Wrong Way on a One-Way Aisle:
I shopped at Von’s (at Sunset and PCH) on Sunday morning. I generally visit Gelson’s and Ralphs, but since I was interviewing Bruce Schwartz by the onion patch, near Von’s, I threw on my mask and gloves and went in. There were red markings on the floor advising about social distance, but the store has gone one step further by having one-way aisles.
Luckily, there was no one on the aisle when I went the wrong direction looking for saltines. I only noticed my traffic error when another shopper pointed to the floor and the marking. Maybe if they put up one-way only signs at eye level? Please don’t shame me on Nextdoor, and don’t call the police. It was an honest mistake.
Reports of No Masks:
A woman wrote Pacific Palisades Community Council Chair David Card on April 17 that “they [Ralphs] were not making customers wear masks. When people could complain to management, they would say there’s nothing they can do. I believe this puts the community at risk and I have contacted the police.”
Card asked Circling the News to check it out, so Friday evening this reporter walked into our local Ralphs. Everyone had on masks. I spoke to a clerk by the front door and she said if someone comes in without a mask, she sends them to the manager.
The most a store can do is refuse someone service if they don’t have a mask.
This brings us once again to the homeless, the mentally ill and those who have diminished capacity.
I shopped with my husband at Whole Foods in Santa Monica last Wednesday, after we discovered more than 100 people in a line at the Costco on Jefferson during the senior hour. We switched stores.
A mother or caretaker and an adult woman, with what appeared to be special needs, were in Whole Foods. The caretaker was beside herself because the woman had taken off her mask and dropped it someplace. They were retracing steps on the aisles. They finally located it, but the woman, in her 20s, refused to put it back on.
Should the store have refused the caretaker service?
Masks should fit snugly over the nose and mouth to prevent germs from leaving your face. So, if you’re driving by yourself in your car with your mask on, you keep from giving yourself your own germs.
According to an NPR story: “If you cough or sneeze, the mask can catch those respiratory droplets, so they don’t land on other people or surfaces. ‘So it’s not going to protect you, but it is going to protect your neighbor,’ says Dr. Daniel Griffin at Columbia University, an expert on infectious diseases.”
He was asked, If I’m wearing a mask and someone sneezes on me, would the mask offer some protection? “Yes, but only if you use the mask properly and don’t touch it with your hands afterwards.”
Common sense would suggest that if you are in a store and see someone who’s not wearing a mask, make sure to maintain social distancing and then wash your hands as soon as you arrive home.
Gelson’s and Unwanted Advice:
While waiting in the senior line to enter Gelson’s, the woman in front of me saw me touch my eye and instantly turned around and reprimanded me, “Don’t touch your eyes!”
I wear contacts and a piece of lint, or something, had gotten under my contact, which is quite painful. The contact needed to be moved from my eye. I told the woman I wear contacts and touch my eyes a lot.
I think we need to move on from this emotional phase of dealing with the virus, use intellect and stop playing “I gotcha!” The police are spread so thin, they certainly are not going turn on their siren and run up to Pacific Palisades to catch someone who’s not wearing a mask. Stores are doing what they can.
Coronavirus Cases Have Been Underreported:
Back on March 19, just five cases of Covid-19 had been reported in Pacific Palisades. This past week, the reported cases stayed steady at 33 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Note, those are reported cases of those who have tested positive for the virus, not deaths.
According to the L.A. County Department of Public Health, there were 81 deaths on April 18, and of those, 63 victims had underlying health conditions.
Research conducted by Stanford University in Santa Clara County, an early hot spot of coronavirus cases in the U.S., has shown the number of people actually infected with the virus has been undercounted.
Sunday’s L.A. Daily News reported, “Not only do the numbers show how the U.S.’s severe shortage of testing led to a profound undercount of COVID-19 cases, they indicate the virus is far less deadly than believed.”
If the research is correct, it means that more people have already been infected than reported or tested.
The current death rate (3%) is based on confirmed cases, but if more people are asymptomatic or have already had the virus, the death rate drops to 0.12 to 0.2 percent, which is more similar to the flu.
The story reported that several other teams worldwide have also started testing population samples to try and get a truer estimate of the actual number of infected people.
The De Facto Dog Park in Pacific Palisades:
About 10 people, none of them masked or obeying social distance, were allowing their dogs to run off-leash and play at the lawn near the entrance to the Palisades Recreation Center on a recent evening. Hey, folks: Dogs are not allowed to run off-leash in City parks!
Here we had a trifecta of crime: failing to observe social distance, failing to wear masks and allowing dogs to run off-leash in a City park.