Protestors Call For Reopening Of Public Spaces In San Diego, UCSD Chancellor On The Costs Of Campus Closure, 1918 Flu Pandemic, Shakespeare Inspires During COVID-19
Speaker 1: 00:00 Why no public health ticketing of quarantine protesters and UC San Diego's chancellor tallies the costs of campus closure. I'm wearing Cavenaugh with Alison st John. This is KPBS midday edition. It's Monday, April 20th as we start a second month of quarantine to slow the spread of covert 19 governor Newsome began his press briefing today by focusing on students who are struggling to keep up with their education online. Speaker 2: 00:38 Uh, even though the schools are closed, learning and education must continue. Distance learning can be operable in the state of California. It just needs to have an equity lands, rural small districts and those from a socioeconomic perspective, uh, that deserve our support. Speaker 1: 00:55 Governor Newsome said hospitalizations are beginning to flatten but are still growing. He said, we are still not seeing the downward trend that we need to see before we start the road to recovery. The latest figures show the number of those who've died from the virus in California so far is 1,208. The governor said, the state is ramping up testing, which is an essential component to reopening the economy and he will address progress on testing on Wednesday. Meanwhile, unrest is now bubbling up from those who want coronavirus restrictions lifted immediately. Protestors took to the streets in cities around the country, including in Encinitas and downtown San Diego over the weekend. Speaker 3: 01:37 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 01:37 this morning there was a backlash against those protests. Joining us now is KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman. Matt, welcome. Hey Alison. So now the sound we just heard was from the protests in downtown San Diego on Saturday and that was not the only protest in San Diego County over the weekend. What were they calling for? [inaudible] Speaker 4: 01:56 yeah, there was another smaller one in Encinitas, a on Sunday, but yeah, the one on Saturday downtown was the largest one by far. Well over a hundred people down there. And they were basically calling for the shutdown to end and to reopen California. There was a lot of people down there with signs, you know, recall governor Newsome, you know, and the quarantee now we need our jobs back. Um, but it's worth pointing out though that, um, there was a lot of, uh, president Trump's supporters there, you know, Trump Pence, 2020 signs. Um, so, you know, it's, it's, it's sort of unclear if, you know, some of these people were pro Trump and maybe not necessarily anti closure. Uh, but keep in mind too, you know, we had a few hundred people out this weekend, um, out of a County of 3.3 million people, um, that's not too many, but obviously they capture the news headlines too. Speaker 1: 02:38 Well, yes, president Trump has defended some of the protestors and he's argued that some of the governors had gone too far with restrictions. Do you get the impression that the, any of these protests were coordinated in any way? Speaker 4: 02:49 And w remember us, at least one member of the white house, a coronavirus task force has praised California governor Gavin Newsome for implementing some of these restrictions. Um, in terms of them being coordinated, you know, it's sort of, and we're sort of hearing that some of these people are hearing about this through like event pages on Facebook. So it seems like that they're leveraging social media, uh, to kind of help, uh, organize these rallies Speaker 1: 03:08 and the people protesting over the weekend. Were they wearing masks and practicing social distancing, Speaker 4: 03:13 but we're, but most not. I mean, you said you saw some people with masks, some people with face coverings, but most people, you know, holding their signs side by side. Uh, there was, uh, men, women, children there, uh, elderly people too. Um, all sort of packed in down there on a street corner Speaker 1: 03:27 and presumably law enforcement was around how were they reacting to the protestors? Speaker 4: 03:31 Yeah, they were sort of driving around and monitoring. Um, we know, we didn't see, you know, any, you know, by any means, any police come out and right gear or anything like that. Um, to take a sort of a aggressive approach to enforcement here. San Diego police, uh, for the protest downtown. They didn't issue any citations, uh, for violating the governor's order or any social distancing guidelines. Um, you know, police sort of saying that this is an unprecedented situation and, uh, that they're just sort of gonna let it play out and hopefully fizzles out with no problems. Speaker 1: 03:58 Now that approach didn't please everybody at turns out. Shane Harris, who's the founder of the people's Alliance for justice, held a news conference this morning. What's he calling for? Speaker 4: 04:08 Yeah, so sort of a few things. I mean, first he's demanding answers from San Diego mayor Kevin Faulkner about why these protesters were not cited. Uh, you know, why there wasn't a stronger police presence. Um, and basically he's saying that for a couple of reasons. One, obviously public health, you know, these people could go and they could infect other people. You know, a lot of them weren't wearing masks, they weren't in their six feet social distance. Uh, but then he also talked about fairness to, you know, um, uh, he believes that if these were black or Brown protesters, that there'd be a much different outcome in terms of, uh, you know, police, um, citing them or, or what have you. Um, now I will say that SDPD has pushed back very hard on that saying that, look, you know, it's not about race at