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Protest In Huntington Beach California To Open Things Up

There were hundreds of protesters with signs shouting Open Cali today in downtown Huntington Beach, in Orange County California, also known as Surf City for hosting the World and US Open Surfing Championships.

At this time of year one would normally see the Huntington Beach Pier, the beaches below and the boardwalk full with surfers surfing, paragliding, body boarding beach volleyball, cycling, skate boarding and other beach sports, kids and families build sand castles and women in scant two pieces.

Normally downtown is a place with surfing and t-shirt shops and restaurants galore. Friends and families of all ages walk up and down the strip. Adults hang out on patios in front of nearly ever establishment. It usually is also a great revenue generator.

The city has several events in addition to the famous surf championships. The host a world class airshow with over 300,000 people attending. They host a 4th of July parade, the largest in Southern California that has over 150,000 attendees.

Over the past weeks Californians have been protected by orders of the state. The order was followed by Orange County Board of Supervisors and City Council of Huntington Beach.

The city is being cautious with this virus and just wants all of us to be safe. The world-renown Huntington Beach Pier is closed. The City of Huntington Beach has taken cones and blocked-off all the parking meters along Pacific Coast Highway and the beaches are closed for now. It is an unusual site.

Orange County or the “OC” as it is called locally is on the lower side of COVID-19 infections and mortality rate. The most recent numbers were 1,501 confirmed infections and 28 deaths. None of us including all those protesting in Huntington Beach takes the virus or any death lightly.

Every life is important and every death a loss for us all. One does not see many protest or protesters in OC. As it has started to get warm protesters want things opened up. The stay at home order has created beyond cabin fever, street protests with people standing on trash cans with bullhorns and signs and most all on cross street in the middle of downtown. Unfortunately very few people had masks or gloves. There was a large police presence there to ensure a peaceful protest. I just happened to drive by the area came upon the protest. I don’t know how this protest will change anything, but for sure people showed lot of pent up frustration. Everyone wants things get back to normal. Safety from contagious disease or open things up or contention in the streets. How do we find the right balance between health and safety and our desire for all this to end? It’s going to be very warm this weekend. What will people do? Will they go out? Will they protest again? Let’s see what the weekend holds.

Dr. Mark A. Rafter
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