OC Covid News: Purple Tier, Soka Supersite, Steel Mortifies.


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We’re back in “Purple Tier,” as Second Vaccine Supersite Opens Up at Soka U! (And Steel being Steel.)

Our County Overlords just announced, with great fanfare and jubilation, that, due to our hard work and good behavior, the state has put the OC into Tier 1, the “Widespread” or “Purple Tier,” the most restrictive one.

Wait, what? 

No, seriously, wait, what?

Yes, for the past seven weeks, we’ve been in WORSE than Tier 1, worse than the Purple Tier, perhaps the Black Tier, or Tier ZERO – namely, a “STAY AT HOME ORDER.”  What, you weren’t staying at home?  I don’t want to hear about it.

Two questions – what will be different now, from yesterday, and what happened to loosen things up a tiny bit?  Last question first:

Most importantly, our 4-week ICU capacity projections, which had been close to zero, are now back to above 15% – the bare minimum they should be.  New cases and hospitalizations have been decreasing.  DEATHS ARE STILL INCREASING – but then, deaths are a “lagging indicator” when you think about it.  Do you want a metaphor for “lagging indicator?”  It’s like when you get to the top of a roller coaster, and you’re going fast, and the car you’re in suddenly dips back down, but your body keeps going UP for a second, straining on the seatbelt, before it plops back down into the seat.  Well the seat is like new cases and hospitalizations, and your lagging body is like the death rate.  You’re welcome.

Explains Cal HHS Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, “California is slowly starting to emerge from the most dangerous surge of this pandemic yet, which is the light at the end of the tunnel we’ve been hoping for.  Seven weeks ago, our hospitals and front-line medical workers were stretched to their limits, but Californians heard the urgent message to stay home when possible and our surge after the December holidays did not overwhelm the health care system to the degree we had feared.”.

And what will be different now, from the last seven weeks’ Tier Zero?  For one thing, the state’s Limited Stay at Home Order, which limited non-essential activities between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., is history.  And just like in the good old days of November, to quote Anaheim’s Erin Ryan, “Restaurants can now LEGALLY resume outdoor dining [which actually many of them had never stopped], hair and nail salons can re-open, essential stores can operate at 50% capacity, while other retailers are at 25%.  Gyms and fitness centers are unchanged – they can operate outdoors when they have the space to do so.”  Or maybe you’d rather hear it directly from Erin:

In other words you won’t notice a big difference but it’s nice that we’re making a little progress.  The County emphasizes that we should all keep doing what we’ve been (ideally) doing:  Get Tested!  Stay Home if you can, ESPECIALLY if you’re not feeling well!  Don’t Gather, Wear a Mask, Wash Your Hands!

And especially, SIGN UP TO GET VACCINATED – at othena.com, if you don’t have another handy way to do it.  My doctor told me to SIGN UP NOW even though I’m only a youthful exuberant 60 and it’s not my time yet – they’ll call me with an appointment as soon as they’re able.  And you should too.

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Twelve days ago I wrote about the first of the County’s five planned Vaccine Supersites, at Disneyland’s Toy Story parking lot in Anaheim.  They’ve done over 40,000 vaccinations so far, to first responders, healthcare workers and folks over 65.  The HIGH WINDS of last week caused them to close down two days.  I guess they’re getting better at dealing with that because today’s winds were HELL OF HIGH, and they still stayed open till 3:30.

Saturday Saw the opening of the Second Super Site, at South county’s Soka University.  Soka is that Buddhist-run non-denominational joint that you drive past on the southbound side of the 5, that puts up lots of Xmas decorations in December.  They too are gearing up for 5000 vaccinations a day – South County is nonstop Seniors, and this site is conveniently close to Laguna Woods. 

Soka will be injecting the Pfizer vaccine and Anaheim will be continuing to dispense the Moderna.  Yes there was a brief scare over some RARE Moderna side-effects, but the state quickly said “Never mind.”  [See illustration of Gilda Radner as Emily Littela, above.]  Supplies of vaccine are far below demand still, in all cities and counties – patience, and remember we’re just coming off four years without a real President. 

In coming weeks we’re expecting a new vaccine that’ll require only ONE shot instead of TWO – this one from (ironically) Johnson and Johnson.

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One bright spot for this inept and backward county will be March 9’s supervisorial election – our Board of Supervisors is GUARANTEED to be better and more competent with Michelle Steel replaced, whether that is with Democrat Katrina Foley, honest Republican John Moorlach, or even any of the klepto-RINO spoilers – nobody could be worse than anti-masker, COVID-denying Steel, who mortified her coastal constituents the other day with this account of her own brush with Covid, in classic Steel-ese:

“And you know what 99% of people that they survive, and you know what I went through I lost few weights it’s a (laughs) VERY GOOD WAY TO LOSE YOUR WEIGHT! And you know what…”.

The Orange Juice Blog will be conducting an online debate between Moorlach and Foley in the coming weeks.  Keep coming back, and keep taking care of yourself and each other – remember, the top of the roller coaster, and we’re going back down even if your body doesn’t feel it yet!


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.