Tag Archives: COVID-19 Pandemic

What Cuba Can Teach the U.S. About Confronting the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Sharon Maeda


Cuba is one of many countries that has successfully addressed the COVID-19 coronavirus despite the U.S. embargo that prohibits the sale of ventilators and other medical equipment to Cuba. 

Cuba is well known for its medical education and premiere medical school, the Latin American School of Medicine, commonly referred to as ELAM, and for sending medical teams to epidemic and disaster sites around the world. Cuban medical teams were dispatched to early COVID-19 hotspots, including China, Italy, and South Africa. 

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Mayor Durkan Presents COVID-19 News and Defends Not Defunding Police at Virtual Town Hall

by Mark Van Streefkerk


On Monday July 27, Mayor Jenny Durkan hosted the sixth virtual Town Hall since the COVID-19 health crisis, specifically focusing on information and resources for Southeast and Central Seattle, as well as answering questions from the community about policing. Durkan was joined by public health officials, including the Director of Public Health and a spokesperson from the Seattle Police Department to answer questions and receive feedback from residents. 

In her opening statements, Durkan brought up three main issues: the state of the COVID-19 crisis in Seattle and new public health resources, relief for the economic toll of the pandemic, and the “civil rights reckoning” that has led many to protest for Black lives and brought the actions of SPD under scrutiny. 

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Skyway’s Barbershop Row Returns, in Limited Form, Adjusting to Coronavirus Restrictions

by M. Anthony Davis


Barbershops and beauty salons are more than just local businesses in Black communities. They represent safe spaces for communal gatherings and often serve as a hub for civic discourse, playing host to important cultural dialogue and connection. I vividly remember my early hair cut days, sitting in Greg’s chair — Greg was one of my first barbers — getting a skin-tight fade way back in 1996, as he explained to me in detail how the SuperSonics could beat Jordan’s Bulls and become NBA Champions. The barbershop is the one of the first places you’ll hear complex debates over sports, politics, religion, relationships, and everything in between. It’s also one of the few public spaces in a city with demographics like Seattle’s, where members of the Black community can have these debates without being under the microscope of whiteness. 

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As State Hits 50,000-Case Milestone, South King County Appears to Be Next Potential Outbreak Hotspot

by Carolyn Bick


Washington State has reached a new milestone in the ongoing saga of the novel coronavirus pandemic. As of today, there have been 50,000 people who have tested positive for the virus, since the start of the pandemic.

This is not a good number.

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Coffee in the Time of COVID: Geetu Vailoor Takes On Central District’s Union Coffee

by Mark Van Streefkerk


Coffee professional Geetu Vailoor had never thought about owning a café, but in February the idea was pitched to her by the owner of Union Coffee, who was looking to pass the business on to someone else. After some rigorous soul-searching, Vailoor said yes. Previous owner Zach Reinig closed the shop on March 15, and on March 19 Vailoor reopened the Central District café as her own. The turnkey operation happened right as Washintgon imposed a stay-at-home mandate. Seated service was put to a halt by March 22. For some cafés, COVID-19 has meant temporary or even permanent closures — but Geetu has remained open for takeout coffee and pastries throughout the pandemic.

“I never expected anything like what is happening right now,” Vailoor remembered. “I think I wanted to be super optimistic. I reached out to SBA to get a small business mentor, and all of them were like, ‘Don’t do this. This is crazy. You should not be taking over a small business right now, especially one that’s a commodity product.’ I just believed it would work out. I just had a feeling.” 

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OPINION: Point in Time Count, 2020 Version: More of the Same. We Need Change

by Gordon Mchenry, Jr.


The results of the 2020 Point-in-Time Count demonstrate what we already know —  that we must  accelerate our approach to how we fight homelessness. The latest data reflect what we sense and see: despite all of our efforts, the number of people who are experiencing homelessness has remained too high, with only slight variations from year to year. Far too many of our neighbors are suffering from the trauma of homelessness, housing instability, the pandemic, and inequities rooted in race and ethnicity.

This latest count found an increase of about 5% more people experiencing homelessness over 2019 — and the survey took place before the coronavirus pandemic caused the economic disruption that led to widespread loss of income. We are especially concerned about the growth in family and chronic homelessness. And we recognize that we have yet to see the result the recession has had on our most vulnerable community members.

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Inslee Meets With South King County Leaders to Address Surge in COVID-19 Cases in the County

by Jack Russillo


COVID-19 cases are increasing around King County, particularly in the southern part of the county, which prompted Gov. Jay Inslee to hold a series of meetings in Federal Way with local movers and shakers.

The Governor met with local elected officials, healthcare leaders, and heads of local businesses on Friday afternoon, July 17, at the Federal Way Performing Arts and Events Center to discuss strategies to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. 

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OPINION: Vote for Kids August 4

by Erin Okuno


With COVID-19 surging, a recession, unemployment in King County at 14%, and the renewed call for justice and equity for BIPOC lives, it’s an important year to pay attention to local as well as national elections. While the country is focused on the November presidential election, Washingtonians would do well to focus on some very consequential local elections coming much sooner. 

Washington State’s 2020 primary election is on August 4. Citizens should focus their efforts on exercising the power of the ballot locally and vote in the primary. Those who are not able to vote can still participate in voter education, support candidates, and help get out the vote. 

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COVID-19 Cases in Washington State Double to Twice April’s Peak in Less Than a Month

by Carolyn Bick


Between June 9 and July 9, the rate of novel coronavirus cases in Washington State has doubled from the state’s previous peak in April. Despite this, with the exception of limiting gatherings, Gov. Jay Inslee has once again shied away from imposing more stringent regulations and measures or rolling counties back into earlier phases of the state’s Safe Start plan.

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First Jail Health Services Employee at King County Jail Tests Positive for COVID-19

by Carolyn Bick


A jail health services (JHS) employee at the King County Correctional Facility in Seattle has tested positive for COVID-19, according to an official Public Health – Seattle & King County letter the Emerald received from an anonymous source. The employee is the first JHS staffer to test positive.

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