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-   -   How Is Covid-19 Impacting Life in Your City? (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=242036)

Pedestrian Oct 26, 2020 9:38 PM

Quote:

How San Francisco became a COVID-19 success story as other cities stumbled
By MAURA DOLANSTAFF WRITER
OCT. 25, 20205 AM UPDATED12:49 PM

SAN FRANCISCO — Much of San Francisco looked like a ghost town during late April. All but essential services were closed. Few roamed the streets. The mood seemed as grim as the gray skies overhead.

Now life has returned. Restaurants and stores are open. Clad in masks, pedestrians last week clutched bags from stores where they had just shopped. Diners sat at tables outside restaurants and cafes. People strolled along the bay on the Embarcadero, and a huge Ferris wheel opened for business at Golden Gate Park.

After cautiously approaching the pandemic for months, with a go-slow attitude toward reopening, San Francisco has become the first urban center in California to enter the least restrictive tier for reopening. Risk of infection, according to the state’s color-coded tiers, is considered minimal, even though San Francisco is the second-densest city in the country after New York.

City officials still are not declaring victory. Characteristically, they warn, the virus still lurks around the corner. And as they have before, they will follow local metrics rather than reopen just because the state allows it.”

Experts credit San Francisco’s success to a long partnership between public health officers and universities, most notably during the AIDS crisis. San Francisco is not monolithic, but its residents largely followed health guidelines. Unlike other counties, which may have dozens of mayors and city councils, San Francisco is also a city with only one mayor and a Board of Supervisors, and both have largely deferred to the judgment of health officials.

The tech industry, which has a prominent presence in San Francisco, played a role too. Companies ordered their employees to work from home two weeks before San Francisco and other Bay Area counties shut down . . . . That not only kept more people off the streets but signaled to the rest of the region that industry giants were taking the threat of the coronavirus seriously . . . .

Of the 20 most populous cities in the U.S., San Francisco has the lowest death rate per capita from COVID-19. If the entire country had followed the city’s approach . . . there would be 50,000 dead from the pandemic instead of more than 220,000.

To be sure, San Francisco has not emerged unscathed. Hundreds of businesses have closed permanently. Public schools have yet to reopen, and the city faces a huge budget deficit. Many residents moved away during the pandemic.

Although life has now returned to city streets, they are nowhere near as full as before the pandemic, when throngs of office workers and tourists crammed sidewalks. Ridership on city buses has plummeted, along with revenues.

Mayor London Breed and Dr. Grant Colfax, San Francisco’s public health director, largely shaped the city’s response to the health crisis . . . .

When the coronavirus hit Wuhan, China, [Breed] said, she viewed it as “way over there.” That changed when Colfax and the city’s health officer came to her City Hall office earlier this year and warned the virus could overwhelm the city’s hospitals, which might have to turn away the sick.

That warning “stopped me in my tracks,” Breed said. She knew that shutting down would hurt the economy and worsen economic disparities, but she said she felt as though there were no other choice. She said she asked herself what she would want her mayor to do. Saving lives was the answer.

One day early in the pandemic, she walked into a grocery store and quickly backed out. People were not following the health guidelines. “I called Dr. Colfax and said we need to shut this grocery store down,” she recalled.

Colfax proved adept at messaging. During the first few months of the pandemic, Colfax, Breed and other city officials held news conferences online three times a week. Colfax was usually grim. He warned the virus could quickly spin out of control.

The public health director began his summations by citing the number of people infected and dead. In a funerial voice, he directed his statement to the families of the dead and told them of his sorrow. He warned of “grave” consequences if the health restrictions were not followed. He worried aloud in July that San Francisco could become the next New York City, Houston or Florida. San Francisco remained in a “very vulnerable situation,” he said . . . .

For her part, Breed hasn’t hesitated to scold. After more than 1,000 people gathered at Ocean Beach early in September for a Burning Man celebration, the mayor took to Twitter and castigated the assemblage, calling it “absolutely reckless and selfish” . . . .

