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Gov. Gavin Newsom Lifts Some Restrictions On Surgeries During Pandemic, Nursing Homes COVID-19 Chaos, Preventing Flare-Ups After Isolation And Earth Day Under Lockdown

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted restrictions on scheduled surgeries, a major change to the state’s month-long stay-at-home order. Also, clusters of coronarvirus outbreaks have emerged in nursing homes throughout the state. California has finally released where the outbreaks are happening, at the same time, nursing homes operators are asking the state for legal immunity during the pandemic. Plus, how soon we can get back to normal depends on how robust COVID-19 testing is to prevent flare-ups. And, Diversionary Theatre moves its fundraising gala online because of the coronavirus pandemic. Finally, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day while under lockdown. We take a look back at the first Earth Day.

Speaker 1: 00:00 California outline steps towards lifting some restrictions and on this earth day we ask how COBIT 19 could affect climate change. I'm all listen st John along with Maureen Covena. This is KPBS Midday Edition. Today is Wednesday, April 22nd

Speaker 1: 00:27 governor Gavin Newsome was able to make an announcement today about a modest loosening of the co-fund 19 restrictions in the healthcare sector. Newsom says hospitals in California can begin to resume scheduled surgeries if they are sure. They have surge capacity available for [inaudible] patients and the state's plans for testing are expanding from a 25,000 tests a day goal by the end of the month up to 60 to 80,000 in the near future and testing, tracking, tracing and quarantine. The first part of California's six step reopen and recovery model was the main focus of today's news conference. Joining us now is California Lieutenant governor Lenny CUNA Lucas and among her duties she is a member of the governor's new task force on business and jobs recovery. Lieutenant governor, welcome to the program.

Speaker 2: 01:20 Hello Maureen. Thank you for having me.

Speaker 1: 01:23 Now the governor says hospitals can resume scheduled surgeries. Is that because the number of Kovac patients is down and expected to stay down.

Speaker 2: 01:33 So the number of co-fund patients in our hospitals has, has hit, um, a level where day to day there are only modest changes. So for instance, we have about 1300 patients in ICU right now and that has been maybe up a few percent down and a few percent, um, over the course of the last week or so. So what that means is that it's evidence that we have flattened the curve that people in California who have really taken seriously the state stay at home order have done their job. And as a result, we have capacity in our hospitals and frankly, Maureen, that there are a lot of people out there who need that hip, hip replacement surgery, need those various surgeries that are, are absolutely essential for their wellbeing, um, but have been put off in order to create the capacity in our hospitals for the surge that we have done. Uh, really an, uh, a remarkable job in minimizing through our, a stay at home, uh, activities.

Speaker 1: 02:40 Now, the governor talked at length at the beginning of today's news conference about how anxious people are to get out and get the state reopened. Here's governor Noosa

Speaker 3: 02:50 and I wish I could prescribe a specific date to say, well, we can turn out the light switch and go back to normalcy. We have to make it crystal clear, uh, that there is no light switch and there is no date in terms of our capacity, uh, to provide the kind of clarity that I know so many of you demand and deserve.

Speaker 1: 03:13 Lieutenant governor, how would you characterize the amount of pressure state officials are getting to reopen?

Speaker 2: 03:20 Well, Maureen, I think that we put ourselves under pressure because we understand the direct link between the stay at home order, uh, which again has resulted in the saving of, you know, potentially tens of thousands of lives. Um, but the connection between the stay at home order and the fact that this is doing significant damage to our economy, we have lost over 3.1 million jobs, or at least that's the number of people who are on unemployment. Uh, and so how we look at the arc of our return to work, return to school, return to life as a way to get our economy moving again, it's really essential, but of course we have to do it in a way that's safe. And at this point, what epidemiologists and experts and scientists are saying is that until we have a vaccine, this won't be behind us. And so in the meantime, how we can bridge this gap through a combination of testing and tracking as well as looking at some of these new therapies, new medicines that are in trials in our state and elsewhere. Uh, in addition to imposing social distancing, say in the workplace or in our schools or in our restaurants and other other public places. All of this is going to create a lot of different components that need to come together in order to begin to do what the governor said. Just turn that light switch up more and more until, as I said, we get to that point in the future where this is behind us.

