Los Alamitos, Calif. — Orange County, California is slowly making its way back to normal but Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 tyranny reigns supreme in Los Angeles County.
The campaign to unseat Newsom began last year as California constituents grew weary of government overreach, bureaucratic lockdowns, school closures, and restrictions on dining and shopping that were not rooted in science. After Newsom attended a maskless indoor dinner at an expensive restaurant in violation of his state’s own COVID-19 rules, the urge to boot him from office gained even more traction and launched a new era of civil disobedience
Orange County, home to tourist hotspots along the Pacific Coast Highway such as Huntington Beach and Newport Beach, turned away from its historic red streak in November to vote for President Joe Biden, who campaigned on unity and beating the virus. When it comes to the president and their state’s COVID-19 policies, however, residents in both towns are openly frustrated with more than a year of tyranny in the name of keeping people safe.
Days before the election that will determine if the Democrat stays in office, families frolicked unmasked in Huntington Beach’s chic Pacific City shopping center, ignoring the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s newest universal masking demands. Some chain clothing stores still posted signs on windows asking guests to wear masks if they are unvaccinated, but shoppers migrated in and out of the crowded shops without care for the unenforced orders. Most food booth and store employees also bustled around without face coverings. On the beach in Huntington, even more people gathered maskless.
Months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Newsom and other California bureaucrats’ assault on church gatherings under the guise of protecting people from COVID-19, churches including Los Alamitos megachurch Cottonwood Church are hosting indoor and some outdoor worship services led by and filled with mostly maskless congregants eager to assemble and exercise their rights to free speech and freedom of assembly.
In Newport Beach, tourists crowded onto whale-watching boats and harbor ferries without masks or limitations. Others spent their weekend dining indoors at oceanview restaurants where, once again, posted health orders about unvaccinated people masking were not strictly enforced by staff, who, if they wore masks, let them hang below their noses.
Signs and flags sprinkled in front of Newport Beach houses taunted health bureaucrats and called for Newsom to be booted from office during the upcoming recall.
“Choose Freedom Not Fear,” one sign displayed in front of a Balboa Island beachfront home to tourists and local passers-by on walks around the harborside community.
I only saw one home on my walk around Balboa Island that defended the governor’s COVID record with a “Stop The Republican Recall” sign planted firmly in a front yard guarded by a hedge of island greenery.
Another home just a few doors down took a less obvious political stance by displaying a large stuffed bear wearing a mask on its balcony facing the sidewalk.
Pro-Newsom and pro-mask statements were few and far between in Orange County, but in Los Angeles County, they were plentiful. At Los Angeles International Airport, travelers leaving and arriving dutifully “masked up” as announcements reminded them it was federally mandated by the Biden administration, who formerly promised just 100 more days of masking.
In Manhattan Beach, just a 10-minute drive from LAX, diners still ate largely outside in weather-friendly tents decorated with fairy lights and flower boxes to distract from the COVID-19 security theater. More people walked around the pier and beach with masks.
On the Malibu Beach pier in one of Los Angeles County’s most recognized cities, masked individuals made up approximately half of the crowd mulling about as surfers caught waves during a competition further down the beach. Waiters at The Malibu Farm Restaurant and Malibu Farm Pier Cafe also wore masks despite interacting with customers seated on the patio. A banner calling for “GRUESOME NEWSOM” to be recalled flew over the pier while people who chose to mask outside in the 84-degree weather looked on.
Spotted in Malibu, California right above the pier. The sign says “RECALL GRUESOME NEWSOM. SELFISH RICH BOY!” pic.twitter.com/X6CKSMFAtl
— Jordan Boyd (@jordangdavidson) September 11, 2021
A small nautical-themed gift shop at the end of the Malibu pier posted a sign demanding all customers, regardless of vaccination status, mask to enter. An employee wearing a colorful face-covering carefully eyed anyone who entered the building, watching and waiting for compliance.
Even though COVID-19 restrictions in Orange County are not as severe as the systemic devotion to masking and other COVID-19 restrictions in Los Angeles, even the laxest of areas have lingering remnants of lockdowns.
Despite true scientific data indicating that COVID spread among kids is minuscule, the Orange County Health Care Agency recently reaffirmed that children enrolled in childcare and kindergarten through 12th-grade school are still required to wear masks. All public and private school teaching staff are also required to show that they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 or comply with regular testing.
Solana Beach, San Diego kindergarten, 6+’ masks still required outdoors. Yes, Sept 2021, not 2020 (this is not my district) pic.twitter.com/edjMKolSB9
— MG (@mgelizabethx) September 12, 2021
In the Los Angeles Unified School District, students 12 and older will be required to get the COVID-19 shot by December to continue in-person schooling. Anyone who doesn’t comply with the district’s new rule requiring proof of vaccination will be forced back into remote learning, which most California voters agree is not ideal.
These lingering effects of COVID tyranny might be shunned by beachgoers in Orange County who are more than ready to shed their masks and enjoy the ocean breeze, but it’s clear that residents of Los Angeles County seem to be in no rush to do anything but demand more vaccinations, more masks, and more Newsom.