San Diegans Required To Mask Up Friday, South Bay Hospitals Seeking Help To Curb Coronavirus At Border And How To Get Rent Or Mortgage Help In Pandemic
KPBS Midday Edition / April 30, 2020
All San Diego county residents are required to wear facial coverings when going out in public starting Friday. An expert breaks down which covering is best and how to properly wear one. Plus, two South Bay hospital groups are asking for federal help in curbing the spread of the coronavirus from the border region. Also, the rent and mortgage is due, but half of American households have someone who's lost their jobs because of the pandemic. We’ll tell you how and where to get help. And, the coronavirus not only upended life as usual, it also made the transition from prison to normal life harder. Finally, five songs you need to listen to for the month of May.
Speaker 1: 00:00 How effective are face coverings in stopping COBIT 19 and South Bay hospitals want help and facing a surge of cases. I'm Mark Sauer with Maureen Kavanaugh. This is KPBS mid day edition. It's Thursday, April 30th
Speaker 2: 00:26 in his daily Corona virus update today. Governor Newsome says he's ordering a targeted temporary closure of beaches in orange County just a week since local officials were given the option of opening beaches as long as restrictions on social distancing remained in place. Newsome was critical of gatherings on orange County beaches last weekend. He says the temporary closure will allow clarification for health and safety modifications at those beaches. He did not announce any closure of beaches in San Diego County
Speaker 3: 00:58 and my job as governor is to keep you safe and when our health folks tell me they can't promise that if we promote another weekend like we had, then I have to make this adjustment.
Speaker 2: 01:10 Newsome emphasized that the Corona virus is still increasing in California with a 5.2% increase in people testing positive in the last 24 hours. Although our beaches remain open, our faces will be covered starting tomorrow in San Diego. A public health order will go into effect that requires people to wear face coverings out in public within six feet of another person who's not a member of the household. But the directive doesn't explain what's the best kind of face mask or the proper way to wear it. So we've contacted an expert, dr Joel [inaudible]. Oatman is an associate medical director for the city of San Diego. She's also an assistant professor of medicine at UC San Diego at is director of emergency medical services at Rady children's hospital. Dr, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure to be here. The most effective masks are N 95 respirators, but since there's a shortage, those masks that are exclusively for healthcare workers. So what kinds of masks are the next best?
Speaker 4: 02:15 So the next kind of masseter, the next best, obviously saving the hospital grade masks for our hospital and healthcare workers is using the cloth masks and the cloth mask because it's new and we've never used it before. There's not a lot of data on it, but the idea is by using the cloth mask, we can save the surgical mask and the respirators for those who are working with patients and in a higher risk and we they need that level of protection. And the cloth mask is to help prevent the spread to people. If you are carrying coven, and it should be more than one layer of fabric, if you can have a filter in it, that would be, it shouldn't be see-through and you should be able to secure it behind your head with Tiser ear loops and it should fit snug but comfortable and you should be able to breathe through it.
Speaker 4: 03:09 Now what's the main public health goal of wearing facial coverings? Is it to protect yourself from the virus or to protect others from your germs? I think you stated it beautifully. It's to protect others from your germs. When you're putting a cloth mask over your mouth, you're helping prevent the spread of saliva and droplets coming out of your mouth to the air to everything that you're touching. So putting on your mask is an act of caring about your community. So if we are all wearing masks, why do we have to maintain social distancing? Well, cloth masks aren't perfect. They're not respirator masks are surgical masks. The particles, the smaller particles can still get through them. So you still want to have that six feet of diff distancing when you're talking to people and your, when you're moving, if you're coughing vigorously with a cloth mask on, it's not going to work a hundred percent so this is an additional layer to your social distancing and your hand washing.
Speaker 4: 04:05 You have to have the combinations combined. Let's get into some face mask wearing one Oh one okay. What are some general best practices for wearing a face mask properly? So you want it to be able to cover your nose and your mouth all the way down to your chin. So I see some people walking around with it only over their mouth and not covering their nose. That won't help any of the droplets that are coming out of your nose. So cover both nose and mouth. You want to have it fit snug. But comfortable so you don't want it to be loose and flapping around because you can still have a shift of air out of your mouth and down and when you touch it, because with your breathing into the mask and it's catching your droplets and you, maybe you're carrying COBIT and you just don't know it or you have a cold, that mask now has your germs in it.
