Los Angeles Is No Day at the Beach
Don’t tell the people in charge, but my friend’s wife is a member of the L.A. resistance.
She’s been regularly going out into the underground economy to get her hair done.
She’s been meeting with her hairdresser at an undisclosed location — his daughter’s driveway — and striking a small but symbolic blow for old-fashioned American freedom.
My friend’s wife is in no danger of getting in trouble with the authorities, but her hairdresser is.
According to power-mad politicians now in charge of the economic and social lives of 10 million people in Los Angeles County, if she’s caught defying the rules of the county’s super-strict shutdown, it’ll cost her a $1,000 fine.
The hairdresser, who has been prohibited from working for two months, isn’t worried about being caught and hit with a fine. She can’t afford to pay it anyway.
Her real fear is being turned in to the police by a neighbor, which reminds me of the way some rotten French people during World War II told stories about their neighbors to the Gestapo after the Germans took over their country.
I fully support what my friend’s wife has been doing. But watching her have to sneak around like a saboteur to get her hair done is just one reason living under L.A.‘s shutdown is getting harder for me to take.
Across the country, dozens of states have finally come to their senses, ending their shutdowns and reopening their economies. Yet here in L.A. County we’ve been going backwards.
We’ve just been told that our severe, absurd and often unscientific shutdown orders won’t be lifted until July 4 — at the earliest.
In other words, if I want to sit on a Pacific Ocean beach, I have to drive up to Ventura County.
If I want to eat dinner with my wife in a restaurant, I have to go to Santa Barbara.
If I want to drive to my favorite hotel in Palm Desert and play golf and hang around the swimming pool, however, I still can’t.
Right now, the hotel pool is empty and you have to order food and take it to your room. If I want to eat in my room, I can do it at home.
As I tweeted this week, if I hear about a hotel that opens and has a swimming pool with water in it and a restaurant that I can sit down and eat in, I’m there.
People have tweeted back to me and said, “Oh, please don’t do that. You could die.”
But I don’t care. I’m not afraid. Anyway, the odds of my not dying from the coronavirus are heavily in my favor.
My chances of being killed while driving 50 miles to a hotel are a lot higher than dying from any virus I might catch.
I don’t gamble, but I like to go to Las Vegas for the shows, swimming pools and great restaurants. I also like to drive to Palm Desert to play golf and to Solvang to do wine tasting.
I hope the state and local politicians in charge let me enjoy those simple pleasures again soon.
The New York Post, God bless it, did its best to shame them this week by demanding, on its front page, the end of the coronavirus shutdown — Now!
I’m on the same front page. I’m ready to get back to the world beyond my basement and backyard.
Tens of thousands of my fellow Los Angelenos are too, but it’s like we’re trapped in a foreign country whose rulers are dumb, stubborn and despotic.
Until July 4 if we want to go to a beach and sit on the sand or play volleyball — with our face masks on, I presume — we’ll have to drive up to Santa Barbara.
Friends of ours did that the other day and some locals innocently asked if they were tourists.
“No, we’re not tourists,” one of my friend said sadly, “We’re actually refugees from LA.”
Copyright 2020 Michael Reagan