We haven’t seen Downtown San Francisco since the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown in March 2020. So it was a shocker to see it as it is now.
On a Saturday, it looks almost like a ghost town.
The city is a reflection of how far America has fallen because of its response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Many stores and restaurants are still closed. Some of which have packed up business for good. Empty store spaces including iconic landmark GAP is an emergent sign of an economy going from bad to worse.
The city streets is home to an increasing homeless Americans due unemployment and unaffordable housing.
The Mall is no longer a fun place for people to shop or hang out. Business looks dead except for a few people lining up at Starbucks.
A big mouse was trying to enter Westin Hotel. The Hotel looks closed and deserted. Trash loitered the streets. Some streets smells of human urine. Wife screamed startling the hell out of me, “Did you guys stepped on that poop?”
It was not the San Francisco me and my family remembered. My wife kept saying how sad she felt. We love this city and to see it hurting and suffering is unbearable.
Is it still Americas’s Greatest City by the Bay? Close to the Golden Gate Bridge or watching the Sunset by Ocean Beach, it still is but when the moment is over, what’s left is a city direly needing to heal and get back on its feet.
A city devoid of tourist and dreamers is a city that lost an important piece of its soul. 200,000 COVID-19 deaths and 6.7 Million infected in this country may no longer scare or bother us, but the world sees us differently.
What’s happening in every city in America can no longer be hidden nor downplayed. This is not a made up scene. This is a real city with real people that lives in it.
Is truth enough to change people’s perception, behavior and attitude towards a seemingly unstoppable virus? I don’t know but so far, we all failed.
It took pain, anxiety and sadness for me to realize I needed to be kind to myself.
In this world, our happiness will not be given easily. In fact, people will find a way to take it. So, today care less of what others will say. Be nice to yourself instead of trying to please everyone. People will take advantage of your kindness and will tear your joy and positivity in pieces.
Fall in love with your life because no one can love it more than you do.
Fall in love with your life because it deserves to be happy too.
It’s never too late to feel like we matter again. You’d been a light and warmth to others. It’s okay to experience the same.
For the past 5 days, Californians are seeing a unnatural phenomenon like they are in planet Mars.
Eerie, creepy, apocalyptic are just some of the words that best describes it. In places where the wildfires are actually burning homes and killing people, it’s a horrific inferno on Earth.
Worsening COVID-19 Pandemic, increasing Racism and Violence, Political unrest and division, Recession and Economic Crisis, widespread Beastly Wildfires, just a series of continuous ongoing unfortunate events for California on its last 4 months of 2020.
We were optimistic once, but it’s time to open our eyes to truth and reality.
We need to plan and prepare for the worst scenarios and hope our best is enough . We need to stop pretending that these bad events are not happening or will just disappear soon. The signs couldn’t be ignored anymore because they are “in your face and in your nose,” happening!
Between being a dreamer and being practical, I’m choosing the one that gives me a better chance for survival.
Our neighbor caught my wife pulling out our Christmas tree from the storage room. She was surprised we are putting it up too early. Truth is, we just want to celebrate a time that brings us happiness and hope for as long as we can.
What is important to us will no longer be defined by seasons, people, society or social media. Normalcy doesn’t exist in 2020, but extraordinary does. Just adapting to the change and trend of times.
So, what’s next for California? I have a gut feeling but don’t want to burst anyone’s positivity and happiness bubble. How about you?
“Unmask the truth because only then can we truly live genuinely real and free.”
There was a time San Francisco is a city of welcoming smiles, positivity and endless fun. It was the perfect weekend escape and getaway. It was home away from home.
So, today, there will be no COVID-19 nor hundreds of wildfires burning around it from its neighboring Bay Area counties.
Today, we will have a happy ending, even if it’s a story that begins with “Once upon a time.”
Once upon a time in the city of love and diversity called San Francisco, we can just drive to see the Golden Gate Bridge anytime we want without fear of getting sick.
We can eat indoors delicious clam chowder and Dungeness crab to our our heart’s contentwithout mandates and paranoia.
