VIEWPOINT: Trying to Find Common Sense in Closing Beaches


Beaches will be closed to the public over the July 4th weekend.

Demonstrators will be allowed to protest in groups over the July 4 weekend, but the L.A. County Supervisors have closed beaches to families.

In other words, hundreds of people who are marching and demonstrating for a social cause are seemingly immune to the virus, according to the Supervisors. Those who are peacefully relaxing on the sand, six feet from others, are not.

I’m not sure which science L.A. County is citing to support that decision: social science, political science or biological science. If you can’t decide which science to cite, what about using common sense? In 2019, L.A. County Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas made $331,043 in total pay and benefits, Kathryn Barger-Leibrich made $319,453; Hilda Solis $318,831; Sheila Kuehl $305,470 and Janice Hahn $305,345. At these prices, residents should be getting some solid advice.

I keep asking, “Why are the Supervisors ignoring the poor or at least not considering them when they make decisions like closing beaches?” By closing Los Angeles County beaches, many people will travel from Los Angeles to the Ventura or Orange County to pack those beaches.

It was announced that beaches, piers, beach bike paths and beach access points would be closed beginning at midnight on July 3 and lasting until Monday, July 6 at 5 a.m.

I know what it’s like to grow up with a family crammed into a small space. One summer when my dad went back to school, our entire family of seven lived in a space of about 450 sq. ft. Certainly there are many families who are stuck in similar situations in Los Angeles.

When County Supervisors and City Officials close parks and beaches, they don’t impact Pacific Palisades residents or those in Brentwood or Beverly Hills (or even the supervisors or their families). Residents living in those areas have big yards, many have pools, some even have tennis courts.

The people the supervisors and the mayor are hurting are those who live in apartments. They are hurting families that are sharing bedrooms and bathrooms, those that don’t have an outside yard.

Although the closing of beaches is cloaked under science, it’s not biological science. If you’re going to permit people to demonstrate, which will be allowed, social distancing is not happening. There’s no science that says people who hold certain beliefs are less likely to get a virus.

And if you feel that people can safely social distance on the beach, then let them go, let them get Vitamin D and fresh air. Don’t keep entire families trapped in small rooms inside.

Or at least be fair: if you’re going to let people demonstrate, then beaches should be open.

Demonstrations started in Los Angeles around Memorial Day—I’m not commenting on the justice aspect—but Covid cases have been increasing in L.A. this month, particularly with the younger demographics.

According to the CDC, cloth face coverings are recommended as “a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the cloth face covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice.. . . COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).”

If people are going to demonstrate, they need to social distance. A cloth mask will not stop one from getting Covid-19.

And if a family of seven wants to go sit on the sand, six feet from everyone else, they should be allowed.

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3 Responses to VIEWPOINT: Trying to Find Common Sense in Closing Beaches

  1. Murray Levy says:

    It would take dozens of Police people patrolling 24 hours per day to “close” the beaches. I don’t think LAPD has those resources available. We’ve been asking for Police help with illegal fireworks at the beach just about every night for the past several weeks. So far the best we’ve gotten is an occasional patrol car on PCH. Announcements like this that are unenforced and probably unenforceable make no sense

  2. Dottie Henkle says:

    YES!!! Thank you!!d

  3. Deborah Alexander says:

    I totally agree with you that it is not fair to close the beaches on July 4th weekend. Since the virus numbers have been rising the county supervisors are being extremely cautious with public gathering places and that unfortunately includes the beach. Stay safe and healthy. ????

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