Coronavirus: The California Herd

Brian Hackett, wearing a face mask and gloves, waits in line outside a Trader Joe’s in Napa, Calif., March 19, 2020. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)
By now, California should be, as predicted in so many models, ground zero of infection.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T he bluest state’s public officials have been warning for weeks that California will be overwhelmed, given federal-government unpreparedness and the purported inefficacy of the local, state, and federal governments.

California governor Gavin Newsom has assured his state that over half of the population — or, in his words, 56 percent — will soon be infected. That is, more than 25 million coronavirus cases are on the horizon, which, at the virus’s current fatality rate of 1–2 percent (the ratio of deaths to known positive cases), would mean that the state should anticipate 250,000–500,000 dead Californians in the near future. Los Angeles


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