Daily COVID-19 Update by John Duran – May, 2, 2020 – Living in the Gray Zones…

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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 coronavirus curve.

Council member Duran is allowing us to share his COVID-19 updates with our readers.

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Daily update for Saturday May 2, 2020

LA County Cases 24, 215 (up from 23, 182)
LA County Deaths 1172 (up from 1,111)

Living in the Gray Zones…..

Yesterday, 62 more souls were reported lost. Still below the peak day of 81 deaths in one day in LA County. But we are still on the top of the bell curve. Not exploding up exponentially anymore. But not coming down either. 46 of the 62 who died were over age 65. 39 of the 62 who died had underlying health conditions.

The CDC is now reporting that infected persons may be able to infect others for a longer period of time than initially thought (including those who are asymptomatic). So now the quarantine times have been expanded. After your fever passes, you must self isolate for 72 hours (3 days). And then you must remain in quarantine for a total of 10 days since your symptoms first appeared.

Despite all this, CA is also preparing for re-open. The Governor is acknowledging that one size fits all doesn’t make sense for the more rural CA counties. There may be some relief coming to those counties soon before LA County. We will be the biggest challenge since we are the most populous county in the State (and nation) with 10 million people. And LA County Department of Public Health will tell us when we are green lighted for public gatherings at churches, AA meetings, non profit organizations and commercial establishments.

One way to look at the world is that it’s either black or white. It’s left or right. It’s up or down. It’s this or that. Individuals who cling to the polarized ends are craving certainty (witness fundamentalists in religion or politics). They often end up frustrated, angry, extreme, myopic and unhappy.

That won’t work with COVID19. We are going to be in the grays for quite a while. Somewhere between minimizing exposures and death while simultaneously reopening the economy. People will begin to gather again while the virus is still with us. But we will do it with social distancing, protective gear and new behavioral patterns. It’s not going to be strict or perfect. So, if you’re a black or white personality – gonna need to adjust. Or you will just be angry, frightened and frustrated.

Consider the story of the mouse searching for cheese in a maze. You place the cheese in one corner of the maze and watch the mouse hunt and hunt until he finally locates the cheese. Repeat this a few times and eventually the mouse no longer hunts. He makes a beeline directly for the cheese.

But move the cheese and what happens? The mouse goes directly to where the cheese used to be. He senses his error and begins to hunt and hunt again. Making errors along the way. Until he finally locates the cheese again.

Try that with human beings and what tends to happen? The mouse didn’t get angry and shout “where is the cheese? It’s always been here! This isn’t fair! This isn’t right! Someone screwed up because the cheese isn’t here! Damnit!” YET A HUMAN BEING WOULD DO ALL THOSE THINGS! And far more…..

We are going to set goals. Make errors. Adapt. Change course. Make errors. Adapt. Try again. Falter. Make gains. Change again. Make better. Three steps forward and one step back.

Breathe. Pause. None of us know the answers with 100% certainty. Nope. Not even Fauci. But we are using science, data and reason to guide us to do what is best as we move forward.

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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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