California is becoming a Wuhan virus epicenter

California governor Gavin Newsom has made a name for himself in America as one of the people most zealously using lockdowns as a means of controlling the Wuhan virus.  (These rules, of course, don't apply to him.)  For quite a while, Californians were smug about their exquisite self-control in hunkering down, social distancing, and wearing masks.  However, California is now one of the sickest places in the world, with a soaring infection rate.  What the heck happened?


Photo credit: Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

I left California a couple of years ago and live in a state that had a short-lived lockdown.  For months, though, except for masks and social distancing, life has mostly returned to normal in my neck of the woods.  People are still getting the Wuhan virus, but the state is maintaining a good balance that sees it acknowledge that it cannot completely stifle the illness and it must not destroy people's livelihoods and mental health.

Meanwhile, my friends in California are in their eighth (or is it the ninth?) month of lockdowns.  I'm stunned when I make a rare visit to Facebook so I can take a peek at what's going on in their lives.

Things are miserable — and my friends are the kind of white-collar employees who still make a living because they can work from home.  Meanwhile, for those less fortunate than white-collar workers with grown children, schools are closed; restaurants, bars, hair salons, and gyms are being destroyed; and people are getting very angry.

All of this suffering might have made sense if California had avoided the virus's worst effects, but that's not what happened.  Instead, California merely delayed the inevitable.  Or perhaps California made the inevitable worse because its totalitarian approach weakened people's immune systems by depriving them of fresh air, sunlight, social interaction, and gainful employment, all while pushing them into the misery of loneliness, depression, and substance abuse.

And again, all this misery was for nothing:

California — the country's largest and richest state — is the new epicenter of America's coronavirus crisis, with unprecedented surges of seriously infected patients threatening to overwhelm hospitals and overflow morgues.

The state is reporting unnerving numbers: California has set nationwide records for new cases again and again in the past week — most recently on Wednesday, when it posted more than 41,000 infections. If California were a country, it would be among the world leaders in new covid-19 cases, ahead of India, Germany and Britain.

The number of available beds in intensive care units is plummeting. In the San Joaquin Valley, hospitals ran out over the weekend, resorting to "surge capacity." And in Southern California, a region that includes Los Angeles and San Diego, ICU capacity dipped to just 0.5% Wednesday.

Regarding the ICU capacity, it turns out that the misery of "no rooms at the hospital" is self-inflicted.  Daniel Greenfield noticed that, for all of Gavin Newsom's draconian policies, the one thing he forgot to do was to increase ICU capacity:

Spring had given way to summer and then to autumn and winter, and California Democrats are still using the pretext of preserving "ICU capacity" and "flattening the curve". The rationale of shutting down an entire state, not so much for the sake of stopping the virus, but for keeping enough beds open in intensive care units, never made much sense even back then.

It's insane now.

What did Governor Newsom and California Democrats do to increase ICU capacity?

In April, California had 7,345 ICU beds. Now, in December, it has 7,881.

In under eight months, the wealthiest state only managed to add 536 ICU beds. Or 7%.

No wonder fed up Californians are engaged in a recall effort against Gov. Newsom.  According to the official recall website, the petition effort is already 55% of the way to the required number of signatures to trigger a recall.  This is pretty impressive when you consider that no one can go door-to-door or sit at a table at a shopping mall to collect those signatures.  Instead, people print the petitions and mail them back.

When I was young, there was a great ad campaign for Chiffon margarine with the tagline, "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature."  Chiffon margarine may have succeeded in fooling Mother Nature, but California has not.

Viruses will do what viruses do.  California tried to fool the virus by destroying its economy and many of its people.  One can only hope Californians will have learned that "science!" does not make them gods and will finally look askance at the tech tyrants and other Democrats whom they've allowed to control their destinies.