California Local and State Authorities COVID-19 Measures

December 8, 2020

California Local and State Authorities

COVID-19 Measures

Padmini Arhant

The pandemic toll on lives and people’s health is a tremendous challenge world over. The situation since widespread transmission of the virus has been fluctuating delaying anticipated bell curve with spikes disrupting efforts to reach the minimal or nil casualties in the United States. The initiatives in combating the virus with prolonged lockdowns allowing intermittent relaxations to test immunity among different communities besides federal and state authorities strict guidelines followed by most citizens is the common prescription thus far. The vaccine approval with citizens abroad administered at present would soon provide evidence on the effectiveness in the preventive care until the drug to cure life threatening symptoms become available for public use.

However, the health crisis necessitating lockdowns has enormous impact on the economy and livelihoods of ordinary citizens representing overwhelming majority nationwide. California among other states has been subject to rigorous conditions directly inflicting economic losses and damages for small business owners in any industry especially restaurants and food chains, personal care services such as hair salons and much more.

While certain areas of retail service industry might be considered high risk, the job loss from small businesses forced into shut down is crippling local, state and national economy reflected in the unemployment data. The handling or rather mishandling of COVID-19 varying from state to state even different cities and counties within a state is largely contributing to unnecessary breakdown in meeting health and economic expectations i.e. minimizing infections and improving economic activities that should be inversely proportional.

Californian local and state authorities implementation to mitigate COVID-19 has been irregular and to a large extent felt discriminatory among small business community like restaurants and diners diligently observing state and federal safety instructions on COVID-19 yet the vast majority are mandatorily shut down exacerbating economic plight for working class and lower income individuals as well as families struggling to make ends meet in the excruciating times requiring appropriate economic measures to alleviate disproportionate suffering across the spectrum.

Although, state and local authorities may emphasize the urgent need to contain escalating COVID-19 patients hospitalization citing limited capacity in various county and city hospitals, the chief authorities flouting their rules while censuring small business owners and ordinary citizens on daily activities is a reminder to authorities to be the example for people to follow suit in the otherwise contradictory position.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti ban on walking and driving during lockdown exceeds the norm without giving residents the benefit of doubt to make such decisions on health risks to them and others in the height of government determination of citizens’ lifestyle.

Governor Gavin Newsom in spotlight for dining with a large gathering of 15 people in Napa Valley restaurant amid imposing statewide closing of restaurants and other retail services barring exceptions to politically favored or aligned business chain undermine the rule of law prompting legitimate questions from citizens statewide.

Instead the governor prioritizing small and medium businesses SOS with effective plans and policy such as allowing restaurants and diners with take out options and outdoor seating maintaining social distancing of 6 feet and other requirements would help businesses and their employees from losing jobs, health care and home considering large number of working class and middle as well lower income groups are in rental accommodation and employer afforded health insurance.

Obviously there appears to be lack of cognizance among authorities on residents misery in the absence of any kind of financial assistance with long overdue second stimulus package and PPP aimed at economic relief to people drastically affected in COVID-19 stalled and delayed for partisan political reasons in the Capitol Hill.

Small and medium businesses are the back bone of the local and national economy. The state and national legislators immediate focus in reviving the sector with practical solutions expediting financial provisions setting aside political differences and reservations is critical to save lives and livelihoods in the extraordinary environment.

The authorities less interference in people’s personal lives and more attention towards restoring jobs and businesses with streamlined restrictions to address COVID-19 would strike a balance winning residents cooperation in the collective responsibility to defeat the pandemic and gain economic momentum.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Author & Presenter











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