California has recently been grappling with an enormous surge in coronavirus cases. As of Monday, the state had over 326,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and over 7,000 total deaths, according to the Los Angeles Times’ case tracker. In response to these numbers, Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom decided to institute a new lockdown full of arbitrary restrictions because, as he said in a Monday press conference, coronavirus “continues to be a deadly disease.”
This new lockdown order will directly affect 30 counties — approximately 80 percent of the state’s population.
For almost four months now, Newsom has been citing the deadliness of COVID-19 as his rationale for shutting down business, augmenting unemployment, and destroying people’s livelihoods. Newsom said Monday, “We’re seeing an increase in the spread of the virus, so that’s why it’s incumbent upon all of us to recognize soberly that COVID-19 is not going away any time soon until there is a vaccine or an effective therapy.” This message is not likely to comfort to the victims of Newsom’s unchallenged lockdown orders, which now include the re-closure of bars, restaurants, places of worship, gyms, personal care services, barber shops, salons, and many other indoor venues.
This new lockdown order will directly affect 30 counties — approximately 80 percent of the state’s population. When reporters questioned Newsom about what motivated him to institute another lockdown order, he replied, “We’re continuing to see hospitalizations rise, and we continue to see an increase in the rate of positivity in the state.”
But this reason alone does not justify his new order or make it more reasonable. It is now vital that he perform a more intelligent cost-benefit analysis concerning the effects of his decision, one that responsibly measures the economic disaster unavoidable with the enactment of such edicts.
Fox News provides a useful timeline of Newsom’s lockdown orders:
In March, California became the first state to impose a mandatory stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the virus. Public health officials praised the state’s quick action, marveling at how the nation’s most populous state kept its cases and hospitalizations low while states like New York and New Jersey struggled to contain the highly contagious disease.
By late April, Newsom — under increasing pressure – began allowing businesses and activities to resume, citing the state’s increased hospital capacity to handle a new surge of cases. Cases began rising in early June and have exploded since, increasing 48 percent in the past two weeks, while hospitalizations have increased 40 percent.
In addition to the new lockdown order, school districts in Los Angeles and San Diego will not be having in-person education for the remainder of the year. According to a joint statement, “Those countries that have managed to safely reopen schools have done so with declining infection rates and on-demand testing available. California has neither. The skyrocketing infection rates of the past few weeks make it clear the pandemic is not under control.” This verdict comes with the recent news indicating the inadequacy of virtual learning in comparison to in-person instruction, with data from Texas showing “one out of 10 Texas students lost engagement or contact with their instructors.”
Newsom’s order appears to be predicated on compassion towards those suffering from coronavirus. But it shows minimal, if any, compassion for Californians suffering from the everything else. Many folks are losing their businesses. The sick are suffering and dying from diseases and illnesses they are afraid to have treated (primarily because they risk exposing themselves to the virus). And children are not receiving quality education.
It is conceivable that at the heart of this new order is the desire to prevent coronavirus from doing more direct damage. But Democrats who run California are covering up an ugly truth: the new lockdown order is aimed at protecting the vulnerable at the expense of everyone else.
Dylan Shetler is a freelancing self-taught writer and Christian apologist. He owns and operates his personal blog The Onlookers Publication: onlookers.news. You can follow him on Twitter @shetler_dylan.