As clear as the CDC has tried to make the concept of social distancing, people just aren’t getting it. Especially when it comes to gathering in public places, like the beach. This weekend, surging crowds (by social distancing standards) flocked to the beaches, hiking trails, and public parks of California, stretching the limits of the order issued by Governor Gavin Newsom.
In their minds, it was probably a chance to be contamination-free in the great outdoors, but it’s easy to forget about handrails, bathrooms, and — most of all — other people who might not meet your standards of distancing. The fact is that people at beaches and parks increase the danger to the public. As a result, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has announced that all sports and recreation at LA city parks and parking at city beaches is now closed, remarking via tweet, “That doesn’t mean gather elsewhere. This is serious. Stay home and save lives.”
This weekend we saw too many people packing beaches, trails and parks. So we are closing sports and recreation at @LACityParks and closing parking at city beaches. That doesn’t mean gather elsewhere. This is serious. Stay home and save lives.
— Mayor Eric Garcetti (@MayorOfLA) March 23, 2020
The city of Laguna Beach also announced the closure of all city beaches by Monday evening, April 23rd, and has taken steps to close trail access at Orange County wilderness parks. Elsewhere, the cities of Santa Monica, Long Beach, and Malibu implemented their own specific social-distance-strengthening guidelines and beach closures. San Diego has also closed all beaches, and much of Northern California is under a shelter-in-place ruling that is slightly more strict than its Southern California counterpart.
The message is clear: Please, people, take this seriously. It’s a necessity if we want to flatten the curve.