Opinion: April 15, 2020

Plus letters to the editor

Members of the California National Guard help the Second Harvest Food Bank of Watsonville during a food distribution event last Friday at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Organizers expected 3,000 families. PHOTO: TARMO HANNULA

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

As we go into our second month of shelter-in-place in Santa Cruz County, the foremost questions on most people’s minds are “When will it end, and how?” Answers have been scarce, but in this week’s cover story, Jacob Pierce examines the question from several different angles and explains the possibilities that are being considered—some hopeful, some hard. It’s a thorough and insightful look at what lies ahead, and I urge you to read it ASAP.

Last week, I mentioned how you can support reporting like this in Good Times by donating at This week, I’m happy to relay that we’ve added another way to help keep local news alive in Santa Cruz County and get your weekly GT fix: subscribe, and have us delivered to your front door every Wednesday! Go to for details.

I also wanted to mention that Santa Cruz poet Ellen Bass will be doing a virtual reading from her new book of poetry, Indigo, on Tuesday, April 21, at 6pm (go to or for more information). Bass was named Best Local Poet by readers in our Best of Santa Cruz County balloting this year; you can see all the winners in the Best of Santa Cruz County magazine out on stands now, and Bass herself will be featured in next week’s issue of GT

Lastly, a correction: in announcing GT’s first-place win in the General Excellence category of the California Journalism Awards, I wrote that it was the first time the paper had won that highest of honors. Not quite! GT also took first place back in 2006, back when the awards were called the Better Newspapers Contest.


Letters to the Editor


Re: “Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office Will Enforce Shelter-in-Place Order” (GT online, 4/9): Our cytokines are part of our immune system that perform what may be likened to a controlled burn to thwart fire danger. A cytokines storm occurs when they are deployed so aggressively they attack and kill even the body’s own healthy tissue in a disproportional attack on a virus, a “scorched earth” approach. This is what made the Great Influenza in 1917-18 so deadly, it was the result of a cytokines storm.

There are many instances lately where otherwise young healthy individuals have died of COVID-19 and it was said to have been the result of a cytokines storm, too. This is a serious pandemic.

But I have to wonder if the recent closure of beaches, parks and other economic and social restrictions aren’t also akin to a cytokines storm? Fear can become an even greater scourge than the disease itself. 




I am married to a Starbucks barista. He left his profitable tech job and moved to Santa Cruz to pursue some long lost hobbies and a lifestyle that was completely different from the Silicon Valley world in which he was enmeshed. He has been working for Starbucks for 12 years now, declining any managerial post, but enjoying the aspect of a community coffee shop and offering hospitality and friendship as well as the coffee.  

Starbucks has now had to close its stores—hopefully temporarily—due to the coronavirus crisis.

I was so impressed to find out that in this time of crisis, anxiety, instability, that the company offered its employees, whom they call partners, ongoing health benefits. As well, the choice to continue work with a $3 raise, or stay at home with ongoing pay, called disaster relief. They are also offering a free drink and food item daily for the employee and their family. This continues for a month, thus far. The manager personally called my husband at home to discuss which option would be best-suited to his needs, and the company’s Benefit Centre thanked him for his service, and was very helpful.

Really, in this time of uncertainty, to receive this sort of grace from a corporation feels extraordinary—and, unfortunately, unusual. I am so impressed by this humane behavior, what a bright spot in a gloomy landscape.

Linda Joshua, RNNP | Santa Cruz



In GT’s Best of Santa Cruz County 2020 magazine, the category of Best Veterinary Clinic was mistakenly omitted. The winner in the category was Adobe Animal Hospital, with Coast Veterinary Services and Scotts Valley Veterinary Clinic the runners-up.


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