patients alive with backup generators amid sweeping power shutoffs and trained their staff to thwart would-be shooters. But nothing has prepared them for a crisis of the magnitude facing hospitals today. “We’re in a…


Being isolated: Buddhist chaplain’s wisdom

“It’s a paradox. Isolation can be a window to deeper connections with ourselves and others. It can shock us out of a habitual way of living.” That’s the message from Jonathan Prescott. A resident of Guemes Island in the San Juans, the Buddhist chaplain, pastoral counselor, and ordained student of world-renowned Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, Prescott works with patients as well as caregivers in…