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article imageOnly four countries have more COVID-19 cases than California

By Karen Graham     Jul 22, 2020 in Health
California’s confirmed coronavirus cases reached 409,000, surpassing New York’s amount as highest in the country, based on data from Johns Hopkins University.
While California may have surpassed New York's total number of coronavirus cases, the state has a long way to go in having a death rate as high as New York. New York's 32,520 deaths are by far the highest total in the country and four times more than California's tally, and its rate of confirmed infections of about 2,100 per 100,000 people is twice California's rate.
However, California is our most populous state with around 40 million people, while New York has about 19.5 million. According to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, only four countries, one of them being the US, have more confirmed cases than California: The others are Brazil, India, and Russia.
California was on the right track as far as "flattening the curve" in coronavirus cases. Governor Gavin Newsom imposed at state-wide stay-at-home order on March 19 - the first state to take this extreme move. Nearly two months later, on May 8, the numbers had fallen enough that the state started the first phase of reopening.
According to CNN, Governor Newsom told his citizens, "You have bent the curve."
Then came Memorial Day, and all thought of staying home vanished from people's minds as families headed to the nearest beaches all across the nation. By early June, the seven-day average for daily coronavirus cases totaled more than 2,600. Then they skyrocketed to a daily average of 8,700 cases by July 11.
By July 13, Newsom ordered the shutdown of bars, indoor dining, movie theaters, wineries and some other businesses across the state again.
So, what went wrong?
The simple answer is that local governments and people became complacent. There was the belief that the worst was over, and people forgot one very important bit of information that we had been warned about. The coronavirus was going to be with us for a very long time.
Anne Rimoin, an epidemiology professor at the University of California Los Angeles, says, "You know, we opened up too soon. We didn't have the virus totally under control." But, she added, "People are not following the rules. They're not wearing masks. They're not social distancing. They're not doing what it is that they need to do."
It has come down to only one devastating solution to get the coronavirus back under control in California. Los Angles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city is nearing the brink of another shutdown order but Rimoin said the state was already there.
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