CA Lifts Shelter-In-Place Order
Updated: Mar 16
Yesterday Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the shelter-in-place order will be lifted statewide, with outdoor dining and hair salons among the services set to reopen starting January 28, 2021.
The startling decision comes as CA continues to struggle with ICU capacity statewide. Gov. Newsom provided context for the decision, citing projected ICU capacity improving considerably by February 21.
Gov. Newsom, since when have we ever been able to accurately predict how this novel coronavirus (or the American people) will behave?
A few examples:
1) At the onset of the outbreak, initial models projected 100K-200K deaths in the U.S., assuming government intervention. Today we are at 420K deaths and counting.
2) Several variations of the virus have popped up all over the world, including variants originating in the U.K., South Africa, and Brazil. The variants have been found to be significantly more transmissible and possibly more deadly - the U.K. variant spreads 30%-70% faster than others, and initial research is finding that the U.K. variant may also be 30% more deadly. Health officials are recommending wearing two masks and are indicating that activities outside of home are more dangerous now.
3) How have cases changed based on CA's SIP orders?
The data shows that when CA's shelter-in-place orders are lifted, cases increase substantially (see summer 2020). Frighteningly cases have surged since CA's November order.
Lastly, is it really worth it to lift the shelter-in-place order when we're so close to a broader vaccination roll-out?
Nope, the trade-off doesn't make sense.
Gov. Newsom, please reconsider. CA's handling of the pandemic was lauded for most of 2020, while this decision alone is changing my view of your handling of the crisis. When lives are at risk, rely on facts instead of projections.
Gov. Newsom, I'm glad the projections were right! Whew.
Regardless, please be wary of projections depending on their underlying assumptions. And to whomever may be reading this, please get vaccinated! Be safe and well~