Californians: Walk over to the local vaccine clinic and get your shot

In order to get a shot that he did not need, a healthy slender fit work-from-home 32-year-old whom I know volunteered for 8 hours at a vaccine clinic in northern California. “People are supposed to have appointments,” he said, “and prove this by coming with a printout. But nobody checks because we had no way to look up anyone’s name or what appointments had been booked. Everyone who said ‘I don’t have a printer’ got a shot.” Did young-looking people have to bring proof of conditions or status in order to get shots? “No,” he replied. “Restaurant workers qualify, so you might think that a pay stub should be required, but unemployed restaurant workers also qualify and they can’t be expected to have a pay stub since they’re not getting paid.” Anyone who identifies as an unemployed restaurant worker with an appointment, even if showing up with no documentation, will get a shot.

The work-from-home Shutdown Karen featured blaming “Latinos” in Assumption that masks are effective leads to conclusion that people of color are responsible for coronaplague went down the hill from his all-white enclave into Oakland to the vaccine clinic set up to ensure that “communities of color” get shots. He and his wife are in their 50s and reasonably fit. They were seeking afternoon leftover shots and found that the clinic was undersubscribed and happy to inject them. They then asked if their college-age and high-school-age children could come the next day. Appointments were made for these not-at-risk cower-at-home individuals as well. Nobody in the household has any reason to leave the house nor to be concerned about COVID-19 and yet all are now vaccinated.

It seems that the only Californians who can’t get shots are those who wish to follow the state’s elaborate guidelines and procedures.

Here’s my personal nominee for someone who should get a shot. A Samoyed is depending on her! (or was depending on her back in 2004 when I took the photo)

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Coronavirus PPE from Berkeley

A Berkeley, California friend’s Facebook post:

given #B117 mutation, masked protection needs to be intensified
I’m doubling down, with cloth on top of N95 (thx Mitt Romney)
Also bought a little neck fan for blowing air – designed to cool off the wearer, when inverted it nudges incoming air away from my mouth
Stacking layers in my SafetyLasagna (which includes vitamin D in the AM, saline spray to line my nasal passages, then these crazy additions)

Above a photo, cropped for privacy:

Although this inventor is a Dr. just like Dr. Jill Biden, MD, his California friends are not impressed:

My understanding is that fans, while protective for the wearer, actually increase the risk to others by blowing exhaled virus farther. I would steer clear of anyone I saw in public with a fan near their face.

Your fans could harm others if you were unknowingly covid+

I have read that the masks with the valve are not appropriate as a virus barrier, but are intended to prevent dust inhalation–so they let your breath out but prevent particles from coming in. You have an N95 underneath, so not an issue here, but since this is an opportunity for community review of a safety plan, wondering if you have thoughts there. Stay healthy! #SafetyLasagna

We actually do know that fans increase projection of viral particles. If you are wearing a fan, you increase risk of transmission from you to others, but also from others to you, just by stirring up a lot of air near the face.

I told him that I thought it would be simpler to eat real lasagna until his BMI hits 40 and thus get higher priority for the vaccine. A friend from MIT with some mechanical engineering ability:

If he is going to bother at all, which is debatable, he should use a P-100 respirator and NIOSH approved goggles. If you are really that concerned, add a faceshield. Doubling two useless filters ain’t going to do it…. P-100 filters are 167 times more efficient than N-95 (which are 10-20 time better than surgical masks). You need an elastomeric/plastic seal on your face or you aren’t getting to the next level. Some N95s have such seals.

Readers: Who has seen some interesting PPE solutions lately? The LG PuriCare (N95-ish mask with fan assist), announced in August, doesn’t seem to be available in the U.S., but online retailers in Hong Kong show that it is in stock there for HK$1,180 ($150 in the currency that Jesus prefers everyone to use).

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Why aren’t Arizona and California vaccinating people at midnight?

The CDC map currently shows Arizona and California right at the top of the current plague level chart:

Former media whipping state South Dakota (unmasked and un-shut, with a heretical governor who says that government cannot stop a respiratory virus) is way down the list at 48 daily infections per 100,000 people, half the AZ/CA level. Yet South Dakota is #1 in “Percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered” at 69% (Becker’s Hospital Review). Arizona is #49, behind only Georgia, at 18%. California at #47 with less than 24% administered.

California and Arizona would seemingly have more motivation than almost all of the other states to move vaccines out of warehouses and into bodies. Why wouldn’t they be doing clinics at midnight if that’s what it takes to use up the vaccine as soon as it arrives? Shouldn’t we see dramatic TV footage of coffee-and-donut-fueled late night shot clinics in hospitals, nursing homes, etc.?

