The Great Reopening has begun in Southern California, as some – but not all – of the restrictions on gatherings and activities are officially lifted.
Now the question is, will the changes wrought by the pandemic permanently damage society’s fabric? Restaurants operating at half-capacity and retailers limited on who can enter their establishments are already complaining that they can’t survive under those restrictions. The state government, while insisting on social distancing and other limiting rules, also laments the lost tax revenue, estimated at more than $50 million for the coming year. That means cuts to key programs, services and institutions in the coming year.
Not everyone has been complacent about the restrictions. Beach-goers confronted police on horseback in Orange County, and several rural California counties have seen businesses open in defiance of government orders.
On Friday, Southern California retailers in books, toys, music, flowers, sporting goods and clothing could reopen, albeit with curbside pickup only. Manufacturers and suppliers for those businesses also could open.
Golf courses and hiking trails are now open as of today, and beaches in Orange County are now open, although parking lots may be closed.
Los Angeles County beaches are still closed, but officials are targeting a potential mid-week opening next week, with restrictions.