Things That Matter

A Latina Nurse Named Helen Cordova Was the First Person to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine in California

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On Monday, the first person in California was administered the COVID-19 vaccine and her name was Helen Cordova. Cordova is an intensive care nurse at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. She is also a brave woman who deserves to be celebrated for her courage.

The doctors, nurses and elected officials (including California Governor Gavin Newson) applauded after Cordova received the vaccine.

“I’m very excited that we have the vaccine, because it provides hope for the future,” Cordova said afterward, according to The Los Angeles Times.

But after she got the vaccine, Cordova went back to work–business as usual. Four other healthcare workers received the vaccine after her, including a respiratory therapy technician named Raul Aguilar.

It is significant that the first Californian to receive the vaccine was Latina, as Latinos have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus.

Latinos make up 39% of California’s population and 40% of frontline workers in California. 58% of the California COVID-19 cases and 48% of COVID-19 related deaths have been from Latinos. The L.A. County Department of Public Health reports that California Latinos are more than twice as likely as white Californians to contract the virus.

To make matters worse, Latinos are more likely to be suspicious of the coronavirus vaccine. “In communities of color in particular, there is a real history of abuse by the medical system that creates a potentially higher level of skepticism,” said Dr. Robert Wachter chair of the Department of Medicine at UC San Francisco to the LA Times.

Hopefully, patients like Helen Cordova will inspire confidence in the Latino community that the vaccine is, indeed, both safe and effective.

Shortly after Cordova received the vaccine, Governor Newsome tweeted out: “History made.”

But earlier in the day at Kaiser Permanente, Governor Newsome was slightly more somber, as California (like every other state) is facing its most grim stretch of the pandemic so far. In the last week, the Golden State averaged 32,858 new COVID-19 cases a day.

“We are in the midst of the worst moment of this pandemic,” he said. “So today is hopeful, and it’s reason to be optimistic, but let’s be mindful of where we really are.”

Three other California cities received shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, including San Diego, San Francisco and Eureka. According to reports, the vaccine will become available to the general public in the spring.

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Have A Virtual Hot Date? Here’s How To Make Sure It Doesn’t Suck

Culture

Have A Virtual Hot Date? Here’s How To Make Sure It Doesn’t Suck

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For the single introverts among us, lockdown might seem like the perfect opportunity to re-charge our social batteries and have some much needed alone-time. But no, thanks to the wonders of technology and just how damn adaptable human beings are, virtual dating has totally become a thing. 

For better or for worse, people are dating just as much as ever – albeit through a screen. So if you’re using dating apps during lockdown, arranging video dates and looking for virtual date ideas, here’s a handy guide on how to stay safe and how to ace virtual dating.

Make a damn effort

Act as if the date was in person and get ready accordingly. Shower if you haven’t already that day — it’ll make you feel a lot better — and put on your favorite outfit. Even if it’s not seasonally appropriate, who cares? Wear the sundress pushed all the way back in your closet. Put on makeup if that’s your thing, and do your hair. 

It makes all the difference not only in how you present yourself but by how you perceive yourself. You’ll feel better on the date, more like your “usual” self. 

Figure out your camera setup beforehand

Pro-tip: Do all this the day before, or at least an hour before, the date starts. That way you’re not scrambling and worrying about your angles. Decide if you’re going to use your phone or computer. Put it at eye-level, if possible. If you’re using a laptop, you can place it on a stack of books, but you can also DIY it by leaning your phone against your laptop screen (which can have its own book stack setup) or anything else you can find. 

And…lighting…lighting….lighting! Set yourself up with some good, flattering lighting before you start the call. Find a place that’s the most flattering in your house. Be sure you’re not backlit by a window which can wash out your face.

Simulate real date ideas

Credit: Luis Alvarez / Getty Images

Although you obviously can’t “grab a drink” together, you can simulate that. Text before the date and decide if you’ll be drinking wine, coffee, or eating dinner “together.” You can even do a twist on “Netflix and chill,” simultaneously using Netflix’s “party” function; if you go that route, choose something campy or that you’ve both seen before so you can chat easily during it.

Trust your instincts

“A nip slip may not be appropriate for a date with a new person,” Moraya DeGeare, a licensed marriage and family therapist, joked to Refinery 29. “It’s modern times, so I think there will be the temptation for people to be really bold and ask about FaceTime sex. People are horny and trapped in their houses. On one hand, that’s okay, but on the other, you’re risking someone taking screenshots,” she cautions. “Listen to your intuition and don’t do something you don’t feel comfortable with.”

She adds that you shouldn’t take the call from bed, because “you’re immediately sending all these other signals unintentionally.” Generally, she says you should conduct the date as you would in person.

Expect awkwardness to happen, because it will happen

Credit: Peter Dazely / Getty Images

Awkwardness isn’t necessarily a bad thing and, when dating is involved, it’s inevitable. First dates in real life have their own clumsy moments, so don’t beat yourself up if your camera freezes for a moment, or if you talk over the other person. It’s going to happen! Just laugh about it and move on.

Stay safe and comfortable

Although it may seem like common sense, being cooped up inside for so long has left many of us lacking some of the most basic people skills. Remember to not give out any of your personal details – think home address and bank details – and watch out for any suspicious links that might come through in the chat.

Before the date, it’s also a good idea to do some recon on your date’s social media to make sure they are who they say they are. Also, don’t show your face on camera if they’re not showing theirs, that’s a serious red flag.

And lastly, know that you can end the date whenever you want to. You don’t owe anybody anything and it’s totally fine if you’re feeling uncomfortable or in danger to just end the call. But remember, basic dating etiquete also still remains so don’t just close your computer screen without saying goodbye because you’re just not feeling the vibe.

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California Sets Vaccination Plan For Agricultural Workers During Next Phase

Things That Matter

California Sets Vaccination Plan For Agricultural Workers During Next Phase

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The world is racing to vaccinate everyone to put a stop to the relentless Covid-19 pandemic. In the U.S., states and counties are rolling out their own plans based on suggestions from health experts. California, home to the largest population of farmworkers, is making them a priority.

California has laid out their vaccination plan and farmworkers are being prioritized.

California is facing a relentless Covid-19 surge of infections, deaths, and hospitalizations. According to The New York Times, California has the second-highest level of infections per capita in the U.S. More than 30,000 people have died of Covid in California and the vaccination effort has been severely lagging.

California’s vaccination plan has been criticized for its very slow roll out.

According to the California Department of Public Health, more than 816,000 doses of the virus have been given to residents. There have been more than 2 million vaccine doses shipped to California. Currently, California, the most populated state in the country, is still in Phase 1A. Phase 1A is for healthcare workers and long-term care residents. The Vaccinate All 58 campaign claims that there are 3 million people in California in Phase 1A. Almost 40 million people live in California.

Activists have been calling on Governor Gavin Newsom to make sure that farmworkers are prioritized.

California is home to the largest concentration of farmworkers in the U.S. The Center for Farmworker Families claims that 500,000 to 800,000 farmworkers, or about 1/3 to 1/2 of the farmworker populations, live in California. Seventy-five percent of farmworkers in California are undocumented.

As the rest of the state was able to shelter in place, farmworkers did not stop working. They provided a necessary lifeline to the nation in keeping the food supply running. Farmworkers are more likely to contract Covid because of their living conditions. Studies show that the low wages that farmworkers are paid means that many live in crowded conditions.

READ: As The U.S. Rolls Out The COVID-19 Vaccine, What’s The Future Of Vaccine Access In Latin America?

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