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USS Roosevelt COVID-19 Response, San Diego’s High-Risk Clusters, Domestic Violence Amid Stay At Home Order, And How San Diegans Can Give Back

 April 2, 2020 at 12:37 PM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 Help for California businesses is the focus of governor Newsome's daily update and us sailors are taken off ship at Guam to be tested for coven 19 I'm Maureen Kavanaugh. This is KPBS midday edition. It's Thursday, April 2nd as you just heard. Governor Gavin Newsome has wrapped up his daily briefing on the coven 19 pandemic in California and he started with a look on the economy. 1.9 million Californians have filed for unemployment in the last couple of weeks. He also announced a new program for some small businesses that give them a reprieve from paying sales tax and provide micro lending opportunity. He also said he continues to be quote, mesmerized by the efforts of hospitals and healthcare workers across the state Speaker 2: 00:57 every hour, every day. We must take advantage of keeping this curve and a modest trajectory so we don't experience what other parts of our country for that matter, other parts of the globe have. And every day none of us will regret doing our part, uh, to do more to bend that curve. Speaker 1: 01:15 Meanwhile, across the globe, members of the crew of the San Diego based USS theater, Roosevelt continued to be moved onshore in Guam to be tested for Covance 19 the Navy expects nearly 3000 sailors of the aircraft carrier to be on Guam for testing and quarantine by tomorrow. During that time, the Navy plans to disinfect the ship. About 100 sailors have tested positive for the virus. KPBS military reporter Steve Walsh has been following this story. And Steve, welcome to the program. Speaker 3: 01:47 Hi Maureen. Speaker 1: 01:48 What do we know about the outbreak on board the Roosevelt? When did it start? Speaker 3: 01:52 So we found out a week ago that due sailors tested positive and were flown off the theater. Roosevelt, the number of cases just kept multiplying the TRS. Now one of three ships to get testing equipment. They came into port after a visit in Vietnam where, uh, the crew were part of ceremonies there. And then Monday, the captain of the carrier wrote a letter demanding more be done. That letter became public on Tuesday. So now the carrier's doctor in Guam, while they try to contain the outbreak. Speaker 1: 02:21 Yeah. And just about a week's time, the number of coven positive sailors jumped from three to 93. Do we know if any of those sailors are seriously ill? Speaker 3: 02:32 So secretary of the Navy, Thomas Mowgli, uh, reported that no one has been hospitalized. The first few crew members have recovered. The scary part is among the 93 cases, uh, that not all of them actually showed signs of the virus before they were tested. Speaker 1: 02:47 The Roosevelt's captain Brett Crozier wrote and really impassioned letter, as you say, that leaked to the press and that was to Navy brass to allow sailors off the ship. Why did he think that was necessary? What was he really concerned about? The, the safety of the crew? Speaker 3: 03:07 No, he's incredibly concerned and we haven't been able to talk to him though we've certainly reached out to him. But I mean, just quoting from the letter, you know, we are not at war and therefore we cannot allow a single sailor to perish as a result of this pandemic unnecessarily. Decisive action is required now in order to comply with the CDC. And he goes through all of the issues that we've been talking about, how they cannot isolate people, they cannot. Uh, there's no way that you can keep six feet of social distance between sailors on something as small as an aircraft carrier. He also talked about how some of the, they've relied too much on testing in his mind that some of the sailors initially tested negative and then a couple days later came back and tested positive for the virus. So he wanted to get as many people off of that ship as possible and do a complete deep cleaning in Guam Speaker 1: 04:00 and the tightly packed conditions onboard an aircraft carrier. I mean, that makes social distancing impossible, isn't that right? Speaker 3: 04:07 Right. So the captain wrote in that letter that they can't effectively isolate crew members who are suspected of testing positive. And this is an aircraft carrier. So people eat together, they sleep in close quarters, a mainly squeezed by one another throughout the day. The captain actually wanted all but 10% of the ship to remain on board or to be removed, uh, while they do a deep cleaning of the carrier in Guam. Speaker 1: 04:33 And was the Navy reluctant to allow that? Speaker 3: 04:36 They were a little slow to react. The captain was very Frank. He's saying that there was no reason that anyone should die over this, that they needed to get people off of the ship. Now the secretary of the Navy says that they were responding to the situation. As it evolved, they rushed the test kits to the Roosevelt and to other ships and that they are trying to balance readiness with combating the virus. They say that the Tiara is actually still able to deploy even right now with, with all the sailors being moved off and they're working now to find places for the crew in Guam, including commercial hotel room. The problem is that not every ship has the ability to test and the Navy really doesn't know where this virus started. Speaker 1: 05:16 Why can't they evacuate the entire carrier? Speaker 3: 05:19 Well, there are some reasons for that and the secretary of the day, we actually addressed that directly, uh, in a Pentagon briefing just in the last 24 hours. Speaker 4: 05:27 This ship has weapons on it, it has munitions on it, it has expensive aircraft and it has a nuclear power plant. It requires a certain number of people on that ship to maintain the safety, uh, insecurity of the ship. Speaker 3: 05:38 2,700 of the nearly 5,000 crew will be moved off. They'll rotate back on as soon as they pass through. 