all. We would have let anybody protests. Uh, we, you know, we just sort of an unprecedented situation and, uh, it didn't matter whether they were majority white people or majority black people. Speaker 1: 04:56 What is Shane Harris his position on, on lifting restrictions and was, was he wearing a mask at his news conference? Speaker 4: 05:02 Uh, he was not wearing a mask at his news conference. Um, but he was, uh, at least six feet away from the cameras and everybody else and he was up at a podium, um, by himself. I don't know necessarily know what his position is on lifting restrictions. I just know that he's calling for, uh, fairness, you know, he, he wants to see 'em, you know, especially like when we see like the sheriff signing people up in Encinitas, um, for some, for, you know, not following the governor's order for being out, for not socially distancing or seeing SDPD do that. Um, and a lot of its parks and beaches too. Um, so he's basically saying, you know, how come these people were not cited? Um, you know, they were sort of blatantly out there, uh, in violation of this and there was zero enforcement. Speaker 1: 05:39 That is a big question about how to enforce it. But also, right now there's this whole debate going on about how and when to lift restrictions and San Diego city council woman and mayoral candidate Barbara Bree has called for San Diego beaches to reopen a beginning of may. Plus you spoke, I understand to the mayor of Coronado Speaker 5: 05:58 who says he finds the restrictions somewhat arbitrary. What did he tell you? Speaker 4: 06:02 Yeah, he's a sort of pushing a, a campaign. Can we not make surfing illegal? He sort of saw a video, a viral video of a surfer being chased by a lifeguard boat, um, and him running out of the water and being applauded by a bunch of people up near the LA Jolla area. Um, and his whole thing is he's sort of saying, uh, mayor Bailey of Cornetto saying, look, you know, um, if, if people can, you know, go out on a run and that's socially distancing, you know, why can't they go kayak in the Bay by themselves? Why can't they go fishing by themselves? Why can't they go surfing by themselves? So he created an online petition and he's planning to take some of these responses to County and state officials trying to see if there's any, you know, sort of wiggle room where, um, he says that, you know, social distancing is obviously very important. We need to keep that physical space, uh, to keep the virus away. But you know, that there might still be some activities that we can do, whether it's golf, uh, whether it's kayaking, uh, where we can maintain our social distance. And he's just seeing if there's any wiggle room, if officials might be willing to lack some of those restrictions. Um, because he basically says that, you know, the public is getting restless. Speaker 6: 06:59 Ultimately, we need the public's trust, uh, if they are to remain compliant with these social distancing guidelines. Uh, for the foreseeable future. So the best way to ensure that public trust is to put forward common sense policies, uh, policies that criminalize watching the sunset or kayaking on the Bay or fishing with your family. Uh, those erode the public trust. Speaker 4: 07:20 And I will say at least in Cornetto, I mean, that position appears to be very, very popular. Just when I was out there interviewing him, uh, yesterday on Sunday, five or six people, Hey mayor, read your article. I loved that. It was great. You know, I love your policies. So at least people in Coronado are seem to be behind him. Speaker 5: 07:34 Yes. When we're all waiting to see what actually happens. Matt, remind us what is actually being done in San Diego County to prepare for, for lifting at least some restrictions. Speaker 4: 07:43 Yeah, so we've sort of seen the governor layout his blueprint, uh, with some other West coast governors for like what the West coast would look like opening up. And we know that, uh, locally, San Diego, mayor Kevin Faulkner and County supervisor, Greg Cox, they're setting up a COBIT 19 task force with some community stakeholders. Basically looking at how we'll reopen the economy here locally, which obviously we know at least in the downtown area hinges a lot on these conventions that are being canceled right now, but it's really still unclear, you know, how much longer this whole thing will go on, how much longer these restrictions will last. But we're starting to see some of these summer events, cancellations that could be indicators, you know, the fare being canceled, a Comicon announcing its cancellation. Uh, these could be indicators that, you know, this could go through a good chunk of the summer and so we totally unclear right now, uh, when we could start seeing, you know, pieces of the economy reopened. Thanks for your reporting. Thanks Alison. That's KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman. Speaker 5: 08:35 Lawmakers in Congress say they are close to reaching agreement on a new $400 billion economic aid package, which will focus on small business relief. That's good news for business, but it does still leave major sectors of the nation's economic engine in limbo. One part of that engine is education and the Corona virus has had a devastating impact on the budgets of schools and universities, including the UC system. Since the virus forced the campus to close in March, UC San Diego has lost revenue from cancelled student housing and dining contracts. Medical centers paused, elective surgeries and campus costs soared for online learning. Can the university rely on the state to make up those losses? And how likely is it that the UC San Diego campus will reopen in September? Journey me is the chancellor of UC San Diego, Pradeep Cosla and chancellor