By Beatriz Garay
After almost three years, the state of California will be moving out of its state of emergency in February of 2023, and it’s time.
Governor Newsom has recently announced that he will be lifting California’s state of emergency proclamation for COVID-19 at the end of February 2023.
This can be seen as the first step toward going back to a sense of normalcy that many have craved since the proclamation of a state of emergency back in January of 2020.
People are in favor of ending the state of emergency, as it can enable them to feel free from the constricting feeling of face masks. However, others are still a little anxious to let their guard down as newer variants are rising.
No one can be sure how Californians will act once the state of emergency is lifted.The state must walk through a narrow minefield, as one misstep can put the Californians at risk of becoming infected and straining the healthcare system once again. For example, what happened during the Coronavirus Omicron variant of last winter.
After seeing the decrease in death and hospitalization rates, Gov. Newsom has chosen to lift the state of emergency in February 2023, as it is when the holiday season is over.
This makes the transition to normalcy more manageable while also being mindful of increased infection rates during the holiday season.
“I believe that the timing is reasonable, especially considering a predicted winter spike in Covid cases. A February deadline gives us a nice cushion,” said Professor Rogelio Garcia of the Political Science Department at ELAC.
While the idea of removing the state of emergency notice sounds good, Californians should not let their guards down as even small mistakes can have dire consequences.
It would be a mistake to just forget the unfortunate experiences during this pandemic as new ones could happen again.
Knowing how nature is changing due to our actions and climate change, it is inevitable that newer troubles will arise, and we need to learn from our mistakes so that we can be better prepared.
“Still, there seems to be a consensus that we are no longer in a state of emergency, but rather in a state of preparedness,” said Garcia.
After what everyone in the state of California went through, it can be said that they are prepared indeed.
States like California should be an example of how other states should be able to handle difficult situations when it comes to things such as disasters or new diseases.
Everyone did what they possibly could in order to reduce the virus from spreading. It may not have seemed that a lock down or a state of emergency helped, but it most certainly did. Although, there was a lot of drama with people trying to hold their own gatherings.
Even the governor was seen at a gathering of more than 10 people during the start of the pandemic.
There won’t be much of a change since most of the COVID-19 mandates have been lifted in the state of California since early this year.
Most of California’s residents have resumed their normal lives. Many Califonians attend social gatherings, work and school in-person rather than remotely now.
The most notable change expected once Gov. Newsom lifts the state of emergency is that the remaining municipal restrictions will also be lifted.
“The only real change I can predict is with the emergency powers at the county-level.
Once the state declarations end, it will become a lot easier for local elected officials to lift local restrictions, which I expect many counties will eagerly do, including Los Angeles County,” said Garcia.
With the lifting of the state of emergency, Californians should still not underestimate the abilities that COVID-19 has and the flaws in the medical and economic systems.
As California has learned, COVID-19 can be detrimental both medically and economically.
Regardless of whatever actions Governor Newsom takes, Californians should never let their guards down when we are given information about serious issues such as COVID-19.
Not being mindful could halt daily life again, bringing nothing but pain and suffering.
Californians need to learn and adapt in order to prevent another state and nationwide lockdown that could bring hardships for those who are working hard to provide for their families.
After all of the difficulties that Californians have endured during COVID-19, it is time for all of us to move forward onto a better future where we can live freely without worry.