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Vaccines In San Diego: The Whys And Hows

 February 2, 2021 at 2:36 PM PST

Speaker 1: 00:00 The latest on the push to get more San Diego ones vaccinated. Speaker 2: 00:04 Every one of those super stations and County pods has a contingency to use a hundred percent of the vaccine. Speaker 1: 00:10 I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen Kavanaugh. This is KPBS midday edition. Speaker 3: 00:15 Yeah. Speaker 1: 00:24 Former mayor Kevin Faulkner announces a run for governor. I know Speaker 3: 00:28 We can clean up California, and that's why I'm running for governor. I'm running to make a difference, not to make promises Speaker 1: 00:36 And the economic impact of the pandemic on women and mothers in the workplace. Plus a portrait of the economy's impact on working class parents. That's ahead on midday edition To find out exactly where we are in the process of vaccinating San Diego counties, 3 million residents, KPBS health reporter Teran mento talked extensively on Monday with County health and human services, agency, director, Nick meshy, own and public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten. The conversation covered the availability of vaccines. The current difficulty in scheduling a vaccine appointment and the issue of equitable distribution of the vaccine. Here's some of that interview Speaker 2: 01:30 Using every dose of vaccine is crucial and you're scheduling appointments to make sure nothing is wasted, but there are inevitably some doses left at the end of the day. And people on social media have told me and others have written into us that people who may not fit the current tier of eligibility are waiting around vaccination sites. How are you deciding who gets extra doses at the end of the day? So we've shared a talk with like prisons that our secret station having our a point of dispensing a location and our super staging patients having a contingency plan because those things happen. I mean, on two occasions, I've been called and informed that, well, the lines like today, can we provide that to nation, to another group. And very early on with the thinker station at Petco park, we decided that we would focus on the homeless population or, uh, it was, um, the holiday Martin Luther King weekend. Uh, we advanced to vaccinating everyone 65 years of age and older, as opposed to just 75 and older. So that's the way we've handled that in our pod. Also have a plan of who can they call to get there right away to get vaccinated so that no vaccination or no vaccine dose is LA, is there a wait list because people have asked, how do they get Speaker 4: 03:00 On it? Speaker 2: 03:00 There is no specific wait list, read the stories to that where people are waiting around. But again, if they fit the criteria, even though they don't have an appointment, I think that's okay because they are 65 years of age and older. They may not have an appointment. They know that at the end of the day, that things might be available. It's not a lottery again, we're following our own guidance as best we can. We know, for example, the state just opened up right. Tier two of phase one B. And what does that include? Includes a virtue response law enforcement, for example, where teachers grocery, I think those types of essential functions and some of the contingency plans and superstations have been, uh, if they, some days they end up with no supplies left. I know that in, uh, Chula Vista, for instance, their contingency was if there wasn't anyone without an appointment 65 and older, uh, law enforcement, um, that law enforcement is going to be next. Speaker 2: 03:59 So, so I think that was a really good approach. And they're trying to take that strategy, uh, also at the North County. Uh Superstation I know they've done some law enforcement also down at Petco, obviously with father Joe's and the homeless. That's a clear area there, uh, to help folks. But, uh, we, we discouraged the public, you know, to just go there and in lines because every one of those superstations and County pods has a contingency to use a hundred percent of the vaccine. And so they don't need, you know, you know, people waiting for it. Instead we asked for patients and when it's their turn, we promise we'll get them in. Speaker 4: 04:37 You're talking about people who are currently eligible. We have received a lot of complaints that scheduling is difficult. Either appointments are limited or eligible. Seniors have a tough time with the technical side. You know, you've made two, one, one available to those over 75, but that hasn't solved the problem. So how are you addressing this? Speaker 2: 04:55 Thank you. That's a great question. And several ways, um, one, you know, when you think about, um, the population we started with it wasn't for example, um, population that was more tech savvy, or very familiar or comfortable making online appointments. Um, and so we're dealing with the population that's more vulnerable, has the greatest number of challenges. So two, one, one has been great. One of the things we've done is significantly expanded and expanding as we speak their capability, did they need just more staff? And so they've been adding an onboarding, a tremendous amount of more staff. That's one to one of the things they, they immediately did. This is, um, uh, some part of early next week, last week is they change their menu so that when you call two, one, one, it goes more quickly to, you know, prompt. And I think the sequencing was important because it was also going through