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Volume 2 • Issue 16

August 12, 2020

Court Rules in Favor of California: Uber and Lyft Drivers are Employees Quinci LeGardye | California Black Media

On Aug. 10, a California Superior Court judge ruled that rideshare companies Uber and Lyft must change the classification of their drivers from independent contractors to employees. The ruling was a major victory for California lawmakers in their yearlong struggle to enforce AB 5, the controversial worker classification bill that

went into effect Jan. 1. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ethan Schulman ruled in favor of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s argument that Uber and Lyft are violating AB 5, which says workers can only be considered independent contractors if they perform duties outside the usual course of a company’s business. “The court has weighed

in and agreed: Uber and Lyft need to put a stop to unlawful misclassification of their drivers while our litigation continues,” said Becerra. “While this fight still has a long way to go, we’re pushing ahead to make sure the people of California get the workplace protections they deserve.

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August 12, 2020

Court Rules in Favor of California: Uber and Lyft Drivers are Employees Quinci LeGardye | California Black Media [Continued From Page 1] Our state and workers shouldn’t have to foot the bill when big businesses try to skip out on their responsibilities. We’re going to keep working to make sure Uber and Lyft play by the rules.” Schulman paused the injunction for 10 days to give the companies a chance to appeal the

decision. Both companies made statements Aug. 9 saying that they will appeal the ruling. An Uber spokesperson said, “The vast majority of drivers want to work independently, and we’ve already made significant changes to our app to ensure that remains the case under California law. When over 3 million Californians are without

a job, our elected leaders should be focused on creating work, not trying to shut down an entire industry during an economic depression.” “Ultimately, we believe this issue will be decided by California voters and that they will side with drivers,” Lyft said, referring to Prop 22, the upcoming ballot measure. Voters will decide Nov. 3 if rideshare drivers in California can remain contractors or if they have to become W-2 employees; Becerra, along with the City Attorneys of San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, filed their worker misclassification lawsuit against Uber and Lyft on May 5, followed by the motion for a

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Need a Lift? preliminary injunction on June 24. “This is a resounding victory for thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers who are working hard — and, in this pandemic, incurring risk every day — to provide for their families,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer.  “Of course, our fight is not over and we will vigorously pursue this litigation until these workers have the permanent protection they deserve.”   “Misclassification hurts drivers and it puts the burden on taxpayers to pay for benefits that Uber and Lyft should be providing,” said San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera. “These companies have pocketed millions of dollars by leaving taxpayers to foot the bill. That’s

unacceptable. During this global pandemic, it’s even more important for drivers to get access to protections like unemployment insurance. There is no rule that prevents these drivers from continuing to have all of the flexibility they currently enjoy. Being properly classified as an employee doesn’t change that.”

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August 12, 2020

Public Health

Californians Are Dropping Private Insurance to Get Mental Health Treatment By Jocelyn Wiener | CalMatters There’s an open secret among those who care for people with serious mental illnesses. Judy Bracken first heard it a few years ago from a hospital social worker: If Bracken wanted her adult son, who has schizoaffective disorder, to receive long-term mental health treatment, she should get him off her private insurance, UnitedHealthcare, and onto the public system for low-income people in Contra Costa County. Lucinda Chiszar figured it out when she tried to take her then 10-year-old son, who was

insured by Aetna, to the only nonprofit agency in Merced County that offered the intensive wrap-around services the county’s behavioral health services said he needed. “Oh, you’re not on Medi-Cal?” someone at the agency asked. “We can’t help you.” Other families say they hear it whispered by wellmeaning caseworkers, or even directly from the health plans themselves. In dozens of interviews, families, attorneys, judges, therapists and public officials agree: People with serious mental illnesses often do better dropping

private insurance and qualifying for taxpayerfunded treatment. It seems counterintuitive. “If someone was to develop lung cancer, it’s hard to imagine that one of the other insurers would say, ‘You’re going to need to get on MediCal to get that paid for,’” said Dr. Tom Insel, former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, who has advised Gov. Gavin Newsom. Such stories provide further fodder for the debate about how to best enforce the state and federal parity laws that guarantee patients equivalent coverage for physical and mental health treatment. They also reveal the limits of those laws. In many cases, commercial insurers aren’t legally required to offer the intensive mental health services available through Medi-Cal. This open secret exposes troubling questions: What should private insurance cover? What should the state — and thereby taxpayers — pay for? Who’s responsible for ensuring people with serious mental illnesses get the treatment they need? Counties that administer Medi-Cal are tired of it. “We’ve let the private commercial plans off the hook pretty