Speaker 1: 04:58 Let's talk about testing. The state's guidelines have been expanded to include asymptomatic people in senior care facilities and in prisons. Now here in San Diego, some health care centers have told us they are not using all their testing capacity. So some hospitals have loosened those guidelines from themselves. They include testing, asymptomatic people, getting surgeries and pregnant women in labor. Can individual counties and hospitals make their own guidelines for testing?

Speaker 2: 05:30 Well, so the governor's numbers that he presented today are that we are at about 16,000 tests per day with the goal, uh, which we believe we're on track for of 25,000 tests per day at, we're a state of 40 million people. So there's going to be prioritization of who gets those tests for quite some time. And so in the examples that you gave the, um, in our prison system, in our senior centers, what you're looking for in that case in testing, people who are asymptomatic is looking for community spread within those environments. Because as we know, people are in close quarters and if, and in our senior centers, of course people are very vulnerable. So what we want to do is prioritize the ability to use those tests to be able, not just to test people who are sick, to see if they have it, know how to be treated, but also look for hotspots so that we can contain those and address them as needed in order to minimize the number of people who get sick, uh, and minimize community spread in those environments.

Speaker 2: 06:42 But if hospitals and counties want to loosen the guidelines for themselves and they have extra tests, are they allowed to do that? Um, you know, I, I couldn't specifically prescribed that. I think it depends, but the conversations and the work that is going on between the state government and the hospitals has been very close and ongoing. And, um, I, I believe that this is really a matter of, um, a case by case basis within those hospitals of how many tests they have, how many, uh, uh, they need to make sure they have in the future if our numbers do start to go up at, compared with the number of additional tests that we're going to be able to use. So the more tests we have and every day we're getting more and more capacity. Uh, the more tests we have, uh, the more we're going to be able to use them for a broader variety of people.

Speaker 2: 07:37 Lieutenant governor autopsies in Santa Clara County have revealed that the first known us Covance 19 deaths happened in California about three weeks before what we thought was the first U S Cova death up in Washington state. How does that change what we need to be looking for to understand how this virus has been spreading in California? You know, Maureen, there were a lot of anecdotal stories of people who had been in the hospital with respiratory issues that were undiagnosed. Um, so there was a pretty clear, uh, feeling that in fact, there may have been cases earlier than we had officially had, um, data for. Um, but California has always anticipated that we would be on the front lines of any kind of global pandemic down in San Diego. We know very well. You just go down to the port and you can see or talk to your neighbors and you see the amount of international engagement that exists in a town like San Diego, but it's all along our coast and inland as well.

Speaker 2: 08:41 So we are connected to the world in our position on the Pacific rim. That is why the first evacuees out of China, back to the United States, the repatriation of a us citizens in China, um, where there were suspected that they might have been infected, they came to California military bases to go to undergo quarantine. So, uh, we know that we are more vulnerable and more likely to, uh, have cases first. In fact, um, this new information of these autopsies has validated that in fact, cases have happened first. But again, the real indicator that we are looking at is community spread. How far has it spread within the community and how many people develop a level of symptoms that they need to be in ICU. Those are the numbers that we're really looking closely at in order to be able to be prepared and able to ensure that we have the tools to, to minimize spread and also to support those if they get sick.

Speaker 4: 09:48 I know the governor has said there's no date for reopening the state, but could you quickly answer, there must be a working time frame. Would you say we're talking weeks or months?

Speaker 2: 09:57 Again, I think Maureen, that, you know, he's, he's being really candid about this and that is because there are a lot of factors in where he'd be able to determine how safe it is for people to be in close proximity to one another and under what circumstances, you know, we're still looking at how easily it spreads from person to person. We know it's primarily through droplets, but we also know that people who, uh, have the virus, even if they're not manifesting any symptoms at all, can still shed the virus. Lieutenant governor, I'm afraid that we're out of time. Oh, I'm probably, we're talking about months and months, but here's what I think people should know. It's going to be a phased approach and the more that we learn about the virus, the more that we're going to be able to get back to work at school and life in a way that is safe for all of us.

Speaker 4: 10:54 Thank you so much. I've been speaking with California's Lieutenant governor [inaudible]. Thank you for your time.

