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LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Homeless Shelter In ‘Desperate Mode’ Amid Coronavirus Pandemic and What Flattening The Curve Means

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Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 We'll hear about efforts to keep San Diego's homeless safe from coronavirus and a San Diego nurse shares her experience amid the pandemic. I'm Jade Hindman. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh. This is KPBS midday [inaudible]. It's Wednesday, March 18th. Never has having a home, a place to shelter and be safe. Been more important than during this coven 19 outbreak that makes San Diego's ongoing struggle to shelter thousands of homeless people even more urgent. And the city of San Diego's bridge shelters for the homeless are currently dealing with supply shortages. Father Joe's villages this morning announced that they are no longer accepting homeless people into their shelters. Johnny Mae is founder and CEO of the alpha project. Bob McElroy and Bob, welcome to the program.

Speaker 2: 00:57 Thanks for having me Marie.

Speaker 1: 00:58 So father Joe's is not accepting homeless people into their shelters anymore. Is alpha project still accepting new residents?

Speaker 2: 01:06 We are as beds come available, but we're um, having them assessed first I'll doing the assessment. Assessment doesn't guarantee that they're don't have the virus, but um, we are on a case by case basis.

Speaker 1: 01:19 So how are you dealing with the Corona virus pandemics so far? What are the procedures that you have in place now?

Speaker 2: 01:28 Um, we've been, you know, hyper aware obviously of of everybody in the, in the facility, somebody costs, we've got a lot of eyeballs on them immediately. But we've been, you know, washing, instead of cleaning the showers, you know, once or twice a day we're, or five times a day, we're washing down all the handles on the um, out houses, uh, the bathroom facilities, you know, every 10 or 15 minutes after somebody in the end uses them. I mean, we've just been really, we've gone through a lot of supplies and we gave out a lot of our supplies, taken a lot of our hand washing and hygiene kits out with our outreach teams down into the canyons and you know, river beds and you know, freeway off ramps and on ramps. So we've gone through a lot of stuff and we're all hearing that we may not get resupplied until April, um, from our vendors like waxy. So we're kind of in desperate mode right now.

Speaker 1: 02:21 What are your options?

Speaker 2: 02:23 Well, we're, we've got a lot of recipes here to make our own cleaning products. And so we're, we're kind of exploring those things. Um, obviously, you know, you've seen what's, what's happened in, you know, the Costcos and the, you know, the food stores and things. Everything's really just, uh, you know, panic and took all those supplies there. Um, so I don't know how many offices we have. It's just to be hyper aware of vigilant. For the most part, our folks are baring with, uh, the unknowns here. This was not the kind of unknown I ever expected to have. And, um, you know, just trying to be trying to do the best we can

Speaker 1: 02:58 during the news conference. Morning. Father Joe's villages announced that a homeless individual staying at one of its shelters has tested, has been tested for Corona virus and is staying in one of the motel rooms the County has secured and waiting for results. Have there been any suspected Corona virus cases connected with alpha project in the shelters or the affordable housing units?

Speaker 2: 03:20 Well, we just had a, um, a resident last night of our bridge to shelter on Imperial, um, displaying, um, some possible symptoms that the nurses, the County nurses that were on site that are onsite, she gets that she'd go to the emergency room and be tested, uh, and she's still, uh, up at the hospital and we'll, you know, we're anxiously awaiting results on that, that test. So, uh, yeah, it's very stressful time.

Speaker 1: 03:52 The County announced that it is, it has installed new hand washing stations. It's also sending outreach teams to encampments with hygiene kits. As you say that alpha project is doing, what more would you like to see the County do to help prevent the spread of this virus among the homeless?

Speaker 2: 04:11 Well, I dunno how much more we can do. I mean, certainly, you know, we, we like having, uh, you know, clinicians, we learned a lot, you know, when they have a, uh, outbreak, you know, took place and we had clinicians and go right and do a right along for their outreach team. And washing stations are great. Um, but they're just, there's so many unknowns here. I wish that testing would be, I was hearing somewhere and just the, just the mountains of information that come out every day. And there's some, a lot of times that information changes that they actually had four hour testing kits instead of 48 hour test to get, you know, I, I'm led to see that expedited. I don't know if there's any of that available here in San Diego yet, but I'm in the facilities that we have, it's impossible for us to do the social distancing because we're only 24, 24 inches away from each other at the bridge, one facility and three feet away from each other in the bridge to facility. But we certainly aren't doing the hand washing and the wearing the gloves. Some people have math. Um, we're out of those also now. So as I said, we're, we're, we're doing the best we can and just saying our prayers that, uh, that we just don't have a, have an issue, a positive.

