First Day of Spring 2020 in Ocean Beach

by on March 19, 2020 · 12 comments

in Ocean Beach

Newport Ave. at 11 am. Photo by Bob Edwards

It’s the very first day of Spring 2020 in Ocean Beach.

One would never know it. Empty streets. Plenty of parking on Newport. Shops closed. No one on the beach under “blue” skies.  The Pier Parking lot looking nearly empty.

This is our new reality.

Luckily for us, some OB Ragsters ventured out to record what they saw – and didn’t see. Bob Edwards visited the waterfront and Judith saw some beautiful flowers and blossoms.

By Judith Starker

Nearly an empty OB Pier parking lot. When does that ever happen? By Bob Edwards.

By Judith Starker

By Bob Edwards.

By Judith Starker

Beach berm removal. By Bob Edwards.


Pier gift shop and restaurant closed. By Bob Edwards.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

sealintheSelkirks March 19, 2020 at 6:01 pm

Up here in NE Washington State near the Canadian border, I’ve been getting disgusted looks and shakes of the head for the last couple of weeks because when I do leave the property I’ve been wearing N95 with chin exhale valve masks. I’ve always stocked them on shelves in the tool room for years due to the climate destabilizing-created mega-fires smoke particulate clouds we’ve had to deal with. Canada mega-fires burning was the worst a couple years ago, along with the Carpenter Road fire in the Huckleberry Mtns. to the west back about 4 or 5 years ago.

My neighbor to the north is a retired 75 yr old Biologist, ended up teaching Biology for 20+ years in the local high school after lab work (immunology/virology). Imagine what we’ve been talking about on the phone and emails for weeks since the first case in the NW part of the state showed up. SARS in 2003 was a coronavirus by the way…but we were too busy blowing up Iraq and shifted the funding for the vaccine then to building more nuclear weapons. Thank Dick and W and Rumsfeld for that stupid move, eh?

My 40+ years best friend in the Islands also happens to have been a high school Biology teacher before finishing a MS in Sp Ed ECE who was picked to be part of a County-sponsored task force to investigate response, mitigation, and containment of an epidemic or pandemic that hits the community (university town county). He KNOWS about this as does my neighbor but from the particular perspective of a Reagan-era task force (one of the scenarios was an altered virus attack by Soviet Biological warfare). Imagine our phone calls and emails of the last few weeks.

Both Biologists are doing the same thing, as I am. Expect it this for the next 18 months if we are sort of lucky. Worst would be mutation into a more virulent form (like 1918) that re-infects people who lived through the first hit. This is just getting started and Trump did EXACTLY as the POTUS did in 1918. Denied there was a disease and loudly publicized his opinion to the country. Oops. History DOES TOO REPEAT!

Read this and weep. Science not corporate news:

Reports reveal what officials are being told about COVID-19 … and it’s not what they are telling us:

On another note, my ski hill is refusing to close unlike Salt Lake City’s ski hills. Sit shoulder to shoulder on the lift with whomever? Not happening. Don’t think FLU, people. Think Smallpox VIRUS introduced to the native population on this continent by Europeans. A population that had no immunity…just like we don’t with Covid 19. What other virus’ can you think of? Polio, HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Bubonic Plague…virus’ are very prolific living microscopic creatures that live and breed inside us.

sealintheSelkirks in the US ground zero state of this pandemic


Frank Gormlie March 19, 2020 at 9:57 pm

Bob Edward’s skateboarder down an empty Newport Ave is a classic sign of the times.


sealintheSelkirks March 20, 2020 at 11:25 am

HA! Hey Frank, I was riding down the middle of the street in Chewelah Wednesday white ponytail flapping on my 1977 27″ Bahne ‘Bob Mohr Bullet’ model warptail pool rider with Lazer mid truks and green Sims softie 56mm Mini-Comp wheels…in 65’F weather. Not much traffic up here either. And waaay too warm for this time of year. It should/could be snowing being mid-March in these mountains. Had 22″ fall in 72 hours last week on the hill with maybe 4-5″ in the valley but it all melted off within a day.

