• Coronavirus lockdown measures began to ease in some states and counties across the United States, allowing people to return to work, attend gatherings, and visit parks and beaches.
  • Within days to weeks, many areas began to see an increase in coronavirus cases, with more people flooding into healthcare centers than had been in previous weeks.
  • People refusing to wear masks or practice basic social distancing have made the problem worse for everyone.

Areas that were previously trending downward for new coronavirus cases have seen a recent uptick. The troubling change in course is linked to efforts to reopen businesses and services well ahead of when many public health experts believe it is safe to do so. Now, some of those areas are reversing course, pushing to reinstate restrictions that had previously been working well.

As the Los Angeles Times reports, Sonoma County has seen a huge spike in new coronavirus cases. The numbers began to rise after the county loosened restrictions on many public gatherings and business services. In just two weeks, officials watched 203 new cases pop up, more than doubling the previous case rate.

When social distancing and lockdown mandates began to impact the number of new coronavirus cases by reducing the spread in many states and saving lives in the process, you knew it was only a matter of time before people got restless. Some states and counties across the United States have acted as though getting “back to normal” was a race, and now they’re starting to pay the unfortunate price.

County health officials believe many of the cases may be linked to people returning to work at businesses that have recently reopened. If just one employee is positive for the virus and doesn’t know it, it can easily spread throughout the rest of the workforce, especially if masks aren’t being worn and other precautions aren’t being taken.

Many counties in many states have just recently started to loosen their restrictions on business openings, public gatherings, and other activities. Parks and beaches that were closed are being reopened, and residents are flooding back to these places in huge numbers. Everyone knew that was a strong possibility, but despite the urging of health experts, many of the people gathering at these locations aren’t wearing masks or taking any special measures to protect themselves or others.

That’s really the key to all of this. Reopening and loosening lockdown restrictions is one thing, but if nobody is following the best practices set forth by doctors and healthcare experts, the virus is just going to continue to spread as it did before the measures were put in place. All the top experts stressed the importance of taking simple steps to protect ourselves but a lot of people out there just aren’t getting the message.

Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech. Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today, Time.com, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.