With Californians being forced back into business closures, school closures, stay-at-home orders in a statewide lockdown again, it feels like Groundhog Day — every day.
Groundhog Day is an old Pennsylvania Dutch tradition that says if a groundhog emerges from its burrow on February 2nd sees its shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat to its den and winter will persist for six more weeks; but if it does not see its shadow because of cloudiness, spring will arrive early.
The 1993 movie of the same name is about a weatherman who finds himself inexplicably living the same day over and over again.
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest screed Thursday ordered most of the state to close down, while he claimed hospital ICUs are already overwhelmed due to COVID patients. However, many nurses and doctors say ICUs are not overwhelmed, and they certainly aren’t filled with COVID patients.
While the state dramatically ramped up testing Californians for COVID, more than half of Californians have tested negative for the virus. The governor and Dr. Ghaly continue to selectively report “cases” of positive COVID tests, but not real illnesses. As epidemiologists have reported to the Globe, the only COVID numbers that matter are hospitalizations and deaths.
A news report claims “five Bay Area counties are voluntarily adopting the state’s new stay-at-home order early, and will adopt some of the same restrictions as March: Restaurants must close outdoor dining and only offer takeout and delivery, and personal care services such as hair salons, nail salons and massage studios must shut down entirely.”
And the governor’s state orders specify, Californians may no longer gather socially (even outdoors). Berkeley Health Officer Dr. Lisa Hernandez said, “If you have a social bubble, it is now popped.”
There is nothing voluntary about the closures.
The closures have been ordered by the governor and some county public health officers who wanted to get a jump on the lockdowns. The five Bay Area counties will be locked down until January 4th.
But why would the governor and public health officials lock down Californians, when nearly all other states are open and children are back in school, despite the virus.
Business owners say this latest lockdown may be the deathblow – they won’t ever been able to reopen. Restaurant owners have invested in inventory, purchased outdoor tents and PPE for staff, and hired staff back, only to be shut down again by the governor.
The absurdly strict lockdown “guidelines” dreamed up by Gov. Newsom and Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of California Health and Human Services, have very little to do with science or “beating the virus,” and more to do with killing off California’s middle class and businesses, so they may be replaced with big corporate businesses and labor union jobs.
As California has reported, the more than 10,000 public health doctors and scientists who signed the Great Barrington Declaration, Citing Severe Public Health Damage with COVID-19 Lockdowns, called for the end of coronavirus lockdowns, citing the “irreparable damage” they’ve caused. They offered their own reopening guidelines:
As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists, we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call focused protection.
Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health …
The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk.
According to Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a signer of the Great Barrington Declaration, the bottom line is that the COVID fatality rate is in the neighborhood of 0.2 percent.
Bhattacharya has addressed the incorrect perception that COVID is equally dangerous to everybody, and says this couldn’t be further from the truth. “There is a thousand-fold difference between the mortality rate in older people, 70 and up,” he said.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of his experience is the “Deadliness of the Lockdowns.”
“The widespread lockdowns that have been adopted in response to COVID are unprecedented—lockdowns have never before been tried as a method of disease control. Nor were these lockdowns part of the original plan. The initial rationale for lockdowns was that slowing the spread of the disease would prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. It became clear before long that this was not a worry: in the U.S. and in most of the world, hospitals were never at risk of being overwhelmed. Yet the lockdowns were kept in place, and this is turning out to have deadly effects.”
In October, the World Health Organization’s special envoy on COVID-19 urged world leaders this week to stop “using lockdowns as your primary control method.”
Newsom and Dr. Mark Ghaly have failed to provide the “science” and/or “data” they are using as they claim activities like outdoor dining, bars, and hair and nail salons are responsible for spreading coronavirus.
“We want to nix mixing. Full stop.” Newsom said at his press conference Thursday. The governor claims “Our ICUs are climbing quickly toward their capacity. Our death rate is rising…” says the governor who only weeks ago attended a swanky dinner in Napa Valley with 22 other people. He obviously didn’t believe that “more lives would be lost” by his attendance at the dinner.
As the Globe reported, the lawsuit filed against Gov. Gavin Newsom by Assemblymen Kevin Kiley and James Gallagher specifically says the California Constitution is abundantly clear that the governor cannot make law himself, only the Legislature can. And the California Legislature has not passed any laws ordering businesses and schools closed down due to the coronavirus.
As we reported last week, UC Davis Health officials said “right now, almost all of our hospital space is needed for non-COVID health care needs,” and “Only 5% of the Sacramento medical center’s patients are being treated for COVID-19.”
Here is what is Gov. Newsom is shutting down just in time for the Christmas season:
- Personal services
- Hair salons and barbers
Remaining open under severe restrictions are:
- Schools that received a waiver from the state
- Critical infrastructure
- Restaurants that do take-out and delivery