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How Los Angeles became America’s largest coronavirus hotspot

Los Angeles-In Los Angeles County, an average of 10 people test positive for the coronavirus every minute. According to county public health data, people die of Covid-19 every six minutes.

Since the pandemic last year, California’s most populous county has quickly confirmed 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases, which is shocking.

According to public health officials in the county, as of Wednesday, more than 958,400 people in the state had been infected with the virus and nearly 13,000 had died. The statewide numbers are equally sobering. According to NBC News statistics, as of Wednesday, California has confirmed nearly 2.8 million coronavirus cases and more than 31

,000 deaths. A more infectious variant of the virus has also been found in the area.

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When the Covid-19 crisis in Los Angeles shifted, epidemiologists and elected officials faced a disturbing question: How did Los Angeles become the epicenter of the pandemic?

Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, said: “Los Angeles is a fairly large and complex county, with overcrowding, poverty, and a large basic labor force.” “During the pandemic, these things happen at the same time. , We also feel a lot of fatigue and less adherence to the basic things we must do to stay safe, such as wearing masks.”

On January 4, motorists lined up in the parking lot of the Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles to undergo a coronavirus test.Hingo HW Chiu/Associated Press

In many ways, Los Angeles is particularly vulnerable to the crisis.

Pandemic fatigue appears with the cooler weather and the approaching of short days, even in areas known for temperate climates, the attractiveness of outdoor activities has also decreased. Coupled with vacation travel, parties and a large amount of necessary labor, many members live in crowded or dense houses, causing a series of problems.

Dr. George Rutherford, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, said: “At least, the spread of this virus does not need to have a hellish urban density.” “Los Angeles has a small family house with a lot of people. Yes. It is difficult to be a gardener working from home.”

The convergence of environmental factors continues to confuse public health officials, who have repeatedly warned that with the surge after the holidays, the next few weeks may be the worst of the pandemic.

On Monday, county public officials put forward new suggestions to basic workers and those who require basic tasks to wear masks in their houses to avoid infecting relatives, especially high-risk groups.

Hilda Solis, chairman of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, said: “One of the most heartbreaking conversations our medical staff share is… when a child apologizes to parents and grandparents to bring Kovic back At home, when making them sick, apologize to them.”, said at a news conference on Tuesday. “These apologies are just the last words heard after the death of a loved one.”

According to county public health officials, the most recent surge began in early November, shortly after allowing private gatherings, reopening personal care services, the Dodgers winning the World Series and Halloween weekend.

Less than a month later, the county was forced to re-implement the restrictions that were first implemented in the spring, including ending outdoor dining, limiting the number of people allowed in basic businesses, and prohibiting multi-family gatherings indoors or outdoors. A revised whole-house service order was issued around Thanksgiving, but the number of cases at that time had doubled.

Bibbins-Domingo said: “Once you are 8 goals behind, it’s difficult to put the elf back into the bottle.” “This is the situation you don’t want to encounter.”

But this is what is currently happening in most parts of Southern California, where hospitals are still full of Covid-19 patients. According to Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health of Los Angeles County, the number of Covid-19 cases in Los Angeles has increased by 1,000% since November 1.

She said at a press conference last week: “Everyone should remember that the transmission rate in the community is so high that every time you leave your home, you are at risk of exposure.” “Assume this Deadly invisible viruses are everywhere, looking for a willing host.”

But almost a year after entering the pandemic, fatigue is everywhere.

Experts say that mixed messages from elected leaders will only intensify fatigue. First, the federal government’s understatement of the coronavirus, and then to the state and city levels, where should be kept open and which should be kept closed, people’s views may be. Very different. .

Rutherford said: “The federal government must have information chaos and resistance to breeding.”

Experts also pointed out that the strict stay-at-home orders issued at the beginning of the pandemic in California when there were relatively few coronavirus cases have caused confusion and frustration. Unlike Los Angeles after New York City closed after a surge in cases, Los Angeles preemptively closed many businesses and restricted outdoor activities before any such surge occurred. This has led some residents and local leaders to question the effectiveness of the restrictions.

“You have to consider the psychology behind it,” Bibbins-Domingo said. “It’s easier to implement a tough public health strategy when you see the destruction that New York suffered in the early days. It’s a difficult thing to do in 10 months when people are tired.”

Despite the surge in numbers, protesters marched through the streets this month through grocery stores and shopping malls, calling for the reopening of California’s economy and encouraging people to ignore California’s mask regulations.

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Some leaders elected by resistance rank defiantly of them trying to impose a very irregular awakening. Last year, the governor of two Democrats, Gavin Newsom (Gavin Newsom) and the mayor of San Francisco, London Breed (London Breed) were photographed indoors in a high-end wine country restaurant, while Speaker of the House Nancy Nancy Pelosi was also cut, although many salons throughout the state are still closed.

Opposition is rising rapidly in California.

Small business owners protested the whole-house service, and efforts to recall Newsom quickly received attention. In Orange County and Riverside Counties, the Sheriff’s Department stated that after implementing restrictions, it will not prioritize implementation at home, and some restaurants in San Diego and Los Angeles have publicly rejected home orders for several weeks.

Bibbins-Domingo said that perhaps the biggest obstacle to reducing transmission rates is to convince people that their actions can save lives.

She said: “If we cannot accept and understand how our destinies are connected, we will not return to normal.”

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