14 days of observations. A lot of families in San Diego were in fact there. A lot of groups are now doing care packages for those families here in San Diego. Speaker 1: 05:54 No. In another story, you were following the U S Marine Corps keeping up training at the recruit Depot in San Diego while the East coast recruit training has been suspended. Tell us about that. Speaker 3: 06:07 So West coast boot camp at MCRD says they will remain open to new recruits. They took an a new class Monday night at the same time, the comment of the Marine Corps, David Berger shut down Paris Island in North Carolina after several recruits tested positive there. And it's not just bootcamp. Last week the seals paused. Hell week yesterday the Marines halted training of military police. The way this works is that throughout the military, every command it makes its own decisions. So that extends all the way down to individual commanders who deem like who is essential and who is non-essential and that determines like who can go home and work from home and who has to come in. It could make responding to the virus seem really erratic at times. Speaker 1: 06:48 Have any recruits here tested positive for coven 19 Speaker 3: 06:52 no. Recruits have tested positive but anyone in there is someone in an office that they say has no contact with recruits or drill instructors that did test positive and they are isolating at home. Speaker 1: 07:04 Has the Marine Corps introduced social distancing and at MCRD Speaker 3: 07:09 you know it's really tough to do that. Uh, but they are isolating these new recruits for 14 days upon arrival. They eat, sleep and go to class separately from the rest of the classes. And for the rest of the recruits they are trying to space out the bunks. They're even spacing people out at the rifle ranges on board camp Pendleton Speaker 1: 07:28 and the Marine recruits are flying here on commercial airlines despite a military travel ban, Speaker 3: 07:35 right? So San Diego takes in recruits from West of the Mississippi, including hard-hit areas like, like Washington state. The rest of the military is on a stop movement order for 60 days. So there are plenty of San Diego sailors who were just trapped on the East coast and can't a report the new duty stations here. At the same time, you still have recruits lying in the San Diego. Speaker 1: 07:57 And why is it so important for the Marines to keep up recruit training in the middle of a pandemic? Speaker 3: 08:02 Right? So they're saying this is all about maintaining operational readiness. This is the same reason they're saying that the tr can actually deploy even during this, uh, during this crisis. So it, it takes up to a year to produce a Marine. And on the West coast they're saying that they don't want to slow that training pipeline. Speaker 1: 08:22 I've been speaking with KPBS military reporters, Steve Walsh and Steve. Thank you. Thanks Maureen. Speaker 5: 08:32 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 08:35 as the Corona virus spreads, the CDC warn some populations are at higher risk of developing a more severe case. I knew source reporter Brad Racino spoke with people at one of San Diego's senior care facilities to see how they're holding up the [inaudible]. Speaker 3: 08:50 She says people at high risk of developing cobot 19 related complications, those with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, diabetics, people with serious heart conditions or severe obesity. And those with compromised immune systems. Also people 65 and up. That's because the human body's immune systems weaken with age, which makes it harder for seniors to fight off infectious disease. Speaker 6: 09:15 Covert 19 has really, um, set everybody on the ear. Speaker 3: 09:20 Cheryl Wilson is the CEO of st Paul's senior services, a nonprofit that is operated in San Diego County for 60 years. Speaker 6: 09:27 So when all of this started to break about three weeks ago, prior to it really breaking in the United States, we all got together and realized what was going to happen and started putting our plans into place. Speaker 3: 09:40 St Paul's medical staff began monitoring residents for symptoms of the disease. Wilson said, they also surveyed their stock of personal protective equipment, insured visitors, used hand sanitizer and began offering meal delivery. As a result, the normally communal culture at st Paul's has changed drastically over the past month. Speaker 7: 09:58 Well boring is the first word that Springs to mind. Speaker 3: 10:02 Sheila souls lives at st Paul's manner near Balboa park. She says she plays bridge, reads books and takes frequent walks during the day, but she misses the outings, group discussions and church services that have been Speaker 7: 10:14 canceled. But I have a lovely room