‘A bad flu season is 80,000 dead. We’ve got about 18,000 dead from influenza this year; we have 100 from corona.’
Seven Bay Area counties announced Monday unprecedented shelter-in-place restrictions, confining millions of residents to their homes for three weeks over the spreading coronavirus. The only allowable exceptions are essential work, to purchase food or other necessities.
However, there are no such orders for the large homeless population living in squalor on the streets.
California Globe asked Dr. Drew Pinsky if the virus could be the epidemic that spreads through the homeless population. Pinsky said it absolutely could and has been one of his biggest concerns as the homeless are immunocompromised, and will be vulnerable to bad outcomes.
“The new orders by health officers in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties appear to be the most aggressive public response to coronavirus anywhere in the U.S. so far,” the San Jose Mercury News reported. “The directives are criminally enforceable and go well beyond Monday’s stepped-up calls for increased ‘social distancing’ from the nation’s capital, evoking lockdowns in parts of hard-hit Europe.”
Health officers in the seven counties issued the orders.
“History will not forgive us for waiting an hour more,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, whose city is the most populous in the Bay Area and the epicenter of the area’s outbreak. “This is our generation’s great test, our moment to stand tougher as a community. Amid our collective fears, we will find our uncommon courage.”
San Francisco’s police chief said the order will be enforced, but there are no details on how.
According to the California Department of Public Health, as of March 15, 2020, 6 p.m. there are a total of 392 positive cases and 6 deaths in California (including one non-California resident). California has conducted 8,316 tests as of Sunday.
Ages of all confirmed positive cases:
- Age 0-17: 6 cases
- Age 18-64: 246 cases
- Age 65+: 135 cases
- Unknown: 5 cases
24 – Cases of positive tests related to federal repatriation flights
368 – Cases not related to repatriation flights
- 75 – Travel related
- 75– Person-to-person acquired
- 80 – Community acquired (see map of local health jurisdictions reporting community transmission – PDF)
- 138 – Under investigation
The Center for Disease Control reports 68 U.S. deaths:
- Total cases: 3,487
- Total deaths: 68
“Which should you be worried about, influenza or corona, 100 versus 18,000? It’s not a trick question,” he continued. “Look, everything that’s going on, with New York cleaning the subways and everyone using Clorox wipes, and get your flu shot, which should be the other message, that’s good, that’s a good thing. So I have no problems with the behaviors.”