Speaker 1: 05:23 Um, how concerned are you, uh, in the situation and what you're seeing right now that that coronavirus might get a foothold into San Diego's homeless population?

Speaker 2: 05:34 Very, I mean, I, it, it hits us, it's not going to be good. You know, we have a lot of people trapped in mental illness, you know, dude never signed up for that. Who are just, those are the folks who literally fall through the cracks. What do we do with that? And then we've got, you know, 465 plus people under, you know, to uh, uh, bread facilities in close proximity to each other. I don't know. And I don't like having the, you know, not having an answer, but I just don't know what we would do. So we're just, all we can do is pray

Speaker 1: 06:06 how much of a factor has the city and the County been in reaching out to alpha project and, and trying to come up with strategies to deal with this viral spread among the population in your tents and shelters

Speaker 2: 06:19 four mile more miles ahead of where we were done. They had a, I mean, it took weeks and some, some cases longer, you know, to get the forces Marshall to get out here and start addressing the issue. We're way ahead of that. Nathan's been great. Uh, the County, Nathan Fletcher, and Kevin's been great. They were actually down on down Saturday at the bridge one facility and I, if I, if I need something or I'm concerned, I call them both on the cell phone and I'll go through the bureaucracy and

Speaker 1: 06:45 can they help you get supplies?

Speaker 2: 06:47 They're trying to, they're trying to, as I said, this is a national emergency and they're, they're just not there, you know? Certainly if they were there somewhere in a warehouse, we'd be able to get them, but they're just not there.

Speaker 1: 07:00 I really appreciate your taking the time out to talk to us about this today. I can hear how much is going on and a thank you. Thank you for sharing all that information. I've been speaking with founder and CEO of the alpha project, Bob McElroy. Thanks again.

Speaker 2: 07:16 Thanks for, I appreciate it.

Speaker 3: 07:26 They're the tip of the spear when it comes to healthcare. Nurses are working harder than ever to help the sick, but they're sounding the alarm about not having enough of the equipment. They need equipment like gowns, masks, and other items that keep them safe. While they're treating people that's taking a toll on their physical and mental health. Joining us to talk more about this is Elizabeth Jones. She's a nurse working at UCS D medical center in LA Hoya. However, she speaking on behalf of the California nurses association. Elizabeth, thanks for joining us.

Speaker 4: 07:58 Thank you for having me. And thanks for doing this. I really appreciate it. And I know all the nurses do as do the physicians and anybody really working on the front lines and at the bedside and healthcare.

Speaker 3: 08:09 We're glad to do it and appreciate all that you do. You know, we're hearing a lot about how desperate things are becoming in places like New York at this moment. How, how's the healthcare industry in the San Diego area dealing with this crisis?

Speaker 4: 08:22 It's pretty bad. Um, math in a way it's, we don't have enough gowns. We don't have enough math. We're being told to reuse masks and hospitals. Um, we are pre-screening, uh, our patients that are coming in for clinic visits and even doing drive-by, uh, Qubit testing if you meet the criteria. So we're having patients call in first and if they meet the criteria, somebody will come out to the car, assess them, swab them, if they meet the criteria, send them home and call them back with the results and then instructions of what to do. I've never seen anything like this in 13 years, almost 14 years of being a nurse. Um, and it's, it's just strange.

Speaker 3: 09:12 Yeah. And I, and I know being a nurse can be a stressful job and in the best of times, how are you and your fellow nurses coping?

Speaker 4: 09:20 We're all stressed. Um, we're stressed by, I mean, we don't just live at the hospital, that doesn't exist. We go home, we have families, we have friends, we have other obligations. And we're torn between our sense of duty and our own personal safety and that of our loved ones. So, I mean, my phone has gone off nonstop with friends and family, reaching out, making sure that I'm safe and thanking me. And the rest of my community is the nurses and physicians for what we do and being out there. Um, I will say that this is a time that I've never been more proud to be a nurse, um, because it is often a thankless job, but we know what we do and I'm really proud of what we do. And it's just another day in battle for us. The awful as it is to say, but it's another day in battle. This feels like war, but this is most days it is a nurse can be a battle.

