COVID 2021

COVID PM: Hoping to see red soon, and a cool letter from Plum Street

Hey, everybody, happy Monday evening. Looks like we’ve got a bit of weather headed our way, but it shouldn’t be enough to dampen the expected sunny news of tomorrow.

Yes, folks, we’re expected to meet the metrics Tuesday for the red tier — and if we continue the good work of keeping our airborne pathogens to ourselves, it might not be too long before we get to orange again. More on that below.

Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention helped fill in some of the missing post-vaccine information gaps for people today and the potential opportunities for normalcy are somewhat staggering to read. (ie. You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.) More on that below too.

And now on to this evening’s headlines...

Still on track for red

Numbers

COVID TODAY: The state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy data will be updated tomorrow and is expected to contain good news for Santa Cruz County: a move from purple into the red tier. Local trends in cases, hospitalizations, and positivity rate continue trending downwards, and the red tier will mean new liberties allowed for all residents and businesses. Our Mallory Pickett goes over the rest of today’s COVID data.

You’re vaccinated...now what can you do?

Auditorium
(Via Pixabay)

LIFE AFTER VACCINE: People who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can resume some parts of their old life but must remain vigilant in many ways as the pandemic continues, according to new federal guidance from the CDC. Our content partner the LA Times explores what this means for gatherings, non-essential travel, etc.

Three local nonprofits - Homeless Garden Project, Save Our Shores, and Teen Kitchen Project - are working hard to...

More from here & elsewhere

California is far from herd immunity, making a 4th COVID-19 wave possible. Here’s how (LA Times)
California launches way any resident can become vaccine eligible (SF Gate)
Fear of needles may keep many people away from COVID vaccines (NBC News)
State says 6,300 people were underdosed at Oakland Coliseum (SF Gate)
Why scientists are infecting healthy volunteers with the coronavirus (NPR)
March and April are critical months in stopping another COVID-19 surge, CDC director says (CNN)
The Lost Year: What the pandemic cost teenagers (Pro Publica)
White House: Covid relief checks could reach millions by end of month (NBC News)

One year later, here we are

Carolyn Coleman of the Plum Street Neighbors in Seabright sent along this great story about how they have been coping...

We have a plan to mark one year of COVID life as we have many weeks over the past 12 months with a careful, masked, socially distanced 5 p.m. Friday street gathering (aka happy hour). The pandemic has brought our special Seabright block even closer and deepened relationships with neighbors who are the people that we have SEEN the most in-person over the past year.

Friday night action on Plum St.
(Courtesy Carolyn Coleman)

We’ve stood outside porches to sing happy birthday accompanied by 9-year-old Lucy on her violin, toasted wedding anniversaries, celebrated school graduations, composed silly poems for National Haiku Day, organized a costume street parade for the kids on Halloween, were surprised by a nighttime visit of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, left cookies and jam and backyard chicken eggs on the doorstep, shared fruit and vegetables from our gardens, borrowed tools, enjoyed our neighbor’s home-baked bagels (a business created in COVID), and just cheered each other up along the way. Going through this past year in community has made a world of difference and we are so grateful.

Have a similar story to share? Hit reply and send it my way.

Ask Lookout: You ask, we try to answer...

Q: What is the proper definition of “fully vaccinated”?

A: Someone is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the final required shot, according to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC. Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines entail two doses, administered weeks apart, while the newly arriving Johnson & Johnson vaccine needs only a single shot.

#BOLO

When we get word that we are officially headed back to the red tier tomorrow (assuming no whammies...knocking on wood), we will make sure you are the first to know.

See you tomorrow!

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor