Naturally, people who gathered to protest California’s COVID-19 curfew were largely not wearing masks
The coronavirus pandemic is continuing to surge unchecked in the U.S., where around 200,000 new cases are being recorded each day, and daily deaths are approaching record numbers. With spikes happening in almost all 50 states, many state and local authorities are going back to the kinds of restrictions we haven’t seen since the spring, hoping to curb the spread of COVID-19. In California, Governor Gavin Newsom called for a nearly state-wide curfew that went into effect Saturday night. But instead of staying home, a large number of residents headed to the streets of Huntington Beach to protest.
Videos showed the protestors, most of whom were not wearing masks, gathering and marching in the streets. Many waved MAGA and American flags.
The most shocking thing might be how blatantly these protesters ignored public health directives meant to help protect them from further spread of COVID-19.
California’s curfew went into effect Saturday night in 41 of the state’s 58 counties. Gov. Newsom asked residents of those counties to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily, unless they had essential work duties or essential needs.
The curfew is expected to remain in place until at least Dec. 21.
The curfew came after the state of California saw a 116 percent increase in new COVID-19 cases over just a two-week period. Deaths are also sharply rising in California, a state that has recorded over a million cases of the coronavirus, one of the highest numbers of any state in the U.S.
In addition to the curfew in most of the state, Los Angeles County, home to 10 million Californians, will halt all dining — indoors and out — at restaurants, bars, and wineries, effective Wednesday. During the shutdown, which is expected to last at least three weeks, restaurants will be limited to offering takeout, delivery, and drive-through or curbside pickup service in the county, which has some of the highest COVID-19 numbers in the state.
According to news reports, the protests against the curfew and new restrictions stayed peaceful, and no one was arrested, even though protesters were breaking the state directive and potentially contributing to more spread of COVID-19. State officials have warned that California is on the brink of even more restrictions if rapidly worsening virus trends don’t slow down soon. It’ll be weeks before we know if these maskless protests resulted in any new cases, or worse — if any protest was a superspreader event.