Hands up everyone who could see this coming. The nation’s most populous state has now put its residents under a “stay at home” order as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Thursday night, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he's enacting a "statewide order" for its nearly 40 million residents to "stay at home.”
The prohibits gatherings outside and requires nonessential businesses to close in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. Essential services such as grocery stores, pharmacies and banks will stay open.
“We need to bend the curve in the state of California,” Newsom said during a news conference. “There’s a social contract here. People, I think, recognize the need to do more. They will adjust and adapt as they have.”
He added, “This is a moment we need to make tough decisions. This is a moment where we need some straight talk and we need to tell people the truth.”
Not exactly sure when there were moments straight talk and the truth wasn’t important, but we’ll leave that alone for now.
Per Fox News, Newsom's office projected the virus will infect more than half of Californias within two months, according to a letter he sent to President Trump on Wednesday where he said the state has been disproportionality impacted.
"In some parts of our state, our case rate is doubling every four days," he wrote Trump.
Projections notwithstanding, out of 40 million residents, less than 900 people have contracted the virus and 19 have died. Of course, it’s impossible to know how many people are walking around with the virus without symptoms, but at present, the infection rate is .0000225 — far less than a thousandth of a percent. The fatality rate in California is currently 2.1 percent based on those numbers. For reference, MERS had a fatality rate of 35 percent.
Is the hysteria about this virus overblown? Not if you’re in Italy, where deaths have now exceeded those reported in China where the virus emerged.
The number of deaths in Italy now stands at 3,405, compared to 3,245 in China. Italy’s numbers are even more disturbing because they’re based on far fewer cases — 41,035 compared to 81,000 in China. And of course, the population of Italy is minuscule in comparison — 60 million vs 1.5 billion.
That would mean coronavirus in Italy has a fatality rate of over eight percent. So far worldwide, with 220,000 cases and more than 9,000 deaths, the fatality rate is about four percent.
What we seem to know for sure is the coronavirus is particularly dangerous for elderly people with underlying health conditions. You may not be able to give them a hug right now, but make sure gramma and grandpa know you’re looking out for them. Thank goodness for FaceTime, right?