Speaker 4: 04:51 So you don't actually want to be touching the mask that's been in front of your mouth. So try to handle your mask with the strings. Like what's your ties or your, your lips only have all of your touching me from that part. That way you're not contaminating, well if we are wearing masks mainly to protect others. Why does it matter whether we touch the mask or reuse it? Because if you touch your mask and your germinating your hands and then you go and you touch door knobs and other things, you've now turned a respiratory droplet into a contact. And so wherever you're going, if your hands are now contaminated and you're touching things, other people who follow along behind you and touch the same areas can now catch it. So the idea is to cover your mouth. It keeps when you're talking and coughing keeps it from spreading and it prevents, you're not supposed to be touching your mouth.
Speaker 4: 05:41 So it's a nice reminder of don't touch your face and touch your mouth and get saliva on your hands that you could potentially be spreading. How often should you wash your mask? I, I mean, the perfect scenario would be you're going to go to the store. So you put your mask on when it's nice and clean, you go to the store, you do your shopping, you say socially distanced, you wash your hands and then when you get home you take it off using the straps or ties and then throw it in the washing machine. That's the ideal. Is that perfect? And whatever it's going to do. No, I think we're going to learn to adapt and work with masking. Um, I would wash it at least at the end of the day. And that's one of the keys is to have a cloth mask that you can wash that doesn't change the shape.
Speaker 4: 06:24 If you're wearing it out in a riskier environment, wash it sooner and you can just throw it in the washing machine with hot soapy water and that's all it takes to clean it. What about if you're riding your bicycle or you're out for a run? Should you be wearing a mask then? Well, there's, that's kind of hard and, and I should say we're recording this April 30th so everything I'm talking about is using evidence that we have up till now. So everything's subject to change. There is some talk about bicycle riders with the way in the aerodynamics that their droplets can actually spread out further distance. So if you can comfortably wear one, I'd say comfortably wear one. It's a smart, it's a good habit to be in. It's not dangerous. If you're not comfortable and you can't run because your, your mask is having difficulty.
Speaker 4: 07:10 Make sure that you're staying at good social distance away and you might even want to do a little bit longer if you're running or riding a bike just because you're going to be breathing hard and just different texts, other people around you from your own droplets and you don't have to wear one while you're driving, right. You don't. But if you're seeing someone who's wearing a mask while they're driving, it might be just because they know they're going out multiple times into the public and so they've just put their mask on and they're not touching it and they're going to avoid any manipulation of their mask until they get home where they can use the ties and ear ties and just throw it in the laundry. Are there people doctor who should not wear masks? Yes, there are. Thank you for asking. Less than two year olds shouldn't wear a mask.
Speaker 4: 07:53 Those who have trouble breathing or they're unconscious or incapacitated or they can't remove their own mask without help. Shouldn't have a mask on. Now you made the comment that if you have sort of a flimsy mask and you sneeze, that's really not going to keep those germs to yourself. Should we. Therefore, if we are going to be sneezing or coughing, continue to cover our noses on our mounts with our elbow, even if we have a face covering. That's a trick question. If you're sick and you're sneezing and coughing, you should be at home. But I mean anything is better than nothing. So if you have a layering over your mouth and you're covered and you're coughing, it's still gonna catch more droplets than if you had nothing over your mouth. It's just, it's better to have a thicker one that's more protective. If you go, if you're coughing and it's a very thin layer and you move your hand over your mouth, mouth, you're still gonna be able to catch some of the droplets in your hand and contaminate things. So you still want to practice the, don't touch your face. Keep some
Speaker 2: 08:56 layer of protection over that. We are catching the droplets that are coming out of your mouth and wash your hands frequently. Finally, are you concerned that with this mandatory face mask order that the mask could give people a false sense of security and then they don't adhere to social distancing and they go out more often? That kind of thing. I am and that's why I think every time we talk about cloth masks, we need to talk about it with the staying six feet away. Washing your hands of this is just an added layer to those measures. This does not replace those measures. I've been speaking with dr Joelle Donofrio Oatman. She is associate medical director for the city of San Diego. And doctor, thank you so much for the information. Thank you so much.