on the ninth floor. I can see all the airplanes and all the ships in and out and I'm very grateful to be here. Speaker 3: 10:25 Data from South Korea, Spain, China and Italy show the bulk of their Corona virus related fatalities were amongst seniors. The U S is no different. Current CDC data showed that 80% of domestic coven 19 deaths occurred among adults 65 years. And older Wilson says right now st Paul's is looking for volunteers to place calls or send emails to their residents simply to pass the time. Speaker 6: 10:50 Uh, volunteers who could write little happy notes, um, to people or even if they could email a little happy things every day, little things or you know, how are you doing Speaker 3: 11:00 aside from seniors? The other groups mentioned earlier are also at high risk. Dr. Eric McDonald is the county's medical director for epidemiology and immunization services. He said at a news conference that regardless of where people in these groups live, the message is the same. Speaker 6: 11:15 You are at risk. You should take extra precautions and be sure that you are very aware of your essential activities Speaker 3: 11:25 with KPBS is help. I knew source has created an interactive map showing where the highest concentrations of these populations are clustered in San Diego County. The map shows diabetes is prevalent throughout South County where large groups of people suffering from COPD and asthma are also located. High numbers of seniors are in Rancho Bernardo, Oceanside and LA Jolla and heart disease is scattered throughout the County. You can use the map by going to, I knew for I'm Speaker 8: 11:54 I new source reporter Brad Racino. Speaker 1: 11:56 I knew source is an independently funded nonprofit partner of KPBS. This is KPBS mid day edition. I'm Maureen cabinet. There are roughly half a million in home supportive service providers in California. They work for County run programs, most make around minimum wage and get only one paid day off a year. Now during the Corona virus pandemic, they're asking for help, specifically masks and hazard pay. KQD Sam, her net reports. Speaker 8: 12:28 Cornell. Mark's takes care of her 71 year old father in law Albert who lives with her family. He has advanced dementia from Alzheimer's along with heart and cholesterol problems, but he was doing much worse before he came to live with them. Speaker 6: 12:40 The doctors basically told us to go make funeral arrangements Speaker 8: 12:43 instead. Mark's brought them back to her home and Chico and got to work Speaker 6: 12:47 since we got him from the hospital. He's been progressing. He's walking with assistance, he's talking more and he had lost a lot of weight. He's picking his weight back up. Speaker 8: 12:57 Mark's has been caring for different people in Butte County since 2016 and for years before that in Louisiana, it's a 24 seven job with her father in law. Now Albert is mostly incapacitated. She gives him medication, walks him around for exercise and feeds and bathes him. Speaker 6: 13:12 Well. I'm trying to change him some time. If he has made a bowel movement, he'll try to sit down in the midst of me cleaning him and sometimes he'll put his hand back there. So if I don't catch it in time, that's more cleaning I got to do. Speaker 8: 13:27 The coronavirus outbreak has made this job so much harder. Marx is now constantly wiping Albert's room down with disinfectant that she has to buy herself. Luckily she says she has some masks leftover from the campfire a few years ago, so she's using those. Then she has to make sure her kids, 13 year old twins do not bring germs into his room. On top of all of this Marx's, she's not getting extra pay for all the extra work. Speaker 6: 13:52 We're not getting the additional hours for the additional care since the virus outbreaks, but we're having to work continuously. Speaker 8: 14:01 Some of our friends in the business say they're being asked not to work because without protective gear, if they could bring the virus into client's homes. The United domestic workers union represents 117,000 workers in 21 counties. It's trying to get unemployment insurance guaranteed permanently for these workers who are getting a temporarily because of the federal Corona virus bill. It's also pushing for counties to increase pay, add sick time and hire extra staff to fill in. Mark says not a lot of people want to do this job for minimum wage. Speaker 6: 14:29 Like I said, you working with a person with dementia, you may find yourself with stuff on you, you know, body fluids or whatever and a lot of people don't want to work with that. Speaker 8: 14:42 With the union. Mark's has been negotiating with Butte County for over five years to get a modest pay raise to get by Marx and her husband work jobs and every weekday between midnight and 2:00 AM they clean a local community center for $125 a week. Speaker 6: 14:58 My body in the morning sometimes tell me, don't get out the bed, but I have to keep going. You know I have to, I love what I do. I love helping people Speaker 8: 15:09 to keep helping people right now and she says she just needs a little help herself. I'm Sam Barnett. Speaker 1: 15:23 Californians are under statewide orders to stay home. Thousands have lost their jobs. People are fearful of catching the coronavirus. All those circumstances increased tension and anxiety and experience has shown that can lead to an increase in