I am angry as I read about COVID-19 spiraling out of control in our city. We were doing so well until decisions were made to start relaxing our vigilance, to start opening up while the virus still raged in nearby cities like Los Angeles.
Opening up restaurants and bars on State Street on Memorial weekend was the first big mistake. Hundreds of people congregating, many without face coverings and a “mandatory” mask order that didn’t go into effect until the following Tuesday! Did the city leaders think that COVID-19 was on vacation Memorial weekend?
Then we had 3,000 BLM protestors in town, again, many not wearing masks or social distancing. July Fourth weekend found many Southern California coastal cities doing the intelligent thing: Closing the beaches. But not us! We opened the beaches knowing full well that there was no way to enforce the edict to use the beach without sitting. It was a false compromise that still put people in close proximity, many without masks or social distancing and brought many people here from out of town.
As I make my way around Santa Barbara, I have had many close calls with people not wearing masks, not social distancing. There is no enforcement! We need to fine people as they are doing in other cities. It’s the only way they will comply.
It was perfectly predictable that COVID-19 would get out of control here. Look to the city leaders who are giving confusing and fluctuating instructions and not providing strong leadership. We need them to protect the public health.