California has enacted new stay-at-home guidelines as coronavirus cases in the state have surged, placing 33m pandemic-fatigued residents under some of the harshest restrictions in the US in a last-resort effort to rein in the pandemic.
The measures are the strictest since those enacted in March, when California’s early, aggressive lockdown helped keep the state’s death rate relatively low. Nine months on, however, a worn-out public seems less willing to comply with shelter-in-place and many workers – devastated by the economic toll of the pandemic – are unable to do so.
In Los Angeles, hospitals are expected to overflow by Christmas. In southern California, only 12.5% of ICU beds remain available. In the San Joaquin Valley, just 8.6% of ICU beds are open.
“We’re seeing the healthcare system become overwhelmed right now,” said Marta Induni, the director of research at the Oakland-based non-profit Public Health Institute.
California’s new shelter-in-place order, which will remain in place until 4 January, requires people in affected regions to stay home and minimize contact with those outside their household. Outdoor dining, playgrounds, campgrounds and other recreation areas are closed. “My message couldn’t be simpler: it’s time to hunker down,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said last week.
But the rules aren’t so simple – they come with many exceptions and caveats. Non-essential retail, including malls and shopping centers, will remain open at reduced capacity. Outdoor religious services and protests are permitted, and entertainment production and professional sports can continue without a live audience.
Read more of Maanvi Singh’s report from San Francisco here: Fatigued Californians are back in lockdown. Will it work?
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Neil Young drops lawsuit against Donald Trump
Neil Young’s lawsuit against Donald Trump, filed in opposition to his music being used in campaign rallies, has been dismissed by a New York court.
The musician voluntarily dismissed the case himself, “with prejudice”, which means it cannot be brought again. It is possible that the case was settled out of court, though neither the president’s team nor Young has made any further statement.
Young filed the lawsuit in August, after his songs Rockin’ in the Free World and Devil’s Sidewalk were used at a Trump rally in Tulsa. He claimed copyright infringement, with the complaint stating that Young “cannot allow his music to be used as a ‘theme song’ for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate”. He said Trump had repeatedly played the songs as far back as 2015, and claimed he did not have a licence to play them.
Trump himself said “Rockin’ in the Free World was just one of 10 songs used as background music. Didn’t love it anyway.” But he started to use the song again in his 2020 re-election campaign, by which time Young had become a frequently outspoken opponent of the president.
Read more of Ben Beaumont-Thomas’ report here: Neil Young drops lawsuit against Donald Trump
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