Cosla. Welcome to the program. Speaker 7: 09:34 Thank you. Thank you. Speaker 5: 09:36 Now let's start with the financial impact of the Corona virus on UC San Diego. I only mentioned some of the economic impacts. What's your estimate of the losses and costs the school is incurring? Speaker 7: 09:48 So in terms of our operations, um, our goal, first and foremost, we're looking after the health and wellbeing of our faculty and staff. And to deal with that, uh, we knew our entire academic organization to remote learning, which means low faculty member comes on campus to teach. It's all being taught from home podcasts and zoom and things like that. Secondly, we encourage the students to leave housing, eh, enough lab that we were able to do what we call complete decompression. Others no more than one student per room in the whole campus. Uh, our research enterprise, which is a one point $4 billion enterprise and it generates about $250 million a year, what we call indirect costs as basically come to a grinding, halt, standstill. And our administration, it's all happening virtually. So everybody is sitting somewhere or the other. I see them on zoom and that's where everything has happened. Speaker 7: 10:42 So what are the various impacts now? Some are for sure, others are not. So for example, it is likely that our state funding might be rolled back instead of the budget being increased the way it was approved in January. It might go back last year. It is not a guarantee, but it could happen very like there was going to be a tuition increase in may that most likely will not happen. International out of state students might decide that they're better off staying at home and not coming here. So that would be a significant, most of our indirect cost recovery or housing, dining operations or delivery operations. Our investment income for $2 billion endowment has cut down to, I don't know, 1.51 point $6 billion. So we will lose investment income. So you can see there's a whole lot of losses on top of the losses within the hospital system where we have 140 beds open. We'll deal with the surge of the coronavirus. Speaker 5: 11:35 Are you putting a monetary figure on those losses yet? Speaker 7: 11:38 I am, but like I said, uh, some we know others we don't and most we don't. So our estimate is it could be anywhere from 500 to $700 million. Speaker 5: 11:51 Is there any hope for education to included in a federal relief funds? If we see a couple of more of these aid packages come down from Congress. I Speaker 7: 12:00 don't know if there's any hope, but I certainly hope that there is hope because you know, if you think about our economy and our GDP, EDS and meds are a large part of our GDP, so we need to make sure that we are not, uh, making this infrastructure fall apart. Uh, because of coronavirus clearly I hope there is, uh, in my mind I hope there is significant, uh, thought being put to uh, helping universities. Speaker 5: 12:28 No. As you mentioned, colleges and universities all across the nation, they're taking similar economic hits from the covert 19 campus closures. And so what do you see as a potential overall impact on higher education? Speaker 7: 12:42 I think this is going to force people to rethink. I think people thought higher education or high quality, higher education was only in person and only residential. We'll have to rethink. I'm not saying that remote learning the way it is right now, it's gonna completely replace or displace in person, but I think a hybrid mode might be more useful, a more appropriate to think about. I think people who are cut out of higher education because a lot of it was in person a might actually be part of it now, especially ones who have jobs that who could only do remote or online and now in the hybrid mode they might be, we might open up opportunities for them. So I see a lot of fundamental rethinking happening in higher education. I think if it, if this crisis does not create rethinking, uh, then I'd have to worry about higher education. Speaker 5: 13:33 Now UC San Diego operates a major academic medical center with hospitals that care for coven 19 patients. What's happening at the hospitals? Are, are they at or over capacity? Speaker 7: 13:44 Not at all. In fact, like I said a, if I remember correctly, we have about 148 beds allocated for covered patients. And I think, I don't want to misstate a number, but we might be like 20 ish right now, uh, in the hospital. So we are not at all, um, that completely within our capacity. We have also allocated a whole new building to the County, uh, for them to put a mild cold cases, mild to moderate public cases for quarantine in that building, in our brand new housing building. Then even that I think is, uh, hardly it's been used but it's not close to capacity at all. Speaker 5: 14:22 And UC San Diego was involved early in creating tests for coven. What's the status of that effort? Speaker 7: 14:29 Uh, it is ongoing. Uh, we have ramped up our testing and we now have both, uh, what we call PCR based testing or nucleic acid testing. And we also have, uh, the other tribal testing, which is looking for antibodies. So we are trying to ramp these things up on a daily basis and we might be close like 2000 a day right now. Speaker 5: 14:51 Do you have a timeline on when they might have it be available? You know, routinely, Speaker 7: 14:55 no, they are available routinely. The question is not that, the question is how many, uh, are available. And I think that depends on a whole lot of criteria, primarily the manufacturing capacity, uh, in the country and how they are being allocated. Speaker 5: 15:09 What about the fall quarter at UC San Diego? Have you made that determination that there you're not going to be opening up the campus and it's