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San Diego County sees increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations

 December 27, 2021 at 3:10 PM PST

Speaker 1: (00:00)

COVID 19 cases are once again, surging in San Diego county,

Speaker 2: (00:04)

We're seeing a sudden increase in positivity. Uh, we're also seeing a very significant increase in hospitalizations.

Speaker 1: (00:12)

I'm G Kim with Jade Henman. This is K PS midday edition Expect delays at San Diego airport. This week after thousands of flights are canceled, anytime

Speaker 3: (00:30)

That there's cancellation or delays, it has a ripple effect, right? So, you know, we have been seeing quite a few of cancellation and

Speaker 1: (00:38)

Delays. We hear from a man that wanted to attend to 500 NFL games and succeeded. And just in time for the holidays, we're talking about the power of kindness. That's ahead on midday edition Team cases are once again, on the rise in San Diego county as is the demand for testing in a meeting today with state governors, president Biden said more needs to be done to make sure tests are available,

Speaker 4: (01:14)

Seeing how tough it was for some folks to get a test. This weekend shows that we have more work to do, we're doing it.

Speaker 1: (01:20)

And with the holidays upon us, chances are you, you or someone, you know, has stood in line for a test or tried to purchase a home kit in an effort to stop the spread and still see family and friends responsibly here. Now, to help us understand how San Diego is faring with testing and the current surge we're joined by Chris van Gorder, the CEO of Scripps health. Hello. Hi, good morning. Well, thank you so much for joining us. So what are, are we seeing in terms of COVID cases in San Diego county currently?

Speaker 2: (01:47)

Yeah, we saw a sudden increase in hospitalizations literally in the last four days to, to give you some sense of it. One month ago, uh, November 27th, uh, we had 75 COVID hospital hospitalized patients in our healthcare system. On the 23rd. We had 80, um, on the 24th Christmas Eve, we jumped by 18 admissions on the 25th Christmas day. We jumped by another 20 admissions and yesterday, um, we jumped by another 16 admissions. So literally from the 23rd, we've gone from 80 admissions to 119 admissions. So that's a huge increase. And we're seeing the same in testing on the 2020 third, we jumped to 26% positivity rate, which is a huge positivity rate on the 25th. It was about 25% and yesterday about 19%. So it's dipping a little bit that could surge again tomorrow. So we're seeing a sudden increase in positivity. Uh, we're also seeing a very, uh, significant increase in hospitalizations, just in the law last few days.

Speaker 1: (02:45)

When is your modeling showing a peak in hospitalizations?

Speaker 2: (02:49)

Yeah, our projections actually showed in a, um, a surge in majority of January and then probably a little bit of a flattening and dipping after January. Um, you know, we had predicted, I had predicted even that we would see the sudden surge actually the week between Christmas and new year. So I was one or two days off. Um, but, uh, yeah, we're gonna see a sudden increase. Um, we will not see hospitalizations. Like it was a year ago, a year ago on January 8th, we had 500 patients in the hospital. We're we not gonna see that kind of, of hospitalization rate, uh, because of vaccinations, but, um, but we, we won't see it dip again probably until late January.

Speaker 1: (03:27)

Do you have any idea of how many of the new cases are due to Aron or what's actually driving this surge?

Speaker 2: (03:33)

We don't have those numbers yet, but I would tell you, you know, my speculation on this is a majority of the, um, it's so highly infectious. Um, it's, uh, clearly probably the dominant virus or variant already in this county, but I don't have those statistics yet. Those usually follow

Speaker 1: (03:49)

How is Amron different from Delta?

Speaker 2: (03:51)

Well, it's certainly far more infectious than Delta was. There is some speculation we don't know for sure that a majority of the cases will be mild than Delta, but, um, I'm not sure that there's scientific proof to that yet, but that's what we're hoping for. But I will tell you, seeing this sudden increase in hospitalizations, uh, has this concern without a doubt

Speaker 1: (04:11)

To that end scripts has previously reported having staffing shortages. Is that still the case? And do you think it's gonna possibly impact your ability to, to meet the need?

Speaker 2: (04:21)

Every hospital has staffing shortages right now, there's a huge amount of burnout, uh, fatigue, uh, that, you know, our, our people have been fighting COVID every day for the last two years. Um, and, and we're seeing that as a national trend, that's just not a San Diego trend and it's certainly not just ACRIS trend. We'll try to find a way obviously a of meeting our community's need, but it will, it will be stretching resources without a

Speaker 1: (04:44)

Doubt. Have you had to implement any kind of new plans in order to, to meet it currently?

Speaker 2: (04:49)

Well, what we will have to do is monitor our activity, our surgical activity and elected admissions. So if the census, uh, gets much higher than this, obviously we may have to slow down on a, their hospitalizations. And I, I, I think you're aware that there is a huge blood shortage right now. Anyway. Um, I think that's driven by not as many people donating blood, uh, and, and normally this time of the year, there's a decrease in blood donations. So that's already impacting, um, us on, on everything from the trauma side to the elective surgery side. So we're deeply concerned about a shortage of blood. And obviously we're concerned about an increase in COVID, um,

Speaker 1: (05:27)

Hospitalizations. As I mentioned off the top, a lot of people are looking to get tested during the holiday season. Is scripts seeing a huge spike in these type of requests for tests?