Once upon a time, San Francisco is a city where true freedom is expressed by following one’s heart and dreams of adventure. It was a city where everyone lives in harmony regardless of race, culture, gender and economic background. There were no Karens nor Kens. Racism was unheard of. People actually take pride of individual uniqueness and kindness to all kinds of people. You ride a bus, and instructions comes in different languages like English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Filipino. There’s the Castro Neighborhood LGBTQ Community, China Town and Japan Town, places where it’s okay to be your beautiful self and celebrate you’re heritage and beliefs without fear or prejudice.
One upon a time in San Francisco, people walk the streets in their truest self without having to worry for their safety nor being accepted. It was a city for all. A refuge. A sanctuary. A paradise for everyone trying to simply belong and have a better life.
My hope, that the essence of San Francisco that beckons people from around the world will no longer be a story in the past tense, but something everyone can find and enjoy in the present.
My prayer is that the city and it’s people will find its way back, to be vibrant, to be joyful, to be welcoming, to be brave to fight for what makes it a haven for all seeking to find and express the best version of themselves.
Once upon a time, I left my heart in San Francisco and so did everyone who fell in love with it. May that be enough to rewrite new chapters that begins with, “They all live happily ever after.”
Never forget those that made you love your life all over again. Never forget those that made your dreams where you are happier come true.
Our extraordinary new normal just keep getting weirder, scarier just when we’re getting used to it.
The sky is blue this morning. It’s no big deal for some because it is suppose to be blue but when the Sun is red and the sky, a warning sign of fire, danger and emergency the day prior, it is a big deal. It means today is hope for many who had to leave home. Today means we could breathe better as the air quality is cleaner though not necessarily safer.
The danger isn’t over for the Northern California wildfires. It’s too vast and widespread to control by our firefighters. The thousands of lighting from a very unusual thunderstorm early morning of Sunday, struck many of our driest land creating the perfect bonfire close to people’s homes and residential communities. As of Wednesday, Bay Area has 23 major fires from the total of 367 wildfires all across California.
They called it “Firestorms.” I thought it only exist in Sci-Fi, End of the World movies, but here we are, seeing it happen live. Nothing surprises me anymore this 2020, unless…
So, what’s next?
Lesson of the week. We will never be fully prepared when calamities happens, nature or man made. We will never be totally ready for life changing events. It is good however to have a bag with all the important things and documents we need just in case it’s time to evacuate and leave. It helps immensely to have a God and some sort of Faith because disaster can happen in an instant, and a great miracle may all of what’s left.
Hottest week of Summer. Walking towards the car feels like opening a pre-heated oven. So glad, I’m actually at work enjoying a free all day Air Conditioning. Not everyone is lucky though, a co-worker has no electricity for 16 hours. Yesterday’s temperature went past 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Those with no AC have no choice but to go out for some cool air and comfort.
Some good news in my community. There’s less sick patients with COVID-19 symptoms this week. However, California’s COVID-19 numbers are still moving too fast and furious. Lowest average for August is 5,000 new cases per day, that’s 35,000 per week. California reached 100,000 new cases in less than a month. Total cases exceeds 643,000 with 11,606 deaths, placing our State to number 3 in most deaths in the country from COVID-19. Number 1 is New York, Number 2 is New Jersey. The difference is that the two other States have their COVID-19 deaths numbers in control close to a halt whereas California’s death numbers has been creeping steadily since the lockdown.
There is a lot of downplaying on the numbers of deaths as if those who died and who will die are insignificant. People keep saying case fatality rate for U.S.A. is only 3.1%, even people I know. U.S. population is about 331,245,770. If the virus eventually infects everyone, potentially 10,268,618 people can die if the virus creates havoc all year round for many, many years until an effective vaccine guarantees 100% effectivity. Flu season claim lives ever year despite of the yearly updated Flu vaccination. COVID-19 which is highly resistant, more infectious and deadly will claim more.
Anyone who tells us, “You’ll be fine. COVID-19 has very low chance of causing death or harm,” is being insensitive and dismissive to our real fears and worries. If something happens to us, those people won’t be there to help. They won’t be there to bear the loss, pain and hardship. I know this because few already told me this to my face in my real side of the world.
Being told, “You’re okay,” without even trying to know what makes you feel not okay is never okay.”It’s presumptive and annoying.
At this time of the pandemic, anxiety is high and valid, don’t shut off someone’s anxiety. Find time to listen because that may be just what people need.That may just be what we need.