going to be all online? Speaker 7: 15:18 No, we have not. Uh, but we are keeping all of our options open. Like I said, our first and foremost priority is health, safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff. So if we believe that this crisis or the pandemic is not going to be under control and the likelihood of the contagion spreading is extremely high, uh, then we will have one strategy. If we think everything is under control, then we would have a different strategy. It could be anything ranging from completely open and in person. Like it was fall 92 completely remote, uh, like it is right now or some combination in between. So we are evaluating all of these possibilities. Speaker 5: 15:59 And how was the faculty handling online learning? I know that San Diego unified had to help some of its teachers transition to online learning. Is UC San Diego and countering that too? Speaker 7: 16:10 Yes, we are because some people are not used to it. Uh, but I can tell you psychologically and emotionally the faculty are handling this extremely well. They have been very strong partners, uh, in this whole transition, which by the way is and was not an easy transition. And I'm so proud of my colleagues in the administration and in the faculty who have made this transition very successful. Speaker 5: 16:35 What will the university do about research projects that are in progress? There are deadlines and funding to be satisfied, aren't there? Speaker 7: 16:44 Yes, there are. But, uh, the federal government has been, uh, reasonably flexible about it. Uh, so they've allowed us to, uh, retarget some of those resources towards, uh, current 19 type of research, uh, on the others. Uh, I'm hoping that they will allow us to get what is called a no cost extension, which is very, uh, normal. It's routine where the time period of the project is over, but you still have some work left and they give you a no cost extension, uh, providing days or sort of finish up the work, write the reports and so on. So it's very routine. Speaker 5: 17:18 During this conversation, you've talked about so many things that are unknown at this point. You don't know for sure whether or not the campus is going to be open in September. You don't know if a foreign students are going to come back in the numbers that they used to be. There are so many unknowns. How are you handling that when you are responsible for the longterm planning of this major institution? Speaker 7: 17:38 So number one, I can tell you that the campus will be operational in September. That I can tell you, I don't know if we would be physically all due to that, if that's what you mean by open. Uh, secondly, the way I am managing it is by having what I think of as multiple hypothesis and scenarios in my head floating around and every day, every hour when I talk to people, I'm improving on these hypothesis. We have emergency operation center meetings every day and we discuss these issues and we keep on updating our strategy, uh, to make sure that we are not going to be caught unaware when the time comes. Speaker 5: 18:17 Do you have a deadline for making these decisions for the coming semester? Speaker 7: 18:21 I would think that sometime around the June we have to make up our mind as to how this is going to go forward. Speaker 5: 18:29 Okay. I've been speaking with the chancellor of UC San Diego, Pradeep Cosla. Thank you so much. Speaker 7: 18:36 Thank you. Speaker 5: 18:43 The Navy hospital ship mercy is in Los Angeles to try to relieve the burden on the areas medical facilities. It's accepting only patients who don't have covert 19 and has treated a few dozen patients so far, but now it's dealing with a growing number of coronavirus cases among members of its own crew. Emily Elena Dugdale reports for the American Homefront project. Speaker 8: 19:07 The thousand bed bloating hospital pulled into the port of LA in late March and was greeted by grateful politicians, including California governor Gavin Newsome. Speaker 2: 19:17 These men and women were quite literally called up a few days ago, came from hospitals all over the state of California and the region. Speaker 8: 19:24 Normally the massive ship docks in San Diego, but it moved quickly up the coast. Speaker 9: 19:29 We activated the ship within five days of getting the call. Speaker 8: 19:32 John road truck is the commanding officer of the ship's medical treatment facility. He says the stop of roughly 900 people includes cooks, lab techs and lots of doctors, Speaker 9: 19:42 general surgeons, neurosurgeon, plastic surgeon. Speaker 8: 19:46 The ship is only treating patients who have tested negative. For Copa 19 the idea was to ease the burden on local hospitals. Nearly a dozen have sent patients to the mercy sense. It arrived so far. Road truck says they've treated patients for gunshot wounds, heart failure and pneumonia, but the ship isn't staffed to treat everything. For example, it can't take care of children or perform open heart surgery. The deployment of the mercy is open ended and not restricted to LA Psalm or cogliano is a professor of history at Campbell university and a former merchant Marriner. He says one of the best things about this ship Speaker 2: 20:23 is their mobility, their ability to steam at 17 and a half knots and all of a sudden leave Los Angeles and be in San Francisco the next day or Seattle two days from then. Speaker 8: 20:31 Doctors recently criticized the U S Navy ship comfort, which is docked in New York city for treating only a small number of patients with hospitals overloaded with COBIT 19 cases, but in LA John road truck says he hasn't yet had a lot of requests. The ship services, Speaker 9: 20:48 if the demand signal from the local hospitals increases, we're absolutely ready to take