Sunday, April 5, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 5

Santa Maria Sun / Canary

The following article was posted on March 25th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 4 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 4

CANARY: Over the rainbow


I’m feeling a little mopey these days, a little less flamboyantly yellow and a little more decidedly gray, similar the cloudy skies that seem to be following this whole COVID-19 pandemic around on the Central Coast. 


Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy about all the rain. We don’t need to be all drought-weary on top of this virus that seems to be compounding upon itself every day. 

News, news, news. It’s unwieldy, ever-present, and downright depressing. But it’s what’s happening, folks. We can’t make this stuff up! 

This week, suggested closures of bars and restaurants (you can still order take-out) became mandatory, and suggested stay-at-home, work-from-home, gym-from-home, became the law of the land. After sending out a warning shot, The Land Conservancy of SLO County closed the Pismo Preserve due to the overabundance of exuberant quarantined Central Coasters eager for a nature therapy. Those little trails made that whole 6-feet social distancing thing pretty difficult. 

As people salivate in anticipation of the next coronavirus update, public health officials in Santa Barbara County have decided for some strange reason that they will not be giving out very detailed information about residents who have tested positive for the virus. We don’t know what cities they’re in and we don’t know how serious the cases are. 

Why? Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg said he didn’t feel comfortable revealing the number of cases, if any, that were hospitalized. He said he needed to protect “patient privacy,” so I’m guessing that means there are severe cases in the county. But who knows where and who knows how many. 

Do we really need to know that? I think so. Maybe then all the idiots who can’t follow the rules and aren’t taking this seriously will get their act together for the rest of our sakes. 

We know that as of March 23 San Luis Obispo County had two serious cases where patients were hospitalized. Apparently their health officer, Dr. Penny Borenstein, is subscribing to a different set of guidelines when it comes to keeping the public informed during a crisis. 

Although Ansorg didn’t feel comfortable weighing in on information I’m assuming he knows, he did feel downright cozy enough to answer a question about the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic games this summer during Santa Barbara County’s press briefing on March 23. 

Really, local reporter? Why would you ask that question of someone who has nothing to do with the games in an area that isn’t even close to where it’s supposed to be? It’s not even in the same country!

Thanks goodness we have Andy Caldwell to set us all straight! I forgot for a second that there’s an election coming up in November. Did you? 

Well, Caldwell—reminding everyone that he’s important and running for Congress, too—sent out some email newsletters just to let everyone know what he thought: Isolate the seniors, wash hands, social distance, and things aren’t as bad as “they” say they are. 

Also, he said, please give us the information we need to understand what’s happening and make good public policy decisions! 

The Canary is all about good public policy. Send your thoughts to

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The government isn't telling us everything we need to know.
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