The Escalating Problem


Dexter Win, Managing Editor

As of recent, California’s COVID-19 cases spiked to an all time high this winter. This was to be expected due to families meeting up during quarantine for the holidays as well as the cold weather weakening everyone’s immune system. However, the rate at which it has escalated is incredibly problematic and pushes back the estimated date to when we will be able to return to our normal lives. The rise began around mid-November. This was of course due to Thanksgiving but given how not all cultures celebrate it as much, nor does it receive as much excitement, it only resulted in increasing the count to around 8,000 new cases. On December 26th the amount of new COVID-19 cases hit its peak at 64,987. Compared to back in October when the count was around 3,100, this is an upsurge of around 2100%. The L.A. county reported that they had multiple days in which the COVID-19 death count exceeded 200 people a day. Back when school was starting to begin again, I had a senior meeting with my counselor and I asked what the future plan was for our school concerning social distancing and COVID. She said that we were hoping to have in person classes in the second semester. This of course, is no longer a possibility. Though voting has occurred for the SMHS Prom of 2021, the prospects of this happening in person is incredibly bleak. Despite many breakthroughs concerning the coronavirus vaccine, given the sheer number of cases in California, there is a very high chance that victims and families of COVID will get priority over students. Furthermore, vaccines don’t make you automatically immune. It is quite the long process of continued social distancing so that our community can develop herd immunity. Masks will still be of commonplace months after the vaccine is distributed. When looking at a map of the United States with the states colored in shades of red depending on the number of cases, California is by far the most dark. Other places that suffered were Floria, District of Columbia, and Georgia. But even compared to these states California is still in a rough spot. The strangest part is that when it comes to wearing masks we rank incredibly high.  This leads me to believe that Californians are wearing masks a lot but think that because of it they don’t need to social distance. As someone who works part time in a genetics laboratory, I can confidently say that the amount of requested testing kits has reached a peak. I have been multiple times from my normal data entry job to help make testing kits because the demand has skyrocketed. Please, for the sake of our community and country please don’t wait to social distance after you have suspicion that you have contracted COVID-19. Always wash your hands, only see people if it is absolutely essential, and wear a mask. It’ll pay off I promise.