Californians buckled down in 2020 and obeyed Sacramento’s stringent — some might add “nonsensical” and “draconian” — shutdown rules. And where’d it get us?
Well, in December five thousand and three hundred Californians died from the virus, our worst month by far. Hospital ICU rooms overflowed. Small businesses — restaurants, museums, music venues and theaters — took it on the chin. Some will never come back.
In other words, Californians did what they were told … and it didn’t pay off.
Consider Arizona. That state resisted mask wearing for the longest time. Over the holidays, Arizona restaurants and small businesses remained wide open through 2020. Indoor and outdoor dining flourished. Phoenix malls were shoulder-shoulder with holiday customers. Arizona small businesses at least had a shot making it through the holiday season.
Yet, as we start 2021, who leads the league in almost every bad coronavirus statistic? California.
Of course, you can’t prove that had California leadership gone another way California would have been better off than it is now. But you gotta wonder if Sacramento really does know what it is doing.
THE BUS IS SAFE?
While elected leaders dodge the question, let me say this plainly: When riding the bus you are in a confined space, in close and sustained proximity to other people not in your family and, sad to say, next to people not always wearing a mask. So, no, public transportation is not safe.
Politicians play coy on this because we as a society have made a calculated decision that public transportation is essential. We want the poor to be able to get around so they may serve our needs. So therefore the party line is to pretend public transportation is safe.
We ought to square up on that and at the very least tell people that taking the bus is a risky endeavor.
(Postscript: By their own stats, many public transportation workers contracted the virus last year. Where do you think they caught it?)
MARIN COMMUNITY CLINICS
This New Year plea from Marin Community Clinics is well put. Passing it along for your consideration:
“Marin is known to be a wealthy county, but there are pockets of extreme poverty and people who are not able to secure insurance or have jobs that offer benefits. Many need help feeding their families and turn to our Health Hubs for free food weekly. The Clinics takes care of our neighbors and anyone in Marin who needs help. Full health services are offered to everyone, not just to those with limited resources. We will always have our doors open to serve everyone in the community we have been a part of for almost 50 years.
“We never know what the future will hold, but we can know that supporting the Clinics is critical to making a lasting impact in Marin County’s health and vitality. As a community we are only as strong as our weakest member.”
An investment in the Clinics is an investment in a healthy future for all.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
‘It is safer for a child to be at school than it is at many households. Over 80% of transmission in Marin County is linked to transmission in the households.”
— Dr. Lisa Santora, Marin deputy public health officer
ONE MORE THING
— If the bishop moves forward, the queen can take him.
It is so nice to be back with you in 2021. Thank you for reading your local Marin community newspaper. Be kind. Be safe. Wear a mask.
(Sherman R. Frederick is the founder of Battle Born Media, a newspaper company dedicated to the preservation of intensely local community newspapers. You can follow him on Facebook at facebook.com/sherm.frederick/. He may be reached at email@example.com.)