Gov. Newsom backtracks and tells Californians to ‘go to the beach’ for their mental health

California Governor Gavin Newsom has backtracked on his stance around beaches telling residents they should visit for their mental health seven months after he shuttered Orange County shores citing ‘disturbing’ images of people overcrowding.

Newsom tweeted Thursday some recommended activities for Californians to enjoy safely amid the pandemic with ‘go to the beach’ top of his list, as he told residents that ‘mental health is physical health’. 

This came the same day California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris warned of increased rates of domestic violence, depression and substance abuse as people struggle to find ways to cope during the pandemic. 

Cases, deaths and hospitalizations are surging with the state on Thursday recording its deadliest day since the virus touched down on US soil. 

California holds the record for the most infections of all 50 US states, after taking back the lead from Texas this week.   

California Governor Gavin Newsom has backtracked on his stance around beaches telling residents they should visit for their mental health seven months after he shuttered Orange County shores citing 'disturbing' images of people overcrowding

California Governor Gavin Newsom has backtracked on his stance around beaches telling residents they should visit for their mental health seven months after he shuttered Orange County shores citing 'disturbing' images of people overcrowding

California Governor Gavin Newsom has backtracked on his stance around beaches telling residents they should visit for their mental health seven months after he shuttered Orange County shores citing ‘disturbing’ images of people overcrowding

Newsom urged Californians to ‘go to the beach’ and explore ‘your neighborhood & CA’s beauty’ Thursday in a post on Twitter.

‘Mental health is physical health. Staying active & connected right now is so important,’ he tweeted.

‘Get outdoors with your household safely. Explore your neighborhood & CA’s beauty!’ 

 He shared recommended activities including: go to the beach, take your kids to a playground, go on a hike or walk your dog.

‘We can get through this,’ he added. 

However several of his recommended activities are the same ones he has previously railed against during the pandemic. 

Back in April, Newsom ordered all beaches in Orange County to close after ‘disturbing’ images showed masses of residents flocked to the sands ignoring the state’s stay-at-home order.

He said the ‘hard close’ of the county’s beaches was necessary to flattening the curve after soaring temperatures drove the public to soak up the sun.  

Newsom tweeted Thursday some recommended activities for Californians to enjoy safely amid the pandemic with 'go to the beach' top of his list, as he told residents that 'mental health is physical health'

Newsom tweeted Thursday some recommended activities for Californians to enjoy safely amid the pandemic with 'go to the beach' top of his list, as he told residents that 'mental health is physical health'

Newsom tweeted Thursday some recommended activities for Californians to enjoy safely amid the pandemic with ‘go to the beach’ top of his list, as he told residents that ‘mental health is physical health’

Photos showed masses of sun-seekers gathering on the beaches enjoying the heatwave. 

At the time, the governor had been expected to shutter all beaches and state parks across California, after a leaked memo from Newsom’s administration to the California Police Chiefs Association surfaced.

But he appeared to change course shuttering only state and local beaches in Orange County.  

Local officials criticized the plans saying the open spaces are essential for the public’s health and wellbeing – the same argument Newsom seems to have come round to now.

Similarly, Newsom showed a dramatic turnaround over the importance of children’s playgrounds.  

Outdoor playgrounds were initially forced to close under his regional stay-home order issued last week.

But the news sparked a backlash from parents and lawmakers, who argued they were essential especially for families in urban areas. 

Huntington Beach in Orange County in April just before Newsom ordered all beaches in Orange County to close

Huntington Beach in Orange County in April just before Newsom ordered all beaches in Orange County to close

Huntington Beach in Orange County in April just before Newsom ordered all beaches in Orange County to close

Huntington Beach in Orange County in April. Newsom ordered the closure after 'disturbing' images showed masses of residents flocked to the sands ignoring the state's stay-at-home order

Huntington Beach in Orange County in April. Newsom ordered the closure after 'disturbing' images showed masses of residents flocked to the sands ignoring the state's stay-at-home order

Huntington Beach in Orange County in April. Newsom ordered the closure after ‘disturbing’ images showed masses of residents flocked to the sands ignoring the state’s stay-at-home order

California officials quietly updated the stay-at-home order Wednesday adding playgrounds to the list of essential sites that can stay open ‘to facilitate physically distanced personal health and wellness through outdoor exercise’ and Newsom actively encouraged people visit them the following day.

