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Faced with a third COVID-19 wave just as we enter the holiday season, it would be fair for Californians to pose some existential questions.

Why does this virus seem to be targeting us yet again? Why have we struggled to control it? Where did we go wrong?

The simple answer is: We actually do know how to fight the virus. We just got tired of doing it.

This third coronavirus wave is particularly troubling because “we never got back down” to a low baseline number of cases, said Dr. Sara Cody, the Santa Clara County health officer and a key architect of the nation’s first regional stay-at-home order.

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