the menu that was difficult for some to got through that. Speaker 2: 05:50 The third area was working with our partners in the community, knowing that we're hearing endless stories about how, uh, people have helped their family member or, you know, kind of been the advocate for something. And we think that's great, but not everyone has a family member. Not everyone has that person to help them. So we have actually reached out to the community, helping to be those advocates as well. Uh, we have people that show up at our, at our vaccination sites that don't have an appointment. Um, we take the time they're helping them, um, doing everything we can to get this population. Then I'm not sure if you're aware of this when Dr. Wooten opened it up to the 75 and older, um, the hospitals have the electronic medical record. They have these folks that they've worked with or serving they've reached out. Um, and the number of hospitals have set up pods, uh, and have brought them in. Speaker 2: 06:40 I will also add, there are over 200 providers, aside from the County that is ordering a vaccine. There are many providers out there that are also providing the vaccine to their patient population. So I think Sarah, just to close the loop on this one, we need more appointments. We need more vaccine because you can have all the capacity, but you don't have vaccine. You're not going to have the appointments to give you an idea of when we opened up yesterday, the North county's vaccination Superstation, uh, I was told within minutes, minutes, all appointments were taken for the 65 and older. And Sarah just to provide the context for a phase one, all that is 635,000 individuals, the healthcare personnel, and then for guest 65 and over it's almost 1.2 million. That's the number that we have to deal with. And we have nowhere near that amount of vaccine. So as appointments become available, because it's based on that thing, availability they're opened up. And so they are quickly, uh, scheduled. Speaker 4: 07:49 Both of, you have said a number of times, you want to approach vaccine distribution through an equity lens. But when I look at the data debt posted on the vaccine dashboard, we do see a higher concentration of vaccines are going to people in the North central part of the County. When we know the South Bay has had higher rates of coronavirus. So how do you explain this? And what's being done to improve on this? Speaker 2: 08:11 Uh, I think we're both respond to that. We're both pretty passionate about this topic. We knew we had to improve upon, um, the convenience and access where people lived. And so we guided our work with the healthy places index, um, developed by the state, um, tells us where, and we already know where those health equity communities are. And so we overlaid, uh, our, uh, vaccination sites in those communities. When you look at one of the first areas we had to start, uh, Petco and South Bay, we did the South Bay saturation strategy, protesting, proud to say, we did the South Bay saturation strategy for vaccination. We have a vaccination side of Imperial beach, um, in Chula Vista County. These are County pots with the Superstation Vista national city pod. And we're opening up, I think, uh, tomorrow I'd say to Seadrill, these sites are opened up for everyone. Speaker 2: 09:04 So, but in close proximity, we know there'll be hopefully more people from South. We know that when we have first more sites in South and then North, there are people throughout the County coming just like people from South can go to North. But we also know that the, the reality is there are people in the community that's going to go to those trusted sites. So, uh, the Tubman Chavez center, which is a great popular testing site, we converted it to begin as a two day backside. It's a trusted source. So we're going to what the community has told us, uh, where, where they want, uh, and they, they can trust going for vaccinations, right? So that's very important, just like we did a vaccination site and they'll go home or, or in Escondido and Oceanside, San Marcos is following where the data tells us where we need to be. Speaker 2: 09:56 So that has not changed at all. I'm gonna turn to Dr. Woods and talk to you a little bit about why the numbers may look the way they do at this point point in time. Absolutely. And if you look at the graphic, the vaccination sites, aren't in central, they really are in the South region. They aren't yet in the central region, they are in the South region. There are locations in the Northern part of the County that also reflect an increased number of positive cases or increased rates. So that's why we have followed suit with placing locations in our East and Northern part of the County. The first group of individuals that were vaccinated were healthcare professionals. And that's a reflection of the individuals that make up our health care personnel. So there's a complaint of voice from community members that there's a low number of African-Americans. Well, most individuals that are in healthcare are not African-American or Latino to be quite honest with you. So it's a reflection of what our infrastructure looks like. As we look at the 65 and older, we need to separate that out from the first month of vaccination. And then we will see, uh, look more closely at the race and ethnicity there to see if it's different. And that's what we are currently in the process of doing. Speaker 4: 11:22 We're supposed to be vaccinating people based on some select industries, educators, for example, and then do it based on