Hottest week of Summer. Walking towards the car feels like opening a pre-heated oven. So glad, I’m actually at work enjoying a free all day Air Conditioning. Not everyone is lucky though, a co-worker has no electricity for 16 hours. Yesterday’s temperature went past 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Those with no AC have no choice but to go out for some cool air and comfort.
Some good news in my community. There’s less sick patients with COVID-19 symptoms this week. However, California’s COVID-19 numbers are still moving too fast and furious. Lowest average for August is 5,000 new cases per day, that’s 35,000 per week. California reached 100,000 new cases in less than a month. Total cases exceeds 643,000 with 11,606 deaths, placing our State to number 3 in most deaths in the country from COVID-19. Number 1 is New York, Number 2 is New Jersey. The difference is that the two other States have their COVID-19 deaths numbers in control close to a halt whereas California’s death numbers has been creeping steadily since the lockdown.
There is a lot of downplaying on the numbers of deaths as if those who died and who will die are insignificant. People keep saying case fatality rate for U.S.A. is only 3.1%, even people I know. U.S. population is about 331,245,770. If the virus eventually infects everyone, potentially 10,268,618 people can die if the virus creates havoc all year round for many, many years until an effective vaccine guarantees 100% effectivity. Flu season claim lives ever year despite of the yearly updated Flu vaccination. COVID-19 which is highly resistant, more infectious and deadly will claim more.
Anyone who tells us, “You’ll be fine. COVID-19 has very low chance of causing death or harm,” is being insensitive and dismissive to our real fears and worries. If something happens to us, those people won’t be there to help. They won’t be there to bear the loss, pain and hardship. I know this because few already told me this to my face in my real side of the world.
Being told, “You’re okay,” without even trying to know what makes you feel not okay is never okay.” It’s presumptive and annoying.
At this time of the pandemic, anxiety is high and valid, don’t shut off someone’s anxiety. Find time to listen because that may be just what people need. That may just be what we need.
If people continue to ignore the pleas of Gov. Newsom, our local leaders, public health officials and clinical medical professionals for Californians to do their part in controlling the COVID-19 outbreak, we will reach our first million of confirmed cases by December.
What does this mean for Californians?
1. Many parts of our economy will remain close. recovery will be harder and longer.
2. More people will loose their jobs. Unemployment will rise. People in hardship with no resources to help them will loose their homes or place of dwelling. Low and middle income Americans will suffer the effects of Recession.
3. Crimes will go up.
4. Our students can not return to school for classroom learning. Students with no high speed internet and other school resources will lag behind making equal education for all more of a dream than reality. Parents will struggle on finances because of day-care expenses or from cutting work hours or from quitting their jobs so they can assist their young children with online schooling.
5. More people will die or develop lingering complications. Bad recovery outcome leads to disability. Disability leads to forced unemployment and suffering. Someone will loose a grandparent, a parent, a spouse or partner, a son, a daughter, a friend until a truly effective vaccine is made. We will loose more healthcare workers and essentials as they are three times more vulnerable than the general healthy population.
6. Mental health problems like anxiety, depression, even suicide will go up.
7. More chaos. More civil unrest. People will be angry, frustrated, vengeful. People will get hurt. Division will escalate.
8. Another Lockdown though economically devastating, may be the last desperate action to stop more deaths and flatten the infection curve. We’re already on a semi-lockdown with some of our businesses forced to close or severely restricted.
Today, U.S. surpass 172,000 COVID-19 deaths and exceeds 5.5 million declared positive cases. This does not include the false negatives and the untested asymptomatic population.
We went to the mall this week to fix my son’s glasses. Main entrances are closed and people can go in only by appointments . Curb site orders are allowed for the few stores that stayed opened. Restaurants are take outs and outdoor dining. I hardly saw anyone eating. It was 104F degrees hot. A lady picked us up by the side door at the first floor and accompanied us to their store at the second floor. I asked her how they are doing and she replied, “We’re okay. We just have to do a lot of walking all day long.” The store hallways were empty and quiet. It’s been like this since the mall closed after 10 days of reopening. It will be like this till we have our act together.
If you still think COVID-19 is not serious, look around you. See what it has done to your community. See the pain of those who lost their jobs and love ones. See through the eyes of those afraid that they might be next.