those patients. Speaker 8: 20:53 LA County still has hundreds of ICU beds. The Navy says the ship stands ready to pivot to caring for COBIT 19 patients if needed. Speaker 9: 21:02 I dearly hope it does not. Speaker 8: 21:03 That's Kaiser Permanente senior vice president bill Caswell. His hospitals have sent a handful of patients to the mercy and he says a switch to COBIT 19 patients only on board would signal the worst case scenario that the hospital system can't handle the virus. But castle says, luckily the curve is flattening a little in LA, Speaker 9: 21:23 a low trend and fewer patients on the mercy might be one of those mixed blessings. Speaker 8: 21:27 While the ship isn't accepting patients with COBIT 19, there have been a string, a positive test results among members of the crew. Several crew members and those that had contact with them have been isolated off ship, but former Marriner or cogliano says a ship isn't designed to deal with the virus. Speaker 1: 21:45 The issue with doing that on board a hospital ship is fairly significant because hospital ships are basically floating communities. They produce their own water, they produce their own. Uh, air Speaker 8: 21:54 Caswell says he's still confident it's a safe place for patients. A Navy spokesman says they're following protocols and it hasn't affected their ability to take on new patients in Los Angeles. I'm Emily Elena Dugdale. Speaker 1: 22:08 This story was produced by the American Homefront project, a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans funding comes from the corporation for public broadcasting. Speaker 10: 22:21 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 22:28 our experiences, this pandemic feels like nothing like this has ever happened to us before, but it's not the first time of viruses swept the globe. It's helpful to look at what we learned from the last major pandemic in 1918 after world war one and how can future generations learn from us? The San Diego history center has records from 1918 and it has launched a project to collect our own personal stories of this pandemic. To document this moment in history. Joining us now is Iris Inkstrom, professor emeritus of history at the university of San Diego and Elsa saviah, director of external affairs at the San Diego history center. Thank you both so much for joining us. Thanks for happiness. Speaker 9: 23:08 Yes, happy to help you out on this. Speaker 1: 23:11 So Elsa, how do we know how San Diego fair during the 1918 flu? What kinds of information do we have from that time? So the way we [inaudible] Speaker 11: 23:19 learn about history is through photos. We have 2.5 million black and white photos in our research archive collection at the San Diego history center. And so through photos we're able to learn a lot of what was going on a hundred years ago through the influence of pandemic of 1918 and so there's a lot of similarities that we see the masks, we see that people are staying away from the city, we see that people are staying home. And so through research as well, we're able to learn the differences and the similarities of a hundred years ago to today. Speaker 9: 23:55 And one other thing I wanted to say is we do have a collection of diaries and newspapers from 1918 Speaker 1: 24:02 Irish. The the 1918 flu is sometimes referred to as a Spanish flu, but it didn't originate there at all. Did it? How did it get that name? Briefly? Speaker 9: 24:10 No. The reason it was called the Spanish flu is that Spain was not involved in world war one. And so they were free to broadcast whatever they felt like. And so they talked about the flu and kept talking about how dangerous it was and where it was spreading. And so the only news that people were getting came from Spain. So they just kind of started calling it the, the Spanish flu somewhat in the same way as we. Uh, so people referring to the China virus, it had no more, you know, we, that's not an accurate description. Speaker 1: 24:44 And you say that we here in San Diego saw some of the earliest cases of that flu back in 1918. Why was that? Speaker 9: 24:52 Well, when they were in the, uh, the servicemen, they were, uh, first of all 11 men at the camp Kearney and it seemed to spread there. Then also we had a Naval, uh, operation at Balboa park and so they were housed close together. So the, it's almost a simultaneous breakout between the Navy there and the army at camp Kearney didn't involve too many people. There were like 11 at camp Kearney and uh, just, you know, a handful at Balbo park. But this is how it got started Speaker 1: 25:24 because we were a military center. Interesting. Back then, the illness was pretty much of a mystery to people. Right. What do they know about it? Speaker 9: 25:33 You know, they didn't have very much information like we do down not having internet, not having, you know, communication throughout the world to find out what was happening in different places. They just had to do their best. And uh, although we did have 5,000 sailors in Belvaux park under quarantine and they started issuing directions just like they did with this Corona vote, a virus about, you know, they shut down all the schools, theaters, movie houses, gym, pool halls, churches. Although one exception where the libraries, the library stayed open, but you could only check out a book, couldn't go there to the reading room. You just pick up a book, go back home and, and stay inside. Speaker 1: 26:18 So one of the San Diego Katie's daily briefings now from supervisor Nathan Fletcher said that they reopened too soon back. Then here's that clip. Speaker 12: 26:28 What you see in response to that pandemic was a number of jurisdictions that did not move fast enough to put in place restrictions early and they paid