San Francisco police also helped enforce the health rules. When long lines sprung up outside a store, officers arrived to ensure people were distancing and wearing masks. Police patrolled the parks on the weekends and handed out masks. Citations were issued to repeat offenders, but for the most part people complied after being warned.

San Francisco rapidly expanded coronavirus tests months ago, making the city a leader nationally in testing. It also worked with UC San Francisco to build a strong contact tracing program and devoted time and resources to the city’s heavily Latino Mission District, a source of many of the infections.

John Swartzberg, a UC Berkeley infectious disease expert, said San Francisco benefited from the bonds forged among Bay Area health officers and between the city and its public health officials during the AIDS epidemic.

“The experience with AIDS in San Francisco did a tremendous amount to shape the public health culture in San Francisco,” he said. “The relationship between SF General (hospital) and the community was just a beautiful thing to behold. The trust it engendered had a halo effect that spilled over to the entire city” . . . .

https://www.latimes.com/california/s...irus-reopening

Steely Dan Oct 26, 2020 9:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 9082615)
we're supposed to go to a friend's small backyard gathering for a b-day party this saturday night, but temps are forecast to be in the low 40s.

my guess is that the gathering will be fairly short-lived. most people in chicago (everywhere) are absolute wimps when it comes to chilly weather.

much to my surprise, the backyard gathering this past weekend went much longer than i expected (nearly 5 hours).

after eating some pizza and socializing around the fire pit for a bit, the host had an outdoor movie screen and projector set up that we watched Ghostbusters on.

people were so in to it that it got parlayed into a Rick Moranis double-feature with Spaceballs as an encore.

even though it was only 43 degrees, it was fun as hell to laugh with good friends at two of the finest comedies of the 1980s.

tayser Oct 26, 2020 9:51 PM

I CAN GO TO THE PUB ON WEDNESDAY!

Two days of donuts! The Victorian Premier announced the easing of all our stage 4 restrictions yesterday, most come off tonight (Tuesday) at midnight for a Wednesday open and the last of them come off on November 8th.

https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1320839207644995584

Lockdowns suck but they work really well.

Other background/analysis: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-...ourne/12815330

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-...ement/12815424

10023 Oct 28, 2020 8:46 PM

Life in my city sucks. It was just about manageable when the weather was nice and restaurants, at least in East London (aka Euro-Brooklyn) were being creative and doing a lot of takeaway food that you could enjoy in nearby parks. Now it’s dark, rainy, and impossible to get into a pub/bar/restaurant on short notice, you can’t go with people in other households, and you can’t meet or interact with anyone there.

Life is on hold and if they close the gym I will lose any social interaction at all.

10023 Oct 28, 2020 8:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tayser (Post 9085993)
I CAN GO TO THE PUB ON WEDNESDAY!

Two days of donuts! The Victorian Premier announced the easing of all our stage 4 restrictions yesterday, most come off tonight (Tuesday) at midnight for a Wednesday open and the last of them come off on November 8th.

https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1320839207644995584

Lockdowns suck but they work really well.

Other background/analysis: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-...ourne/12815330

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-...ement/12815424

Do they work really well? Look at Italy, Spain and France.

Australia will find it easier to limit re-introduction of cases from elsewhere given isolation and distances internally, but it’s not like the virus has been eradicated from the continent and cases will rise again.

You guys might be fortunate enough to have a vaccine available before the Southern Hemisphere winter, but that’s just down to timing.

homebucket Oct 29, 2020 3:14 AM

Some more Bay Area counties are loosening restrictions.

Quote:

3 Bay Area counties advance from red to orange tier
Amy Graff
Oct. 27, 2020

Three Bay Area counties — Contra Costa, Marin and San Mateo — advanced from the red to the less restrictive orange tier Tuesday in California's reopening plan. They join Alameda, Napa and Santa Clara in the orange, while Sonoma remains stuck in purple and Solano stays red. San Francisco is the only Bay Area county in the least restrictive yellow category.