Police Chief Burrows drove by (the only vehicle) looked at me and shook his head, and kept on going. It’s illegal to skate on the sidewalks so what’s he gonna do?? I think I’m the oldest skater up here…

Still freezing at night. Incredible star fields in the crystal clear no-light-pollution skies above my property. It’s amazing how many satellites are streaking by over our heads every minute, ya know?

Good news! My next book is at the publisher and due out in 3 weeks. A real book not just online like The Lunch Counter Trilogy. Got time to read it?



Frank Gormlie March 22, 2020 at 2:53 pm

A Point Loma grandmother put up Christmas lights to spread cheer during California’s stay-home order. It started when Johnene Smith saw Italians singing in solidarity amid a lock down due to the Coronavirus pandemic. She then heard about people putting up Christmas lights to brighten neighbors spirits and something clicked.


Chris "Captain" Clarke March 23, 2020 at 11:42 am

homeless here in OB goin on 2 years, it’s tough for us too, panhandling i used to get by $50-$75/day, made a few bucks selling blunts, now im making zero, and relying on my emergency credit card to get by, im watching how much i spend each day, my cell minutes, and keeping social distance, the rain don’t help much, but guess what,
WE Will All Get By,
Captain Chris


sealintheSelkirks March 24, 2020 at 1:00 am

My State just announced a complete prison lock-down of the population in 48 hours for a minimum of two weeks. Everything is closed, everybody stay off the street. It starts Wednesday. Being on the street is going to get damn tough here real fast…

I’m back home after a journey into the Outer Limits. You do remember that TV show, eh old fogie folks?

Hoo-boy. Here’s one damn insane afternoon in anecdotal format. Remember that Washington State was the first recorded case in the US:

Went to town today, the 2,200 person ‘biggest’ town in the south end of my county 15 miles north. A friend is moving this weekend and had to get the furniture that he couldn’t keep due to the much smaller space he moved into out of the rental, so he wanted to put it into the 2nd Hand on consignment but it was Sunday and she’s been closed since 5pm Friday.

Since I needed to get my winter gear, all the hats and neck gaitors etc. and the display stand, out of the front window (she does consignment for me every season). I headed in so I could help Marv out by opening the door. Get two things done at one time. Still have to help your friends… Very empty town.

Madness #1

The only place open was the pizza place next door to the 2nd hand doing ‘take out only’ as per State-mandated restaurant closure restrictions. Entire street was bare of cars. But I watched people going in and out picking up pizzas, calazones, beef stroganoff. But they couldn’t sell their craft beers because no eating inside. No masks, nothing on all the age groups inside standing or sitting at the tables waiting for their order…but they weren’t eating it there so it was okay to be next to one another at the tables waiting. Oh my fu**ing hell.

I went in through the 2nd Hand back alley loading door wearing leather work gloves since I was inside the store alone. Those gloves are now out in the woodshed for the next few days. Leather and fabric doesn’t allow any virus’ to live much past 2-3 days. I do this with the N95 respirator masks, too. Leave them in the sun after using when I go off the property. A few days of sun and air.

This is SARS II, this Covid 19 coronavirus according to the Infectious Disease scientists and experts who were involved in SARS I in 2002. It is contagious through airborne water droplets so you keep safety glasses or sunglasses on because it is being caught by exhalation into the wet membranes around the eyeball. Yeah, isn’t that nice to find out? You wonder why you see pictures of MDs and RNs wearing them? This is why. So I pulled my N95 NIOSH Respirator over my face when I unlocked the front door so those neighbors could load the furniture in.

Madness #2

Neither of these friends were in masks or gloves, and I’ve talked with one of them about it. He is one of the two local guy neighbors who came over and stayed down by his truck to talk early last week. Gave him an N95 ‘dustmask style’ to wear and instructed the use of. I guess I wasted it because he wasn’t. But he believes me! He just isn’t changing his behavior pattern because…you know, that’s hard to do.

