UCSD Begins COVID-19 Drug Trial, Immigrant Detention Centers Could Be Ripe For Coronavirus, The Military And Coronavirus, What To Do This Weekend While Social-Distancing
Speaker 1: 00:00 How scientists are looking for a vaccine and a treatment for coven 19 and what arts groups are doing to take their performances to the people. I'm Tom fudge and this is KPBS mid day edition. Speaker 1: 00:23 It's March 27th, 2020 today we know that a third person has died from coven 19 in San Diego County. The latest death was an 87 year old woman who was in an assisted living home in Rancho San Diego. All of the people who have died from the disease locally were in their seventies and eighties at last, counted a total of 341 people in San Diego County have tested positive for the disease that's twice as many as we saw on Sunday. The KPBS newsroom is hard at work. Examining the many effects of the Corona virus, be they economic, social, or medical. San Diego is the center of a large life science community and scientists are working to find a possible vaccine to prevent infection and so-called antiviral drugs to treat the people who have it. Joining me is KPBS psy tech reporters. Shalina tread Lani and welcome Shelina. Hey, glad to be here. Let's start by talking about a possible treatment for those who have gotten sick. What do we know about REM Deza vere and has it worked? Speaker 2: 01:27 So REM does severe as an antiviral drug that's going through clinical trial right now at UC San Diego and another a number of other UC schools for a potential treatment for coronavirus. This drug works by targeting a type of enzyme or protein used in the body by many viruses to copy itself and therefore spread throughout the body. So instead of targeting the virus itself, this antiviral works by stopping a virus from multiplying. It doesn't specifically target coven 19 but a report from the magazine science says it's had some promising results in studies around other viruses that had similar respiratory conditions. Speaker 1: 02:07 Now maybe some of it is, I had been spending a little more time thinking about vaccines, but this is a treatment antiviral drugs treat it once he got it. Speaker 2: 02:16 Yeah. So there's a difference between a vaccine and an antiviral drug. So a vaccine is something that you get to prevent yourself from getting infected with something. By allowing the human body to create an immune system response to whatever it is that's invading the body at the time. Think about those flu shots that, uh, healthcare officials are constantly nagging us to get every single year. It's to make your immune system responsive to the flu in antiviral drug. On the other hand is something that treats a disease by preventing a virus from replicating or spreading, essentially killing the virus. So both of these things are critical in a longterm solution to meeting or a virus because obviously you want to prevent people from getting into the first place, but then you also want to treat people who have it. Speaker 1: 03:01 You know, we were talking about clinical trials for REM Deza Avir. Is UC San Diego involved in that? Speaker 2: 03:08 Yeah. So UC San Diego health and other UC health centers are involved in this. And in the past, the drug has been studied in human clinical trials of Ebola, uh, but it was found to not be very effective against the infection. And it's been tested in a number of people with other types of viruses that, uh, have the similar respiratory types of conditions. And it has been used in an emergency expanded programs for Ebola. So some of the adverse effects that we do know, again, this is a very limited study within humans, is that it could lead to things like headache, nausea, elevation of liver tests. Speaker 1: 03:44 When you have these clinical trials, they come in several phases and you have to recruit people. Now who is being recruited for the second phase of the clinical clinical trial for REM Deza veer and how big or finite a group is it that's going to be tested? Speaker 2: 03:59 Yeah. So first and background, because I didn't, you know, mention this in my last, uh, answer for some background in clinical trials, usually the way they go is that you start off testing in animal models to see if a, whatever therapy that you're working on could potentially be safe to be used in humans. And then you go to a NEC next phase of the trial, which is human clinical trials. And so that kind of gives you a better idea of where this particular antiviral drug is in terms of how it's been tested because it's already been tested in human clinical trials for Ebola, so there will be 440 participants chosen. It's based on eligibility criteria. They have to have been tested positive for coronavirus and have serious symptoms. Exclusion criteria are based on safety. Since there's been a limited number of trials with humans, people that have elevated liver tests and reduced kidney function, pregnant women for example, will not be able to enroll. Speaker 1: 04:51 Okay. And we need a 440 participants. I guess we already have a 300 some people who have tested positive for the Corona virus. So we're on our way. Certainly this study is supposed to last through April, 2023 so this is just the beginning of a long process, right? Speaker 2: 05:09 It is the beginning of a long process and good that you brought up the fact that we already have close to that many people who have tested for coronavirus in San Diego. I mean, again, this is across a number of UC schools. And so when I did send an email to the principal