domestic violence. Apparently researchers found increased domestic violence during the aftermath of hurricane Katrina and more recently in Wu Han China, ground zero for the covert 19 pandemic and sadly police suspected domestic violence in the murder of a Chula Vista woman last weekend. Her husband remains at large law enforcement and advocates against domestic violence and San Diego say they are mounting an effort to address the increased risk. Joining me is San Diego County district attorney summer Stephan and summer. Welcome to the program. Speaker 9: 16:11 Thanks for having me Speaker 1: 16:13 and Jessica Jada, she is former head of the San Diego domestic violence council. Jessica, welcome to the show. Thanks so much. Glad to be here. So summer Stephan is the combination of increased worry over getting sick and the order to stay at home, is that likely to spark more domestic violence? Speaker 9: 16:32 We really think it does based on historical numbers that we have following any events that adds to the stressors in one's life. And the number one rule that we know with victims is that isolation is the enemy of victims. And this time right now in history causes increased isolation. Speaker 1: 16:56 And what about the fact that so many people have also been laid off their jobs? How does that raise the potential? Speaker 9: 17:01 That's a huge stressor. Losing a job, having a children at home with increased responsibilities, all of those things. But we don't know of any evidence that is going to make someone who is not already have a tendency towards violence and abuse become abusive. But for those who are at the brain or are already violent and the way they we act to any kind of stress is by taking it out on their intimate partner, it is definitely something that is guaranteed to bring up the domestic violence numbers. Speaker 1: 17:41 So generally speaking, we're talking about relationships that are already unhealthy and Jessica, what happens to an unhealthy Speaker 10: 17:50 relationship when tensions arise? Well, when we, when we look at the predictors for unhealthy patterns to increase including experiences or episodes of domestic violence, we know that when there are both internal and external stressors, that the likelihood of those patterns coming to the forefront and or increasing are significant. And so what happens in a relationship is of course going to look different from one relationship to the next. What I will say is that for those who have experienced any sort of relationship abuse, which doesn't just include physical violence, it also includes psychological violence, verbal violence, financial abuse, sexual abuse, et cetera, that when those patterns have existed in a relationship, the likelihood of those same patterns either returning and or increasing are significant. And so what we begin to then see are things like a financial control over money and not allowing a partner access to the bank account or the limited funds that a family system is operating on. Speaker 10: 18:56 We often see an increase in verbal or psychological abuse and so often there are more explosive verbal episodes happening in the home, which at this point of course we also worry about children witnessing, overhearing, et cetera, and being traumatized in addition to the victim of relationship abuse. And we also expect that those that have experienced physical abuse are unfortunately going to experience those moments of physical aggression more frequently and and ultimate fear being that they will also be more extreme in nature. And Jessica, is there any way to deescalate those tensions when everyone is stuck in the house? Some of the things that we've been talking about as a community that provides support and services to those who are impacted by relationship abuse are things like creating a daily schedule where the harm doer and victim are spending time apart. So whether that's taking the kids for a bike ride every day, whether that's walking the neighborhood, that minimizing the amount of time spent together in the unit is going to be helpful and ultimately a protective factor. Speaker 10: 20:05 We also are talking about things like a victim sharing, uh, in a very sort of limited way as much as he or she is comfortable what it is that's happening in their home with a neighbor so that there's an understanding that if the neighbor sees the outside light flickering or here's banging on the wall, that that becomes an indicator to the neighbor that they need to reach out to law enforcement and ask for support. We're also talking about things like offering the victim the opportunity to engage in virtual support. So there are many online support groups that are happening all over the County as well as there being a lot of opportunities for the kiddos to be involved in a variety of activities that are happening virtually as well. The more that we can fill people's time and energy, the better off we are in terms of at least minimizing risk that there's this constant interaction that could lead to an explosive event or episode. Speaker 1: 21:05 Some are, Jessica makes the point that not all domestic violence is physical. The the mental and emotional abuse can create a toxic environment in the home, especially for kids. Is there any way law enforcement can address that kind of abuse? Speaker 9: 21:21 We can and do address it, but it has to amount to a crime. None of it is good