Speaker 2: (05:37)

No, I wouldn't say that we're seeing a huge increase. I think the county is providing really significant resources to be able to do a lot of testing. So, um, I, you know, we haven't seen a spike in the test, but I would imagine if we see the positivity rate continue in this direction, we will see an increase in testing.

Speaker 1: (05:55)

If people are having trouble getting a rapid test, what would you recommend that they do

Speaker 2: (05:59)

Well, if they have symptoms, you know, they need to contact their, you know, healthcare provider and the healthcare provider can arrange for them to get a PCA test or something like that. Um, if they're, you know, asymptomatic, um, you know, best thing to do is shop around, call around to CVS and Walgreens and all of those to see if they have a supply. Um, one day they may be out the next day. They may have a supply coming in and, and, uh, with the, the president's pledge to be able to make, uh, testing available. Um, I think that they, we will see a sudden increase in the supply somewhere in January, probably not until mid to late January, but I think we'll see it in January, but right now I get that call all the time. Uh, we obviously can do a PCA test in the hospital. You can go to the county, um, and get a test. It will not be a rapid test. Um, and then it's just a matter of looking around and shopping to find the, uh, the over the counter test at this point,

Speaker 1: (06:50)

As we've seen more people try and get tested, and we're seeing this increased surge, are you also seeing an increased demand for people looking to get their boosters during the holiday season?

Speaker 2: (06:59)

Not as much as we would like. Um, we certainly saw right when boosters were made available. Um, we saw an increase obviously in, in people wanting to get the boosters for the first time, and then it seemed to drop off a little bit. Um, and then of course, as people prepared for, uh, traveling over the holidays, we saw a slight increase, uh, and people wanting to get boosters, but we are concerned that, um, we haven't been able to give as many boosters as we really would like right now. And it really is important for everybody to not only have their, their, you know, first, uh, J J shot, um, with a, a booster of, of one of the other shots probably, or, uh, with a two, uh, dose modern and Pfizer getting that third, uh, booster that's really, really important with Aron in particular

Speaker 1: (07:43)

Emits all this news. We did get a little bit of good news last week. The FDA provided emergency authorization of Pfizer's new oral COVID 19 treatment. What do we know about this new drug?

Speaker 2: (07:53)

Well, we knew that it is an ambulatory drug so that it may help it's an antiviral. And so, um, our, our actually spoke with our pharmacy people today and, and they're, uh, gearing up for that, uh, now as well. So we don't have the drug yet, but we should shortly for, um, patients certainly in the hospital. And then, uh, it will be available I'm sure in January for people with a prescription. So that will help as an antiviral similar to what to AMA flu did for influenza. Um, so we're hopeful.

Speaker 1: (08:23)

And as we come up on new year's Eve, what advice can you give to listeners to really stay safe? Well,

Speaker 2: (08:29)

You know, it's the traditional advice. Um, certainly get your vaccinations. That is the best protection. Um, many of the people with vaccinations will probably see a mild case of the, uh, COVID, uh, those without, uh, vaccinations take a much, much higher risk of serious illness and potentially hospitalizations. I will tell you that, uh, by far a majority of the patients in the hospital were not vaccinated. And a majority of the people who have have died, uh, were not vaccinated. So the advice first, number one, get that vaccination. Number two, if you've been vaccinated, make sure you get that booster. Uh, number three, wear that mask. Um, you know, we have regulations right now that require masking indoors. Again, I would wear a mask most of the time right now and not, not the cloth mask masks, a single layer cloth mask will do you no good whatsoever. You need to wear a surgical grade type mask or multi-layered cloth mask, uh, or something more significant than that, um, to protect yourselves. And I, you know, I've been out a little bit in the community, not as much as many people are, and I'm seeing an awful lot of people not wearing masks. So vaccination and masking is the best protection I've been

Speaker 1: (09:37)

Speaking with Chris Vanguard, the CEO of Scripps health. Thank you so much. My pleasure,

Speaker 5: (09:47)

Despite a surge in case rates from the Elron variant this past weekend was still one of the busiest for flight travel, but it was met with trip cancellations as the virus spread among flight crews, more than 2000 flights were canceled around the nation over the weekend. And another 700 flights were canceled just this morning. Some of the airlines impacted by the cancellations were jet blue, Delta airlines, United airlines, and American airlines. Joining us to discuss the at the San Diego international airport is senior communication specialist for the San Diego county regional airport authority, Sabrina LoPiccolo Sabrina. Welcome.

Speaker 3: (10:26)

Hi, good morning. Thanks.

