LOS ANGELES - If you have been living under a rock, you would’ve thought it was a typical sunny weekend at the beach. The LA County coastline was packed with people ignoring the mandate to social-distance and congesting the bike path, beaches, and hiking trails.
The only thing that seemed to scare people away from gathering at the beach was when it started to rain. Now the LA Mayor is threatening to fine those disobeying the order to social distance and close down the beaches.“We are prepared to fine people and it is a misdemeanor,” says Mayor Eric Garcetti.
“That is absolutely on the table. We will have law enforcement officers, city employees, and others letting people know that they are in violation of the order whether it’s in a park, on a street or on a hike.”In an effort to keep people away, city leaders have closed piers and public beach parking lots and advised everyone to avoid public spaces where social-distancing is a challenge.
Datar Sahi, who lives by the bike path at Venice Beach, is only going outside to walk his dog, which people insist on petting, and it’s been aggravating for him.“
At first, I started with a really nice way of saying it like, ‘hey, with everything going on for your safety, maybe you don’t want to pet him." says Sahi. “People are like, ‘oh I don’t care’ and they pet the dog. And I slowly escalated it to, ‘are you kidding me? It’s a global pandemic!’”
“When people come from all other places around the city to come here to get a little bit of fresh air, they’re hitting the crosswalk buttons, they’re sneezing, they’re grabbing places to put their bike against and it’s just uncool,” says Sahi.
To help protect the health of the public, Sunday afternoon, the Mountain Recreation and Conservation Authority decided to close all its parks, trails and public restrooms from Hollywood Hills to the far end of Malibu, including parks owned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.
The Governor has said COVID-19 infection rates are doubling every four days in some areas and close to 60% of the state’s population could contract coronavirus in the next couple months if people don’t social-distance.
This time to obey is critical, so we can protect each other’s lives.
“This is serious,” says Mayor Garcetti. “Six feet matters. There are no exceptions to that rule unless you are a first responder or critical worker – none.
Your decision to not physically distance yourself may kill someone.”You can get food, fill prescriptions, go to the doctor and go for a walk but you must social distance. Even if you have been tested for coronavirus and it comes back negative, you should not have a false sense of security because as we know, you could test negative today and positive tomorrow.
City leaders say the best way to flatten the curve is to stay at home.