Beaches Reopen in parts of California


Photo Courtesy of CNN

People enjoy the beach on April 25, 2020 amidst the nationwide coronavirus outbreak

Priscilla Kim, Photojournalist

Despite California’s stay-at-home order implemented by Governor Gavin Newsom, this did not stop locals from visiting the beach this past week as weather started to rise up in the 80s and 90s. Seeking relief from this heat wave, thousands of people crowded beaches all around Orange County and Ventura.

Although beaches in Los Angeles and San Diego are still closed, this only prompted these beachgoers to head to beaches such as Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, and more. People who headed to the beaches still had to follow strict guidelines and restrictions such as staying 6 feet apart, but from the looks of it people were still tanning and swimming in close proximity to one another. Nonetheless, parking lots were encouraged to remain closed to limit the amount of crowds and discourage outside visitors. 

So why did these beaches reopen in the first place, even though it clearly goes against quarantine orders? According to Gavin Newsom in a news briefing last Thursday he thinks that, “People are prone to want to go to the beaches, parks, playgrounds and go on a hike,” He shortly said this after announcing that California had suffered its deadliest day since the start of the outbreak. Furthermore he says that “If it is open, just abide by social distancing,” but it is the city beaches that are reopening so he encourages people not to go. 

Social distancing is effective; however, staying at home is even more safe. Especially at the beach there is a higher chance in getting in close contact with another person if everyone is going. Clearly, the seriousness of this situation is being taken lightly because the more people that are in contact with one another, the more likely it is for the virus to continue spreading. Although people may be sick and tired of staying inside at home, it is for the best, not only for the health and safety of them but for others as well. The longer time people spend at home being safe and abiding by the law, the sooner the quarantine order will be lifted. It is strongly recommended that one stays home so that everyone can quickly recover.

However, some people such as Frank Feerini, who was at Huntington Beach last week, argues that “People want to get out. I think they’ve been cooped up and they’re going stir crazy. It’s a beautiful day. How can you keep anybody in?” 

Obviously this whole stay-at-home order is not ideal for anyone and for the fact of the matter everyone, but it is crucial to understand that if people do decide to go outside in crowded areas it is not benefiting anyone. Eliana Shim (12) also agrees that “It is irresponsible of the state and selfish of the people who are going” because by going outside in crowded areas like the beach it is definitely not helping slow down the spread of this dangerous virus. Likely Kayla Woodson (12) coincides, “when people go out, it only prolongs social isolation and it’s selfish and unfair for people who are at risk to even go to somewhere like the grocery store.”

Press secretary Jesse Melgar states “We’ve come too far together to put the greater public health at risk.” So please think about the greater good and the bigger picture and stay at home. It is a very difficult time but the least everyone can do is take measures to ensure that everyone is staying safe.