investigators about how long this would be taking, they even said, you know, I imagine it's not going to take that long to enroll potential participants in this trial because across California, there are many, many more people who tested positive for Corona virus. So they say that, you know, three to four weeks from now, they should probably be able to have the number of people they need necessary to get this trial started. So it does say that it's supposed to last til April, 2023. But that being said, you know, things are moving a lot more quickly now when it comes to clinical trials around finding treatments for Corona virus. So the researchers say the timeline potentially could be a bit more flexible depending on whether they start seeing some safe results coming up more quickly. Speaker 1: 06:07 Now you say this could take a little less time than three years, but uh, I gotta tell you the idea that we won't know the drug's effectiveness possibly until 2023 may raise some eyebrows. People are probably wondering, well, do we have anything now, now that we're in this crisis? And what do you say to that? Are there any antiviral medications available today that can do anything to treat coven 19 Speaker 2: 06:33 yeah, so when it comes to the timeline, um, in that regard, you know, clinical trials and safety around how long drugs, you know, I need to be tested takes a long time at this particular moment. A lot of these studies are sort of being fast track so that we can get something. So 2023 might seem like a long time from now, from now. But in the scientific community it's probably just a, you know, it might be a little bit faster or along what's normally supposed to happen. Now when it comes to the question of, okay, are there anything, are there any treatments available right now? Obviously that's a very pressing concern to be able to treat people who have the virus. The short answer is no, there's nothing that has been deemed completely safe and, uh, should be used by patients who have Corona virus or to prevent Corona virus by organizations like the NIH or the CDC. Now that being said, uh, there are a number of different drugs that are being tested right now to treat as a potential treatment for Corona virus. So this is not the only solution that people are looking towards. Speaker 1: 07:41 Okay. But, uh, so far, no cigar as they say. What are some of the challenges associated with conducting these trials in the middle of a pandemic? Speaker 2: 07:51 There are some obvious logistical issues. For example, people are supposed to be practicing social distancing and so that obviously presents some challenges when it comes to, for example, bringing patients into a treatment center and having them interact, interact with a staff. There are local rules that may govern travel or depending on who should come in or patients might get sick during the clinical trial. And obviously trial staff have to be able to protect themselves. You know, these are some obvious logistical challenges that are around this trial right now. Um, indepen DEMEC that, you know, wouldn't necessarily otherwise exist. Speaker 1: 08:30 Well, I've been speaking with KPBS science and technology reporter Shalina Chad Lani and thank you very much. Thank you. Immigration detention centers could become Corona virus hotspots. So far there have been no confirmed cases of Corona virus in these detention centers in California, but some civil rights groups this week filed an emergency ruling to force ice, immigration and customs enforcement to step up its efforts to protect vulnerable detainees. KPBS reporter max Rivlin Nadler's spoke with immigration attorney Dorian Edgar Seto about conditions inside the center amid the Corona virus pandemic. Since Speaker 3: 09:14 the beginning of the Corona virus or the rumblings of, of that there was going to be this global health emergency. What have you seen in terms of precautions that have been being taken for those in ice custody? Um, leading up to this? Speaker 4: 09:31 Um, so the progressions have been fairly inconsistent across facilities. Every detention center that's run by ice, um, is, has different roles, um, even across companies. So there are a few large private prison companies that run many different detention centers across the country. But even though they're part of the same umbrella company, um, each of the facilities has its own process, its own rules, its own regulation and its own relationship with a local ice office. And this is true nationally and also locally to Southern California is that every, every facility where I have clients that are to attend the facilities have been taking different precautions. Speaker 3: 10:10 So let's take one a site in particular, B O Thai Mesa detention center, run by core civic. Over the past few weeks, what precautions have you seen being taken for people in detention there and, um, in terms of not only the people at detention but also guards and legal visitors? Speaker 4: 10:28 I've heard different things from different clients at Otay Mesa detention center in terms of safety progressions on the inside, as is common in detention centers, there is limited access to cleaning supplies. We've had clients report that although the facility does provide soap for free, which is not necessarily a guaranteed in immigration custody in many facilities, you do have to buy it from the commissary. Um, if you want, um, if you want like, so Inbar form. Um, the, the, the housing units don't have consistent access to cleaning products like disinfectants and many