Stab Magazine | A Brief Argument For Why Coastal Californian Towns (And Their Beaches) Should Be Opened

A Brief Argument For Why Coastal Californian Towns (And Their Beaches) Should Be Opened

Assuming the governor’s goal is to reduce the spread of covid-19, that is. 

news // May 5, 2020
Words by Caden Spencer
Reading Time: 2 minutes

(Ed. note: the following op-ed was submitted by Caden Spencer, a 20-year-old San Clemente resident.)

San Clemente is over it.

On March fourth Governor Gavin Newsome declared a state of emergency in California to combat the spread of COVID-19. Not only has this declaration closed schools and businesses throughout the state—it also prohibited public events and gatherings. A prohibition that directly encroaches upon the First Amendment right of assembly. A right that people for the most part generally seem to appreciate.

So, for the past three weekends, San Clemente residents have called Sacramento’s bluff and flooded the streets in protest against the recent closure of beaches and local businesses. During these protests, local boutique shops defiantly (and rightfully) displayed open signs and open doors. Children, teenagers, adults, and the at-risk elderly gave Gavin Newsom (and social distancing) the finger. And cops, periodically flashing their red white and blue lights of authority, just watched.

The residents of San Clemente noticed a grey area in Sacramento’s state-wide authority and exploited it by use of the age-old phrase, “what are you going to do about it?”

Screen Shot 2020 05 03 at 11.04.38 PM

Photo: Surf Ride

My town isn’t alone. Beach communities all throughout Orange and LA counties have taken to the streets to fight for their beaches. In fact, my town’s display of disobedience is small-scale compared to the protests going on in Huntington Beach. But regardless of size, the motives of these protests are all the same. Coastal communities want beaches and businesses to reopen.

Newsom closed beaches because beachgoers weren’t adhering to social distancing regulations. Ironically, these closures are the very thing that ignited this string of protests, in which people are far closer to one another than they ever were on the beach.

Our communities’ decisions to disregard social distancing and congregate in these angry masses just goes to show that closing the beaches is far more harmful than keeping them open. As long as the beaches remain closed, beach communities will be pissed off. And as long as beach communities are pissed off, they will continue to protest and amplify the likelihood of the virus spreading. So, Gavin Newsom, if you really care about flattening the curve, open the fucking beaches.

Don’t like Caden’s opinion? Try this counter-argument from our staff writer Jake Embrey. 


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