The most populated state in the United States, California, would be one of the first to report cases of COVID-19. As time went on, the novel virus continued to spread, with more and more states reporting new cases. The global pandemic would infect people nationwide with one state being hit hardest. That state being New York, The Big Apple. With California the first to report cases of COVID-19, many are left wondering how California continues to stay afloat amidst the virus while New York continues to fight relentlessly day in and day out.
On February 26th, California reported its first case of COVID-19. On March 4th, the state reported its first death. New York reported its first case on March 3rd and the state’s first death was reported on March 14th. To date there have been a total of more than 17,000 cases reported in California, with approximately 450 people losing their life to the virus. New York has reported more than 140,000 cases with approximately 5,500 people passing away. With New York hospitals at capacity, health care workers continue to struggle to find personal protective equipment. This is not the case in California where hospitals have vacant beds and have enough equipment to donate to those in need.
You might ask why New York and California have such differences while battling the same virus. One factor includes the density of New York. The Big Apple is the densest city in the United States with San Francisco coming in second. With people living and traveling so close to one another, it makes the spread of the virus that much easier.
Another factor is simply the number of people being tested for COVID-19 in each state. New York has tested more than four times the rate of those living in California. As more and more people get tested, the number of new reported cases will continue to increase.
California’s quick reaction to act may have also played a role as well. Certain actions such as a “shelter-in-place” order was issued by San Francisco on March 16th and a “stay-at home order” issued by Governor Gavin Newsom was put in place urging people to stay home. New York didn’t issue a stay-at-home-order until late March.
Now, while there is no definite timeline for when these stay-at home-orders will end, it is very important for not only for these two states but all states to continue these practices. While the differences between New York and California are factors that need to be considered, there is a bigger picture at hand, that being the virus itself. As we continue to fight COVID-19 it is important that everyone comes together to stop the spread so that hospitals like those in New York can have the same results as California soon, with fewer cases and deaths occurring, until a treatment or cure can be found.