significantly,” said Michelle Cabrera, executive director of the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California. “It’s time for a come-to-Jesus conversation.” As the coronavirus pandemic and economic downturn puts increasing pressure on people’s mental health, she said counties have seen more privately insured individuals seeking crisis services. The insurance industry denies there’s a problem. Mary Ellen Grant, spokesperson for the California Association of Health Plans, said she surveyed the commercial plans represented by her organization and none were familiar with the phenomenon. “We’re not aware of any existing evidence that long-term mental health care needs are better served by county mental health agencies, nor in which counties this alleged trend is happening,” she said.

Commercial mental health plans have been providing comprehensive coverage for severe mental illness for decades, Grant said, and some plans have begun to provide wraparound services, in-home crisis intervention and intensive therapeutic behavioral programs. “There’s a lot of great work that they’re doing,” she said. “And I don’t think it’s helpful to say county mental health plans are providing better services than commercial health plans, because commercial health plans are doing their best.” And, yet, many insist that’s exactly what’s happening. Los Angeles attorney and psychotherapist Meiram Bendat says he’s seen, through cases he’s taken on, that insurers not only know about the issue — which he likens to “patient dumping” — but sometimes actively


August 12, 2020

encourage it. He calls the practice prevalent, “simply inexcusable” and, in his view, against the law. “It is not something that regulators in California are actively looking into,” he said. “As a result, they are not protecting the interests of the taxpayers and are allowing the insurance companies to enrich themselves by pawning off their most severely compromised and sickest members to the public welfare system.” Some mental health services that counties provide, including wraparound programs and case management, aren’t legally required to be offered by commercial health plans. But Mary Watanabe, deputy director of health policy for the state Department of Managed Health Care, said state law usually requires commercial plans to cover medically necessary early psychosis intervention and residential treatment. She emphasized that patients who think they are being denied necessary treatment should file a grievance with their health plans and contact the department’s help

center to request an independent medical review. No one keeps data on how often people feel forced to abandon private plans because the public system for poorer patients provides better options. But Dr. Joe Parks, medical director of the National Council for Behavioral Health, calls it “a national issue.” Parks says private insurance historically hasn’t been set up to offer case management, help with transportation and other services to help people navigate to needed treatment. “If you get old and sick or disabled and sick, then you leave commercial insurance,” he said. “It’s really Medicaid and Medicare that back up the commercial sector and allow them to have the profit margin that they have.” Many people with serious mental illness don’t intentionally decide to drop off of commercial insurance. Rather, the illness itself — especially if it’s inadequately treated — can lead them to lose their jobs, which then lands them on Medi-Cal.

But for some families and individuals, deciding to leave commercial insurance can be agonizing. To meet Medi-Cal’s strict income eligibility requirements, families with children younger than 18 sometimes consider leaving their jobs or even relinquishing custody, advocates say. Parents with children 18 or older often can just drop them from their private plan to make them Medi-Cal eligible. But that may entail giving up relationships with providers they’ve known for years, and forgoing easier access to specialists who treat other complex medical conditions. And then there’s the question of shame. Teresa Pasquini, a Contra Costa County mother whose adult son has schizoaffective disorder, moved him off of Kaiser Permanente in 2010 after years of fighting to keep him on it. By then, Pasquini said, her son had attempted suicide multiple times. On many occasions, she’d hidden in the back bedroom, calling 911 in a whisper, waiting for authorities to handcuff her son to keep him, and his family, safe. Doctors said her son needed to be in a locked residential facility — but his private insurance didn’t cover a long-term stay, so the county had to pick up the cost, she said. [Continued on Page 6]

