California is trying and failing to curb the coronavirus, but it’s better than failing to try to stop the pandemic.

For many Californians, the effort has been too much, but stringent restrictions have not been enough to prevent the state from setting daily records for COVID-19 hospitalization and deaths.

The rise has California leaders searching for more answers as health and government leaders face the spike and brace for more amid the holiday season. State officials have implemented restaurant dining bans, gym closures and travel quarantines, but California still has about 24,000 deaths.  

“We are facing a very, very difficult and very dangerous time in our county, in our region and in our state,” epidemiologist and Santa Clara County public health officer Sara Cody, M.D., said at a press briefing. “All of our numbers are going in the wrong direction, and our reality is rather grim at the moment.

“If we have a surge on top of a surge, we will definitely break.”

Southern California is no better, with hospitals treating some patients in tents and the Los Angeles Times reporting that four Los Angeles County hospitals are considering how to ration care as the number of patients exceeds staff abilities.

There are stringent restrictions, but some blame the crisis on a lack of enforcement or compliance.

“The public health officials have lost credibility with a huge section of the populace. They’re just tuning them out now,” California Assembly member Jordan Cunningham of Templeton said. “The goalposts are moving all the time. … People are fed up with it and they don’t think it makes any sense, and they’re not wrong.”

Even if most people adhere to safe practices, any number of people can be responsible for the spread.

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