Speaker 5: 11:02 Uh,

Speaker 4: 11:08 on this 50th anniversary of earth day, the most urgent question facing us is how to slow climate change in time to avoid its most catastrophic consequences. The Kovac 19 quarantine has resulted in a dramatic drop in carbon emissions, but how will this global health crisis affect the global environmental crisis in the longterm here with a perspective on this question is David Victor, professor of international relations at the university of California, San Diego's school of global policy and strategy. He's a co author of an article in the current edition of foreign affairs magazine, headlined the path to net zero how technology can save the planet. David, thanks for joining us. Well, it's pleasure to be back with you. So now a lot's been written about the positive consequences, the coronavirus pandemic on carbon emissions. And cleaner air, but you know, I wonder in general, what strikes you most about this forced slow down and how that could change how we think about climate change?

Speaker 6: 12:05 Well, I think overall it's going to be bad news. Certainly we've seen a reduction in emissions for now. When the global economy comes back, commissions are going to come back in the past. Sometimes they'd come back at even higher levels than, than before. These kinds of economic shocks, so that's going to be bad news. But I think the really big challenge right now is that people understandably are focused on other things and focused on health. They focus on jobs and economic growth and except for die hard environmentalist's the priority put on environmental issues and in particular global environmental issues. It's really dropped a lot in the last six to eight weeks.

Speaker 4: 12:39 President Trump is currently asking for a plan to provide federal assistance to the oil industry. That's of course in an historic slump in sales. Do you, do you worry about the way the federal assistance packages of being dulled out in terms of, you know, which energy companies will survive?

Speaker 6: 12:55 Well, we're going to see a lot of energy companies die, especially smaller companies, more fragile companies. That's going to be true in the oil industry. It's already happening in West Texas is going to be true also in parts of the renewables industry. That's starting to happen as well. I think right now it's a little too early to tell what the impact of these stimulus programs is going to be on the energy system right now, the stimulus programs are mainly focused on [inaudible], protecting workers, paychecks, keeping companies from going under these quickly, and all of that is the right thing to be doing. There's been a lot of focus by the Trump administration on how to save the oil industry and what's left of the coal industry, but there's also a lot of attention by Democrats and others on how to build into the stimulus program. Various kinds of green incentives, uh, just as that's happened back in the 2009 financial crisis,

Speaker 4: 13:40 now you've written it to make a real impact to slow climate change. We need a comprehensive industrial policy. In other words, lifestyle changes. Individual countries won't, won't do it. Do you think that what's happening as a result of the pandemic is, is bringing global governments closer to that possibility or not?

Speaker 6: 13:58 I don't think it's bringing global governments in the form of global cooperation closer to that possibility. What's happened in terms of global cooperation in general is it's eroded as a result of the pandemic and it was already in trouble to begin with. What I think is more interesting is that we're seeing through the pandemic ineffective giant test of government, we're seeing tests of the capabilities of governments to do complex things, to gather expert advice, have an impact on industry, on their societies, and this huge variation in those responses. So I think we're going to see on the backside of this are places where government has performed effectively. Those are going to be also the places where governments are, are most likely going to be in the lead on a lot of other tasks that require active government policy, including cutting emissions.

Speaker 4: 14:41 Well. How important is the role of local governments like the city of San Diego and making changes to slow climate change? [inaudible]

Speaker 6: 14:48 well, I think this is the most fascinating aspect of the American is with the Trump administration doing what they're doing. We've, we were already seeing before the pandemic a huge surge in city state activities, including here in San Diego. There's a big difference around the country between the cities that are talking a lot and not doing very much and cities that are talking and also doing, and since San Diego has been in the latter category, clearly

Speaker 4: 15:13 you know, those who are fighting for policies to slow global warming. For example, Gretta Thornberg often say, we, we gotta pay more attention to what scientists are telling us about global warming and climate change. Do you think scientists might get more respect as a result of how they've guided our efforts to have what the worst of his pandemic

Speaker 6: 15:32 science was coming out of the pandemic looking better? It turns out that science is really important. And as a scientist, I'm very excited to see that. I've never really thought that climate change was fundamentally a scientific problem. The science is vital to understanding that we have a problem. It's vital to guiding which technologies we need to invest in and so on. In the article and the current issue, foreign affairs is about that. It's about how to make more investments in the right technologies, but the reason we wrote that article is because improving the technologies then makes the politics easier and this is fundamentally a political problem and so long as it's seen as expensive, difficult task, then mobilizing the political support for serious action on climate change is always going to be a lot harder.

Speaker 4: 16:12 And as you say, you know, one of the resistances is that it costs a lot in the current time and it's the benefits are in the future. What, what do you see as being the most promising things happening right now to bring down those costs now?

