California’s first coronavirus lockdown order, in the spring, produced benefits within a month. By April, Gov. Gavin Newsom was able to crow that the state had “arguably flattened” the curve on infections.
It has been two weeks since a second stay-at-home order was issued, and no such flattening has yet occurred across most of California. This may be because restrictions are looser than those in the spring, and because many Californians are so fatigued by public health orders — or militantly resistant to them — that they are mixing with people from outside their households.
But experts say the most pertinent explanation has to do with the amount of the coronavirus in the community. The latest orders came after the virus was already raging out of control, in part because of Thanksgiving travel — a difference experts say will make the current surge much harder to corral.
“The virus is unforgiving and relentless, and there is just so much community transmission,” said Dr. Tomás Aragón, who next month will take over as director of the California Department of Public Health.
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