Be a Real Patriot: Stay Home on July 4th

by on July 2, 2020 · 11 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Is this where we want to return? Photo by Charles Landon of StudioCapeMay

July 4th is America’s day to celebrate our independence and show our patriotism – and usually is a day for Americans to party as hard as we can, with fireworks, with friends, with nature, out on the beach, in the parks.

Until July 4, 2020. This Independence Day is different. It has to be different. This year, to show our patriotism, we’ve got to stay home, away from friends, from fireworks, from beaches and parks – and hang only with household members.

That’s right; to be a real patriot this July 4th, we’ve got to stay home.

The fireworks are cancelled anyhow. And state park parking lots are closed. The bars are closed. Except those who can figure out how to genuinely serve food. And all restaurants must close by 10 pm (unless people are still eating, then by 11 pm).

No Repeat of What Happened on Memorial Day

We must not repeat what happened the last holiday, Memorial Day. It’s now clear that Memorial Day was the beginning of California’s turn from coronavirus success story to cautionary tale. A Los Angeles Times analysis has found that new coronavirus hospitalizations in California began accelerating around June 15 at a rate not seen since early April. LA Times

So, we cannot allow what happened on Memorial Day to be repeated this weekend.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom exempted San Diego County from tighter restrictions placed on 19 counties, and said state beaches can stay open in San Diego County this Fourth of July weekend but their parking lots would be closed to limit overcrowding.

San Diego County leaders and health officials said local beaches wouldn’t close for the Fourth of July but individual cities have control over their beaches. San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox said San Diegans who visit the beach this weekend should only do so with members of their own household and maintain physical distance from other groups. 7SanDiego

The annual fireworks shows in Ocean Beach, La Jolla, and Pacific Beach (SeaWorld) have all been canceled. Along with the Big Bay Boom – also cancelled.

We’ve been talking about the spikes in COVID-19 cases here and throughout California recently, so no need to repeat it all. Except, perhaps to note, that the protests in support of Black Lives Matter and against systemic racism and police following George Floyd’s death did not cause a significant increase in COVID infections.

This is according to a team of economists who published their findings in a 60-page paper released by the National Bureau of Economic Research; these results are supported by Covid-19 testing data in many populous cities where demonstrations were held. Forbes

Meanwhile, San Diego County health officials are freaked out about what may occur this weekend. High numbers from July 4 and 5 are very likely, they believe, and will put the County on the governor’s watchlist. That could mean immediate compliance with significantly more restrictions – as soon as Monday, July 6.

Gov. Gavin Newsom did order 19 counties on his watch list because of sustained and elevated levels of coronavirus activity to immediately cease all indoor activities at a wide range of locations including restaurants, movie theaters, zoos, museums, card rooms, wineries and tasting rooms. Casinos are in a different category due to their sovereign status of their owners.

Let’s not go back to those days. Photo by StudioCapemay

How Does a County Get on the Governor’s List?

In order to get on Newsom’s list, a county must cross one or more of six different state early warning thresholds; these are designed to flag places where the novel coronavirus virus appears to be moving from person to person at an increasing rate.

The six red flags measure:

  • the average number of tests performed,
  • the number of cases per capita,
  • the percentage of tests coming pack positive,
  • increases in COVID hospitalization,
  • intensive care unit bed occupancy and
  • mechanical ventilator availability.

Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, expects San Diego to be on the list by the weekend. Especially if San Diegans force another Memorial Day scenario. “We anticipate by the weekend that we will be on that list as well,” Wooten said.

According to the U-T: “Once on the list, the average must remain elevated for an additional three consecutive days before a county is forced to comply. County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said compliance would likely be required, if the numbers do not change, just as the July Fourth weekend ends.”

San Diego red flags – or bells – or whatever you want to call them were going off or flapping on Tuesday, June 30,  when the region had more than 100 confirmed COVID cases per 100,000 residents as measured over a rolling 14-day period. The number remained at 105 in Wednesday’s daily report, and Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, said she does not expect the figure to drop below 100 soon enough to avoid making the governor’s restrictions list.

Fletcher said: “On July 6, we would be forced to take the enforcement action which means three weeks pause on indoor activities for the entities mentioned in the governor’s orders.”

From SDU-T:

The county announced a total of 474 new cases Wednesday, once again verging toward the 500 mark just one day after posting a lower total of 317. The local 14-day rolling average of positive COVID tests sits at 4.5 percent, still significantly lower than the 6 percent statewide positive rate that the governor announced during his midday news conference Wednesday. Seven additional COVID-related deaths were announced, bring the local total to 372.

The number of COVID cases being treated in local hospital beds showed a bit of positivity Wednesday, falling from 493 to 453. However, the number was still nearly 100 hospitalizations higher than it was just one week earlier.

Though the county has said that restaurants and bars, along with gatherings in private homes, are the most likely locations to cause COVID outbreaks in the community, there is anecdotal evidence that these establishments have been, by and large, running tight ships.

