Richardson, Andrea Williams, California discussed on Morning Edition
Our hosts and DJs, so please go to kcrw dot com slash giff. Good morning. This is the California report. I'm Saul Gonzalez in Los Angeles. It's a chilling development in the pandemic. The availability of intensive care unit beds at many Southern California hospitals has reached 0% because of the explosion of covert patients. Position. Brad spell. Berg is the chief medical officer of L. A county USC Medical Center, one of the area's largest hospitals. We have no ICU beds. We are just continually 24 hours a day scrambling to move patients around Flood just continues. When I see youse reaches 0% capacity Hospital's going to surge mode, moving patients to other hospital areas like the emergency rooms forecast. Predictive infection rates continue. There could be thousands of people in need of ICU beds in the region by early next month. To deal with patient overflow. The state is opening temporary field hospitals across California. The covert pandemic has been tough for California's childcare providers as well, many of struggle to keep their doors open in order to care for the Children of a central workers. And they're getting little support themselves. Cake reads Katie or spoke with two women who are trying to make it all work. Child care provider Cotino Richardson has a lot on her plate these days. She's juggling kids aged two tonight, Okay, You guys have to make sure we use our inside voice and some new responsibilities as well. Remember, we have our school age kids here. Zoom in today. Richardson owns and operates the Littles daycare out of her home in Hayward, California. The pandemic has presented a number of challenges, including dealing with distance learning. Normally, Richardson wouldn't see her older kids until after school got out. But with many of their parents working, she has made her home their school. Now we're also juggling 3 to 4 different teachers that salami with the Children. So now we're finding quiet spaces so that they can kind of focus. Richardson isn't doing it on her own. She has the help of her assistant and friend, Andrea Williams, Andrea. How are you this morning, Williams said she had another job working with autistic kids. But she stopped working there in an attempt to limit her social bubble. This is her home, and then I go to my home, which I have a grand baby. That's three years old at my home and matter lot on helping my mom. So I have to make sure that I'm safe at all times to make sure that they're safe. When I go home. It's a stressful situation for everyone. Richardson and Williams say they're constantly acting as teachers trying to keep the kids protected and trying to keep Richardson's home extra clean. And while schools have budgets and staff and supply chains to help get them through Childcare providers are largely on their own. These women say it can be exhausting. Everything has just come down even, you know, just washing her sheets. They're blank is more often and then herself because she has to buy these extra supplies for her home to make sure that she say, I have to buy supplies from my home to make sure that I'm saved and we didn't get anything for been essential workers. Thousands of providers across the state have decided it's easier to close than to navigate the pandemic. The Department of Social Services estimates more than 2400 providers have permanently closed. Thousands more have endured temporary closures after being exposed to cove. It In order to keep her doors open. Richardson and Williams makes safety a top priority. They were masks and face shields and try to limit their physical contact with the kids who also wear masks. There are procedures in place for drop off and pick up all the kids have to put their coats into a tote, so they're not touching we have. Ah, thermometer were taken in temperatures in longer than daily as they're entering the daycare. Richardson also bought plexiglass divider She puts between the kids to help stop the spread of germs. She switched to paper plates and cups for meal times. She and Williams are constantly wiping down surfaces and toys. For the most part, Richardson says, the Children have adapted well. The key is have really call on it really caught on. I'm really proud of them for what they do as little people. Still, she says. It's not fair to make providers like her handled the pandemic without more support in the same needs to understand that that us as providers Have not shut my door not one day for the California report. I'm Katie or in Sacramento. For childcare providers like the ones you just heard. There's now a direct line to state officials to make the case that more resource is air needed to do the job safely. In fact, just yesterday, the newly ratified Childcare providers union had its second bargaining meeting with the state.