Coronavirus

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Juana
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Re: Coronavirus

#721 Post by Juana » Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:29 pm

chaos wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:59 am
Things are a mess in Texas and Florida.

Texas Children's Hospital is now admitted adult patients with Covid19 since the surrounding hospitals have no room. This is noteworthy since the Children's Hospital is located in Houston, and Houston has over 80 hospitals. Gov Greg Abbott still has not issued any mandatory stay-at-home and/or mask-wearing orders.

Yesterday, Florida Gov Ron DeSantis said he doesn't want hospitals to report the number of people in ICU beds; he only wants the number of people receiving ICU level care reported. :confused: :eyes:
Last two weeks 9k more cases in TX.. let that sink in. Rivers and parks are getting closed but bars still allowed to operate..

clickie
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Re: Coronavirus

#722 Post by clickie » Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:11 am

Florida breaks a new record everyday like 5000 per day now. For fathers day some of my friends went out to eat and the servers and entire staff weren't wearing gloves or masks. They said the waitress was only about 5 feet tall too so her face was right against the table.

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Pandemonium
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Re: Coronavirus

#723 Post by Pandemonium » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:06 am

Juana wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:29 pm
Last two weeks 9k more cases in TX.. let that sink in. Rivers and parks are getting closed but bars still allowed to operate..
At this point, it's down to numbers. States are looking at this like accountants in an insurance company - what kind of numbers of infected, seriously ill people versus tax revenue from keeping businesses open to whatever degree is acceptable? Why do you think pot shops and liquor stores in many counties never fell under the umbrella of being ordered to close over the past Spring? They're huge tax generators. Closing or re-closing some businesses or parks or whatever which in many cases are down near the bottom of areas where you'd most like get infected is feel good window dressing for politicians who want to still appear they are concerned about public health while also keenly aware they need to bring in some taxes to to keep their heads above water short term. Going forward, State and Federal budgets are going to be catastrophically cut over the next few years as some states skirt bankruptcy.

Add to that, the terribly inconsistent way the lockdown was handled by both the Feds and Local governments pissed a lot of people off. Roughly 1 in 4 people able to work are out of a job now and there's a lot of fear and anxiety just about the next few months, much less the coming year. Remember, the plan was the original lockdown was to "flatten the curve" and give the medical community time to get up to speed to handle an eventual flood of critically ill patients. Based on those theories, we should be prepared by now. Another full tilt lockdown especially with no guarantee of another personal/business financial bailout is not going to work, especially in major cities.

One theory that looks to have been disproved is that warm Summer temps would burn out the virus. That hasn't happened.

As an aside, it will be interesting to see how the tax season goes next year - a lot of people are going to owe thousands of dollars because they collected unemployment and stimulus money without paying taxes on that income as they got it.

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chaos
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Re: Coronavirus

#724 Post by chaos » Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:13 am

Pandemonium wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:06 am
As an aside, it will be interesting to see how the tax season goes next year - a lot of people are going to owe thousands of dollars because they collected unemployment and stimulus money without paying taxes on that income as they got it.
The stimulus money is tax free for federal purposes. With regard to state taxes - I don't think they will apply, but each state can do its own thing so who knows.

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Pandemonium
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Re: Coronavirus

#725 Post by Pandemonium » Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:48 pm

chaos wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:13 am

The stimulus money is tax free for federal purposes. With regard to state taxes - I don't think they will apply, but each state can do its own thing so who knows.
The extra $600 per week on top of unemployment is tax free at least on the Fed level?

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chaos
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Re: Coronavirus

#726 Post by chaos » Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:58 pm

Pandemonium wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:48 pm

The extra $600 per week on top of unemployment is tax free at least on the Fed level?
I don't know about unemployment/extra unemployment.

There are no Federal taxes on the individual stimulus checks ($1200 per individual, $2400 married, $500 per kid).

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Hype
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Re: Coronavirus

#727 Post by Hype » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:35 pm

One theory that looks to have been disproved is that warm Summer temps would burn out the virus. That hasn't happened.
That was never a theory. That was Trump confusing Covid-19 with the Flu and claiming it would be gone by April because he's a craven lunatic / idiot. Epidemiologists have been clear this whole time that that's not how it was going to play out. Nothing changed. There will, by the way, be a second wave if/when the first wave in the US ever burns out. Anyway, there will be a second wave everywhere else, and they've very concerned that the virus will mutate further and become even more deadly (especially to younger people).