Newsom’s focus on the mental health implications of the pandemic comes the same day the state’s surgeon general also warned about the mental toll on residents. 

Burke Harris warned of a surge in mental health issues, substance abuse and domestic violence brought about by pandemic-related stress.   

She urged people to take exercise, eat well and seek mental health treatment. 

‘What we’re seeing is increased rates of things like intimate partner violence or increased rates of mental health concerns like depression and anxiety as well as some increased rates of substance abuse as well,’ she said in an interview with KCRA3 Thursday. 

‘My office just put out a report about the impact of stress on health and what we can do to help mitigate the effects of toxic stress.

‘Some of the things were recommending are things like getting regular exercise, nutrition, certainly seeking mental health care if that’s necessary and right now that’s certainly a good recommendation for anyone who feels they need it.’

Children are also facing increased stress due to the pandemic, Burke Harris said, and she advised parents to ‘put our own oxygen masks on’ in order to be able to support their children as well.

‘The key that is the most important for children right now is we know that, while stress can affect both our mental and physical health, safe stable and nurturing relationships and environments are healing for children,’ she said.

California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris warned of increased rates of domestic violence, depression and substance abuse as people struggle to find ways to cope during the pandemic

California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris warned of increased rates of domestic violence, depression and substance abuse as people struggle to find ways to cope during the pandemic

California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris warned of increased rates of domestic violence, depression and substance abuse as people struggle to find ways to cope during the pandemic

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‘And in order for us to do that I go back to us reducing our own stress levels. So for us as parents and caregivers we’ve got to put our own oxygen masks on to help us be there for our kids.’ 

Mental health issues, particularly among young adults, have increased during the pandemic, according to research from the CDC.  

During late June, 40 percent of American adults reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues.     

The surgeon general spoke as Greater Sacramento plunged into a stay-at-home order Thursday night after ICU capacity dropped below 15 percent in the region. 

She told KCRA3 the restriction is necessary to ‘save lives’ and make sure there are enough beds for both COVID and non-COVID patients. 

‘It really is to save lives,’ she said. ‘We recognize that we need to have this capacity to ensure that not only for our patients with COVID-19 but if anyone of us were to get into a car accident or have a heart attack that there would be a bed available for our friend or loved one who would be in that situation.’ 

She warned: ‘Right now we’re seeing record high case numbers in terms of cases of COVID-19 all across the state. 

‘So eating out at restaurants or going to a nail salon is simply much more dangerous now than it was even a few months ago simply because there are now so many more people in our population now that have COVID-19 and many folks may not even be aware they have it yet.’  

On Thursday, California recorded its deadliest day since the pandemic began, with 220 people dying from the virus. 

This passed the previous record of 219 back on July 31 and marked a 1.1 percent increase on the day before.   

A staggering 12,477 patients are currently hospitalized statewide, an uptick of 512 patients in a single day.

Of these, 2,170 were in the ICU, up by 83 from the day before. 

California’s hospitals are starting to buckle under the pressure with only 1,487 ICU beds now available across the state of almost 40 million residents.  

The state’s 14-day positivity rate has climbed by 2.9 percent in just two weeks, reaching 9 percent as of Thursday, and another 29,677 cases were reported. 

Concerns are ramping up that the worst is yet to come given the lag in cases converting to hospitalizations and deaths and as the nation waits for the post-Thanksgiving surge to hit.

Back in mid-July before the state reached its previous record number of deaths of 219 on July 31, daily cases were around 13,000. Cases are now than double that amount.    

Last Thursday, Newsom issued a new stay-at-home order for regions of California where fewer than 15 percent of intensive care unit beds are available.

The new order divided the state into five regions – Northern California, San Joaquin Valley, Greater Sacramento, Southern California and the Bay Area 

When a region surpasses 85 percent capacity of ICU beds being full, the state will order affected regions to close hair salons and barber shops, limit retail stores to 20 percent capacity and only allow restaurants to offer take-out and delivery for at least three weeks. 

The Bay Area plunged itself into a lockdown ahead of meeting the threshold Friday.

Since then, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California have passed the threshold, followed by Greater Sacramento Thursday.  

Link hienalouca.com

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