Speaker 3: 10:27 Mm. You know, are you getting the support you need from hospitals? Both with equipment and with psychological support?

Speaker 4: 10:35 Um, not really. There is a shortage, um, of everything that we need. I know a lot of this has facilities, mine included are not following Cal OSHA's recommendations of keeping these patients on airborne precautions, which means putting them in a negative pressure room. So any, any air that's in the room, you get filtered out through a HEPA filter and then released into the air. Cause the solution to pollution is solution. Um, and then the employees that go into the room would wear, uh, and 95 a respirator mask as well as, you know, the plastic gowns like was did they get hand hygiene? And I were, um, you don't have enough of it. And we've been told Cal OSHA says that's the standard. Even the CDC said that should be the standard that you're gonna get by with droplet, which is just the gown and a surgical mask with eyewear. Um, the truth of the matter is if you don't know enough and of how this is really spread and we would rather be safe.

Speaker 3: 11:39 Yeah. You were talking to our producer about what you see as the reality that this crisis is revealing when it comes to how healthcare works in the United States. What did you mean by that?

Speaker 4: 11:51 I'll tell the United States, and it's more evident than ever this past week is reactionary. It's not proactive. It's not preventative. It's, it's a treat model and everyone knows the older dies. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And that's kind of stuff. I mean it's so evident now, we've known about this virus is December in China and I don't know why anybody in the rest of the world is the way travel works. Not that it wasn't going to get spread around.

Speaker 3: 12:28 No. Even if you get all the protective equipment you need, some nurses and other healthcare workers will still get sick. Are there plans in place to deal with a situation where we have a lack of nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals while more and more sick people show up at hospitals?

Speaker 4: 12:45 My facility has put in a labor pool. Um, I know they've talked about canceling, um, non-emergent surgeries. So elective things, things that can be put on the back burner for a few weeks. Um, I've heard rumors of, you know, cause every state you need to be licensed. Um, we all take the same boards that you have to be licensed in each state nursing. You can do reciprocity. I have a friend who is a California nurse that is currently living in Chicago and California is housing her license on essentially hostage because of all of this for the last four months. Um, so she can't work in Chicago but wants to come back to California to, to work. Um, so I've heard of them lifting that. So if you're licensed, you can pretty much work anywhere in the country. I've heard that. I can't confirm whether or not that's true. If that isn't the case, it should be as long as your licenses up to be and you're in good standing, you should be able to work in places that need help.

Speaker 3: 13:53 How are you and your family doing right now?

Speaker 4: 13:57 Um, so my sister works for herself. Um, she's kind of hunkered down in place and she works from home, so that's great. Um, may the rest of my family is on the East coast than in England personally. My grandmother died in England about two weeks ago and my father flew over for her funeral and is still there. Um, I don't know if he'll be able to get back or not. My younger brother and sister, they're still in high school. Their schools had been canceled until mid April.

Speaker 3: 14:31 I've been speaking with Elizabeth Jones, a nurse who works at UC SD medical center and the Hoya. However, again, she is speaking on behalf of the California nurses association. Elizabeth, thanks for joining us and thanks for sharing your experience. You're listening to KPBS midday edition on Jade Hindman. I'm Maureen Cavanagh. This week,

Speaker 1: 14:52 California governor Gavin Newsome ordered many businesses to temporarily close their doors to create social distance. We're doing this to flatten the curve. KPBS science and technology reporter Shalina Chet Lani explains what that means and why it's so critical to slowing the spread of the Corona virus.

Speaker 5: 15:11 Social distancing is exactly what it sounds like. It's keeping your distance at least six feet from other people. So working from homes, getting out on happy hours, and avoiding large gatherings such as concerts. There are a few reasons why officials are asking for this. The first is that many people who have the virus don't know it. In fact, they may even seem perfectly healthy, says medical anthropologist, Bonnie Kaiser with UC San Diego.

Speaker 6: 15:38 We're starting to get data where it may be 25% of, um, infections are, uh, or of exposures are happening when people are asymptomatic.

Speaker 5: 15:46 That means many people may not realize they're spreading the virus. That's why officials say if there isn't social distancing, the number of people getting sick will grow exponentially. Here's what that looks like.

Speaker 6: 15:58 If you double the size of a drop of water every minute, within less than an hour, it'll fill a baseball stadium.

