Let’s face it, folks. As we head into the final stretch of spring quarter and transition into summer, many of us (especially those of us remaining local) have begun to map out our summer to-do list. I’d even bet some serious money that one of — if not the top — listed to-do activities on your list is going to the beach!
Unfortunately, whatever summer plans we might have had, have been cut short. Gov. Gavin Newsom officially closed all public beaches in California as of Thursday, April 30 due to the surge of crowds and their lack of social distancing.
“This virus doesn’t take the weekends off. This virus doesn’t go home because it’s a beautiful sunny day around our coasts.” Newsom said in response to Southern California beach go-ers.
As a Huntington Beach local, I myself have zipped down PCH and Main Street from time to time to get a breath of fresh ocean air with my pup. However, instead of bracing the beaches mask-free, I never left my car. Instead, I did a quick driveby with the windows down at a reasonable distance away from everyone, including, but not limited to, the rollerblading dog walkers and the middle-aged couples documenting the crowd surge with their selfie sticks.
Yes, I am shocked and saddened by the closure of our beloved city beach. But, at the same time, I humanize the current crisis and respect the measures needed to ensure the safety of all.
Something has to be done when thousands of people are parading without masks and disregarding fear of contamination. Unfortunately, Gov. Newsom had to play the bad cop to ensure proper conduct was being followed, and carelessness was not being practiced. After all, we don’t need another wave of the virus to hit harder than the first, and we definitely don’t need COVID-19 to spread as easily as a dollop of our favorite SPF 50. We just don’t.
Emily Abeles is an Opinion Intern for the 2020 spring quarter. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.