Speaker 1: 09:44 Hospitals in San Diego's border region are asking federal officials for help as they treat a higher volume of the region's COBIT patients. Leaders from Scripps health and sharp healthcare sent a letter Tuesday asking for health screenings at the border and more personal protective equipment. Script's health CEO Chris van Gorder spoke with KPBS health reporter Taren mento. She started by asking what he is asking from federal officials.
Speaker 5: 10:12 Oh, we're looking for more support from the federal government. Um, we're noticing, uh, certainly an uptick in patients in South County. Uh, when you compare it to the County as a whole, uh, we're also very tight on supplies. So one we want some more support for the border crossing. Um, supply wise we're not getting a sufficient supplies down here. We were just looking yesterday at a website that showed that Santa Clara County with a population of just shy of 2 million people have been given four point 8,000,095 mass in San Diego with a population of 3.3 million has been given 655,000. So we know we're not, I think there is an assumption that we've flattened the curve, you know, and it's still rising but it's flat is flat. We want it to be flat, but that doesn't mean people are still aren't going to get sick.
Speaker 2: 11:01 What specifically prompted you, um, to, to send a letter?
Speaker 5: 11:06 Right now we have 73, uh, patients, uh, in scripts facilities. So we're seeing probably 45% to 50% of all of our patients just in Chula Vista and sharp. Um, chart to Vista is seeing about 50% of all of their patients in Chula Vista. So we're seeing that population, uh, the number of hospitalizations continue to rise. Um, when we do lab tests, uh, we get positives around 6% to 7% county-wide, but in two of us that scripts, we're seeing a 17% positive rate, uh, and it's gone as high as maybe 29 and 30% positive rate. So we know something's going on in South County. Um, we know it has something to do with the border, not completely the border, but something to do with the border. And so we need action down there.
Speaker 6: 11:54 One thing you mentioned, 73 patients, 73 COBIT patients in all of script's facilities overall. Um, that doesn't seem like a very large number. So why is 73 concerning overall and then more specifically, why is the 60 and South County even more concerning than that?
Speaker 5: 12:11 Well, you're right, right now we can handle 73 patients. Um, and we're probably using a to, in total at scrubs, maybe about 45 ventilators. And we have about 140 ventilators. Um, but we have very tight supply of personal protective equipment. Uh, and we're now starting to reopen, uh, based upon recommendations from the governor and the County that we can start doing other procedures. When that happens, we're going to start seeing more PPE used. Uh, we're going to see more rooms filled, more ventilators used at the same time. We've got this, uh, South County thing that I don't think we have completely under control yet. That's what Scott, our attention.
Speaker 6: 12:47 What do you attribute to the larger volume of patients in South County too?
Speaker 5: 12:51 The only thing I can tell you anecdotally, just yesterday we had nine patients in the emergency room and five admitted to having cross border, um, thrival, uh, within the previous week. So we do think a significant number of those patients down there were crossing the border. Uh, Mexico we know is very challenged right now with COBIT 19. Their hospitals are being filled up. Um, they're running short on supplies. Um, and I think there's a possibility that it could bubble over into San Diego. I think we're neighbors. We're close for friends. Um, and certainly we have to be ready for that.
Speaker 6: 13:24 I was just alerted actually moments before speaking to you that the secretary of health and Baja California is reaching out to, uh, to sharp, I believe for assistance. Have you been contacted by the secretary of health from Baja California for assistance?
Speaker 5: 13:38 No. We know anecdotally they've asked a support from the County and health care organizations. I know UCLA has some faculty that travels back and forth who, they haven't directly reached out to us yet, but we know they're asking for support for Baja.
Speaker 6: 13:52 So what help would things like the screenings at the border temperature checks and mandated quarantine really provide for you?
Speaker 5: 14:02 Well, I think a couple of things are taking place. [inaudible] some of the patients have told us they're positive and they've been crossing the border back and forth. Um, and when you do that, and if you're not, you know, sheltering at home wearing a mask, uh, you're potentially infecting people. Um, and we know for a fact that people can be asymptomatic, so no symptoms whatsoever and still be shedding the virus. So if we have identified somebody that either we've done a test and they're positive or they have had a test in they're positive, we ought to be insisting that they shelter, uh, at home, basically airport hunting themselves at home. If they're a Mexican citizen, they should be doing that in Mexico. If they're a U S citizen, they should be doing that in their home, in the United States and waiting out that 14 day period of time where they're not showing those symptoms so that they're not infecting anybody else. But, so we ought to be doing that in the same way we did an airport when we had people coming in from infected, uh, we had screeners asking, Hey, what's your travel history? Checking, taking temperatures, and then managing the situation that we find. I think that even though this would be a big airport terminal with 45,000 people crossing every day, it's no different than if somebody came in in an airplane and we ought to be screening like that.