Speaker 5: 16:05 So for every person who tests positive, another two people could get the virus and those numbers keep doubling. This rate of growth can quickly become a problem because as a number of people getting sick goes up, so will the number of people who need to go to the hospital, and that's where the phrase flatten the curve comes in, says UC San Diego health economists, Jeff Clemon. So one way to think about the health system is that it's there to me to manage the flow of patient health needs across the population in the same way that a drainage system is there to manage the flow of water that comes from the storm. But sometimes when it storms, those drains aren't able to manage all the rain and that leads to damaging floods. Now picture of what could happen when a surge of patients check into doctor's offices across the country.

Speaker 5: 16:57 Remember we're talking exponential numbers. The social distancing concept is meant to kind of spread out that flow of patients in a way or to try to at least mitigate the extent to which the system is overwhelmed. Countries around the world are implementing social distancing measures like quarantine in order to reduce the flow of patients into the healthcare system. In Italy, lessons have already been learned there. Last week, nearly 400 people died in just one day. Ella Rafa Tallu is a scientist at UC San Diego who's also from Italy. So these was just, I think at the tip of the iceberg. The disease has been spreading and especially started in Northern Italy that I would like to highlight that this is the the best LKR in the country and one of the best it'll care system in the world. But Rafa teller says some people didn't take seriously how contagious the virus is. So the disease spread

Speaker 7: 17:51 in the city of bear Gomorrah now, which is a city, a city near Milan, they started quarantine a little later than other cities. And this one week delay for the lockdown really cost to them a lot. You know, the entire newspaper is basically dedicated to people who die.

Speaker 5: 18:09 Doctors even in Northern Italy are having to make tough calls on who can be seen because medical staff is limited or they have to decide who can get lifesaving supplies that are running out like ventilators, which help people breathe. And economist Jeffrey Clemon says in the United States, the hospital system could easily get overwhelmed as well.

Speaker 8: 18:29 The system as a whole, you know, has roughly 1 million hospital beds of which 100,000 beds. Our intensive care unit bed

Speaker 5: 18:39 and Rafa tele says it's important for people to think about who needs those beds. The most folks in the population who might get the most severe case of Corona virus

Speaker 7: 18:49 parents, our grandparents, uh, our neighbors. And, and so we need to do this even if we are healthy and young for them.

Speaker 5: 19:00 And remember, flattening the curve isn't about panicking. It's about keeping a safe distance so we can slow down the rate of the virus. Shalina Celani K PBS news. Joining me is KPBS science and technology reporter Shalina Chet Lonnie Shalina, welcome. Hi. Glad to be here. But curve you're talking about is the number of people who test positive for Kovac 19 do we know what percentage of people who test positive will ultimately need hospitalization? Yeah, so it's a moving range of numbers, but I looked at a New York times article last week, which cited projections from the centers for disease control. That said it could be anywhere from 2.4 million to 21 million people in the United States that require hospitalization. And that's really significant because if you recall from the feature, I mentioned that in the United States right now we have only around 1 million hospital beds and a 10th of those are for intensive care unit beds.

Speaker 5: 19:59 So you know, that's also not to mention the fact that there are other people who don't have Corona virus who will need to be going to the hospital for other reasons. Now we hear a lot about you, we need to do more testing, but if there's more testing done, the curve is likely to go up. So how does more testing fit in with flattening the curve? Yeah, so when you're thinking about flattening the curve, it's really about the number of cases that will be overwhelming the healthcare system at a given point in time. So yes, if there is more testing, the number of cases will naturally go up because we will be collecting more numbers on the on cases. But it's when it comes to flattening the curve, it's really about social distancing because if there's no social distancing, even if we're doing testing, those numbers are going to go up because this is an extremely contagious disease.

Speaker 5: 20:49 The doubling rate for, um, the number of cases the United States is every three to four days. Um, Bonnie Kaiser, the medical anthropologist in the feature gave a really good metaphor for that. You know, if you take a drop of water and you double it every minute and an hour, you'll feel a baseball stadium. Think about that with the numbers of people. The doubling rate for this is, you know, every three to four days. And so, um, you know, testing is really the, the next step in flowing in, reducing the flow, the number of cases of the virus. You know, that's once we've got people sort of quarantine and, and in their distance from other people, then the testing comes in so that we can make sure that we're isolating people so that there's not a relapse in the virus. Now, Italy has been shutting down public exposure for weeks now with a near total shutdown of the nation last week.

