Lifestyle/Society

Escondido issues ‘COVID-19 Action Plan’ (Updated 4/23: 96 dead, hundreds laid off.)

(Editor’s Note: We will be updating coronavirus information on a regular basis. This report is for Thursday April 23, 2020. It is not intended as a comprehensive source, but aims to highlight resources and news of interest to the community.) San Diego County cases rise dramatically The angel of death descended on San Diego County yet again as the local death count hit 96 person…


Volunteers bring meals to local health workers

The newly-formed Front Line Appreciation Group (FLAG) San Diego chapter has delivered more than 1,000 meals prepared by local restaurants to healthcare workers in the first week since its founding on April 6.  FLAG San Diego is solely dedicated to providing an urgently-needed boost to two groups heavily affected by the coronavirus: healthcare workers on the front lines and local restaurants. The premise is simple:…


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…


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…


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…


Coronavirus culture: ‘Walden’ and fashion

Seeking to bend the coronavirus curve, governors and mayors have told millions of Americans to stay home. If you’re pondering what to read, it’s easy to find lists featuring books about disease outbreaks, solitude and living a simpler life. But it’s much harder to find a book that combines these themes. As the author of three books about essayist, poet and philosopher Henry David Thoreau,…


SD County Officials 3/21 COVID-19 Update

San Diego County officials on Saturday, March 21 re-emphasized California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new coronavirus message a day after he issued a statewide “stay home” order to stop the spread of the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. “The message is very clear,” County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., said. “All Californians are being asked to stay at home if you do…