In San Diego, Orange Is The New Happy Cautiously Optimistic

For what seems like forever, California has had a tiered, color-coded plan for safely reopening counties during the coronavirus pandemic – see image above.

I actually saw nine versions of the plan – here’s another one:

And I’m glad you don’t want me to explain this or any of them, because I couldn’t even begin to pretend I understand them.

What I – and everyone in San Diego County – does understand is that the levels of bad go from purple (worst) to red, to orange, and then yellow.

And that on May 7 – after what seems like forever – San Diego County moved from the red tier to orange:

According to San Diego County Chair Nathan Fletcher,

“The combination of a low case rate plus the state hitting vaccine milestones allows us to continue moving forward.”

“Low case rate” in California?  The state that leads all other states in deaths and confirmed cases?


And not only that, on April 6 Governor Newsom announced that California has the lowest COVID-19 positivity rate in the nation.

Gosh, it’s nice being last at something.

And what’s it all mean?

It means a step toward normalcy, with many “ifs” attached.

First, some of the steps toward normalcy:

More people allowed in restaurants to eat outdoors and indoors.

More people allowed in museums, zoos, aquariums, movie theaters, bowling alleys, amusement parks, and outdoor live events with assigned seats.

The latter for in-state visitors only.

And large-scale indoor events, such as conventions, will be allowed, but only with testing or vaccination verification requirements.

The governor also said that California was aiming to fully reopen its economy by June 15 – meaning most businesses and activities would be able to return to their pre-pandemic operations…

Now for some of those “ifs”:

That June 15 date? 

If there’s enough coronavirus vaccine supply for Californians age 16 and older who want to be vaccinated.

If Californians continue to get vaccinated.

If hospitalization rates remain low and stable

If Californians continue to wear masks, social distance, and wash their hands frequently.

If Californians remember that the pandemic is far from over.

That’s a lot of “ifs,” especially when recent images of local gatherings like this are not uncommon:

And California still has so many counties that are red (bad), and two that are still purple (worst):

That’s why, in this post’s title, I crossed out “Happy.”

It’s too soon to be “happy.”

But I am…

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