A Forced Misconception

BY: CLAIRE KIM

With shelter-in-place orders moderately lifted in the past few weeks, California’s “hustle and bustle” culture has almost fully returned, at least in Santa Clara County. People are hanging out at Santana Row, shopping with friends at retail stores. Others are indulging in outside dining at restaurants now that the new restriction allows 25 people outside to gather together. But the most startling change that has come from the recently announced guidelines is the misconception that the cases of the coronavirus are decreasing, when really in the state of California, they are increasing, with an overall trend moving in an upward trajectory.

While the US as a whole embraces a more downhill trend, for the following states of California, Texas, North Carolina, Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, Utah, Arkansas, Oregon, Hawaii, Alaska, and Montana, such statistical behavior is not the case. In fact, most of these states show a very sharp increase in cases, fearing suggestions that a second wave may have hit these regions.

As a resident of California, I was alarmed to see such results. While those around me seemed to partake in their ordinary lives once again, I thought that California, or at least my county, had slowed down in the number of reported cases of the coronavirus, a phenomenon that would need to occur if measures like social distancing were to be retracted from safety guidelines, which still are suggested, yet no one listens.

People seem to embrace the idea that everything is all good since enough time has passed, but in all honesty, no pandemic ends this quickly. Especially for a pandemic at this great of a scale with no working virus at present, this assumption passes as ridiculous and even too optimistic for anyone to claim.

I understand that businesses have started to reopen due to the financial instability caused by COVID-19, but I don’t comprehend why people think it’s okay to completely break social distancing guidelines and health measures when the virus is only getting worse in California. Shouldn’t we be more careful, more smart with our choices? And even if the media states that the US is “improving”, shouldn’t we rely on regional data when determining to what extent this phrase is valid?

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