Speaker 6: 15:09 What sort of response have you received, um, from either border officials or, um, you know, from HHS, from health and human services?
Speaker 5: 15:17 Well, I just got off the phone with the console, uh, you know, state department consult for Tijuana. Um, just a few minutes ago. Um, had very good conversation. Um, she's actually, um, she actually gets her healthcare here in San Diego but has been living full time down in Mexico, uh, because she's not traveling back and forth right now. Um, and gave us a state of affairs down there and, and, and this, that there's some real challenges down there. Um, and um, and said that after we briefed her, just as we're briefing you, uh, that she was going to communicating to the department of Homeland security and the state department and others about this challenge that may not be on the radar screen enough in Washington DC right now. Um, I fully anticipate we will hear back from, uh, health and human services and department of Homeland security.
Speaker 5: 16:02 I'm in daily contact with representatives from customs and border protection. Um, they are in lock step with us in terms of, uh, knowing that something needs to be done, but obviously they need to get orders from Washington D C to do that. They are concerned about their staff members, uh, who are potentially exposed when people are crossing the border back and forth. Uh, and even approached us at one point about doing, uh, uh, lab testing for all of their employees. And so I think, you know, the, the government agencies are as concerned as we are. We just need to coordinate a response and I think we can do that.
Speaker 6: 16:36 Is the concern that people who are coming over or who may come over in the future are not us citizens?
Speaker 5: 16:44 No, I'm not as concerned about that as is. In fact, the console today admitted I've been using the 250,000 U S citizen citizens in Baja and she validated that that's probably pretty close to the accurate number. Um, and a lot of them are permanent residents and numbers that will cross back and forth with, uh, you know, homes in Baja and homes in the United States. Those that that's a quarter of a day. People that would add for our population and if they needed care, they go to those two South Bay hospitals.
Speaker 6: 17:13 The County has always said that April, this is the month that we need to really pay attention, um, to, to making sure we're doing our part to prevent any increase in the future. Is there a time in the future that your projection show continuing the way that we are now, um, is a danger zone is, is an area of concern.
Speaker 5: 17:30 Our projections are if we keep everything in place that we have now not opening things up, we are going to continue saying, um, either flat or slightly increasing covert population in our hospitals all the way through the summertime. Now we don't know for sure what summer summer weather will do to Corvette, whether that'll it down like it does with influence or not. And like the CDC director said, we're concerned about the fall if we end up with Corvette and influenza at the very same time. So our projections do not show a flat to declining, uh, right now. Um, so we see this going on until we get a vaccine. Uh, better treatments or something like that. We don't see it going away.
Speaker 1: 18:11 That was script's health CEO Chris van Gorder speaking to KPBS health reporter Taran mento. This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Mark Sauer along with Maureen Cavenaugh. Most rent and mortgage payments are due again tomorrow the first of the month. But according to a recent NPR PBS poll, 50% of Americans say they or someone in their households have lost their jobs or had hours reduced due to the Corona virus pandemic. So if you're struggling to pay your rent or mortgage, what should you know, what resources are available? Joining me to discuss this is Gregory Knoll, CEO and chief counsel for the legal aid society of San Diego. Welcome to the program. Thank you very much for having me. It doesn't seem like it, but we are still early in this pandemic and lockdown. Do you have any idea how many people locally have already avoided paying rent or mortgages and April? Are you getting swamped with calls?
Speaker 7: 19:02 Uh, the numbers are obviously huge. Uh, given the fact that 25% of San Diegans have filed for unemployment, uh, there are many, many people, uh, that are struggling financially right now. And that's the reason that I think in March, a number of our local cities and the County of San Diego for the unincorporated issued each their own, uh, eviction moratorium, supplying both to commercial renters as well as, as residential. But what has happened is because they are all different and all have different time tables, uh, it had had become very confusing. And then the governor, uh, on March 27th, uh, issued his first executive order, which attempted to do a statewide eviction more time. Now that has worked, that is in the works. Uh, and, and we would argue that as, uh, overriding the others. But everybody should go to our website, www dot L a S S E.
