OC Supervisors think they’re opening up OC LOL


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A few sloppy news outlets quickly reported Tuesday, before correcting themselves, that our Board of Supervisors had moved unanimously to “re-open Orange County businesses!”  The Supervisors probably meant to give that impression, to please the numb-nuts who’d been holding “Live Free And Die” protests across the county for the previous week, but no such thing happened.  It wasn’t our Supervisors who closed non-essential businesses in California, and it’s not gonna be up to them to re-open them.

It is true that the two most Trumpy and immature of our Supervisors – Don Wagner and Shawn Steel’s Wifesent out a press release after yesterday’s meeting that SOUNDED a lot like they were re-opening OC businesses.  And it’s true that as usual they got no disagreement from Andrew Do, Lisa Bartlett, or Sleepy Dormouse.

Original Tea-Partier Wagner echoes his President in opining that we shouldn’t “trade in one problem [mass deaths] for a bigger problem [a bad economy].”  And he takes the press release’s initial claim that OC has “effectively flattened the curve” on County CoVid a little farther, by boldly contending that the curve is “trending down.”

Who told Don Wagner that any “curve” – infections, deaths, or hospitalizations – was going down or even flattening?  Way too much wishful thinking, at the White House and on Santa Ana’s Fifth Floor – we’re supposed to have TWO STRAIGHT WEEKS of CoVid-19 rates dropping before we consider opening up, and we haven’t even seen the beginning of a drop yet

Up to Wed. April 29 – click for larger view

The authors of this press release look at that chart and others, from THEIR OWN WEBSITE, and write with a straight face that we’ve “effectively flattened the curve”?  (Does “effectively” have some unknown magical meaning here?)  Don Wagner looks at it and says with a straight face that it’s “trending down?”  What sort of drugs are our County leaders on?  I want some.  What sort of drugs is their beloved President taking?  I want some.   Like last week’s numb-nuts protesters, they are “overgrown children with ADHD who just couldn’t hang for more than a month of helping our nation fight an invisible enemy.”

Two days earlier Board Chairwoman Shawn Steel’s Wife had claimed, in true Trump style, that the infamous April 25 Newport Beach Register photograph (below), which angered Governor Newsom so much, was somehow “fake news,” probably a photo from  some other year.  Well it wasn’t, and the Register even had to print a story this morning clarifying that.

People gather in Newport Beach to cool off on a hot day on Saturday, April 25, 2020. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Shawn Steel’s Wife went on, Monday, to insist that these folks depicted above on Newport Beach over the weekend “were following the six-foot physical distancing guidelines for the most part,” and that the County plans on leaving its beaches open.  Probably the sort of magical wishful thinking that we DON’T want to send to Washington, just sayin’.

The bulk of Wagner’s and Steel’s press release was a list of common-sense “guidelines” for when OC businesses DO open.  Yes, not so much “rules” as “guidelines,” as Bill Murray explained when tempted by the possessed Sigourney in Ghostbusters:

As these are “guidelines,” weasel words like “should,” “when feasbile,” “is encouraged,” “unless impractical,” are used dozens of times, in less than that many sentences.  Six feet distancing SHOULD be observed.  Face coverings SHOULD be supplied to employees.  Physical barriers are PREFERRED, IF AVAILABLE. 

This classic wisdumb has to be from faux-libertarian Wagner:  “Physical barriers are preferred, if available, but are not required as the general public will make individualized decisions about which businesses to patronize.”  Sounding exactly like dingbat Rand Paul when explaining why he would not have voted for the Civil Rights Act – just leave it up to white Southerners to slowly realize how terribly unfair Jim Crow was, and then they’ll gradually stop patronizing racist establishments!  The Invisible Hand of the Market Guarantees It!

And as these are “guidelines,” a lot of employers and employees will observe them, and a lot of them WON’T cuz they don’t HAVE to.  Far be it from OC’s faux-libertarian leaders to protect the rest of us by setting any RULES, however temporary.

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Well, it’s NOT up to the Supervisors, or the Child President, as to when OC businesses can re-open, as even Wagner and Steel are forced to admit a couple times.  On one level, it’s up to OC business owners and customers themselves, MANY of whom are sane and informed.  But on a larger level, it’s up to the Governor of the great state of California, and we are blessed here to have ADULT leadership in the State even if we lack it at the County or Federal levels.  (Thank your lucky stars we’re not Georgia, Florida or South Dakota!)

Tuesday (same day as the silly Steel-Wagner release) Newsom released a sensible 4-stage plan for re-opening the state and its businesses, which will be “driven by science, data and public health,” NOT by “politics, protests, or political pressure.”  Right now we’re in Stage 1 with stay-at-home orders in place. 

  • Stage 2, “weeks away,” will see “lower-risk workplaces like retail, manufacturing, offices, schools and childcare facilities” re-opening WITH “ADAPTATIONS.”   
  • Stage 3, “months away,” will see “higher-risk businesses and gatherings that include close contact – like salons, gyms, theaters, religious services, weddings and sporting events WITHOUT live audiences…” again with “adapations and limits on the size of gatherings.” 
  • The final Stage 4 would require coronavirus treatments that have not yet been developed, and that’s when we’d finally see the return of “concerts, live-audience sports and other large events, venues and mass gatherings deemed the highest risk”  –  presumably including Disneyland and Knott’s, so vital to our local North OC economies.

The Register printed this under the title, “Disneyland and Other Theme Parks Can’t Re-open For Months Under State Plan.”  Although not Anaheim’s biggest Disneyland fan, I responded “Disney has such celebrated ‘imagineers’ … could they imagineer themselves into a social-distancing theme park temporarily so they can qualify under Gov. Newsom’s ‘stage 3’ and re-open in ‘mere months’ rather than after a vaccine & cure are available?”  Maybe THAT would be a worthwhile imagineering project for our $7 million brain trust at VISIT ANAHEIM to put their minds to!

As I wrote this piece, suffering through countless interruptions, Governor Newsom responded to the OC Lemming Beach Rushes by closing down all OC beaches till further notice.  Now I hear the Numb-Nuts are praying that President Trump and his filthy AG Barr will come and save them from the Mean Governor.  HAHA NUMB-NUTS!


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.