COVID 2021

COVID PM: How a fax machine fits into some COVID misinformation, plus some cool Lookout developments

Hello, COVID PM party people — we have a couple interesting virus-related developments to throw your way, but first a few things going on around here that have us pretty excited ... and forward-looking:

1) INSIDER EVENT #1: One of the things we’re all about here at Lookout is tuning into the place we live and love and cover. And one thing that’s palpable: People are yearning for some normalcy. Part of that used to include cool live music by local talent at cool local venues (remember that?) and so our first ‘SC Insiders’ event on Monday, May 3, aims to capture that long-lost essence. We’re saving five seats for Taylor Rae at Humble Sea for those who become new members — so now’s the time to join if you’ve been meaning to anyway!

Singer, songwriter and Santa Cruz native, Taylor Rae
(Matthew Swinnerton / Lookout Santa Cruz)

2) THE BIG FOOD EVENT: A day later, on Tuesday the 4th, I get to chop it up with some of the top chefs in Santa Cruz. Amber Turpin and I will host a free zoom event with Damani Thomas, Brad Briske and Gema Cruz. We promise to make it fun, and to look ahead to the good times, so sign up for it here.

SC Eats

3) THE NEW HIRE: Between the businesses that have closed down, those that have sprung forth from the ether, and those that have suddenly flourished the past year, there are no shortage of good pandemic-related business stories to be told around here. I can’t wait till our new guy Neil Strebig walks into the office for the first time on May 17. Send me ideas to have waiting for him!

And now to the day’s headlines, which include a story by our Mallory Pickett that takes us back in time to a day when fax machines were still a super-important component of daily life. Oh wait, apparently that’s still now!

Just the fax, ma’am: Why The Times shows case spikes here

The New York Times COVID-19 tracker appears to show an April surge in Santa Cruz.
(The New York Times)

COVID TODAY: According to the New York Times, Santa Cruz is the third worst county in the state in terms of per capita cases. The paper’s tracker shows days in April with 40 or 70 cases, numbers that haven’t been seen here since the winter surge. On its website Wednesday, The Times showed residents here to be at a “very high risk” for exposure to the virus — one of only five California counties to be deemed as such. The explanation for the discrepancy is simple, and comes down to old-school technology and a quirk in data reporting. Mallory Pickett illuminates that issue here.

Buying locally produced food and goods benefits you and your community in more ways than you think.

When do I still need to wear a mask and when can I go without?

Masked people shop in Santa Cruz County
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

PANDEMIC LIFE: Despite some early mixed messages, health officials have repeatedly told Americans that wearing a face mask — both indoors and outdoors — is essential to curbing the spread of the coronavirus. But as COVID-19 slows dramatically, that advice is changing. People who are now fully vaccinated for COVID-19 can safely stop wearing masks in many outdoor settings, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. The LA Times took a closer look at what that means.

COVID SIDE EFFECTS: Doctors prescribe more opioids to COVID-19 ‘long haulers,’ raising addiction fears (LA Times)

COVID EDUCATION: California looks for aid from Biden’s plans for tuition-free community college and higher Pell Grants (EdSource)

COVID RECOVERY: You Don’t Have to Suffer to Benefit From Covid Vaccination — But Some Prefer It (Kaiser Health News)

Dr. Fernando Lozano, Professor of Economics and Chair of the department at Pomona College, gives his take on how the...

More from here & elsewhere

Child with COVID dies during vaccinated family’s trip to Hawaii (SF Gate)
These reasons for not getting a shot don’t hold up. In fact, they’ll set the US back (CNN)
More liberal CDC coronavirus guidelines could come soon, Fauci says (CNN)
15 of the safest activities for the fully vaccinated -- with and without face masks (CNN)
Apple continues COVID-19 momentum with strong sales of iPads, Macs ... and, of course, iPhones (USA Today)
Wisconsin Catholic priest warns congregants against COVID vaccine, defying pope and his bishop (NBC News)
Dr. Fauci says Joe Rogan ‘incorrect’ to tell young people not to get vaccinated (NBC News)
Tokyo Olympics organizers unveil new playbooks, will decide on spectators in June (ABC News)
Need another reason to get vaccinated? It prevents sepsis, the condition that makes COVID-19 deadly (SF Gate)

We made it over the hump, people — see you tomorrow!

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor