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LA, Long Beach target ‘ugly hazard’ of containers left near ports as supply crisis drags on

With shipping delays mounting and cargo piling up at Los Angeles County ports, local officials are tightening the rules on lingering shipping containers that surround the docks, part of an effort to ease congestion of freighter ships anchored along Southern California’s coast.

Beginning Nov. 1, carriers will be charged $100 per container, with the fee increasing $100 per container per day — but the fee will not be assessed until Nov. 15.

Collected fees will be reinvested by the ports in programs to increase efficiency and address congestion, according to the announcement.

“This is not intended as a pass-on cost, rather it’s intended as ‘let’s move the cargo’,” Mario Cordero, nike outlet Port of Long Beach Executive Director, said in a press conference on Wednesday. In an effort to ease the logjam, Long Beach recently relaxed rules that constrained the amount of cargo-staking at ports.

The global supply chain crisis has heightened the need for local ports to make room for bottlenecked cargo. “The terminals are running out of space. We need to make room in our terminals, approximately 530,000 container units are sitting on those waiting ships,” Cordero added.

In response, the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach announced days ago that ocean carriers will be charged for every container that overstays their visit within the port complex: nine days or more if being moved by truck, and three days or more if being moved by rail.

Cordero said that “30 to 40% of the cargo on the marine terminals have been there longer than 9 days.”

‘We’re trying to protect our own’

A sign blocks trucks from entering in Wilmington, near a key port in Long Beach. The port has been one of 2 backlogged Southern California hubs at the center of a worsening supply chain crisis.
A sign blocks trucks from entering in Wilmington, near a key port in Long Beach. The port has been one of 2 backlogged Southern California hubs at the center of a worsening supply chain crisis.

Meanwhile, the lack of shortage space for containers has fed a major bottleneck at Southern California ports. Empty containers are piled up at truck yards, outside warehouses — and some are even dumped on the side of the road.

Truckers, however, insist it’s a function of the port crisis, rather than negligence on their part.

“They are on the streets because nobody is receiving,” said Carlos Rameriz, a truck driver, in an interview with Yahoo Finance.

Drivers “don’t keen shoes care. They just drop it on the street. There’s a bunch of empty containers on Washington Street because the [ports] have no place to put them and they get tickets, after tickets, I don’t know who pays for them,” Rameriz added.

Some of those empty containers are sitting on chassis’ because there’s no other space as Rameriz has described. The congestion has also caused drivers to idle with unattended trucking trailers because unloading containers from the ships has been “going pretty slow”, according to observers.

It’s become a vicious cycle as a flood of imports continue to swamp Southern California’s beleaguered ports ahead of the holiday. And with overflow at the ports, containers are finding their way to residential streets.

Unattended chassis litter a street in Wilmington, near a key port in Long Beach. The port has been one of 2 backlogged Southern California hubs at the center of a worsening supply chain crisis.
Unattended chassis litter a street in Wilmington, near a key port in Long Beach. The port has been one of 2 backlogged Southern California hubs at the center of a worsening supply chain crisis.

One accident in particular was the source of a scary sight for one neighborhood, after a shipping container flattened a car after falling off a truck. No one was injured but it happened in Wilmington, near the Port of Los Angeles, where the oceanic gridlock is leading to a similar effect on the streets.

“It’s a very ugly hazard,” Vivian Martinez, a Wilmington resident, told Yahoo Finance in an interview.

Residents living near the ports have complained about the encroachment of containers and how trucks are backed up in the streets at all hours, even before Long Beach eased its zoning rules.

“They won’t park here. We don’t allow it. If they try to come through here, I’ll go out with a trashcan or our cars, [it makes] the trucker go all the way back,” Martinez said.

Resident’s like Martinez have had enough of this long time problem that has exploded since the pandemic. Some have erected barriers on both ends of asics shoes the street, with signs that say ‘No Trucks’ — the latest chapter in a crisis that stems in part from unintended consequences of local ordinances designed to allay residential concerns.

“We’re trying to protect our own,” Martinez added.

Officials have responded to these concerns by cracking down on businesses for stacking containers in violation of local zoning laws.

“Law enforcement has issued over 400 citations for illegally parked trucks with containers,” L.A. City Councilmember Joe Buscaino, told Yahoo Finance in a statement.

“My office is actively working with the Port of Los Angeles to identify viable parcels of Port owned land in industrial areas to store containers and conduct trucking operations away from neighboring residential areas,” Buscaino added.

Buscaino noted that he found some success in identifying parcels, and his next step is to identify an operator who can facilitate the organization of containers being processed at these new locations.

This follows Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order that aims to ease the backlog. He directed government agencies to look for state-owned properties that could temporarily store goods coming into the ports.

Newsom asked the state’s Department of General Services to review potential sites by Dec. 15, but it’s still unclear if L.A. will follow Long Beach’s lead in relaxing container stacking rules.

Remains found in California desert identified as Lauren Cho, missing N.J. woman

Remains found in Southern California are that of Lauren “El” Cho, a New Jersey woman who disappeared in June, officials confirmed Thursday.

The positive identification brought a sad end to the monthslong search for Cho, a Korean American whose case gained renewed interest during the debate over racial disparities in news media coverage about missing persons.

“The cause and manner of death is steve madden shoes pending toxicology results,” according to a statement from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office. “No further information will be released on this case until such time toxicology results are available and new information is discovered as a result.”

The human remains were found on Oct. 9 in the rugged, open desert terrain near her last known location, an artist-oriented Airbnb rental in Yucca Valley, about 30 miles north of Palm Springs.

Authorities had searched the compound and surrounding area several times, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Specialized Investigation Division became involved in late September after local investigators “exhausted their investigation.”

Cho, 30, was first reported missing at around 5 p.m. on June 28, after friends and others staying at the compound said she departed in a state of agitation with no food, water or phone.

About a week later, relatives of Cho activated a Facebook page called “Missing Person: Lauren ‘El’ Cho” to raise awareness about her disappearance.

The case of Cho and those of other women of color appeared to get a boost in attention amid criticism of the news media’s intense focus on the late-summer ecco shoes disappearance and death of Gabby Petito, who was white.

Petito’s remains were found near Grand Teton National Park, and those discovered in the search for Cho were found near Joshua Tree National Park.

“I want to use the attention now and just power through,” one of Cho’s friends tweeted Sept. 20 after Petito’s case became a dominant national story.

Family members behind the Facebook page described Cho’s personality and spirit:

“El is many things … a talented musician, an incredible baker, a hilarious and loyal friend, a strangely intuitive gift giver, and probably the coolest sister one could hope for. But this is where El really shines: as an aunt. The love she has for her nibling is unmatched. Even among family, the consensus is that her nibling is the person El loves most in this world.”

COVID Cases Keep Falling

Benigno Enriquez, right, elbow-bumps Miami Mayor Francis Suarez as Suarez hands out masks to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, at a mask distribution event, Friday, June 26, 2020, in a COVID-19 hotspot of the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami. Florida banned alcohol consumption at its bars Friday as its daily confirmed coronavirus cases neared 9,000, a new record that is almost double the previous mark set just two days ago.

The number of new daily COVID-19 cases in the United States has plunged 57% since peaking on Sept. 1. Almost as encouraging as the magnitude of the decline is its breadth: Cases have been declining in every region.

Forecasting COVID’s future is extremely difficult, and it’s certainly possible that cases will rise again in the coming weeks. But the geographic breadth of the decline does offer reason for optimism.

Past COVID increases have generally brooks shoes started in one part of the country — like the South this summer or the New York region in early 2020 — and then gone national. Today, there is no regional surge that seems to have the makings of a nationwide surge.

Yes, there are some local hot spots, as has almost always been the case since the pandemic began. Several of the hot spots are in northern parts of the country, like Alaska, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and a few counties near the Canadian border in New Hampshire and Vermont. This pattern has led to some speculation that the onset of cold weather is causing the increases by moving more activity indoors — and that the entire country will soon experience a rise in caseloads.

That does not seem to be the most likely scenario, however. In most colder regions, including both Canada and the densely populated parts of the northern U.S., cases are still falling. The biggest problem for Alaska and the Mountain West is probably not the weather; it’s the vaccine skepticism. Idaho is the nation’s least vaccinated state, and several other Western states are only slightly ahead of it.

The CDC tracks a range of COVID forecasting models. On average, the models predict that new daily cases in the U.S. will fall roughly another 20% over the next three weeks.

The bottom line: There is no reason to expect another COVID surge anytime soon, but surges don’t always announce themselves in advance.

When the delta variant began spreading this summer, many people worried that it was both much more contagious than earlier versions of the virus and much more severe. Only one of those two fears seems to be true.

Delta is clearly more contagious, which is the main reason that every metric of the pandemic — cases, hospitalizations and deaths — soared this summer. But a typical COVID case during the delta wave was about as severe as a typical case during the earlier stages of the pandemic. During the wave in late 2020 and clarks shoes uk early this year, about 1.2% of positive cases led to death; during the delta wave, the share was 1.1%.

Scientific studies trying to answer the severity question more precisely have come to conflicting conclusions. Some have found delta to be more severe than other versions of the virus, and others have found that it is not. Until the research becomes clearer, the best guess may be that delta is modestly more severe, which could explain why hospitalizations and death rates have held steady even as vaccination rates have risen.

“Delta may be a little more serious, but not materially so,” Dr. Robert Wachter, chair of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said.

This pattern can influence how you think about your day-to-day activities. If you are vaccinated (and boosted, if eligible) and you were comfortable socializing indoors and without a mask last spring, you can probably feel comfortable doing so again, now or soon. Wachter adds: “Some older people or those with medical conditions may want to be sure that everybody else indoors with them is vaccinated before removing their mask.”

Despite all the encouraging news, one shadow still hangs over the U.S.: The pandemic does not need to be nearly as bad it is.

About 1,500 Americans have died of COVID every day over the past week. For older age groups, the virus remains a leading cause of death. And the main reason is that millions of Americans have chosen to remain unvaccinated. Many of them are older and have underlying medical conditions, leaving them vulnerable to severe versions of COVID.

For older people, the effects of vaccination are profound. In late August, near the height of the delta wave, 24 out of every 10,000 unvaccinated Americans 65 and above were hospitalized with COVID symptoms, according hey dude shoes to the CDC. Among fully vaccinated Americans 65 and above, the number was 1.5 per 10,000.

Even so, many Americans are saying no to a shot. Among affluent countries, the U.S. is one of the least vaccinated, trailing Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and others. Less vaccination means more death.

The low vaccination rate in the U.S. is another consequence of the country’s polarized politics and its high levels of socioeconomic inequality. Only 67% of American adults without a four-year college degree have received a shot, compared with 82% of college graduates, according to the most recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll. And only 58% of self-identified Republicans are vaccinated, compared with 90% of Democrats.

It is a triumph of misinformation: Offered a lifesaving vaccine to counteract a highly contagious virus, many Americans are instead choosing to take their chances.

A California Construction Worker Asked a Speeding Motorist to Slow Down. He Was Shot Seven Times In Response.

The family of a California Black construction worker wants answers after their loved one was shot several times in what is now being looked at as a potential hate crime.

Bobby Gayle is still recovering, KCRA reported this week, after being shot seven times asics shoes this month in the town in California’s Central Valley. The incident took place on Oct. 8 while the 45-year-old man was on the job at a north Stockton restaurant.

Bobby Gayle (left), Michael Hayes (right) Credit: Family photo/Stockton Police Department
Bobby Gayle (left), Michael Hayes (right) Credit.

Bobby’s brother, Marlon Gayle, told the outlet that his brother had just finished the job when the shooting occurred. Marlon claims that Bobby saw a man driving at high speed through the parking lot and yelled for him to slow down.

The brother said the man, identified as Michael Hayes, 31, stopped his truck, got out and started shooting and spouting racial slurs. Marlon told the outlet he believes “it was a hate crime.”

He added, “The guy doesn’t know my brother. My brother doesn’t know him. Out of nowhere, he started calling him the N-word and started shooting him.”

On Friday, Hayes was charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

Marlon Gayle said he learned of his brother’s nike sneakers shooting through several voicemails the father of five left on his phone. The shooter missed several major arteries, but Bobby was ultimately hit in his throat, upper arm, shoulder and two times in the face.

The brother says they “don’t know if he’ll be able to work at the same capacity.” He added, “The doctors are letting us know. Our first thing … is being able to see that he is breathing right. He’s talking right.”

Prior to Hayes’ arrest, Stockton Police shared photos of the man and his truck on Facebook. There was also a $10,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s arrest.

Stockton Police Assistant Chief Jim Chraska said that the department was “working with reporting to the California Department of Justice as well as the FBI. We have an officer on the FBI task force. So it’s important to us to make sure we get the community’s help.”

After the arrest, Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones thanked the “anonymous tipster and the hard work of our detectives for bringing a quick resolution to this case for the victim and his family.”

Professor sues UCLA for suspension after allegedly not grading black students more leniently

Professor sues UCLA for suspension after allegedly not grading black students more leniently

A professor at the University of California Los Angeles said he filed suit against the school system for suspending him as he faced backlash for not grading black students more leniently in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.

“Recently, I was suspended from my job for refusing to treat my black students as lesser than their non-black peers,” Gordon Klein, the professor behind the suit, said in an op-ed.

Eight days after Floyd, a black man,brooks shoes died in Minneapolis following a May 2020 arrest (for which a now-former police officer has been convicted of murder), a white student emailed Klein asking for a “no harm” final for black students given the racially charged “unjust murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd,” according to Klein.

“[It’s] not a joint effort to get finals canceled for non-black students, but rather an ask that you exercise compassion and leniency with black students in our major,” the email allegedly stated.

The response to the student’s “patronizing” email asked why black students should be singled out, Klein said.

“Are there any students that may be of mixed parentage, such as half black half-Asian? What do you suggest I do with respect to them? A full concession or just half? Also, do you have any idea if any students are from Minneapolis?” he wrote back. “I assume that they are probably especially devastated as well. I am thinking that a white student from there might possibly be even more devastated by this, especially because some might think that they’re racist even if they are not.”

His response was deemed “racist” by several students, who then formed a petition of over 20,000 signatures demanding his termination.

“I was attacked for being a white man and ‘woefully racist.'” Klein said. “On June 5, three days after I was first emailed, I was suspended amid a growing online campaign directed at me.”

Around this time, he received death threats and disparaging remarks about his Jewish heritage, the professor said.

“You are a typical bigoted, prejudiced and racist dirty, filthy, crooked, arrogant Jew … Too bad Hitler and the Nazis are not around to give you a much needed Zyklon B shower,” one email allegedly read.

UCLA Anderson School of Management Dean Antonio Bernardo suspended Klein without deliberation and banned him from campus, the professor claimed.

“He apparently reasoned that a well-timed publicity stunt might distract attention away from the school’s reputation as an inhospitable place for persons clarks shoes uk of color — to say nothing of its plummeting rankings in U.S. News and World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek,” he said.

When his story broke, over 76,000 people signed a petition to have him return, Klein said.

“Less than three weeks after this whole thing blew up, I was reinstated,” he said. “But this story is not over.”

The professor said he returned after three weeks but alleges he suffered great financial loss, severe emotional distress, trauma, and physical ailments, according to his op-ed.

“I have just filed a lawsuit against the University of California system,” Klein said. “No employee should ever cower in fear of his employer’s power to silence legitimate points of view, and no society should tolerate government-sponsored autocrats violating constitutional mandates.”

Water near where California family died tests positive for harmful algae, area closes for ‘unknown hazards’

Several hiking trails and recreational sites near where the bodies of a California family were found were closed in the Sierra National Forest this week due to “unknown hazards.”

The U.S Forest Service’s order that went into effect on Sunday came one day before the agency announced all national forests in California would be closed through Sept. 17 due to the spread of wildfires in the state. However, the closures alongside the Merced River near where the family was found are in effect through Sept. 26.

Officials said the decision was “due to unknown hazards found in and near the Savage Lundy Trail,” the same one where hey dude shoes John Gerrish, Ellen Chung, their 1-year-old daughter, Miju and family dog were found dead near on Aug. 17.

There has yet to be a cause of death determined after autopsies yielded no conclusive evidence, and toxicology results are still pending.

Leak Pen, assistant recreation officer at the Bass Lake Ranger District, which oversees that portion of the Sierra National Forest, told the Associated Press said one water test has come back positive for harmful algae bloom. Other tests were negative or are still pending results.

“We are uncertain of the causes of death. We still haven’t gotten the results from the case,” Pen said. “So, as a precaution, let’s go ahead and close it because we know there’s some form of hazard to the public.”

A Mariposa County deputy sheriff stands watch over a remote area northeast of the town of Mariposa, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, near the area where a family and their dog were reportedly found dead the day before.
A Mariposa County deputy sheriff stands watch over a remote area northeast of the town of Mariposa, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, near the area where a family and their dog were reportedly found dead the day before.
Investigators have ruled out chemical hazards along the trail, and samples of water from the river, as well as water the family had, were taken for testing. Authorities also said witnesses said they saw the family traveling to the trail in their car in the morning of Aug. 15.“We know the family and friends of John and Ellen are desperate for answers. Our team of detectives is working round the clock. Cases like this require us to be methodical and thorough while also reaching out to every resource we can find to hoka shoes help us bring those answers to them as quickly as we can,” Mariposa Sheriff Jeremy Briese said in a statement.

When the family’s bodies were first found, investigators treated the scene as a “hazmat situation” since toxic algae blooms have been known to be in the area.

Dr. Erika Holland, assistant professor of biological sciences at California State University of Long Beach, told USA TODAY toxic algae can be fatal if a person ingests water from a bloom that contains certain toxins and “can cause death within a couple hours.”

Pen added the deaths are still mysterious.

“Because of the heat there’s a chance they may have drank the water or tried to treat the water, but we don’t know,” he said. “We’re all just waiting for the results.”

The U.S. Forest Service in July reported toxic algae was found earlier in the summer in an area roughly three miles north of where the family was found. The area is still listed with a “caution” advisory level, according to a State Water Board map, and officials have posted warning signs about the blooms in the area.

California families relay harrowing escape from Afghanistan

EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) — When Yousef’s wife and their four children boarded a July 15 flight in San Diego to attend her brother’s wedding in Afghanistan, they were looking forward to a month of family gatherings. It was long overdue — the coronavirus pandemic prevented them from traveling earlier.

Their return ticket was Aug. 15, two days before their children’s school year began in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon.

But the Afghan Americans found themselves brooks shoes dodging gunfire and trying to force their way into the crowds of thousands ringing the airport in Kabul after Afghanistan’s government collapsed and the Taliban seized power.

Yousef’s wife and children were among eight families from El Cajon who were trapped after U.S. troops raced to evacuate Americans and allies and then left the country. Yousef, who had stayed in California during his family’s trip, asked that only his first name be used because he still has relatives in Afghanistan who could be at risk.

All but one of the families got out with the help of the Cajon Valley Union School District and Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, whose district includes El Cajon, a city with a large refugee population. The families had traveled on their own over the summer to see relatives and were not part of an organized trip.

Several of the families, accompanied by Issa and school officials, spoke to reporters Thursday for the first time since they returned, recounting their harrowing experiences.

The parents described running with their kids as gunfire whizzed overhead. One father said he was beaten by the Taliban. They said they were blocked at Taliban checkpoints.

They said they are grateful to be back but their children have suffered nightmares, and they worry about the family that was unable to get out, along with countless others still stuck there, including distant relatives.

“My kids are now safe at home right now thanks to God and all of you,” Yousef said.

But he asked people not to forget about so many others, including U.S. citizens, green card holders and Afghans who are at risk because they helped the American government. He held in his hand a folder that he said contained the documents of 30 people who skechers uk qualified for a special immigrant visa and should be in the United States but are still in Afghanistan, desperate to escape.

President Joe Biden has said between 100 and 200 Americans were left behind when U.S. troops completed their withdrawal Aug. 31, many of them dual citizens. The State Department has given no estimate for others who hope to leave Afghanistan, including U.S. green card holders and people who received the special visas because they helped Americans during the 20-year war. Issa said he believes the number to be much higher for U.S. citizens and the others.

Many of the families he helped get back to California in the past week are green card holders. Some are U.S. citizens.

“We’re delighted to have these kids back in school and their parents united, but we also know that there’s a lot more work to do,” Issa said.

Yousef said he felt helpless being in California, thousands of miles away, fearing the life they had built would come to a halt and his wife and children would be trapped in the country ruled by the Taliban. He, his wife and children are all U.S. citizens. They came to the United States on a special immigrant visa after Yousef worked for the U.S. government in Afghanistan.

After they failed to get into the airport on Aug. 15, his wife and kids returned to their relative’s home.

Yousef alerted his family from El Cajon that the U.S. Embassy in Kabul was advising people not to go to the airport because of threats.

Eight hours later, suicide bombers set off explosions at the airport, killing 13 U.S. troops and more than 170 others.

Yousef said Issa’s team arranged a time for his family to go to the airport with an escort from U.S. authorities.

“It was like a situation room,” Yousef said of talking to Issa’s team while navigating his family through the chaos from afar. “I was sitting here talking to them. hey dude shoes They were sending their locations and stuff like this.”

His family returned home Friday. The first thing he did was take them to IHOP, their favorite restaurant.

He hopes more of those happy moments will overtake the traumatic memories his kids hold. His 7-year-old son, his youngest, has been talking about the violence.

“They are talking about it, about the gunfire, and being scared of the Taliban, but we hope they forget all that” and return to their life as regular American kids, Yousef said.

Florida is the only state where more people are dying of COVID now than ever before. What went wrong?

A few months ago, Gov. Ron DeSantis, Republican of Florida, declared his hands-off approach to COVID-19 “a tremendous success.” Politico announced that he had “won the pandemic.”

But then came the hypercontagious Delta variant, which continues to hit Florida harder than anywhere else in the country.

The result? DeSantis just added another, less flattering distinction to his résumé. When COVID first surged across the Sun Belt last summer, the average number of Floridians dying of the disease every 24 hours peaked at 185, according to the New York Times’s state-by-state COVID database. The same was true over the winter.

Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Aug. 21 announcing the opening of a monoclonal antibody treatment site for COVID-19 patients in Lakeland, Fla. 

A few days ago, however, Florida’s daily death rate cleared 200 for the first time, and today it stands at 228 — an all-time high.

This makes DeSantis nike store the first (and so far only) governor in the U.S. whose state is now recording more COVID-19 deaths each day — long after free, safe and effective vaccines became widely available to all Americans age 12 or older — than during any previous wave of the virus.

Since last spring, Florida and California — two of America’s biggest and most influential states — have been locked in a pitched battle over which kind of pandemic response makes the most sense: less or more. At times, the Sunshine State seemed to have the upper hand — like when Florida avoided the worst of a nationwide winter surge that hit California particularly hard, all while refusing to require masks in public and keeping bars and restaurants fully open.

But Delta may have changed that.

“Vaccines are working to prevent deaths in many other countries that have seen post vaccine spike in cases, and most other states in the U.S. as well. Florida is different,” Dr. Vincent Rajkumar, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, recently explained on Twitter. “What’s different in Florida is that, relative to the vaccination rate (~50%), the relaxation of distancing and masking was disproportionately high. Leaders expressed disdain for masks and mask mandates. The total number of people unvaccinated is high. And hospitals got overwhelmed.”

To be sure, comparing COVID numbers from two different states is always a fraught proposition; there are many factors — the introduction of a new, more devious variant such as Delta; the weather; plain old bad luck — that people and policymakers have little control over. And any declaration of victory (or failure) during such an unpredictable pandemic is likely to be premature. In theory, California could suffer more this winter.

