As Labor Day Weekend kicked off, Long Beach residents flocked to Mother’s Beach Marine Park on Saturday against county health officials’ warnings.
All week, Los Angeles County officials have warned against Labor Day gatherings after witnessing the spike of coronavirus-related cases during the past Memorial Day and Fourth of July holidays.
However, at the peak of Davies Bridge heading North on Studebaker Road and Second Street, a group of bicyclists stopped to stare at what could only be described as a mass of people at Mother’s Beach Marine Park on 5839 E. Appian Way.
Below the bridge, the sound of honking boat horns, ice cream vendor bells, and people’s laughter filled the air, with little-to-no masks in sight.
In an effort to ensure some semblance of safety, signs were posted by the city around the park asking visitors to maintain a safe span of space and to wear a mask. Some public equipment had been sectioned off with bright yellow caution tape to prevent visitors from climbing. In addition, sections of the sand were squared off on the beach with caution tape and orange safety cones.
“It’s pretty busy, but it’s not as bad as it looks,” said Cesar Alonso, a 28-year-old, who was currently occupying one of the sections. “Everybody has a good little distance.”
Alonso was not wearing a mask at the time.
The sections are on a first-come first-serve basis, but can only be found on the sand. If groups want to gather on the grass area of the park, they need to maintain distance at their own discretion—which proved difficult.
“If somebody has a problem [they can] go home,” said Hilda Hajenian, a sans-mask 55-year-old, when asked how she felt about the crowded park.
Hajenian felt that it was completely safe to visit the park even during the present conditions.
“Life is very short honey,” she added. “I want to live.”
The two lifeguards seen on duty were not open to answering any questions. They did, however, say the beach was “too busy”.
Beaches and recreational paths remain open in LA County as health officials encourage social distancing throughout the Labor Day weekend.