of our clients haven't really been told what's what's happening. Um, they've, some, some notices have been posted about washing your hands, um, about trying to stay, um, about social distancing. Um, but nobody from the facility has really come to each housing unit and given people instructions or an update about what's happening across the world. Speaker 4: 11:22 Most people are getting all of their information from the news. Um, and many clients are worried because they're hearing from the news social distance, try not to be in groups of more than 10 people. And that's just absolutely impossible in the housing units that they are assigned to. Um, everybody shares rooms. Um, there's people are in enclosed spaces. There isn't consistent access to fresh air. Again, there's not consistent access to disinfectant products and so on. People are very, very concerned because they've had this lack of information from the people who are supposed to be making sure that they're safe coupled with this lack, with all of the stress and anxiety that all of us are hearing. I'm watching the news every night, um, and an inconsistent access to things like disinfected products. Um, and, and, and our clients aren't able to control their space, right? Um, they are assigned to the housing unit that they're assigned to. They're assigned to the roommate that they're assigned to and people who do want to practice social distance thing, who are worried about their health, um, who have preexisting health conditions that make them uniquely vulnerable to particularly severe coded 19, aren't able to take care of their health in the ways that they would, um, if they were given the opportunity to do so. So that's in terms of, that's what we've seen inside. Speaker 3: 12:41 So how has this played out for people who are both doing legal visits and, um, the, the guards themselves? Speaker 4: 12:47 So, um, for people who are doing legal visits, um, the role is, has been changing every, every few days. Um, initially we were told that we were still able to do contact visits to get things like signatures that we needed for a client's cases. Um, that will was changed. And we're now at Otay Mesa. We're only allowed to do visits with people over these like video consoles. Um, and then any may paperwork we need signed. Um, we have to hand to guards to give to our clients. And they handed that. However, um, the last time I was at Latina set, which was several days ago, and this may have changed since, um, none of the guards had gloves. Um, the, the security officers were not practicing social distancing. Um, there were signs up in the facility encouraging people to do so. Um, but it looked very much like business as usual at the detention center, except that we weren't able to do, um, contact visits. Speaker 4: 13:42 And so I think that everybody in detention is rightfully concerned that, um, all of the people who need to be going in and out of detention just on an everyday basis to bring food deliveries to bring the mail. Um, all of the security guards. So we're concerned as advocates, of course, as attorneys, we want to do everything that we can to minimize the spread of covert 19 by us and to detention. And so I'm happy to limit my contact with my clients, but we are concerned that the security officers that the ice officers and that all of the people who are going in and out of that facility on a daily basis on who are necessary to keep it running, um, that, that people, that people inside attention are at risk, um, from, from just that natural in and out movement in facilities. Speaker 3: 14:28 Right. Because it's, it's less of a chance that it will be introduced into the facility by the detainees themselves. And then the people who are having constant social contact with the community at large, bringing it in. And does, does ice seem to be taking these precautions seriously or does it still a cute pose, a huge health risk for in detention, especially considering, um, like as you said that the situation itself and the environment itself is really conducive to kind of creating, um, the spread of this virus. Speaker 4: 15:03 So I can't speak to what I has, uh, has instructed its contractors to do. Um, or what, for example, a company like corset because decided to do in terms of its unemploy ease. I can speak to what they've asked attorneys to do, which is essentially instruct us to not visit the facility or come to courts that are inside detention centers without bringing our own personal protective gear. So [inaudible] 95 masks. I have protection and gloves. Um, as advocates where we are listening to the news, we're listening to our friends who are nurses, who are doctors, who are healthcare providers, um, who are struggling to get those basic safe, that basic safety equipment for themselves, um, as they treat people who are impacted by this virus. Um, in hospitals that we see that States are struggling to provide these basic necessities to healthcare workers on the front lines of this pandemic. And so as advocates, we are concerned that ISOs asking us to choose between taking critical safety gear from healthcare professionals so that we can work with our clients to defend them in their legal cases, which are also in many cases a matter of life and death. Speaker 3: 16:15 Ice has announced that it's taking a break for those on the non detained docket. That means people who are not in custody, but it has not paused in most places the detained docket. So those would be your clients, the people who are currently in custody. From an