The sunshine patriots will flock to the beaches this weekend. But the true ones, those who wish to help their fellow Americans keep well and healthy, will stay home – and if they go out, wear masks, practice social and physical distancing, only hang with household members and WEAR MASKS.



{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Sam July 2, 2020 at 4:11 pm

I can’t believe that the city isn’t closing it’s parking lots. We in the beach communities are going to be over run with people this weekend. Its as if Faulconer wants San Diego to roll back our openings. The writing is on the wall. So irresponsible.


Toby July 3, 2020 at 1:25 pm

Living by Sunset Cliffs I can tell you from experience that closing the city parking lots created more of a problem in the neighborhoods. The parking lot closures pushed traffic, and large grumps of people into the narrow streets of the neighborhoods where they gathered in close groups without masks and dumped garbage and human excrement onto the neighborhood streets and lawns. The neighborhoods were not monitored by the city for compliance to COVID restrictions, making matters worse in the neighborhoods where the city parking lots were closed. This happened for several weeks during the bioluminescence and calls to the Mayor’s office went unanswered. If the city parking lots remain open they can be more easily monitored. When parking lots & streets are closed the cities must recognize doing so moves the problem to a different location that needs attention.


Dr. Jack Hammer July 2, 2020 at 4:44 pm

Well… the next few days should be a total sh*t show. More shite coordination within the county on closures and how to handle a holiday weekend. It’s not like the 4th of July just sort of came out of nowhere… who are these clowns and how are they still making decisions?


Peter from South O July 3, 2020 at 6:41 am

The recent trajectory of case increase in San Diego County points to us being added to the list of Counties forced to back off reopening. We are now on the State watchlist, and by Monday the triggers will have been pulled.
That means the same restrictions as LA, Orange, Riverside and Imperial.
If you want to visit the museums opening this weekend, make it fast! (seriously, stay home and don’t throw a backyard party).


Sam July 3, 2020 at 1:05 pm

Agreed Peter, which begs the question, why not shut the beaches down in an effort to not have this spread so quickly? I feel like everybody is just giving up. It is so depressing to see how people have been behaving during this pandemic. When did we become such a bunch of irrational science haters?


Peter from South O July 4, 2020 at 5:19 pm

The beaches were working out when there was the “no sitting or exercising in place” AND the parking lots were closed. Today, in their brilliant scheme of preparing for the onslaught of out-of-towners (our beaches were not subject to the various county shutdowns) the San Diego beach parking lots were open. The State of CA warned that we could face a financial penalty for not complying with the Governor’s order to close the parking lots.
Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside all closed the parking lots. Not San Diego.
Geniuses, all.


sealintheSelkirks July 3, 2020 at 8:21 pm

Science haters? Look around! Cell phones, computers, jet planes that fly across the country in a few hours, GPS, microwave ovens, Pacemakers, satellite tv with 500 channels, laser cataract surgery…or they just take the entire lens out and put in a new one!

People LOVE science. They just don’t like science that tells them they are being stupid. Or makes them have to think. Or inconveniences them.

Some thoughts:
1) No vaccine for any coronavirus has ever been developed. The ‘common cold’ is a coronavirus and we’ve had that forever!

2) Other viruses (notably HIV) plague humanity with no vaccine in sight after years.

3) SARS2 (the virus behind COVID-19) appears to be a microbial team-player like HIV, leveraging any immune-system hollows it can find, with complicated implications. How many people actually know what COVID-19 stands for?

It seems like the ‘Science’ that isn’t designed for our entertainment or comfort are the parts that are targeted by the ‘irrational science haters’ you mentioned. You can throw in our collapsing climate in that box, too, by the way.

I guess it would have been a good idea to de-fund the billions spent on school sports in favor of…you know…education. Like science classes. Maybe that would have helped some. Too late now since we have a population that is most dismally ignorant of science beyond how to load the latest app in the smartphone (which, by the way, is not smart, either).

We’ve got 2-3 years before this plague burns itself out if it follows the historical patterns of other Pandemics. Something to think on, eh?

For everyone’s enjoyment, a poem:

Who Made the Plague?

(A nursery rhyme for grownups)



retired botanist July 4, 2020 at 3:55 pm

Seal, holy moley, that’s quite a poem! It is, indeed, depressingly true, but as a scientist, and I guess basically, a Taoist philosophically if not in practice, perhaps this is all a ‘correction” of some sort. When I climb out of the US, out of the “science of advancement”, out of the global bean-counting, out of the politics and economics, even out of the planetary environmental demise, is this all just a pendulum matter?
Not that I can actually climb out of any of it! But blame is ultimately pointless, wherever it lands.
Still, a good share! thx! :-)


Frank Gormlie July 6, 2020 at 2:31 pm

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego County was officially added to California’s “monitoring list” as the number of coronavirus cases across the state increases, and Gov. Gavin Newsom said he expected local health officials to comply with specific orders that include the closure of indoor dining spaces.