Speaker 6: 16:26 The area of greatest promise has been in the electric power sector. It's really striking mainly because of renewable power and some other parts of the world. Nuclear power has played a role preserving the existing U S nuclear fleet has played a role, but the, the really big improvements that we've seen globally have been in renewable power and in some places it's a greater use of cleaner, natural gas compared with coal. And that's why the only sector globally that is consistently making some progress and cutting emissions is electric power. So I think that's going to be the front end of a big strategy for cutting emissions. But we have to keep this all these numbers into perspective. Stopping global warming requires an 80% cut in emissions this year because of the global economic recession. We might see as six or 8% cut in emissions and then they'll come back. And so the job in front of us remains just a truly massive job. It's going to take decades to deliver.

Speaker 4: 17:16 Well, David, thanks for your perspective. Was a pleasure as always to be with you. That's David Victor, professor of international relations at the university of California, San Diego school of global policy and strategy. Perhaps the most vulnerable of vulnerable populations for the coconut virus are the residents of nursing homes. Clusters of the virus have in these care

Speaker 1: 17:49 facilities across the state and country. Earlier this month we watched as a senior home with Kofoed virus. Patients in Riverside was evacuated because the staff refused to show up for work. Now the state has released a data on which senior care facilities have residents who've tested positive for the virus and the senior care industry is asking for immunity from potential lawsuits resulting from mistakes made during the Corona virus outbreak. I'm joined by KPBS investigative reporter, Amica Sharma and Amica. Welcome. Thank you, Maureen. It's good to be with you. What prompted the state to release this data on Corona virus in nursing homes

Speaker 7: 18:29 Marine, the state just got a ton of pressure. They got pressure from families who have relatives in nursing homes. They got pressure from staff, from people who actually live there. The residents themselves and from people who advocate for these residents and the arguments for releasing this information were pretty obvious. The families, they want to know this information because they might want to move their parents out or at least get some of the concerns that they have about maybe infection control practices or other issues resolved and workers at these places who might have your own medical conditions or live with people who do it might also want to decide whether to continue working there or, or just quit. And there's another more practical argument. If nursing homes or certain nursing homes are in distress, if they don't have enough staff, if they don't have enough supplies, if they don't have the infection control under control, then other people can come in and help them. They could probably get healthcare workers from elsewhere. They could get additional protected gear if they need it. So there's that practical aspect of if you need help, tell us, we'll help you.

Speaker 1: 19:42 Tell us about the nursing homes that have had positive co-fund 19 cases here in San Diego.

Speaker 7: 19:48 Well, there are 11 of them. There's a place called country Hills post acute and alcohol at least as of last Friday. Country Hills post acute had reported 19 residents who had covered 19 there's another place in alcohol called the Bradley court. It had the second highest number. It had 12 cases in [inaudible] and less than 11 among workers. We don't know much else about the facilities that have covered 19 in San Diego County. I reached out to some of them at, didn't hear back from any of them.

Speaker 1: 20:21 How many coven 19 deaths have happened in these homes in San Diego County?

Speaker 7: 20:27 Well that's the a number that we don't have. We, the County has broken down some of this information but they haven't extracted nursing homes out of the total tally that they've given us. They combined the nursing home figures with numbers from other congregate care facilities like assisted living communities and rehab facilities. And the last time we actually bought an answer from the County was about a week ago and at that time it was more than 20 deaths for all three of those facilities or those types of facilities. And I imagine that the figure is a lot higher now.

Speaker 1: 21:05 There's also been complaints that this data is really incomplete because of what it leaves out about other facilities, other congregate care facilities.

Speaker 7: 21:14 That's right, Maureen. I mean it doesn't include the number of cases for people who live in assisted living communities. These are retirement communities that you see all over San Diego County, all over the state. The people who live in these facilities, they're older, they're frail, they have medical conditions. They're just as susceptible to Koch at 19 and they are experiencing carbon 19, both among residents and workers. And yet there is no requirement as of yet by the federal government or the state to require these facilities to report the number of covered cases they have. Um, and to report the number of deaths. Now I should say that the County is monitoring this. It does appear that the state is monitoring this. And last Friday, the state sent out in advisory to these assisted living facilities that that they are to notify the families of residents, uh, at these senior care facilities or retirement communities, uh, where they have hard coded 19 cases

Speaker 1: 22:23 on the heels of that, there's a push to relieve these facilities from liability for decisions made during the pandemic. Tell us more about that.

