Good morning. It's Monday, March 16.
|•||Nightlife shutdown threatens small businesses.|
|•||Fear of civil breakdown prompts run on firearms.|
|•||And nature's version of Notre Dame in San Diego.|
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday urged all California bars, wineries, nightclubs, and brewpubs to close and called for restaurants to reduce their occupancy by half, extraordinary measures designed to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. In requesting but not requiring the closures, he stopped short of bans as emphatic as those in Ohio or Illinois — at least for now. Newsom added: "We have the capacity to enforce if necessary." S.F. Chronicle | A.P.
A bartender worked at a bar in Grand Central Market in Los Angeles on Sunday.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Hours after Newsom's remarks, officials in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Palm Springs announced that nightlife closures in their cities would be mandatory. Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, which added a prohibition against dine-in restaurant service, acknowledged that it would be painful for small businesses. "I have not taken these steps lightly," he said. "To some it may feel wrong, but I would say it's exactly when things feel wrong that it is the right time to do them." L.A. Times | Eater Los Angeles
"This will bankrupt me."
"How do people survive?"
Restaurant and bar owners across California were deeply worried for their livelihoods and those of their workers. An official in wine country predicted the economic fallout there would surpass that of a devastating wildfire. Press Democrat | O.C. Register
Newsom also urged all Californians 65 and older to isolate themselves at home — 5.3 million people in all — as well as anyone with chronic health conditions. The governor acknowledged how daunting it would be to ensure delivery of food, medicine, and services to some of the state's most vulnerable residents. A nursing home operator raised an additional concern: "Isolation is very, very difficult for older adults. Many believe it can be more detrimental than some physical ailments." CalMatters | Sacramento Bee
3,602 in U.S.
490 in California
251 in Bay Area
148 in Southern California
Shopping cart pandemonium at a Costco in Novato on Saturday.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
The Great Costco Siege of 2020 persisted through the weekend. Here's an incredible video of people lining up for what looks like roughly a quarter mile outside a Costco in Asuza. ABC7/Twitter
While empty grocery shelves have given the appearance of scarcity, food producers assured the public that was not the case. "There is plenty of food in the country," the leader of a trade group said. N.Y. Times
The same goes for toilet paper. L.A. Times
Newsom's administration has stopped short of ordering the closure of all schools, citing concerns that rural areas may be ill-equipped to provide services to children cast into limbo. But the vast majority of districts have acted on their own. According to a tally by EdSource, 84 percent of California's K-12 students have faced shutdowns. Until Sunday, Kern County — which has had no confirmed coronavirus cases — had the only remaining large school district in the state with no plan to close. That changed Sunday. EdSource | Bakersfield Californian
People waited outside the Martin B. Retting, Inc. guns store in Culver City on Sunday.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
A stretch of Interstate 8 in San Diego was empty on Sunday.
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
While obnoxious, Southern California's clogged freeways are a sign of a booming economy. Now, suddenly, they are empty. "Free-flowing traffic across Los Angeles seems more a cause for mourning than celebration as the region grapples with the coronavirus pandemic," the L.A. Times wrote.
"Human rights? I have never thought about human rights."
In Southern California's San Gabriel Valley, thousands of Chinese immigrants live as many as 13 to a unit. LAist spent several months investigating the illegal tenements, known as "boarding houses," and found people enduring rats, mold, insects, and the threat of fire. Among the obstacles: Landlords who profit from tenants who pay by the night, and code enforcers reluctant to tip people into homelessness. LAist
The New Republic checked in on Stockton's experiment with universal basic income. More than 4,000 households, randomly selected from low-income neighborhoods, have been getting $500 a month — no strings attached. One of the biggest changes that families describe: having more time to spend with their children. New Republic
"His castle was built on the backs of the most vulnerable people in society."
Some of the wildest house parties in Los Angeles are thrown by an 80-year-old bon vivant named Jimmy Goldstein. His modernist masterpiece home is famed for its role in "The Big Lebowski." He told a reporter all about his expensive, hedonistic passions then clammed up when asked about the mobile home empire that finances them. Hollywood Reporter
A namesake tree at Torrey Pines State Reserve.
The Torrey pine, the rarest of American pines, is indigenous to only two places: Santa Rosa Island off Santa Barbara and a narrow stretch of coast at the northern edge of San Diego. Fragile remnants of a distant age, the gnarled trees are protected within Torrey Pines State Reserve. The park's most stirring feature, however, may be the wrinkled sandstone bluffs in which the pines improbably take root. They are, as one writer put it, "nature's version of Notre Dame," carved by the chisel of wind and water over nearly a million years. Parks.ca.gov | Outbound Collective
Below, a few views from the reserve, which, like all outdoor state park areas, remains open.
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The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.
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