California’s Doors Reopen as Virus Spreads


Ava Paulsen, Editor in Chief

Only 2 months have passed since countless celebrities tested positive for COVID-19. Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Idris Elba, Daniel Dae Kim, and Andy Cohen were among them. The National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, and Major League Soccer suspended their seasons. One United States Senator and 4 House Representatives tested positive for coronavirus and many more self-quarantined. At that time, there were 100,000 cases of coronavirus nationwide. Now there are over 1.2 million cases and that number is constantly rising.

On March 19th the stay at home order was put in place for the State of California, mandating everyone to self isolate themselves in their homes. Earlier this week, Governor Gavin Newsom said that California will start lifting stay at home restrictions today. Nationally, the number of infected people has multiplied tenfold since the original shutdown.

The reopening of California will begin in stages according to Governor Newsom. The first stage is where we have been, with residents urged to stay in their homes until the virus is subdued and the curve flattens. Today we enter Phase 2, the second stage of reopening, which involves the reopening of lower-risk workplaces. This includes certain retail establishments with curbside pick-up only, car dealerships, golf courses, and trails. 

The third and fourth stages involve opening specific higher-risk workplaces at the appropriate time. However, if coronavirus cases begin to rise more rapidly or the death rate increases, California may revert to stage one leading to another stay at home order.

Phase 2 is a big step for Californians, one that many citizens have been wanting for a while. Although, we should acknowledge whether this is the right choice for California given the current state of the pandemic. 

According to the LA Times, “The number of cases in California is now on pace to double every 22.9 days, a reflection of how quickly the virus is spreading.” Allowing citizens to now have more in-person contact will only increase the virus’s ability to spread more rapidly. 

Los Angeles has over 30,000 cases according to the same LA Times article, and within LA county, the City of Santa Clarita ranks 6th highest in the number of confirmed cases in the area. The City of Santa Clarita has 462 cases, while the Santa Clarita Valley has a whopping 661 cases; which, if included in the LA Times article, would rank it third in LA County. Long Beach and Glendale are not the only cities with skyrocketing case numbers, just take a look at our very own town. 

With these large numbers of coronavirus cases, comes a larger risk for contracting and spreading the virus on an exponential scale. Phase 2 of reopening could increase those chances more than the risk we already have. 

Looking back to mid-March when the number of cases was just hitting the 100,000 mark, citizens seemed content with staying at home and taking quarantine orders seriously. Since the cases on a national and local scale have exploded, people have become restless, impatient, and ready to get back to the pre-pandemic lifestyle. This is not an easy request since the number of coronavirus cases is still climbing at an exponential rate.

Nevertheless, as of today Phase 2 of reopening has begun as Governor Gavin Newsom directed while the risk of contracting COVID-19 has never been higher. Just remember – stay safe and wash those hands!