and it certainly is a precursor to a crime happening and it is a red flag, a sign, but it has to still, words have to amount to a crime, for example, words that sound like a threat, a threat to withhold food or medical aid or to bring about harm or to harm a child or a pet. All of those words have an implication. Legally they're considered criminal domestic violence behavior. Speaker 1: 21:57 Some are. How is your office sort of stepping up to the concern about an increase in domestic violence? What are you doing? Speaker 9: 22:04 Well, what we focused on is knowing that there's going to be an increase looking at the numbers in the jail booking, which we watch very carefully and seeing that while other forms of crimes, property crimes, crimes that are related to drinking and bars and that sort of thing have gone down, but domestic violence incidents have not in terms of the bookings that we see in jail and we always know that that's an underestimate. So what we wanted to do is to make sure that we send out a clear lifeline that just because there is physical distancing, there is not social distancing in terms of us being socially connected and available for victims. We rebuffed our website with the use of a researcher that helped us so that our website has not only helped for victims but an all of the resources, very specific as to what resources in terms of shelter, food, diapers, economic, whatever support is needed is provided. Now on our resource page and we also created something unusual, which is a resource for would be offenders for those that are teetering where they have those tendencies because of cyclical violence. This is how they grew up, but they're not yet acting out violently, but they see these tendencies and they want to stop. It is also helping the, would be abusers with to connect and talk through things so that they don't respond in a violent and angry manner. Speaker 1: 23:53 Some are if people do reach out to that website. Does San Diego currently have the capacity to shelter people who need help? Speaker 9: 24:01 You know, we do have the capacity. That's one thing we did by, uh, by putting up the resources is checking actually with each one of the resources to make sure that we don't give our victims just an empty promise so that we know that there are shelter beds and where there are not shelter beds because more social distancing and physical distancing is required. There are hotel vouchers and other alternatives that allow for a victim to safely leave the situation. We know that things don't get better, they tend to get worse, unfortunately when violence begins. So for a victim to look at those telltale signs and begin the planning process, so it is not sudden, they can start talking with the different providers to see what is an appropriate shelter and place for someone with pets, with children, without pets, without children, depending on their circumstances and location in our County. Speaker 1: 25:07 And some are, what is the address of that website Speaker 9: 25:09 if they go on San Diego, it is the front banner of our, uh, website because we know that this is urgent and needed. Speaker 1: 25:19 Okay. I've been speaking with San Diego County district attorney summer Stephan and with Jessica Yaffe, a former head of the San Diego domestic violence council. Thank you both very much. Thanks so much for having us, Maureen. Speaker 9: 25:31 Thank you. Maureen Speaker 5: 25:36 [inaudible]. Speaker 1: 25:38 San Diego's North County has a unique resource to distribute food to the needy. Amid the Corona virus outbreak, the green Oceanside kitchen opened its store last year. It's run by the nonprofit Oh side kitchen collaborative volunteers are currently making hundreds of meals using donated ingredients from local restaurants that have had to close the collaboratives. Co-founder is Heather soar. Jean, she spoke with KPBS. Is Alison st John recently about the partnership? Speaker 11: 26:08 No, the covert 19 pandemic has suddenly expanded your mission. Tell us what you're doing. As of now. Initially we have been rescuing local food that would otherwise go to waste, so agricultural surplus, but with the restaurant closures there had been food inventories that would be going to waste if not for us, rescuing them and using them to feed our at risk community members. So what kind of food have you had donated? Oh, we've had pallets of potatoes and, um, all sorts of fresh produce and a lot of citrus as well. Speaker 12: 26:44 So now, um, what sort of dishes are you preparing? I should imagine that sometimes you're getting some unexpected ingredients coming in. Do you have to sometimes rapidly be very creative and think, what can I do with this now? Speaker 11: 26:56 Well, we do. And, and we were born for this where a zero waste kitchen. And so we use every part of the produce. Oh, they've made a really fabulous Paya. They have made, um, beautiful Turkey dinner, uh, made with Turkey breast rescued from the Oceanside unified school district and sun butter. We've made all different types of wraps. We make our own salad dressing and we also, uh, Prager brothers bread company donates fresh bread to us daily by hundreds of pounds. So we're even able to make our own crew Toms for the salads that we, uh, put out the creativity inside our kitchen with all of the chefs. Uh, they, they were born for this. The, you know, they've, you know, if they