Speaker 7: 22:33 Yeah. Well there is a group of health providers including industry associations for both assisted living facilities and nursing homes. They want governor Newson to sign an executive order that would give them immunity from prosecution and lawsuits during the pandemic. They say that that kind of immunity or that level of immunity would better enable them to save lives without worrying about the decisions being second guessed later. But advocates for people who live in these homes say that, that if that happens, it would remove the last layer of protection that these residents have. Here's what Pat McGinnis, she's the executive director of California advocates for nursing home reform said earlier this week.

Speaker 8: 23:19 What it we do basically is excused elder abuse. We worked long and hard to get the elder abuse laws established in California.

Speaker 7: 23:28 Nursing homes were already in pretty bad shape. A survey last month by the federal government found that nearly half of these facilities had workers who were calling in sick due to due to Covance 19. Um, and this is on top of being understaffed, just in ordinary times. Almost three quarters of the people who responded are the facilities that responded to the survey said that they had shortages in this personal protective equipment like uh, masks and gloves and gowns and shoe covers. So this is like at the start of this pandemic, these facilities were already hurting.

Speaker 1: 24:10 Governor Newsome has spoken of the most vulnerable time and time again in his news conferences. What more do advocates say the state could be doing to protect senior care residents?

Speaker 7: 24:20 At the top of the list is they want those, those inspectors sent back in to these facilities to monitor what's going on in, in treating the Covance 19 people and all of the rest of the people that live in these facilities that is at the top of their list. Secondly, they just want more transparency. They want, they want to know how many deaths are happening. They want to know if these facilities need additional equipment. Um, they just want more oversight.

Speaker 1: 24:49 I've been speaking with KPBS investigative reporter, Amica Sharma Anamika. Thank you very much.

Speaker 7: 24:54 It was good talking to you. Maureen.

Speaker 1: 24:56 Officials around the country are starting to release timelines for when people can start to end their isolation. KPBS science and technology reporter Shelina Chet Lani says, robust testing is necessary to prevent another surge in cases, but it may not be a catchall solution

Speaker 9: 25:13 for most people. Facing a pandemic is a new experience, but for Californians, there's a familiarity with this crisis because it's similar to how we deal with fire season says Summa Chanda

Speaker 10: 25:25 fire season rolls around, you see these brush fires SDG and E and the fire departments are just surveying the back country and as soon as one of these flares up, they bring in the cavalry and they, they tamp that down.

Speaker 9: 25:37 Shunda a virologist at the Sanford Burnham previs medical discovery Institute says without herd immunity, it's impossible to prevent these flareups from happening. Herd immunity occurs when enough people have become infected to develop antibodies that can fend off the virus or there's a vaccine so that people can become immune

Speaker 10: 25:56 herd immunities, like clearing your backyard of brushes. Every person that has antibodies to the virus either through the vaccine or being infected previously. Those are people that can no longer burn.

Speaker 9: 26:07 Social distancing has slowed down the rate of infections, but the problem is society has to open back up and there's still no herd immunity since the vaccine will be developed for months to over a year. Churn to says vigorous testing is necessary now and especially when isolation ends.

Speaker 10: 26:25 Either you're Superman for the next year when it comes to coven or you're a potential Barsch Brushfire and you need to be contained as quickly as possible. Those are the two pieces of information that those tests tell you.

Speaker 9: 26:38 Trinda is referring to two main tests. The first is a PCR or preliminary chain reaction test. David pride, a pathologist at UC San Diego says this test is used to detect a number of viruses which are

Speaker 11: 26:51 basically like little organisms. So really these tests are all about just taking a tiny amount, um, and making a large amount so that it's easy to see.

Speaker 9: 27:00 PCR tests take genetic material like RNA from cells collected on swabs. Scientists sort of magnify these samples to detect trace amounts of the virus. Faster point of care tests with advanced instrumentation can deliver results in less than an hour, but PCR tests only diagnose whether someone has the virus now, not whether they had it in the past. That's where a blood test comes in. These can detect antibodies, which shows that a person got infected in the past and were able to fight the infection off.

Speaker 11: 27:31 We're not really trying to detect the virus in your blood. What we're trying to detect is your body's response to the virus and your blood

Speaker 9: 27:40 prides has, these tests are important to show which people might be less vulnerable or less likely to spread the virus when they go back to work. It also means people who are immune may be able to donate their antibodies to people who aren't.

