COVID-19

The Lockdowns Strike Back: Sonoma County Bans Gatherings of 50 People

Written by T. Logan Dayne

Earlier this week, Sonoma County has once again issued bans on certain gatherings, seen by some as a prelude of what is to happen for the greater California area. On Monday, indoor gatherings of more than 50 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 100 have been banned in Sonoma while local officials are asking residents to “stay home as much as possible for the next 30 days,” following an uptick in Omicron cases.

This uptick is occurring in both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents despite 78% of the residents considered “fully vaccinated”. The CDC defines “fully vaccinated” as having received two shots from Pfizer/Moderna or one from Johnson & Johnson although, in some areas of the world it now includes being “up-to-date” on boosters. This new ban includes both public and private spaces such as gyms and weddings; however, there are  exemptions for churches, shopping malls, schools, and restaurants.

By data, even as Omicron appears to be more infectious, there is strong evidence that it is significantly less threatening than other variants of COVID-19. Many politicians and bureaucrats are focusing on cases detected rather than on deaths directly caused by the virus. Even hospital data for Sonoma shows that 77.3% of ventilators are available and 7 of the 47 people currently in ICU have COVID-19. Despite this, the lockdowns are coming anyway. California legislator, Kevin Kiley, took to twitter to point out that others may use Sonoma to justify bans and more “shelter in place” policies in other parts of the State saying, “This is a prelude to a statewide lockdown. We can’t let it happen.” Lockdowns seem to be the main strategy in the California playbook, even as it exacerbates the migration out of the state to more relaxed areas such as Texas and Florida.

Photo Cred: Sonoma County Tourism