The current plan is for California as a whole to reopen on June 15th. Many, including the president, are worried that the country is opening too quickly.
But what about Los Angeles?
Every county in the country has a slightly different situation. Thankfully, the situation in Los Angeles looks better than most of the country.
Things Los Angeles has going for it
Here are 3 reasons why Los Angeles is unlikely to suffer a 4th wave and why we should reopen the economy.
Low Covid numbers
California has one of the lowest rates of new Covid cases in the country. To put it in perspective, Michigan has a case rate that is 12 times higher than California.
While there may be some validity to the idea that the country is reopening too quickly, that doesn’t apply to Los Angeles. As long as our case rate stays low, there is no reason not to reopen gradually.
There was once a time when Los Angeles had one of the biggest Covid problems in the country. Believe it or not, that terrible moment in time is actually helping us now.
State estimates from February suggest that as many as 38.1% of people in California have Covid antibodies. That number is even higher (43.7%) in Los Angeles.
That protection makes it a lot harder for Covid to spread. And that doesn’t even take into account the protection that vaccines provide.
Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s Health and Human Services secretary, recently spoke about this very subject.
“Some of our most populated, more crowded areas have high seroprevalence already. When you couple that with vaccine protection, you start to see a population that is more protected.”-Dr. Mark Ghaly
I know it’s counterintuitive, but the California variant might actually be good in a way. The reason is that it is not as transmissible as the U.K. variant.
The California variant is believed to be 20% more transmissible than the normal strain. That is a far cry from the U.K. variant, which is thought to be 50% more transmissible.
Most of America’s new outbreaks are being caused by the U.K. variant. Here in Los Angeles, the California variant is more common. That still isn't a good thing, but it definitely could be worse.
What could go wrong now?
The one thing that could really set Los Angeles back now is a new variant. That could be the U.K. variant becoming more widespread, or it could be a new variant altogether.
Our current vaccines have been proven effective and safe. However, the effective part is not guaranteed to stay true with new variants.
Is reopening the right choice? (my opinion)
In my opinion, Los Angeles is doing the right thing by reopening relatively aggressively. Some would even say this should have been happening sooner. But better late than never.
First of all, we can always slow down the reopening if the numbers change later. Second of all, we are in a much better place to handle any future surges.
Face masks and vaccines have proven very effective, so we have all the tools we need to reopen.
It’s time to start getting Los Angeles back to normal.