Speaker 7: 20:11 Dot. Org to look at all of the individual cities. Because if they live in one of those, when this is ended, the payback they're required to do could be governed by those individual cities. Uh, and then, uh, in April, uh, the governors more point didn't quite hit the Mark on inclusion of everyone. And so then in April, early April, April 6th, the judicial council of the state of California, and so they decided to take a hand and said, okay, it's too confusing right now. Here's the deal. No superior court can accept and serve any new unlawful detainers, which is the name of the legal action to begin eviction. And as a result there, w there can be no serving a process until 90 days after the governor declares that the state of emergency has ended.
Speaker 1: 21:17 Let's take a step back quickly. If a renter can't afford to pay rent tomorrow on the first, what advice do you give them?
Speaker 7: 21:24 Uh, immediately grab the notice and I told you my off my website and send it to the landlord. And in that notice it tells you what to put that because of COBIT 19, uh, I have had my, uh, income cut and I cannot afford to pay the rent and hit here. These are the types of proof I have. And once you do that, then you are on your way to protect yourself. You're already protected against legal action. But if you do nothing, you may violate your local ordinance that says you got to notify within 14 days or seven days or whatever. And for instance,
Speaker 1: 22:04 and that puts a hold that it just puts a hold on rent. So renters have to pay the rent eventually when will they have to catch up?
Speaker 7: 22:11 Yes, yes. This has not end your obligation. What it does is by your time in terms of trying to figure out your finances going forward and then you try your best to work out a relationship with your landlord. In terms of paying back,
Speaker 1: 22:31 I wanted to move on to two mortgages. What about people having trouble paying their mortgages? What do you suggest they do?
Speaker 7: 22:36 They also under the, uh, the governor's executive order, uh, had the ability to have, uh, Reddit payments deferred, uh, by, by reaching out to their business banking relationship. Um, and we have referred a lot of people to that. If they run into a problem they should call us to, uh, we've got, we've got a number of aggressive issues laid out on our website for them and we have a whole team, uh, that can, uh, make sure that they are not illegally, uh, attacks in foreclosure field.
Speaker 1: 23:11 Now we've heard some mortgage companies are allowing a mortgage holders to skip payments, add it to the length of the loan at the other end or others may be facing a balloon payment at the end. Explain that. And there's, they're negotiating that with uh, with your mortgage holder.
Speaker 7: 23:26 Yes, yes. You should be able to negotiate that. The balloon payment is the biggest problem. And by the way, that's a big problem for tenants too. If you use it. If you let this thing go for four months and you've got to pay that back in a month, that's a huge balloon payment for you in your rental situations. Same for the, if they defer for three months, then they have a 90 day huge payment. They have to negotiate the terms they think they can work within with their mortgage lender. The problem is that your board would servicer may not really understand the executive order yet and may not know. So you've got to keep pushing and talk to the supervisor, find out what's going on. But the deferment is real and obviously the best idea would be to attack it on at the end. It's just three more payments or something like that. Uh, but the balloon payment is always dangerous for everybody.
Speaker 1: 24:28 And what have you heard from San Diego's and from San Diego ones in terms of obstacles they're facing in getting rent or mortgage relief, you're getting a lot of complaints.
Speaker 7: 24:37 Not as many complaints as we are confusion. Um, talk to my landlord. Uh, they don't know what I'm talking about. These things will happen and when they happen, if there's no immediate relief, please call the legal aid society and we will help you through it.
Speaker 1: 24:56 Well, we'll all just have to see what happens. I've been speaking with Gregory Knoll, CEO and chief legal counsel for the legal aid society of San Diego. Thanks very much.
Speaker 7: 25:05 Thank you Matt for having me. We appreciate it.
Speaker 1: 25:12 Chronic flows of sewage from Tijuana that foul South County beaches have reached record levels. In recent months, even before the Corbett 19 pandemic waters off beaches from Imperial beach all the way North Dakota natto had been posted as off limits. Here's Imperial beach mayor surge to Dena.
