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Game of odds 

COVID-19's such a sneaky little devil. As of Jan. 25, the new wave of cases wasn't cresting just yet, the SLO County Public Health Department warned in a press release.

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The county had 3,059 active cases with 54 in the hospital, 10 in the ICU, and five more deaths of folks between 70 and 100 years old. Since June 15, residents who weren't fully vaccinated made up 78.8 percent of hospitalized cases and 76.1 percent of deaths attributed to the virus.

And you know how much it costs to take a little lie down attached to a ventilator in the hospital? If you're uninsured, the average charge (which is basically a starting price that can be negotiated down, thanks to America's stellar health care system) for all of that save-your-life-from-COVID-19 care is $460,000. If you're insured? Between you and your insurance company, it's an average of $127,000, according to a recent study from FAIR Health.

Ouch.

And even if you die while you're in the hospital, somebody still has to pay your medical bill. You know how much a vaccine costs you? It's free!

Go get one, and save yourself money in the long run, if a $250 gift card from Cuesta College or saving the life of your grandpa with multiple co-morbidities like heart disease and diabetes isn't enough of an incentive for you to get the jab(s).

But onto really URGENT!!! news.

In the last week of January, 3rd District SLO County Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg announced via three separate emails—the last of which was "URGENT!!!"—that she was announcing her "re-election" campaign over Zoom!

Is it a re-election campaign, though? It's not, because Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed her to fill in for the late 3rd District Supervisor Adam Hill until the next election cycle. So Ortiz-Legg's actually announcing her "election" campaign, no "re" needed! And, everyone already knew she was going to run, so what's so urgent about this news?

Thank goodness we've got CalCoastNews around to give us the real news. Did you guys hear? Former SLO city Mayor Heidi Harmon had problems finding a charger for her electric car and didn't make it to a protest in San Francisco because of it. What would we do without the intrepid investigators over at that website?

I guess we would have had to watch Harmon's now-mostly deleted devolution over Instagram ourselves. But we don't have to because those CalCoast reporters pieced together her Instagram story rant about a lack of adequate electric vehicle charging locations and put it on YouTube for all to see. Why was this important to spend time on?

I'm not sure, but I'm willing to bet it was to fuel the outrage machine and clicks. I guess website readers like to stick it to the people they love to hate, even if those people are no longer elected officials. Personally, I'd like that five minutes of my life and that click back.

I could use that extra few minutes to catch up on what the conservative members of the SLO County Board of Supervisors majority are up to—other than crossing their fingers that the redistricting lawsuit SLO County Citizens for Good Government filed against the county goes nowhere fast. It looks like the case against the Patten map has its first court hearing on Feb. 10, where Citizens for Good Government will ask a judge to essentially put the map on standby while the case makes its way through the court system.

Citizens for Good Government will argue that the new map was "blatantly" gerrymandered by Republicans. It seemed pretty blatant from where I'm standing, but I'm standing right next to my liberal bias, so there's that. The Feb. 10 hearing gives five days of breathing room to the county clerk-recorder, who needs to get the secretary of state voter precinct data for the June primary by Feb. 15.

Pucker up! That's cutting it close! I'm sure glad we've got a professional at the head of that department and not some random person who plays political games that they believe will benefit them (I'm looking at you, Stew Jenkins, who after missing out on the SLO County Clerk-Recorder appointment announced his candidacy for the office).

This lawsuit's Hail Mary attempt could allow the upcoming primary elections to proceed with the old supervisorial districts, giving liberals perhaps one last chance to tip the odds in this little rural Democrat majority county where conservatives maintain a stubborn grip on the reins of power and legislative agendas. Wow. That was a dramatic statement, even for me!

May the odds be forever in your favor.

While Republicans wait with pursed lips, I'm sure liberals are positively hyperventilating with anticipation. It would make current 2nd District Supervisor Bruce Gibson's next re-election attempt boatloads easier and could put 4th District candidate Jimmy Paulding's butt in 4th District Supervisor Lynn Compton's chair. Ortiz-Legg's chances aren't impacted, because she's running against Stacy "I Went to D.C. to Watch the Insurrection, Not Participate" Korsgaden to represent the old 3rd District as there are technically still two years left in the term that Hill was initially elected to in 2020 and Ortiz-Legg was only appointed to fill half of it. Confusing, right?

All of it's confusing. But, boy, it's sure exciting! Δ

The Shredder is playing the long game. Send comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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