a tremendous upfront costs. But what you will also see in response to that was a number of jurisdictions that came out of their restrictions too soon and they had a second wave that in some ways was much greater than the first wave. Speaker 11: 26:51 So talk to me about that. Speaker 9: 26:53 They thought they were over it and they opened it too soon. They opened it shortly after the armistice in November 17th in 1918 but that was premature and they had to reopen and uh, the restrictions December six. So we have to make sure that we don't do the same thing now and, and uh, remove the restrictions too soon. Speaker 11: 27:17 No, back in 1918 worldwide, there were 50 million people who died. How did San Diego County do in terms of cases and deaths back in 1918? Speaker 9: 27:25 Yeah, we have to remember that San Diego only had 75,000 people. But out of that we had 5,040 cases and for about 366 deaths. So, you know, it sounds a little, but if you multiplied it in terms of what we have today, if 1.3 million that would translate into 88,000 or almost 90,000 cases and more than 6,000 is it just that we were so much smaller Speaker 11: 27:56 and also looking forward, the, the history centers is documenting San Diego's experience of the crew and a virus. Tell us how you're doing that. So we are collecting, um, stories and what people are doing during the pandemic. Um, if people can go to our website, San Diego history.org and they fill out a questionnaire, a very simple questionnaire that, you know, allows people to talk about what they're going through, how they're coping, what's their experience, um, what's their experience outside the house? Are they all at home? Uh, different questions like that. And so what we're doing is we're documenting history as it happens. And these are historic times. I mean, to see the pandemic similar to the 1918 again in San Diego. Um, you know, we looked at those photos in the archives that show people with masks around San Diego. And I thought just a few months ago when I looked at the photos again, I said, Oh, this would never happen. Speaker 11: 28:55 I mean how could it and here we are, but what we want to do and we're doing is collecting the stories and the history of San Diego from all communities. And that's our mission is to collect, um, history and we're doing it. Um, as it happens, we want people from San Ysidro, from national city, from San Marcos, you know, all the way to Julianne to go onto our website, San Diego history.org. Cause we want to document the, the history from different communities because everybody has a different experience. And so we really encourage people to do that. And we are also looking to get those stories in Spanish. Um, we have a form, uh, very soon that will be in Spanish and it would allow people to enter their, their experiences in Spanish as well. So we encourage everyone. The website is San Diego history.org, and it's the San Diego history center in Babel park. Speaker 11: 29:51 And our mission is to collect history all the time. And especially during these times. So are you looking for photographs as well as personal essays, things like that? Oh definitely. Yeah. It's, we're looking for photographs. We're looking for videos that people have taken. They can submit that as well. Uh, we're looking for, um, you know, short essays and we are getting a lot from students already. We've received hundreds of entries and students, you know, are very interested in telling their story. And so, um, it's pretty incredible to hear the different, uh, age racquets whether they're, you know, we heard from a seven year old young lady who moved from Las Vegas because her mother had died. So she came to live with her grandmother, I believe about two years ago. And so she writes about the experience that she's had to go through and now going through the pandemic. Speaker 11: 30:43 And fortunately her grandmother is there to tell her that things are going to be okay. You know, we have to wash our hands, we have to be healthy and we have to keep our distance from people. She also talks about how she's, I'm staying in contact with her classmates and her friends via, you know, zoom or Skype or those kinds of things, so it's really detailed information that we're hearing from people and it's pretty incredible. But I think what will even be more incredible is, you know, maybe in a year, 2050 a hundred years from now when people go back and listen to what we went through during the pandemic. I think it's going to be super interesting for people to see photos, videos, and to hear from different people in San Diego and what the pandemic was like in 2020 we are in D D living through an historic moment. Thank you so much for helping to document it. That's Elsa saviah, director of external affairs at the San Diego history center. Thank you Elsa. Thank you. And Iris Inkstrom. Professor emeritus of history at the university of San Diego. Thank you so much Iris. Thank you for having me. Speaker 5: 31:57 Back in the 16 hundreds Shakespeare's globe theater had to close twice because of the robotic plague. San Diego's old globe theater had to shutter its doors last month because of the coronavirus pandemic. KPBS arts reporter Beth OCHA Amando speaks with the old Globes artistic director, Barry Edelstein about how the Bard is inspiring the company as they move programming online. Speaker 13: 32:23 Barry, like so many arts organizations, when the coronavirus pandemic head and forced theaters to close, you guys had to pivot and find a new way to keep going and reach audiences. So what was that process like in trying to figure out what to do? Speaker 14: 32:39 Scary and unsettling and strange, but also it gave us something to focus on amid all the upheaval and that was really, really