get a certain type of grain in a certain type of produce, they know six things they can make with it. Speaker 12: 27:51 So now this is kind of like a community kitchen, right? It opened just last year, um, funded by the city of Oceanside I guess. So you've got a wonderful facility, but do you have enough people to do all the work that you're now doing? Speaker 11: 28:05 Well our organization is primarily run by volunteers. So we have, we have lots of volunteers enough to keep to enough hands on deck to make sure that the food that's coming in gets weighed and stored appropriately and prepared all while keeping to the CDC guidelines with the social distancing that we're dealing with. Speaker 12: 28:28 Yes. That must be quite tricky to manage, I should imagine. So now where is all this food going to? Speaker 11: 28:35 What all side kitchen collaborative does is we create the meals and we prepare them and box them up ready to go. And then we provide curbside service to feeding organizations. Oh side kitchen collaborative is not a feeding organization, but we work with feeding organizations. So any organization like from uh, Oceanside, homeless outreach to st Vincent DePaul, anybody who has members that are immunocompromised or just experience food insecurity in general are welcome to pull up to the curb and take meals. All we ask is that you call us in advance and let us know how many meals, uh, are needed at the, we can have them. Speaker 12: 29:16 No, I understand that ocean side, the city version side has also sponsored you some extra folks to actually help some cooks. Is that right? Speaker 11: 29:23 Yes, we are so excited. So the city of Oceanside, uh, believes in what we're doing and has put their money where their mouth is. So we have been able to, uh, earmark 500 meals per day. They are sponsoring us purchasing food inventories from the restaurants that have been experiencing temporary closures. So instead of just receiving donations from them, now we are able to stimulate our local restaurant community by, by paying them for the food inventory that they've already purchased. We're also, uh, because of the funding from city of ocean side are able to hire out of work, restaurant food workers. So all of our, all of our staff that we have are, are, are top notch and from the local community. And we love that. Speaker 12: 30:13 So the city is actually helping not only to keep some more people employed, but also perhaps to keep some of those restaurants, um, sponsored through this with, with their budget. Interesting. So for the average member of the public, is that what is the best thing that they could do to assist in this? I mean, are you still open for requests? Do you want people to help driving? What kind of volunteers are you looking for? Speaker 11: 30:40 Okay, well we have lots of avenues to help and I would encourage anybody to reach out to us if you have any ideas or questions or comments. But we are looking for a receiving organizations. If you would like to receive meals to distribute yourself, please reach out to us if you have any other skills that you could maybe offer by working remotely. We'd love to hear from you too. Uh, we also are looking for financial funding, so if you have a company or if you would personally like to donate, we have an Avenue for that as well and it would be helpful in expanding our program to capacity. I'd like to note that in the last 11 days that we've been running this community response, we've rescued 6,709 pounds of food and we have served 4,462 meals. Speaker 1: 31:37 That was Heather soar, Jean, head of the O side kitchen collaborative. Speaking with KPBS is Alison st John. This is KPBS mid day edition. I'm Maureen Cavenaugh. There is no doubt that the last weeks have been filled with anxiety and upheaval, but one way some people have found to cope is by helping out, whether that's writing a note to people socially isolated in a nursing home. As we heard in our report from st Paul senior services or checking on a neighbor and there are other opportunities to give back to the community even during this time of social distance and stay at home orders. For instance, at yesterday's County news conference, Rady and the rock church announced a partnership to collect personal protective equipment. Here's pastor miles McPherson from the rock church. Speaker 11: 32:27 We've never been here before and the only way we're going to get through it is if we stick together Speaker 1: 32:34 and joining me now with more on community giving are Mark, CEO of San Diego foundation. Mark, welcome to the program. Thank you Marine. Pleasure to be with you. James fluorosis here. He's CEO of the San Diego food bank. James, welcome. Good afternoon and we're also joined by Claudine van Goenka. She's public relations manager with the San Diego blood bank. Claudine, welcome to the show. Thank you so much. And we're asking our listeners, how have you been helping out during this crisis or what do you think we should be doing to help each other? Give us a call. The number is one eight, eight, eight, eight, nine five, five, seven two seven. Mark, let me start with you. The San Diego foundation has put together the coven 19 community response fund. Once people donate, where is that money going? Speaker 13: 33:29 Sure. Well Maureen, we have already allocated and distributed 1.1 $5 million in the community and another million dollars will