The United States has spectacularly bungled this, to the point where its closest ally is still maintaining closed borders, while that country is slowly and safely going through multiple stages of reopening.

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chaos
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Re: Coronavirus

#728 Post by chaos » Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:09 pm


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Pandemonium
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Re: Coronavirus

#729 Post by Pandemonium » Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:11 pm

Hype wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:35 pm
One theory that looks to have been disproved is that warm Summer temps would burn out the virus. That hasn't happened.
That was never a theory. That was Trump confusing Covid-19 with the Flu and claiming it would be gone by April because he's a craven lunatic / idiot. Epidemiologists have been clear this whole time that that's not how it was going to play out. Nothing changed. There will, by the way, be a second wave if/when the first wave in the US ever burns out. Anyway, there will be a second wave everywhere else, and they've very concerned that the virus will mutate further and become even more deadly (especially to younger people).
Trump repeated that opinion, but that theory came from a fair number of so-called independent health experts including the WHO and notably disease specialists in China. Most news outlets also gave weight to this belief during the late Winter and early Spring including CNN, etc. The opinion was that a CV19 epidemic would propagate and resolve over Summer months much like SARS did.

As for younger people becoming the leading age group spreading the virus in the coming months... well, what do you expect when that demographic ignores social distancing and mask guidelines to protest and party? That's not on Trump, that's on the very people who are suddenly the leaders in being infected and spreading the virus.
Hype wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:35 pm
The United States has spectacularly bungled this, to the point where its closest ally is still maintaining closed borders, while that country is slowly and safely going through multiple stages of reopening.
You get no argument from me on that fact. But the blame isn't solely on Trump, there's plenty to spread around including State and Local politicians. And a certain segment of our population who are just too stupid and narcissistic to follow even a simple directive to not congregate and wear a mask in public.

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Hype
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Re: Coronavirus

#730 Post by Hype » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:15 pm

Pandemonium wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:11 pm
Hype wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:35 pm
One theory that looks to have been disproved is that warm Summer temps would burn out the virus. That hasn't happened.
That was never a theory. That was Trump confusing Covid-19 with the Flu and claiming it would be gone by April because he's a craven lunatic / idiot. Epidemiologists have been clear this whole time that that's not how it was going to play out. Nothing changed. There will, by the way, be a second wave if/when the first wave in the US ever burns out. Anyway, there will be a second wave everywhere else, and they've very concerned that the virus will mutate further and become even more deadly (especially to younger people).
Trump repeated that opinion, but that theory came from a fair number of so-called independent health experts including the WHO and notably disease specialists in China. Most news outlets also gave weight to this belief during the late Winter and early Spring including CNN, etc. The opinion was that a CV19 epidemic would propagate and resolve over Summer months much like SARS did.

As for younger people becoming the leading age group spreading the virus in the coming months... well, what do you expect when that demographic ignores social distancing and mask guidelines to protest and party? That's not on Trump, that's on the very people who are suddenly the leaders in being infected and spreading the virus.
Hype wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:35 pm
The United States has spectacularly bungled this, to the point where its closest ally is still maintaining closed borders, while that country is slowly and safely going through multiple stages of reopening.
You get no argument from me on that fact. But the blame isn't solely on Trump, there's plenty to spread around including State and Local politicians. And a certain segment of our population who are just too stupid and narcissistic to follow even a simple directive to not congregate and wear a mask in public.
I don't recall any reputable sources reporting that they expected Covid-19 to weaken in warmer weather. I do remember them saying they thought it could but we didn't know. But that changed very quickly. Not that it matters now, but it wasn't something the WHO ever said. They don't make claims like that.

Somehow you also misunderstood what I said about young people (and also the way you wrote that makes you sound like a cranky old person... come on man!) -- I didn't say they would be spreading it more. I said that there's a concern that it will become more deadly -- i.e., be a very different virus -- and that this will affect young people in a way it hasn't until now, not because young people aren't getting sick now, but because this is sometimes how viruses mutate, and this one is new. Again, it's not a categorical claim, it's a possibility that they're concerned about. This is separate from people wearing or not wearing masks.