Speaker 5: 21:40 So how did their curve get out of control? It got out of control kind of the same way. Our curve is getting out of control. Um, I spoke to UCC, UC San Diego scientist Moto LRF fatale and she, uh, has ties to Italy. And she was saying that the way this all kind of got out of hand is that there were actually some politicians who said, Hey, this is not that big of a deal. I'm minimizing the risks and said, go out and you know, enjoy your happy hours. Meanwhile, um, people didn't realize that the, that this is actually very contagious. And so as I mentioned, you know, for every one person there could be two or three other people at the same time who get the disease. And so very quickly it got out of hand. And now the hospital systems over there are very overwhelmed. Um, and one thing I want to mention, I, you know, I said that I'm drawing similarities to the United States.

Speaker 5: 22:30 This is, you know, pretty similar to what's been happening here in terms of, uh, you know, people not believing that this is actually a real threat. Um, and there was actually an NPR poll that came out today that showed that, you know, over 50% of Americans still just over 50% still don't really believe this is that serious. But then we have South Korea and Singapore, we hear that they've been successful in being able to flatten the curve of covert 19. How did they do it? Yes. So they have been successful and that's because they took it seriously right from the beginning. Um, one thing I want to mention before I like talk about some of the things that they did is that South Korea and Singapore democratic, um, governments and I think there's a lot of misconception going around that it takes sort of an authoritarian regime to put in place these types of measures.

Speaker 5: 23:21 That's not actually true. We're seeing from South Korea and from countries like Singapore that you can very easily do that within a democratic government. And some of the things that they have done is first off they have been testing, they have been going everywhere they can to make sure that they are testing people and then isolating the people who come up positive. So for comparison around in the United States, estimates are that around 25,000 tests have been conducted across the United States. A rough estimate in South Korea, it's about 15,000 to 20,000 a day. So they have really, um, embraced testing and they even have some really cool innovations like drive throughs that we're now thinking about trying to adopt here where people can just go and get tested and have that sort of a way. What are hospitals in California doing to gear up in case the curve doesn't flatten fast enough and they're hit with an onslaught of patients.

Speaker 5: 24:22 So I looked at a Vox news article from yesterday that, uh, interviewed a number of different hospital systems around the country and they mentioned one LA hospital system that said, you know, they have ventilators for current patients and then, you know, for a potential surge of patients. But if it does become overwhelming that for example, that hospital says it's, they're going to have to look outward to, um, external, federal or, uh, you know, state resources in order to, um, pad the number of patients that will be coming in. And at the same time you might have been seeing some emails coming into your inbox about um, uh, medical visits that you have that may not be, uh, deemed necessary. Well, that's another move that medical facilities are doing right now. They're saying, you know, if you don't have something that's that urgent, maybe don't come into the hospital system right now to reduce the influx of pressure that's on the hospital system. So that's a couple of things that, um, California hospitals are doing to get prepared. I've been speaking with KPBS science and technology reporter Shalina Chut Lani Shelina. Thank you. Thank you.

Speaker 9: 25:33 [inaudible]

Speaker 3: 25:36 for many of us trying to escape cabin fever, a trip to the grocery store was about as exciting as yesterday. St Patrick's day got this year. We've been assured that soon all those empty shelves are to be restocked, but there might be some trouble coming to a produce aisle near you. Many of the migrant field workers who pick process and pack, so much of our food are about to experience how coronavirus is upending this very important corner of our state's economy. The California report's host, Lily Jamali, spoke with KQD reporter Alex Hall and Fresno about this issue. Here's that interview. So Alex, some big changes are about to kick in that would cut the number of foreign guest workers who come here seasonally to work on us farms. These are H to a V says what exactly is set to change. So starting today, the U S embassy in Mexico city and consulates around Mexico are stopping routine visa services and response to the Corona virus outbreak. That means no new age to a applications only returning age to a workers will be allowed back into the U S USDA says it's working with the state department, try to minimize

Speaker 10: 26:44 disruption to H applications, but the fact is this program has been growing every year and California and really the entire U S has over recent years become increasingly dependent on this program to keep farms running. It sounds like a real problem if you are a farmer in the central Valley. How is the community they're reacting to this? I spoke with Erica Rosasco, she's an agricultural employment attorney and she says, given where we are in the season, there would be very few returning workers.

Speaker 2: 27:13 We are being told now that our HTA B sub processing is going to be delayed and we are increasingly dependent upon the HTA labor to complete our work, especially as we go into the season.

Speaker 10: 27:31 Right now fortunately is a slow time for most of agriculture in the state, but that's going to ramp up soon probably around the first or second week of April. But employers here are already thinking ahead to that because those who hire H to a half to provide housing and transportation to those workers. So if they want to maintain social distancing, they might have to pay to get more buses or vans and if a farm labor contractor has to bear those costs, that in theory gets passed down to the grower. And then to you and I at the grocery store, Alex looking at the safety of farm workers who are already here. To your point just now, agriculture isn't an industry that really lends itself to social distancing. Right. And I spoke with several farm labor contractors who said, yeah, we can separate workers six feet away from each other if they're, for example, pruning grapevines.

Speaker 10: 28:20 But how do you maintain social distancing when a lot of workers carpool, you've got workers sharing water dispensers or in packing houses, sometimes they're shoulder to shoulder. So employers are going to have to come up with some creative solutions that may be staggering shifts and having less people working at any one time. And Alex, are those workers getting the information that they need to keep themselves safe? Well, they're trying to, what I'm hearing is the employers are really working to figure out what they should be doing now to keep workers safe moving forward. They're meeting with workers coming up with plans to respond to this. In addition to that, you're seeing agencies like Cal OSHA, the CDC, and also local health departments release guidelines for what workers should do to protect themselves at the workplace. CalOSHA tells me they've gotten some questions from employers in agriculture specifically about how to comply with this situation and they're considering coming up with guidance specifically for agriculture.

Speaker 3: 29:14 That was K QEDs. Alex Hall speaking with California report host Lily Jamali.

Speaker 11: 29:22 Uh,

Speaker 3: 29:23 former San Diego Congressman Duncan Hunter jr was sentenced to 11 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to stealing more than $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses from trips and shopping's freeze to private school tuition for his kids. Hunter is ordered to report to prison. 29th

Speaker 10: 29:42 officially closing the Hunter dynasty chapter in the 50th congressional district. KPBS reporter Priya Schreder joined us with more. Priya, welcome. Thanks. So Hunter was sentenced to 11 months in prison. Prosecutors were seeking 14 months. Why did judge Thomas Wieland settle on 11? Right? So he could have been sentenced anywhere up to five years, but the prosecution had asked for 14 months. As you said, the defense had asked for 11 months, but they wanted that to be in home confinement. Uh, but they ended up meeting in the middle with 11 months in custody. Judge willin noted Hunter's military service as a factor in his decision and the fact that this was his first time offense and it was a nonviolent crime. Um, the defense did submit over a hundred pages and basically character references, uh, helping to inform the judge's decision. But both the prosecutors and the defense said that they were happy with the 11 months in custody.

Speaker 10: 30:40 He held the sentencing hearing despite many court rooms closing down due to the Corona virus. Why was it so important to get this sentencing done now? Yeah, that's a great question. And one that as reporters, we were asking before we entered the courtroom, they did take a few extra precautions. They only allowed a 36 people into the courtroom, but surprisingly enough, it was actually Duncan Hunter himself that wanted the sentencing to be done. I guess the prosecutors had asked for a delay. Dunkin Hunter said he wanted to get it over with and he actually thanked the judge for quote, accomplishing the mission. So it seemed like he just wanted to get it over with. Um, part of that was in his remarks to the courtroom. He did say that he's hoping that the judge will quote, take sympathy on his wife, Margaret Hunter, the mother of his children, because they do have two teenage daughters in the home and she's set to be sentenced on April 7th.

Speaker 10: 31:33 So I think he really did want his sentencing to happen before her is so that perhaps the prosecutors, when they're making their determination into how many months they want to suggest for her or years perhaps, that they would maybe give her some leniency if he got a longer term in custody. And prior to sentencing, prosecutors presented 87 pages to the judge detailing how they repeatedly stole this money for a decade. What are some of the details in those documents? Right. So the prosecutors really wanted to show the judge that this wasn't an accident. This wasn't something that Dunkin Hunter was unaware of, which is what he initially tried to say when he first got indicted that his wife was essentially doing this without his knowledge. Um, they were really trying to demonstrate that this was a pattern of behavior that went on for several years and that those funds actually bankrolled private school tuition for his children, his wife shopping trips, weekend trips with several mistresses drinking parties in Washington, D C and then also small things, um, like a tin of chewing tobacco, um, books that he bought for, you know, his own personal enjoyment.

