Lockdowns and Vaccines Highlight 2020

California is back on lockdown. California has new restrictions that were triggered by the shrinking supply of available rooms in hospitals. The rules apply to the southern part of the state and its central valley, while other areas could follow within days. San Francisco has also gone into lockdown, with the mayor imposing a separate set of orders.

In March, California’s lockdown, in which all non-essential businesses were closed, was an early model for the US at the beginning of the pandemic. Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered that when capacity at intensive care units in any of five state regions goes below 15%, that region will go into lockdown within 24 hours. The stay-at-home orders advised in this way will be like the far-reaching order issued for the state after the pandemic first hit in March, but with a few significant relaxations. All retail stores can stay open, but only at 20% capacity, along with outside spaces such as parks and beaches. Gatherings are prohibited, and people are required to stay at home and minimize contact with other households. Bars, hair salons, and indoor restaurants are closed. The lockdown will last for at least three weeks until the ICU rooms go above 15% again. Mr. Newsom said the measures would help to “flatten the curve” and reduce health services pressure.

Reactions to the new lockdown rules have been mixed reviews, not everyone likes it, and not everyone has a problem. Some small business owners and service-industry employees fear the economic burden will become overwhelming. The situation in California is an example of the surge of infections nationwide. With the largest number of confirmed cases in the US, the state reported an additional 30,000 conditions on Sunday, a new record. Research has found that lockdown measures have been effective and reduced infection numbers. At the same time, the World Health Organization also urges people to “avoid spaces that are closed, crowded, or involve close contact” during the pandemic.

But some law enforcement said they do not plan to help enforce the new rules, with Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes saying: “Compliance with health orders is a matter of personal responsibility and not a matter of law enforcement.”

The scientist in charge of the US push for a vaccine, Moncef Slaoui, said there was “light at the end of the tunnel” and that he hoped the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could give the go-ahead for a vaccine when it meets on Thursday. But for life to get back to normal by the spring, Americans still needed to follow safety measures, he said in an interview with CBS News. States are preparing to distribute a vaccine, with possible approval approaching. Doses are expected to be made available first to the country’s million healthcare workers and three million older adults living in long-term care homes.

Please remember to continue practicing safety: wear your masks, wash your hands, and social distance. I think if we all follow the rules, it will be good