But by looking at how California and Florida are doing this summer, post-vaccination, versus how they did last summer, pre-vaccination — an approach that minimizes seasonal variables such as weather and indoor gathering — you can get a rough sense of what is or isn’t working.

The difference is stark.

Last summer, COVID surged in both Florida and California, just as it did across much of the rest of the Southern and Southwestern United States. California fared better. There, new daily cases peaked at 25 per every 100,000 residents; total hospitalizations peaked at 23 per every 100,000 residents; and new daily nike sneakers deaths peaked at 0.35 per every 100,000 residents.

In Florida, those numbers were more than twice as bad: 55 cases/100,000 residents, 56 hospitalizations/100,000 residents and 0.86 deaths/100,000 residents.

So something about Florida — tourism? humidity? fewer restrictions, even last year? — likely makes it more susceptible to summer spread.

Passengers prepare to board the Celebrity Edge cruise ship in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on June 26, 2021. (Maria Alejandra Cardona/AFP via Getty Images)
Passengers prepare to board a cruise ship in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on June 26. 

The problem, though, is that while California is doing much better this summer than last, Florida, for some reason, is doing much worse.

In California, the current new daily rate case is somewhat higher (35 cases/100,000) than it was during its summer 2020 peak — in part because California is now conducting twice as many tests per day (about 250,000). Yet despite that, and despite the fact that Delta is twice as transmissible as the initial strain of SARS-CoV-2 that was circulating in 2020, current hospitalizations in California (21/100,000) are still lower than last summer’s peak — and deaths, the metric that matters most, remain twice as low (0.17/100,000).

That’s the kind of progress you’d expect after vaccination.

Florida is the opposite. There, new daily cases appear to have topped out at 138 per every 100,000 residents — more than two and a half times last summer’s peak. As a result, the state’s current hospitalization rate (80/100,000) is nearly one ecco shoes and a half times last summer’s peak; new daily deaths (1/100,000) are higher than ever. And they’re both still climbing.

In other words, Florida did roughly twice as badly as California last summer in terms of COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths. This summer, however, Florida is doing roughly four times worse in terms of cases and hospitalizations — and nearly six times worse in terms of deaths.

Medics transfer a patient on a stretcher from an ambulance outside of Emergency at Coral Gables Hospital where Coronavirus patients are treated in Coral Gables near Miami, on August 16, 2021. (Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images)
Medics transfer a patient at Coral Gables Hospital in Coral Gables, Fla., on Aug. 16.

Why has Florida moved in the wrong direction while California has gone the other way? Again, simple misfortune probably plays a part (as do other hard-to-quantify forces). But not every factor is beyond human control. Take vaccination. There are just five counties in California (of 58) where fewer than 35 percent of residents are fully inoculated. In Florida, that number is 23 (of 67). It’s easier for Delta to get a foothold and spread in places where the vast majority of people are unprotected.

Still, vaccination doesn’t explain everything: Statewide, Florida’s full vaccination rate (52 percent) is the same as the national number and just 3 percentage points lower than California’s (55 percent). And Florida has fully vaccinated more of its seniors (82 percent) than California (79 percent).

So as Rajkumar explained, precautions are probably playing a big part as well — and here too the difference between California and Florida couldn’t be more pronounced.

When Delta took off, Los Angeles became the first county in the country to reinstate its public indoor mask mandate. The San Francisco Bay Area followed suit soon after, and nearly every large county in California that doesn’t require masks indoors at least strongly recommends them. No lockdowns, no business closures, no official curbs on indoor drinking or dining — just indoor mask requirements and recommendations.

In contrast, DeSantis doubled down on his opposition to mask mandates, prohibiting local governments and even local school districts from implementing such policies. “Did we see areas like Los Angeles, with heavy masking, having reduced cases to a trickle?” DeSantis once asked, mockingly. Such wisecracks were all part of the governor’s larger message: Now that vaccines are widely available, he argued, requiring additional precautions is not just unscientific and unnecessary — it’s an infringement on your personal freedom.

Parents drop their kids off at Hillcrest Elementary school in Orlando with a sign at the entrance advising for the requirement of face masks for students unless the parents opt out of the mandate by writing a note to school officials. (Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Hillcrest Elementary school in Orlando, where masks are required for students unless the parents opt out by writing a note to school officials. 

At this point in the pandemic, it’s impossible to determine whether mask mandates actually trigger more caution or simply reflect existing attitudes in a particular community. “Because the pandemic has become so politicized, people have already sorted themselves into their different camps,” Vox’s Dylan Scott wrote in June. “By now, you are already either a mask-wearer or you’re not. A government mandate probably isn’t going to affect someone’s behavior in June 2021 as much as it would have a year ago, especially after enforcement has been nonexistent.”

