Public health officials in seven counties in the San Francisco Bay Area ordered lockdowns in their respective communities backed by full force of the law. This denotes that any individual found disobeying the restrictions imposed on the communities will be charged with misdemeanor, to be punished by way of fine and/or incarceration.
The lockdown orders include shelter-at-home directives that prohibit the public from leaving their homes except for essential errands. To further enhance the stay-at-home restrictions, commercial establishments were ordered to close, except for supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, banks, gas stations and similar essential trades or services. Although restaurants can continue to operate, they can only serve food orders for delivery and takeout.
The main objective of the Bay Area’s lockdown and shelter-at-home measure is to prevent the Covid-19 disease to spread father than it already has. As it is, there are already 350 confirmed cases of Covide-19 infections collectively reported in the seven counties that include Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Francisco and San Mateo. and counties
Santa Clara County has been established as the epicenter but the county’s health officials reported that the health care system in some community areas are already overwhelmed. In the county’s statement to Santa Clara residents, the notification explained
“Because of how the virus spreads, the sooner these extreme measures (lockdown and shelter-at-home) are taken, the more effective they are.”
Are The Shelter-at-Home” Orders Really Necessary?
While the lockdown and shelter-at-home orders were met with criticism as over -reactions to the point of being draconian, public health experts agree that it has become necessary. Apparently, many Bay Area residents are not aware of Vocid-19’s potent and pervasive characteristics. Presumably, lack of seriousness in heeding calls for social distancing and in avoiding crowded places were fueled by Donald Trump’s earlier pronouncements that the disease is just a common flu being hyped-up by the Democratic Party.
The president of the United States later gave the American public the assurance that the infectious disease is very much under control, contrary to what federal health officials and epidemiology are saying.
As a result, and as evidenced by posts and photos shared in social media sites, many still carried on with their usual lifestyle and activities; including attending public gatherings, going to bars, holding business meetings and even participating in the recent St. Patrick’s Parade.
Others are quite concerned that the extreme measures being imposed on Bay Area businesses and citizens are sure to lead to loss of jobs that will deprive them of wages badly needed to meet the already high cost of living in San Francisco’s Bay Area.
In support of the unprecedented, albeit extreme measures taken by the Bay Area’s public health officials, Dr. Ashish Jha, the Director of Harvard Global Health Institute said that the country needs to act aggressively because preventive actions are being taken late in the game.
Dr. Jha’s responded to criticisms over extreme measures by saying
It is better to err on the side of caution.” “ Although the cost of overreacting comes with economic cost and social cost, the cost of underreacting is that many will die unnecessarily.”