be out, uh, very, very soon and a third, a traunch of $1 million will be out next week. We recognize that, uh, we've raised a great sum of money, but that, uh, this crisis is not going to be over next week or next month. And so we're trying to do as much good as quickly as we can, but knowing that people are going to be hurting for months on it. Speaker 1: 34:05 And as I say, what, when people donate to this, what is becoming a very large, uh, fund? How do you distribute that money? Where is it going? Speaker 13: 34:14 Sure. So we have five priorities. The first is food security, making sure that people are fed and uh, that, that their health needs are met. So that's our top priority. We also have other emerging needs such as transportation and mobile phone bills. Uh, we are also seeing emergent new needs that include Scholastic materials for students. Uh, we're hearing, uh, incredible stories of the digital divide, uh, where, uh, students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds really have no capacity to be able to participate in their classes, which will be all going online very soon. And that's from a K up through a 16 16th grade. So the need is great, but these are the areas on which we're going to be focusing our time and attention. Speaker 1: 35:07 And Mark, how have people responded to the call for donations? Speaker 13: 35:11 You know, it's been remarkable. Moraine, the first people that we turn to of course were fund holders at the San Diego foundation. And of the six point $8 million we've received to date, probably 60 to 65% have come from our fund holders who said this is the time for which they needed to act and to give. Now. So we've secured gifts from about 1600, uh, corporations, foundations and individuals. And that number Speaker 14: 35:38 continues to grow every day. Speaker 1: 35:40 Now, many people find themselves out of work because of this outbreak and money is tight, but there are other ways people can help like volunteering. And this is to our listeners, if you've found a way to help give us a call, the number is 1888955727, that's one eight, eight eight eight nine five KPBS let me turn to James. The San Diego food bank is one of the organizations in need of volunteers right now. Isn't that right? Speaker 14: 36:10 That is correct. That is a always been a major part of our supply chain, our, our workforce. And a typical year, about 29,000 volunteer visits, uh, the value of that volunteerism, about one point $8 million of free labor. So we've had to kind of adjust some things cause you know, one of the big groups that provide a lot of that volunteerism where corporations that are doing community outreach, community service projects, while they all canceled within the first week, 50 groups, 1400 volunteers. And so we've been putting out the call for individuals and you know, knock on wood, so far, so good. Uh, we've been doing pretty well. Filling the shifts. Speaker 1: 36:49 What will the volunteers be doing? Speaker 14: 36:51 Well, they, uh, you know, our model is one of the, uh, more cutting edge models. So we sort of pack all the food that goes out for distribution. So rather than bringing out a big, huge VAT of a, of a fruit, we actually bagged that fruit, you know, so it might be eight or 10 apples in a bag or oranges or what have you. So it makes the distributions go a lot quicker. So they sort food, they package the food. Uh, we have a senior program. We do 14,000 a week. We serve 14,000 seniors a month. They get a 36 pound box of food. Um, well that food, each one of those boxes have to be a pack. So, you know, my volunteers are making 13,000 boxes a month or 14,000 boxes a month just for that program alone. So it's pretty much everything we, uh, distribute. Last year was 32 million pounds of food. A volunteer will generally touch that food before it goes out. Speaker 1: 37:40 How does volunteering conform with the governor's stay at home orders? Speaker 14: 37:45 Well, um, we are exempt from the, uh, executive order. So all food banks, food pantries, our nonprofit partners, uh, with a, um, you know, feeding programs and all our volunteers are all essential personnel and they're all exempt from the, uh, from the governor's order. Uh, we are taking care of all the precautions we're doing, social spacing, hand washing stations, sanitizer, gloves and all that. So we're making sure that our volunteers are protected if they do come in and volunteer. Speaker 1: 38:14 And that's at the San Diego food bank. Let me turn now to Claudine. One of the most well known ways of volunteering, of course, is to give blood. And now the San Diego blood bank wants you to know that they are still taking appointments from blood donors. Claudine, how does that work during the Corona virus outbreak? Yes. So I will say, I'll start by saying the community Speaker 15: 38:36 really has come to the table and come out to donate blood. A couple of weeks ago we were definitely in crisis, but the word got out, people have been coming in. So now what we're asking is for folks to make an appointment temporarily. We are on an appointment only basis. We're asking them to make an appointment for the next three to four weeks because while we do have a stable supply right now, we are going to need to continue to keep that supply stable through the pandemic and beyond. And, and much like the food bank, we are considered an essential community