advocacy standpoint, is it better to keep moving forward with these cases so some people might be released or processed more expeditiously or is it worth it to stop these processes right now so that you're not exposing more people to potential harm? Speaker 4: 16:46 I don't think it's a matter of saying let's just shut all of the courts or let's make sure that they keep on going. I think that there are a lot of things that the government could be doing right now to reduce the number of cases that need to go forward from detention and to facilitate representation that both um, honors people's constitutional rights to due process and our rights and our obligations as attorneys. Um, to comply with our ethical rules and to zealously represent our clients. Um, while also keeping the health concerns in mind. Speaker 3: 17:18 What would be encouraging to see from ice during this time in terms of health measures and what's possible for a large organization like this that relies on a ton of private contractors to do during a global health pandemic? Speaker 4: 17:31 I think releasing everybody who they can is absolutely within their authority. I'm reducing the population, particularly identifying people who have preexisting conditions, who are uniquely vulnerable, people who are older, people who are immune compromised, people who have a history of asthma or, or who are former smokers. Um, any of the many health conditions that health officials have been saying. These are the risk factors that make you uniquely vulnerable to various severe form of cold for the 19 and two possible death. If you are exposed and then the disease. So I S I it has the infrastructure and the facilities have the infrastructure to do medical screenings. Um, the deportation officers that are in charge of every individual case, um, have the ability to go through the list of people whose cases they are responsible for and identify the people who are more at risk, who can be really released. Speaker 4: 18:26 Discretionarily. There are hundreds of immigration lawyers across the country who have been filing release requests, um, to ice to ice officials, including the national immigrant justice center. We filed a number of release requests, um, for our clients to attend in facilities across the country. So I think responding to those quickly, adjudicating them and implementing alternatives to their attention, letting people out, that doesn't mean that you're letting people stay in the United States forever. It just means that you're letting people, um, out of detention. So they're able to isolate themselves like the rest of the, like the rest of America is doing while they're waiting for their immigration cases to be decided at the end of the day by an immigration judge. So I think that there are measures that ice can implement today, um, quickly, um, that would really, really reduce the spread of the virus. Speaker 1: 19:16 That was immigration attorney Dorian Edgar Seto speaking with KPBS reporter max Rivlin Adler core civic, which runs the OTI Mesa detention center said in a statement that it's working to protect employees and it has issued guidelines to stop the spread of the virus Speaker 5: 19:41 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 19:48 as California and shelter in place due to the Corona virus. The Navy and Marines are trying to balance social distance with military readiness. KPBS reporters, Steve Walsh says the results can seem inconsistent. The Navy continues to announce more restrictions for bases around the country to stop the spread of COBIT 19. Even so, unlike so many businesses in Southern California parking lots at Naval station, San Diego were still full the day the hospital ship us NS mercy department. Speaker 6: 20:20 Okay, me with the family, mine law's parents and our son, Speaker 1: 20:24 well Leo Quintana was among a handful of family members who were still allowed to go on the dock to watch their loved ones leave for LA where the ship and its crew will back up local hospitals strained by the virus. You always have worries and concerns regardless when family, Speaker 6: 20:39 but you know all in God's hands, man. So man, you know, greatest Navy in the world, Speaker 1: 20:46 the military is to the pandemic Speaker 7: 20:48 can seem uneven at times. The Navy has suspended most recreational activities and events. The commissaries are still open, but they are allowing people in just a few at a time. Barbershops are shut down. However, thousands of Marines are continuing to train in Yuma, Arizona despite at least one Marine at the base. They're testing positive exercises like this one filmed last year are deemed essential. Sure are still going on. What do you want to shoot? So if you don't know, show him where it is cause he has it plotted. Marines camp Pendleton are still conducting exercises with the Airwing yet nearby Marine air station Miramar. Despite having positive tests at both bases. Spokesperson say the bases are isolating. Those who test positive and quarantining. Everyone they came into close contact with some morning formations are canceled while others are still going ahead. This, even though governor Gavin Newsome ordered Californians to stay at home, we directly a statewide order for people to stay at home and we are confident that the people of the state of California will abide by it. They'll do the right thing. The Navy Marines are telling nonessential personnel to work from home, but it's up to local commanders to determine who is essential. Says the head of the Navy. Michael