Speaker 5: (10:28)

So, can you tell us about the turnout at the San Diego international airport over the holiday weekend? Well,

Speaker 3: (10:33)

We are anticipating about 1 million passengers coming and going from San Diego international airport and that's between December 17th and January 3rd. So, uh, so far we have seen about 556,000 passengers coming and going from the airport. And obviously we do have a few more days to, to see if we get up to that, that million number or

Speaker 5: (10:58)

Thousands of flights have been canceled due to the spread of this virus. And those cancellations are spilling over into the work week here. Any advice for what travelers should do as they, uh, plan out their trip?

Speaker 3: (11:11)

Yeah. You know, traveling, uh, during the holidays can, can be stressful. And then adding on some of these cancellation and delay is, is sure to not make the travel season, that pleasurable. However, if you are going to be traveling, we suggest just checking in with your airline, um, before you arrive to the airport, just understand, you know, if your flight is delayed, uh, how long it's gonna be delayed and, and just make arrangements that way, you know, that's really gonna be the best advice. And then I think, uh, also, you know, just understand that the airlines are just trying to get everybody to their location, uh, as safe as possible. And, and we at the airport just wanna make sure that, you know, we're, we're supporting the passengers and the airlines and ensuring that everything that we can do, you know, from a health and safety perspective, um, doing our advanced cleaning and, and social distancing, if possible, um, you know, just understand that we're all trying to, uh, do the best we can and get everybody to their destination safely. So, you know, a little humility and, and understanding is greatly appreciated as well.

Speaker 5: (12:11)

And again, despite the rise in case numbers, this was still one of the busiest travel weekends of the year compared to last year, have the number of travelers coming in and out of the airport during the holidays increased.

Speaker 3: (12:24)

Yeah. So, you know, really since, uh, March of 2021 this year, uh, we've been seeing a slow increase of passenger. And if, you know, if you remember, uh, that's kind of when the vaccine was becoming more available and, and people were getting, uh, vaccinated. And so, you know, we've really been seeing slowly but surely our numbers climb and, and especially on those holiday travel times. So, you know, again, this is a, this is about a 25% increase over last year's passenger numbers. Um, but it's still 20%, uh, decrease over 2019 numbers. So again, you know, we're, we're definitely seeing more passengers than we saw last year, but still not as many as 2019.

Speaker 5: (13:08)

So we're still not back to the pre pandemic levels.

Speaker 3: (13:11)

No, no. And, you know, and I think that that's, uh, there's a combination of reasons for that, you know, partly it's because people just don't feel comfortable yet, and, and aren't doing a lot of the air traveling, but then also, you know, with everything happening with the airlines, um, routes, you know, have either been suspended or, um, you know, just haven't returned back to San Diego or, you know, we actually have gotten new dusted nations, but we don't have the, quite the frequency that perhaps we used to have, uh, in 2019. So, you know, it, it's sort of a, a combination of, of not being quite up to the amount of flights or seats that we had pre pandemic. Um, but also, you know, we have gained, you know, a few destinations and, and some additional flights that way, but again, you know, people just, um, aren't traveling as much as they used to

Speaker 5: (14:00)

What safety protocols are in place at the San Diego international airport for travelers and flight crews, uh, to ensure safety as COVID 19 cases are on the rise in the county.

Speaker 3: (14:12)

Yeah. You know, much like, like everywhere else. We were one of know the first to be able to start providing a lot of the health and safety measures, um, at the airport, you know, very early on in 2020. So, uh, we have increased cleaning we're, we're cleaning around the clock and getting a lot of those high touch points. Uh, we have, um, social distancing stickers and reminders, uh, seat separation, signage, um, things like that, you know, just to, to remind people to social distance as much as possible, uh, Plexiglas STAs, and then of course, masks are required while on airport property. That mandate, uh, is a federal mandate and it's been extended a couple different times, but that is still in place. And, and so everybody that is on airport property or going on the airplane will have to have a mask.

Speaker 5: (14:58)

And do you have any sense of how the thousands of flights canceled over the weekend might impact flights this week?

Speaker 3: (15:06)

Yeah. You know, I mean, anytime that there's, uh, cancellation or delays has a ripple effect, right. So, um, you know, we, we have been seeing quite a few of cancellation and delays, and I think, uh, again, the best advice that we can give is just to be in touch with your airline, understand, you know, what's going on and, and the reason for the cancellations and your options. And

Speaker 5: (15:28)

If you are traveling in and out of the San Diego internet national airport, there are a few changes to parking that you'd mentioned, uh, before. Tell us about that. Yeah,

Speaker 3: (15:37)

So, well, we're very excited, uh, construction for the new terminal. One has begun and, um, you know, right now there's not too many passenger impacts, but starting January 3rd, uh, we'll start to see some impacts to our parking. So on January 3rd, the cell phone lot will be relocated to the terminal two parking lot on McCain road. So if you happen to be picking up, uh, any of your loved ones or friends, family, uh, from the airport, just be advised that the cell phone lot starting January 3rd will be relocated. And then also, uh, at beginning January 10th, we'll be reducing the parking in front of terminal one. Uh, so it will only have about 500 spaces. Um, so, you know, parking in front of terminal, one will be limited. Uh, anybody that's wanting to park at the airport, we strongly suggest getting reservations, uh, on our website, which is In that way you can, uh, plan to have a space. And the parking reservations are for terminal two parking Plaza. And if, uh, you happen to be flying out of terminal one, but parking and terminal two will have inter-terminal buses that can transfer people. And then also we're bringing back the valet parking options. So valet parking will be an option for anybody flying out of terminal one or terminal two, starting January 10th as well.

