Los Angeles seems to be going through an arc that resembles Israel’s. Some may remember that they lifted their indoor mask restrictions, only to reinstate them later on. Now that the B.1.617 “Delta” variant is causing case numbers to rise again, more states are probably going to follow in Israel’s footsteps. This is all the excuse that the Democrats needed to spring right back into action.
While the mask mandate is the only new restriction that has been imposed, these actions carry a lot of weight. People have been dealing with a sizable amount of stress over the past year and the psychological toll is hard to get past. When a government tells vaccinated citizens that they can remove their masks, this is the closest feeling to normalcy that many of us had in some time.
As soon as this is taken away, people are going to become sullen and withdrawn. Israel revoked this declaration, taking away all of the implicit implications of normalcy as well. Los Angeles County has now done the same, only giving their citizens two weeks of breathing room as the state tries to reopen.
California experienced a horrific wave of infections during the winter months and saw the numbers start to ease back a bit once more and more people decided to get vaccinated. For a decent stretch of time, this state had the lowest positivity rate of anywhere in the United States. California was said to have harnessed the awesome power of vaccinations for the greater good.
Now, their citizens are being told that it is time to wear masks again. The WHO announced that even those who are vaccinated will need to mask up if they are indoors. Delta is now considered to be the most contagious variant of SARS-CoV-2 and that’s why there is so much concern across the board. Los Angeles County has stopped short of a full-on mandate but they are “strongly suggesting” that their residents wear masks indoors.
They have clearly realized that issuing a full-on mandate is not going to go over well. People have been through too much over the past year and its sure to be dispiriting. The statement from Los Angeles County makes sense in a lot of ways. They are not making any demands. All they can do is sound the alarm bells and hope that people are willing to heed the warnings. Here’s a closer look at what they had to say:
“Public Health strongly recommends people wear masks indoors in settings such as grocery or retail stores; theaters and family entertainment centers, and workplaces when you don’t know everyone’s vaccination status,” L.A. County Department of Public Health said in a statement…
Looking at the Bukit Merah market cluster, you can see (if the data is indeed correct) that some vaccinated people are transmitting covid / SARS2 to other people.
Green = fully vaccinated (pfizer/moderna)
Yellow = 1 dose
The selected (blue) vaccinated person is 23 years old. pic.twitter.com/GPVNgiXujJ
— Alina Chan (@Ayjchan) June 22, 2021
“Until we better understand how and to who the Delta variant is spreading, everyone should focus on maximum protection with minimum interruption to routine as all businesses operate without other restrictions, like physical distancing and capacity limits,” the statement continues.
California’s still moving in the right direction, all things considered. The positivity rate has inched back up to 1.3 percent, which is low when compared to other states. The number of deaths per day has inched back up to 36 but these numbers pale in comparison to the gruesome totals that were piling up during the winter.
Whereas most of the US is doing well, Nevada has joined Missouri in becoming the epicenter of the Delta variant hit. Both states are now Delta dominant and have rising cases and hospitalizations (~50% and 20%, respectively, past 2 weeks) pic.twitter.com/QytkeOPjeV
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) June 27, 2021
Fortunately, hospitals are not under any sort of duress at the moment, so they are able to handle the care of any patients who are affected by the variant. Of course, the bulk of the people who are getting gravely ill at the moment are not vaccinated. Per the LA Times:
“Of the 123 people in L.A. County confirmed to have been infected with the Delta variant thus far, 110 were unvaccinated and three were partially vaccinated. There were two hospitalizations among people in this group.
Cases involving the variant have been found in 10 fully vaccinated individuals, none of whom ended up needing hospital care.”
Vaccinated people have less to fear but it is interesting to see LA County try to get out in front of a potential new wave. Dr. Fauci is probably already licking his chops and getting ready to go back on TV again….