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Shelter in Place

The San Francisco Bay Area now has a 7-county “shelter in place” directive. I’ve revised this post now that I found the actual health department orders.

County of Santa Clara Public Health Department order
County of San Mateo Public Health Department order
County of San Mateo Shelter in Place FAQ

Stay healthy! We’ll get through this if we keep our heads!

Summary / highlights

2. All individuals currently living within San Mateo County (the “County”) are ordered to shelter at their place of residence. To the extent individuals are using shared or outdoor spaces, they must at all times as reasonably possible maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person when they are outside their residence. All persons may leave their residences only for Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, or to operate Essential Businesses, all as defined in Section 10...

5. All travel, including, but not limited to, travel on foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, automobile, or public transit, except Essential Travel and Essential Activities as defined below in Section 10, is prohibited. People must use public transit only for purposes of performing Essential Activities or to travel to and from work to operate Essential Businesses or maintain Essential Governmental Function...

10a. For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence only to perform any of the following “Essential Activities.”... To engage in activities or perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members (including, but not limited to, pets), such as, by way of example only and without limitation, obtaining medical supplies or medication, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home. To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others, such as, by way of example only and without limitation, canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences. To engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in this Section, such as, by way of example and without limitation, walking, hiking, or running. To perform work providing essential products and services at an Essential Business or to otherwise carry out activities specifically permitted in this Order, including Minimum Basic Operations. To care for a family member or pet in another household.

10b. ...individuals may leave their residence to work for or obtain services at any “Healthcare Operations” including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, other healthcare facilities, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare services providers, mental health providers, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services. “Healthcare Operations” also includes veterinary care and all healthcare services provided to animals. This exemption shall be construed broadly to avoid any impacts to the delivery of healthcare, broadly defined. “Healthcare Operations” does not include fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities....


I wonder if the mandate is actually the worst possible thing (as written)for unforeseen consequences? By all means, shut down public gatherings, but “shelter in place” deals a psychological, economic and perhaps counter-productive blow not just in the end, but immediately, for some.

The geniuses issuing this edict did not prohibit the user of reusable bags at grocery stores—what better way to infect people than to put your food on the same surface as the last 500 people with their virtue-signaling reusable bags replete with all the bacterial and viral load from their homes. But requiring single-use plastic or paper bags would conflict with the nanny-state bans in Bay Area cities.

There is no rational justification for prohibiting numerous activities of normal life that do not involve any measure of risk and minimal if any contact with others. But the order is not written that way; it is written in a way that needlessly prohibits a wide variety of activities without addressing only the undesirable behavior (contact with others). It’s a sledgehammer.

The psychological effects are inscrutable as yet, but the economic effects are clear: for many people “on the edge”, the economic blow will be bad; those unable to work but who still need food and shelter and now without a paycheck. Well-paid employees of big corporations and those with savings can shrug it off—so what? But millions in the Bay Area cannot tolerate the loss of even one paycheck. And now many of them have to commit a misdemeanor by going to work? Then there are the self employed that no politician thinks about.

Will this order result in desperation from no more paychecks, increased hoarding, and overall social disintegration for the “haves” (those who continue to be paid) and the “have nots”—those forced out of work and with no savings and rent due and no money for food?

Meanwhile, our government packs people in like sardines at airports so that a single infected person can infect scores of other people. Then the dozens of people who pass testing but are now latent newly-infected carriers then go on to infect others. What criminally stupid jackass thought that one up? That language is far too polite, given the needless risks created there. Take people off the plane in an orderly fashion, maintaining distance, while keeping the recirculated but HEPA-filtered air going for those on board

Staying indefinitely near Alabama Hills

I am sheltering in place in a far more pleasant spot albeit a cold wet storm right now, and will not be returning home indefinitely given this lockdown situation. I am getting low on W. Donaldson champagne, so it’s going to be rough, but the Don Julio tequila is better than nothing. And if I can just get that damned desert mouse out of my van, which kept me up half the night and chewed into my bag of black walnuts.

There is no bottled water to be had in stores such as the 1-gallon Crystal Geyser I use on my trips, so I have to pump water from the creek using the MSR Guardian, which is tedious but the water quality is fantastic. Some stores are sold out of some stuff, but just two days ago in Twenty Nine Palms, the Stater Bros grocery store was fully stocked except for bottled water and toilet paper—meat, fresh fruits and veggies, canned food, etc.

Tip: skip the tuna (mercury content) and go for canned salmon instead, anchovies, sardines—superb.

Tip: wipies (Huggies @AMAZON, etc) clean your ass as well as toilet paper, better actually! It’s stunning to see a full shelf of wipies and no toilet paper at all. It shows that a mass hysteria erases all rational thought.

Cold wet storm, hard-boiling eggs
f1.8 @ 1/20 sec, ISO 40; 2020-03-16 17:19:12
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/0 @ 28mm equiv (4mm) ENV: altitude 4804 ft / 1464 m

[low-res image for bot]
A joyful mountain bike ride, appreciating life and health
f1.8 @ 1/4400 sec panorama, ISO 20; 2020-03-11 12:56:00
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/2.8 @ 4mm
ENV: Alabama Hills, altitude 4621 ft / 1408 m, 60°F / 15°C

[low-res image for bot]


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