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Virus notes: August 16, 2020 -- Signs of the times

We are no longer recording the tallies for number of cases. The American politico-medical system is, to repeat a tiresome but still accurate cliché; a seamless web of incompetence and corruption overlaid with layers of evasion of responsibility – the American system du jour of government in a nutshell.

Virus notes: August 10,2020 -- Blame it on the computer

MERCED (BLJ) –On August 10, Merced County Public Health Department reported 5,735 cases of Covid-19 and 70 deaths (10 new).

California reported 561,911 cases (7,751 new) and 10,359 deaths (66 new).

The United States reported 5,173,566 cases (42,214 new) and 165,111 deaths (325 new).

The global report was 20,011,186 cases (148,587 new) and 734,755 deaths (3,406 new).

As we have reiterated, these figures are best considered approximations, but they are the best we have in the gigantic failure the American response to the pandemic continues to be. – blj

Virus notes: A pandemic of evictions and foreclosures

I asked myself the other day how mass evictions before the General Election would affect voter registration and turnout, and got a fairly grim, if imprecise answer. After reading this and some other articles I think of us on the beach, barefoot, the ocean receding and pulling sand rapidly from under our feet as the last, largest waves in the cycle built out there to return and smash our suddenly fragile shore. – blj



New York Times

Millions of Evictions Are a Sharper Threat as Government Support Ends

Virus notes: Farmwork in a year of COVID

The front page of the July 20 Modesto Bee carried the obligatory Valley Labor Whine story, “Valley growers face labor shortages, possible market woes.” The story first appeared in Vida en el Valle, a Spanish/English paper owned by the former McClatchy Co.  Actually the story is more about the plight of this year’s farmworkers than the usual (former) McClatchy Great Agribusiness Whine for possible loss of farm profits in the Valley’s top industry.

Virus notes: Letter to the Covidiots

 MERCED (BLJ) –The Merced County Public Health Department on August 5, reported 4,760 cases of COVID-19 (222 new) and 60 deaths (9 new).

California on the morning of August 6 reported 524,722 cases (5,295 new) and 9,703 deaths (202 new).

The United States on the morning of August 6 reported 4,903,385 cases (53,271 new) and 160,402 deaths (1,274 new).

The global count on the morning of August 6 is 18,752,917 cases (173,302 new) and 706,342 deaths (54,064 new).

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Atwater City Hall: Sanctuary of deplorables


For two weeks it's been clear to people who follow the pandemic that the San Joaquin Valley has become a new epicenter for its spread. It is agreed among rational American citizens that for lack of miracle drugs or vaccines, sheltering in place, locking down non-essential businesses, wearing masks, washing hands and observing social distance are the best ways to combat the lethal spread now gathering steam. These municipal and personal precautions help protect both the people who follow them and the others that come in contact with them.

Virus notes: July 28-29 -- San Joaquin Valley, new virus epicenter

MERCED (BLJ) – On Tuesday,  July 28, Merced County Public Health Department reported 3,763 cases of coronavirus ( 253 new from Monday) and 29 deaths.

On Wednesday, July 29:

California reported 475,305 cases (8,755 new) and 8,715 deaths (197 new);

The United States reported 4,510,801 cases (84,520 new) and 153,027 deaths (1,653 new);

The global report was 16,978,206 cases (240,364 new) and 666,239 deaths (6,865 new).


When the next county health obfuscator speaks ...

The next time local media is presented with an additional dose of county-health obfuscation, we suggest some  questions:

1. Is any contact tracing going on in the county?

2. How many tests are available to the public per day?

3. Have screening protocols changed since April?

4. What kind of tests are available to the public in Merced County, virus or antibody?

5. How long does it take for test results?