Jay Beeler

Last week I got admitted to “CLUB COVID,” which used to be an exclusive thing for many Americans. But a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed the infection rate for everyone nationally has jumped from 34% in December 2021 to 58% in February 2022.

A co-worker in our office indicated that she tested positive two weeks ago, about the time I noticed slight symptoms of a head cold. Despite having no fever over the entire time, by July 4 the runny nose, sneezing and dry cough peaked, suggesting that this would not be a good day to attend a private party and share whatever I had with others.

I’ve had all four Moderna shots. Last Tuesday my medical team at the VA Hospital recommend taking advantage of their drive thru COVID testing facility. A phone call two hours later announced the positive result.

The only not-so-pleasant experience the entire time was having both nostrils swabbed for about four seconds each. I wouldn’t say it was as bad as passing a kidney stone a few decades ago, but it made past finger exams for prostate cancer a piece of cake! Was that cotton or steel wool on that swab?

The incubation period for COVID averages 5.6 days, so that had me wondering where and how I could have been infected. About that time, I was hanging out with my brother, Tom, as we finished up some repairs to our backyard gazebo. He’s fine, so maybe it was from a sneezing patron at Starbucks, where we’d go each day for a coffee break. Perhaps next time we should use the drive thru window service.

Don’t throw away those face masks, readers. The virus from hell is still among us.

You can get eight free COVID test kits delivered to your door by your mail person by visiting In a few days you’ll receive two packages containing eight kits that yield results within 15 minutes.


Happy birthday to us. Twenty-two years ago, we purchased this newspaper from John McNaughton, who decided that being a field representative for newly elected Councilman Dennis Carroll was a better gig.

Back then it was called the Los Altos Neighbor and had a circulation about one-third of our current 36,000. We set our sights a little higher and changed the name to Beachcomber, reflecting a larger distribution to other areas of Long Beach.

In short order we hired CSUF intern Elizabeth Pose to be the full-time editor under executive editor Stacey Francis, inherited the photography talents of Diana Lejins, acquiesced to Tim Grobaty’s suggestion to hire Steve Propes to write a community scanner column and welcomed the team of John and Marcelle Tosdal for advertising sales and theater/restaurant reviews.

Kirt Ramirez from Long Beach City College was among the early journalism interns we’ve mentored and then hired to become reporters. It’s hard to believe that – since July 2000 – we’ve had more than 100 journalism interns work at the Beachcomber from Long Beach City College, Long Beach State, CSU Dominguez Hills and CSU Fullerton.

Over time we’re had numerous persons volunteer to write columns, most notably Al Jacobs (finance and education), Steve Downing (law and local government), Ben Miles (theater), John Thomas (movies), Claudine Burnett (local history) and – most recently – Mary Brennan (book reviews). They are joined by reporters Roberto Vazquez, Eric Bailey and Jon LeSage, who are paid for their efforts.

It has been fun, as any job should be. We’re still setting our sights on phasing out of the publisher role in a few years to allow someone else to monitor the kids in this sandbox. It could be you.


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