Gilday in a Pentagon briefing. Speaker 8: 22:05 We really do trust the judgment of our commanders and so we're giving them a broad authorities to do what they think they need to do to remain on mission and take care of people. Speaker 7: 22:16 Well, the Navy encourages basis to listen to local authorities. It also put out guidance that makes it clear the Navy isn't required to follow these orders, nor are federal contractors like NASSCO or shipbuilder in San Diego where the parking lots remained. Justice packed at the same briefing, acting secretary of the Navy, Thomas mildly acknowledged that not every commander may be getting the message. Speaker 8: 22:38 Everyone's taking this pretty seriously, so we are hearing about some anomalies and we're trying to address those, but generally speaking, we are leaving those decisions to the commander. Speaker 7: 22:46 The situation is rapidly evolving. 15 days after it left Vietnam, a country that already had a handful of cases, three sailors aboard the San Diego based aircraft carrier USS Roosevelt tested positive. The first case is aboard Navy ships that maybe hasn't determined whether the virus came from the port visit or possibly from one of the aircraft that arrived. Virtually all port visits have now been suspended for the roughly 100 ships deployed at sea. The Roosevelt has been sent to Guam. Every one of the 5,000 sailors is now being tested for the virus. Though the vast majority of ships don't have Corona virus testing kits before the mercy departed for LA, the head of the Navy medicine West rear Admiral Timothy Webber was asked why more sailors haven't been tested? Speaker 9: 23:32 Because Navy medicine, military medicine, uh, follow CDC guidelines and CDC guidelines don't say a test everyone. Speaker 7: 23:40 The new numbers show the Navy and Marines have the highest infection rates among the services. New restrictions Speaker 1: 23:46 are expected. Steve Walsh KPBS news. This story was produced by the American home front project, a public media collaboration that reports on military life and veterans funding comes from the corporation for public broadcasting. Speaker 10: 24:04 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 24:09 many medical students in San Diego are finding their education on hold. Amid the Corona virus pandemic, the UC San Diego school of medicine has halted in-person classes and clinical rotations where students interact face to face with patients. KPBS reporter Andrew Bowen tells us how those students are finding new ways to support the healthcare system in a time of crisis. Speaker 11: 24:35 [inaudible] Speaker 12: 24:36 Millie [inaudible] is helping her mother's Shobe Nez. So cotton surgical masks, they're not suitable for doctors or nurses, but they can be useful for sick or elderly people if they have to go to the doctor or groceries. Speaker 11: 24:47 So I'm just going to put it on and it fits pretty snug. And the good thing is that there's pipe cleaner on top, which will fit to each person's nasal bridge. Speaker 12: 24:59 [inaudible] is entering her fourth year of medical school at UCS D the Corona virus outbreak forced the university to stop the rotations that make up most of a student's third and fourth years of medical school. Decide, says it was the right call. Speaker 11: 25:12 We may carry the disease and spread that both to our clinical teams, to our families when we return home and also to other patients. So there was a lot of concern about are we needed in the clinical space and what's the best way for us to contribute Speaker 12: 25:27 med students without sewing machines are finding ways to pitch into. Third year medical student Armando [inaudible] jr helped start a donation drive collecting personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, surgical and end 95 masks, gowns, disposable Vogels and a and gloves. Uh, they don't have to be sterile. They can be, uh, nitrile gloves, um, to just, uh, help, uh, health care workers do their job as word spread. They manage to collect hundreds of pieces of equipment. This week I definitely wanted to do something as a student, a physician, um, and try to help to combat the pandemic in any way possible. And I thought this was a definitely one of the ways we could help. Uh, our, our physicians in San Diego, Caitlin Brene is about to start her residency at Rady children's hospital. She's been doing childcare for a physician she used to work with going on bike rides, making obstacle courses. The nine year old she's watching has been learning piano from an app. Speaker 13: 26:25 [inaudible] Speaker 11: 26:26 she's using both left and right hand. I'm thoroughly impressed and had tic talk and under we are the champions stuck in my head on that. Last night Speaker 12: 26:35 Brene and some other classmates helped organize an online portal to match med student volunteers with health care workers who need help, childcare, grocery runs or other errands. She says being a doctor is stressful under normal circumstances. Now it's even worse. Speaker 11: 26:51 I'm really from any level of the healthcare system, from your urgent care visit to your last line ICU. Everyone is all hands on deck right now and the kids are at home. So there's obviously that need, um, where there hasn't really been before. Speaker 12: 27:04 Other students are calling patients to prepare them for telehealth visits or helping write patient discharge orders. Brene says med students can also use what they've learned to help folks understand what's happened. Speaker 11: 27:16 Even at