Speaker 5: (16:59)

I've been speaking to senior communication specialist for the San Diego county, regional airport authority, Sabrina LoPiccolo Sabrina. Thank you so much for joining us.

Speaker 3: (17:09)

Thanks so much. Happy holidays.

Speaker 5: (17:18)

You're listening to K PBS midday edition. I'm Jade Henman with Christina Kim, Maureen Kavanaugh is off today. Thousands of people across the county get Cal fresh, commonly known as food stamps to help them by food. But K PBS investigative reporter Claire Traeger says the pro am regularly pushes out people who are still eligible for the extra money

Speaker 6: (17:42)

fish. Well,

Speaker 7: (17:45)

Salmon Maria Gonzalez, deto stands outside her El Cajon apartment and talks about what she likes to buy with her Cal fresh food stamps.

Speaker 6: (17:54)

We like the good stuff when it is available.

Speaker 7: (17:57)

The 74 year old house cleaner finally got on the program in 2019, it took

Speaker 6: (18:03)

Them a while to reply, but bless because they did accept me, but I only last to months,

Speaker 7: (18:09)

Within a matter of months, her elation had turned to disappointment. Gonzales AOA was told her benefits had stopped because a report was missing. However, she says, that's not right.

Speaker 6: (18:24)

I called and asked them if they had received it. And they said, yes, but towards the end of December, I called them. And they said that it had been suspended due to that paper

Speaker 7: (18:36)

Right now under the Cal fresh program, which distributes food stamps paid for by the federal government and individual will receive $234 a month, a temporary increase due to the COVID 19. But this money comes with a number of strings attached. Every six months recipients have to provide written proof of any and all changes to their employment, status, family size and living arrangements. They also have to submit to an interview either in person or on the phone. If any of these steps, the money stops

Speaker 8: (19:12)

Councils are six times more likely to leave the program in these months in which they have to jump through one of these

Speaker 7: (19:19)

Paperwork hoops, Matt UN Rath, a research fellow at UC Berkeley's California policy lab says the complicated process regularly drives out Cal fresh recipients who are still eligible for the program in San Diego county and across the state between half and three quarters of the recipients who left the program were still eligible for the benefits. According to the study,

Speaker 9: (19:43)

We think that this has to do with, um, understaffing and a lack of training

Speaker 7: (19:50)

On ahea. Bra is CEO of the San Diego hunger coalition, a nonprofit that helps people apply for Cal

Speaker 9: (19:57)

Fresh. What we're seeing is a little bit too much comfort with how much people suffer, trying to go through the process.

Speaker 7: (20:06)

San Diego county is doing what it can to help recipients says Rick Wayne, the county for self-sufficiency programs.

Speaker 10: (20:14)

We do send it to them, uh, by mail with instructions on how to complete it and where to send it back. Um, we include it, uh, an envelope with, uh, free postage on it. We also send all of our customers a text message reminder, uh, when they're, uh, report is due. That message also has a link, uh, where the customer can, um, actually complete it electronically,

Speaker 7: (20:40)

But he says some people stop their benefits while they're still eligible because of quote, individual choice. There have been some temporary changes to the program during COVID 19 for six months, no forms were required and the interview requirement has been suspended, but will likely return in July. Also next year, households with only elderly or disabled individuals who have no earned income will not have to submit forms, but UN wrath, the co-author of the Berkeley study wants more. He says, all recipients should only file paperwork once a year.

Speaker 8: (21:18)

It's gonna be cheaper for government because you don't actually have to administer, uh, these, uh, re-certifications as frequently. And it, you know, saves households a lot of time and stress. And for the most part, you know, that type of reform would, um, more likely benefit a bunch of eligible households than, uh, allow ineligible households to remain enrolled.

Speaker 7: (21:39)

But that would take an act of Congress. Claire Trieger K PBS news.

Speaker 1: (21:53)

This time of year, many of us are reflecting and maybe thinking about people who have been kind to us and whether we can be kinder to others, the UCLA's Badari kindness Institute studies, kindness and the impulse to be kind it's director anthropologists, Daniel Fesler spoke to California report host Saul Gonzalez about what it means to be kind here's that interview

Speaker 5: (22:16)

Professor, can you start with the simple definition of kindness?

Speaker 11: (22:20)

So we have sort of a working definition at the kindness Institute, which is that kindness is defined as, as actions that are intended solely to benefit the recipient. The actor doesn't have any ulterior motive. The other person is and ends, uh, in themselves. They, they aren't a means to an

Speaker 5: (22:36)

End. So an act of kindness doesn't involve a transaction or some kind of quid pro quo exchange.