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Public Health

COVID-19 Response #CampbellCares Campbell has always been a community that has stood up and offered a helping hand. Now is one of those times when we need to show each other just how much Campbell cares. The pandemic that has swept our nation has hit home here in our community. Our neighbors, family members, seniors and other at-risk individuals, employees, restaurants, businesses and organizations are hurting. That’s why the Campbell Chamber and Campbell Chamber Community Foundation have launched CAMPBELL CARES, a program focused on identifying those who need help and finding solutions to meet those needs. The mission of Campbell Cares is twofold. 1. To help individuals and businesses in need by offering resources and solutions 2. To serve as a centralized place for those who are able to assist with goods, services, time or financially The community of Campbell really does care. We are in this together and together, we can make a difference. How You Can Help To make this work, we need to understand who needs help and what they need. We also need to know who can help and how. To accomplish this, we have created a survey to identify needs and solutions. We encourage you to fill out our survey and share with others. Your feedback will inform the bigger picture of Campbell Cares, allowing us to implement solutions to the people and companies that need it most. Take the survey at https://forms.zohopublic. com/campbellchamberofcommerce/form/ CampbellCares/formperma/CRi1QEkLHuEV7_ j48xDRe0oDtSWucDmYkec8V_OGGtE For more information go to https:// campbellchamberfoundation.org/campbell-cares


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August 12, 2020

Public Health

Californians Are Dropping Private Insurance to Get Mental Health Treatment By Jocelyn Wiener | CalMatters [Continued From Page 5]

“It’s traumatic to reread the desperate emails I was sending to Kaiser, the county, the conservator, literally begging, ‘What can we do? We don’t want to drop his private insurance, we don’t want to dump his care on the state and county,’” she said. “I gave up my career. We were paying outrageous amounts of money. We were trying everything. So we felt we had no choice.” Suzanne Tavano, Contra Costa’s behavioral

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health director, said families have been making such decisions for decades. “We’re used to it,” she said. “We expect it.” People regularly call her agency and ask if they should drop private insurance to get into county programs. “Even with very good insurance, that continuum of care isn’t there for the most part,” she said. Privately insured people have been treated in the county’s first-episode psychosis

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program, though Tavano is reluctant to broadcast that, given limited space. Others with private insurance come into the county’s costly crisis stabilization unit, she said, or get help via the county’s mobile crisis response team. “We’re not going to turn people away,” she said. But spending more on insured people leaves less to spend on people who are on Medi-Cal or uninsured and very lowincome, she said. Other counties facing similar demand restrict their offerings. Solano County initially accepted people with private insurance into their early psychosis program — until the program was “inundated,” and didn’t have adequate room to serve people with Medi-Cal. The county then restricted it, said Sandra Sinz, the county’s behavioral health director, even though “we know if you don’t offer it, people aren’t going to get help.” In 2014, plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against

Kaiser Permanente alleged they were told to take their sons off of Kaiser to get them into locked residential facilities. That suit settled in 2018. Kaiser continued to dispute some of the claims. Later that year, a Kaiser therapist in Solano County, who asked not to be named because she feared being targeted by management, received a message from the company that workers should not tell patients to drop Kaiser coverage and go onto Medi-Cal. “People with severe mental illness absolutely pay the price,” she said. “They suffer. They absolutely get better care through county mental health.” She hasn’t voiced that to patients, though. “It’s not something I’ve said,” she said. “It’s something I think.” Stuart Buttlaire, regional director of inpatient psychiatry and continuing care for Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, emailed that Kaiser “offers a full range of long-term, residential

or inpatient treatment for members in need of more emotional or psychiatric help than is available in outpatient sessions.” These inpatient stays can range from days to a year or more, he said. He said Kaiser works closely with county mental health agencies through a “public-private partnership.” It “might have been the case some years ago” that some families dropped commercial insurance to go onto Medi-Cal, Buttlaire said, but “federal parity laws are helping eliminate the need for this.” Even those concerned about the private-public service gap acknowledge Medi-Cal is no panacea. County services vary, and they, too, face challenges. A spike in demand for mental health services in recent years has left Medi-Cal and private insurance struggling to get the workforce and infrastructure they need. Dr. Paula Wadell, medical director of the UC Davis Early Diagnosis and Preventive Treatment


