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December 2020

Why do I listen to what Jim Provenza has to say about the coronavirus pandemic?

Because he makes so darn much sense!

Here is what he posted on the Yolo Community COVID-19 FB page a little while ago.  Please take a look and don't forget to vote for "public health savvy" electeds like Jim Provenza!




Jim Provenza

shared a post.

Continue reading "Why do I listen to what Jim Provenza has to say about the coronavirus pandemic?" »

Want to invest some time and $0.00 taking a Johns Hopkins course about CORONAVIRUS?

Dear Friends,

You may decide that the next two weeks are an ideal time to learn more about the coronavirus.  Face it, we are all stuck with this virus and its impact for a while (read:  months!).  You can choose to ignore, to do basic coping, or dig in and learn some more.

I chose to dig in and learn some more.  Johns Hopkins University, home of the world famous School of Public Health, has been a pioneer in online education in public health for decades.  They have created some high quality, very accessible online courses on the coronavirus which are designed for lay people.  

Yes, that's you, the non-public health expert who is nonetheless smart enough to take an online course on this super important topic. For sure, you can take this course if you have no intention of becoming a Contact Tracer for the Yolo County Health Department.  You can take this course to learn more about CV to help you and your family understand how and why to protect yourselves.  

Continue reading "Want to invest some time and $0.00 taking a Johns Hopkins course about CORONAVIRUS?" »

Market expands on Dec. 23, closes on Dec. 30

Upper Crust’s apple pies will be among the choices available at the Davis Farmers Market on Dec. 23. (Courtesy photo)

(From press release) The Davis Farmers Market will offer additional vendors for its Wednesday, Dec. 23 market, with last-minute shopping for holiday meals and gifts.

That market will have regular Wednesday hours ­– 3 to 6 p.m. – in Central Park, 301 C St., Davis. As is tradition for the Wednesday market between Christmas and New Year’s Day, the Dec. 30 market will be closed. The Saturday markets on Dec. 26 and Jan. 2 will be open with regular hours – 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Davis Farmers is filled with farm-fresh products like citrus and pomegranates, poinsettias, nuts and nut butters, juices and veggies. There’s also table décor, meats, cheeses, olive oil, nuts, dried fruits, honey and wine. Several bakeries will have fresh-baked items like pies, breads, stuffing mixes and cookies.

There is no Gift Basket Central this year. However, there are pre-packaged gift bags of market merchandise, and baskets shoppers may buy to create their own collections from market goods such as honey, jams, nuts, wine, oils, lotions, soaps, salts, masks, Kettlepop, coffee beans and bakery treats.

Year-round, rain or shine, the Davis Farmers Market is open from 3 to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, visit https://davisfarmersmarket.org or visit it on Facebook or Instagram.

Celebration of Abraham condemns racist attacks

Celebration-of-abraham-logoPastor William H. Lamar
Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church
1518 M Street NW
Washington DC 20005
Rev. Dr. Ianther M. Mills
Asbury United Methodist Church
926 11th Street
Washington DC 20001

Dear Pastor Lamar and Rev. Dr. Mills,

The Celebration of Abraham is an interfaith group in Davis California. We write to offer our condolences and express our outrage over the December 12th, violent attacks on your congregations. As people of faith, we believe that the religious freedom and free speech rights of your congregations were trampled on by the perpetrators of these attacks. The obvious racism of the actions violates the universal tenet embedded in all our faiths that the dignity of each individual is sacred. Your public statements of hope and healing reminds us that we can get through this and build a better, more loving future.

We will keep you and your congregants in our prayers and hearts.


Helen Roland Cramer, Chair
Celebration of Abraham


State advocacy efforts mobilize local artists

CFTA_reopenBy Wendy Weitzel

Artists need their work to be seen and heard. But a statewide arts advocate says the arts industry is being overlooked in the pandemic.

Julie Baker, executive director of California Arts Advocates and for the statewide nonprofit Californians for the Arts, told some 25 participants at a Dec. 9 Arts Alliance Davis video meeting that their organizations need to demonstrate how essential they are.

“We want to be seen. We want to be part of the solution,” Baker said from her Nevada City base. “We’re an industry. We’re not a cause. We can support California socially and emotionally. We know that’s what the arts can bring.”

California Arts Advocates is the only statewide group that works to protect arts funding for the whole arts community. Baker said arts are 8 percent of the state’s economy, yet artists are often not seen as essential – or even recognized as workers. Two-thirds of artists are self-employed and don’t qualify for traditional unemployment. Some are truly starving artists.

Continue reading "State advocacy efforts mobilize local artists" »

Yolo County Board of Supervisors meets tomorrow morning starting at 9 a.m. and COVID-19 is on the agenda!

Dear Folks:

Below is the agenda item for the Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting related to COVID-19.  The meeting starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday, December 15th.  (tomorrow).

