I just don't know what to write tonight. It's grim my friends. That's about all I can say. Here is Governor Newsom's presser.

As you may have noticed with my naked bullet point today, I'm working on California's economy and the state budget. As a "behind the scenes" glimpse, I often write my thoughts down in this server-side WYSIWIG window to remind me what I hope to tackle on a given day or, in these times, a given night or day. 

I'll come back to the economy and budget tomorrow (I think), and I need not tell you that you might not want to read it until after you'd had sufficient yoga poses. (Damn, I honestly miss my power vinyasa in Davis and doubt I'll ever get in shade for it again.) I am no economist and even if I were, I would have no idea for projections and if anyone says they do, run like Forrest Gump breaking through his braces.

My job is to look at the state budget numbers and process, which I hope to get to tomorrow. I won't have numbers and frankly, nobody will. It's hard for "experts" to say they don't know (I've been one of them), but we really don't. Anyway, how do we put together a budget in such uncertain times? How to we account for a surge of revenues in July (FY 2020-21) ordinarily received in April (FY 2019-20). Yes, we know the state budget gimmicks of shifting accounting, but this accounting affects constitutional provisions that the Legislature can't waive without consequences. (Proposition 98, K-14 education funding guarantee can be suspended, but it creates greater out-year obligations.)

That's what I am looking at.

Meanwhile, what has shaken many of us up tonight is the encroachment upon the younger world of the COVID-19 virus in a serious way and particularly the politcal and policy world we swim in. Without making light of it as you know I have not, younger folks had a "Bring it on" attitude, and that was fueled by some politicians who talked about is as the elderly and medically vulnerable. I've written that the current research suggest the early data may not be applicable now.

The original thinking out of China and South Korea changing and provides a compelling rationale for the actions taken by elected officials -- Republican and Democratic Party governors and local public health officials across the country.

As Americans, the last thing we want is to have government tell us how to conduct our daily lives, and I'm pretty damn libertarian. But, many of us are finding the virus closing in upon our communities and threatening people we love. The closer we feel it, the greater we tolerate yielding our civil rights to protect the ones we love.

The challenge will be avoiding the scare-driven rationale of imprisoning Japanese-Americans in World War II. Fortunately, this "war" is not against a race, nationality, or identity. We shouldn't see any fear-driven rationale, but rather ones driven by science. Not all will be correct, nor will all be wrong. 

As of tonight, Representative Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) is in intensive care for respiratory problems but has tested negative for COVID-19. He fell ill about a week after a run and the pneumonia is attributed to a fractured lungs. DeSalnier turns 68 exactly a week from today. I have no idea what one of the nicest guys to pass through the State Capitol during my time here is inflicted with or whether he did or did not have multiple tests.

There are several other California political folks who have returned positive today but I am confident that their circles are reaching out to those in contact with them. I'll continue to provide health updates as I get them, but see no reason to start naming people who have tested positive when many of us may be with no symptoms. As long as we're doing part of this, we'll get through this. If there is an elected who is seriously ill, I'll write about it. I don't want to return to the HIV-driven political world I grew up with when I have relatives alive to this day with the diagnosis 25 years that still provides scarlet letters to this day.

I've had multiple questions about what happens if a member passes between the primary and general. Of course I know the answer, but I just can't do it tonight. If you are a West Wing fan the rules in "California 47th" are essentally the same today under top two, to the best of my knowledge.

I debated long and hard about naming names as I've been several that you would know, but that's just not my role. Some folks with positive tests have come forward publicly to caution those who have interacted with them, while others are doing it more subtly. It's not my job to judge my fellow Californians as to how they, with the advice of their doctors, take these steps. There's also electeds vs. non-electeds, something that was also an issue in HIV/AIDS. I'll report individual names as I have when they or their staff come forward, but that's it. For now, I'll report numbers.

For tonight, we'll rest with numbers and with our own personal prayers for them through the spectrum of deities and non-dieties we look to in this beautiful culture that is the only I know. As humans, we go to bed tonight wishing better days for those of ail Californians, whether sheltered or unsheltered, rich or poor, regardless of political or spirtual dedication and whether a known name or not.

CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19: 

  • THE NUMBERS: 
    • California confirmed cases: 1,464 (+178 from yesterday), with 26 deaths (+9 from yesterday). Confirmed cases in 37/58 counties (+4 from yesterday). [h/t SFChron]

I'll be back in a few hours. 

Thanks!
Scott