With so much being reported about the COVID-19 crisis and the lockdown, it becomes too easy to forget that this region is dynamic and has incredible momentum. Normal things moving forward give us all a sense of normality, after all it is the end of April and the San Diego summer is just around the corner.
As an Escondido resident, that city’s Palomar Heights project is one that I have been watching rather closely for several years. Redeveloping the old downtown hospital site has been a longtime dream for many and now it is taking a major step. Plans may have changed a few times, but things are now moving forward. As our page one story states, the Integral Communities $100 million to $120 million project will start with demolition of the old hospital buildings by early 2021. Lance Waite of Integral Communities is right when he says the site is the focal point when driving up Grand Avenue.
The developers are calling it a “lifelong community” with apartments, condos and retirement housing located together as a “community within a community.” There is something special about a residential project being planned in a way to allow residents of all demographics and age groups to become friends and socialize as neighbors should. It may only be me, but this sounds especially good right now in this era of social distancing.
This will be a welcome addition to the continuing revitalization of Escondido’s historic downtown.
On another positive note, last week the San Diego Blood Bank announced that it was seeing its first convalescent plasma donors from people who have recovered from COVID-19. While work is progressing to find a proven treatment, plasma taken from those who have recovered may immediately help patients currently fighting the virus, according to the blood bank. They state that this is because the plasma has developed antibodies against the virus and experience with historical infectious diseases such as the Spanish flu have shown that it can be a beneficial viral treatment and prophylactic medicine.
“I look forward to advancing the COVID-19 treatment and research efforts of our hospital providers and offering hope to the COVID-19 patients we serve,” said Dr. Mark Edmunds, chief medical officer of the San Diego Blood Bank.
As all of us especially now know, video technology is more than a simple business asset, it is vital as the lockdown stretches into its sixth week. From our children’s schooling, to a worship service, to even visiting the zoo, we now really know how important our tech is to keeping not only our businesses, but our lives moving forward. Group video apps have become increasingly important as more and more organizations are using the programs for participation in fundraisers, meetings, group training and now even job fairs. The National City Chamber of Commerce, Southwestern College and the South County Career Center announced recently that they will be holding a virtual Career Pathways Job Fair on Zoom from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 29. The job fair will be attended by up to 18 employers. Resource agencies will also be offering employment opportunities and tools to job seekers. Jacqueline Reynoso, president and CEO of the National City Chamber of Commerce, has called this event a prime example of strategic partnerships working to benefit the San Diego region -- and indeed it is.