California has always had the ability to make itself look good on the outside. It must have to do with all of the glamour and gold of Hollywood. It is the Golden State, after all. For the longest time, California was the model state for how to beat the coronavirus. It was so sure they had the secret down that they even sent hundreds of ventilators to the East Coast.
However, in typical Democratic fashion, they got cocky.
Now, the Democratic state has been identified as one of the problem children of the United States, joining such states as Texas, Florida, and Arizona. The number of new cases are skyrocketing and leaders cannot get the spread under control.
In the past two weeks, the number of daily new cases has increased by 70% and hospitalizations are up by 51%.
Gov. Gavin Newsom finally took measures across the hardest-hit counties, closing various things that many other states have long closed – movie theaters, bars, wine tasting rooms, and bowling alleys. He has chosen to close these for three weeks – yet other states have had bowling alleys and movie theaters, at the very least, closed for months.
Newsom made the announcement that most state governors already seemed to be known: “the bottom line is the spread of this virus continues at a rate that is particularly concerning.” Somehow, he thinks that this is new information.
Public health officials, state leaders, and disease experts alike said they had too much faith in residence to ensure that social distancing was continuing. In an effort to reopen the economy, the state proved to be too eager. With such a diverse population of close to 40 million people, it was obviously entirely too eager – and now countless individuals are at risk.
California is the fifth-largest economy in the world. Combine that with a virus that doesn’t seem to be slowing down and they could be in serious trouble.
California’s population combines all of the issues being seen around the rest of the country. This includes an older and more vulnerable population, outbreaks within nursing homes and prisons, residents that are bored of sitting at home, and flocking to restaurants, bars, and beaches, along with infection among those deemed as essential.
How did this happen? How did the state that was identified as the model of good health become the newest problem child? There are several indicators – they opened up the state too soon, people stopped social distancing because they assumed that they had dealt with the worst of it, and they never truly closed down certain aspects of social life that can spread the virus easily.
In May, Newsom had a plan to reopen using phases. By June, he opened the floodgates so that hair salons, barbershops, and other places were able to operate.
At the same time, protesters were all over the streets of California. Their demonstrations involved thousands of people gathering into tight spaces – many not wearing masks.
Officials continue to insist that the protests did not lead to the new outbreaks. Instead, they would rather blame the residents who became tired of being quarantined.
Newsom is also deciding to point his finger to the officials within the various counties, insisting that he did not allow the state to reopen on a broad scale. He told the counties “how” instead of “when.” However, as governor, he needs to accept the blame where it is due.
Currently, Imperial County, sitting east of San Diego, is the area of biggest concern with a positive test rate of 23%, considerably higher than the 6% statewide average.
Southern California has been the loudest when it comes to reopening, with officials begging Newsom to loosen restrictions.
It all comes down to reopening. If California has been the example all along, the counties that showed conservatism reduced their numbers in March and April and have continued to keep their numbers low as they have been slow to open up now.
California will need to learn from other states and stop listening to the masses. In an effort to save lives, they will need to close everything back up and think long and hard before opening once again.