Speaker 8: 25:29 The entire sewer system of Tijuana has collapsed and it appears there are absolutely no efforts underway in Mexico or on the part of the U S federal government, the Trump administration, to actually move forward and ask for emergency repairs so we don't endure an entire summer of polluted beaches.
Speaker 1: 25:48 Joining me to discuss the situation is KPBS environment reporter Eric Anderson. Eric, welcome. Thank you. The unabated sewage flow on North from Taiwan. It's been news for years. What's made it so worse now?
Speaker 9: 26:00 Well, it really started to get bad back in November of last year. For some reason or another, much of the infrastructure in Tijuana began to break down and there were regular flows. Now it wasn't noticed as much because in the wintertime there's water and so people expect there to be flows across the border. But in January, um, folks started to notice that the amount of sewage tainted water that was crossing the border was really kind of up there every day, somewhere in the 50 million gallon a day range. And that's quite a lot if you think about it. Um, uh, we're talking about billions of gallons of sewage and pollution tainted water that's come across the border. Um, just since the beginning of the year and now that we're been, we've been in a period where there has been dry weather for some time. These flows are still happening.
Speaker 9: 26:56 60 million gallons a day now, and they're happening every day and it's leading to the closure of beaches. When normally during dry weather you wouldn't have much if any flow across the border. How dangerous is the water to swimmers? Well, it is dangerous. It's a public health hazard. That's why the County posts the beaches. When they find elevated levels of fecal coliform you in the water, there's a chance that you can get sick. There are questions now about, um, whether or not, uh, there may be covert 19 viruses in the water that come through that sewage system. Those questions that we don't have the answer to that right now, but it certainly can't be a good situation in terms of public health
Speaker 1: 27:39 and nearby residents are complaining now of a stench in the air. How bad is that? Is that new?
Speaker 9: 27:44 Yeah. It would be nice to say that is new, but it is not new. It has happened before when there have been across borders. Sewage flows is the thing about now I think that a couple of things are happening. There's a red tide in the area, so some of the smell is coming from the red tide, but it's also undoubtedly coming from the sewage as well.
Speaker 1: 28:04 Now you've reported on proposals to fix the problem, including a plan in the updated North American free trade agreement between us and Mexico. What's happening there? How much money and investment would be needed to stop the problem at its source in Tijuana?
Speaker 9: 28:18 Yeah. This is kind of a big thing too. Uh, you know, there was so much optimism back in January when the U S MCA was passed, this money was made available. People felt confident that the EPA was going to act to get this money into local hands so they could build this diversion, uh, system and expand the international wastewater treatment plant, which would take care of, you know, 90% of the across border flows. Um, those that come during heavy winter rains probably wouldn't be affected, but, but during dry weather flows, there would be no flows because it would be captured and treated on this side of the border. And then, uh, you know, COBIT happened and, uh, we really haven't heard anything from the environmental protection agency. Uh, the flu, the flows across the border have continued to happen on a daily basis in large amounts. And, and there's a sense, I think among the local officials, this is the impression I got this week, that they're just really frustrated. Um, they know this as a serious health, a public health issue. They see it every day and they don't feel like there's any movement toward a solution.
Speaker 1: 29:25 There are still lawsuits lurking against the Trump administration. If officials here in New Mexico can't come up with a solution and agreement on this project, right?
Speaker 9: 29:34 That is correct. Uh, those lawsuits, if you remember, uh, were actually put on hold for a short time over the winter. A federal judge, Jeffery Miller said, look, let's take 90 days. What kind of put the legal action aside. Let's get you guys together and see if we can talk about it. And this was during that time of optimism in December, January and February. But we got through that 90 day period without a solution being decided upon. So those lawsuits went back into effect. And right now I think the municipalities that brought them, Imperial beach, Chula Vista, national city, um, the city of San Diego, the state of California through the regional water quality control board, um, Surfrider foundation, all those groups are saying, look, this might be the only leverage we have. So we're going to press forward as hard as we can with this to try to get a solution into place. I've been speaking with KPBS environment reporter Eric Anderson. Thanks Eric. My pleasure.
