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We're heading into a time of renewal...

We're heading into a time of renewal....

By Sharon Byrne, Executive Director, Montecito Association

This update is provided to you by the Montecito Association because these are extenuating circumstances in a pandemic crisis. We share this information daily with our membership by email. We hope you find this useful, and encourage you to support this work for our community by becoming a member. You can do so here.

Passover or Pesach is a celebration of spring, of birth and rebirth, of a journey from slavery to freedom, and of taking responsibility for yourself, the community, and the world. This year, It’s April 8-16. Happy Passover!

Easter is more than just cute bunnies and eggs. It’s about renewal and resurrection. Easter, also called Pascha (Greek, Latin) or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day after his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD.

And before Christianity took hold in the world, Easter was pagan, and that’s where it’s name comes from. In English-speaking countries, and in Germany, Easter takes its name from a pagan goddess from Anglo-Saxon England who was described in a book by the eighth-century English monk Bede. "Eostre was a goddess of spring or renewal and that's why her feast is attached to the vernal equinox."

So here we are – in the time of rebirth, renewal, and taking responsibility for the community and the world.

Right on time, apparently…

Today I want to tell you about how some love went out from and into the Montecito Community…and it totally fits in with the holidays upon us, and meets the moment we find ourselves in, and it’s pretty moving.

You have a wonderful neighbor here in Montecito in Barbara Hill. She is a marvelous soul. Facing being confined indoors, Barbara decided to sew masks during this lockdown:

I was excited, because masks are about as scarce as dragons now. She let me know they were ready, and I went to meet her today and pick them up, obeying all physical distancing guidelines, of course. Here’s Barbara:

She’s as adorable of a person as this picture indicates.

You may remember that the Santa Barbara County Health Dept issued guidance very last-minute just last weekend that all restaurant workers now needed to wear face coverings, even bandanas or scarves. Los Angeles went further and mandated customers visiting essential businesses have to wear them too, or be turned away.

Major problem: masks are tough to get, and if you try to get them online, the earliest shipments were out into May. I had heard the Health Dept would be making visits soon to check for compliance, and felt for our businesses who had zero warning and little chance of landing a supply of masks.

So Barbara is Right On Time, and her masks are invaluable right this moment. Armed with her masks, I went out on a delivery mission to our local businesses.

They were really happy to get this delivery!

Village Wine and Cheese Shop:

Via Vai:

Debbie’s Coffee Shop:

Ellie at Here’s the Scoop:

The Bucket Brigade is also making masks, and will be using our Montecito Community Hall (closed since March 14) to store and distribute them out to the wider community. Here are some shots from their “So You Think You Can Sew” mask race:

We’re partnering with the Bucket Brigade in letting them use the Community Hall to store and distribute cloth masks.

This is Montecito. We love our community, and we are sending some serious love into it, at a time when it’s most needed. We’re pulling together, yet again in a disaster, and this time it’s a global pandemic. You’re so tough and strong from what you’ve already endured, and here you are, yet again answering that call to love, with staying at home, keeping physical distance, not crowding trail and beaches, pulling together, sending donations to cover pandemic kits for others in need here, making masks during a global shortage, and making phone tree calls to check in on our neighbors.

Here’s a massive virtual hug to you from all of us in the Montecito Association! In tough times, you find out what you’re really made of.

Honestly, what you’re made of is awe-inspiring.

Please also send a little love to another essential business, and our Board Chair Megan Orloff is on the front lines here, and that's banking. Montecito Bank and Trust had the SBA loan program thrust on them, like many banks, last-minute without much guidance from the federal government, and they're working massive overtime to answer the phones, process loans, and serve the community. Thank you for stepping up in this crisis! So…you can stop reading here, if you like, and celebrate this time of renewal that’s descending upon us like a breath of fresh air in Spring, newly emboldened to explode into flower from all that cleansing rain. on for today’s updates...

Santa Barbara County Briefing:

Taking a look back for a second:

March 15 – first positive COVID19 test case in Santa Barbara county.

March 19 – the day Governor Newsom issued the stay-at-home order

Dr. Ansorg:

17 new cases today: age 20 to 70+

6 of these are part of the ongoing outbreak at the Federal Penitentiary in Lompoc. 10 inmates hospitalized, 2 in ICU. One staff member hospitalized.

260 total cases.

