MARK NEWE, San Clemente

When did San Clemente become the Arizona of the Orange County coast?

While both the numbers and rates of positive coronavirus tests climb upward throughout Orange County, and responsible city officials from Dana Point to Santa Barbara restricted access to their beaches to avoid a repeat of the Memorial Day-precipitated increase in cases statewide, our city officials decide to respond to the crisis like … Arizona? 

Even the governors of Texas and Florida have dialed back reopening in response to escalating cases of coronavirus. But our city?

I might possibly agree with the argument that people can make their own choices regarding how much risk that they wish to tolerate, except that the first responders, medical workers, grocery workers, and all the workers who can’t telework and must go out and possibly expose themselves to infection don’t get to choose. 

They put themselves on the line to serve our community or to feed their families. And if they do end up getting infected, they face a diminishing number of available ICU beds that will be used to provide care to people who couldn’t make the sacrifice to not go to the beach.

It is so sad that we have become so entitled that we cannot even make the “sacrifice” of barbecuing in the backyard for one year to keep others safe. 

We deserve better leadership. And we owe our community better behavior.

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