great. Our arts engagement department in particular, and I've got to tip my hat to freedom, Bradley Ballantine and his team, they saw this coming a good week before everybody else did and started drawing up plans. So they got a bit of a jump on everybody and were able to move the arts engagement programs of the old globe online really kind of instantaneously. It's been amazing to watch that happen. Speaker 13: 33:13 Now one of these arts engagement programs is behind the curtain and explain what that's all about. Speaker 14: 33:20 So the arts engagement department at the globe in normal times has about 16 different programs that they're taking around San Diego County, two hour now, vast network of nonprofit and government, municipal partners. So we're in homeless shelters and senior centers in refugee centers and in a very sophisticated way in prisons. So immediately we started saying, how are we going to serve these populations? They're core to our sense of ourselves. So the question became what do we do? And and, and a handful of the programs Rose to the top. Behind the curtain is a program that allows our audience to understand how a piece of theater gets made. So one of our teaching artists at the globe arranges a curriculum involving technicians from the theater designers, from the theater artisans, from the theater who take us through, here's how props get made, here's how sound gets designed. Then each program is an hour and you sort of go through and watch how a theater production is put together in ways that aren't the obvious ones of a director. And a writer and an actor. And that's what behind the curtain is about. Speaker 13: 34:24 And then another arts engagement program is community voices and that involves some local artists. Speaker 14: 34:30 So again, this is one that in normal times we're doing out in the field with multiple sessions going at the same time. And it's a playwriting program. It's a way for community members who don't have any other writing experience or may not have any playwriting experience to try their hand at telling their stories in this magical art form of the theater. And so there's a curriculum that gets people understanding how stories get built, how characters get made, how dialogue is created. And it leads over a period of weeks to the writing of a 10 minute play. So again, this has very, very smoothly moved over to a virtual world, thanks to zoom right where you can have people interacting and it's been massively successful. So community voices and behind the curtain are our two flagship programs at the moment. Speaker 13: 35:18 Now, not every arts organization in town has a Shakespeare scholar in their myths. So, uh, you have been able to put those particular skills. You have to work sharing through thinking Shakespeare and sonnets. So explain the kind of things that you are offering to the community now. Speaker 14: 35:36 So the globe is one of the great Shakespeare theaters in the country, as you know. And of course Shakespeare is my personal passion, but more than that, Shakespeare is my life wrapped in this thing. You know, after my wife and kids whose good cheer and optimism is carrying my family through, I've been turning the Shakespeare a lot and not just because the writing is so glorious and beautiful and uplifting and happy making, but also because he's a theater artist who knew what it was like to have his theater shut down by disease. It happened multiple times during Shakespeare's career. And you know what? The theaters always reopened. They took some time to reopen, but they did. And when they did, people flocked and people came out. So I'm really pinning my hopes on Shakespeare's personal experience to be the inspiration for ours. So we do a program at the globe every year called thinking Shakespeare live where I get on stage with some actors and just demonstrate how Shakespeare's theater works in the mouths of professional actors and in the minds of professional directors. Speaker 14: 36:31 Here's how we bring the language to life and we're going to try and figure out how to do a zoom based version of that a couple of weeks down the road. But in the meantime there are these sonnets, 154 poems that Shakespeare wrote over the course of a number of years and they're all 14 lines long. So I thought there might be a way to take a short version and it's basically a half an hour where I zero in on one sonnet and just take people through it and help understand how the language works, what it's talking about, what the themes are, what's on Shakespeare's mind, and it culminates in people getting an opportunity to speak a Shakespearian sonnet of their own. I did one last night, I, I got emails today from Chicago, from Juneau, Alaska from all over the country where this thing is, is going out. And one of the real strange things about this moment is that in our first week of operation online, we had 12,000 views of our material. Speaker 14: 37:26 So if you add up the capacity of all three of our auditoria in elbow park at times eight performances a week, you don't get to 12,000. That is more, people have seen this online stuff in a week than see our physical work in Bellville park. And I'm still scratching my head about the meaning of that. Another program you have going is act breaks and how is this different from some of the other online programming you're offering? So we basically have three strands of programming going on. There's our arts engagement programming that I told you about. Then we have our humanities programming and that's our online book club that, um, Danielle Amato is running a Shakespeare book, reading club, my Shakespeare thing. But then the third strand of our programming is our artistic output because we're a theater company and