Contra Costa, Marin and San Mateo's new status paves the ways for reopening some businesses for the first time and expanding operating capacities at those that are already open.

The primary changes allowed under in the orange tier include increased capacity of 50% at restaurants, museums, places of worship and movie theaters; increased capacity of 25% at gyms, family entertainment centers and card rooms. Bars and breweries can reopen outdoors with modifications, and nonessential offices can reopen.

Outside the Bay Area, four other counties made leaps to less severe tiers due to reduced infection spread in their communities.
https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/artic...n-15679049.php

SpongeG Oct 29, 2020 7:05 AM

this video shows what Seoul has been experiencing, a lot of retail closures and less crowded streets

Video Link

10023 Oct 29, 2020 7:17 AM

^ And that’s meant to be “success”. Ridiculous.

kool maudit Oct 29, 2020 8:34 AM

In London right now, and much of the signage is either ads for testing or descriptions of new measures with consequences of non-compliance emphasized.

It's grey, tense, wary and feels like "Children of Men" or something.

10023 Oct 29, 2020 10:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kool maudit (Post 9088883)
In London right now, and much of the signage is either ads for testing or descriptions of new measures with consequences of non-compliance emphasized.

It's grey, tense, wary and feels like "Children of Men" or something.

Yes. Very unpleasant.

Milan seems... tense.

dc_denizen Oct 29, 2020 12:42 PM

Where I live life is pretty normal , except everyone is wearing a mask and nobody is taking the train to the city

the urban politician Oct 29, 2020 1:58 PM

The whole Chicago area has moved back to disallowing indoor dining and bars

suburbanite Oct 29, 2020 2:06 PM

We went back to that about two weeks ago now I think.

I'm basically resigned to the fact that I'm just going to move back to my parents and grind out work all winter. Servers and bartenders are even more fucked now. It makes me furious seeing people in my situation, who can work from home (but are also homebodies who don't want to do anything in normal times) playing the moral superiority card. "No one go anywhere or do anything until the virus is completely eradicated!"

Acajack Oct 29, 2020 7:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kool maudit (Post 9088883)
In London right now, and much of the signage is either ads for testing or descriptions of new measures with consequences of non-compliance emphasized.

It's grey, tense, wary and feels like "Children of Men" or something.

Yeah. I was actually thinking recently that life here kinda feels like a mix of Children of Men and the small town in Footloose. The arrival of grey, gloomy late autumn weather certainly doesn't help things.

I've said before that the overwhelming feeling is people existing as opposed to living.

Plus the ubiquitous pandemic messaging everywhere you go plus everyone wearing a mask gives an Orwellian or Blade Runner feel to everything. (If you can stomach two more cultural references.)

The near-total absence of anything visibly fun is subtle but I think it takes a toll.

There are no noisy joyous kids' birthday parties to overhear two backyards away.

No more bumping into packs of giddy 19-year-old girls running through the grocery store picking up wine coolers and munchies before driving up to the lake.

No more bike rides where you stumble upon a wedding party taking pictures in a park along the river.

No more drunk bachelorettes and friends accosting you on the street and asking you to perform some dumb trick.

No more crowds of parents at local parks cheering their kids on in their sport of choice.

No fun, really.

Just basic "existing".

MonkeyRonin Oct 29, 2020 8:16 PM

:previous: I wish things felt like Blade Runner right about now!

All of those things were still happening up until a few weeks ago though (just more muted and cautious compared to normal times, of course - but it was still a fun summer). Which makes it feel like a bit of a double whammy with lockdowns and the arrival of November gloom coming at the same time.

I actually normally like this time of year, when life starts to move more into cozy indoor spaces (the hygge vibe, if I were Danish), but that's not at all how I feel right now.

