A COVID-19 “Kiss” – Keep it simple & help re-open your town

Keep it simple —  here’s some ways that   you  can help  open your CA town or city.

It’s what you do —  and what you tell your government to do — that will get the economy humming again and do so safely.

Rule #1:   Expect zero from the government and  figure out what you can do each and every day to solve  problems related to  management of COVID-19. It’s what you do — not what the government tells you to do — that matters.

Every town is different.  The following is about Santa Cruz CA and their local paper the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Santa Cruz has lots of tourists and a  U.C. facility.

A “take away”  from reading  several stories in the 5/29  Santa Cruz Sentinel:   Local  government bureaucracy grinds on and on  doing little  to re-open the economy.  Local health officials trend along with what state officials say to do.

Put the  three  5/29  Sentinel stories  regarding  COVID-19  together  and you read that Santa Cruz County Public Health Officer  Dr. Gail Newel  is miffed that  Gov Newsom did not do as she expected. “The  governor is not following the cadence that was expected” she says.”  That’s a low whine.  Gail Newel  thinks Santa Cruz has taken “a very thoughtful approach” and now working “fast and furious” to re-open.   Don’t hold your breath, Santa Cruz folks.  This  local public health officer   is part of the ‘too little and too late’ crowd.  More businesses will flounder. There will be more domestic abuse.  And more depressed kids.

One wonders why  Santa Cruz County has such a low death rate from COVID-19. Is it low because of how the health officials count?     Health official  Gail Newel says that the state health statistics which currently  list 3 deaths and not 2  for Santa Cruz County are in error because the third death  had the virus but that person  did not die from the virus.    

So when a cluster of elderly living in a Santa Cruz county group home who have diabetes and high blood pressure and obesity die after infected with COVID-19 from a staff person that means those persons did not die from the virus  but rather from their pre-existing conditions and therefore should not be counted in the local  COVID-19 count? Is it the way in which Santa Cruz County health officers  count deaths?  A way  that makes for such a  low count?  

How many residents in any Santa Cruz county long term facility have  died since COVID-19 (early Appril) became a serious health problem?  Were any of those persons tested for COVID-19? Since testing is not mandatory  for long term  health facilities / nursing homes and only now, three months into the pandemic, state government suggests that a  testing plan be made …. There is no easy way to know how many have died due to the virus while living in a nursing home.   

Look elsewhere how COVID-19 deaths are counted.  All over the USA health departments are counting deaths which include a positive COVID-19 test as a death due to the virus.  But not Santa Cruz County according to health officer Gail Newel.

Rule #2:  Isolation is bad for the soul and hard on people.   We punish people by locking them up — remember that.     Do what’s sensible to stay  mentally healthy.

Take specific actions that put money into other people’s wallets.  Deliberately buy take out to help local restaurants stay afloat.  Go to hardware stores and stock up on items you will need in the future.

Drive around in your car  and smile and say hi and count those ‘contacts’ as part of your social routine.  Remember who and why you smiled at others.   Those smiles break  social isolation. Yours and other people’s. You help others and yourself when you smile.  Not a crocodile smile but a real smile from the soul.

Rule #3: Set a daily schedule for yourself  that includes what we have learned helps manage COVID-19:   Take  your daily temperature before and after your in-home or out-of-home  work.  Yes you should have a daily  “work” routine.  Wash your   hands frequently  with soap and water.  Keep your hands off  your face as COVID -19 gets into your body  via eyes, nose and mouth.  Keep your distance from other people as best makes sense socially.  Masks?  You figure it out.  Just another way to control people, for sure.  They are easily contaminated.  You breath in the CO2 you just exhaled.

Rule #4:  Learn how to advocate for the most vulnerable who are the most likely to get COVID-19 and die from it.  Remember — 40-50% of all COVID-19 deaths occur to elderly persons with pre-existing conditions who are  living in long term  nursing facilities.  Since that is where the bulk of deaths occur it only makes sense to do all that’s possible to ensure that staff are healthy and residents are tested and isolated from others when they test positive.

  What you will learn from the news  in the Santa Cruz Sentinel  is that  CA government has done squat — nothing — to ensure the safety of the most vulnerable citizens.  There are no required testing, isolation and contact tracing plan  of all residents and all staff persons.

Learn how to advocate for persons in  your CA town and city.   Those are our veterans, retired folks, farm workers and others  who are cared for by a variety of persons.  Staff   persons   help get the elderly to the toilet,  help feed them and when necessary may  diaper them and  routinely give medicines to them.

Remember two thirds of all Americans take 3+ medicines  on  a daily basis.     These  nursing home staff persons have close physical contact with the vulnerable elderly. And if the staff have symptoms it’s easy to pass along the virus to the residents.

How to  advocate for our most vulnerable that are in group facilities?  Go visit these long term housing facilities.   Call them.  Contact them any way you can.

In the Santa Cruz Sentinel 5/29 had the  following:  The State Department of Public Health issues a letter saying facilities should draft  testing plans for all residents in settings without cases and all residents who have been exposed to the virus. That this Letter  says it would be a good thing …. means that three months into the pandemic our CA  state government and local  government have no standards in place and no ‘blue print’ to offer so testing, isolation and finding others exposed  is routinely done of persons in long term facilities.

One way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is to require daily temperature  testing of  staff  and that they fill out a brief questionnaire  as to possible symptoms they had during work.    Couple monitoring of staff with   appropriate testing of all residents.

Santa Cruz County has about 10-12 long term care facilities which care for about 1,066 persons. The staff that care for them are not highly paid R.N’s but LVN and others without letters after their name.  They may or may not be trained in how  COVID-19 spreads.  Some may live in crowded living conditions which exist in pockets  throughout Santa Cruz County.  Keeping a close watch on symptoms by staff and residents is crucial to keeping our most vulnerable safe.

Another way to reduce   COVID-19  is to take the needed tests to the  facilities.  That way testing of staff and residents  will be frequent and regular.     A handful of churches in mid-County  currently  fund a truck which provides showers for the homeless.  That’s been going on for a year or so.   What about a  truck that  would go  around to the long term care facilities and brings test kits  to these facilities?

Now is the time to politely ask  your  county  health officer and other government officials  to provide  immediate and regular  testing of all staff and residents of local nursing homes.

As individuals we can do lots to stop COVID-19 in its tracks.  Government can test and should test immediately and regularly those most likely to die from it — the elderly with pre-existing conditions.

What say you? What  do you suggest  that can help re-open your CA town  safely and now?

written by licensed psychologist Cameron Jackson    DrCameronJackson@gmail.com

How can you stop spread of COVID-19 in CA?

What can you do to stop spread of COVID-19 in CA?  Use the particular skill set you have.  We all have one.  Use yours.

Dr. Erickson of Kern County did his own thinking and he concludes that lots of people get the virus but few die from it.  About 0.02% die from it which is about double the number of persons who die from flu every year.   Those who die from COVID-19  are the elderly with pre-existing conditions.

Imagine that you are a  newly  minted attorney in CA. How can you  help stop deaths by COVID-19 in CA?  Attorneys are trained to think logically and to think for themselves.   

First of all don’t believe the experts, don’t believe Gov. Newsom and don’t believe whatever your local health officer in your county says. The BIG PICTURE is that old people die in nursing homes.

Example why to question the “experts”:     Santa Cruz County’s health officer Gail  Newel  recently double booked and walked out of a ZOOM meeting scheduled by the City of Santa Cruz.   One wonders what meeting she went off to  attend that was more important than addressing questions from the public.  This not very tech  savey  Santa Cruz County public health officer  Dr. Newel  does not use  an electronic calendar.   With an electronic calendar Dr. Newel  would know ahead of time that she had double booked.

Gov. Newsom is another example why you should not trust  “the experts” or  politicians.   Gov. Newsom recently shut down a facility for veterans which costs $25K  a year while giving $100 million to illegal families who have COVID-19 related expenses.   So who does Gov. Newsom want to protect more — veterans who are old or young illegal families?

Headline in Santa Cruz Sentinel today  5/28/2020:   County may apply for reopening variance.  Local news is that 5 large restaurants in neighboring county  Monterey are opening up entirely.  So if Monterey can do it why is Santa  Cruz so slow?   Don’t trust your local  Santa Cruz county health department to know squat. They follow ‘orders’ from above which goes to the Democrat Party and Gov. Newsom.

Remember  — think for yourself and think outside the box.

Some basics you  can do to reduce deaths by COVID-19 in CA:

  1.  Get business cards &  a simple  web site  page functioning     Call a web page:    CA Health Justice for Elderly Patients   & Staff 
  2.  Focus on  the BIG problem in CA:  deaths of vulnerable persons in long term care facilities.  Statistics show that  50+% of  CA COVID-19  deaths occur in long term care facilities.  Old people with multiple health conditions get the virus and  die in these facilities.   Staff  may bring infections or may get infected. As CA citizens take it into their own hands to ‘put out the fire’ where the fire is bigest — that will do a lot to manage the virus overall.   Overall, lots of people are or well get infected BUT few die.  Those who die are the elderly with pre-existing conditions.
  3. Remember  the overall make up of workers employed  in long term care facilities. What kind of training have they had about bacteria and spread of virus?   When staff leave where do they go and who do they contact?
  4.   Connect with resources at CANHR.    Look at the website for  California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform  CANHR offers two Online courses for Attorneys in June 2o2o.  They have a website specific for  COVID-19.
  5.  Tell CANHR that  you are an attorney — or whatever your professional  skill set is —  and what you know about COVID-19. Tell CANHR you want to do what you can in your local community.
  6. ……more to come what you can do about COVID-19