Dee Lescault got the bad news from her landlord. Her Costa Mesa hair salon had reopened on June 1 after being dark for months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, dealing a painful economic blow to the 66-year-old stylist. And now, Coronavirus Shutdown 2.0.
“Is it asking too much to wear a mask?” Lescault tweeted in a rush of anger. “You can’t have a healthy economy without a healthy community. Get a clue please.”
At least she said please. Social media exploded this week with furious, often expletive-laced outbursts after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that California must largely close for business yet again because of a spike in COVID-19 cases statewide that shows no sign of easing. On Tuesday, the state reported its largest one-day total of new cases, along with sharp jumps in hospitalizations and deaths.
Over the course of the four-month pandemic, Californians have focused their anger at the governor and other politicians, county health officials and the current resident of the White House. But now, in the early days of yet another shutdown, they are turning on each other like never before.
Because, when it comes to the coronavirus, we have met the enemy, and he is us.
The first shutdown was bad enough, throwing millions of workers out of jobs, canceling graduations and in-person June weddings and forcing families to bury loved ones without the solace of funeral services and the comforting embrace of supportive friends. Then George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, unleashing a nationwide flood of fury aimed at police brutality and systemic racism.