August 12, 2020

Clinic in Sacramento, said Medi-Cal offers many services to her patients that those with private insurance can’t access. “There’s kind of no way to win for families,” she said. Once children on private insurance turn 18, clinic staff explain to their families the broader services the clinic provides to individuals with MediCal. Many then elect to move their children onto Medi-Cal. But once they drop private insurance, Wadell said, “it’s not all rainbows and sunshine.” For example, a 2014 law requires doctors to submit a treatment authorization request to the state before giving anti-psychotics to kids on MediCal. That can lead to delays in getting

urgent medication that don’t happen for privately insured kids, she said. Young people with complex medical problems — seizure disorders, for example — can find it more difficult to secure a neurologist or geneticist through MediCal, she added. Katrina Gant, a San Bernardino County mother whose son was diagnosed with schizophrenia after high school, said she heard about a great residential

program in the mountains nearby. It wouldn’t accept her private insurance — but it took Medi-Cal. The catch: Medi-Cal patients had to wait nearly a year to get in. Instead, Gant’s parents sacrificed $8,000 a month for their grandson to attend. “It was difficult, but to help my son they would do anything,” Gant said. Although her son remains with Kaiser, she plans to switch him to Medi-Cal — despite the waitlists. So what can be done?

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Public Health San Francisco Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener’s SB 855 would require insurers to cover all medically necessary treatments for mental health and substance use disorders. Dr. Henry Harbin, former CEO of Magellan Health, a managed behavioral health care company, said that some private plans lack the billing codes that allow payment for more complex mental health treatments. He’s working on developing a standardized billing code that first-episode psychosis treatment programs can use to bill commercial

insurance, and says a similar initiative would do the same for crisis services. Several California agencies that serve children have begun piloting partnerships with commercial plans. Marika Collins of Casa Pacifica, which serves children and families on the Central Coast and in Southern California, said her organization is working with Anthem and Kaiser to provide the same intensive mental health services to children with private insurance they’ve long provided to children on Medi-Cal. “I’m just thrilled to say that we’ve done it,” Collins said. “I’m less quick to bash the health plans than I was three years ago. Some of them really get it.”

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August 12, 2020

District 3 News @davecortesegov 408-299-5030

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Celebrating Women’s Suffrage with Three-Day Event: Soup! Salad! Suffrage! The Santa Clara Office of Women’s Policy is hosting Soup! Salad! Suffrage!, a free three-part virtual event to mark the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment and the fight for women to have the right to vote. The events will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. as follows:

As school campuses closed and districts moved to online learning, the Office of Education found that 15,000 students in districts throughout the County were left out because they didn’t have internet services or computers and tablets. Families also cannot connect to their doctors, search for jobs or receive important information about COVID-19 testing and prevention. The Town Hall will be livestreamed from 3 to 4 p.m. on Facebook. You don’t need a Facebook account to stream this Town Hall, simply open an Internet browser and go to facebook. com/davecortesegov. If you aren’t able to participate in Saturday’s Town Hall, call my office at 408-299-5030 or email me at dave.cortese@bos.sccgov.org to get your questions answered. Please join us!

• August 13 - Foundation and Education • September 1 - Mobilization • September 3 - Call to Action Speakers include Michele Dauber; Frederick I. Richman, Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, and Sera Fernando, Senior Management Analyst for the Santa Clara Office of LGBTQ Affairs. You can join by Zoom by registering at https:// sss2020.eventbrite.com.

You Can Request a Traffic Fine Reduction Online Santa Clara County Superior Court now offers the California Judicial Council’s new MyCitations: Ability to Pay tool, an online option for people having difficulty paying fines related to traffic infractions. This tool allows court users to look up traffic citations online, answer a series of questions and submit a request to the Court for a possible reduction in the amount owed based on their financial situation. Users can also request a payment plan, more time to pay or community service. This new option allows the public to make requests without the need to appear in Court. To request a fine reduction, visit mycitations.courts.ca.gov.