service. So we will remain open all of our donors centers and the few mobile drives that there are, uh, will remain open during the stay at home order. Speaker 1: 39:15 We do have a caller on the line. Sam is calling us from San Diego. Sam, welcome to the program. Speaker 16: 39:22 Hi. Um, I'm calling from mere Mesa and I want to encourage everyone to, uh, make masks and uh, spare your, uh, and identify mass for F, uh, for the, uh, those who actually need them. Speaker 1: 39:37 And are you making masks to them? Speaker 16: 39:40 Yes, our family has made more than 500 masks and we have been passing out to nurses and elderly and we have way more requests than we can do. [inaudible]. Speaker 1: 39:51 Well, thank you so much for the call and our number is 1-888-895-KPBS but we're coming close to the top of the hour. Let me continue my conversation with uh, Claudine and, uh, you need volunteers though, not to give blood but to help at the blood bank. What would they be doing? Speaker 15: 40:10 We do, we need volunteers almost as much as we need blood donors at this point. So volunteers will be doing an array of different things. If they are joining us at our donor centers, which we have six of throughout San Diego County, they potentially could be helping take temperatures at the door because you are currently not allowed in the door without being, uh, having your temperature taken and being asked a few questions and that's if they're comfortable doing that. Otherwise, we have opportunities within the donor center, um, to wipe down the tables, uh, where folks get their juices and their snacks after their donation. We're wiping down the pins, we're wiping down the folders, potentially helping to wipe down the donor beds in between and to make sure that folks are social distancing. Speaker 1: 40:54 And remind us why a steady supply of blood is so important for our community. Speaker 15: 40:59 A community blood bank means everything to an area. Not all cities have their own community blood bank. And so it's important that we have enough on our shelves. We supply over 40 hospitals from here to Los Angeles, and people don't just need blood when they have an accident or an operation. We have to remember there are people out there that use blood on a regular basis to stay alive. We have a couple of young ladies that we work with on a regular basis that get blood transfusions every three weeks because they have a very rare form of Fallacemia. It's of anemia, it's called Fallacemia. And so we have to remember those supplies need to stay steady, not only for those who have one time need, but for those who are in need all the time. Speaker 1: 41:41 James, what are you seeing at the food bank in terms of the number of people who need food? Speaker 14: 41:47 Well, our lines are growing. Uh, you know, we have a nonprofit center. It's where most of our nonprofits come and pick up their food. Uh, we're distributed about a hundred thousand pounds a day just to our nonprofit partners. And so I go down, I talked to the different agencies, I'm hearing stories. They were between 50% longer lines to double the size. Uh, so we're in the process of just trying to get our arms around how many pounds of food, uh, we've distributed and how many more people we've served just since, uh, March 12th. Uh, but we know that the lines are longer. Uh, we're doing a few mass distributions, which is something that we don't normally do. We're trying to shorten those lines. Uh, so we're adjusting on the fly. But, um, you know, we typically, we're feeding about 350,000 people a month. Uh, we think that number could be doubled as of this month. Speaker 1: 42:35 And I would want to thank my guests. I have been speaking with Mark Stewart, he's CEO of San Diego foundation, James fluoros, CEO of the San Diego food bank and Claudine van Goenka. She is public relations manager with the San Diego blood bank. And I know that you all really need donations. You need people to give you a call. Uh, could you just really quickly tell us one by one how they can contact you? Mark. Speaker 13: 43:06 Oh, any person can go onto our website, www S D foundation slash covet 19 and make a contribution by check credit card donor advise fund mutual funds. They can make a gift very easily and we will get those dollars out as quickly as we can. And the San Diego foundation is not taking any fees on any gifts. So 100% of what you give will go to help our community in need. Speaker 1: 43:36 Thank you. James fluoro, CEO of San Diego food bank. How do they contact you? Speaker 14: 43:41 So San Diego food back slash get help. We're updating our website, the weekly, the list of the number of distributions. Uh, we're doing and it's about a hundred a week. So San Diego food help. And if you want to make a financial gift, San Diego food there's also a virtual food drive where people can actually buy food on our behalf. Speaker 1: 44:02 And quickly. San Diego bloodbank. How would, how would they contact you? Speaker 15: 44:06 Also through our website in order to make an appointment, to donate blood, to sign up, to volunteer or to make a financial donation. You can go to San Diego blood and we too have a coven 19 informational button that you can check there that's updated regularly. Speaker 1: 44:21 And you've been listening to KPBS F M San Diego. Thank you for listening. [inaudible].

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