Speaker 11: (22:43)

Uh, if people have as the goal, some kind of payoff in their conscious minds, then we, and that as something other than kindness, it can be manipulation. It can be negotiation, it can be strategy, but it isn't kindness.

Speaker 5: (22:56)

I think of myself as a fairly nice guy and polite fellow. But if I say, please, and thank you and ask strangers about their day. Is that really an act of kindness or is it just etiquette and manners?

Speaker 11: (23:09)

Uh, I would say that there's an entire spectrum of kindness from actions that provide a relatively small benefit to another party to actions that are remarkably altruistic and provide an enormous benefit to another party and showing somebody else that you respect them, that they have dignity and value in your eyes. That's an act of kindness, right? You know, if you're asking the barista, you know, how's your day going, and it's not because you're hoping for, you know, an extra shot in the latte. It's just because you want that person to know that you see them and you value them as, as another human being. Then that is an act of kindness.

Speaker 5: (23:46)

You've really championed this idea that you can transmit kindness. That it's a kind of very good contagion. Can you talk more about that?

Speaker 11: (23:54)

Sure, absolutely. So this happens every once in a while at, uh, drive through restaurants, right, where someone will spontaneously decide to pay for the meal of the party in the car are behind them, who are strangers, right? So you pull forward to, to pay for your meal and the cash here informs you, you know, those folks, those nice folks in the car ahead of you paid for your meal, right? But a number of investigators, as well as some group of folks that I've had the opportunity to collaborate with, we, we've all documented that in fact, this kind of contagious kind, this, if you will, doesn't just involve emulating the actions that one has observed or benefited from. But that in fact, people experience a fairly general motivation to make the world a better place to, to do good things. And that you can give them opportunities to provide charitable donations or time and, and an effort for, you know, some philanthropic cause that have nothing to do with the actions that they've observed. Other than that, they're all in the general category of helping someone and being pro-social. And so ripple effects can occur where kindness spreads, outwards, and the same is very likely to be true for, uh, the opposite of kindness, where if there are signs of disorder and selfish behavior, people are more likely to behave selfishly themselves.

Speaker 5: (25:13)

And what about the people who are no doubt listening, who might be kindness, skeptics, they're afraid that if they show kindness or accept it, they'll be taken advantage of in some way.

Speaker 11: (25:24)

There's a lot of evidence. It, kindness is subjectively rewarding. People feel good when they are truly kind towards others. And that isn't just at the level of subjective experience. It benefits one at the level of both mental and physical health. And this is not at all surprising from an evolutionary perspective, because if you experience the world around you as fundamentally cooperative, then it means that you don't need to be in emergency mode. You don't need to be on guard all the time. And this is a recipe for a short and unhappy life. And it's very well documented in the medical literature that this is the case, right? Um, that people's psychological wellbeing and importantly, their physical wellbeing with regard to all kinds of health outcomes is improved by there being kinder to others.

Speaker 5: (26:13)

A and finally, I guess if we want to be kinder people, we have to understand that it's a journey or project that has no end, right? That

Speaker 11: (26:23)

Is correct. You know, I, I worked for a number of years in Indonesia and there's a a saying in I, which is that, um, there is no ivory, which is not cracked, right? That is humans are fallible. We are imperfect creatures unsurprisingly. And what that means is that none of us is ever going to behave in an entirely perfect and consistent manner in our expectations of others, in our emotional reactions to others and in our subsequent behavior. And so to a certain extent, being kind towards yourself is part of the project, right? Being forgiving of your own imperfections. And recogniz, that's, you know, natural selection produces jury rig CLEs like machines. And that's what we are. We are a compilation of a whole bunch of funky adaptations produced by natural selection and cultural evolution and understanding ourselves that way we can say, okay, well, you know what, that, person's not perfect. I can give them the benefit of the doubt. I can look beyond their, you know, stumbles today and I can do the same for myself, right? That is, I can always think about how I could have been kinder. And instead of beating myself up about that, I can say, well, okay, I'm gonna learn from that experience and take that to the next interaction where I'm gonna try and err, on the side of, of optimism and pro sociology.

Speaker 1: (27:54)

This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Cina Kim with Jade Hyman. Many San Diegos have gone through a period of football withdrawal in the past few years, since the chargers left in 2016, some have switched allegiances to the local Aztecs or an out of town, NFL team. But that old fan feeling has been hard to come by. But now we can take inspiration from one San Diego who spread his love of NFL football across the country. And across the years, former north county times journalist Brian guu achieved his goal of attending 500 NFL games. And now he's written a book about his journey. The book is called the grass is always greener. One football fans, quest to attend 500 NFL games, author Brian Chu spoke with K PS midday edition host Maureen Kavanaugh about his journey and the book. Here's that interview you

Speaker 12: (28:46)

NA and thank you, Maureen. It's good to be with you

Speaker 13: (28:49)

Now. Lots of people are completely happy watching football on TV. What is it about attending the games that makes it special for

Speaker 12: (28:56)

You? Well, when you're there, you get the whole experience, not just what they fit into a box.