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Re: Coronavirus

#731 Post by clickie » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:43 pm

I didn't get that logic from the beginning hot weather would slow this down

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Larry B.
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Re: Coronavirus

#732 Post by Larry B. » Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:27 am

Our (now former) Minister of Health said in March that it was too early to go full-quarantine, because there was a chance the virus would mutate “and become a good person.”

I’m not even kidding.

Thousands are dead and this guy won’t see a damn consequence for his inaction.

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Pandemonium
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Re: Coronavirus

#733 Post by Pandemonium » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:01 am

Hype wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:15 pm

Somehow you also misunderstood what I said about young people (and also the way you wrote that makes you sound like a cranky old person... come on man!) -- I didn't say they would be spreading it more. I said that there's a concern that it will become more deadly -- i.e., be a very different virus -- and that this will affect young people in a way it hasn't until now, not because young people aren't getting sick now, but because this is sometimes how viruses mutate, and this one is new. Again, it's not a categorical claim, it's a possibility that they're concerned about. This is separate from people wearing or not wearing masks.
The virus "mutating" into a more virulent form that could possibly affect younger people is going to happen (if it does) regardless of whatever measures and possible vaccine we can come up with. It could also mutate or evolve into a less potent, less severe, less deadly strain. We just don't know and won't until it happens, if it happens.

The deal with warm weather killing off the virus came from two positions - one being warm, dry weather, direct hot sunlight drastically shortens the lifespan of the virus on surfaces and in the air. The other and probably more easily disputed opinion is that in states like Arizona and Florida, very hot days keeps people indoors in AC and naturally limits large crowds congregating outdoors. That theory was pretty dumb to start with as people are in more confined areas for extended periods of time even in small clusters such as offices, malls, etc to escape the daytime heat which apparently is one of the driving reasons why cases are spiking in AZ and Texas.

Regarding my comment about the WHO or someone involved with them saying there's a chance the virus might weaken or die off in the Summer, I can't find the article. I could swear I read it back in early March but as I can't find any mention, thus I'll back off that claim. But there was a lot of conjecture within the medical community about this at the time as seen in just the few links below.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/topst ... r-BB139ASY

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronaviru ... weighs-in/

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/artic ... e-humidity

https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/05/asia/cor ... index.html

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Hype
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Re: Coronavirus

#734 Post by Hype » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:17 am

Yes. We all read/heard about those articles/news stories at the time. All I am pointing out (and I realize it's stupid and pedantic at this point, but I do think it's important because misinformation and scientific illiteracy are literally killing people right now) is that there is a world of difference between a single scientist saying "In other viruses we see that they are seasonal, and some of these tend to become less severe in warmer weather, so Covid-19 may be like this, but we don't know." -- which is what scientists were actually saying back in the late winter/early spring, and a health or scientific organization stating categorically: "We believe this virus will go away in the summer weather." No one said that. But because news organizations and Trump quoted scientists saying careful things about our lack of knowledge of this virus, and comparisons to other viruses, people got very confused. I recall being confused about how serious it was myself, when I was in Chicago, while it was raging on the West coast. No one in Chicago seemed worried. I saw maybe one person wearing a mask. I was at a major international conference and got sick. But at the airport they only asked if travelers had been to China or Italy recently. Things changed rapidly within a few weeks of this everywhere except the United States (though New York did seem to be working its ass off to get on top of a bad situation).

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chaos
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Re: Coronavirus

#735 Post by chaos » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:51 am

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2 ... pdates-us/

Live updates: Top U.S. health official estimates 10 undiagnosed coronavirus cases for each confirmed one

By Teo Armus, Jennifer Hassan, Hannah Knowles, Katie Mettler, Kim Bellware, John Wagner, Adam Taylor and Hamza Shaban
June 25, 2020 at 2:27 p.m. EDT

Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, estimated Thursday that for every confirmed coronavirus case, there are possibly 10 more that are undiagnosed. He also estimated that 92 to 95 percent of the U.S. population is still susceptible to the virus, and said that young people are driving the recent surge in cases in parts of the South and West

Meantime, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced that Texas would pause its reopening while it struggles to contain a surge in novel coronavirus infections. Abbott issued executive order to suspend elective surgeries at hospitals in four counties to ensure there would be room for covid-19 patients.

In New York, coronavirus hospitalizations dipped just below 1,000 for the first time since March 18, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) said.

Two states (Alabama and Nevada) have reported new single-day case highs, and four (Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada) reached seven-day rolling average highs. But it does not appear, according to early reported data, that the U.S. total would eclipse Wednesday’s record high of 38,173 cases.

Here are some significant developments:

A rush to reopen the nation’s economy without proper safety measures in place is behind this week’s spike in cases, Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, said Thursday on the “Today” show.

President Trump continued to push the discredited notion that coronavirus cases are increasing in the United States because of “GREAT TESTING” and complained that the news media was not spreading the word. While testing has increased, health experts say that in several states with rising caseloads, new cases are outpacing the spread of testing.

Worried about a simultaneous assault of the novel coronavirus and seasonal influenza this winter, public health officials and vaccine manufacturers are making millions of extra flu vaccine doses to protect the most vulnerable.

When he visits his Bedminster golf club this weekend, Trump — who traveled to Arizona, a hotspot, this week — does not plan to abide by a new travel advisory in New Jersey and nearby states telling anyone coming from places hard hit by the coronavirus to quarantine for 14 days, the White House indicated.

Macy’s is laying off 3,900 corporate employees and managers, and Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company filed for bankruptcy protection, both influenced by the coronavirus’ impact on sales, the companies said.

The World Health Organization said the global pandemic’s hotbed is now in Latin America, which has reported 100,000 fatalities as of this week. New flare-ups have also been reported in Australia, Germany and South Korea.


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Artemis
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Re: Coronavirus

#736 Post by Artemis » Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:06 pm

Today I went shopping for shoes for the first time in months. I supported a local business that was walking distance from my place. I wore a mask and upon entering the store there was a hand sanitizing station. The sales person also wore a mask and put on gloves to get the different shoes I wanted to try. While I was there only one other person came in- a man-and he also wore a mask. Other than the masks, hand sanitizer and gloves, shoe shopping was the same as pre-covid times. The shop had two separate seating areas for trying shoes at opposite ends of the store. The front counter where the cash was also had a plexiglass barrier. It was a good experience, I bought three pairs of shoes. :lol:

Unrelated to the above...

I just read on NPR this story about the favelas in Rio.

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronaviru ... HwlzBn5jy4
COVID-19 Infection Rate In Rio's Favelas Far Exceeds Official Count, A New Study Says

The number of people infected by the coronavirus in some of Brazil's poorest and most vulnerable neighborhoods could be 30 times higher than the officially registered count, according to Brazilian researchers.

Since the pandemic began, there has been intense concern about the virus's impact on these communities, including favelas where the population is predominantly poor and black.

About 1.5 million people live in Rio de Janeiro's favelas, often in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions where social distancing is difficult to implement and access to health services is limited.

In a new study, researchers carried out 3,210 rapid tests on residents of six of the city's most densely populated areas. They found the highest rate of positive tests — 28% — in Cidade de Deus, a favela made famous by the 2002 movie City of God.

The survey was carried out by Rio's mayor's department in collaboration with the Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics, a leading research and polling organization.

In Rio de Janeiro's largest favela, Rocinha, home to at least 100,000 people, the sample showed almost 1 in 4 of those tested was infected. (By comparison, studies project that 9.5% of people in São Paulo, Brazil's most populous state, are infected).

The survey's findings indicate the infection rate is much higher than the official count — more than 3,600 confirmed cases and at least 707 deaths — in the neighborhoods covered by the survey.

Projections by the survey authors suggest that in the six areas where tests were conducted, the proportion of infected people who eventually died was 1.8% or less. Rio's Mayor Marcelo Crivella says this disproves media allegations that the virus's lethality rate in his city is higher than elsewhere.

Crivella is facing mounting criticism from medical experts, who are worried by a surge in new infections in Rio after isolation measures were relaxed earlier this month. In recent days, the city's beaches and buses have been packed with people, many without masks.

Scientists and doctors say enforcement of social distancing has been made difficult because of the behavior of President Jair Bolsonaro, who has scoffed at the virus and dismissed advice to stay home or wear a mask. A federal judge this week ordered Bolsonaro to wear a mask in public, after he repeatedly appeared without one at rallies of his far-right supporters.