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California News Publishers Association Launches Hard Push for Assembly Bill 323 “Our free media - one of our most cherished Constitutional rights - is at risk of extinction,” Blanca Rubio (D- Baldwin Park) said in a news release on Aug. 10 introducing the Save Local Journalism Act. “At a time when local information is critical for our communities and the rebuilding of our economy. AB 323 will prevent ‘news deserts’ by providing a lifeline to California’s community and ethnic media outlets.” The Senate Labor Committee considered AB 323 this morning (Tuesday, Aug. 11) and passed it on a unanimous 5-0 vote. “We are at a critical time in our legislative efforts -- and we need

everyone’s commitment and engagement to put us over the finish line,” California News Publishers Association (CNPA) President and CEO Chuck Champion said to start the push for passage. “We have secured legislation that will extend the sunset on AB 5 for two additional years and provide the preference to community and ethnic media for state advertising. With only three weeks left in the legislative session, we need your help to shepherd this legislation through the process and to the governor.” Shortly, CNPA Members will receive information to assist the association in its

District 48 News

effort. Among the main messages to convey: • The Legislature recognized in AB 170 (2019) that issues around newspaper carriers needed to be studied and time needed to be granted for compliance. The COVID crisis has made the financial situations even more grave, with as much as 50% of ad revenues lost. • The Legislature also recognizes that a number of industries should be permanently exempted from the provisions of AB 5, and others may need more time to comply. • AB 323 provides the newspaper industry time to adapt to the fiscal impacts of COVID by extending the sunset date to the AB 5 exemption for

Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio California District 48

an additional two years. The bill also requires the state to utilize the network of community and ethnic

news organizations to inform the public in state advertising.

ATTENTION COMMUNITY! Is anyone in the Bay Area looking for a very practical way to help others during this time? I work at Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit High School in East San Jose. We serve all low income - primarily Latino- students. Since the shelter-in-place started, we have been distributing food to our families every Tuesday. As this shelter-in-place continues, our families have indicated growing food insecurities as many have lost their jobs. The ask...if you would like to help us make sure our families have enough food on their tables, we could use more food to supplement our current program. Next time you go to the grocery store or order online, would you consider buying a second bag of potatoes or another jar of peanut butter for our families? I would be happy to arrange a physically distant pick-up and make sure the food makes it directly to our families! I would be happy to answer more questions if you have any! -Linda Nguyen Ed.D. Educational Leadership for Social Justice, Student | LMU M.A. Theological Studies, 2017 | LMU B.A. Business Administration, 2013 | LMU 310 619 8647

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August 12, 2020

Healthy Reads

UCSF Grand Rounds: Rapid Testing, Herd Immunity, and Narrative Courtesy of Mission Local

At UCSF Grand Rounds on Thursday, moderator Bob Wachter introduced three topics: rapid testing, herd immunity and the role of narrative in the pandemic. It was time, he said, for “out of the box” thinking. The “eye-opening and maybe a little controversial” areas demonstrate the importance of attacking the pandemic in creative ways, Wachter said. Rapid testing for epidemic control Dr. Michael Mina, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, began with a debate familiar to Grand Rounds regulars: the importance of sensitive covid-19 tests versus the time it takes

to get tested and obtain results. Much like Dr. Chaz Langelier, who gave an overview of different covid tests on July 30, Mina believes that implementing large-scale rapid testing with lower sensitivity and faster results (10 to 15 minutes) could be critical in stopping transmission. While sensitivity has been “first and foremost” in a lot of testing discussions, Mina said, cost and result turnaround time are two important factors — the latter of which has been “abysmal” in the United States. Different tests can detect different levels of the virus, which is constantly replicating itself in the body in early days of infection.

A low sensitivity test may not detect a positive result as early as more sensitive tests. However, because the viral load grows so quickly, a lower sensitivity test, given to a covid carrier just a few hours or day later, will show a positive result. Having rapid testing and results would allow more people to be tested, and those who are sick would isolate, thus reducing the spread. If one’s goal is to reduce transmission, “by far the most important piece of the testing regimen that we need to get right, here, is not the exact metrics on the test,” Mina said, “but it’s the frequency that the test is being used.” Referring to one modeling study, Mina said that if individuals are tested every day or every three days and results are returned before 48 hours, you could stop all transmission at the population level. About 800,000 or 900,000 covid tests are administered in the country daily, said Mina, and many more are needed. He advises the United States to prioritize cost and frequency over

