The “staycation” has gotten markedly less fun in the last few weeks as the number of locally diagnosed cases has increased. We have been sobered by the two reported deaths. It hasn’t helped that the projected end has been shifted, first to the end of April, then the middle of May and now the end of May. One of my friends has suggested that we are really “household hostages” but I’m holding out for something a little more hopeful.
Two studies of antigens in a randomized segment of the population performed by Stanford and USC, surveying populations in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, respectively, have been released in the last week. Antigens appeared in the blood of those tested at a rate that indicates that 10 to 20 times more people than have currently been diagnosed with COVID-19 have been exposed to the virus. The good thing is that most people don’t seem to develop the disease. The bad thing is that some portion of that number is capable of asymptomatically infecting others.
Like most of you, I have been social distancing for over a month and feel well. I’ve been working as part of the CERT group assisting the city with poster duty for the markets and gas stations for the western end of town. I have been masked and gloved for those interactions but would feel terrible if I had unwittingly exposed someone or brought something home to my wife. I regret that I did not join the line last week at City Hall. I’ve just heard that the city is trying to set up another drive-through testing later this week. If they succeed, I will go and submit myself to the nasal swab.
I am also eagerly awaiting the availability of an antigen test when it becomes available in the community. The USC test projects that around 5 percent of the population of the county has antigens indicating that their body has fought off the infection. I’d rather know.
I’ve also learned that I can be supremely annoying at times in the house. Sara was kind enough to say that doing this by herself would have been even worse. We had our 32nd anniversary earlier this month and it still seems likely that we will make it to the 33rd, I hope.
As you might have guessed, this has been a tough time for The Malibu Times and other local papers across the country. Businesses that have been shut down for the duration have very little incentive to advertise. As advertising income craters, it becomes more difficult to make the free distribution model work. The Malibu Times is asking people to subscribe and or make a contribution and have set up an interesting competition for the columnists. When you make a contribution, you get to pick a favorite content author. Please vote for Paul Grisanti… or Rick, Burt, Diane, Kim, Teresa, Ted, Left and Right, letters or even Arnold! Let’s have some fun with this.