Bay Area of San Fran is Flattening the Curve — Shelter in Place Seems to be Working
I have been a resident of the city of San Francisco for over two decades. In this time, I have seen two devastating economic recessions (the dot-com bust and the wall street collapse), with the coronavirus epidemic being the third. And I have seen this city rise up from the ashes time and again.
I have also witnessed “unique” policies enacted that set a guidance for the rest of the nation. Now, not all of these policies have been successful. But they definitely indicate the willingness of the people and its leadership to take risk and try new things, to experiment. And this is perhaps why we are the entrepreneurial capital of the world.
The latest such experiment is Shelter-in-Place, which the Bay Area was the first to institute in the entire country, without any federal support or mandate. So, I decided to take a look at how this experiment has played out. And so far, the numbers seem to indicate that this was not only a wise decision, but will help us come out of this far quicker than anyone else (provided we can limit people travelling into or outside of the bay area and continue to maintain social distancing. And quicker recovery will mean that the economic impact is likely to be much lower than what it would have been had we done this sometime later, after more cases were allowed to spread. Now, I must caveat this with it being early days. But the numbers appear to indicate that aggressive distancing and lock-down policies are highly effective when applied early.
The Bay Area put its Shelter in Place effective Mar 17. I have compared data from Mar 15 to about 6 pm PT on Mar, 22, which was the time of this writing. And, I will continue to update this article over the coming days with more data.