California Wonders Why its Lockdowns Aren’t Working

Speaking About News

 Daniel Greenfield,  It’s all a matter of defining “not working”.

The lockdowns haven’t stopped the pandemic, but they’ve done a fantastic job of…

1. Wrecking the economy

2. Dividing people even further

3. Creating a culture of compliance with illegal government directives

So by those metrics they’re working pretty well despite SoCal being the current epicenter of the pandemic.

California has had some of the toughest restrictions in the country to combat the coronavirus, from a complete ban on restaurant dining to travel quarantines and indoor gym closures.

It hasn’t been enough.

Not unless you go full CCP and start welding doorknobs.

The turnabout has confounded leaders and health experts. They can point to any number of reasons that contributed to California’s surge over the past several weeks. But it is hard to pinpoint one single factor — and equally hard to find a silver bullet.

Here’s a thought. Lockdown policies have failed. Viral spread, past a certain point, only has so much to do with how people behave.

But nah. Let’s scapegoat some more.

In Los Angeles, officials have said all along that people were gathering too often. They blamed celebrations and postseason viewing parties when the Dodgers and Lakers won championships this fall.

Right. I can’t think of any major crowded events beyond those.

The state hasn’t employed strict enforcement and has relied on its regulatory agencies to cite the worst-offending establishments in spot cases. But it has no real hammer against people gathering or engaging in everyday social activities, and many local law enforcement agencies have made a point of declaring they will not become the stay-at-home police.

Great. Let’s create a stay-at-home police and have it stay home. Should solve everything.

I also like Politico’s revealing ‘Hammer’ phrasing. Can a sickle be far behind?

Gov. Gavin Newsom has said all along that the state has to rely on social pressure to keep people apart. The state, with help from private donors, has spent tens of millions of dollars on billboards and advertisements urging responsible behavior. But Newsom himself erred in November when he attended a lavish dinner party with lobbyists — a faux pas that fueled resentment and resistance from residents already beleaguered by months of prohibitions.

Time for more billboards. Or blaming Republicans.

Andrew Noymer, a University of California, Irvine associate professor of population health and disease prevention, said people often look to California’s status as a deep blue state to suggest that left-leaning residents uniformly agree with lockdown protocols and believe in staying home. But that ignores a large share of residents who feel otherwise, even if they aren’t a majority.

“In politics, 40 percent doesn’t carry the day, but 40 percent can drive the epidemic,” Noymer said. “California is deep blue, but … from the virus’s perspective, we’re a lot more purple than people give us credit for.”

Scapegoating people you don’t like for the pandemic has worked great so far.

Except there are a few major problems with this whole worldview

1. Compliance in California dropped off in the summer without a surge. It actually began to pick up in the fall.

2. The spread isn’t being driven by casual socializing and recreation as much by so-called ‘essential’ work. The more serious sufferers are still low wage workers and the elderly, who are in many cases being serviced by them.

3. Southern California initially avoided a serious infection rate. Now that seems to be catching up, quite possibly for reasons have nothing to do with behavior.

The lockdowns didn’t work and they won’t work.