COVID-19 has killed more than 53,000 people across Brazil. On Tuesday, Brazil's Health Ministry announced 1,374 deaths nationwide, its second-highest daily count. Brazil has nearly 1.2 million confirmed cases, more than any other nation except the United States.

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Re: Coronavirus

#737 Post by clickie » Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:52 pm

Brazil is where the experts from WHO and CDC seemed most concerned about this virus hitting and mutating going all the way back to January.

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chaos
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Re: Coronavirus

#738 Post by chaos » Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:01 pm


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Pandemonium
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Re: Coronavirus

#739 Post by Pandemonium » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:43 pm

chaos wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:01 pm
Depending on who you believe and how they interpret the numbers, California is going to be the leader in cases in the US in a few weeks.

I think the spike in Florida is primarily about Memorial Day and opening up leading into Summer. Other states, especially here in California the protests are unquestionably a big factor. It bugs me it's being downplayed or even ignored as a factor by most media outlets.

But.... I have to say there's a significant element of the population at least locally that is all into the idiotic narcissistic "masks limit my freedom, boo hoo" bullshit. For example......

Against my better judgement, I let my wife book an hour of bowling today for us, primarily for our son who loves to bowl and hasn't since February. Right on the door going in, there's a giant sign saying masks are mandatory inside (and it's now a state law thanks to Governor Newsom) which is no big deal to us. However, we go in and the place is pretty packed with a league even though they only have every other lane open.

But out of what I'd guess was well over 100 bowlers, I'd say maybe a dozen were wearing masks. And typical for any mid-day bowling league most are old codgers. The guy at the desk said they can't tell people what to do (well, you can as it's a private establishment) and Orange County PD has publicly stated they won't enforce Newsom's decree and it's well known this area has a big contingent that is anti-mask and even scared the county health director into resigning. I wanted to turn around and walk out but my wife (who's really the one who should be careful regarding her health) had pre-paid and wanted to do it so I rolled with it.

Considering all the contact my wife and I have had in otherwise high risk situations since March (she managed a large mall, broke her arm and was hospitalized, we had workers in our house daily for 2 months after a flood plus spent a couple weeks in a motel, my son worked at a grocery store, I was regularly shopping at big high traffic places like Costco and Home Depot with zero social distancing before masks were recommended, etc) I really don't understand how we *haven't* been infected yet, at least as far as we know.

I have to think that if this virus lives up to it's hype, later this Summer is going to be apocalyptic thanks to the general stupidity of the public, myself included.

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mockbee
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Re: Coronavirus

#740 Post by mockbee » Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:17 pm

Speaking of Orange County, and other ass backward troglodyte inhabited places in the US....

Holy shit......we are screwed. :wavesad:

Amid threats and political pushback, public health officials are leaving their posts
Nichole Quick stepped down as chief health officer in Orange County, Calif., after facing threats.




By Rachel Weiner and Ariana Eunjung Cha
June 22, 2020 at 12:30 PM EDT

For Lauri Jones, the trouble began in early May. The director of a small public health department in Washington state was working with a family under quarantine because of coronavirus exposure. When she heard one family member had been out in the community, Jones decided to check in.

The routine phone call launched a nightmare.

“Someone posted on social media that we had violated their civil liberties [and] named me by name,” Jones recalled. “They said, ‘Let’s post her address. . . . Let’s start shooting.’ ”

People from across the country began calling her personal phone with similar threats.

“We’ve been doing the same thing in public health on a daily basis forever. But we are now the villains,” said Jones, 64, who called the police and set up surveillance cameras at her home.


(The Washington Post)
Public health workers, already underfunded and understaffed, are confronting waves of protest at their homes and offices in addition to pressure from politicians who favor a faster reopening. Lori Tremmel Freeman, chief executive of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, said more than 20 health officials have resigned, retired or been fired in recent weeks “due to conditions related to having to enforce and stand up for strong public health tactics during this pandemic.”

Although shutdown measures are broadly popular, a vocal minority opposes them vociferously. There have been attacks on officials’ race, gender, sexual orientation and appearance. Freeman said some of the criticisms “seem to be harsher for women.”

Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, said attacks on health officials have been particularly awful in California, Colorado, Georgia, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Summer camp in a pandemic: Abrupt closures, possible outbreaks and false alarms

This month in California, Nichole Quick, Orange County’s chief health officer, stepped down after she faced threats and protests at her home for requiring face coverings in many businesses as cases rose. The mandate, issued May 23, was softened to a recommendation a week later.

Andrew Noymer, a professor of public health at the University of California at Irvine who is part of a county task force, said it was not the first time Quick had been undermined.

On March 17, Quick issued a strict lockdown order; a day later, it was amended to add exceptions.

“It was couched as a clarification, but it was a walk-back” because of pressure from business leaders, Noymer said.

Quick’s departure is part of an exodus of public health officials across the country who have been blamed by citizens and politicians for the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody resign for the kinds of reasons we’ve seen recently,” Plescia said. “We are very concerned that if it continues to get worse, it’s going to have major implications for who will be willing to have these jobs.”

Stay safe and informed as the United States reopens with The Post’s free Coronavirus Updates newsletter

Ohio’s public health director, Amy Acton, shifted to an advisory role after enduring months of anger over the state’s preventive measures, including armed protesters at her home bearing messages including anti-Semitic and sexist slurs. One Republican lawmaker linked Acton, who is Jewish, to Nazi Germany; another called her a dictator.

Georgia’s public health director said last month that she receives threats daily and now has an armed escort.

Pennsylvania’s secretary of health, who is transgender, has come under fire over the state’s handling of the pandemic, including from a county official who resigned after saying at a recent meeting that he was “tired of listening to a guy dressed up as a woman.”

Four public health officials in Colorado have left their jobs recently.

A day after telling political leaders in Weld County, Colo., that their insistence on a speedy reopening despite a high case rate and widespread transmission was giving him “serious heartburn,” Public Health Director Mark Wallace got a 7:30 p.m. email: He had until 9 a.m., it said, to weigh in on guidelines for reopening businesses — “churches, salons, restaurants, etc.” They would go public an hour later.

Wallace, who declined to comment for this report, retired soon after.

Theresa Anselmo, executive director of the Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials, said 80 percent of members had reported being threatened and more than that were at risk of termination or lost funding.

“It’s exhausting to be contradicted and argued with and devalued and demoralized all the time, and I think that’s what you’re seeing around the country,” Anselmo said. “We’ve seen from the top down the federal government is pitting public health against freedom, and to set up that false dichotomy is really a disservice to the men and women who have dedicated their lives . . . to helping people.”

Not everyone has left willingly. In Colorado’s Rio Grande County, Emily Brown was fired, she says, after advocating a more cautious response to the virus.

“I think I just finally pushed too hard,” she said. “There was resistance to taking steps as quickly as I felt they needed to be taken or move in directions I thought we needed to.”

She had been in her position for six years and valued being part of a close-knit rural community. But during the pandemic, she began getting threatening messages online from people she considered neighbors, including one Facebook post that referenced hanging. She became worried about whom she might run into at the grocery store.

“I’ve been surprised at who professes that vitriol so vocally on platforms like social media,” she said.

Derrick Neal, who runs the public health department in Round Rock, Tex., and is past president of the state public health workers’ association, said given the virus’s impact on daily life, public health was inevitably tied up in politics. “But a community has to be healthy in order to be economically solvent,” he said. “That’s been lost in the politics of all this.”

Public health workers in California have been battered publicly by business groups, citizens and elected officials. Several have resigned.

“Half a dozen county health leaders are leaving their positions in the coming weeks. All of them have served with distinction and in the interest of public health,” California Medical Association President Peter Bretan Jr. said in a statement. “We are deeply concerned that politics may be trumping public interest.”


After Los Angeles County health official Barbara Ferrer held a news conference on May 13 saying some stay-at-home restrictions may remain in place for three more months, a doctored photo of her with dark circles under her eyes made its way across social media. One tweet, liked or retweeted more than 100,000 times, called her “the most unhealthy looking person I have ever seen.”

In a full-page ad in the local newspaper, a business council accused Santa Clara County’s public health officer, Sara Cody, of “cratering our economy” for being the first in the nation to impose a stay-at-home order. The local sheriff is now investigating threats against her.

People in the field worry that many of these vacant positions will be difficult to fill.


“This is the beginning of a wave of people leaving,” Anselmo said. “Who would want to go work as a director in a public health department when you have a target on your back?”

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