Ashely Jepsen (left) and Stephanie Campbell (right) hold a painting of their brother Dale Campbell II at Eternal Hills Mortuary and Crematory on Nov. 22, 2022, who passed away from complications from Covid-19.
Ashely Jepsen (left) and Stephanie Campbell (right) hold a painting of their brother Dale Campbell II at Eternal Hills Mortuary and Crematory on Nov. 22, 2022, who passed away from complications of Covid-19. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

The second year of the pandemic proved to be less violent than the first. The total number of Covid-19-related deaths were cut nearly in half. 

Specialists in the field credit the widespread availability of vaccines. But as Jesse Marx and Will Huntsberry report after analyzing thousands of county records, the median age of death also dropped.

That means the virus wiped out a younger proportion of San Diegans as time went on.

Older people — 65 and above — were still much more likely to pass away with a Covid infection, but their share of the total went down 10 percent after March 2021. For middle-aged people, it rose 21 percent. And for younger people, it spiked 144 percent.

Dale Campbell’s II name can be seen on a wall at Eternal Hills Mortuary and Crematory on Nov. 22, 2022, who passed away from complications of Covid-19. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

The reporters spoke to the family of a 40-year-old grocery store worker from Oceanside who refused to get vaccinated for political reasons, over the protests of his loved ones. 

To help understand the trend countywide, public health professionals point to the reopening of society and people’s changing behaviors and attitudes towards the virus. They also point to different vaccination rates among age groups, a lack of insurance, and disruptions in the healthcare industry that forced some to avoid or delay treatment for chronic conditions. 

These are just some of the findings that Voice will publish in the coming days and weeks as part of a series.

Read the first piece in its entirety here.

In Other News 

  • In a new op-ed for Voice of San Diego, political campaign consultant Eva Posner makes the case for campaign workers. She argues that a lot of practices in campaigns — as well as strict spending limits — often result in the exploitation of campaign workers. 
  • Retail shops and businesses in San Diego’s San Ysidro neighborhood continue to deal with the aftermath of travel restrictions brought on by the pandemic. Despite the holiday season, which is usually busy for them, businesses are struggling. A leader with the chamber of commerce told KPBS that sales are still down 25 percent from what they used to be pre-pandemic. Overall 200 businesses closed and thousands lost their jobs, KPBS reports.  
  • The Union-Tribune profiled former mayor of Imperial Beach Serge Dedina, who is exiting politics and returning to environmental activism. 
  • The Union-Tribune also reports that plans to develop a budget friendly hotel along Pacific Highway are now dead. 
  • NBC reports on the “trio of viruses” that local doctors are worried about now that Thanksgiving celebrations have passed. 

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. 

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