Marv got mad, though. He’s late 60s, a very good medical cannabis grower (GREEN thumb old guy) and Harley rider dude, and he said he’s just sick of people telling him what he can and can’t do. He literally wasn’t happy that I was wearing a mask and said he “just don’t give a sh** at this point, and that it’s all Bill Gates fault.” Ummmm…okay then.

We’ve had long conversations on climate and environment and he listens and asks intelligent questions. I think he’s just on overload at this point.

Now read the article at the end of this posting to understand why I almost asked him if I could have his Harley if/when he dies of SARS II/Covid 19 in the next month or two.

I was good, I only thought it. Besides, I’d probably kill myself re-learning to ride a motorcycle again. Maybe I should just stick with my old quad…much safer.

So they left and I went back to what I was doing, locked up the back door and then took off my gloves and washed outside. Drove a couple blocks to the local Safeway (only supermarket within a 30 mile radius). I skated up to the door, pulled my mask up and went inside for the few things I wanted to pick up since I was in town. No, not freaking toilet paper! Having 5 years worth of butt wipe just doesn’t seem much like a survival strategy to me, ya know? A big tub of fudge ripple ice cream was one item I took home…

Madness #3

There wasn’t a single customer in that store wearing a mask and not a single employee wearing masks or gloves. The cashiers are all less than three feet from every customer in line and taking money. She handed me back my change and the coins rattled into the cup under the machine that everybody gets their coin change from. There’s a hot spot for virus no doubt. Rub your face anyone?

I caught the looks from people, the ‘what an idiot this guy is’ look but at least I had a very cool ’77 Bahne pool rider in my hand that they also looked at, right? I saw people frown at the mask but smile at the skate. Go figure.

Skated back across the parking lot, opened the back door of the 4Runner, pulled off my gloves and washed my hands and forearms then took off the mask. A car going by had people behind the windows staring at me like I was nuts standing there washing my hands with a mask on. Who was it that said (paraphrasing) “Being paranoid doesn’t mean it isn’t warranted?”

Madness #4

Stopped at Tribe-owned Spoko for gas, where Marv & DJ got their chicken lunches. Trucker diesel pumps out back, lots of people going in and out, probably 10 cars at the 16 pumps out front and cars parked by the door. One of the Native women employees was doing something on the other side of the pump I was getting gas, then she walked out from behind it back to the building after smiling at me. I smiled back.

Not a single person was wearing a mask. I wasn’t, either, but I wasn’t going to walk into the building. After I hung the nozzle back up, I decided I didn’t really want any of their great chicken take-out after all, so I dipped my hands into the soapy window washing bucket, scrubbed while singing the Happy Birthday Song twice in my head before using the blue paper towels in the dispenser.

I taught pre-K back in the late 80s and learned then what the value was in washing hands multiple times a day! Holy crap, I caught everything from my first class. Pink Eye (twice), Strep Throat, every cold and virus and sniffle. 4.5 yr old Typhoid Marys!! The Happy Birthday Song sung twice in your head is about 25 seconds worth of washing…

If yesterday was any indication, this area in the next few weeks is going to flare up and kill thousands if it goes as bad as the experts think it will. About 45,000 total in the county. Low education, low income, lots of old poor people without access to the US’s 35th in the world we-are-number-1 health care. This is the ‘red’ side of the state…

Note: More gunfire echoing through the hills today. Some from the half million dollar sale day at the big Pawn Shop down towards Spokane two Saturdays ago. 400 people out front in line I’ve been told by people who were there. Nobody in masks but they sold out of every single caliber right down to .22 squirrel rounds. There isn’t a bullet to be bought from Spokane to the Canadian border. Toilet paper and ammunition. That’s all you’ll need to survive the zombie SARS II apocalypse.

