Silicon Valley Joins a Statewide Lockdown as the Rest of the World Scrambles to Beat the COVID-19 Pandemic
Tech giants have shut down as residents within San Francisco were asked to stay at home to slow down the deadly COVID-19 virus from spreading. Certain regions had been directly affected by the virus, including Oakland, Palo Alto, and San Jose, which houses giant tech firms such as Netflix, Apple, Google, and Facebook.
Six counties within the region, along with the city of Berkeley, announced that they would join the community quarantine. Currently, the state of California confirms four coronavirus-related deaths and 258 confirmed cases.
In a city that has a whopping 7 million population, San Francisco Mayor London Breed ordered a “remain-in-place” policy, which would take effect on Tuesday until April 7. However, the dates might possibly be extended as President Donald Trump advised that it might take months before the country could fully recover from the virus.
In an official announcement, Breed said: “We know these measures will significantly disrupt people’s day to day lives, but they are absolutely necessary.” He went on to say that the crisis will be a “defining moment” for San Francisco. Breed urged everyone to take responsibility and do their part to stop the virus from spreading, by opting to stay ay home. The mayor explained that the order instructs all residents to stay in their homes unless they needed to go out. Health officials also warned that whenever residents should be out, they have to stay away two meters or at least six feet away from anyone.
Counties that have joined the lockdown in the state of California include Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara, along with the city of Berkeley. The lockdown also covered businesses that were deemed not essential to continue their operations, except for hospitals, banks, fueling stations, transit, police, fire, and grocery shops. The order also bans social gatherings whether it might be indoors or outdoors.
On the other hand, Democratic senators such as Sen. Tom Cotton had been pressuring the White House to take more aggressive measures to combat the pandemic. Cotton believes that it is important to implement a “national shutdown” with the exception of “absolutely essential work” as well as providing monetary assistance for workers who have been affected by the virus. “The time has come for extraordinary measures to combat the Chinese coronavirus. What seems extreme today will seem obvious tomorrow,” Cotton said.
However, in a conference call on Monday, Trump clarified that as of the moment, there would be no national coronavirus quarantine. However, the president believes that he might consider a lockdown on COVID-19 “hotspots.”
As the nation tries to treat and contain the devastating effects of the virus, other countries have also made drastic measures to stop the COVID-19 from spreading. In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson encouraged their citizens to avoid pubs, clubs, and theaters as well as to stop “non-essential travel.” Alarmingly, the country already has 1,543 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Canada also followed suit to ban “symptomatic” travelers except for US citizens to board flights. Prime minister Justin Trudeau also announced that only four Canadian Airports would be allowed to accept International flights, including Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. Currently, Canada has at least 324 confirmed cases.