Speaker 2: 30:32 Jail and prison are especially scary places to be right now. The close quarters mean there's a bigger chance of a covert 19 outbreak. This is one reason why more inmates are being released early these days. But KPBS reporter Claire charges her says there's also unique challenges for those. Recently released.
Speaker 10: 30:51 I got sentenced like two days before they closed the courts to a 170 day sentence with have time at the downtown courthouse for my parole revocation and they send it to me that and then on, uh, on April 18th, that day, that Saturday that I just got out,
Speaker 11: 31:10 Steven Harris was released early from jail due to coven 19. After just a few weeks away, he reentered a different world.
Speaker 10: 31:18 It's weird. It's like the ghost town outside. It's like the purge, you know, I don't see nobody outside. I knew it was serious, like I heard somewhat about it, but in there we weren't really getting the message. Like there's nobody on the streets. Nobody riding the trolley. That's how I know, like, you know, this is serious.
Speaker 11: 31:34 Other things are missing to the contact he'd typically have with the court system.
Speaker 10: 31:39 The parole office is closed and they're not even doing home visits. They're doing a social distancing. They're doing phone check-ins once a week.
Speaker 12: 31:47 On March seven 2002 I was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison.
Speaker 11: 31:53 Robert Wood is out after spending 18 years behind bars
Speaker 12: 31:57 for a gang related drug indictment. Conspiracy to delivery to distribute 20 kilos of crack cocaine. I've been out six months. I got released September 26th of 2019
Speaker 11: 32:08 in the best of times getting support to find jobs and housing wouldn't be easy for him. Now it's next to impossible
Speaker 12: 32:15 and if you're just getting out, you need help, you need access to resources that they can help you with. The, those meetings are critically important to you. So for some people it's just like I'm shut up and in place I need work. They may want to go talk to them about, you know, job placement or something and it's just hard to do. You just can't go talk to them in person.
Speaker 11: 32:38 Would is to his parole officer
Speaker 10: 32:40 on the phone and says without his family support, he'd be homeless. He's currently on disability but doesn't know where he'd find a job. Classes that you would be taken or the employment centers. All those kinds of places are resource centers. The majority of those are closed. Normally when a person gets out, um, they tried it and there's still gaps in the system. Layla Izzy's is the director of pillars of the community, a nonprofit that helps people who are just out of prison, probation officers and probation and parole officers don't have the funding. Sometimes getting a bus pass to get to a drug treatment class in itself is, it's hard. And so multiply that by infinity.
Speaker 11: 33:22 She's working nonstop right now to get people into housing and is dropping off, donated restaurant meals three times a week. Some people just don't have support. Some people are mostly, um, a high number of people who are entering the criminal justice system or formerly foster youth. She's also helping people sign up for unemployment and get their stimulus checks, which is challenging when not meeting them in person. For people who've been in prison a long time. Technology doesn't always come easy.
Speaker 10: 33:50 Getting them on zoom is sometimes three to four days and we're doing this across the board. We're having zoom meetings daily and then when you're on there, the mute button is never on the entire household talking. I love it.
Speaker 11: 34:02 One bright spot as these has found is that some are getting unexpected support from their families.
Speaker 10: 34:08 My grandma said she can never come back, but you know what you can because the cozy, it's almost like you can come eat Thanksgiving dinner even when you can't be in here. We're sticking to, you got to show us that you're doing better. You can come eat Thanksgiving dinner. Kogan it's kinda like that.
Speaker 11: 34:20 Claire Trek Asser KPBS news.
Speaker 2: 34:23 This is KPBS mid day edition. I'm worrying Kavanaugh from Instagram live performances to zoom sing alongs. This is a new era of sharing music, but there's nothing like that. Brand new professionally recorded albums sound and luckily some San Diego and Baja bands managed to finish recording new music before the pandemic. KPBS arts editor, Julia Dixon Evans is here to talk about some of these new releases plus even a virtual concert to look forward to this month. Welcome Julia.
Speaker 13: 34:54 Hi Maureen.
Speaker 2: 34:55 So your first recommendation may be a familiar name to many music fans in San Diego. The midnight pine has been working on a live album. Tell us a little bit about that.