Speaker 10: 32:40 So, and then probably the most famous one, which a lot of people have been enjoying on my Twitter account, um, is he flew his, uh, allegedly his rabbit whose name is Egbert from the West coast to the East coast. So he used some of the campaign funds for that. What's been the family's response to all this? Right. So Duncan Hunter sr, as I mentioned, came outside the courtroom and seemed really excited about addressing the press. He referenced the hatch act. So the hatch act restricts federal employees from participating in certain partisan political activities. And you may remember, we reported this a few weeks ago, uh, that the defense was actually trying to throw out, um, all of this again because they were trying to say that two of the prosecutors in this case had attended a Clinton fundraiser in LA Jolla in 2015 and that was something that was extensively addressed yesterday. And the judge essentially said that, you know, despite the evidence that these prosecutors did in fact attend the fundraiser, that he doesn't believe that, um, them being involved in that fundraising activity had anything to do with Dunkin Hunter's trial.

Speaker 10: 33:46 But Dunkin Hunter senior essentially said this was a political witch hunt, which is something that Duncan Hunter jr had also been saying from day one, which is that the liberal department of justice is going after him because he's a conservative and this is all just a political witch hunt. But obviously the judge didn't side with him in that argument and ultimately sentenced him to the, to the 11 months in custody. You know, right now the 50th congressional district is still without representation. So who's headed to the November runoff to replace Hunter seat? Right? So it was a pretty exciting primary election. Um, but, uh, now it's down to Darryl Eissa who's the nine term Congressman that many of you guys are familiar with, um, versus a Mar camp in a jar on the Democrat side. And Amar came extremely close to beating Dunkin Hunter in the last election, but we have to remember the 50th is, uh, one of the last Republican strongholds in Southern California.

Speaker 10: 34:39 So most of the people, uh, in the County Republican party are expecting that it's going to be a no brainer. It's going to go to Darryl Leisa and that, you know, there was a little bit of a split in the vote when it was in the primary because it was between Carl DeMaio and Daryl Eissa. But now that we have, uh, the final Republican contender for the November election, that most likely people are expecting that it's going to go to Daryl Eissa who will then, whoever wins in November will take office in January. I've been speaking with KPBS reporter Prius or either Priya. Thank you so much. Thank you.

Speaker 1: 35:12 This is KPBS mid day edition. I'm Jade Hindman. I'm Maureen Cavanagh. In order to slow the spread of Corona virus. Most of us have to spend most of our time at home. That can be fine for a while, but after days of bingeing on Netflix or napping or cleaning or whatever you're doing to pass the time, staying home can get old. That's why many people are trying incorporate the arts into their home lives. People told to stay indoors, played instruments from their balconies in Italy.

Speaker 9: 35:45 Hmm.

Speaker 1: 35:51 Celebrities like Josh GAD, AKA the actor who voices Olaf in frozen are creating online videos, reading books for kids. Here's GAD reading the true story of the three little pigs. Oh no. Well this whole, that whole thing got started, but it's all wrong. Maybe it's because of our diet. Hayes, my fault wolves, cute little animals like bunnies she pays. It's just the way we are. If cheeseburgers were cute, folks who probably think you were big and bad and there are more innovative ideas springing up from local arts organizations to help you enjoy your time at home. Joining me is KPBS arts editor, Julia Dixon. Evan's joining me from home. Hi Julia. Hi Marine. Now, some local art museums are taking a page from other famous museums like the Guggenheim and the UVC by offering virtual online tours and videos. Tell us about them.

Speaker 6: 36:51 Sure. And what's exciting is some of the stuff was already in place. A museum of photographic arts MOPA has their connects videos. They have um, art conservators showing you how to fix a frame or getting a little insight into those processes. And they also have online exhibitions. You can check out the latest, which is a five women artists, one that asks you can you name by women, photographic artists. And then also San Diego museum of art has a wild where close series you can link to their YouTube channel from there and watch their SDMA plus series stuff like chamber music and the exhibition halls and gallery tops.