I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere off this property anytime soon, but then neither will anybody else around here. EVERYTHING IS CLOSED. Along with your place of residence.

Watch out OB, you are NOT immune to this. The cities scare the crap out of me at this point to be honest. And of course Trump’s AG Barr is trying to pass ’emergency powers’ suspending habeus corpus and promoting indefinite ‘detention’ without recourse to a judge. EVER. How…East German is that?

Now read the article below and think.


COVID19 By the Numbers: The View of a 20 Year Veteran of Pandemic Preparedness (UPDATEDX5)


retired botanist March 24, 2020 at 4:24 pm

Seal, But Wait! Now Trump said he’d “like everyone in their churches by Easter”!! Nuthin’ like taking the altar hostage in your end-game plan! If it wasn’t so deadly, the transparency would be laughable!
Let them stare. I briefly had to go out of my apt (in an urban environment) today, for the first time in over 5 days, wearing my winter gloves (not a PPE, nevermind absurd toilet paper, or any other paper product, available for weeks around here) as my protection. About 2 hrs out in the environment. Then back in my apt, hands, face, car keys, door knobs, all washed. Gloves set to air, and another pair rotated in for the next required outing.
Hard to understand which part of this don’t people get? I guess its like nuclear radiation- no smell, no sight, no feel, so no problem.
But today, the Lt Gov in Texas said I should sacrifice myself for the economy. Who bred these people? For shame.
Good narrative, hope it wakes people up.


Lyle March 25, 2020 at 8:43 am

Here’s a link to what the Lt. said. I’m not familiar with Vanity Fair, nor it’s credibility, but it’s the first link I found.

I’d love to see a better link if anyone has found one.


sealintheSelkirks March 27, 2020 at 4:51 pm

Actually Lyle, this is actually a somewhat intelligent response.

Now before you get your knickers in a knot, think about it from his world of being a Capitalist Sociopath who absolutely knows (like Trump’s handlers all know) that this economic system cannot survive a prolonged shutdown of the economy. They’re freaking over two weeks and that isn’t anywhere near enough time to slow the spread. Period.

30 states, as of 3/27 from what I’m reading, are doing NOTHING worth mentioning to slow the spread of this Pandemic. We have passed the infection rates of China or Italy. Governors are talking months now, not ‘2 weeks’ which is an absolute horrific joke to my two biologist friends.

And this country will crash. It can’t take a prolonged shutdown even if that is what is absolutely needed as this economic system isn’t designed with any ‘slop’ in it to adjust to something like a near-complete cancellation of this debt-slave low-wage economy for even a month with nobody at work, nobody paying their usual bills. Not a freaking dime heads towards the owners of rent/mortgage, bank creditcards, electricity, gas, phone, insurance, cable or satellite TV etc. etc. All of us must having money to at least pay for food. What happens when we literally go cashless? I’ve been there, I lived for years homeless on the beach I grew up on. Just keep adding in any others you care to think up to list list and see how much farther up the economic food chain before it hits you…

A complete collapse? It can’t happen because we’re number one, right? Can anybody see our corporate-controlled wealthy-owned government putting a moratorium on paying all of those bills I listed above that a huge majority of people in this country are going to be unable to pay in very short order because they won’t have a freaking dime to their name. Paycheck to paycheck in a service economy with no savings, no nest egg, nothing but debt? The pawn shops are closed, the horrible ‘payday lending’ should be closed (if they aren’t already). And if the feds do something like a moratorium, it’ll only work if all that unpaid billing is completely wiped off the record not retroactive to people going back to jobs.

The largest increase in 1 week’s filing for unemployment ever. And those statistics leave out huge segments of the population that aren’t counted because they can’t COLLECT it. Gig economy, under the table economy, long term unemployed that never found bootstraps to ‘pull themselves up with’ after they got pounded by the wealthy bankers that crashed the economy in 2007-08. Oh, and don’t forget the illegals that cut up our chicken in factories and pick all the vegetables and fruit. They don’t count, either. No bullcrap ‘stimulus’ checks for all of you, baby! But there is a shady 2 trillion slush fund ready for the corporations again and the FedReserve is now is allowed to meet in secret…how convenient for them, eh?