age. But like we saw with healthcare workers, there are a lot of different job titles within these certain industries to prioritize. So how will you approach, um, these other, uh, job categories when we do get there? Speaker 2: 11:43 Well, the next, uh, three groups will be essential. Workers will be our law enforcement, which is part of the emergency services. Even those of us here fall in that category. Then there will be the educators and childcare workers followed by food and agriculture. Those are the three essential, uh, uh, sectors or essential workers that we will begin to vaccinate at later this month. And then the state wants to identify with the next age groups, which will be 50 to 64 years of age, then 16 to 49 with IRAs that are high risk. That's their proposed strategy going forward. It should be related to that. They have increased risk like health conditions. We need to follow the science and the data that tells us that is a group that is highest at risk and need. If you all opens up at the same time, you still work. We still have not gotten about, we think a fair number of folks, 65 and older that still want the vaccine opening it up. We'll just then compete with those limited appointments where the people who still need it in the very early phases are going to be struggling to get it. So I think we have to be good stewards here, follow the science and what the data tells us on the sequencing and do it more orderly Speaker 5: 13:08 KPBS, health reporter, Taryn, Minto interviewing County health and human services, agency, director, Nick mashy own and public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten, Kevin Faulkner is officially running for governor. The former San Diego mayor made a public announcement at a rally in Los Angeles. Today. He tweeted yesterday about his reasons for running. Speaker 3: 13:34 I know we can clean up California, and that's why I'm running for governor. I'm running to make a difference, not to make promises. If we're willing to think differently to demand results, we can make the powerful answer to the powerless. We can kick the insiders out, bring the outsiders in. We can write these wrongs by writing a better future for California. Speaker 5: 13:58 Faulkner had been exploring a run in 2022, but the recall effort against governor Gavin Newsome prompted his early move into the race. That recall effort is gaining steam fueled by frustration over a pandemic lockdowns school closures and vaccine slowdowns, but a Republican candidate still has an uphill climb in blue, California, and Faulkner's recent vote to reelect. President Trump may not help. Joining me is UC San Diego political science professor that Couser and Thad welcome back. Thanks for having me. Former mayor Faulkner has been seen by some as the moderate who can revive the GOP in California. What are the reasons for that belief? Speaker 3: 14:42 The statement of, of where the Republican party is today, right? That Kevin Faulkner is really in the center in some ways of, of California politics, Speaker 6: 14:52 Because he's not a Donald Trump Republican, right? He has not taken the approach on issues like immigration and climate change that have made Donald Trump and his Republican brand. So anathema to independent and democratic voters in California. So it gives the Republicans really their, their best shot in the increasingly blue state of Kansas. Speaker 5: 15:14 But isn't the Republican party in California, still the party of Trump. Speaker 6: 15:17 That's the question, right? The Republican party nationally and in California is now making this decision about how to define itself and embracing a candidate, uh, like Kevin Faulkner, who has taken different approaches on many issues who is yes, that low touch Republican, but someone who's much more socially moderate and someone who hasn't dipped into the lightening rod politics, uh, that have made the Republican brand. So toxin, Cal, California, that could be something that turns around the image of the Republican party, making it even relevant in a way that it Republicans haven't been in the last decade in this state, Speaker 5: 15:53 Kevin Faulkner says that his campaign has already been able to raise a lot of money. What does that tell us? Speaker 6: 15:59 Well, I think that tells you that he has his eyes on the primary challenge, right? That any one, trying to get their message out to 40 million Californians needs to be thinking about, like, where are they going to be able to raise that money? And what does that say about the candidacy? I think the investment we're seeing from the Republican establishment right now in the recall campaign that has gotten much more professionalized, much less fringy, but has those, those that, that real financial backing that can get you some of the way, but Kevin Faulkner is going to need 30, 50, $60 million to get a message out there that is different than just the Republican brand. Speaker 5: 16:35 Yeah. Let's talk about the recall who's behind it. And how far has it gotten? Speaker 6: 16:39 Well, a lot of groups are behind the recall and this often happens when you have a grassroots movement that, uh, that is taken over by the establishment. So you have some, some, some groups that really have, have the ties that have disturbed, many political observers ties to the hardcore, uh, potentially insurrectionists, right? But then you also have, uh, sort of moderate mainstream Republicans who've come in with, with independent recall efforts to try to advance, uh, to get the paid signature gathers that it would