Daily COVID-19 Update by John Duran – May, 1, 2020 – May First. May Day. Rent is due

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West Hollywood Council Member John Duran has been posting a daily COVID-19 update on his personal Facebook page, which he keeps open to the general public. His commentary on the current coronavirus pandemic delivers stats through his personal stream of consciousness in the hopes to engage the community on the ongoing effort to flatten the curve.

Unfortunately, not everyone has a Facebook page. Council member Duran is allowing us to share his COVID-19 update with our readers.

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Daily Update for Friday, May 1, 2020

LA County Cases 23,182 (up from 22,485)
LA County Deaths 1,111 (up from 1056)

It’s May first. May Day. And rent is due

Monday night, Weho will consider whether to extend the eviction moratorium until June 30th. Yes. Of course I support this. I commented at council early last month that we would need to do this and the sooner the better to give people time to adjust. I anticipate that my 4 colleagues will support the extension with me.

This means you may have missed or paid rent partially for April. And you can do so now again for May. And probably June. Depending on your circumstances. Yes, I wish there was a way to cancel rent obligations. But we don’t have the power to do that at the local level. And it’s unlikely that the Trump Administration is going to do that with Congress. So the missed or partial payments for April, May and June – will end up being deferred for one year after the crisis ends. And let’s all pray that cash and money begin to flow again by July 1st – for all of our sakes.

55 people were reported dead yesterday. Still below the peak of 81 deaths in one day. But we are still on top of the bell curve. 35 of the 55 deaths were persons over age 65. 29 of the 55 had underlying health conditions. But 3 deaths were between the ages of 18 – 40.

Of the 1,111 people who have died in LA County, 92% had underlying health conditions. And about 1/2 of those 1,111 who died came from convalescent homes and skilled nursing facilities.

The aged and infirm continue to represent most of the deaths here in LA County. The actions that we take show our reverence for the older adults in our community. And those voices on the right who say it’s just the “thinning of the herd” – are repulsive. I could never understand how those individuals on the right who claim they are “pro-life” – could be so callous and indifferent to human suffering and death. NO. We are NOT going to sacrifice grandpa and grandma for the sake of the economy. If we did, we would devolve into barbarism and cultural decay.

May Day is a time to remember the WORKER. And how much more so this year than any other. While I am able to work from my lap top at home, there are those who are suiting up and showing up in grocery stores, essential retail stores, hospital and medical facilities. They are not cannon fodder either! They are not sacrificial raw material to enable the rest of us to shelter at home. They are heroic workers who are making incredible sacrifice and enduring mental trauma while the rest of us complain about being home too much. WE THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN.

As we begin the slow re-open of the community in the month of May, I know we are all going to wonder about our favorite restaurant or gathering spot or Starbucks store and how we will navigate the new reality. But we should also focus OUT on those workers who will be working behind those counters. Do they have proper PPE? Are they able to maintain social distancing from customers? Will they have access to testing to make sure they are not taking disease home to their families.

That is the way we recognize May Day this year. Worker protection as we move forward. The Labor Movement? You are at another crux in time to demonstrate why you are needed. You have ideas on worker protection? Bring it. Let’s make May Day Count this year…….

For more John Duran Daily COVID-19 Updates, visit: https://www.facebook.com/John.Jude.Duran.

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Councilmember John J. Duran is a native Angeleno and a resident of West Hollywood since 1990. He has been an elected member of the City Council since 2001. Councilmember Duran has a Juris Doctorate degree from Western State University College of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from CSU Long Beach. He has been a lawyer in private practice since 1987.
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