0

sensitivity and encourages the development of tests that don’t require laboratories. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration requires 90 percent sensitivity for tests, a level Mina said is based on prioritizing diagnostic medicine over a public health framework. While he said “we absolutely need the most sensitive, specific test you can get,” when one is seeing a doctor for a suspected covid case, he also envisions Americans testing themselves daily with a saliva or nasal swab test that would cost $1 or less per use. While this would require $330 million a day, the cost for one year is “just a small fraction of one of the stimulus bills put forth” Mina said – reasonable cost when one considers the outcome. Mina hopes the FDA will authorize this kind of test as a public health tool to control population spread, and use tests such as the PCR test as diagnostic tools. Lowering the herd immunity threshold Dr. Trevor Bedford, affiliate associate professor of epidemiology

at the University of Washington posted what Wachter called a “fascinating hypothesis” to his 260,000 Twitter followers about the dynamics of herd immunity. Herd immunity occurs when a certain percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, reducing spread among the entire population. Though many believe that herd immunity can be achieved for the coronavirus when 60 percent of the population is immune, Bedford posited that reducing “social connectivity” could drop this number to as low as 20 percent. To measure social connectivity, he considered dining reservations through the app Open Table and data from Google Mobility, such as the number of people looking up directions to go to retail stores and recreation sites. To demonstrate his point, Bedford discussed changing Rt estimates. That estimate is a “realtime” estimate of the R-naught number, which tells us the number of people a covidpositive person will go

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Page 13

Healthy Reads

UCSF’s Department of Medicine Grand Rounds on August 13, 2020 included (from top left): Dr. Bob Wachter, Dr. Michael Mina, Dr. Emily Silverman, Dr. Trevor Bedford and Dr. Ashley McMullen. Illustration by Molly Oleson photos from screenshots of live event.

on to infect. He looked at numbers for New York, Florida and Arizona. Alpha represents social connectivity and S/N represents the percentage of the population that is immune. Bedford suggested that 15 to 20 percent of Florida’s population has already been infected, and that the decline in cases in Florida and its lower Rt value can be attributed to that 15 to 20 percent immunity combined with societal measures such limiting capacity in restaurants or encouraging mask use and physical distancing to reduce covid’s spread. So even while Floridians are dining out, these other factors are keeping the spread down. If the country returned to the life we knew back in January, we would need 60 percent of the population to reach herd immunity, Bedford said. But if we reduce social

connectivity by staying home and doing other preventative measures, a smaller proportion of the population will need to be immune to control the pandemic. However, Bedford said he is not advocating for herd immunity as a solution to the pandemic, as covid’s infection fatality rate is close to .5 percent, a “massive health cost,” he said. “I’m just trying to explain why we’ve seen these epidemics wax and wane,” he said. He believes it is important to understand and convey what public health experts think is happening as Rt values drop, that it is “not just magic we’ve had epidemics subside in these places.” Though some fear that promoting this idea will make people take preventative measures less seriously, “being as scientifically open with

people is the right way to be behaving” in the midst of a pandemic, Bedford said. Storytelling in a pandemic Wachter highlighted the importance of a field in responding to covid that hasn’t received a lot of attention on Grand Rounds: narrative. “Humanities, and particularly the use of narrative, has a unique role in laying out these issues and helping us contextualize all of the data, which can be dangerously bloodless,” Wachter said. Two UCSF doctors have been working together throughout the pandemic to share stories from healthcare workers. Dr. Emily Silverman of Zuckerberg San Francisco General is the founder and host of the Nocturnists, an organization she created during her residency four years ago for healthcare workers to “find space

to explore, find space to play, tell stories about ourselves, tell stories about our work,” she said. Though they have hosted live storytelling events in the past, right now the organization is collecting audio diaries from healthcare workers to create podcast episodes that are released every Tuesday. “Each audio clip itself isn’t necessarily a full story. There are these moments, these slices of life, and when you leave them together into a tapestry, this larger story starts to emerge of ‘what is it to be a health care worker during COVID-19?’” Silverman said. Dr. Ashley McMullen of San Francisco VA Health Care System, hosts a Nocturnist podcast called “Black Voices in Healthcare.” Discussing the disproportionate impact of covid-19 in U.S. communities of color particularly the AfricanAmerican community, McMullen said the podcast is about “empathy across differences. And

stories are just one avenue to do that.” These podcasts are “highlighting not just the pains and difficulties that come with being black in our society, but also the joys and the strains and and the triumphs, and also just the complex humanity that really connects us across different zones and specifically as people who work in health care and are working during this unique time,” McMullen said. The doctors played two clips from different podcasts, complete with authentic, hopeful testimony from two doctors along with the background noise of hospital life. Though the Nocturnists was initially created for healthcare workers, anyone can listen to full episodes or see their other work here. Grand Rounds will return next week, August 20, with a non-covid episode before going on a break until September 10. Following its return, covid-related topics will only be discussed every other week.