meet that will be needed to get to the over, uh, over one and a half million signatures, valid signatures that need to be gathered by that March 17th deadline that the recalls working towards, it looks like it has the professionalization and the institutional support to potentially get there, setting us up for a fall. Recall. Speaker 5: 17:27 Now the new poll numbers out today are not good news for governor Newsome. His approval rating has plummeted. Speaker 6: 17:35 There are no shock, but what really, what they're showing is a Gavin Newsome has come down from this high watermark of 60% approval that he had when we were still talking about a California miracle. When we were talking about how California's strict regulatory system had kept the virus at Bay, as we've all seen in the last two or three months, that that has changed radically, California has been a worldwide hotspot. And at the same time, Gavin, Gavin Newsome, right? Any governor is going to be second guessed, uh, especially when he has so many stumbles like his, his dinner at the French laundry. So, so I think everyone is expecting his poll numbers to subside, but he's still in the high forties, in his approval rating. He still has more people supporting him than not. And that the question is, can he turn this around? As the state gets a handle on the pandemic, as schools begin to reopen, does he have room to rise again, if he moves towards a fall recall, he's got time and he's got a real chance. Speaker 5: 18:30 Is it your belief that the criticism toward Newsome's handling of the pandemic is justified? Or is he taking the rap? Because this pandemic has just been so awful. Speaker 6: 18:39 Look, any governor would have a tough time with this challenge of walking the tightrope between the public health measures, the really dramatic ones that are needed to, to keep this vicious virus at Bay and reopening the economy and getting things moving again, because that has huge effects on, on, on a wide, on all types of Californians. So it's a really tough job. Governor Newsome has had some clear missteps, right? His French laundry dinner, that, that, that was juxtaposed from what he was asking the state to do. That was a dumb mistake that he was fairly criticized for going forward. I think that the right way to judge him will be looking at sort of whether California can get a handle on this pandemic, whether he can bring a coalition together to fulfill his goal of reopening schools and whether the economy will get back on track. Speaker 5: 19:25 If the recall petition gets enough signatures, Kevin Faulkner, isn't going to be the only challenger, right? Speaker 6: 19:31 No. The big question will be, are we going to see another field of 150 plus candidates, uh, with Gary Coleman with, with adult film stars, are we going to see multiple Republicans taking their shot? Are we going to see a Donald Trump style Republican who might enter the race really get that base support and, and crowd out a candidate like Kevin Faulkner. Who's going to try to run from the middle. That's going to be a strategic conversation. The Republican leaders, Republican donors and, and the top potential candidates are going to have to have Kevin Faulkner looks like the Republicans best shot. Okay. Speaker 5: 20:04 Okay. We will check back with you as the story unfolds. I've been speaking with UC San Diego political science professor fed cows are thank you very much. Speaker 6: 20:13 All right. Thanks so much. Speaker 3: 20:25 [inaudible] Speaker 5: 20:27 This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade Hyman. The pandemic has changed all of our lives in one way or another, but that impact has not been filled equally. The percentage of serious illness and deaths from COVID has been higher among Latino and black Americans, and more people of color have been hurt financially, but among all races, women seem to have borne the brunt of the economic impact of COVID something that may continue to affect their careers and lives for years to come organizations across the country are trying to assess the damage and find out what we've learned from this disaster that could help us recover. Joining me is a leader in one of those organizations. Shayna gross is director of programs with the San Diego workforce partnership and Shayna, welcome to the program. Thank you for having me. One recent statistic seems to frame this problem of women losing out economically CNN reported that us women lost 156,000 jobs last month while men gained 16,000. What are the reasons for that? Speaker 7: 21:36 Well, I think there are a few reasons that go into that one is that women tend to work in the sectors where we're losing the most jobs, places like hospitality and retail. And so, you know, obviously those have been closed because of the pandemic. The other reason is that anytime we see this tension and a family, all of a sudden we have all of these kids who used to be in school, think of a, seven-year-old a nine-year-old who used to be in school and now are home and they can't be home by themselves. They need some sort of childcare and supervision and it historically, and, you know, statistically has been the women who end up dropping out of the workforce and staying home to take care of the kids. Speaker 5: 22:22 And so that's why women who would still have jobs may have been forced to give them up during the pandemic. Is that right? Speaker 7: 22:30 Absolutely. And when you think about women who are making maybe $35,000 a year, and then the cost of having childcare for two school aged children, you