my stage of training, um, I'm able to provide, uh, more of an informative role to friends and family. Um, and I've really tried to, to adopt that role and embrace it and pass out, you know, the math, the message of why social isolation and all these things that we're doing, um, can actually make a difference. Speaker 12: 27:33 Of course, med students are facing their own challenges to take Millie DSI. Speaker 11: 27:38 Um, so I'm five months pregnant and um, you know, was pregnant at the beginning of this year and did not really ever expect that I would be later pregnant during a pandemic Speaker 12: 27:50 decides husband is a resident neurosurgeon given his higher risk of exposure to the Corona virus and the threat of the disease complicating their pregnancy, they decided she should move in with her parents in LA. She says that separation is tough and it's a terrifying time to be entering a career in medicine Speaker 11: 28:08 that really reaffirms our decision to go into healthcare, to serve patients that really are the most vulnerable. The scary thing I think is just how unprepared our whole system is for things that can happen like this. It is, um, very scary that we're often not supported by like infrastructure and by larger policies Speaker 12: 28:30 where doctors are finding some support though is among their future colleagues. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news Speaker 1: 28:41 with pandemic shelter in place, orders in effect. A lot of people are getting a little stir crazy at home. They might be thinking, why can't I just get out of town and head to the mountains or the desert? Well, Saul Gonzalez, host of the California reports spoke with KQD science reporter Leslie McClurg about why that's not such a good idea. Speaker 14: 29:02 Yeah, Speaker 15: 29:03 the primary issue that we're dealing with in any sort of isolated place is limited resources. So small communities often have one single critical care hospital and you don't want outsiders bringing in the Corona virus. So if you're in a hotspot, like say you're in San Francisco, you don't want to go to some small town that doesn't have the virus and potentially, you know, spread the virus there. You also don't want to get coven 19 in a small place because hospitals are likely to get overrun if cases explode there. If there's a surgeon cases. So let's use Lake Tahoe as an example. Patients who need specialized care where there's only one hospital are generally sent to Sacramento Davis. So what if those communities are overrun? Then you got people sitting in an ER in Tahoe without any place to go. So that's a really bad scenario. Uh, I talked to an emergency room doctor in Tahoe, his name's clay Josephy and this is what he had to say. Speaker 16: 29:57 We have a small rural geographically isolated community hospital, like we don't have, you know, a cath lab or a neurosurgeon or interventional radiology for strokes. Speaker 15: 30:09 So what he's basically pointing out there is that you don't want to have a specialized need in one of these places. So it's best just to stay where you're at. So are there some places starting to feel the impact of outer towners coming in? Yeah. A really good example is a little tiny town in Idaho called sun Valley. This happens to be where my brother lives, a little ski town where a lot of people from Seattle, LA, San Francisco have second homes, and now there are a surge in cases in this little tiny town that we're probably flown in from people going to their second homes, their vacation homes, and that little tiny hospital is now down 90 healthcare workers out of 450 some are sick with a virus. Some are exposed to patients who had Corona virus before. They were really ready to take on those patients. Speaker 15: 30:56 There's not enough ambulances in this little town now to meet their needs. There's overloading at hospitals in the region, inhalers and breathing support is running on short supply. I talked to an ER doctor there named Terry O'Connor. We took a big hit in our medical capacity with losing a lot of personnel and I think this is a cautionary tale for a little rural critical access hospital, but you just know the story is going to play out in so many other places in the nation in the weeks to come. Hmm. Okay. So going to a rural town or semi-rural town is isn't a good idea, but what about like just a long solo hike or going camping by yourself or with a partner? Anything wrong with that? The same advice really applies, you know, a long solo hike, maybe close to home on a trail that you're really familiar with is probably okay. The problem with being out and doing solo things is if you get hurt, so if you sprain an ankle, then you could potentially add more stress to an already stressed healthcare system. You don't really want to leave your County sheltering in place. The goal of that is to stay close to home. Speaker 1: 32:00 That was KQBD science reporter Leslie McClurg speaking with California report host Saul Gonzalez. Speaker 1: 32:15 Welcome to midday edition on this Friday and you know, normally on Fridays morning, mid day edition, we speak to a KPBS arts editor, Julia Dixon, Evans about the art events going on over the weekend and what you might want to go out and see. But California's governor is issued a stay at home order to slow the spread of the Corona virus in many arts organizations across County have closed their doors, but some local arts groups have gone online. Julia joins us now to give us some examples and welcome Julia. Hi Tom. Julia, tell me first