Tag Archives: Berkeleyside

Even ‘woke’ Berkeley balks at continuing Covid-19 lockdown

As if the Left haven’t politicized just about everything in America, the COVID-19 lockdown has become yet another partisan faultline, with Democrat cities and states adamant on continuing, indefinitely, the shelter-in-place policy that has wrought incalculable damage on the U.S. economy and the lives, livelihoods and quality-of-life of millions of Americans.

As an example of the continuing and indefinite lockdown, yesterday, the San Francisco Bay Area counties that were the first in the U.S. to impose shelter-in-place announced that the self-quarantine (that was due to expire on May 3) will be extended through the end of May, with no promise or assurance that the lockdown would actually end on May 31. No justification or supporting data was provided, such is the arrogance of California’s monopolistic Democrats-controlled governments. (Patch)

But even some of the ‘wokiest’ of the American Left are now balking at the continuing lockdown, as seen in the majority of readers’ comments on Berkeleyside — an online news site of the “wokiest” of U.S. city, the People’s Republic of Berkeley. Below is a sample:

“They’re going to have to re-open at some time; let’s do so before the economy is destroyed.”

“The virus is not deadly enough to justify the myriad damages to our health done by shelter in place.”

“This is really unacceptable without explaining what data lead to their decision. Why was the lifting planned for May 3rd inaccurate? Are hospitals overloaded? How do we know this new 30 day extension is accurate?”

“the lack of metrics / goals means we we have no ability to make plans to achieve those goals, so this is literally no news other than ‘leadership has been doing essentially nothing since mid march’…. I’ve gone from proud of our early response to disgusted with the followup. We don’t have a plan or even a sketch of what the goals are the plan will try to achieve.”

“The city that started the anti-Vietnam War protest now blindly follows authority without question. We keep getting platitudes instead of actual data given in full context, and more Berkleyans should be upset about this. And where’s the ACLU? Unilateral indefinite home detention and not a peep from them?”

“I’m a lifelong leftie and a veteran of People’s Park. But I find it disturbing that no real explanation is given for the one-month extension: “more work needs to be done”. is meaningless. How about less arrogance and authoritarianism? LaLime’s Restaurant just closed as a result of these policies; to was a Berkeley fixture for 35 years. It was in a zip code which had no cases—zero.”

“I don’t see a legitimate reason to continue the Shelter in Place Order under the same conditions, for another entire month…. If people are faced with a choice of following the Shelter in Place order, or facing financial catastrophe, I predict large numbers of people will violate the order to try to protect their finances, insofar as possible. Particularly given the news that a much larger number of people likely have been infected than data reflects, pointing to huge numbers of people who are asymptomatic or with quite mild symptoms. When government flexes its muscles, it’s good to be aware of the potential for government overreach.”

I have a friend who is a doctor at the Kaiser Hospital in Santa Rosa. They have had no cases of coronavirus. None that have come in. The total number of coronavirus deaths in Sonoma County is two. Yet Santa Rosa is locked down too, destroying small businesses…. I would like to know the exact reasons for the one-month extension. It’s not too much to ask.

“Check out Sweden. They will have herd immunity in Stockholm by mid-May. If we wait to open society till there are good therapeutics or a vaccine, we won’t have a society to go back to. Check out the op-ed by Brown University’s president in the NYT. Check out Dr. David Katz, most recently on Bill Maher.
Increasingly nations are questioning the wisdom of lockdown in Phase 2 and choosing a different path. Other U.S. states are as well. We are not seeing big spikes in these places. Also– the average life expectancy in a nursing home was 6 months– before the virus arrived. There are 800,000 American deaths per year from mostly preventable hear disease alone. The “experts” and their models have been proven wrong so far. Further lockdown in the Bay Area is outrageous. The lack of school is breaking families and robbing our nation’s future.”

“I’m in favor of further lockdown but the time has come for the health officials to provide both transparency and a plan. What data are they looking at — Case rates? Death rates? Hospital capacity? ICU capacity? What exactly informed their decision? What changes in the data are we looking for in terms of changing our strategy? When do we expect it to happen? The continued lock down pronouncements with no backup or plan are going to basically backfire as people get fatigued and even rebel. Total transparency, now. It’s the only way forward.”

“The continued school closures are so egregious as well. There are no data to support the assertion that closing schools has any impact on illness and death rates. The lack of explanation of another month of lockdown is outrageous. The amount of stress induced heart disease will never be known or measured. The cascading negative effects are so immense. California will have a Depression budget and after a year the same lives lost per million as Sweden, which chose the path of herd immunity and kept open schools and businesses.”

“What about all of the unintended consequences of a total shut down which could easily create more deaths. We have dropping rates of childhood vaccinations, people with all sorts of other diseases unable to get real acre or access to trials, increasing depression and suicide rates… The goal was to never get to ZERO deaths, it was to flatten the curve. By flattening, we could have time to put together plan.”

“I’m curious to know the basis for making the decision to shut down our economy for another month and whether they intend to continue doing that indefinitely. Are those making the decisions still relying on academic projections (which have long-since been shown to be vastly inaccurate), and are they consulting medical practitioners in California, who have first-hand, empirical knowledge of the situation that includes both medical and sociological impacts? As I posted yesterday, there’s considerable support in the medical community for stopping any further damage than we’ve already suffered by shutting down our economy.”

I think there is a fine balance between destroying the economy and ability to save lives by sheltering in place in the long run and the doctors are just expressing their opinion that they think the authorities are being overly cautious and causing inadvertent damage to the economy which would result in more deaths or mental illnesses/domestic violence cases etc. in the long run…. I am not suggesting we should open it up and just get back to normal but given the relatively low number of cases in the Bay area (thanks to the fact we sheltered in place relatively early and the tremendous cooperation of the people), a phased approach should be called for. In particular, people who can work remotely as well as seniors and people with pre-existing conditions should continue to do so whereas small businesses who fear they might not be able to survive this shutdown should be given a choice of opening or at least the city/county should ensure they can survive.

Regarding transparency, I am curious to know the % of hospital occupancy in the bay area and california in general and if the number is very low, steps should be taken to open up the economy. It makes no sense to me that Andrew Cuomo has given a mid-May date to open up parts of NY while California is still under shelter in place and Bay Area just extended the order. …  I do think people need to be more transparent about what is the end goal. For sure, I don’t expect a cure or vaccine (or an increase in testing capacity where we can test every resident on a daily basis) in the next 6 months or a year nor expect the virus to magically disappear so are we going to continue this till that day arrives because no matter when we open, I imagine there will be a surge!


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