know, the seven and nine-year-old, I mentioned that just doesn't pencil out. And so sometimes it just doesn't make sense to go to work. If you're going to have to spend that much on childcare, there are other women who are dropping out to take care of other family members, uh, you know, women tend to be the caretakers. And so whether it's adult care or childcare, uh, they're the ones who either dropped to part-time or, you know, take a leave of absence or, or leave the workforce altogether in order to be able to take care of the family. Speaker 5: 23:10 Is it also fair to say that the women who could afford it least have been affected the most by these job losses? Speaker 7: 23:17 Absolutely. Yeah. And I think what's happened is that they've been faced with really a terrible set of options in making these decisions. And, um, and often the jobs that they're in don't feel safe. And maybe you have an older adult who lives with you in your home and you don't feel safe being on the front lines. You know, some of these essential workers. And when you look at how much you making by working there and the risk that you could bring home to your family, people are making the decision women, especially to, to, to not work and keep their families. Speaker 5: 23:51 Can you give us an idea of what you've heard from women who come to the workforce partnership about their situations? Speaker 7: 23:58 Yeah. We've had a lot of women who have come and are, um, maybe have been laid off, are looking for work. Many people don't feel safe, uh, being in the workforce right now, it's getting better now that we're seeing the vaccination rates go up and, and it's feeling like there's a light at the end of the tunnel. But, uh, early on in the pandemic, there was a lot of unknowns and, and people really didn't feel safe working. You know, I don't want to call out a particular sector, but you think of the places where you're more highly exposed, you know, at the grocery store or working in retail or home health AIDS. And those jobs don't tend to pay the best and they have a lot of risk associated with them. So we saw a lot of people wanting to switch careers or switch jobs to something that they felt was safer. Speaker 7: 24:47 Um, and a lot of people talking about, you know, I need something that's flexible. A lot of the lower paying jobs don't have the ability to work from home. Also, you know, many of us have had the luxury of being able to work from home. But when you're talking about frontlines and, and the, the many of the layoffs and the lost jobs that were the CNN study was referring to, there's not an ability to transition to those, to be working from home. So people are looking for things that they can use their skills, still be able to take care of their kids. You know, I'm not going to get in trouble if they hear my child crying in the background, or if I need to take a break to help somebody with homework or get them set up for school. And that's really hard to find, particularly as a brand new worker, um, you know, anytime you start a job, of course, you want to put your best foot forward and, and be able to say yes, as much as possible. And I think a lot of women are finding themselves in a position where they have a lot of caveats. They have a lot of considerations that they need in order to start a new job. And that can feel like you're starting off on uneven footing. Speaker 5: 25:49 You yourself are a working mom. What has your experience been like juggling work and family during the pandemic? Speaker 7: 25:55 It's been a challenge. Uh, both my husband and I are working from home and we've had to really coordinate schedules. Um, I'm lucky that I have family support nearby and they take care of my son, um, for a few hours each day, but I've had to become comfortable with, um, him running into my office at any given time. And, you know, yesterday I was on a meeting and he was building his rocket ship, uh, launcher next to me. And, you know, you just have to, it doesn't look perfect. Um, or maybe this is the new definition of what perfect looks like. You know, this is the reality that we're all dealing with. And I think you just have to be juggle and, and give yourself some grace and, um, hope that others are being understanding as well. Speaker 5: 26:40 The pandemic, as you say, seems to have exposed gender that have always existed, but we haven't paid attention to is what we're seeing the result of having an inadequate social skills. Speaker 7: 26:52 Absolutely. Here in San Diego, you know, before the pandemic, we had a childcare shortage gap of about 190,000 spots. So, you know, children that don't have a stay-at-home parent, but need childcare they're under 12. Um, so that was pre pandemic after the pandemic and during the pandemic, we know that a lot of childcare facilities have had to either close or decrease their capacity because the ratios for provider to children has been reduced in order to try to do, um, you know, stay safe. And that's, um, you know, I think we really seeing now a system that was broken before, but has been even more impacted Speaker 5: 27:32 Changes with the workforce partnership, like to see here in San Diego to address these gaps that affect women's ability to balance home and work. Speaker 7: 27:41 I think there are a few changes that, that we can see. Um, certainly we encourage businesses to really look at, um, how are they doing? How are they serving women and new parents and to look at their data, um, what's their new parent retention rate and, and not just on, you know, how many