Speaker 1: 37:35 Let's listen to a clip of some music in the San Diego museum of art gallery. Cello concerto number one by Camille sound song performed by Justin [inaudible] of San Diego youth symphony

Speaker 9: 37:50 [inaudible]

Speaker 12: 37:54 [inaudible]

Speaker 9: 38:01 [inaudible]

Speaker 12: 38:04 [inaudible]

Speaker 9: 38:08 [inaudible].

Speaker 6: 38:16 And the standing of museum of art has an app that lets you explore each collection. Tim, Ken museum also has an app you can virtually tour including their newest exhibition. And uh, interestingly Lex art Institute is going to start open hours where you can a very limited time spot to see their exhibitions and small groups of 10 and they have brand new work from fiber artists, Michelle Mountjoy, she'll even be live posting the installation and offer drive up viewings in front of their massive front windows there at Lex. You can also find galleries like the studio door bread and saw them print and more have online catalogs. You can browse and even shopped from

Speaker 1: 39:01 now performances at the LA Jolla Playhouse, the old globe. Most other theaters have been postponed. And I imagine theater is just something you can't do virtually. Is that right?

Speaker 6: 39:13 Well, some are trying, uh, one local dance company, PG K dance projects. We'll be broadcasting what was supposed to be this weekend's performance holding tight as an on demand video this weekend. Um, a lot of national musicians are streaming from home and I just listened to the all songs considered podcasts. Latest episode, it's called what we'll miss at South by Southwest this year. And that was a really great listen for connecting with new music. Right now in the, in more national performing arts, there's social distancing festival.com which has a list of global streamed events from operas to stories, lambs to theater. And there's so much more out there in that realm too. And a local storytelling grassroots organization is hosting daring stories tonight, which is a, a live stream version of their monthly show. They've moved all of their programming online.

Speaker 1: 40:13 What our city and County libraries doing while they're close to the public.

Speaker 6: 40:17 Well the County library has gone curbside for checkouts. It's also, they've made it really easy to get a digital library card for the County library system. I didn't have a County library card yet and I signed up really easily just using my cell phone. And then you can use this app, Libby, where you can access so many um, eBooks and audio books from there.

Speaker 1: 40:41 Our local bookstores responding in any way since people can't go out and visit them.

Speaker 6: 40:46 They are, and we all need books right now. Uh, Warrick's has daily Instagram live story times at 11, and they have curbside service as well. But catapult is offering very local free delivery and regular delivery to you and their owner. Steph Marco's on hand to answer the phone when you call in and he'll give signature recommendations run for cover and OB. It's also processing phone orders and you can ask for their owner Maryanne's dealer's choice order too.

Speaker 1: 41:17 A lot of the things you've been saying have to do with adults and children, but specifically for kids because they're home right now. Any suggestions for arts related things to do with school age children?

Speaker 6: 41:30 Yeah, you can find a lot of how tos online Xen making workshops on YouTube. And then KPBS is broadcasting the PBS learning media lessons, which are, I explored them a little bit last night and they're amazing. There's a lot of videos and interactives and put a ton of content for K through 12 for the arts. Also about my level, um, dance videos, painting lessons, music theory. I watched one on some rhythms this morning and um, Twitch also streams nonstop. Bob Ross paints alone, and I went to one of these at TwitchCon. It was really magical touch has been doing this sort of thing for years. So now the rest of the creative world is kind of catching up.

Speaker 1: 42:13 Okay. So the arts are trying to support us during this time. If we're able, how can we return the favor and support the arts?

Speaker 6: 42:23 Learning the organizations and the venues? Many of them are having to lay off their staff who are often artists themselves or reduce their hours a lot. So let to hire local musicians or artists to do, um, video, private lessons, uh, buy art from galleries, books and music. Maybe consider buying a few albums a month from local bands as well.

Speaker 1: 42:45 Okay. Then I've been speaking with KPBS arts editor, Julia Dixon Evans. Keep yourself occupied.

Homeless shelters in San Diego are being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Some shelters are not admitting new residents, others are only admitting people on a case-by-case basis. Plus, nursing is an already tough profession, but it’s made more difficult during times of crisis. One San Diego nurse shares her experience. Also, what does it mean to “flatten the curve”? We’ll break it down. And, disgraced former Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter was sentenced to 11 months in prison for misusing campaign funds. Finally, as the region shuts down to stem the spread of the virus, artists go digital to share their art.

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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.