Today, July 1, 2020, our state's governor, Gavin Newsom, has once again had to close many businesses and places we had hoped to have open. The spike in Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases has put a sudden and frighteningly-large number of people in the hospital and has once again strained an already taxed and exhausted health system.
The positivity testing for the virus has risen from 4.6% to 6% in just one week. Failure to "flatten the curve" makes shut downs of newly opened operations necessary. Hospitalizations are up 51% and ICU admissions up 47% over the past week.
The closure will affect mostly 19 counties in Southern California where the spikes in cases have occurred. The shutdowns will impact about 70% of the state's population.
Indoor restaurants, movie theaters and concert venues, wineries, and other similar enclosed spaces that were gradually opening are now slated to close yet again. If the business can operate outdoors, it can continue to function. Churches are still asked to proceed with virtual services, and large gatherings of all kinds are discouraged, even outdoors when social distancing cannot be assured.
Bars are being traced as a key factor in increased exposure and are being shut down. This led to a demonstration at the Capitol building by bar owners today. Nevertheless, the order stands.
In Southern CA Orange County has been put back on the 'watch' list with Solano, Merced, and Glenn counties also added. Imperial County, another "hot spot" of virus increase is moving to close all non essential businesses as well as public parks.
Beaches from San Diego to Sonoma County will not be closed by the state for the upcoming holiday weekend. However, parking will be restricted, and no traffic will be permitted. Counties are taking the initiative to close their own in many cases. Also, counties that have not discontinued fireworks displays are now being asked to do so.
The state's requirement that everyone wear masks while out of their own homes or cars is the single best way to regain normality. We learned that former California Governor, Arnold "The Terminator" Schwarzenegger has abandoned his favorite gym in Southern California since he found people not wearing masks.
We would argue that if The Terminator can wear masks, anyone can. It's a symbol of strength, not weakness. Please make mask wearing a positive thing among your friends, families, and congregations. The sooner masks and social distancing become the norm, the sooner we can regain some semblance of our former lives.
In the meantime, honor the restrictions, wear a mask, and definitely wash your hands. Have your 4th of July celebrations outside with sufficient social distancing, and remember that Independence Day comes every year. These problems shall pass if we work on them together now.
Thank you and stay safe.