COVID 2021

COVID PM: As June 15 becomes a grand reopening date, talk of a ‘double mutant’ variant emerges

Happy Busy COVID News Tuesday, everyone. Let’s dive right in:

PANDEMIC ENDS JUNE 15? No, not exactly. But Gov. Gavin Newsom continued his ambitious state reopening plan with a proposal to get the economy back humming in full by summer if certain conditions are met.
DOUBLE MUTANT WHAT? A variant containing two worrisome mutations, first detected in India two weeks ago, has now been pinpointed in California. Is that as scary as it sounds?
TOO MUCH TOO SOON? As people, many newly vaccinated, begin venturing out further, it’s worth asking whether this grand reopening is happening too quickly.

And now to the headlines...

California aims to fully reopen its economy June 15

Busy Boardwalk.
(Kevin Painchaud/Lookout Santa Cruz)

COVID ECONOMY: The date isn’t set in stone. And officials emphasize that getting to the point where California can widely reopen for the first time in more than a year will hinge on two factors: a sufficient vaccine supply to inoculate all those who are eligible, plus stable and low numbers of people hospitalized with the disease. More on what this will mean statewide here.

But what is a ‘double mutant’ variant?

A creative rendition of coronavirus particles.

VARIANT WATCH: The existence of a coronavirus variant containing two worrisome mutations, first discovered in India two weeks ago, has been confirmed in California. What that means and how much it should concern us here.

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Golden news for Golden State?

Busy beach.
(Kevin Painchaud/Lookout Santa Cruz)

COVID TODAY: A full reopening of California by June 15? Here’s what you need to know | A statewide look from our Southern California partner, the LA Times

PANDEMIC LIFE: Vaccinated and eager for normal life, Californians are venturing out. Is it too much too soon? | More from the Times

COVID POLITICS: Newsom vows to reopen California in June, a high-stakes political gamble | CalMatters digs into this topic

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More from here & elsewhere

Sweden’s Pandemic Experiment (The New Yorker, penned by Lookout’s Mallory Pickett)
Northern California cafe offers controversial 50% discount for those willing to toss their masks (SF Gate)
How safe is it to stay at a hotel right now? (CNN)
Youth sports and other extracurriculars are spreading Covid-19, health officials say (CNN)
How One Man — And A Creative Map — Made A Difference In Panama’s COVID-19 Crisis (NPR)
COVID vaccine eligibility is coming for all adults. But what about availability? (USA Today)
Why you really need to get the second dose of a two-shot vaccine (NBC News)
Texas governor bans mandated COVID-19 ‘vaccine passports’ (ABC News)
How to talk to believers of COVID-19 conspiracy theories (ABC News)
SF office vacancy hits an all-time high, surpassing dot-com bust (SF Gate)

Sign up for our next event

Santa Cruz Is Open event.
(Event Santa Cruz)

In the next free event in Lookout’s COVID 2021 series, we explore how local tourism, amusement, museum and other reopenings are shaping up — and what that means for you, your family and the region’s economy.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 14 at 6 p.m.
WHO: We will talk to Visit Santa Cruz County Communications Director Christina Glynn, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk communications chief Kris Reyes, Coast Redwoods Hospitality CEO Bijal Patel and Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History Executive Director Robb Woulfe.
REGISTER: Sign up now for this free Zoom event

We will sort through the confounding world of COVID again tomorrow.

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor