IMPOSING CURFEW CANNOT BE A PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURE

California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, until December 21, to stop the spread of coronavirus. Ordering a curfew can never be a public health measure, and shows the governor’s failure in leadership.

America, for months, has fought coronavirus. Since the pandemic began, we overcame shortages of personal protective equipment, ventilators, and hand sanitizers; we fought price-gouging and ensured that essentials such as food, bottled water, and toilet paper are available on store shelves; and we made tremendous personal and financial sacrifices while complying with stay-at-home orders. The country, in spite of overwhelming challenges, is on the verge of success in finding vaccines to combat COVID19. It is time for people to start going back to a normal life, and not continue to live in fear. As the head of the state, it is the responsibility of the governor to help California return to normal conditions.

Unfortunately, Governor Gavin Newsom chose to do the opposite. Instead of standing with the people of his state and showing them light at the end of the tunnel, he chose to order a curfew that would inflict fear and further depress the economy of the most populous state in the country.

Gavin Newsom has spent months preaching strict public health measures to Californians. Just recently, he was seen at a very expensive restaurant with several people, with no mask and no social distancing. In practice, Governor Newsom was caught doing the exact opposite of what he orders millions of Californians to do.

Any order or a curfew cannot be effective without means of enforcement. Reportedly, various law enforcement agencies are planning to continue with their regular duties, instead of enforcing the curfew. On any given day, public safety professionals have to respond to various reports of crime, many violent, as well as other emergencies. Often, law enforcement resources are not enough given the volume of incidents that take place that require police attention. Fresno Sheriff Margaret Mims has announced that she would not be imposing penalties on California residents who do not follow the curfew.

The curfew may be the most aggressive of the orders that came from the office of the governor of California in recent months. Curfews cannot be a public health measure, especially when Governor Newsom sets one standard for himself, and a different standard for others. The governor must withdraw the curfew order and help restore freedom in California.

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