people returned from maternity or paternity leave, but 12 months after someone has had a child joined their family, how are they retaining them? Who's getting promoted, uh, what are employee surveys saying? And I think that will really, um, be in illuminative, uh, to show some of the, the issues there. We would also love to see, um, you know, flexible schedules as needed and flexible workloads phasing back paid parental leave is something that most employers don't offer. And that can be really huge. And then looking, you know, I think about things that, um, the city and the County can do as well. They've been incredible in helping essential workers and having vouchers for childcare, but there are other things we can be doing about looking at co-locating childcare in their buildings, so that we have low or no rent. Uh, and then the childcare provider could invest that in better wages and better quality. We can also change some of our policies to incentivize and prioritize family-friendly businesses. Speaker 5: 29:02 It's a long list. I want to thank you. Shana gross director of programs with the San Diego workforce partnership. Thank you so much for your time. Thank you, Speaker 1: 29:21 President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress are proposing an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, K Q E D. Politics reporter guy errata takes a look back at lessons learned from California zone $15 minimum wage debate. I have decade ago, California officially started on the path to a $15 Speaker 8: 29:42 Minimum wage in 2016. When governor Jerry Brown signed a law that would get the state there in 2022 Speaker 3: 29:49 Very important step forward. Let's keep it going. We're not stamping here, Speaker 8: 29:54 But the so-called fight for 15 began a few years earlier when fast food workers went on strike to demand In response cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles passed their own $15 plans. Building momentum for a statewide increase. Speaker 2: 30:13 Couldn't have gotten there without other cities who were willing to go first Speaker 8: 30:18 That's Lafonda Butler. She loved the statewide minimum wage push as head of FCIU local 2015 California's largest union. She says even governor Brown had to be brought along by public pressure. Now Butler sees a similar dynamic on the national level with a majority of States increasing their minimum wage before the federal government. Speaker 2: 30:38 If I am a member of Congress, or if I am, you know, uh, president Biden, I now have proof points, um, that economies, um, can continue to survive. Local businesses can continue to survive. Speaker 8: 30:51 San Bernardino. Congressman J O'Byrne LT was in the state legislature. Back in 2016, he was among the Republicans who voted against the $15 plan over concerns. It would harm business now in Congress over naughty still doesn't like the idea or Biden's plan of including the minimum wage and a larger coronavirus relief package Speaker 2: 31:11 In California. At least we had a standalone debate on this issue. Speaker 8: 31:15 There's the question of whether Congress should apply a minimum wage increase across the board like California did over and LT prefers an approach where the minimum wage is higher in higher cost areas. Speaker 2: 31:26 So the question that we're asking is why is that approach not the best one? Why, how can you argue that the cost of living in California is the same as the cost of living in Iowa Speaker 8: 31:35 In 2016, some democratic legislators, such as Jimmy Gomez liked the idea of having regional minimum wages that could go even higher than $15 in pricey areas like LA, but Gomez, who now represents LA in Congress, says his biggest lesson from California's minimum wage fight. Speaker 2: 31:53 It is don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good Speaker 8: 31:57 Says a debate over where to set each region's wage could have dragged on for months, even years while the purchasing power of a raise withered away Speaker 2: 32:06 Not get so wedded on your own particular idea of how to increase the minimum wage does just increase the minimum. Speaker 8: 32:13 He hopes Democrats act quickly as Biden's plan begins to move through Congress. This week, I'm guy Mars, Speaker 2: 32:28 A street medicine team in Bakersfield is working to educate people experiencing homelessness about COVID-19 as Valley public radio's Maddie Bellinos reports. They're combating Speaker 9: 32:40 Misinformation about the vaccine on this cloudy morning in Northeast Bakersfield, Dr. Matthew bear walks along a narrow trail of damp pollen leaves to a small homeless camp, Speaker 10: 32:53 Melissa, you doing all right? I'm hanging in there. All right, COVID negative. They told you they didn't tell you. Well, I'm telling you, congratulations. Speaker 9: 33:03 Bear tells his patient, Melissa, that she's tested negative for the novel coronavirus. It's her second negative test. In addition to administering COVID-19 tests, the team provides medical check-ins food prescribed medication when needed and syringe exchanges. When the pandemic first hit bear says they paused their weekly visits to figure out how they could continue without exposing staff for patients to the virus. Speaker 10: 33:29 You're talking about a population with multiple chronic illnesses, a lot of chronic lung disease, a ton of chronic lung disease, actually. So when we started finding out the nature of COVID, we thought, Oh, for sure, the unsheltered are going to get hit the worst, Speaker 9: 33:44 But he says it was