The Bay Area’s Latest State-at-Home Order Receives Backlash from Critics

5 mins read
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 9: Patrons have lunch outside a restaurant as smoky skies from the northern California wildfires casts a reddish color around noon in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. (Photo by Ray Chavez/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images)

Critics Attack the State’s Newly Announced Stay-at-Home Regulations

After California announced its implementation of stay-at-home orders effective since Sunday, many Bay Area residents heavily criticized the new regulations. According to several critics, public health officials have no substantial scientific evidence to prove that the legislation is necessary for the state. The new protocols require diners to withdraw their indoor dining services, fitness centers to halt business operations, and other entertainment establishments to remain closed in the meantime.

For instance, Jack Holder’s restaurant owner Dan Holder expressed his suspicions to news reporters. Holder asserted that he has not read any empirical data that shows outdoor dining as a high-risk catalyst for the spread of the coronavirus.

Bay Area locals are not the only ones who questioned the efficiency of the country’s recently announced stay-at-home measures – medical professionals also have something to say on the matter. San Francisco’s University of California infectious disease expert Dr. Monica Gandhi said she also agrees that the new regulations do not have proven scientific evidence to back up their enactments. According to Dr. Gandhi, she affirmed that public health ordinances should have reasonable standards behind them by accumulating the information that people have learned about COVID-19 since March of this year. 

Additionally, Dr. Gandhi also encouraged public officials to work harder when it comes to creating new guidelines for the state to follow – mostly backed up by scientific research and facts. She said that administrators should take a more nuanced technique with battling the virus instead of only using stay-at-home orders as the only instrument to help mitigate the spread of the disease. 

Stay-at-Home Orders as “Blunt Instruments” and San Mateo’s Refusal to Follow Revised Coronavirus Measures

Dr. Gandhi termed the stay-at-home legislation as a “blunt instrument.” According to her, the label denotes something that could get easily be broken by using a chisel or smashing rock and would only repeatedly arrive at the same conclusion with no significant changes. In other words, Dr. Gandhi referred to the recently revised regulations as something that could only contain the virus for now but then struck again later on. The cycle gets replicated only to arrive at similar results.

If government officials are not careful and only imposes state rules with no scientific evidence, they would lose the public’s trust. Once people stop believing public administrators, everyone else would not follow future regulations. 

Based on all the information given, Dr. Gandhi suggested that instead of government officials declaring strict stay-at-home orders all across the country, they should generalize everything that operates in the Bay Area. According to her, the state should allow the continuous operations of specific activities like outdoor dining. She explained that no worldwide research had demonstrated that outdoor dining is the main spreader of COVID-19. If customers and staffers both practice social distancing protocols by wearing masks and standing 1-2 meters apart from each other, such activity should pose no problem.

On Monday, San Mateo County health officer Scott Morrow revealed his worries about disenchanting the public. According to Morrow’s released official statement, he has declined to follow the stay-at-home orders announced by the state despite five counties in the region followed suit to adhere to the new guidelines. Moreover, Morrow affirmed that the measure would not obtain much progress in trying to combat COVID-19.

“What we have before us is a symbolic gesture, it appears to be style over substance, without any hint of enforcement, and I simply don’t believe it will do much good,” said Morrow.

Much like other people’s sentiment on the issue, Dr. Gandhi also supports San Mateo’s reasoning in refusing to follow the newly declared coronavirus protocols. Gandhi said that several of the effects of unreliable public health protocols are encouraging the public not to comply with the rules, force people to stay stuck inside their homes, and hear heavy criticisms from commentators. Moreover, she proposed that government officials also use and rely on science to create more reasonable rules based on logic and factual evidence.

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