Orange Curtain

By: 
Claudine E. Burnett

Though I live in Huntington Beach my heart is in Long Beach. I love, and write, about the city’s history and worry that neighboring Huntington Beach is not doing enough to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Every night I listen to LA Mayor Garcetti and read the posts from Long Beach Mayor Garcia and wonder if I am living in a different world.

I live close to the beach and my daily exercise is usually along Pacific Coast Highway. In taking a walk today between 9th and Goldenwest along PCH I saw several hundred people out enjoying the sunny day. Few were practicing social distancing and only two other people besides myself were wearing masks (wearing masks is not mandated in the OC). One bicyclist seeing me wearing a mask actually spit at me! There were lots of mothers with other mothers and their children not practicing social distancing or wearing masks. Though beach parking lots, the pier and the metered parking on the south side of PCH is closed, the metered parking north side of PCH was full as well as all the streets close to the beach.

Perhaps soon, once a test has been approved for detecting Coronavirus, and because of Orange County’s easy, non-enforced, Coronavirus compliance regulations, LA County and Long Beach will consider putting up checkpoints regulating those from OC entering LA County! It has been done before, but with a little twist.

It was Orange County that had put up the barriers. In April 1924, all roads leading into Los Angeles County were barricaded with barbed wire and 500 extra deputy sheriffs hired to supervise the few roads open into the County. At issue was the spread of hoof and mouth disease. Automobiles had to pass through fumigated sawdust patches to disinfect tires. Not all complied. S.M. Robinson was shot in the shoulder by an Orange County patrol when he refused to stop at one of these barricades. Robinson said he suspected a holdup when a man flashed a light and attempted to stop him on the county line. He should have read the newspapers!

I have tried to reach out to others through my Nextdoor app asking them to contact the HB City Council and OC Board of Supervisors (like I have) to at least enforce the wearing of masks outdoors. The response I have received is underwhelming, with statistics thrown my way showing the deaths from the flu outpacing that of the Coronavirus (687 in California to date from Coronavirus vs. 6340 from the flu in 1917). I have been told to just “relax.”

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