of all about this trend of arts going virtual. Speaker 11: 32:56 So it's one of those things that's out of necessity, both professionally and also I think emotionally and for building a community, artists need to create and share work and we need to experience it. So right now they're turning the Instagram stories, Facebook live, broadcasting their performances or teaching workshops on YouTube or if there are multiple people involved performing in zoom. Speaker 1: 33:22 Okay, here's one example via Musica has a virtual event this evening. Now, if you haven't heard of via Musica, can you tell us about them? Speaker 11: 33:31 Yeah, they're a local nonprofit music school based in Sorento Valley and like many educators over the past few weeks, their faculty have had to switch recently to running all their private lessons to classes and other programming online. Speaker 1: 33:48 And what is this evening's event? Speaker 11: 33:50 So they're running this live from the S series and Kyle Adam Blair is a local piano and music teacher and he'll perform some contemporary piano works, some of which are having their quote internet live premiere. And he'll also be discussing the pieces throughout the show. You can tune in from seven to eight o'clock tonight on Facebook live or on zoom. Speaker 1: 34:14 Well, since you folks are tuned in right now, let's listen to a clip of one of those pieces. This is thicket by Stewart Saunders Smith Speaker 17: 34:29 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 34:34 and that's they get by Stewart Saunders Smith moving on. Giulia bread and salt has been offering up artists interviews. Any of them stand out to you? Speaker 11: 34:45 Yeah. They've been running these pretty lively and fun casual discussions, uh, Tuesday through Saturday with curator Thomas DeMello and bread and salt artists. And today at one o'clock, so right after, um, artist Melissa Walter who does these really intricate geometric works and paper sculptures, she's worked as a science illustrator for NASA and they use of space and astrophysics and her art is relieve phenomenal. And then tomorrow, the binational artist Panka who recently opened a new exhibition at bread and saw called I am the architect of my own misfortune. And that opened shortly before all the closures. She's also the artist behind their iconic smiling ice cream cone mural on the side of their building. Speaker 1: 35:35 Okay. So if you tune in tomorrow at one o'clock, what do you think? What can you expect to see? Speaker 11: 35:41 Well, it's a, it's like a split screen chat on Instagram with the curator and then the artist, I'm generally at home or in their studio discussing their work. And, um, sometimes they take questions. You can type in your questions on Instagram stories as well. Speaker 1: 35:56 Okay. And so that's what a bread and salt is offering up virtually. Uh, let's move on to the old globe because that San Diego theater has a few events planned this week. Walk us through what we can expect from the old globe. Speaker 11: 36:11 Well, they're moving a lot of their things online, a lot of workshops and talks and on Tuesday evening they're hosting thinking Shakespeare live with the Globes artistic director, Barry Edelstein. It's a chance to learn the behind the scenes process artists and directors use to understand Shakespeare and through the help of Edelson who has literally written the book on this, on performing and reading Shakespeare as an actor that'll be hosted on the old Globe's Facebook page on Tuesday at six 30. Speaker 1: 36:42 Yeah, he's a very interesting guy. We've had him on the show many times. Very, very interesting to listen to. And uh, you're listening to midday edition right now. I'm Tom fudge and I've been speaking with KPBS arts editor, Julia Dixon Evans. Also joining the conversation now or a couple of other people. Chris Goldsmith from the belly up. Chris, thanks for being with us. And Jennifer, Eve thorn of Moxie theater. Welcome to you Jennifer. Speaker 18: 37:12 Thanks for having me. Speaker 1: 37:13 Now, Jennifer, the Moxie theater is launching a virtual play festival this weekend, which sounds pretty elaborate. Why don't you talk to me about the play this weekend that's going to kick off the series. Speaker 18: 37:25 Uh, the play that starts this evening is called safe distance. And like all of the plays in our zoom Fest, it is written to be set in a zoom conference call. So the characters are aware that they're on a zoom conference call and are all quarantined in their homes. So these, these plays were created for this moment in time. Speaker 1: 37:47 Well, uh, performing a play on zoom. It sounds kind of funny that there are plays that are like meant to be on zoom. It seems like a world away from performing on stage in front of a live audience. Why don't you talk a little bit, I mean, expand a little bit more on those differences. Speaker 18: 38:02 Of course. Uh, you know, we did try to rehearse, uh, some scripts from, uh, already existing plays to see if we could do those on zoom. And they felt like they were lacking something. And so we thought, you know, theater is live. It embraces the nature of being live, the mistakes that can happen live. Why don't we create something that embraces the issues that we're all facing, trying to have these video conferences in zoom. So safe distance is actually a fictional, uh, uh, meeting for a pressed juice company called fresh and they are trying to navigate quarantine company secrets and the struggle to mute and unmute yourself. And uh, rehearsals