But either way, the behavior associated with mask mandates — that is, universal indoor masking — has been proved to work. In fact, according to a research summary by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “at least ten studies have confirmed the steve madden shoes benefit of universal masking in community level analyses: in a unified hospital system, a German city, two U.S. states, a panel of 15 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., as well as both Canada and the U.S. nationally.”

“Each analysis demonstrated that, following directives from organizational and political leadership for universal masking, new infections fell significantly,” the summary continues, adding that “two of these studies and an additional analysis of data from 200 countries that included the U.S. also demonstrated reductions in mortality.”

Meanwhile, another 10-site study showed “reductions in hospitalization growth rates following mask mandate implementation,” and a separate series of cross-sectional surveys in the U.S. “suggested that a 10 percent increase in self-reported mask wearing tripled the likelihood of stopping community transmission.”

Critical care workers
Critical care workers insert an endotracheal tube into a COVID-19 patient at a hospital in Sarasota, Fla. 

This isn’t to say that if DeSantis had pulled a 180 and issued a statewide mask mandate, Florida would have dodged Delta (though it might not have hurt). Mostly, the damage is done. Behavior — and thus vulnerability to new variants like Delta, which can transmit via vaccinated people — is already baked in.

In mid-July, for instance, both vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans reported regularly wearing masks at exactly the same rate (43 percent), according to the Yahoo News/YouGov poll. But since then, mask wearing by the vaccinated has increased by 22 points (to 65 percent) while mask wearing by the unvaccinated has actually fallen (to 39 percent).

In short, the people who need the most protection from catching and spreading the virus are, paradoxically, masking up even less often now than they were before Delta took off. Instead, it’s the least vulnerable Americans — those who are vaccinated — who have been responsible for all of the recent uptick in regular masking.

A recent survey by the University of Southern California also found that unvaccinated Americans are more likely than their vaccinated peers to go to a bar or a friend’s house and less likely to avoid large gatherings.

“Lack of mask measures, lack of worry about it, lack of vaccination are all kind of the syndrome,” Kevin Malotte, an emeritus professor of epidemiology at California State University, Long Beach, recently told the New York Times. “And I think that’s what we’re seeing correlate with the high rates.”

Marc Ocampo, right, and Camila Lapeyre
Camila Lapeyre, 12, gets a COVID vaccination shot at a Long Beach, Calif., clinic.

And yet this divide wasn’t preordained. Fate did not decree that Floridians would be more inclined than Californians to view wearing masks indoors for a few more weeks — or gathering outdoors more often, or waiting a little longer to drink at the bar — as violations of their personal liberty. Leaders have some power to encourage or discourage such attitudes, and some responsibility for the behaviors they help to normalize (or not).

The good news is that cases finally appear to be peaking in Florida; the state’s seven-day average has fallen by nearly 30 percent over the last week (though testing is down too).

But new cases may be leveling off in California as well, and at a much lower level. Both Los Angeles and San Francisco have registered promising declines over the last 14 days.

In the meantime, 228 people are dying of COVID in Florida each day — more than three times the number dying each day in California, a state that’s almost twice as populous.

Unvaccinated LA residents were 29 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19: CDC study

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) bolsters the argument that unvaccinated individuals are at a much higher risk of experiencing the worst outcomes of COVID-19 than vaccinated individuals.

“These data indicate that authorized vaccines protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe COVID-19, even with increased ecco shoes community transmission of the newly predominant Delta variant,” the CDC report stated.

Between May 1 and July 25, 2021, unvaccinated residents of Los Angeles County, California, were 29.2 times more likely to be hospitalized by COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, than their fully vaccinated counterparts. Those unvaccinated individuals also accounted for 71.4% of all infections during that time.

Unvaccinated people were more than 29 times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID than fully vaccinated individuals. (Chart: CDC)
Unvaccinated LA residents studied were more than 29 times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID than fully vaccinated individuals.

About 51.6% of the American population is fully vaccinated. In California, about 55.1% of the population is fully vaccinated while 67.9% have received at least one dose.

“This really is a medical miracle that we were able to take the information that we’ve had over the past two decades and have all of our agencies working together to get us a vaccine in record time,” Dr. Adam Brown, Envision Healthcare’s COVID-19 national task force chair, said on Yahoo Finance Live recently. “But what’s important for folks to recognize is that the safety procedures, the clinical trials, the number of people who were tested with the nike sneakers vaccine, have been followed just like they have been with other types of medications.”

Vaccination has slowed despite scientific data showing that the vaccines make a significant difference in preventing serious illness and death. Unvaccinated individuals cited reasons including distrust of the FDA, concerns over side effects (stemming from misinformation), or personal liberties.

‘The fact is that these vaccines are safe’

The FDA initially granted Pfizer (PFE), along with Moderna (MRNA) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), emergency use authorizations for their COVID-19 vaccines, meaning that they would allow the use “in an emergency to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions when certain statutory criteria have been met, including that there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.”

The FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer vaccine on Monday, and the new CDC study further corroborates the idea that the vaccines work.