we have artists who make work and we want to get that out there. So that's where act breaks comes in. We basically reached out to our friends around the country and said, send us something. Speaker 15: 38:22 Ebeneezer Scrooge. Yeah. Not used to seeing me at this time. If you got my colleagues at the old globe that I say a few words on the subject, social distancing, Speaker 14: 38:35 and we're just rolling those out a couple times a week. We've had Richard Thomas, Blair Underwood is about to roll out the great composer, Michael John LA Cuza. So many more who generously sat in their homes or apartments and just did something as a gesture of greeting and solidarity with the old globe community here in San Diego and it's so touching and beautiful to watch all these talented people insist on self-expression and find a way to make art even in these very, very trying circumstances. So that's what act breaks is about. Speaker 13: 39:08 Now. The programs we've been talking about are all ones that the globe is generating itself. You're also partnering on something called play at home. And what does this entail? Speaker 14: 39:17 So a network of theaters on the East coast, the public theater and Baltimore center stage Willy mammoth in Chicago, the long Wharf in new Haven, st Louis rep, they got together and they said, well look, we, you know, we've got playwrights in our orbit who are sitting at home stuck. And the existence of a playwright is, is tenuous at best. You know, you, you only are getting money when a performance of your show is on and royalties are coming in or your other source of income is a commission where you get a, a payment upfront to get a play going. And so our, our playwriting community is particularly vulnerable at this moment. And so this group of theater said, let's just commission some of our writers who are at home with a mini commission. It's not a lot of money to write a 10 minute play. Speaker 14: 40:04 And the interesting idea about this play at home thing is the place get uploaded to a website, which is [inaudible] email@example.com and people can just download, download them at home and do performances in their living room. These are not plays that would ever be produced. And in fact, the instructions to the playwrights work, don't worry about having it produced. So if you want suddenly 15 unicorns to come running through, do it because there are no limits to what your imagination can create. And there've been thousands of downloads and people are sitting in their homes or wherever they're stuck and just putting on little readings of plays themselves in their, in their houses. And I just think it's so great and uh, you know, almost all of our 15 commissions have come in. There's such a wide range of material, giant writers, wonderful playwrights, and it's just, it's just delightful. And, and transporting to enter into their imaginations for a little while. Speaker 13: 40:56 Live theaters could not really prepare for what has happened with the pandemic and having to close completely. How have you been kind of impressed by your own staff? And by just the general response by the arts community to this pandemic, Speaker 14: 41:14 the resilience has been breathtaking and frankly inspirational in a day. We went from working in our offices in Belvaux park to working at home. The, the, the, the willingness of folks to roll up their sleeves, remain optimistic, do the work has been just stunning. And, and it's because, you know, all these nonprofit theater organizations, these arts organizations around the country are, are driven by values. We're nonprofits where we're not following some commercial impetus. We're actually following an ethos of public service and public good. And so if the circumstances change, we still have to hue to our missions and provide heart as a public good. And so that's what we're trying to figure out how to do. Now. You know, Beth, I don't want to paint too rosy a picture. I don't want to sound like some Pollyanna, you know, we have to furlough a massive number of our staff whose work is specifically geared, two productions being put on in Belvaux park. Speaker 14: 42:14 That was horribly painful. The worst day in my 30 year career as an artist in the theater. So we have to take the inspiration of this extraordinary shift to the virtual world and weigh it alongside the pain that this upheaval has caused and will cause down the road. And that's really the hard part, is managing to contain both of those things in our minds at the same time. But as I said before, history tells us the theater will survive, will open again. We don't know when at the moment, but we'll open again and people will come. And our artists, we're create and our staffs will be thoughtful and smart and this art will continue. Speaker 5: 42:57 And because Shakespeare is so central to your life, do you have a quote that you feel would be appropriate to end this interview on? Speaker 14: 43:04 Okay, well, you know, last night I lie, yeah, this is sort of a great one. Last night in my sonnets program, I worked on sonnet 18 shall I compare the two a summer's day. And the way it ends talks about how art [inaudible] survive and will survive through anything. And I guess that's about the best quote I can think of. And it goes so long as men can breathe or eyes can see so long lives this and this gives life to the, and that this refers to Shakespeare's poetry in that case, but I'm going to use it to refer to theater so long as men can breathe. Our eyes can see so long lives this and this gives life to the, Speaker 5: 43:54 that was old globe artistic director. Barry Edelstein speaking with Beth haka, Mondo, you can find all the old Globes online programming links on their firstname.lastname@example.org.