Read this. Won’t make your day but it is dead-on and encapsulates a wide range of reading I’ve done this week. The government and those who run and profit from it being the way it is, are doing exactly what they have always done. Be damned sure they are protected and can make a profit off the rest.

Roaming Charges: The Scum Also Rises

But then the banks will go under because they’ve used all their tax cuts and bailouts and subsidies to buy back their own stock to inflate the price. If everybody quits paying their bills…but then we’ve all seen how the feds behave when that starts happening, haven’t we? Except Iceland of course that jailed their corrupt bankers instead back in 2008.

Oh, yeah, what does the feds live on when the ‘service economy’ is broke at home out of work for a month? Or two months? It bares thinking about.

Another article one should probably think about.

Up here the infection rate is doubling every two days. Spokane anyway, but there is hardly anybody being tested and I’m not joking about that. People are still at work here. The city is roughly 250,000 pop, and in 3 weeks the medical experts are expecting 120,000 cases because the infection peak isn’t expected until May. EXPECT to be at home, folks.

Some serious cartoon humor. Everybody needs a laugh, correct? Here’s one for ya thought the Trumpies aren’t gonna like it much nor this first:

A Trump COVID-19 timeline…
Jan. 22: “We have it totally under control”
Feb. 28: “This is their new hoax”
Mar. 9: “Last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. Think about that!”
Mar. 13: “I don’t take responsibility at all.”
Mar. 16: “You were surprised. We were all surprised.”
March 17: “I’ve felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.”
March 18: “It snuck up on us.”

Now the cartoon:

I am big on the concept of Irony, and have been watching old George Carlin from the Commemorative Collection. George did a skit on virus that you all might like:

I guess this is enough? At least I ended with humor. Sorta.



sealintheSelkirks March 29, 2020 at 8:26 pm

For all the people who didn’t vote for Bernie’s FDR version of Capitalist/Socialism be they so-called ‘progressive Dems’ who voted for Biden or any other candidate in the Primary, or Trump’s GOP bats**t crazies.

DO NOT CASH YOUR ‘STIMULUS’ CHECK. IF YOU DO, YOU ARE A SOCIALIST. YOU ALL NEED TO TURN IT OVER TO BERNIE’S CAMPAIGN…and admit you were…a-HEM…dead wrong. Or will be dead-broke soon, eh? Close enough.

I wasn’t absolutely shocked at all how fast all of those ‘progressive’ other candidates did the doggie roll over for the so-called ‘electable’ DIM candidate (and how’d that work out in 2016?), nor Warren’s stab in the back. Most of them had billionaire backers so of course they were going to do what they were told to do. Sheepdogs, or maybe Judas Goat is a better term.

George Carlin was absolutely correct. It’s rigged, always has been by the wealthy.

Class War is hitting home with this SARS/CoV II, isn’t it? Trillions for a few rich corporate owners, a one-time $1,200 for the rest of you. Ummm, what’s the average rent in San Diego now? My old ding repair shop garages & backyard and 2bedroom house on Sunset Cliffs was $400 a month in the early 80s…this check would pay for 3 months then but probably not now…that children’s art studio in the house I’m sure is paying far more.

The giant corporations are playing the Socialism-Welfare game since they are about to get at least $1.5 trillion, with another $2T sitting in the wings (and I’m reading reports of possibly $10T!). Bail-outs ARE SOCIALISM but unfortunately they get the profits while shuffling the costs onto the rest of us. And they don’t pay income taxes and get subsidies and…so the rest of what they do is predatory Capitalism.