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August 12, 2020

Travel News

Where To Go... When? By Harry S. Johnson | Global Travel Industry News As Caribbean destinations across the region reopen their borders in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of

eight neighboring islands have joined together to rethink and re-imagine their tourism marketing strategy in the post-Covid era. Nevis, St. Kitts,

Saba, Statia, St. Maarten (Dutch), Saint Martin (French), Anguilla and St. Barths have come together to form a Caribbean Group of 8, recognizing that through a joint collaboration they can amplify their presence in the marketplace and create new travel possibilities and fresh itineraries for consumers. “We are delighted to launch this new initiative,” said Jadine Yarde, CEO, Nevis Tourism Authority. “Our common objective is to promote intra-regional travel, capitalizing on our proximity to each other, and today’s travelers’ desire to discover new experiences, collecting passport stamps along the way for bragging rights.” The collaboration has produced an introductory

video, with highlights of what makes each island special and different from their neighbors. The exciting, two-minute video will be rolled out across all their social platforms starting the week of August 10, 2020. The underlying message is that there is no better place than the Caribbean for travelers who are ready to venture forth when the time is right. “We are uniquely positioned to launch this program,” said Chantelle Richardson, Coordinator, International Markets for the Anguilla Tourist Board. “Our islands are easily accessible by air and sea, and we need to educate our potential visitors, both within the region and from our traditional source markets, on how to plan and make

the most of their visit.” Nevis, St. Kitts, Saba, Statia, St. Maarten, Saint Martin , Anguilla and St. Barths represent a combination of current and former Dutch, British and French island territories. Each island is a unique encounter, reflecting the vibrant Caribbean culture, creativity and hospitality which has made the region the preferred destination for travelers across the globe. Together they offer a huge array of experiences, cuisines, art, music and literature, against the backdrop of stunning landscapes, spectacular beaches, land and water sports, and boutique accommodations at a range of price points. #rebuildingtravel

US Travel Association: Talks on COVID-19 Relief Must Continue U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes issued the following statement on reports that congressional and administration leaders are suspending negotiations on the next phase of pandemic-related legislative relief: “It is critical that leaders in Washington resume talks and move forward on muchneeded coronavirusrelated economic relief. The travel and tourism industry accounts for 38% of all U.S. jobs lost so far, and travel companies—83% of

Protection Program which are small needs to be extended businesses— immediately, and its remain eligibility expanded, particularly or else millions vulnerable to of travel jobs are the economic likely to disappear impact of the permanently and health crisis. a U.S. recovery “The earlier will be severely rounds of weakened before it legislative even starts. Failing relief were an to move a package important start, that would fill in but they left a some of the blanks huge American of earlier relief sector exposed rounds would be a to the worst of Tori Emerson Barnes, tragic outcome for the pandemic’s U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Americans on every economic rung of the economic fallout: travel, seen more than half its ladder, and we hope which last year supported U.S. jobs wiped out since leaders can recommit employment for one in 10 March. to continuing these Americans but has now “The Paycheck

negotiations this week.” President Trump on Saturday signed orders to extend unemployment benefits, suspend payroll taxes, and offer federal eviction and student loan relief, taking unilateral action that is on shaky legal ground amid stalled negotiations about the fifth round of coronavirus relief in Congress. The president announced the slew of executive actions from his private club in Bedminster, N.J., where he is spending the weekend after lawmakers on Capitol Hill were unable to reach an agreement with White


August 12, 2020

Alternative Travel Insurers Emerge Due to Importance of Tourism By Harry S. Johnson | Global Travel Industry News Following the news that the Canary Islands announced it will offer tourists free insurance covering COVID-19related incidents, travel industry analysts are saying that the latest offer is a part of the emerging trend of temporary travel

insurers emerging as countries and airlines desperately attempt to bring tourism back, despite COVID-19 and travel insurers shying away. The Canary Islands Department of Tourism is providing this in

partnership with one of the leading insurers in the UK, in AXA. GlobalData’s 2019 UK Insurance Consumer Survey found that it was the sixth biggest insurer, with a market share of 4.6%. New policies like this and the recent offer from Emirates providing customers with free insurance for certain COVID-19 expenses, show how essential tourists are to so many businesses. Insurers have been reluctant to offer full coverage for COVID-19 risks to consumers, however, sharing the potential claims costs

