Home for the Holidays | Frances Chai
On Thursday, December 3rd, California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, announced stay-at-home and business closure orders for regions where intensive care units have dropped below 15% capacity. This push is in attempts to curb the state’s coronavirus cases, which have been on the rise in recent weeks. The order officially went into place on Saturday at 12:59 pm and regions had 24 hours to implement the rules. With case numbers as seen in cities such as San Diego and Los Angeles, it was only a matter of time before the Southern California region’s hospitals dropped below 15% capacity, triggering the order that will officially go into effect on Sunday at 11:59 pm. It will be in place for the next three weeks, meaning that millions of Southern California residents (as well as people in other regions who have dropped below the capacity threshold) will be undoubtedly home for the holidays.
However, despite Newsom’s urging that “…if we don’t act now our hospital system will be overwhelmed”, two sheriff counties have stated that they will not be enforcing this mandate. One of these individuals, Sheriff Chad Bianco, said: “the Riverside County sheriff’s department will not be blackmailed, bullied, or used as muscle against…residents in the enforcement of the governor’s orders.” Bianco has also expressed his personal sentiment towards Newsom, calling him “extremely hypocritical” which could be a response to the governor’s attendance at a birthday party in November (an action that went against his own rules).
It is important to note that some things, such as critical infrastructure, schools that are already open for in-person learning, non-urgent medical and dental care, as well as child care and pre-K, will remain open. The shutdown will affect things such as indoor and outdoor playgrounds, indoor recreational facilities, hair salons, barbershops, personal care services, museums, zoos, aquariums, movie theatres, wineries, bars, distilleries, breweries, family entertainment centers, and cardrooms.
As we have been in quarantine since March, it is understandable that people are itching to go out and live life normally again, and this urge is only intensified with the holidays coming up. But, we all have to keep in mind that the pandemic will not go away on its own, and it will only be made worse if we continue to disregard rules that have been set to keep ourselves and others safe. Yes, we will lose some holiday traditions that we hold near and dear to our hearts, but the sooner we get this pandemic under control, the sooner we can ensure that there will be many more years for these traditions. It’s time to get creative and celebrate from the safety of your home. If you think you are an exception to the rules, you might become a statistic.