If people continue to ignore the pleas of Gov. Newsom, our local leaders, public health officials and clinical medical professionals for Californians to do their part in controlling the COVID-19 outbreak, we will reach our first million of confirmed cases by December.
What does this mean for Californians?
1. Many parts of our economy will remain close. recovery will be harder and longer.
2. More people will loose their jobs. Unemployment will rise. People in hardship with no resources to help them will loose their homes or place of dwelling. Low and middle income Americans will suffer the effects of Recession.
3. Crimes will go up.
4. Our students can not return to school for classroom learning. Students with no high speed internet and other school resources will lag behind making equal education for all more of a dream than reality. Parents will struggle on finances because of day-care expenses or from cutting work hours or from quitting their jobs so they can assist their young children with online schooling.
5. More people will die or develop lingering complications. Bad recovery outcome leads to disability. Disability leads to forced unemployment and suffering. Someone will loose a grandparent, a parent, a spouse or partner, a son, a daughter, a friend until a truly effective vaccine is made. We will loose more healthcare workers and essentials as they are three times more vulnerable than the general healthy population.
6. Mental health problems like anxiety, depression, even suicide will go up.
7. More chaos. More civil unrest. People will be angry, frustrated, vengeful. People will get hurt. Division will escalate.
8. Another Lockdown though economically devastating, may be the last desperate action to stop more deaths and flatten the infection curve. We’re already on a semi-lockdown with some of our businesses forced to close or severely restricted.
Today, U.S. surpass 172,000 COVID-19 deaths and exceeds 5.5 million declared positive cases. This does not include the false negatives and the untested asymptomatic population.
We went to the mall this week to fix my son’s glasses. Main entrances are closed and people can go in only by appointments . Curb site orders are allowed for the few stores that stayed opened. Restaurants are take outs and outdoor dining. I hardly saw anyone eating. It was 104F degrees hot. A lady picked us up by the side door at the first floor and accompanied us to their store at the second floor. I asked her how they are doing and she replied, “We’re okay. We just have to do a lot of walking all day long.” The store hallways were empty and quiet. It’s been like this since the mall closed after 10 days of reopening. It will be like this till we have our act together.
If you still think COVID-19 is not serious, look around you. See what it has done to your community. See the pain of those who lost their jobs and love ones. See through the eyes of those afraid that they might be next.
The announcement of Democrat’s Presidential hopeful Joe Biden of his running mate made so many smile with excitement Tuesday. Kamala Harris, the first Woman of Color for Vice President brought joy to many, something America has been missing since COVID-19 and Racism events took over most of 2020. Her name brought hope. Her name is possibly destined to unite a divided America. Her name is an answered prayer for many of us wanting, pleading, dying for change.
So, if anyone had enough of the suffering, fear, anger, Racism, injustice, pain, loss, sickness and death, please register and vote this coming November. Be counted. Be heard. Be a part of history that will make America not just great again but a country that truly embrace democracy, humanity, kindness, generosity and mercy. We need to bring back everything that brings us pride, honor, justice and dignity. We need to heal and restore America. We need to resurrect and revive the dreams, freedom, opportunity and pursuit for happiness for all. We need to show our children we can be better. We need to show our children they can have a future to look forward to.
Many negative, even demeaning opinions, stories and news will be made to change people’s votes this coming election. When tempted, confused or in doubt, we go back and remember how it made us feel when we heard the announcement, “Kamala Harris, the first Black Woman and Asian American Woman for Vice President.” We go back to the pain of the past and history so it doesn’t happen and repeat again.
“The choice we make this November is going to decide the future of America for a very, very long time,” Biden said Wednesday. He is correct. Whether we head for disaster or be saved, it’s because of a choice we will be making and not anyone else.
Don’t let the lies, games and deception of Politics stop the Humanity screaming in our hearts. Don’t let the opinion of others drown our first instinct, and what our gut is telling.
I know I want change so my choice is clear and it has nothing to do if I’m a Republican or Democrat. I’m choosing the good of both and choosing who represents the most of that goodness. I’m choosing hope. I’m choosing humanity. I’m choosing the kind of America I want live in for a very, very long time.
We all woke up early to make sure everything is set up and ready for our son’s first day of on-line schooling. Our first year high schooler woke up at 6:00 AM, way ahead of mom and dad. He had break fast, took a shower, brush his teeth and wore presentable clothing as required by school. No sleepwear or pajamas. He was however barefooted. Feet can’t be seen on video camera. No need to buy expensive Adidas shoes this year.
