The coronavirus pandemic has seriously affected the lives of residents of the Anza Valley. With the historical measures being taken to slow its spread, the virus has forever changed the rural mountain community.
A good number of people have taken to social media questioning the state and county stay-at-home, social distancing and mask-wearing mandates.
The Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 Friday, May 8, to direct public health officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser to rescind and amend some of the local public health orders that are stricter than California’s statewide pandemic directives.
Part of this decision directed Kaiser to rescind the orders that mandated face-coverings in public throughout Riverside county, replacing it with a “strong recommendation” to social distance and wear face coverings to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“Mask-shaming” and public ridicule for failure to observe social distancing suggestions is becoming more common. The confusion regarding the state versus county mandates and recommendations only add to the debate.
“It’s bull,” Lance Alexander said.
Working as a cashier at the Cahuilla Mountain Market, he said he is aware of the severity of the outbreak and is keeping up on the latest developments. But he is ready for things to get back to as close as possible to the way they were. Alexander said he prefers not to wear a mask in public unless absolutely required.
David Apodaca wears his mask when out and about, he said.
“I think everybody should do what they want to in regards to masks. If you want to wear one, wear one – if you don’t, then don’t. The most important thing is to stay safe the best way that is good for you.”
“I’ve worked this drive-thru all throughout the quarantine,” Graffiti Coffee employee Justin Thillins said. “Honestly, as long as our medical facilities are prepared, we are ready to open this economy up.”
Diane Sieker can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.