Life and Times of Alex Esguerra — Housing Crisis

Writing Personal Histories on Covid-19 for future generations - Part 1

Posted by noreply@blogger.com (Alex Esguerra) on


Heroes of a Pandemic Heroes of a Pandemic is a good start on writing personal histories and experiences on this pandemic called Corona virus. I'll link this together with Differential Effects of Intervention Timing on COVID-19 Spread in the United States This study gives weight to one theory — and cautions against reopening the country without adequate ability to control new outbreaks. Researchers said 54,000 deaths could have been prevented in the U.S. had states implemented social-distancing guidelines earlier. And they warn tens of thousands more could perish as the country begins to reopen.

January 2020 news started to spread over the Corona virus in different context in the US. In San Francisco's bustling convention business for example, The Fancy Food Show, Intersolar-Photonics conferences that month had shown signs on the impact of conference attendees and exhibitors. Exhibition halls were drastically getting changed real time as show management had to fill and move exhibitors around. The issue that time was International Exhibitors like from China, Korea, Germany, the UK called off last minute that the shows had empty booths. 

Mid February 2020, San Francisco's big RSA Security conference took a toll when traditionally the long lines in Registration didn't turn out all these years. The Mayor of San Francisco, London Breed declares an Emergency for the City, the first one which raise eyebrows in all facets. Today, this step in history will be recorded as the first intervention which we could have turn the alarms as a nation. Kudos to San Francisco having suffered all the disparities of HIV and the 1918 pandemic notwithstanding economics to the most vulnerable that will eradicate a big part of the city's population if the tides were turned and it became the epi-center like New York.

Social distancing as the best intimidation for this virus then and now is a huge challenge to a bustling metropolitan cities like San Francisco and New York where everyone takes public transit, walks to work. San Francisco's huge housing problem and disparity having so many homeless and SRO's added to the low income minorities sharing an a one bedroom apartment with 4 people. So in March, San Francisco's mayor realized the nightmare at hand and again San Francisco became the first city to order a "Shelter in Place". This followed with 6 cities establishing a county effort and which immediately followed by Gavin Newsome, declaring the State of California to have a shelter in place order.  

These efforts where culminated with the Heroes on our public health sector, the epidemiologist, the scientist, immunologist science and data. As Governor Newsome of California mentioned the state is also blessed having some of the most advanced teaching hospitals and laboratories which is now heavily involved in the finding the cure and testing.

In March, a week and a half after the shelter in place order, with reservations I rode the bus. In pre-pandemic days the underground muni was the best method moving around the downtown area. The underground as a preventive measure after an operator turn positive for covid-19. Where I took the bus, there was an ambassador to ensure social distancing. Boarding was only through the rear side, I tried just to stand but concerned I might slip and fall standing and not trying to hold a rail, I took out a cleaning wipes for s chair and sat down. Half-way people had mask and where trying to distance. Another stop came the influx of vulnerable population, no mask standing and sitting. As we also know some of the city's vulnerable suffered on mental health challenges, so the way San Franciscan's deal with them is just let them have their own space. 

I went down on Market Street's Union Square shopping area with the plywood panels on Gap, Levis, etc., This Monday San Francisco finally allowed curbside pickup and delivery for retail stores. The Mayor says she is planning on Phase 2B in 2 weeks time.

Researchers expected to see a surge in new cases and deaths spiking in early to mid-June, even if social-distancing measures are put back into place. Even a one-week delay in reinstating social distancing could result in another 23,000 deaths by July 1. The Bay area and California did an aggressive step on the onset beginning with it's tech companies having their employees work from home even before there was a shelter in place program. This made a huge difference in mitigating as otherwise it would have been the epi=center.

The first days were crucial. “During the initial growth of a pandemic, infections increase exponentially. As a consequence, early intervention and fast response are critical,” the researchers wrote.A report in The New York Times, citing the analysis said that if the US had begun locking down cities and limiting social contact on March 1, two weeks earlier than when most people started staying indoors, about 83 per cent of the people who died so far from the virus could have been saved.