House negotiators. The president was not physically present for any of the talks over the last few weeks but has said he received regular updates from his staff. One memo extends the enhanced unemployment benefits that expired roughly two weeks ago and have been critical to millions of Americans out of work due to the pandemic. The benefits will be lowered from $600 to $400 per week, with states required to cover 25 percent of the cost, Trump said. Another of the orders directs the Treasury Department to allow employers to defer payment of employee-side Social Security payroll

taxes through the end of 2020 for Americans earning less than about $100,000 annually. The text of the executive order states that the intended deferral period would start Sept. 1, but Trump suggested that it could be retroactive to Aug. 1. Trump also said that he hoped to forgive the deferred payroll taxes and make permanent payroll tax cuts if he is re-elected in November. “If I win, I may extend and terminate,” Trump said. “In other words, I’ll extend it beyond the end of the year and terminate the tax.” Two additional orders defer student loan payments through the end of the year and aim

to minimize evictions from federal housing, though the latter does not explicitly halt evictions. “Through these four actions my administration will provide vital relief to Americans struggling during this difficult time,” Trump said, reading from prepared remarks. Experts have questioned Trump’s authority to unilaterally intervene on unemployment benefits and the payroll tax, and his actions on Saturday may face legal challenges. But Trump shrugged off questions about the legality of the orders late Friday.

Page 15

Travel News with companies – or even countries who will benefit from tourists feeling more comfortable travelling – is a sensible temporary measure. If Emirates and the Canary Islands see a

rise in business with consumers feeling they are now taking on less risk in travelling, then it is likely to be replicated by other destinations and airlines. #rebuildingtravel


Page 16

August 12, 2020

District 15 News As you know, I am running for California State Senate to succeed Jim Beall. Today, I am proud to announce that Senator Beall endorsed our campaign. Senator Beall has devoted his career to moving our communities forward and he cares deeply about our families and the people he serves. He has led our district with compassion, courage, and grace. His long list of accomplishments include helping find jobs and transitional housing for emancipated foster care youth, improving our regional transportation, and increasing education funding. He’s been an advocate on expanding public health policies that helped reduce the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring our communities

Senator Jim Beall have safe food and water. He also helped secure millions in funding over the past two decades for daycare centers, parks, and hospitals, as well as to preserve our open space. When asked why he made this choice, Senator Beall stated, “Dave has the qualities and values I believe are important in Sacramento. He has a strong work ethic and has spent his entire career

advocating on behalf of the residents of our district, especially the most vulnerable among us which is especially critical in the era of COVID-19. Dave’s commitment to equity and justice has shown me that he’s serious about restoring critical equal opportunity policies for all our residents.” I am committed to continuing the work started by Senator Beall and working towards bettering the lives of our district’s residents. As we look towards making a more just and compassionate society, I will continue Jim’s

advocacy on providing more resources to assist our foster youth, increase funding for mental health programs, improving our transportation system and infrastructure, and standing up for the rights of all people. I will also continue to work hard finding affordable housing solutions for our unhoused community members, protecting our residents from COVID, reducing our carbon footprint, and providing access to resources and technology so that our children can compete in this new economy. Senator Jim Beall’s endorsement speaks to

what’s at stake in this election. Thank you for whatever you can do to help. I hope I can count on your support and vote. Gratefully, Dave Cortese

Santa Clara County Supervisor Candidate for State Senate, District 15

www.davecortese.com

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August 12, 2020

Business Spotlight

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Profile for The Bay Area Review

The Bay Area Review, August 12, 2020  

The Bay Area Review Encourage - Enlighten - Enrich The San Francisco Bay Area Volume 2, Issue 16

The Bay Area Review, August 12, 2020  

The Bay Area Review Encourage - Enlighten - Enrich The San Francisco Bay Area Volume 2, Issue 16