March 16: Coronavirus Updates and Reactions:

“To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, I’m taking executive action to temporarily close bars, nightclubs, restaurants (except takeout/delivery), entertainment venues, and other establishments in the city of Los Angeles. These orders go into effect at midnight tonight and will stay in place until March 31 unless extended,” L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said on Sunday, March 15. “There is no food shortage and grocery stores will remain open. We’re taking these steps to help protect Angelenos, limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, and avoid putting a dangerous strain on our health care system.”

Most restaurants and coffee shops, such as Starbucks, are open for pickup only.


To that end, all the Pacific Palisades restaurants, coffee, yogurt and ice cream shops that remain open would appreciate your patronage.

Typical is what one reader sent Circling the News: “Jintana at KaynDaves asked if I could pass along that they will be reopening for business tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, from noon to 8 p.m. for takeout deliveries.”

Another reader wrote: “We got takeout from the new Casa Nostra Trattoria on Sunset last night (March 15). James at Garden Cafe is doing takeout.”

Call a local restaurant and see if you can help them out (and yourself) by ordering a meal “to go.” Or, see if they have gift cards; the cash now will help them weather the next couple of weeks (or months).


Gyms, nail salons and movie theaters are closed: they are considered nonessential. Even the Santa Monica Pier is closed to the public at least until March 31.

Theatre Palisades has postponed the March 27 opening of “Wait Until Dark” (visit:

On March 15, Alan Hostrup, the president and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles wrote: “Over the past 24 hours, the State of California and the City of Los Angeles have taken significant steps to keep the public safe as the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) begins to spread. Early Sunday evening, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered the closure of all bars, nightclubs, restaurants (except takeout/delivery), entertainment venues, gyms and other establishments in the City of Los Angeles effective midnight, March 15 through March 31.

“As a result of this action, all 26 branches of the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles will be closed for all healthy lifestyle activities. We will be conducting a deep cleaning and disinfecting all of our branches prior to reopening.

“We will be rolling out online classes for our members later this week so you can continue to keep your mind and body healthy.

“We are hopeful that these significant precautions will help stem the spread of the virus and that we can begin to return to our normal routines soon.”

Normal routines would be nice.


There were no lines at the Post Office Monday morning.

Remember when we used to write and receive cards and letters? The U.S. post office on La Cruz is still open, with no lines. They have some great new stamps, including Wild and Scenic Rivers, the First Moon Landing, State and Country Fairs, and Sesame Street. Since there’s not much reason to leave home (if you’re not working), why not use some of your idle time to write somebody a letter?


California Governor Gavin Newsom has requested that “If you’re over 65, do everything possible to stay inside, and if you have to leave the house, maintain six feet of distance and don’t get coughed on.”


At Gelson’s, tiolet paper and paper towels were gone by 9:30 a.m. on Monday morning. Eggs were gone, too.

Stop hoarding toilet paper.

If we really wanted to protect people over 65, we would let them have the first hour in the grocery store by themselves, before everyone else comes in and breathes on them and buys so much toilet paper that clerks have to remind customers to limit themselves.

Erewhon announced that it will open its stores from 6 to 7 a.m. for the elderly and the immune compromised.

It would be nice if Ralphs, Gelson’s and Vons followed suit.

Additionally, how many times do the stores have to reassure people there are goods and if people just shopped normally, there would be no empty shelves?


I see where people were lined up at the gun store in Culver City. I guess first toilet paper and then guns.

There is a natural fear of the unknown. The virus is an unknown. We don’t have control over the virus, but we do have control over how we react to a fear.

I remember the fear of the L.A. Riots. I remember the fear of 9/11 and its aftermath.

The fear of this virus is a little different because we’re reacting to something we cannot see; we’re reacting to the possibility of “what if?”

Now is the time to contemplate and evaluate what is important to you in life – and for the 100th time I don’t think it’s toilet paper.

If we all use good sense, we will come out of this crisis regretful for what we have lost and what we have missed, but wiser and more reflective.

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