As of this writing we have 133 cases of the corona virus in California. Sun Valley, of course is part of greater Los Angeles and with our tens of millions of residents the concern about the spread of the virus is real.
We know that people who have contracted the virus can remain asymptomatic while still being contagious so it’s sensible to take precautions like washing hands regularly and not touching your face.
California’s governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency regarding the virus but overall in the United States we have not seen the number of infections that other countries have.
One fear is that the homeless population which has grown in the past few years here in Los Angeles, may be breeding ground for the virus. The majority of homeless, however, appear to be concentrated closer to downtown Los Angeles and not so much in our area of Sun Valley. That doesn’t mean we aren’t affected by this, but Sun Valley is less impacted by this trend than other areas in and around L.A.
Organizations and venues around the country have begun cancelling events in the wake of the virus including the annual SXSW in Texas and–closer to home–the BPN Paribas Tennis Tournament in Palm Desert. For the most part in our neck of the woods, life seems to be going on as usual. There are exceptions, however.
One need only make a shopping trip to Costco to see the effect fear of the virus is having on our local population. By 11 am all cases of bottled water at our Burbank Costco were gone. Same for hand santizer and toilet paper. It would appear to be an interesting case study in fear and how it can overtake a society. The run on supplies comes despite warnings from health care professionals that the virus’ fatality rate is only somewhere around 3 percent (possibly lower) and that many of those who have died had existing health problems exacerbated by the virus.
So what does this mean for us in Sun Valley? I would suggest common sense, caution and wisdom. Yes, we all should take the steps necessary to avoid getting sick (see CA Dept. of Public Health site), but these are the same instructions given to us every flu season. Wash hands, don’t touch face, etc. That’s good advice no matter what the disease but we should also be going about our daily lives and continue to pursue business as usual. The alternative–to throw our hands up in despair–isn’t going to get us anywhere. As for me, you can bet Jose Mier is going to continue living and working as usual in Sun Valley.
As Franklin Roosevelt famously said, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”