The URL for the meeting is here: https://www.yolocounty.org/general-government/board-of-supervisors/board-meetings/board-of-supervisors-meeting-agendas-minutes

Please note:  When it comes to pandemics, "the buck stops" with the Supervisors.  

Please consider attending this meeting online tomorrow and see what your local government is doing to keep you safe.  There will be a presentation by the Yolo County Health Officer, Dr. Aimee Sisson, MD, MPH.



Continue reading "Yolo County Board of Supervisors meets tomorrow morning starting at 9 a.m. and COVID-19 is on the agenda!" »

So, in Yolo County can you go outside for a walk or not, under the new Health Order?

Dear Folks:

Here is the answer I got:
"Outdoor activity is permitted at this time, while maintaining a distance of at least 6' from others outside your household. A mask is not required, yet encouraged in case keeping a physical distance proves challenging. 
This information is available on the County's website (Health Orders) and the State's website (Regional Stay Home Order), plus mentioned in a number of press conferences and press releases."
Followed by: 
"County information is located here. A simple breakdown of activities in Yolo County can be found in this document. Yolo County's Health Order can be found here, which indicates outdoor exercise as permissible in conjunction with State Orders. 
State Regional Stay Home Order (RSHO) can be found here. This page gives more details regarding the RSHO. To find allowable activities, you can search this site using Yolo County as your area of reference."
So, how cool is that!  You have no excuse, get out there and get some exercise!  That's better than huddling inside and sharing the virus in your household!



Is it true that Californians run and hide inside when the temperature goes below 60 degrees?

Dear Friends:

Sometimes it seems like it!  I do a lot of regular walking in both Davis and in the Bay Area and since "Winter" hit, it appears that there are far fewer walkers outside than before.

Maybe people are not really wimpy, maybe it is that they are confused by the requirements of the Health Order from our Yolo County Health Officer, Dr. Aimee Sisson, MD, MPH.

So, I wanted to make sure it was ok to go out walking because in general following the Health Order is a good idea!   With that in mind, I went to the Yolo County Dashboard this morning and clicked on:

Continue reading "Is it true that Californians run and hide inside when the temperature goes below 60 degrees?" »

The Failure of Measure B Suggests a New Vision Is Needed

West from Rd 30B - Sac skylineBy Roberta Millstein, Pam Gunnell, Nancy Price, Alan Pryor, and Colin Walsh

Measure B – the measure that proposed a 200-acre business park and housing development outside of the Mace Curve – failed at the polls.  The defeat comes with official Yolo County returns showing that 16,458 people, or 52% of voters, said “no” to the project.  In Mace Ranch and Wildhorse, 60% of voters opposed the project.

This is a remarkable result considering that the No on B campaign was outspent by over 14 to 1.  As of October 28, Yes on B had spent $258,919 between when B was put on the ballot in July and the election in November, while No on B had spent $18,149.  The No on B campaign, composed solely of volunteer Davis citizens, created its own literature, designed its own sign and other graphics, was active on social media, and, to the extent possible during COVID, pounded the pavement distributing flyers to let Davisites know about the negative impacts that this project would bring.  It was a true grassroots effort.  There were no paid designers, no paid consultants, no multiple glossy mailers, and no push-polls to gather information on what messages would sell.  Opponents also could not table at the Farmers Market due to COVID restrictions, normally the bread and butter of a campaign lacking deep pocket donors to finance getting its message out.

By comparison, Yes on B hired a PR Firm and other consultants more than a year in advance of the vote to help contrive and package its message and run the campaign.

The fact that Measure B was nonetheless defeated in the face of long odds and unusual circumstances shows that DISC was a bad project for Davis from the outset.  It was too big, chewing up prime farmland and habitat.   The promise of on-site housing for DISC employees could not be guaranteed, making the development car-and commuter- oriented with extensive parking areas. Poor public transportation options exacerbated this problem. The DISC development would have massively increased Davis greenhouse gas emissions and made it impossible for Davis to meet its carbon neutrality goals. We are in a climate emergency, as Yolo County and other counties have recognized; Davis needs to shoulder its share of responsibility for climate impacts, including but not limited to wildfire impacts and extreme weather events locally and globally.

Continue reading "The Failure of Measure B Suggests a New Vision Is Needed " »

Public health innovation in the Bay Area or is it mainly cultural competence?

Dear Folks:

Quick but very exciting note from the news in the Bay Area.  

In Santa Clara County, East San Jose has had a lot of cases of coronavirus during this pandemic.  This is a heavily Latino population (muy buena gente!) who live in crowded settings due to EXTREMELY expensive housing, do a lot of front-line work, etc.  This population has greater exposure and greater incidence of coronavirus.

