COVID-19: Part 59

June 15, 2021 6:25 pm
  • Out-of-Quarantine Day 1
  • Days spent in Quarantine: 455
  • Livermore cases: 4,345
  • Alameda County cases: 85,865; deaths: 1,225*
  • * The number of Alameda County deaths is lower than the previous posts. It seems to have been revised downward, but I have no details about that revision.
  • U.S. cases: 33,303,000+; deaths: 597,000+

The Alameda County Public Health Department is currently reporting that 59.8% of eligible Livermore residents are fully vaccinated and 72.1% are at least partially vaccinated!

The CDC is currently reporting that 51.4% of the eligible U.S. population is fully vaccinated and 61.5% is at least partially vaccinated!

Today California lifts most remaining public-health-related restrictions throughout the state. No more capacity limits or distancing requirements.

Mask requirements are still in effect for all persons in higher-risk locations like healthcare facilities and mass transit. Fully vaccinated persons no longer need to wear masks when indoors (businesses may still enforce their own rules, but may not prohibit wearing masks). Unvaccinated persons are required to continue to wear masks indoors. However, I don't think it likely we'll see much adherence to that since just saying, "I'm vaccinated" is enough to meet the state's enforcement guidelines. Mass gathering events also have some additional restrictions.

Hopefully the rates of vaccination and immunity acquired via prior infection are enough to keep things under control so life can go back to normal.

Normal, for those of us that made it through unscathed. Our family is healthy. Our extended family is healthy. 582,000-720,000 people died in the past 16 months in excess of the expected number of deaths during that time frame (according to the CDC data). The Imperial College London's paper from March 2020 warning that without mitigation measures the U.S. could lose 2.2 million people doesn't seem impossible.

We still have a disturbingly large swath of the country insisting none of this is real. The virus isn't real, but if it is it's just like the flu so it doesn't matter; the vaccine is a secret conspiracy to inject them with microchips; being asked to wear masks is just like the holocaust, the whole thing is a liberal plot to destroy democracy (somehow, there's not logic involved). None of those statements are exaggeration on my part. There are people making those claims on a regular basis. Some guy in Georgia shot and killed a cashier at a grocery store yesterday because he was asked to wear a mask. It's so messed up.

In other news, in contrast to the stock market collapsing back at the beginning, the stock market has been just constantly climbing since March 2020. It's up 79% since then, which is ridiculous.

I'm still working from my closet. The Lab is formulating a plan for returning on site. Last I heard they'll be phasing people in throughout the summer. The blanket telecommuting agreement has been extended through September.

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I've just been taken some time to read through my early blog posts in this series. Man that's a wild ride. I think I'll get those printed into a little book.

Kyle's Birthday 2021

June 13, 2021 10:52 am

My birthday this year was also the penultimate day of school for the girls and a remote-learning day. I worked from my closet for the morning while the girls got their schoolwork done and took the afternoon off. After lunch we went for a short walk at Sycamore Grove mainly as an excuse to get out of the house. The weather was probably the coolest I've had for a birthday in over a decade with a high of about 65F.

Our Sycamore Grove "hikes" rarely make it further than the hollowed out tree about a half-mile along the trail. But it makes a good stopping point and fun pictures:

After our walk in the park it was time for the girls' art class. Jess dropped them off and I sat on the couch and read a book while the house was quiet.

Once the girls were home from art class I opened presents!

Japanese, wooden, animal knick-knacks
All 3 "Castle Panic" expansions! Ahhhhhh!

With presents opened it was time to figure out dinner. I drove out to the Cheesecake Factory to pick up food--the spicy chicken chipotle pasta is yummy.

And, of course, after dinner was cake!

Bonus picture of Heather with her eyes crossed:


After work on Friday we went to Boomers! and played miniature golf to celebrate my birthday and the end of school.

Yesterday, Saturday, we went over to some friends' house and played a board game. With vaccinations going into effect and infection rates dropping life is starting to go back to normal.

Corinne and I got 2 pandemic birthdays, but it looks like Heather and Jess will only have one. Alameda County moved to the yellow tier this week and California is still planning to lift most remaining state-imposed restrictions this week on the 15th (there will still be some restrictions on mass gatherings). Messaging has been unclear and I'm not sure if Alameda County will retain any restrictions beyond the state's or not.

COVID-19: Part 58

June 1, 2021 8:17 pm
  • Quarantine Day 442
  • Livermore cases: 4,323
  • Alameda County cases: 85,335; deaths: 1,648
  • U.S. cases: 33,093,000+; deaths: 591,000+

Jess got her 2nd-dose of the Pfizer vaccine just over two weeks ago. So she is now considered to be fully vaccinated. Alameda County still has not moved to the yellow tier yet, but that's apparently not going to matter anymore. Despite most of the state still being in the orange tier, California is dropping almost all restrictions on June 15. So I guess that will be the end of our stay-at-home orders which have been in effect for 442 days so far.

According to the CDC's data, California is doing the best in the nation for 7-day case-rate per 100,000 right now--substantially better; so that's really nice to see. California has a rate of 10.2 cases per 100,000 over the past 7 days. The worst states in the country are Colorado (92.3) and Washington (90.2).

We had friends over this past weekend, inside the house to hang out, for the first time since this started.

The Lab is starting to put together a plan to bring people back on site. They're planning to phase people in throughout the summer rather than just saying, "okay, back to work now."

We booked a beach trip in August with the expectation that things will stay under control. The only weekend the hotel we like to visit in Fort Bragg had any availability was the 2nd-to-last weekend before school starts again. Everyone wants to get out and do stuff again, so everything is booked everywhere. That's going to make trying to do anything difficult for awhile.

COVID-19: Part 57

April 24, 2021 9:21 am
  • Quarantine Day 404
  • Livermore cases: 4,184
  • Alameda County cases: 82,157; deaths: 1,442
  • U.S. cases: 31,730,000+; deaths: 567,000+

Alameda County has been in the orange tier for about 4 weeks now and the trend continues to look good. So hopefully in another week or two we'll be upgraded to the yellow tier. The state of California has set a target for all restrictions being lifted by June 15 and it seems like we're on track for the public health situation to support that move.

Jess is getting her first shot of the Pfizer vaccine today with the second shot scheduled for May 15. There's a public clinic being held just down the street from us which she can walk to/from in about 5 minutes.

So things are looking pretty positive in our local area, maybe even an end in sight. However, there are some concerning trends elsewhere in the country and the world. India's case rate has skyrocketed in the last week or two and Japan has announced a new wave of lockdowns. Brazil has been a mess for a long time and that doesn't look to be changing. More locally, Michigan in particular, but also Minnesota, are not doing very well right now either (relative to the rest of the country).

Voidwarden

April 5, 2021 5:36 pm

I've been working on painting this figure from the "Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion" game a little at a time for several weeks now. The figure is 1.5 inches tall, so the detail work is pretty tough. This took about 13 hours worth of time. It looks somewhat less impressive in blown-up, high-detail photographs; so just zoom out and imagine it being quite small so the errors in detail are less noticeable.

Overall I'm happy with how it came out.

There are 4 characters in the game, so three more to go. This may be the most detailed one, but I painted it first because it's the character I'm playing.