In late August, King County began reaching out to “cities, small businesses, chambers of commerce, labor unions, trade associations, sports teams, venues, community groups, and faith-based leaders throughout the county” to attempt an equitable arrangement on a vaccine verification policy for businesses and residents.
Content Warning: This article contains brief mention of suicide.
On the evening of Aug. 1, Eiob Teklie, a mental health technician at Cascade Behavioral Health (Cascade) in Tukwila watched as an unstable male patient stole an employee badge and ran with free rein throughout the multi-wing psychiatric facility, verbally and physically assaulting employees and tormenting patients suffering from acute mental illness.
One of the biggest privileges of being Jewish in moments like these, when the world feels like it’s caving in on itself, is that we get to ring in a new year in the middle of the fall. Yes, it marks a time of serious spiritual self-questioning and atonement, with hours-long services and liturgy replete with some stone-cold allusions to who will die and who gets to live another year. New Year’s Eve it is not.
But ultimately, we dress up our tables with fish heads (for a new start), pomegranates (filled with seeds that supposedly equal the number of mitzvoth, or good deeds, but don’t try to count them …), and apples dipped in honey (to bless our year with sweetness) and get to wave a fond farewell to 5,781, the current year of the Jewish lunar calendar.
Since it’s a time of reflection, I’m looking at the past to illuminate the future. And what I’m realizing on the eve of this time-bound holiday — which, quite strangely, falls on Labor Day this year — is that our clocks are broken. No, not our Fitbits, our internal clocks. Since 2019, our lives have been compressed into an unnatural pattern of bursts of change and excruciating stasis. We are, simply put, out of sync with the passage of time. On top of the grief and inequalities that compound on a daily basis, the compressed way in which we are forced to take in life’s IRL splendors — for those of us who are lucky to not be immunocompromised — is grinding us down. Numbing us. This is the season of quitting, haven’t you heard?
Health officials stressed the importance of vaccination as well as practicing social distancing and wearing masks, even in places where people are not required to do so, to protect students as they return to schools amid a spike in coronavirus cases caused by the delta variant across Washington State.
In a Sept. 2 press conference, health officials said that despite the surge in cases and concerns about hospital bed availability, it is important for the wellness of young people that they return to school. Officials emphasized masking, social distancing, vaccination for eligible students aged 12 and above, and observing COVID protocols in families’ daily lives.
With the return to Seattle Public Schools (SPS) only days away and the COVID-19 vaccine for children under 12 years old still months away, there sits a cloud of uncertainty looming over the return to school — especially for unvaccinated students in grades K–6. Making matters more complicated, “trusting science” has become less straightforward as the delta variant has become predominant, yet less is known about this more contagious COVID-19 variant.
This Saturday, Aug. 28, BAZZOOKAFEST will transform Beacon Hill’s Jefferson Park into a free music and film festival featuring a packed all-BIPOC lineup. Musicians include indie folk headliner Kimya Dawson, pop punk artist Haley Graves, alternative rockers King Youngblood, pop singer-songwriter CarLarans, five-piece femme band Razor Clam, dance pop trio Mirrorgloss, and soulful rock band Stereo Sauna. POC members of drag collective BeautyBoiz will perform, and once the music’s over, a screening of short films submitted by BIPOC filmmakers will take place. As if you needed another reason to attend, the event will also feature a pop-up market featuring all Black and POC vendors.
BAZZOOKAFEST is all-ages and open to all. The festival starts at 3 p.m. and goes till about 10 p.m. Masks are required.
A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!
Hospital System ‘Stressed, Stretched, and Strained’ — State Health Officials Implore Residents to Mask, Socially Distance, and Get Vaccinated as Delta ‘Ravages’ State
At a Department of Health press briefing on Wednesday, Aug. 25, State health officials said Washingtonians need to support the “stressed, stretched, and strained” hospital system and pointed to the ongoing need for community members to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus to avoid serious illness related to COVID-19.
The highly infectious delta variant of the virus is responsible for the recent rise in contracted cases, but hospitalizations related to the illness are still overwhelmingly among those who are unvaccinated — with 95% of COVID-19 cases in those hospitalized from Feb. 1 to Aug. 3, 2021, being patients who were not fully vaccinated, according to Secretary of Health Dr. Umair A. Shah.
“It felt like doing crisis counseling for hundreds of people each month.”
Samantha “Sam” Thompson manages our emergency financial assistance program at the West Seattle Food Bank, and she spends most of her time connecting with West Seattle tenants who need support with overdue rent or utilities. During the pandemic, the number of people needing support went through the roof, and while the lockdowns have ended, the economic impacts for people in West Seattle are ongoing. Our clients include people who lost their jobs during the pandemic, had their hours reduced, or are going to soon lose their unemployment benefits.
Compared to 2019, in 2020 applications for Helpline services — the arm of our organization that provides help with rent and utilities — nearly doubled. Helpline staff and volunteers worked overtime, and to meet the growing need we increased the average amount of our financial assistance grants by 35%.
The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.
We also post the Morning Update Show here on theEmerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.
Morning Update Show — Thursday, August 19
LIVE — Councilmember Girmay Zahilay | LIVE — James Salisbury Jr. | WSAJ Awards | New COVID Restrictions | Skyway Update
On Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a vaccination mandate for K–12 educators and workers, an expansion of the indoor mask mandate, and a vaccination requirement for individuals in the State’s higher education institutions and for most childcare providers.
Similar to Inslee’s Aug. 9, announcement, which dictates that most State workers need to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18 in order to maintain their employment, today the Governor expanded this requirement to K–12 educators, school staff, coaches, bus drivers, school volunteers, and others working in school facilities, who will have until the same date to become fully vaccinated or lose their jobs.
“We have kids who are under the age of twelve who are unable to get vaccinated,” Secretary of Health Umair A. Shah said at a press conference Wednesday. “The challenge that we’ve had is when kids go to school and they are unvaccinated, then masking really is one of your tools, but the other tool we have is adults around those kids [being vaccinated].”