Why Covid-19 Looks So Different across California Right Now

If you’ve been following the news of the coronavirus in California this week, you may have noticed a stark contrast to how the pandemic is sweeping across the state.

While hospitals in Central and Northern California called on National Guard contingents to help staff COVID-19 wards, officials in Los Angeles and the Bay Area began to publicly discuss lifting the mask mandate as transmission in their areas increased. Gave.

Sure, this disparity reflects the vastness of our state, but here’s another takeaway: a widening gap in the way different parts of California are handling the pandemic.

For the first year when we lived with coronavirus, many decisions were handed down from the state about who we interacted with and the precautions we took. (Remember the stay-at-home order?)

But as controls have increasingly shifted to the local level, there is little uniformity in the restrictions we face and in our behavior – and therefore in our experiences of the pandemic.

Get vaccinated. Seventy percent of Californians eligible for the vaccines have received both doses, and there are statewide requirements for teachers, health care workers, and state employees.

Yet there is huge variation among counties. In Marin County, 87 percent of Californians age 12 and older have had both of their shots. In Lassen County, 35 percent is.

To put this into context, the least immunized state in the country is West Virginia, where 47 percent of residents who are 12 and older have both shots. Lassen and some other California counties have low vaccination rates.

This has major consequences: Non-vaccinated Californians are eight times more likely to contract the coronavirus and 16 times more likely to die from it than those who have received their shots, state data shows.

Like states with low coverage levels, parts of California with low vaccination rates have experienced the worst of this summer’s delta boom.

There is also evidence that people who have not been vaccinated are less likely to take other precautions, such as wearing a mask and staying away from crowded indoor places.

As Kevin Malott, professor emeritus of epidemiology at Cal State Long Beach, explained to me, “They have a low vaccination rate because they don’t believe it’s serious, so they aren’t taking other mitigation measures as well.”

But the trend does not stop here. In recent months, California’s highly vaccinated counties have also pushed for masks, testing in schools, and vaccines for students and government employees.

On Wednesday, the City of Los Angeles voted to require proof of vaccination to enter indoor restaurants, gyms, museums, movie theaters and salons starting next month. The measure is one of the strictest in the country.

With these rules, it joins San Francisco, Berkeley and Contra Costa counties – places that already have high levels of vaccination.

Today’s travel tip comes from Amy Wyatt, who recommends Cambria, a seaside village in San Luis Obispo County:

October is one of the coolest months on the mid-coast, with the least amount of fog and generally low winds.

Cambria is about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles (making it a great place for families to meet). It is also host to the annual Scarecrow Festival, which features both lighthearted and scary designs to please everyone.

And there are always sea bluff trails and little traveled through the woods, like the one-mile route from Lynn’s Restaurant on Bridge Street to Cambria Cemetery. This literal and figurative “dead end” is perfect for October.


Check out these nine movies and shows before they leave Netflix in October.


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