quite the opposite. Speaker 10: 33:47 Usually when we came out, people were really reluctant to even get tested for COVID. Um, and then as, as one person got tested, someone else saw and said, well, Hey, can I get tested and sort of spread Speaker 9: 33:57 The doctor says he hasn't seen a single positive test, which means the team can continue to focus on treating the roughly 30 people they see each week. Speaker 10: 34:09 Well, so, well, you don't have coronavirus, Speaker 9: 34:12 A woman named Shelley who chose not to share her last name, receives her fourth negative test result. Shelly lives with her partner in a tent about 10 yards away from others in the encampment. She says it's easy to social distance from the general population, except when she goes to sleep. Speaker 11: 34:30 When I go to the store, I get concerned. I put on my mask and everything tried to protect myself. Yeah. Hand sanitizer, but there was a lot of other things going on about that, Speaker 9: 34:41 Or also believed circulating about the COVID 19 vaccine. Shelly says she won't take it based on the research she's done online. Speaker 11: 34:50 It changes your DNA. Some people could die from it. Um, I had a PhD. I could explain it better Speaker 9: 34:59 Medical experts, including bears. Say it won't change your DNA. Shelly remains skeptical, but she says she might consider it if bear recommended it to you. Speaker 11: 35:09 Sure. But I would want to see every tiny ingredient and that type of shot Speaker 9: 35:15 In a situation like this bear says, he tries to educate about the safety of the vaccine and compare the risk versus the benefit. But he says, he understands why the unsheltered population might be hesitant. Speaker 10: 35:28 There's a lot of different reasons. People might refuse the vaccine, right? For someone who's lived in this situation, there's probably a huge distrust of systems, right? And at this point they Speaker 9: 35:38 Can't even offer the vaccine there says until then the team is working on preemptive measures, like treating ongoing medical conditions, getting the most susceptible people, housing and building trust due to the success of the street medicine effort. Dr. Bayer says, they've started a second team in Bakersfield and the clinic hopes to start another one in Fresno. Speaker 1: 36:09 You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Jade. Hindman with Maureen Cavanaugh. The coronavirus pandemic has brought to light a childcare crisis in this country. But for many workers, particularly in low wage or central work jobs, the crisis isn't new. The stories of some of these mothers are told in the film through the night, which profiles a 24 hour childcare center in New York. Here's a clip. Speaker 9: 36:34 I never really thought of overnight childcare till I had to use it working seven days for months and Merry Christmas, love you guys very much. It's not just a job. This is really our life. My children ever since they was the age of two years old, they had to share me with other children, Alma. My children said, mama, why did they have to come first parents, you make sacrifice. It is that therefore I just do what I can Speaker 1: 37:15 Through the night is part of the human rights watch film festival, which kicks off today, hosted virtually by the museum of photographic arts. Joining me is the film's director and producer Loida limbo Loda. Thanks for joining us. Thank you for having me, you know, for this documentary, you spend some time following several working mothers, as they navigated childcare and work that requires them to need childcare outside of the standard school or daycare hours. Tell us about these women and the kind of people who tend to need this sort of care. Speaker 12: 37:49 So yes, we spent a few years, uh, with the mothers and caregivers of this community, of these tots and new Rochelle, New York. Uh, our protagonists are all people that we would now call essential workers. Marysol Valencia is a single mother of two girls, uh, who has been working three, two to three jobs consistently over the last few years, uh, because none of her employers want to give her full-time hours in order to avoid paying health insurance and other benefits. And so she's been caught in a, in a cycle of very, um, irregular schedules and work hours that are almost, uh, and then Shanola Tate who we also spent time with in the film is a pediatric ER nurse, uh, who is also a single mother of two children and works the night shift. She works from 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM and then new, new, and Patrick who run the daycare and have done so for over two decades, uh, provide care to, you know, the children of [inaudible] and many other families in this community, uh, around the clock as well. So they themselves are barely able to get any sleep. Speaker 1: 39:09 And w what are some of the barriers, families of color, particularly women face in the economy? Speaker 12: 39:16 That's a great question. And oftentimes when people watch the film, or we have conversations about the film, uh, we hone in on the childcare crisis, uh, which is, you know, for obvious reasons, but I would also say that beyond the childcare crisis, um, there's just a, an overall crisis, right? If you take the case of soul who is working multiple low wage jobs, because employers want to avoid, you know, paying for health insurance and other things, um, you know, that is a matter of, you know, when you think of the challenges as a matter of, uh, the lack of a living wage, right? The lack of affordable, accessible