Letters to the Editor: Start reopening California by rationing access to beaches and trails

Gov. Gavin Newsom
Gov. Gavin Newsom on April 14 discusses the state’s four-phase approach to lifting coronavirus restrictions.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

To the editor: Many Americans are becoming more irritable as the time for staying home lengthens from weeks into months. Californians love their trails, parks and especially their beautiful beaches that beckon as the temperature rises. (“Gov. Gavin Newsom says reopening California will begin this week,” May 4)

Way back in the oil crisis of 1979, we had a system that allowed people to buy gasoline on basically every other day of the week depending on the last number of their car’s license plate. It was a simple system that cut demand in half overnight.

If Californians were asked to alternate their use of parks, trails and beaches similarly, it could be of real help. Plus,we already know it works because we’ve used such a system before. People would be given an emotional lift and feel as if they had a choice; plus, this system would help with critical social distancing.

Right now, we’re looking at a long, hot summer ahead of us, so this idea is worth consideration.


Jodi Miles, Santa Barbara


To the editor: Gov. Gavin Newsom may have already saved thousands of lives with his stay-home order. Why should he feel compelled to overreact to screaming protesters?

My family is certainly following the governor’s instructions, and our friends and neighbors are doing so as well. Wishing that a pandemic would just go away is foolish and childish thinking. We grown-ups need to stand together to protect our children’s future and not bellyache about staying off the beaches or out of the bars for a few weeks.


This is our civic duty.

Gloria J. Richards, Simi Valley


To the editor: This crisis is now far beyond partisan politics. We can’t wait for a vaccine or a cure. If we do not find a way to rescue our economy, and soon, we risk not only our standard of living, but our national security and political stability.


We must leave the shelter of our homes and get back to work. This will take courage, because when we do, despite our efforts, the virus will again spread, and inevitably many more of us will lose our lives and our loved ones.

The last time we faced a similar existential threat was in World War II. As then, we must make sacrifices to win — and win we must.

Nicholas LaTerza, Calabasas



To the editor: What I fail to see in this country’s unorganized attempt to return to “normal” is any control over one’s ability to travel. Does it make sense that people from “liberated” areas are allowed to travel to parts of the country practicing more stringent interaction?

Until we control travel, we cannot control this virus, especially if we allow different states to have different restrictions.

Steven Elias, Alameda, Calif.