As cases and deaths from COVID-19 surge throughout the state, California’s most densely populated counties are set to remain under a strict lockdown for the indefinite future.
According to ABC News, a stay-at-home order for Los Angeles County and 22 others was put in place on Dec. 6 due to a surge in coronavirus cases. On Tuesday, California’s Health and Human Services Secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly, announced the order will be extended indefinitely as Los Angeles County is currently in the midst of a massive surge of transmissions and deaths from the virus.
Los Angeles County is the state’s most densely populated region and represents 40 percent of all coronavirus deaths in the state, with 227 new deaths reported on Tuesday. Hospitalizations have also increased by an alarming rate, with the state health department reporting that there were 7,000 hospitalizations in one day. This is about a 1000 percent increase from two months ago and the highest amount of hospitalizations in one day.
Hospitals in California are already being stretched to their limits, with some not having room to unload ambulances, or even being able to provide oxygen to patients who need it. Luckily, according to Ghaly, things haven’t yet reached the point where two people need ventilators and a hospital only has one. That said, hospitals have been notified by officials that they may need to resort to “crisis care” if the spread continues at this rate.
“Crisis care” is when medical officials have to make hard decisions about who does and doesn’t get treatment based upon chances of survival as well as the availability of staff and resources. No one wants to be the reason someone didn’t get help, nor do they want to be the person denied care.
Ghaly has said that people disregarding social distancing protocols and gathering through the holidays has led to a “surge on top of a surge.” He encouraged people to not gather for New Year’s to prevent the surge continuing into January.
California has so far recorded over 2 million cases of COVID-19 and 25,000 deaths from the virus. This week the state reported 31,000 new cases, with more to be expected following the holiday.
So please, I beg of you, just chill out for the next few months. Stay washing those hands, wearing that mask, and curving your friends when they try to hang out. It’s a shitty situation, and a less than ideal way to ring in the new year, but when we get through this we can make like Eddie Murphy’s old girl and party all the time.
Stay safe out there, y’all.