I’ve been wondering what’s going on with California’s COVID response. This Guardian piece has some plausible explanations — it’s the suburbs and the rural wingnuts:
In Imperial county, which borders Mexico and Arizona, defiance of a statewide mandate to wear face masks and lax social distancing appears to have exacerbated a crisis both within and across state and national borders. “Whether people here brought infections to Yuma, Arizona and Mexicali, or whether they brought it back from those places is kind of immaterial at this point,” said Dr Thomas Henderson, director of the Imperial County Medical Society. “What we’re seeing here is craziness.”
The crisis has overwhelmed local hospitals, he said. “It’s just a horrible time to be a physician” he added, because doctors have found themselves pleading with the community to wear masks and stay safe, “but it’s all become so political”.
Four suburban Southern California counties are among those primarily responsible for a dangerous rise in California’s coronavirus hospitalizations, according to a Los Angeles Times data analysis. The four counties have seen significant upticks in hospitalized COVID-19 patients in recent weeks.
Increases in Ventura, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties have contributed to an overall rise in hospitalizations recorded statewide that began after Memorial Day, just as officials were rapidly reopening the economy.
I guess the free wind blowing through your hair keeps you from wearing a mask.
California is a much bigger state than New York, but we’re plenty big, and we have plenty of gun-toting, confederate-flag-waving wingnuts, and they made noise at the start of this mess. One of the (many) smart things the Cuomo administration did was to split our reopening into regions, most of which have a large city coupled with a few rural counties. Part of the reason for this was that upstate wasn’t as hard hit as New York City, and there was no reason to keep us locked down while NYC recovered. Another reason was to put a locus of regional reopening power into a regional entity so some dumbfuck wingnut county exec couldn’t make a name for him or her self by defying the lockdown. It looks like California managed their re-opening on a statewide basis, but some counties getting “variances”.
Maybe it would have been smarter to bundle the suburbs with the cities. Or, maybe not enough people died in a big city near the suburbs to make people afraid enough to be cautious during re-opening. I’m not from California, so I’m not sure, but maybe some of our Cali readers have some theories.