122 recovering at home

90 people recovered

40 hospitalized, 18 in ICU

6 cases pending

2 fatalities

23 different testing devices have been approved by the FDA. Only one is a test that checks for antibodies for the COVID-causing virus. Unfortunately, we don’t know the level of antibodies at which a person could be considered immune. Stanford studying it now, and it will lead to more sensitive tests. Will help us separate those immune from the disease from those at risk of getting it.

At this time, NO test is approved for do-it-yourself-at-home. Watch for scams, and don’t fall for it.

Right now we still only test pharyngeal passages with swabs, not blood tests.

Abbott NOW test approved by FDA, and in use by Cottage and Marian.

Understand the frustration that there is not more widespread testing.


At the Montecito Association, we’ve heard from several of you on the shortage of testing, and share your frustration. It’s time to start letting our county supervisors know that we really need to get more aggressive about testing. Los Angeles is setting an impressive lead here on mobile and drive-up sites. Do you want to be part of an advocacy effort to get more testing? Let us know and we’ll start an effort to raise our voices on this front.

White House Press Briefing:

Built thousands of beds all over the country. Washington State ready to return a field hospital, as it’s no longer needed. Nationwide, the number of new cases per day is flattening, so we’re reaching our peak. We’re already seeing fewer hospital admissions.

The amount of red tape that’s been cut through in getting new tests and medications approved is astonishing. The FDA has moved at a speed never seen before.

10,000,000 N95 masks on the way. Getting very few calls from governors needing anything. Surge is coming in certain areas.

Working to bring blood-based seriology tests to the market quickly so Americans can determine if they have immunology from already having had it. The NIH, CDC, and FDA are currently validating these antibody tests at breakneck speed. When validated, the production will scale up to tens of millions of tests. We’re leading the world in tests now.

US Military has deployed thousands of personnel to build 23 temporary hospitals in 12 states for thousands of beds. We’re hoping we won’t need them now.

Our mortality rates are lower in the US, still above Germany, but far lower than Spain, Italy or France at this point.

Dr. Birx:

What was a doubling of cases every couple of days is now moving to 8 days. Seeing this in New York and New Jersey, which seem to be stabilizing. Baltimore, DC, and Philadelphia similarly changing their curves.

We’re united in physical distancing, and it has really worked.

We continue to applaud California, Washington and Oregon. They’ve managed to keep the virus from going logarithmic.

Dr. Fauci:

This is the end of the bad week we predicted, and we’re seeing the leveling off now. We’ve made important advances, so don’t pull back just yet because some places are still going through their spikes, or trying desperately to avoid going into one. We’re a big country, and not just big cities. We have to pull out of this in both big cities and across the country.

There are a lot of candidate interventions being developed and sent into randomized trials. Go to to see them. These are the gold-standard of how you find out if something is safe and effective.


16 sterilization machines are being placed around the country. They can sterilize 80,000 N95 masks per day.

Gowns are also a concern – can cloth gowns be used and laundered? Yes – there is guidance on the CDC site now.

Guidance has been put on FDA website now as to how to make cloth gowns for hospital use to bolster supply.

Surgeon General:

Met with 2,000 Hispanic leaders and African American leaders across the country. Talked about alarming trends of COVID19 on communities of color. Majority of deaths in New York have been Hispanic. These communities have higher rates of co-morbidity going into this crisis.


While you can look at the Johns Hopkins site

for daily totals, and it will show you we’re at nearly 1.7 million confirmed cases worldwide, with the US about to break 500,000 of those cases, the thing to watch is the mortality rate. It’s quite different across countries that have gone through this earlier than us (in a world where this situation literally moves faster than internet time). Here’s a look at cases with mortality rates, from Real Clear Politics, and it’s eye-opening:

While of course we want to be closer to Germany’s rate, the United States is doing quite well, despite the highest confirmed case load, on our mortality rates.

Finally, on a positive note, not to be outdone by our county’s first responders saluting health care workers, here’s the Lancaster police (UK) saluting theirs. (and I think it really moved the hospital staff to tears)

While of course we want to be closer to Germany’s rate, the United States is doing quite well, despite the highest confirmed case load, on our mortality rates. Finally, on a super positive note, not to be outdone by our county’s first responders saluting health care workers, here’s the Lancaster police (UK) saluting theirs. (and it looks like it really moved their hospital staff). I hope you enjoy this renewal weekend, stay safe, stay well, get some fresh air and exercise (it boosts your immunity) while enjoying the beauty of this community. Kind regards, Sharon Byrne, Executive Director 805-636-0475

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This update is provided to you by the Montecito Association because these are extenuating circumstances in a pandemic crisis. We share this information daily with our membership by email. We hope you


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