A mixture of excitement and anxiety. A few technical difficulties like video app not showing student face and some app not connecting to device but overall rating is positive and optimistic.
Our son ended up using 3 computers. One desk top and two lap tops, one of which provided by his school. My son, was complaining and stressed out at the start of some of his on-line classes due to fixable glitches, but we reminded him to relax, enjoy and just be appreciative of what his school and teachers are doing. We told him, “Be thankful. Your school and teachers are really trying.”
Daily school schedule is 8:00 AM to 3:10 PM. Each on-line class is 50 minutes with 15 minutes break. P.E., he has to go out of our home and follow the on-line fitness exercise instruction of his P.E. teacher. About time to loose the Summer and COVID-19 weight gain and he definitely needs some Sun.
Motivation of the day, “I don’t know anything about Spanish. I’m sure I’m getting A-.” I asked my wife, “Did he say A-? I thought he meant B or C-.” My wife confirmed, “Yes, he said A-.” We both laughed quietly as he already told us we are too loud. Love the confidence. Motivated my day for sure.
I wish to thank Gov. Newsom and our school district board members of California for announcing early on-line classes due to the increasing COVID-19 outbreaks in our communities. They thought first of the safety of our teachers, school staff, students and parents instead of politics. That alone is heroic. That alone is an inspiration that humanity is still alive in this country. Lives will be saved and people can sleep at night better because of their selfless and wise decision.
I wish to thank our teachers and school staff for really taking on-line schooling seriously and for being a role model for the young minds and hearts they are molding to be the next generation Americans. There’s hope after all.
When numbers no longer scare people, we just pray for a miracle and hope everything we do is enough to protect ourselves and our family.
How much is too much?
Surpassing 5.1 million New Coronavirus confirmed cases in the U.S. in 6 months with more than 164,000 deaths. Possibly 10 Million cases with 300,000 deaths early next year. Our economy is surviving on stimulus and bail out funds not everyone is really able to avail nor our nation can afford. Poor gets poorer , rich gets richer, middle income suffocating on expensive mortgage, rent, taxes, household and hospital bills while being forced to get pay cuts. Many businesses have closed, unemployment are too many to count, homelessness is on the rise, signs of recession has began.
Many gave up trying because there seems to be no glimpse of things changing for the better. So why fight, when it’s a tremendous relief not to struggle. Why spend so much exhausting energy trying to change something that we can’t? Why not be free and just ignore the mandates? Why listen and see when it’s too stressful and negative. Why try really?
Mr. President please lead. We are tired and frustrated. We are getting sick, we may die. Please serve and protect. Please unite us all. If you are willing to fight for us against the New Coronavirus pandemic, we will fight with you. All cultures and ethnicities , Republicans and Democrats, NO superior Race, just ALL AMERICANS. But first, you need to believe that we are all equal and the same. You need to believe that the only way to win is to work it out together peacefully. If you believe it, we will believe it. Your words are power. Your words means life or death. We can’t win a war with half the army with no leader while the enemy is determined in full united merciless front to destroy us. Politics can wait, Humanity can’t.
By November Election, America may already be in a disastrous situation of no return. We’ve seen what the virus can do in a very short time. Each day we wait, the harder it gets to stop the pandemic. The longer we wait, the more difficult it is for our country’s economy to recover.
How much is too much? For some, at the brim. For others, not enough.
Normally, I’m optimistic, but after today’s news, I’m just being human.
It was the year of Superblooms. I haven’t seen this part of San Francisco this magical.
We walked along patches and patches of wildflowers. The cliffs were carpeted pink. It was a wonderland.
Nature gave us a rare glimpse of wonder beyond the ordinary. It was incredible. No words to describe it really except we were just so happy.
Strange, looking at the pictures now, there were only a handful of people to experience the magic but now that nature retreated back and COVID-19 has taken over the scenery, droves of people visit it everyday this Summer. Was nature right in keeping the magic low key?
Magic is already in you. We don’t have to travel to amazing places to feel it. We don’t have to scan our Instagram feed to find it. Just close your eyes. Imagine your inside your heart. Now, choose your happiest memories and just fly to it.