“I understand there’s a lot of fear out there,” Brown said. “There’s a lot of information coming at people from multiple different sources about the vaccine, about the virus, about masks. The fact is that these vaccines are safe. And when you look at our hospitals, you look at the people who are sadly dying from COVID-19, they are primarily with a high percentage those who are unvaccinated.”

A woman holds an American flag and prays
A woman holds an American flag and prays “in tongues,” or in an unknown language, according to the Pentecostal Christian belief, as anti-vaccination protesters gather near City Hall in Los Angeles, on Aug. 14, 2021. 

The Pfizer vaccine is the only shot available for children under age 18, though those under the age of 12 still can’t get it. That leaves millions of children still vulnerable to the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, and data has shown more nike store children are being hospitalized now than at any other point during the pandemic.

The CDC study found that the unvaccinated individuals in LA County represented 85% of deaths, 86.9% of those admitted to intensive care units, and 87.3% of those who required mechanical ventilation to assist with their breathing.

The report also detailed the rise of the Delta variant. In May, the Alpha variant — also known as the original strain, or wild-type virus — accounted for 55% of cases among the unvaccinated in Los Angeles County. By July, the Delta variant accounted for an overwhelming number of cases among the unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, and even fully vaccinated residents.

The Delta variant now accounts for a majority of COVID cases. (Chart: CDC)
The Delta variant now accounts for a majority of COVID cases. 

Polish Olympian auctions silver medal for infant’s heart surgery, but winning bidder won’t accept it

Not even two weeks since winning a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics, Polish javelin thrower Maria Andrejczyk put it up for auction to help save an infant’s life.

On Monday, she announced that she exceeded her fundraising goal. And she’s keeping her silver medal thanks to the donor who put her over the top.

Andrejczyk announced the auction on Facebook on Aug. 11, five days after securing the silver medal in javelin. She wrote that she chose to raise funds for Miłoszek Małysa, an 8-month-old boy who needs to travel ecco shoes from Poland to Stanford University in California to have life-saving heart surgery. She didn’t know Małysa, but wrote that she knew his cause was the right choice after reading online pleas for help from his parents.

“Miłoszek has a serious heart defect, he needs an operation,” Andrejczyk wrote, per Google Translate. “He also has support from above from Kubuś — a boy who did not make it on time, but wonderful people decided to donate his funds to Miłoszek. And this is how I want to help too. It is for him that I am auctioning off my Olympic silver medal.”

Maria Andrejczyk (POL) celebrates winning the silver medal in women's javelin throw during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Olympic Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Maria Andrejczyk put her silver medal up for auction to help an infant access heart surgery. 

Andrejczyk, a cancer survivor: This silver can save lives

Andrejczyk wrote that Małysa needed 1.5 million Polish zlotys — roughly $385,000 — to cover the costs of his transportation and medical care. She wrote that half had already been raised by the family’s online fundraiser and that her goal along with Małysa’s mother was to raise the other half through the medal auction.

Andrejczyk, 25, is a cancer survivor. A 2018 sinus X-Ray revealed that she suffered from osteosarcoma, a type of cancer that forms in the cells that form bones. She required surgery, but not chemotherapy and was able to restart training for the Tokyo Games in 2019. She previously competed nike sneakers in the Rio Olympics in 2016, where she finished two centimeters off the podium in fourth place.

She recovered in time to compete in Tokyo, where her throw of 64.61 meters earned her the silver medal on Aug. 6 behind China’s gold-medal winner Shiying Liu (66.34 meters). While she cherishes the accomplishment, she decided that putting the medal up for auction was of more value than keeping it herself.

“The true value of a medal always remains in the heart,” Małysa said, per the Times of London. “A medal is only an object, but it can be of great value to others. This silver can save lives, instead of collecting dust in a closet. That is why I decided to auction it to help sick children.”

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Athletics - Women's Javelin Throw - Final - Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan - August 6, 2021. Maria Andrejczyk of Poland in action REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel
After a fourth-place finish in Rio, Maria Andrejczyk made the podium in Tokyo. 

Auction goal met, but Andrejczyk will keep her medal

On Monday, Andrejczyk announced that the auction was closed. A Polish convenience store chain called Zabka made the winning bid.

“We have the winner of the auction!” she wrote. “On Friday I received this wonderful information, and due to the fact that you dears have already done wonders and joint forces have paid more than the equivalent of the initial medal to the Miłoszek account — I decided to end the auction so that our Miłoszek will receive the whole amount as soon as possible and can fly to the USA.

“The winner, nike store and at the same time, the company I will be eternally grateful to is the company Zabka.”

Zabka confirmed that it made the winning bid with a Facebook message reading: “We were moved by the beautiful and extremely noble gesture” made by Andrejczyk.

Zabka gracefully declined to accept the silver medal.

“We also decided that the silver medal from Tokyo will stay with Ms. Maria.”