(It does not seem to be the case that California and Arizona received extra vaccine. They’re also near the bottom of states ranked by percentage of population that has been vaccinated. 1.3 percent for California and 1.2 percent for Arizona (NYT))

Admittedly it is tougher to get organized to administer shots when the same personnel are needed to give COVID-19 tests, etc., but New Jersey and Rhode Island are near the top of the infection chart and are managing to administer vaccine shots at the same time. And Israel, which has its own raging plague, has managed to vaccinate over 18 percent of its population so far over roughly the same time period.


  • TIME vaccine page
  • percent population vaccinated by country (U.S. is #5 at 1.8 percent; the infrastructure and manufacturing champs in China on whom I would have bet are at just 0.31 percent)
  • “Why 300 Doses of Vaccine Sat Unused in Freezers for 2 Weeks” (NYT): Dr. Peter Meacher expected to receive just a small supply of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine to inoculate his staff at a network of clinics that he oversees in New York City. Instead, 600 doses arrived late last month, far more than he needed. … Dr. Meacher said he would like to give the extra vaccine to high-risk patients, but had not for fear of violating strict eligibility rules from the state and city about who can receive it. … “It’s stressful and frustrating to have vaccine and to be unable to start giving it to our patients as quickly as we would like,” said Dr. Meacher, chief medical officer for the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in Manhattan, which serves some 18,000 L.G.B.T.Q. New Yorkers.
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California current COVID-19 rate more than double South Dakota’s

From the CDC: California (nation’s second most restricted state) now has the highest rate of current COVID-19 cases in the U.S., more than double the rate of never-masked, never-shut South Dakota (nation’s most free state) and about 5X the rate in give-the-finger-to-the-virus Sweden.

(South Dakota is at 43.)

From WHO:

(Adjust for 7 days to get the daily rate that the CDC uses and then for the fact that Sweden has 10.4 million population.)

And a comparison whose source I can’t find…

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Rent control is keeping rents high in San Francisco

A friend owns a three-unit building in San Francisco, occupying the top floor himself. The two tenants underneath have fled. One lost a job and the other kept the job, but decided to lose the California tax rates and mask/shutdown protocols. Both units are now vacant.

I asked how much rents have fallen and he responded with “30 percent.” Why not rent the units out at the current market rate? “If you ever rent to someone in San Francisco,” he replied, “you can never raise their rent more than about 2 percent per year after that. You’re locked it at whatever rate you start with. So I am waiting until the shutdown ends, hoping that market rents will come back closer to what they were when I bought the building.”

(Why not turn the vacant units into AirBnBs? San Francisco limits AirBnB to 90 days per year, requires them to be part of the owner’s residence, requires a variety of registrations and taxes, etc.)

If his experience is typical, there are a lot of landlords withholding supply and therefore the true market rents should actually be lower than what we’ve heard.

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San Francisco wrap-up

Photos from this week’s visit…

“With all of the trash along the side of the road [I-880], this really looks like a Third World country,” noted Senior Management. Not sure this boarded-up-against-the-riots post office changed her view:

Getting near the freeway entrances was an experience akin to being in a zombie movie, with hundreds of disfigured and derelict humans lining the sidewalks and wandering into the road.

The Ferry Building looks great:

Right across the street a needle disposal toilet represents the height of “civic pride”:

There was also a playground, equipped with elaborate rules and no children:

The science museum is still fun for kids. Family of four… $115. That’s the kind of “social justice” from a nonprofit org that a Silicon Valley millionaire can support!

Reading material at a shop near Union Square (populated during our morning walk by a screaming guy):

Sculpture highlighting the achievements of Eurocopter and mechanics:

And, of course, some helpful tips for urban life..

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Queer Ecology at Muir Woods

From a November 17, 2020 visit to Muir Woods…

Nature is rarely as simple as A, B, or C, especially in the “Queer Woods.”

Preservation of these trees from the commercial saw is mostly due to Native Americans and people who identified as “women”:

“Indigenous” is another way to be queer, apparently. The Native Americans are lumped into this sign series ($100,000 fine and one year in Federal prison if a Native American were to take offense and remove one):

If you’re going to have sex, it is ideal to follow the examples set by the banana slug and some butterflies (“same sex behaviors”):

Some miscellaneous photos, including an explanation of how bad it is for salmon when a river is “straight”:

(What’s the situation at Muir Woods during coronapanic? Parking reservations are required. Hardly anyone was there on a rainy day. About 75 percent of the visitors wore masks when wandering around the empty trails, though wearing a mask was not required.)

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Californians vote against government sorting by victimhood status

In How are Californians doing in restoring their race-based university admissions scheme? I predicted that Proposition 16 would get 45 percent of the vote from people in victimhood categories (Black and Hispanic) and then 15 percent of the remaining vote, thus resulting in a 53-47 overall vote.

The actual vote was 44-56.