Speaker 11: 27:53 Those are things that have been done for other infections in the past. Like Ebola

Speaker 9: 27:57 pride says a combination of these tests is key to maintaining coronavirus PCR tests will show who's infected. It needs to be quarantine. Well, blood tests show which people are less susceptible, but there's another factor that's necessary for these measures to keep fires from starting. And that's public participation. So as Michael Bush, director of the blood donation company violent,

Speaker 12: 28:18 okay, we want to test the 300 million people in this country. You've got to get all those people sampled, you've got to get them to go into a laboratory or a clinic setting where they have their blood drawn.

Speaker 9: 28:30 Blood bank networks are built to more easily get samples from people and process them. Cova testing doesn't have that network and early evidence from South Korea shows some people can get infected twice. So Bush says, well, mass testing can squash a lot of flareups. It won't prevent all of them.

Speaker 12: 28:47 There'll be a dance, there'll be ongoing, both public health and individual testing going on [inaudible] and that'll continue.

Speaker 9: 28:54 And Bush says it will take a while before the world returns to what was normal.

Speaker 12: 28:59 It will not be as if all of a sudden we test everybody and the parties over the dance will go on for the next several years until we have an effective vaccine.

Speaker 9: 29:09 Until then, he says there'll all have to be active public participation alongside testing. That means lots of hand-washing, limited public gatherings and the need for people to monitor their symptoms. Shalina Celani K PBS news, diversionary fitters, the third oldest LGBTQ theater in the United States. But as with other life theaters, it has had to close its doors because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaker 4: 29:42 KPBS arts reporter Beth heck Amando checks in with diversionary, his artistic director, Matt Morrow, about his online Ghana this Saturday and current virtual play offering. Matt,

Speaker 13: 29:53 as with many other theater companies in San Diego, diversionary has been forced to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and with having to close their doors. So how has that process been and how has diversionary been dealing with it?

Speaker 12: 30:08 Uh, well, Beth, the transition I think for every theater has been slightly horrific and terrifying. You know, we're in the business of bringing people together and when you can't do, which are literally built to do it really puts it cramping your style. Uh, so, you know, we are committed to keeping our staff on and we're all working remotely. You would think that this would be a slower time for us, but it has proven to be the other way around. The, the work that has gone into pivoting all of our programming online has been immense and ongoing. And uh, but we've had great success with it as well. And the silver lining of this is that, you know, I think as a theater community, we have grown a lot more technologically savvy and we've found new outlets reach our community on online. Uh, and that's really exciting for the future.

Speaker 12: 31:04 No doubt. It has been scary. You know, we're a theater, we're in the business of bringing people together in a real time and real space. And when your current crisis prevents you from doing that, just literally prevents you from doing that. It causes you to sort of have an existential crisis of like, Oh my God, what are we doing and how are we doing it? But we have a great team and we have a great board of trustees that are incredibly supportive and, uh, morale is high and it continues to be. And, uh, we're, we're dedicated to getting through this together.

Speaker 13: 31:39 Diversionary is also having a fairly major event this weekend, which is your Royal uprising ball and this is going to be a kind of fundraiser for you. So what can people expect from this?

Speaker 12: 31:51 Yeah, so unfortunately we had to cancel our annual gala event. It's our biggest fundraiser of the year, which is really scary for an organization our size to have to do that. But yes, we have migrated and online we're making it available to everyone. Uh, there's, it's absolutely free to join in. Uh, we are going to be live streaming the evening of April 25th, Saturday, April 25th. And the program that we have lined up is really delightful. They will send who was our Hedwig and had we got the angry inch who also just won the Craig NOLA award for outstanding actor in a musical is going to be hosting and performing. Uh, and there's also going to be interactive element if you tune in via YouTube. Okay. Uh, where you can actually, uh, speak in real time with Jay and [inaudible]. Uh, we have a little game that we're going to play with the community that we think is going to be a lot of fun.

Speaker 12: 32:49 Uh, and we really wanted to, to feel like a high energy event where people get up on their feet in their homes and yeah. And just celebrate the third oldest LGBT theater in the country. Um, and so that's really been our focus is just like how do we create something that is, uh, that infuses our community with energy and love. So there is also going to be a fundraising element to it because it is our annual fundraiser. We have a silent auction that's online with over 20 really great auction items that you can get as a steel. Uh, we also have a raffle that we're going to be pulling at the end of the night lives. So, uh, we're hoping that when people tune in, they can sort of jump over and participate in the silent auction and the raffle and also ways to donate on one webpage while they're streaming our content on, uh, YouTube or Facebook.