When things gets hard and loneliness hits full speed , we go back to a slower time where the heart is surfing the waves of happiness and no worries. Are we there yet?
Latest IHME Model projects nearly 300,000 people could die of coronavirus in the U.S. by December. Dr. Christopher Murray, Director of Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shared the results of the cumulative studies to CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Anderson Cooper. Highlights of their conversation were as follows:
1. Studies shows only 55% of people in the U.S. are using mask.
2. Mask provides 40% protection with accumulative effects over time.
3. 70,000 people would survive passed December if 95% of us wears mask or a piece of clothe on our face.
4. Foremost benefit of wearing mask is to protect the person who wears it. The other important benefit, it protects other human beings. Human beings like our parents, grandparents, spouse, children, relatives, friends, co-workers, teachers, neighbors, strangers.
5. Heart Challenge: Imagine entering a stadium with 70,000 people whose lives depends on us wearing a mask. Will we wear a mask then?
Surpassing 5 million Coronavirus positive cases and more than 162,000 deaths in America. With an average of 1,000 deaths per day since end of July, we are heading towards our catastrophic projected death numbers.
The horrors of Summer is just a preview of what’s coming in Fall and Winter. People could have both Flu and Coronavirus at the same time decreasing the chances of survival of both the vulnerable and the healthy.
We had been warned so many times. We were given so many chances to prepare. All the facts had been laid out and yet we are still not ready when the next bigger disaster happens.
If I know it will save me from dying, I will wear a mask. If I know it will save people around me from dying, I will wear a mask. If I know it will save you from dying, I will wear a mask. Knowing exponentially my actions will have a serious, possibly deadly effect in the lives of others, I will wear a mask.
For as long as it takes no matter how uncomfortable or inconvenient, I will wear a mask because a life is worth more than what’s comfortable or convenient.
A life once lost can never be replaced.
We can’t keep doing what we do and say, “I’m not part of the cause of the Coronavirus pandemic.”
Whether we have a role in the infection spread or still don’t care of what’s happening or we did all that we could, the outcome is the same for all, everyone suffers. Everyone falls down. Some however will never rise up because they’re already dead.
The power and story of the mask.
Once upon a time in the land of Google and Facebook, 12 warriors at a small medical facility were sent on a quest to battle an invincible, evil dragon named Coronavirus.
The King of the land had no idea how to defeat the Coronavirus so he gave the 12 warriors all the weapons and safety armors they can find except injecting them with bleach and disinfectant.
6 months and on going battle later, all of the 12 warriors are still alive while some of the warriors sent by the other kingdoms have died.
The King asked each of the warriors what helped them survive the Coronavirus and each came with the same answer, “We just wore the mask like we always do.”
The King scratching his head asked further, “And what else?” The 12 warriors speaking us one replied, “Well, we did not fight as individuals but fought as a team. When one is weak and injured, the other warriors protects and fight for that person. There’s no I or Me. We fought as We.”
100% percent left for battle, 100% returned home to celebrate the victory of being alive with their families with two simple weapons, a mask and each other.
Till this day, the 12 warriors are still fighting for their people and caring for the wounded as the Coronavirus has developed more powerful mutations of its own.
Will the 12 warriors make it to next deadlier phase of their battle? Only God knows. For now, they’re just trying to enjoy the day’s victory grateful.
Traveling the world, going to the beach, taking road trips, hiking nature outdoors, we all have our reasons for doing them but if narrowed down between fun and serenity, I choose serenity.
I wake up sometimes overwhelmed with anxiety. I start my day sometimes with deep longing and heartbreak for relationships I kept praying to heal. In all those days, I take a deep breathe and just keep trying.
So, between having fun and serenity, I choose serenity because at the end of the day, happiness no matter exhilarating will pass, but peace from within inspires the heart to keep beating.
We all are living in a dark, difficult time. Hope seems far. Anger seems closer ready to snap anytime. No matter how dim and scary the road is, we need to remember we can choose how our journey goes. We need to remember, we do have control of how the rest of our days are meant to be lived.
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. – Proverbs 4:23
My family's unwavering belief in me makes me feel that I can do anything, be anything. This blog is about the people that made a difference in my life and the many journeys we made together. Because of them,I get to dream again...and those dreams, they remind me each day that life is a gift and a blessing. A blessing that is full of goodness, joy and hope.