Bunch of freaking hypocrites if these folks cash those Socialist-Commie checks! Tell your local Trump voter this and watch the cognitive dissonance erupt in their face. It’s kind of fun to watch the confusion…

I can barely stand the IRONY of that thought.



retired botanist March 30, 2020 at 3:37 pm

All true, Seal, but I don’t actually know any Trump voters, which makes me pretty naive, so I don’t get that particular satisfaction. I do, however, seem to know a lot of centrist Dems, and I have been, unsuccessfully, for months, been trying to convince them that they must ‘jump the fence’ for Bernie. Oh well.
As I said to Frank a bit earlier, we’re in the midst of a strange, for real, Ray Bradbury tale. I have quit watching the buffoon, task force updates b/c Pence and Birx make me sick.
I have just now witnessed the first (of many?) persons going postal, after enforced social distancing, in my parking lot. Careening around, in a burka with pinned-on messages all over it, shouting “Where’s the social distancing party?! Where’s the party?!”
It will take calm, compassion, and isolation to reach some level we can all manage.
Its in our best interest to emanate the good chi we all have, somewhere, inside.
Keep safe, stay healthy stay home :-)


sealintheSelkirks March 31, 2020 at 10:23 pm

retired biologist,
This mountain county keeps voting for Cathy McMorris-Rogers election after election. One walks into the local NAPA Auto and often a customer wearing a MAGA hat with a pistol on his belt will be leaning on the counter waiting for a part. Walk through a parking lot and you see round NRA stickers on back windows and ‘Jesus Loves You’ stickers on the bumper. This is not a ‘librrl snowflake’ stereotype joke stupid put-down on a fly-over rural area, it’s a real lifestyle that is quite visible. I’ve lived in three states since 1987, near ski resort mountain areas, and all were Reagan Revolution…which it wasn’t just a squeezing of the forever US Class War. But considering the rightward shift in the political paradigm since then, Reagan now would probably run as a ‘centrist’ corporate-militarist Democrat. And lose to Trump.

So I agree, pretty much a wicked Bradbury tale indeed! But I’m partial to Tom Tomorrow alternative reality ‘The Stupidverse’ now changed to the ‘Coronaverse.’ A cartoon social comment genius just like George Carlin was the stand-up social comment genius. Often both will have you not laughing but thinking of the absurdity…

And I’m with ya on listening or seeing those political ‘celebrities.’ Hard enough to read what is coming out of their brains, even in small doses. I keep waiting for one’s human skin suit to lose cohesion and fall down to their pebbly ankles showing the space aliens\ lizard…s/…but even so that thought can make you think Bradbury, too, eh?

The Docs and RNs are telling us to stay home. Isolate. The 1918 Pandemic flamed up three separate times in three years. My oldest grandpa was in France (AEF) and didn’t come home until 1919 because he lived through it and the Army kept him there because of that immunity. I can imagine what he’d be saying now if he was still around because I remember his stories (some) from my childhood.

This is good, you’ll like it as a Biologist:
Second Responders
Let the market rule doesn’t sound so good in this piece:

Millions Of N95 Masks & PPE Are Leaving America Every Day To Foreign Buyers
Investigation at
Does this explain trump and the people he is surrounded with? Pence, Pompeo, oh my. The 2nd web link is the actual study which hasn’t been scrubbed as ‘fake news.’ Yet.
But you did get this latest piece of wisdom spoken by POTUS? I blew tea out of my nostrils when I read it I laughed so hard. Had to wipe down the keyboard.

Saying Quiet Part Very Loud, Trump Admits “You’d Never Have a Republican Elected in This Country Again” If Voting Access Expanded

“This morning on live television, the president of the United States admitted he is opposed to laws that would make it easier for Americans to vote because that would hurt Republicans.”

Some things you just can’t make up. FAKE NEWS!

Do something fun every day. Everybody pay attention, be damn careful. Sit in meditation every day, breathe, and some kind of physical exercise that gets you a light sweat helps, too. Then stretch back out before you go rub your furry live-ins until they can barely stand it they feel so good. They’ll love you for it.



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