health insurance, you know, all these different issues, uh, you know, collide in many ways in the lives of working class people, but particularly right, when you add race and gender to anything in the United States, communities of color and women of color always come out on the bottom and really bear the brunt of all of our broken systems, Speaker 1: 40:23 Just by your inclusion in the human rights watch film festival means that we watch this documentary through a lens of thinking is the way the system is set up for working mothers, a human rights issue. Can you talk to me about that? Speaker 12: 40:37 Sure. Uh, it, it's, it's absolutely a human rights issue. Uh, you know, I won't even talk about it in political or social terms. I will just say we have a, an economy, uh, where we have normalized the fact that people work multiple jobs work around the clock, uh, and still have to choose between paying rent or buying groceries on any given month. Uh, and these are people that are doing everything port on port, you know, correct. Right? The things that society tells you to do, if you work hard, you will be able to provide an advance in life. Uh, and instead we have this very brutal, uh, and harmful system in, uh, that asks people to, to make these kinds of sacrifices. All of the folks in the film are working around the clock. None of them get any more than three to four hours of sleep. Speaker 12: 41:46 A night sleep is perhaps one of the most essential human necessities, um, you know, alongside with water, right, and food. Uh, and again, we have gotten to a point, uh, in the sort of us brand of capitalism, where sleep has been turned into some sort of luxury that only the lucky few who are privileged enough have access to, uh, and the worst part of it all is that in many ways, all of this is very invisible. Uh, the, these realities, the realities of women of color and working mothers, you know, low-income folks, uh, get, uh, neglected, uh, and oftentimes in feminist spaces and in feminist conversations. And they're also overlooked, uh, by the labor movement, you know, the, the, the face of labor in the United States, it's still very male overwhelmingly white, despite the fact that our labor force is increasingly made up of women, um, and increasingly women of color, Speaker 1: 42:51 This film was made pre pandemic, but can you tell us how the system is fairing during COVID, uh, with these, uh, folks who were highlighted in particular new, new, and the mothers you followed? Woo. Speaker 12: 43:04 Uh, you know, part of me, the immediate answer is that the system is a hot mess and it's completely fallen apart. Um, I think we're, we're in systems collapse, uh, with the pandemic, something like upwards of 60% of childcare providers have closed their doors due to COVID. Uh, and the ones that have remained open are often centers like Nuno and Patrick's who are caring for the children of essential workers. They haven't laid any of their staff off, uh, because they feel a sense of responsibility and loyalty, uh, to their, you know, their support staff. Uh, and they have, you know, all the other expenses are not, not to mention being frontline workers in some ways, uh, in terms of supporting families that are experiencing food insecurity or housing insecurity or unemployment, or, you know, any range, right. Of mental health issues or physical health issues. Speaker 12: 44:09 These childcare providers are much more than childcare. They aren't in many ways, uh, the social safety net that the system and the covenant refuses to provide to working families. Um, and so they've been, you know, non Patrick have been playing that throughout the pandemic and they're, they're weary. Uh, and I think in, in, in some way, it's also feeling, um, some anger and disappointment, uh, because when we do as a society, talk about essential workers and we sort of, you know, hand out our symbolic gestures of gratitude to essential workers. Oftentimes we don't even include people like, no, no one Patrick, right? We talk about nurses or firefighters and teachers, or, uh, but we don't talk about a childcare provider or a home health aid, or the janitors that are keeping hospitals clean, right? There's there's, there are all these people who quite literally do the work that makes all other work possible, who we just refuse to see respect and value in the United States. Speaker 1: 45:24 The film is called through the night, and it is part of the human rights watch film festival with five documentary screening through the museum of photographic arts this week, a screening of through the night and live Q and a with director loiter limbo takes place tomorrow at 7:00 PM. We have And I have been speaking with Loida limbo. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you.

KPBS spoke to San Diego County public health officials about the availability of vaccines, the current difficulty in scheduling a vaccine appointment and the issue of equitable distribution of the vaccine. Plus, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer is running for California governor. He says that California has become a failed state under Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. And women seem to have borne the brunt of the economic impact of COVID-19, something that may continue to affect their careers and lives for years to come.. Finally, "Through the Night,” a film screening this week as part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, spotlights the essential workers, mostly women of color who require 24-hour childcare centers.