Despite Dem hype, California’s stringent lockdowns haven’t stopped ‘viral tsunami’
COVID-19 is surging in California regardless of heavy-handed strict lockdowns being mandated to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The Golden State has just surpassed 2 million confirmed cases and hospitals are being overwhelmed across the state according to officials. Beds at many intensive care units are running dangerously low.
In Los Angeles County, which is at the center of the pandemic in California, the county Department of Public Health on Thursday said around 14,000 residents were testing positive for COVID-19 each day and hospitals were admitting 1,000 new coronavirus patients daily. On Christmas Day, the remaining ICU capacity for the first time fell to zero across the entire state.
The state just reported 24,000 deaths and more than 39,000 new cases. There have been 312 deaths in the 24-hour period since Wednesday. This is also flu season and there has been no data on that aspect released as of yet.
One health expert called the surge a “viral tsunami.” Evidently, leaders in the state are now reaching out to Australia and Taiwan to fill 3,000 temporary healthcare work positions.
Governor Gavin Newsom warned earlier this month that strict lockdown measures would be enacted regionally when ICU bed capacity dips under the 15% mark. Days later, Los Angeles County was put under the new lockdown orders. But it is having almost no effect on the surge of new cases.
The order prohibits private gatherings of any size and only critical infrastructure and retail are allowed to remain open. Bars, hair salons, barbershops, casinos, and indoor and outdoor playgrounds have been ordered to shut down. Retail stores are limited to 20% capacity and restaurants must operate for take-out and delivery only.
Californians are now commanded to wear masks at all times when outside their homes and they must socially distance themselves.
Many residents are defying the orders and are gathering for the holidays. Some experts are advocating against the tough restrictions, saying officials should focus instead on those who are the most vulnerable.
“The right approach, before the vaccine, is to work to protect the elderly. Those are the people – especially living in nursing homes – are the ones who are at the highest risk of death if they were to get infected by COVID-19,” Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University, stated.
This means focusing on and protecting the elderly wherever they live. It also includes older people with chronic conditions who are in the workforce and essential workers such as janitors or bus drivers.
“Whereas these broad lockdowns, I think they cause a lot of harm to the non-elderly. They’re not doing very much to slow the spread of the disease,” Bhattacharya said.
Today we reach 2 million #COVID19 cases but behind those numbers is a person.
351 lives lost yesterday – our hearts are with those families.
To our health care heroes – we see you. You matter. There is nothing more courageous than the work you do. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/ajvmNXXViP
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) December 24, 2020
Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-Templeton) argued that the state’s attempt to “shut down types of human interaction without seeing if that’s effective” was creating a backlash of sorts — “driving people to higher-risk activity” like gathering indoors at home, rather than places like restaurants.
“The public health officials have lost credibility with a huge section of the populace. They’re just tuning them out now,” Cunningham said. “The goalposts are moving all the time. … People are fed up with it and they don’t think it makes any sense, and they’re not wrong.”
World Health Organization envoy Dr. David Nabarro said such restrictive measures should only be used as a last resort.
“We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” Nabarro said in an interview.
Fox News contributor Dr. Marc Siegel also slammed broad lockdowns as an antiquated model borrowed from the 1918 Spanish Flu, and what would be more effective today is a “laser lockdown.”
California hospitals and health systems have reached a crisis caring for surges of #COVID19 patients and have an urgent prescription and plea for this holiday: #DontShareYourAir. @sutterhealth @dignityhealth
For more information visit: https://t.co/14j50rKWtE pic.twitter.com/0qnjKKhpt9
— Kaiser Permanente Southern California (@KPSCALnews) December 23, 2020
“I want to do laser lockdowns where we close things that are major offenders,” Siegel said. “Of course, bars are a problem — in the middle of the night with people shouting and drinking and swearing at each other or whatever else you do in bars with poor ventilation. But how does that apply to outdoor restaurants with physical distancing?”
New case numbers stopped increasing dramatically this week, plateauing to less than 40,000 a day. It is also debatable to what extent California’s wider test access is contributing to higher per capita numbers than elsewhere. Only 16 states have a lower Covid-19 death rate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the COVID tracking project, the pandemic has killed more than 320,000 people nationwide.