So, the Santa Clara County Director of Testing and Tracing, Dr. Fenstersheib (MD, MPH), reached into his bag of tricks and has directed his staff to go door to door in East San Jose and provide residents with test kits which they return to the Public Health Outreach Worker on the spot.  Results come back quickly.

This door to door direct service is a new thing in the US, but Public Health Departments in Mexico have been doing this kind of outreach for years via health department employees (often nurses) who provide vaccinations door to door in many parts of Mexico.  This results in a much higher pediatric vaccination rate than in the US.

Bravo to Santa Clara County for borrowing this public health methodology from Mexico and applying it here in the US.  It is very promising!



PS  CBS News coverage of this new program: https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2020/12/10/santa-clara-county-to-send-teams-door-to-door-to-administer-covid-tests/

No information on contact tracing on the Yolo County COVID-19 Dashboards. Or did I miss it?

Dear Folks,

Good evening!  I am trying to prepare for the Yolo County Health Council meeting which starts at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning so I hit the Yolo County Coronavirus Dashboards: https://www.yolocounty.org/health-human-services/adults/communicable-disease-investigation-and-control/novel-coronavirus-2019/dashboard-and-documents to see what I could find on contact tracing.

Why look up contact tracing?  According to this UC Davis Health piece on Coronavirus (https://www.yolocounty.org/health-human-services/adults/communicable-disease-investigation-and-control/novel-coronavirus-2019/dashboard-and-documents) I should be VERY interested in this activity because: "Contact tracing is crucial part of good public health."

OK, so what did I find about contact tracing in Yolo County on the Yolo Dashboards?  Um......Zilch.  Nada.  Bupkis.  Oh, my!

Continue reading "No information on contact tracing on the Yolo County COVID-19 Dashboards. Or did I miss it?" »

A Yolo County business owner expresses concerns about the County's response to CV.......

Dear Folks:

Somebody I know who runs a small business in Davis has been asking me a number of very cogent questions regarding the handling of the Coronavirus in our County.  

Here is what he wrote me a couple of weeks ago:

"So Nov 23 was a bad day for Yolo County, with 108 cases reported. And Davis was not good, with 25 of those. But  as usual, Woodland was by far the highest, with 53 cases.

Has the county health agency just given up? With numbers like that, are they actually looking at Woodland as a 
local hot spot and redirecting resources?

Are they actually making use of these numbers that tell
them where and how many cases are occurring? Or have theyjust given up on contact tracing?"


When I chatted with him a few days ago, he said, "The same questions apply, John!".  And he confirmed that again this morning.

Continue reading "A Yolo County business owner expresses concerns about the County's response to CV......." »

Excellent new video communication from the Yolo County Health Officer, Dr. Aimee Sisson explaining what's what....

Hey Folks,

Give THIS a listen!  Dr. Sisson lays it out clearly and precisely..... what are the new rules and why.


She has a gift (of communication) and I am glad she is using it for our benefit!



Who are those wonderful people who volunteer to be on the Health Council? Here's the list!

Dear Folks,

Well, they might be your neighbors!  Or your friends!  Or your co-worker!  Or someone you know from church/temple/mosque. Or someone you don't know yet but would like to know because they represent your district in Yolo County.  (Note:  Supervisors are elected from districts now and a specific set of Health Council Members are selected by the Supervisor to represent the public interest in their district.)

Here is a link to the roster from the Yolo County website (this website is chock full of good information, do you ever visit it?  I recommend it!)


BTW, I tried to copy and paste it below, but it did not come out so well.  That's after switching from the Safari browser to the Firefox browser, which yielded an improvement but it is still not that great.  Try the link, please. 

Don't forget, there is a Health Council meeting this Thursday morning and they will be discussing all things health related with a big dose of discussion on COVID-19.  The public is always welcome at Health Council meetings, but you may want to check with "your" representative on the Council before Thursday to see what's happening, how they plan to contribute this Thursday, etc.

Continue reading "Who are those wonderful people who volunteer to be on the Health Council? Here's the list!" »

Do you know the "who" in public health in Yolo County?

NOTE:  The Health Council meets this coming Thursday at 9 a.m. and the meeting is open to the public.  

Good morning!

During this pandemic, friends in Yolo County have been asking me serious questions like "who is in charge over there?!".  

Good question to ask when we are being asked/"ordered" to shut down our personal and business lives in a fundamental way in order to save lives and help keep people healthy.  

So, I have previously posted information that Brian Vaughn, MPH is the Yolo County Health Department Public Health Director.  And I recently posted an interview with Dr. Aimee Sisson, MD, MPH who is Yolo County's Health Officer.  And I have noted that Yolo County has not one but TWO PhD level County Epidemiologists.  And now I am going to tell you about the Yolo County Health Council.

Continue reading "Do you know the "who" in public health in Yolo County?" »

Yolo County property taxes due to be paid by December 10th without penalty.