Speaker 13: (29:02)

And what does that whole experience do you, what do you see that we don't see when we're watching it on TV?

Speaker 12: (29:10)

Uh, you don't get the full excitement of the fans and, you know, just the, uh, the energy, the electricity that, that, uh, uh, that excitement generates. And what

Speaker 13: (29:21)

Made you decide to set the goal of attending 500 games?

Speaker 12: (29:25)

Well, it's started out as something I was doing with, uh, baseball and football. I was trying to go to all those venues, um, where they played their games on natural grass, cuz that's my preferred surface. And I found with baseball, it's like I could do it one and done, but with football, I just love the, the game so much. I said, no, you know, I just wanna keep going back. I, I'm not, I'm not gonna set any limit on how often I visit. And that's when the number 500 popped into my head. I thought that would be a really nice challenge to shoot for.

Speaker 13: (29:59)

Now this call, wouldn't be an, an easy one for anyone, but you are living with cerebral palsy and you use a wheelchair. So I'm wondering, did people try to talk you out of this, of all this travel and expense?

Speaker 12: (30:11)

No, I always got encouragement and uh, uh, that stems, uh, directly from how I was raised by my parents. Uh, they made sure that I'd be as in as possible. And uh, thankfully I, I do use a wheelchair, but that's generally only when I go to games for the most part, I travel on crutches. So I'm fortunate that while I do have cerebral palsy, I have a relatively mild case of it. You talked

Speaker 13: (30:38)

A little bit about the way you were raised, your love of football started to childhood. Can you talk to me a little bit about that?

Speaker 12: (30:45)

When I was a kid, uh, football was the one sport I could play, you know, and, um, because thanks to, uh, some operations I had when I was very young, I was able to get around without crutches for much of my childhood and, um, uh, being able to play football in the neighborhood hood with the kids I grew up with, that was just such a great shot of self-esteem made me feel so good that I could, uh, do something on par with them and

Speaker 13: (31:11)

Does watching the game was, does watching the game also make you feel like

Speaker 12: (31:14)

That? Uh, watching the game reminds me of those memories. So I get to appreciate the game being played at its highest level. Well, I also being reminded of my memories playing it. Now,

Speaker 13: (31:25)

Did the chargers leaving San Diego make a big impact on you?

Speaker 12: (31:30)

Yes. I was sad to see them go. I, I, I really felt a deal could have been made for them to stay, but I wasn't gonna let that keep me from, uh, uh, watching the NFL after all. I didn't, I didn't start out at chargers span to begin with. I was a Miami dolphin fan for, uh, much of my life.

Speaker 13: (31:48)

Now, when you attended your 500th game in 2017, you weren't in San Diego, but you made it a point to wear a San Diego hat. Why is that?

Speaker 12: (31:59)

Well, the chargers had just left San Diego and I didn't want the end of be or anybody else to forget San Diego.

Speaker 13: (32:07)

And you want San Diego to become a, an NFL city again?

Speaker 12: (32:10)

Oh, absolutely. I do believe it'll happen eventually. I think San Diego is simply too big a city for the NFL to ignore. And I think if we have a venue that, that they think would work for them, I, I think they would, would definitely consider coming back maybe few games here and there and then eventually maybe a team again, but it may take a while. It could be 10, 20 years who knows. I, I just hope I'm around when it happens.

Speaker 13: (32:37)

What do you think having a professional football team does for a

Speaker 12: (32:40)

City? Well, it can be a, a strong sense of civic pride, you know, and, uh, something for, for people to feel good about and something for them to gather for. I mean, look at the way the Padres have drawn fans at Petco park. I mean at that, and that spirit is still they for them. You

Speaker 13: (32:59)

Know, Brian, after you achieved that goal of attending 500 NFL games, what made you wanna write a book about it? Well,

Speaker 12: (33:07)

For many years, people had been saying, I should write a book about it, you know, my experiences. And, uh, and at first I, you know, dismissed it, I'd say I'm, I'm too busy, you know, going to the game. I don't have time to write about it. but, uh, the more I thought about it, the more I thought it'd be a good idea. Plus I thought, who knows, maybe it might inspire others to maybe do something similar or just something that shows them or reminds them that a, a disability, you know, and me not deter somebody from pursuing their dreams cause this was mine. And I didn't let my disability stop me in any way. Now I

Speaker 13: (33:43)

Know you have a new goal now after that 500 NFL games is over with, tell us about that. How what's your new

Speaker 12: (33:48)

Goal? My new goal is to see every team, uh, NFL team play, uh, at least 25 games or a hundred quarters, which I think sounds cooler. And, and, uh, and of course the ground rules remain the same. Um, every game has to be playing on natural grass and, um, but there's a nice benefit to it. Uh, unlike, uh, my goal of seeing 500 where every game can only count once we're trying to see every team play 25 games. Occasionally I have two teams where I need to meet that goal. So I get two credits for one game. And in fact, uh, just last month in Pittsburgh, I saw the Steelers play the bears and it was my 25th game for gold teams. So I mean, it doesn't get better than that. A nice two for one deal.

