My Beloved Long Beach: A Victim Of Irrational Government Overreach Beyond Reasoned Response To Virus
by Doug Krikorian
Mr. Krikorian, an award winning journalist and author of two books, earned multiple awards in his 22 years of writing for the Long Beach Press-Telegram and 22 years for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. He is happily retired in Naples.
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|(April 29, 2020, 6:30 p.m.) -- This is all a surrealistic dream of raging madness, a hallucination so weird, so incomprehensible, so beyond the forces of normality that I must be immersed in some sort of mystical state of fantasy.
I know I live in Long Beach, and yet I see people---young people, middle age people, old people---covering their faces with masks, or bandanas. I don't understand. Is this some sort of macabre prep for Halloween six months in advance? I find myself going into a grocery store, and now I'm wearing a mask, too, and I know this isn't reality. I've never worn a mask in my life, and yet I find myself waiting in a lengthy queue in front of Von's Pavilion at Spring and Los Coyotes with my face covered with polyester. I thought back to an Hungarian lady I once dated who lived in Budapest, and she told me often how awful it was every time she went shopping because there always was a lengthy queue. But that happens in Communist countries and Third World countries, but not in a capitalistic country like the one in which I reside.
At least it never has before and when am I going to emerge from this ghastly nightmare? I feel like I'm alive, even awake, but am I? What I hear, what I read, what I witness defies all sane calculations and makes me feel I'm imprisoned in some frightening netherworld.
In it, I talk to friends like Phil Trani and John Morris and Denny Lund and Dickie Babian and Toby Reece and many others who own thriving restaurants and taverns and they tell me they have been shut down by the state of California and have no idea when they're going to reopen.
In it, I talked to one of Long Beach's most community-oriented entrepreneurs, Mike O'Toole, whose popular gondola business in Naples is also shuttered. It was he who originally informed me a pandemic was in our midst.
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Omigod! Now millions upon millions of people must be dying in my beloved country for it suddenly to have more than 20 million people unemployed and trillions upon trillions of dollars being depleted from its coffers. This can't be happening. I know I'm in an eternal trance, and I'm sure I'll be visiting Dante's Nine Circles of Hell at any moment. Please, oh please, God, let me awake from whatever has me in this trance-like state.
But even in my current condition, I know my beloved Long Beach has an activist mayor who savors nothing more in his notoriously myopic existence than creating new taxes for his beleaguered constituents and following the dictates of his two fellow political travelers, the abominable Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti, and the California governor, Gavin Newsom, both of whom issued edicts locking down various non-essential businesses in the state, edicts that inevitably will have disastrous financial repercussions for so many people.
Even in my current condition, I talk to my doctor friends, and one respected internist in Long Beach informed me that herd immunity would have been the way to go in California and that all the massive lockdowns throughout most of the country is nothing more than an extension of a most egregious trend that has polluted our cultural landscape in this epoch --- insufferably excessive political correctness. And another one, a renowned surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills, echoes such anti-establishment sentiments and believes this a governmental overreach that will have horrifying long-term effects on our country.
Please, let me emerge from this coma of darkness, back to the country I've savored and loved and enjoyed since I emerged long ago in this celestial sphere that is no longer celestial or recognizable.
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