Speaker 13: 33:48 Now the play you are going to be premiering plot points in our sexual development was not able to open, but people are going to have an opportunity to see it online. And what will people get in terms of the online version of this experience of this play?

Speaker 12: 34:06 We were in a, we were right at the point in the rehearsal process where the cast and the director of are doing run throughs for the designers and they were about to ensure that the technical rehearsals where they lay around the costumes and the sets and the lights, um, and then enter the preview process. We were not able to get to that point. We, um, you were ordered to shut down. Uh, but not before we captured a run through on our main stage. Uh, of the entire play, but boy does it hold up. It is such a compelling story. So yeah, and you know, the beautiful thing about this show is that it's really two people on stage telling their very compelling, very interesting moving stories directly to the audience and directly to each other. We're also planning a talk back with the cast and the director were planning that for this coming Monday at seven. We're about to push out all of the information on not talk back. That is absolutely free of charge. For more information you can go to diversionary.org

Speaker 1: 35:04 that was diversion Rees. Matt Morrow's speaking with Beth echo Amando. It's Royal uprising bowl is this Saturday and plot points in our sexual development is available through April 30th today marks the 50th anniversary of the first earth day yet thanks to the pandemic, there won't be big rallies or festivals to Mark the milestone in San Diego or anywhere else, but the day will not go on remembered. KPBS reporter Claire Treg sir talks to people who were at the first earth day about its impact and their for the future.

Speaker 14: 35:39 April, 1970 marked the first ever earth day that year, 20 million people joined rallies and celebrations across the country. Dennis Hayes was one of the organizers

Speaker 10: 35:51 that there was a ripeness in the country for people to rise up on environmental issues and thought that the way to lunch it was as they had done with the early stages of the antiwar movement with campus teach-ins. Um, it turned out that when we could onto campuses, there were still entirely wrapped up in the war and civil rights and a few other issues. The teachings thing was just a little bit passe in any event. And, and so he did an abrupt switch, changed it from an environmental teacher and to earth day,

Speaker 14: 36:23 Hey says the plan was to have a national day of awareness, but allow local environmental groups to focus on the issues that mattered most to their communities

Speaker 10: 36:33 from inner city groups that were trying to stop freeways from plowing through their vibrant neighborhoods to people in Santa Barbara for testing the oil spill previous year. And people in Cleveland concerned about the Cuyahoga repeatedly catching on fire. Folks who were stirred up by Rachel Carson silent spring and the disappearance of words that an American bald Eagle being on the endangered species list. Uh, just everything from peeling lead paint off of walls and people in poor neighborhoods, children in coordinate hoods, getting brain damage to air pollution were walking down the streets of Los Angeles was like smoking two packs of cigarettes a day just from reading and on and on and on, except they didn't think that they had much to do with one another and what the purpose of birthday was was to take all of these myriad strands and weave them together into the fabric of modern environmentalist

Speaker 14: 37:28 in San Diego. There were events at SDSU and UCFD, but they weren't welcomed by everyone at UCFD. Someone called the scheduled speaker and told him his speech was canceled according to a newspaper story from that day. Then there was a bomb threat that paused the festivities. Reaction among students was of general distaste and impatience. The story reads, one student said it was a pathetic infantile gesture at SDSU. The speaker was democratic Congressman John Tunney who went on to become a us Senator. He said that very soon engineers would build a smog free car engine and warned about the dangers of storing nuclear waste. One that seems alarmingly prophetic. The Wells will contain only a 50 year accumulation. He said what will happen after 50 years. And so, uh, we

Speaker 10: 38:27 had a post that, a poster contest, but I definitely remember I have a visual recollection of carrying

Speaker 14: 38:38 Carolyn Chase was at that first earth day celebration. It clearly had an impact on her. Now she's the organizer of San Diego's earth fair, which except for this year is held annually at bell boa park.

Speaker 15: 38:52 What I was looking for, you know, in 1970 I was a kid at school and 1990 I was looking for how to volunteer for a local conservation group and I think that's the purpose of earth day honestly, is to get people started because it's like one stop shopping

Speaker 14: 39:10 that first earth day also launched. The recycling movement says Rick Anthony who is at the first one in San Diego.

Speaker 10: 39:17 It wasn't an awakening for sure. And so earth day was the beginning of a trend, right?