have been fun. Uh, they have had, you know, the actors are all in their own homes and the things that happened to you happened to them, their children run in, in the middle of a scene. But the great thing about it is that anything that can go wrong during the performance just enhances the experience of the performance. Speaker 1: 39:02 It sounds like, it sounds like you're saying that, uh, kind of the essence of this is the liveliness of it. That's what makes it different from watching something on TV. Speaker 18: 39:11 Exactly. And so every single performance is different. You know, TV does TV really well and theater, we do live well and so we chose to go live. Speaker 1: 39:22 Jennifer, Moxie is also accepting submissions from playwrights for future zoom plays. You want to talk about that? Speaker 18: 39:29 I would love to. We are looking for playwrights. Moxy focuses on producing women's work. Uh, so female playwrights who are writing scripts that are also sentenced zoom. The only stipulations are that they need to be four characters or less because we've discovered mobile devices will only fit four faces on a screen. They need to be 20 pages or less. Speaker 1: 39:50 All right. And, uh, um, Jennifer Eve thorn is with Moxie theater. Now let's get, uh, Chris Goldsmith involved in the conversation. Chris, how's the belly up doing going digital? Speaker 19: 40:04 Well, we're certainly busy. Um, we've had, uh, we've had a tough being closed and we also, uh, work with the music box. And so between the two venues, we've rescheduled, uh, over a hundred shows so far and we keep waiting to see how this goes. But in the meantime, uh, both venues have been working on, uh, virtual, uh, alternatives to stay connected to our audience. And for the belly up that involves the belly up live website, which is belly up live.com where we have downloads of uh, almost a hundred different shows available, um, to, to our fans and fans of the band. Speaker 1: 40:44 You know, Chris, we're going to actually play one of your most popular downloads from the belly up live. This is blew by the Jay Hawks and it was recorded live on the belly upstage in 2015. All right. Speaker 10: 41:10 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 41:13 you know, one thing that's interesting about this, Chris, is proceeds, I am told from this are going to artists who have been impacted by Corona virus. How our performance, how are performers surviving financially right now? Speaker 19: 41:28 Well, they're definitely struggling. I mean, one of the nice things about a lot of performers is that they do have a revenue from songwriting and um, you know, from recordings, but most performers, the majority of their money is from live music. And um, so right now they're in shock. Most of them that I talked to trying to figure out how to get through month to month. Um, a lot of them are moving to live stream performances and a lot of them are having some success with that. Um, that's definitely sort of a, a micro in the, I mean John legend is doing it too, but locally, uh, it's become an interesting micro uh, industry that, that the music box is actually going to be supporting and, and we'll be talking more about that next week. Um, but also just through the sale of downloads and um, you know, uh, other recordings, it all supports the artist. It all flows back. Speaker 1: 42:18 And Julia, I like to ask our other guests, Julia or Jennifer, is there anything you'd like to add? I mean, how are, how are these economic times affecting artists? Speaker 18: 42:29 I think it's been a particularly challenging time, uh, for theater like music, we really rely on people on, on groups coming together. Uh, I know all the actors in our production. We're slated to go on stage and their performances have been canceled. And that means a significant loss of income for a lot of people who rely on those shows to pay their rent. And so, uh, we're just trying to find a way to get money to artists and, uh, this is how we're, this is one of the creative ways we're doing it. Speaker 1: 42:59 Okay. That was Jennifer, I think we heard from um, Julia, anything from you? Any last word? Speaker 11: 43:04 Yeah, I think it's so uncertain and it's bleak. We're not even sure the magnitude of how difficult this will be for artists and groups and a lot of local performers and artists were already struggling to make a living from their art. A lot of them have second jobs in either the, um, the performing arts industry or in the service sector. They're working as box office workers or as educators. So all around they're struggling to pay rent, not just sell their art. Speaker 1: 43:32 Okay. Well thank you very much. This has been a the weekend preview on mid day edition. I've been speaking with KPBS arts editor, Julia Dixon Evans, Moxie theatres, Jennifer Eve thorn. And the belly ups. Chris Goldsmith, thanks to all of you. Speaker 19: 43:49 Thank you. Thanks Tom. Speaker 10: 43:56 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 44:00 mid day edition is cohosted by Jane Heinemann and Marine Kavanaugh and produced by Marissa Cabrera, Brooke Ruth and Pat Finn. Art segment producers are Beth Armando when Julia Dickson Evans, midday edition senior producer is Megan Burke, executive producers. Natalie Walsh, Rebecca Chuck Cohn directed today's show. Emily Jen Koski arranged our theme music, which is composed by the artist catching flies. I'm Tom FID. Stay six feet apart. Remember that, but have a good weekend and anyway, thank you very much. Speaker 10: 44:43 [inaudible].