As more and more data accumulates about COVID-19, Woolsey, the City, the nation and business community’s challenges I have grown increasingly convinced that resilience is the most valuable attribute of any organization or system.
Covid revealed to us that recommendations for a National Strategic reserve of masks, personal protective devices and Ventilators had been ignored by the last 3 or 4 administrations. During that time, we had allowed production of basic medical devices and medication to be offshored lengthening the supply chain and response time in emergencies. The shortage of masks was so acute that we were being advised not to wear them if we had them. This was terrible advice. Masks and hand washing have proved amazingly effective in preventing the spread of infection. Repatriating vital parts of the supply chain seems prudent.
Covid also revealed that the business community nationwide never anticipated an event that would shut down most businesses for 3 months and counting. The margins most businesses operate with simply cannot survive this. I am at a loss as to how this could have been mitigated.
During the Woolsey Fire grocery stores and restaurants lost power and food spoilage eliminated a valuable resource. Natural gas backup generators would have been a godsend and will be again in the next SCE power shutoff. Generators for Gas Stations would ensure the ability to access the fuels stored in the underground tanks.
Woolsey showed us just how ill prepared governmental agencies are for an event of that magnitude and how ill prepared we citizens were to be cut off from power, refrigeration, phones, and food for 21 days. The response was taken over by CalFire and horrible decisions including “not fighting the fire” and preventing the delivery of supplies to the area were made by bureaucrats located far from Malibu.
The City declared an Emergency and ordered an evacuation when Woolsey struck. In that type of situation, the City loses the ability to govern the City and those running the emergency response are under no obligation to listen to, or take direction from, City officials. We need to figure out a system that allows us to cooperate with CalFire without totally losing our autonomy.
In other Covid news, Malibu local Kal Klatte contacted me to bring me up to date on the recent increases in the rate of new infections. The national 7 day running average of new infections has trended up in the last 2 weeks from its low of 20,000 per day to about 23,000 most recently. There may be a further spike due to the lack of social distancing over the last two weeks. The 7 day average for deaths from COVID-19 has continued it’s decline but deaths lag about 3 or 4 weeks behind new cases as that is the average length of hospitalizations that result in death. Malibu now has had it’s 40thCovid diagnosis according to LA County’s records.
Please wear a mask if you go out in public. They are cheap and effective.