Speaker 14: 39:22 Using earth days, momentum. He organized recycling programs at many local colleges and universities.

Speaker 10: 39:28 It was a, we picked up on it. We did, that's why recycling was a great issue on our campus.

Speaker 14: 39:34 Hayes, the original organizer says when he looks at where the country was before 1978 and the goals of that first earth day,

Speaker 10: 39:43 they were achieved in the first 10 years for a period we were almost unstoppable. I mean the clean air act back in 1970, which was the first big triumph, uh, was opposed vigorously by the automobile industry. Uh, it was opposed by the coal industry, the oil industry, the electric utility industry, the steel industry, and did pass the U S Senate unanimously on a voice vote. I passed the house of representatives with one dissenting vote. I mean, it was just a remarkable sea-change. A piece of legislation that was inconceivable in 1969 was absolutely unstoppable. By the end of 1970,

Speaker 14: 40:22 the 1970s also produced the clean water act, endangered species act and toxic substances control act. But then he says, the country spent the next 40 years spinning its wheels. The plan for this year is earth day was an emphatic statement about climate change, heard round the world, but then came the Corona virus,

Speaker 10: 40:44 a billion people on the streets of the planet demanding that this year be the inflection point. That next year we start reducing the amount of greenhouse gas we produced until it gets down to zero. We've had 80 paid staff and thousands of volunteers working for around the world for the last two years trying to build these huge crowd demonstrations. I mean, when it's 750,000 people on the national mall in Washington DC, it's now illegal to have more than 10 nights. It's just, uh, so all of the stuff that we were aspiring to do, uh, is now illegal.

Speaker 14: 41:22 Instead, they'll have streaming events and focus on the November presidential election. He says the Corona virus is an imperfect analogy to climate change, but there are

Speaker 10: 41:34 lessons to be learned. I'm hoping that it turns out to be true, but humans, like literally all other animals, I'm not just an individual desire to survive, which has led itself to Darwinian evolution, but a willingness to sacrifice for the species that we really do not want to see fast overshoots and collapses of humanity. And out of that instinctive desire to preserve ourselves, we will come up with enough intelligence to address the major threats of our era. I mean, there's absolutely nothing that is happening in climate change that is not the result of concrete policy decisions and economic decisions and technical choices that humans have made. We can make very different choices. We have the option to build a benign, sustainable, equitable, a resilient, uh, society world. And uh, hopefully we will be doing that. Claire Trek assert KPBS news.

Speaker 1: 42:37 Celebrating earth day can be as simple as just getting out to enjoy the natural world around us by planting a tree or picking up litter. We asked you, our listeners to tell us how you'll be commemorating earth day while social distancing. Here are some of your responses.

Speaker 5: 42:58 [inaudible]

Speaker 16: 42:58 good morning. This is Margaret pills and happy birthday to you. On the first earth day in 1970 I had collected a wheelbarrow of electric and garbage from the country road, ran past my New York state home. I now live in a suburban community in San Diego with the amounts of rain over the last week. The garden is abundant with growth on the driveway. I have set out a variety of young call, a happy earth day sign passes by to save a life and enjoy what earth day has provided. Thank you.

Speaker 5: 43:37 [inaudible]

Speaker 16: 43:37 this is Steve [inaudible]. I'm leaving a message about the earth day situation. I've always appalled at the hypocrisy of the hordes of people who'd be sending on the park to trample through shrub beds and otherwise mindlessly abused the hotel control assets of the park to celebrate birthday. So I'll spend her birthday this year rejoicing over the park. Mostly devoid of people.

Speaker 5: 44:02 [inaudible]

Speaker 17: 44:02 hi, this is Dennis [inaudible]. I'm celebrating earth day by riding my bike work almond and a potential employee. I'm still going into the office, but um, yeah, I'm going to ride my bike into work on a Wednesday.

Speaker 18: 44:17 Hi, this is Sonny brace calling from Lakeside, and I wanted to let you know what I'm going to be doing on earth day. Um, as a matter of fact, pretty much every day now. And that's appreciating nature. It's getting out. Being aware of the sounds and the sights and the smells, and being away from people is not a bad thing. Thank you KPBS for being there radio on television. We'd love you. Bye.

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KPBS Midday Edition

KPBS Midday Edition is a daily talk show hosted by Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon, keeping San Diegans in the know on everything from politics to the arts.