As a recall effort targeting Governor Gavin Newsom gains steam in California, the governor has responded by loosening the Golden State’s onerous COVID-19 restrictions, even as COVID-19 numbers continue to grow at alarming numbers. Hotels in California are once again open for tourism.
Do You Smell Fear? Newsom Lifts State Stay-At-Home Orders As Recall Campaign Gathers Momentum
In a surprise move, Newsom lifted mandatory stay-at-home orders imposed indefinitely on most of the state in late November. All of sudden, overnight curfews were no longer in forced, restaurants could again re-open to outdoor dining, and hotels could once again accept out-of-town tourists.
Why the sudden change in heart? As the Los Angeles Times noted in an editorial over the news:
ICU beds are all but unavailable throughout Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley. Thousands of new infections are being confirmed every day, and there are new variants of the virus circulating that could be much more infectious.
The LA Times reasonably asks if Newsom was “following the science,” or succumbed to growing public discontent with pandemic-related restrictions. Newsom did not clearly lay out what drove his decision, instead vaguely referring to projections and models looking better.
What the LA Times did not mention is that the Newsom recall effort is gaining momentum. Heck, we even had door knockers in our neighborhood out trying to raise signatures for his removal from office.
From the very start, I’ve questioned whether lockdowns were the answer. I still do and applaud the Governor’s decision for at least allowing hair and nail salons and especially outdoor restaurants to open again.
The lady who threads my eyebrows is a Nepalese immigrant who invested everything into starting a business in the United States. She is on the brink of losing it all and no government check each month will make up for it. A restaurant owner I know has already had to close one of his restaurants permanently and his second one is hanging on by a thread. Their stories (or the story of my own business) are hardly unique.
And yet we do see light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccinations are coming and so is spring. The numbers will get better, this time hopefully for good.
Thus, like so many, I’m at a loss for how we should best proceed. Part of me cheers for the lifting of the stay-at-home order while part of me thinks we’re almost to the finish line. But here we are…and I’m looking forward to enjoying coffee in a ceramic cup again, even if I have to huddle next to a heat lamp (it has been a frightfully cold week in LA…).
Hotels Re-Open To Tourism In California
Oh yes, and hotels. Up until yesterday, hotels were not permitted to accept out-of-state guests traveling for tourism (not that any hotel actually enforced that rule). That rule has officially been lifted. You can now, in the midst of the pandemic with ICU beds still full, travel to California as a tourist and stay in a hotel without any fear of penalties.
I look at the case numbers in California and think this is quite a strange time to be lifting restrictions, even though I hate them. Then I look at the growing recall effort against Governor Newsom and see how it all makes sense. And this folks, is why people question the leaders in charge and wonder if we are still going about this all wrong.