The recent closure of restaurants, gyms, and theatres feels more like a punishment handed down by the anxiety-riddled COVID-puritans than it does a necessary, evidence-based defence against our growing, but still-very-much-under-control outbreak. There weren't many cases tied to any of those establishments where proper protocols were followed.

Thankfully there are still a bunch of covered patios with outdoor heaters here!

Brave Oct 29, 2020 8:29 PM

I am currently in Spain and can say that local people are panic-stricken despite the fact that Spanish health care system is very developed and is considered to be one of the best in Europe (here is the proof https://virtoproperty.com/info/spanish-healthcare-system-for-expats. We are going to face the 2nd wave of Covid which is supposed to be even more vicious than the 1st one. No one knows what to expect.

Acajack Oct 29, 2020 9:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin (Post 9089481)
:previous: I wish things felt like Blade Runner right about now!

All of those things were still happening up until a few weeks ago though (just more muted and cautious compared to normal times, of course - but it was still a fun summer). Which makes it feel like a bit of a double whammy with lockdowns and the arrival of November gloom coming at the same time.

I actually normally like this time of year, when life starts to move more into cozy indoor spaces (the hygge vibe, if I were Danish), but that's not at all how I feel right now.

The recent closure of restaurants, gyms, and theatres feels more like a punishment handed down by the anxiety-riddled COVID-puritans than it does a necessary, evidence-based defence against our growing, but still-very-much-under-control outbreak. There weren't many cases tied to any of those establishments where proper protocols were followed.

Thankfully there are still a bunch of covered patios with outdoor heaters here!

Yeah, summer was a bit of a respite with bars and restaurants open with restrictions and smallish gatherings permitted. At least those were the rules here.

We had some sucky things going on in our family (not really COVID-related, but made more complicated by it) but even for the people I know who did not have those challenged I still don't get the impression they would have said their summer was "fun". Everything was way more subdued and limited.

But yes, definitely better than the spring and this fall.

MonkeyRonin Oct 29, 2020 9:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 9089542)
Yeah, summer was a bit of a respite with bars and restaurants open with restrictions and smallish gatherings permitted. At least those were the rules here.

We had some sucky things going on in our family (not really COVID-related, but made more complicated by it) but even for the people I know who did not have those challenged I still don't get the impression they would have said their summer was "fun". Everything was way more subdued and limited.

But yes, definitely better than the spring and this fall.


Might not have been ideal, but you could still make the most of it. I mean, I still got to travel (just within the country), I still got to spend time with friends & family (just with a little more distance), I still got to go out to bars & restaurants, still got to go the beach & enjoy the heat, still got to go hiking & biking & do outdoor activities, the city was still vibrant & lively, and I got 3 or 4 day weekends - it might not have been the best summer ever, but one would have to be pretty precious to not be able to have any fun because of slightly sub-optimal conditions. Didn't get to do any international travel or go to big parties & shows, but I think that's a reasonable sacrifice given that we were still in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic.

But now, things just look pretty bleak all around with none of those things really possible anymore, and little respite visible on the horizon. I recently got a kitten though, so at least that's something going for me!

pdxtex Oct 29, 2020 9:37 PM

Most of Portland appears to be getting back to life. Outer neighborhoods feel pretty peppy and vibrant. I took a bike ride downtown last weekend and I'll only rate it 4 robocops/10. Much better than June's 8 robocops. Downtown retail is improving but the dust is still settling. Teenage combatants continue their anti capitalist revolution but even that has mostly lost its steam. My entire office of 1000 people is coming back in two weeks so uncle Warren (Buffet) seems confident we've rounded the bend.

the urban politician Oct 29, 2020 10:24 PM

There are a lot of Chicago area bars and restaurants that are openly defying the indoor ban.

I have mixed feelings. I know they are desperate, and I feel for them. But I also think that Governor Pritzker is genuinely trying to get this pandemic under control.

What can I say. This situation just royally sucks so badly.....


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