Aside from general stupidity, how did I get this wrong? One problem with my simplistic analysis is that a lot of Hispanics are under 18 and therefore ineligible to vote. So I should have looked at the size of these victimhood groups relative to the overall population, but with under-18s excluded. (Median age for Hispanics in California is 29; median age for whites nationwide is 43.6; Black Americans also have a lower-than-white median age, by about 5 years)

Also, not everyone votes his/her/zir/their self-interest. Even a proposition intended to help Blacks and Hispanics might not get 100 percent of the vote from Blacks and Hispanics. Seven percent of Blacks identified as Republicans in 2016 (Pew), for example, despite the party’s Equal Opportunity (as opposed to Affirmative Action) tendencies.

So… chalk this up to another one of my election predictions that failed.

(See also Elite coastal Jews advocate discrimination against white and Asian males on the NYT’s efforts to sway Californians into believing in government-organized sorting by race.)

Let’s also check in with Mark Zuckerberg uses his $110+ billion wealth to lobby for a tax increase on people other than Mark Zuckerberg. The goal of the crazy rich was to soak the not-all-that-rich by increasing commercial property tax rates. This failed 48.3/51.7.

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Mark Zuckerberg uses his $110+ billion wealth to lobby for a tax increase on people other than Mark Zuckerberg

“California Tax Revolt Faces a Retreat, 40 Years Later” (NYT):

The new initiative, Proposition 15, would amend the state’s Constitution so that properties like offices and industrial parks would no longer be protected by Proposition 13. By creating a “split roll” system, in which residential property would continue to be shielded from tax increases but commercial property would not, backers hope to capitalize on Democratic energy to raise taxes on large corporations without alarming homeowners.

Proposition 15 would raise $6.5 billion to $11.5 billion a year for public schools, community colleges and city and county governments, according to a nonpartisan state agency. The Yes campaign, called Schools and Communities First, is backed by a number of public employees unions and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the philanthropic organization founded by Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook chief executive, and his wife, Priscilla Chan.

So… Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t want to see higher taxes on all forms of wealth, but only on wealth held in the form of real estate (0.01% of his personal wealth of at least $100 billion?)!

Separately, it turns out that commercial property owners actually don’t pay that much in tax in California:

It is not uncommon for neighbors to pay double or triple the taxes of a similar home on the same block. A recent analysis of property taxes across the Bay Area is rife with eye-popping comparisons, like a $9 million home in an exclusive neighborhood of San Francisco that has lower property taxes than a $331,000 home near an oil refinery across the bay in Richmond.

When Proposition 13 passed, commercial property taxes were almost an afterthought. But since skyscrapers and shopping malls do not change hands as often as homes do, the law has shifted the property tax burden from corporations to homeowners. In 1975, a little under half the property taxes in Los Angeles County were paid by commercial properties. By 2017, commercial properties accounted for just over one-quarter of the property tax roll.

One part of this may be that each commercial property tends to live in its own LLC (oftentimes this is a condition of getting bank/mortgage financing). (So a guy like Donald Trump with multiple properties will inevitably have a complex tax return.) When investors come in and get bought out, the official ownership of the building hasn’t changed (still the LLC). California seems to have a mechanism for updating tax liability if most of the membership interest is swapped out, but I wonder how they enforce this in practice (since membership interest might not be accessible to the California government).

A friend who is a lawyer in Long Beach told me of doing some work for an apartment building owner. While doing this work he discovered that the massive apartment building paid less in property tax than he owed for his modest 2BR house.

As a percentage of residents’ income, California collects the 6th highest percentage of any state (Tax Foundation). On the other hand, the government is not nearly big/rich enough to give voters everything that they want and certainly not to give retired public employees everything that has been promised to them in terms of pensions and health insurance. So the state government will need massive additional revenue. But why not a straight wealth tax on Silicon Valley billionaires?

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Silicon Valley Shutdown Karens move into bigger houses

My rich friends in the Bay Area are tireless Facebook advocates for more shutdown. Most of them live in spacious homes worth $2-3 million or more. Consistent with Your lockdown may vary, here’s “Bay Area home prices soar with suburban boom” (Mercury News, October 7):

Coronavirus drives demand for space, single-family homes

With millions out of work, and restaurants, shops and retailers closing, one spot in the economy shines for thriving and affluent professionals — Bay Area real estate.

As if the devastating pandemic had passed over the tech campuses, Spanish-tiled roofs and Tesla-filled garages of Silicon Valley, luxury home sales exploded in August and drove median prices up 16 percent from the previous year to levels approaching the market peak in 2018.

The median sale price for an existing single family home in August in the Bay Area was $975,000, according to DQNews data. The gains were driven by a limited supply of properties for sale and a greater portion of high-end homes selling, agents and economists said.

“We’ve never seen such high price appreciation in a recession,” said Selma Hepp, deputy chief economist with real estate data firm CoreLogic. “The recession hasn’t hit everyone the same way.”

Bay Area agents say demand is driven by techies and professionals looking for more space for family and home office Zoom-rooms.

If these are the folks making decisions on when to end shutdown, I’m not predicting an early exit from cower-in-place!

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