Speaker 13: (34:42)

Your 500 game quest made you pretty famous. You've been featured on ESPN. What's it like getting recognized as you head for the next game? Oh, it

Speaker 12: (34:52)

It's nice, but I mean, um, I, I'd rather people focus on what I'm doing than who I am. I think, I think that's more important thing on, on I'm pursuing a dream and I'm, um, I'm enjoying it as much as possible. And I like it if I can encourage others to do the same. And

Speaker 13: (35:10)

The ticket stubs from your 500 game journey are now part of football history, aren't

Speaker 12: (35:16)

They? Yes. They reside in the pro football hall of fame in Kenton, Ohio.

Speaker 13: (35:19)

And why did you decide to donate them? Well, I wanted

Speaker 12: (35:23)

To, I made the haul and offer of, uh, uh, the memorabilia I had, uh, collected, uh, during my travels. And they said that what interested them most were the ticket stubs, because while they already have, uh, uh, the programs I do, they, uh, felt they were a bit short in ticket stubs. And so they asked for mine and now they're even more of a collector item because it's next to impossible to find ticket stubs to games these days. Right.

Speaker 13: (35:52)

They're dying breed. Yes, you're absolutely right. What do you hope readers take away from your book?

Speaker 12: (35:59)

I hope that they take away that any dream is possible if you, um, are willing to do what it takes to pursue it. And, um, don't let people talk you out of it, you know, if it really touches your heart.

Speaker 13: (36:10)

Well, I've been speaking with Brian guu, he's a, a former San Diego journalist and he's a, the author of a new book. The grass is always greener. One football fans, quest to attend 500 NFL games. Brian, thanks so much for sharing.

Speaker 12: (36:25)

Thank you, Maureen. It was a pleasure.

Speaker 5: (36:35)

The Japanese friendship gardens Enno pavilion with its gently cascading waterfall provides the perfect sound scape for a visit to Nuno the language of textiles, exhibit K PBS arts reporter. Beth Amando speaks with Chad Patton, managing director of material things which created the exhibit and is the international distributor of Nuno textile.

Speaker 14: (37:00)

So Chad, explain to us where

Speaker 15: (37:02)

We are here. We're at the Japanese friendship garden in the en pavilion, which is in the lower garden. And this is where we were doing the Nuno exhibit.

Speaker 14: (37:10)

And explain

Speaker 15: (37:11)

What Nuno is. Nuno is a textile design company. It was started in 1983 by ju Chi. I who's the father of contemporary Japanese textiles and reco sudo, who continues as the director of Nuno. And it's small art production done in little family, looms all over Japan. A lot of them on Kar old ARD machines, these family run mills look like a garage with a rusty machine in the middle of it. And they're, um, they've really done a lot to revitalize the Japanese textile industry because many young people in these families didn't particularly want to continue the family business until they had some more exciting possibilities with Nuno.

Speaker 14: (38:00)

And what is this

Speaker 15: (38:01)

Exhibit here? This one is basically Nuno is about 35 years old. And this is just an overview of the textiles and techniques they've developed over the last 35 years. Some of their most important textiles

Speaker 14: (38:14)

And some of your fabrics have been used in films that people are probably quite

Speaker 15: (38:18)

Familiar with. Yes, we're used by a lot of how Hollywood costume designers we've been used in movies, such as memoirs of AGIA. This one was used in actually in ghost, the shell, which was a recent Scarlet Johansen movie. This fabric is called coal and it's a monofilament, which is just a, basically one thread polyester. And it's tough. It's amazingly tough, but it's slippery. So when you see it along the seam, the fabric can slip a little bit and you get a little bit of a gap. So after it's woven and it's actually waterproof and the waterproofing isn't to keep water off of it, it's to lock the, the weave together. And, um, this was used in ghost in the shell for the geisha costumes. It's a kind of has a shiny lacker like finish in, um, ghosts in the shell. It was laser

Speaker 14: (39:08)

Cut. People may not think of fabric as art because something that has a functional purpose in life is sometimes not considered art. Mm-hmm explain why there should be an exhibit of

Speaker 15: (39:19)

Fabrics. Well, it's complicated. Fabrics should be functional. Nu know's philosophy about fabric is that they do not design a fabric for a specific purpose. They, they believe that that should be left up to the person who buys it and that the person, how they use the fabric is part of the creative process. The creative process isn't ended until the fabric is used and that's Nona's philosophy. It it's just like is design art. Basically that's the, the dilemma. I personally think that design is art, but with you're thinking about purpose with art in its purest form, you're not thinking about purpose and that's the difference. And

Speaker 14: (40:02)

Who are the people who are creating these fabrics for you?