As of Monday afternoon, San Diego County joined five other counties on the monitoring list. The other counties added to the list: Colusa, Madera, Marin, Merced, and Monterey.

Of the state’s 58 counties, 23 of them are on the state’s list.

Ahead of the Fourth of July weekend, Newsom ordered counties that have been on the list for at least three days to shutter indoor operations at businesses such as restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, zoos, museums and cardrooms.

In a tweet on his Twitter account, Newsom said:

Governor Newsom, today, Monday, declared:
“CA is now asking Colusa, Madera, Marin, Merced, Monterey & San Diego to close indoor operations for:

-Movie theaters
-Zoos, museums


retired botanist July 6, 2020 at 3:13 pm

Ok, while I applaud Newsom’s previous pro-active actions in keeping CA’s curve flattened, I’m just not getting the logic of the watch list AT ALL. Its wait until the County hits “epicenter level” and THEN put it on some “watch list” and, later, close down previously opened businesses? Come on, examples like Sonoma County (hullo? this is the wine drinking and bar epicenter of CA for crissake) has been serving belligerent, non-masked people for two weeks; homeless people populating the downtown streets, sadly, have had to be monitored like pesky flies over uneaten plates, grabbing water glasses from patio tables, approaching patrons unmasked, and putting all the serving staff at risk. Nevermind the patrons who routinely berate the wait staff for things like “we want to push the tables together”, or “we don’t want to wait while the table is disinfected”
Seriously. get it together, CA. Go back to take out and delivery only- State-wide. This is just dumb. :(


sealintheSelkirks July 8, 2020 at 12:18 am

Pretty wild, isn’t it, rb? What I mean is that so many people are desperately trying to ‘be normal’ when the entire world has flat-out been turned upside down, the way of life we all grew up in just got shot through the head with this virus. Can you imagine anybody willing to work in a room full of 4 foot tall separated cubicles in a 30 story high rise that recirculates the same trapped air throughout the entire building for everyone to breathe? Just one single asymptomatic carrier working just one 8 hour day could infect thousands. Or how about traveling in a packed elevator to get there and back down over and over again. Eating in the building’s cafeteria. IN A PANDEMIC? Or sending your kids to de-funded and overcrowded schoolrooms? I taught Pre-K and I can’t imagine those little germ factories actually wearing masks, not touching their faces or one another, washing their hands 20 times a day…normal is no longer viable in a pandemic.

And the politicians know that they either conform with those hopeful wishes or they’ll be despised and reviled for NOT letting people pretend to be normal, and of course they will be blamed for the deaths and sickness if they do.

And then there is the extreme wealthy sociopath oligarchs owners wanting their normal quarterly profits statements to stay the same not to mention Wall Street putting the screws to those they bribed with ‘campaign contributions’ to do what they are told. And then add in the little single-store business owners or small landlords that are facing an absolute disaster…

The death knell of a political career and can’t let that happen! So they all waffle, do half measures that won’t be any where nearly effective enough in the long run, and probably are just crossing their fingers and wail to their various gods to save them in private.

If they are politicians with a conscience and an internal moral compass, I imagine they are just agonizing inside themselves with the choice of listening to the science or their wealthy owners. But honestly we know there really aren’t very many of those for the most part as even the good ones get corrupted by the system they have put themselves into.

You aren’t going to change the Mafia by joining the family, ya know? Same for this political system. Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall…and all the king’s men got sick with Covid…

I saw a very large Dodge Ram 4×4 truck driving down the highway on Sunday with large white letters glued to the top of the windshield saying “FU*K INSLEE”. I imagine there are a few saying the same about Newsom down south in Cali. They hate masks around here. This is America! You can’t tell me what to do!

Of course this is the same country that told people they couldn’t smoke cannabis and killed and put people into prison for it over the last 80s years. So YES THEY CAN tell you what to do! I didn’t see these redneck pricks demonstrating for Freedom when they were arresting people for smoking a plant!!! Hypocrites.

My point being is that there is a huge percentage of the population that refuses to face up to this new reality. Cognitive dissonance is very much alive and well, and that means this country is going to continue to be one of the top infection sites worldwide. People are going to continue to sicken and die, lots and lots and lots of them, and many of those that live are going to find out what misery is for the rest of their lives due to the absolutely radical consequences this disease is causing in the human body beyond ‘just having the flu.’ Liver damage, kidney failure, heart attacks in 20 yr olds, blood clots throughout the body, onset of diabetes, brain damage from lack of 02, the list keeps getting longer the more it is studied. This freaking virus is radical!

As a species, we’ve learned this lesson before, many times, but it seems that new generations have to learn it all over again. History does TOO repeat I’m afraid.



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