Dear Folks:

You didn't forget did you?  

Your property taxes pay for a lot of stuff.... including HELP support the Yolo County Health Department.  Although the reality is that public health in the United States is often funded in a "share" arrangement...... money originates in the Federal Government, then goes to the State Government and then to the County Government.  But all of it comes from YOU... the American tax payer.

Continue reading "Yolo County property taxes due to be paid by December 10th without penalty." »

What does an epidemiologist do?

Well, let's note right up front that epidemiologists are not infectious disease physicians.

I like to tell this little story/thought experiment:

Q:  If I have a lung infection, who should I go see, an infectious disease physician or an epidemiologist?

Most people get the right answer.

But then I ask:

Q:  If society has an epidemic, should we consult an infectious disease physician who treats a single patient at a time or an epidemiologist who studies diseases and makes decisions for whole populations of people?

Continue reading "What does an epidemiologist do?" »

Called Out

Called out

By Kelsey Fortune

During Tuesday’s City Council Meeting, the Council appointed commission members. I was hoping to be one. Instead, after making my apology public, I was called out and shamed in a public forum where I had no option to respond.

I missed my interview. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but we are living through difficult times right now. Staff and I had scheduled a fifteen-minute interview with Dan Carson and Gloria Partida on Monday, November 23rd. Unfortunately, my grandmother, who has been in a nursing home since a stroke in the Spring of 2019, was diagnosed with COVID-19, and my mind was elsewhere. I forgot about my interview completely.

I emailed an apology. The following morning, I realized my mistake. I was extremely disappointed with myself for missing such an important meeting. The whole day was filled with guilt and sadness. I emailed the staff member with whom I had been corresponding about the interview.

“I want to sincerely apologize for missing my interview yesterday. My grandma has been diagnosed with COVID, and I am completely consumed with this news. I'm sorry that I wasted Dan and Gloria's time. I hope that I can still be considered to serve on a commission.”

I received a compassionate response from staff on Monday, November 30th. I understood this to mean that my application had been forwarded along with this information.

“I am truly sorry to hear about your grandma’s diagnoses, and wish her a speedy recovery!! Your application has been forwarded to the entire City Council for their consideration. Appointments will occur tomorrow at their Council meeting.”

I called in to apologize during public comment. Instead of responding with compassion, Council responded by called me out in their discussion. It was stated that this was the first they were hearing from me. From my perspective, that is not true. I reached out the day following the missed interview. Regardless, speaking this way about a private citizen in a public forum where they cannot respond is inappropriate, unprofessional, and humiliating.

Please consider what you expect from our elected officials.

Interview with our County Health Officer, Dr. Aimee Sisson (MD, MPH)

Dear Folks,

Came across this little treasure.....actually, it was shared with me by a friend of mine. (Isn't that how we all REALLY keep up with a complex topic these days!).

Here is a link to an interview by Autumn Labbe-Renault *** from Davis Media Access, broadcast on KDRT: 


I do not know Autumn but my friend has been suggesting for weeks that I listen to her broadcast because they think she is good at this coronavirus coverage.

Hey, they are right!  I am impressed with the interviewing approach.  Check it out!

BTW, as a full disclosure, I have to tell you that the Health Officer is a former student of mine from when I taught in the Masters in Public Health Program at UC Davis School of Medicine.  But she is her own independent person and her views, enhanced by years of experience after she earned her MPH, are her own. I would like to think, though, that I helped a little bit along the way!  :)

Check out this interview and perhaps keep a notepad handy, in case you think of another question that YOU would like answered!




*** About Autumn Labbe-Renault

Autumn Labbe-Renault (she/her/hers) is executive director of Davis Media Access. She launched the "COVID-19 Community Report" on March 17, 2020. She's been spending part of her time during the pandemic documenting local experience and response through audio and video archives. Her views are her own.

Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday

Well, well, well friends, how is it going?

Did you go all out on Cyber Monday getting gifts for family and friends (and ahem, yourself) online?  As it turns out, I did not buy ANYTHING on Cyber Monday.  

Now, let you get the impression that I am an anti-commercial purest, nothing could be further from the truth.  As an MBA, I am a "card carrying capitalist" and understand that personal spending by individuals and families does the majority of the work in moving the economy in the US in positive directions (hence the need for the Congress to prime the pump with relief checks, extended unemployment income payments , etc).  No, the fact of the matter is I just don't need anything.  (Thank God!)

But Giving Tuesday?  That's a whole other matter.  From the role model of my parents, the teachings of my church, the reinforcement of "Love thy neighbor as thyself" from the college I went to, I am committed to making a difference in our world even if it is only through small donations to worthy causes.

So, while I took naps yesterday, today I was up early and made four targeted donations.  Who did I give to and why?  Here is the line up:

Continue reading "Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday" »