Signs announce the closure of Tamarack Beach in Carlsbad amid the coronavirus pandemic. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

This is our second week recording the podcast from “coronavirusland.” And the news hasn’t stopped. It is the opposite of stopped. As the economy — and work at large — slowed to stem the spread of coronavirus, a lot of confusion and mixed messages bounced across the internet and local government.

So hosts Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts broke down a few of the biggest stories that sprung up this week.

Dems Hit Hard

The coronavirus appears to be spreading in the local San Diego Democratic Party right now.

Three high-profile Democrats have announced positive tests for coronavirus: Chula Vista City Councilman Steve Padilla, Democratic Party Chairman Will Rodriguez Kennedy and San Diego City Council candidate Kelvin Barrios.

As Keatts reported this week, many activists and campaign workers are feeling rattled as more positive test results pop up in the community, which spent a lot of time together recently amid the primary election.

A Crucial Week

Forest Rowher, who studies viruses at San Diego State University, recently sent an email to his colleagues that went viral. It explained why he was so worried about the coronavirus this week in particular.

In the email, Rowher mapped out how things could look for the region in the near future. He said it usually takes about two weeks from when a person gets infected to when they need to go to a hospital.

So he did the math to project that about two weeks from now is when the local hospitals could potentially hit their maximum capacity.

If we want to avoid that, then staying home this week really matters.

The VA’s Work-From-Home Problem

Speaking of staying at home: Employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs in San Diego say they tried to do that but couldn’t.

VOSD’s Maya Srikrishnan reported this week that several employees in one department have tested positive for the coronavirus, and others who work there believe they could have been exposed because they were unable to work from home. They say they were required to either come into work or to use personal leave time if they wanted to quarantine at home.

Even as local governments are urging the public to adapt to our new reality, they continue to struggle to follow their own directives.

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Nate John is the digital manager at Voice of San Diego. He oversees Voice's website, newsletters, podcasts and product team. You can reach him at

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