This is the part where historians are now looks like debating on writing history for the history books timeline and analysis. Presidential historians will have to make a fact finding aside from the TV clips on how the administration handed this pandemic since it's first reported case in the State of Washington. As preliminary reports come up it even narrates that the first case originated from the bay area. Density and contamination are culprits in exposure. The question now lies on what happens should be be a rise on cases and deaths again since the 50 states have now reopened. 

More to come in writing this personal history series on Covid-19. Stay safe. Social distance and wear a mask to save someone.




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Nowadays, Fighting for Housing in America is a pandemic plaque in the modern technology era

Posted by noreply@blogger.com (Alex Esguerra) on

With the onset of the tech boom, today's lifestyle focus on apps, smart devices and lights, siri, social media practically on automation. An presidential election coming, absurd political parties bickering with candidates laying on platforms. Yet in the America, the richest and greatest country on earth thrives two of the worst problems typical in a 3rd world country - Homelessness and Access to Affordable Housing. 


In 1998, when the  tech boom started and the markets crash, one of the reasons I founded, ADLE International was focus on continuing my outreach for people with low income, the elderly, the disabled, the marginalized youth, veterans and societies most vulnerable to disparity, discrimination and inequality due to having limited financial means and resources. Two decades after I can't just tell myself I can't believe  the problem is still here and for all you know has gotten worst.

Part of the culprit lies on the severe income brackets of the so called rich, very rich and low income nowadays extreme poverty level. The State Medical and Medicaid systems for example classify lower income needing extra help if monthly personal cash reserves are below $2000 in San Francisco, CA when even an SRO (Standing Room Only aka Single Room Occupancy) in it's poor Tenderloin neighborhood range from $800 to $1300 and a typical Studio cost $1400 to $2,000 a month. It does not do the math as if you held $2001 anticipating just your rent, your no longer qualify for extra help and Medical/Medicaid might even cancel your enrollment.

The biggest challenge on top of this complication is if you just move to the city of San Francisco, there are no low income housing unless you want to go on to this massive wait list on the properties considered low income and affordable from 9 months to 5 years. If you have a parent on SSI (Social Security Income) that can no longer live alone and needs assisted living do the math = $900/month income and a typical shared assisted living which 95% only accepts private pay require $5000/month the cheapest shared room. Hence, is why part of the homeless population in the city are the vulnerable very elderly and even veterans who serve as there is no housing!

So when we were listing a book on our website today I said I have to write a blog even though it's been a while I haven't done one. Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America
Conor Dougherty (Author) I believe made a good case presentation on this book  as he writes. "A stunning, deeply reported investigation into the housing crisis

Spacious and affordable homes used to be the hallmark of American prosperity. Today, however, punishing rents and the increasingly prohibitive cost of ownership have turned housing into the foremost symbol of inequality and an economy gone wrong. Nowhere is this more visible than in the San Francisco Bay Area, where fleets of private buses ferry software engineers past the tarp-and-plywood shanties where the homeless make their homes. The adage that California is a glimpse of the nation's future has become a cautionary tale."

Indeed San Francisco has won the title of the most expensive city in the West and at times now have gone over New York becoming the most expensive city in the US. Oracle's OOW - Oracle Oracle Openworld Conference one of the biggest technology conferences in the last decade and a half this year finally left San Francisco to Las Vegas losing millions of tourist revenues for the city. Some of the conference attendee feedback received were of the so exuberant high cost of hotel rooms, the city has gotten dirty and a resounding majority stated homelessness. The cities Moscone Center perimeter for the yearly event has the various surrounding hotels in the union square shopping center as well the tenderloin neighborhood where the cities homeless are visible.

Dr. Sonja Trauss story in the book is the exact case scenarios by so many people living in the San Francisco Bay area. I really recommend spending some time reading this book so you can get a real store glimpse of why?





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