Mixed Messages On Reopening Southern California Create Confusion, Anger – Facebook Town Hall Today

Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer takes questions at a news conference in Los Angeles Thursday, Mar. 12, 2020. The California Department of Public Health advisory says gatherings of 250 people or more should be postponed or canceled, and gatherings of people at higher risk for severe illness from Covid-19 should be limited to no more than 10 people. The statewide guidance Newsom issued late Wednesday applies to sporting events, concerts and even smaller social gatherings in places where people can't remain at least 6 feet apart. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Stores are open. But they’re limited to curbside pickup. Restaurants are open. But not everywhere, and they can’t serve everyone with regular sit-down service. Beaches are open, but only for specific activities. You can play tennis and golf, but you can’t get a legal haircut. Those are just some of the issues facing Southern California as it slowly emerges from two months of pandemic lockdown.

Southern California is heading back into civilization this weekend, but just what is permissible is creating much confusion among citizens and the businesses that serve them. That’s creating a brewing anger, as the rules seem to be arbitrary and hurting small retail businesses the most, as they watch big box stores serve customers while they are forced to legally sit on the sidelines.

Adding to the confusion are the mixed messages being delivered by government. Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said the city would be in lockdown for three more months. Mayor Eric Garcetti tried to walk back that notion, saying that she meant social distancing and masks would apply. But then he indicated that it was unlikely the city would return to normal until a coronavirus cure was found, something that remains far off into the future by even the most optimistic evaluations.

Southern California’s beaches, which saw confrontations earlier this month between angry citizens and horseback riding police, are now open for swimming and surfing. But you can’t sit on the sand or play volleyball with your group. Parking lots in many locations are closed, as are piers and boardwalks and paths, complicating how to get to the beach. You must also wear a mask on the sand, but don’t have to when you hit the water.

Sitting on the sand, gathering in groups and group sports are not permitted, but walking, running, swimming and surfing are all allowed.

Ferrer and Los Angeles County Third District Supervisor Sheila Kuehl will hold a virutal town hall meeting via Facebook today at 11 AM to answer questions about reopening the county. The hour-long session will accept questions posted starting at 10:45 a.m. To watch or participate, go to Kuehl’s Facebook page here.

 

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2020/05/southern-california-reopening-confusion-1202936517/