Speaker 13: 35:05 Yeah. Releasing an album in a pandemic feels like some sort of selfless action martyrdom. The locals, the midnight Pines forthcoming album is called live from Ady and it's gorgeous. It's recorded live at audio design studios, kind of a hub for the redwoods music collective that the midnight kinds of big part of, so it still has that studio sound really clean, but the immediacy and intimacy of a single take. So the album a fresh approach to their archives and the most recent single stolen when this from their first studio album, it's a beautifully for Lauren track and it lets vocalist shall be Bennet's countryside shine.
Speaker 14: 36:06 Got it. No [inaudible]
Speaker 13: 36:41 so the full album is slated to release on Navy
Speaker 2: 36:45 that was stolen wind by the midnight pine. Now next up is attract from Mexico's low, butchered at this don't bleed. You're in the middle of the forest.
Speaker 13: 36:55 So the Guadalajara born garage, punk bands, they're now um, based, they divide their time in El Paso and Los Angeles and they canceled their May 22nd show at Selma, but their latest seven track EAP is freshly out and it's really great. That band's helped by this stunning Teri gender bender. And even though they just released a full length album last year, it really does feel like nothing can stop them.
Speaker 15: 37:43 [inaudible]
Speaker 13: 37:44 the EAP sounds really mellow but kind of edgy. It's like a fierceness bolstered by their really inventive songwriting. So this track don't bleed. You're in the middle of the forest is somehow powerful and chill at the same time. Kind of gives me a bit of a Portishead vibe.
Speaker 2: 38:10 Now tell us about this new single from Tijuana's Moira Rosa.
Speaker 13: 38:14 Yeah. Entra is matter of as brand new single. It just officially came out April 15.
Speaker 15: 38:35 [inaudible]
Speaker 13: 38:39 and then new tracks follows her 2018 release, um, which was a pretty complex ambient EAP and builds on her already solid sound. So entra has these alluring vocals and this hymn hypnotics and backdrops
Speaker 15: 38:58 [inaudible] [inaudible].
Speaker 13: 39:08 It all feels kind of magical. I'm hopeful about the possibility of more new work from Rosa in the coming months as well as the chance to hopefully see her perform in their region as students were allowed to go out. Again,
Speaker 2: 39:20 that was enthralled by Mara Rosa, San Diego locals Lusa abetour have new music out. Tell us about their new album.
Speaker 13: 39:28 Yeah, the local rockers just released a new EAP called ditch and it's a great cohesive listen, didn't have all that much release music available to stream before. So this is finally really showcases their progressive stylistic reign and formidable talent. And we've seen in that loud shows
Speaker 15: 40:12 [inaudible] [inaudible]
Speaker 13: 40:12 this track distant home has something a little bit name used riot girl punk about it, but they let the cheque build into something complicated. Lovely. And of catchy
Speaker 15: 40:35 [inaudible]
Speaker 2: 40:35 that was distant hummed by low saboteurs up next. Now, could it be true, there's a live show to look forward to.
Speaker 13: 40:43 Exciting. Right. So the secret sessions have pivoted to a virtual platform every third Thursday. And this men's show features performances by Paul Jenkins and a local band, the donkeys. They've just been steadily making great music for over a decade and they're on a pretty big time label. Their latest album. Sun damage youth came out in 2018 but my favorite track year also young is like an entire timeless summer packaged into three minutes. So it's perfect for right now. [inaudible]
Speaker 15: 42:13 [inaudible]
Speaker 2: 42:15 that was, we are also young by the donkeys. Tell us more about the Seaport sessions.
Speaker 13: 42:22 So regular pop up music and arts festival at Seaport village and they've been hosted by the Casbah vinyl junkies and 91 X loudspeaker, which is their local music weekly local music show has to buy a Tim piles and they've been featuring local bands and art. Um, a lot of the artists that the part studios through bread and salt. So they have pivoted to digital
Speaker 2: 42:47 tune in on Thursday, May 21st at 6:00 PM to the Seaport village Facebook feed for the show. And I've been speaking with Julia Dixon Evans for more music and art recommendations. Go to kpbs.org/arts to sign up for the KPBS arts newsletter. And Julia, we will leave our audience with a fun quarantine themed song. Doesn't seem those two words go together from a new video by San Diego singer songwriter Missy Alcazar. It's aptly titled, let's all stay home. Thank you so much, Julia.
Speaker 13: 43:23 They came Marine
Speaker 4: 43:48 [inaudible].