Speaker 15: (40:05)

Everyone who works at Nuno is a designer. Everyone who works at Nuno is a designer they have about 17 of them. Raco pseudo is the guiding force. She's the lead designer. And everything ends up going through her. I would say she, she probably personally designs 70% of numerous fabric. The other 30% are by the other designers in the company, the company's 35 years old. And they've hired over that period. So you have designers, who've been working for 20, 30 years. You have designers who are relatively new and, and young designers, and that keeps things fresh in the company. And what

Speaker 14: (40:35)

Can people expect coming this exhibit?

Speaker 15: (40:37)

It is interesting because it's an overview and what it's showing is how the company has evolved and the changes, especially I find particularly interesting, the changes in technique and technology, including the fibers that are used when Nuno started, it was almost all natural fibers, linen content. The colors were more muted. What you think of traditional Japanese fabrics. And it's evolved over the years, we're doing a, we do a lot of research into, um, materials technologies and developing new fabrics with new fibers, with chemical companies. And so you can see the evolution of textile design and it's noos evolution, but also just how textile design on, on a whole has changed over the last 30 years. And I think Nuno has been a driving force in those changes.

Speaker 14: (41:26)

Now a lot of exhibits are with things behind glass that you can't touch, but this exhibit looks like you can touch the fabrics. Is this true?

Speaker 15: (41:35)

Well, someone there's little signs every so often that says do not touch, but if a person was to happen to touch it, it wouldn't bother me. Basically. Yes, we, we set it up like this. So people could wonder through them because you do have to experience textiles. And so it, it, it, it, it, isn't a static kind of art. So not that we encourage everyone to put their hands all over it, but the, um, often in Nono exhibits, they do something called a touch panel wall. And actually there is one here, but we're because of COVID, we're not encouraging people to touch that too much either, but yes, fabrics are meant to be touched,

Speaker 14: (42:13)

And these are not behind glass. So you have a fabric where you've actually woven feathers in. So people can really see that

Speaker 15: (42:20)

Up close. Yes, that's important. This is one of Nuno, best known fabrics. It's called feather flues. And it's a Jaar double weave silk. And basically what happens is the Jaar fabric is woven on the ARD machine and it makes pockets before the pocket is sealed. They stop the ARD machine and put feathers in by hand between the two layers. They restart the machine and it seals the pocket. And so to weave this every six inches or so, you're stopping the, the loom, which actually is really rough on these Oldco looms. So we've lost many factories who refuse to do it for us anymore, but, but that's, so if you look inside each of these, the inside the fabric, they're actually feathers sealed in pockets. And then actually another example, while we're here and Nuna does a lot of embroidery and they use it's called a steering, we embroidery machine, and what a steering wheel embroidery machine does, it allows the operator to operate everything with, with his feet and then do the intricate patterns with a steering wheel. So you can do much more intricate patterns. There's only a few of these machines in the world, some of the fabrics what's, they're very beautiful, but they're subtle. And you do have to see them up close. A lot of the, the wovens. Also, you're looking a lot at texture and how it's woven and the, and the pattern of the weave. And you can only see that up close.

Speaker 14: (43:43)

Talk a little bit about how you got involved with UNO, because you are an American who went over there and stayed for

Speaker 15: (43:50)

Quite a while. I lived in Japan, about 30 years, I went to high school, college, and most, a lot of my career in Japan. I was the creative director of an ad agency in Japan and Nuna was in my neighborhood in Tokyo. And, um, a very close friend of mine was, was actually dating reco the head designer. Well, they're no longer together, but I stayed friends with reco and we've been close friends for about 30 years. And I was talking about eventually returning Diego, cuz I'm from here. And reco said to me, well, why don't you handle Nuno overseas? And I had never thought about doing anything like that. And that about 20 years ago, we, uh, started exploring that. And we've, we've been doing that for about 20

Speaker 16: (44:31)

Years. All right. Well, I wanna thank you very much for talking about you're welcome.

Speaker 5: (44:37)

That was Beth Amando speaking with Chad Patton Nuno. The language of textiles runs through February at the Japanese friendship gardens. Enno Marie pavilion to see the fabrics discussed, go to Beths, cinema junkie

Speaker 16: (45:31)

You, I,

Speaker 17: (45:52)


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COVID-19 cases are once again on the rise in San Diego County, as are hospitalizations. Plus, this past weekend was still one of the busiest for flight travel, but it was met with trip cancellations as the coronavirus spread among flight crews. And, we revisit reporting by KPBS that showed that CalFresh regularly pushes out people who are still eligible for the extra money to help them buy food. Then, the director of UCLA’s Bedari Kindness Institute speaks about kindness and the impulse to be kind. Later, former North County Times journalist Brian Gushue discusses his new book about achieving his goal of attending 500 NFL games across the country. Also, KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando spoke with Chad Patton, managing director of Material Things, which created the “NUNO: The Language of Textiles” exhibit at the Japanese Friendship Garden's Inamori Pavilion.