David Pisarra

This was a glorious weekend, and judging by what I saw in the parks and heard about the beaches, lots of us were out and about enjoying it. As I rode my bike around the Ocean Park district I saw many people out exercising, walking their dogs, children in prams and couples getting a needed breath of fresh air.

Enjoy it. Because I predict that by the end of the May, we will be admonished to remain in doors in more strident terms. I fully expect that there will be an uptick in the cases, as testing becomes more available (I went for mine on Monday at the Santa Monica College testing facility) which should give the politicians cover to extend the lockdown.

This first foray into a more open business environment will bring a much needed break, but do not expect it to last. Whether it is necessary or not, it’s a safe bet that both the Governor and Mayor Garcetti, both of whom I credit as handling this quite well to date, will want to put us back into a lockdown at the request of the medical community.

We are waiting on an updated report from the USC/LA Department of Public Health (LADPH) on their antibody study, which previously supported the Santa Clara study, that posits about 25-55 times as many of us have been exposed to the Coronavirus. Personally I reached out to Dr. Sood from the LADPH for an update, and I haven’t received a response – I assume he’s a bit busy so that’s not a condemnation, just a fact.

The ways in which people are reacting to this pandemic and the lengths that they are going to can be comical. For example, last week I went through a local drive through to get a snack and coffee. I handed the young employee, who was masked and gloved, my money, they in turn handed me the change in a plastic bag, that was delivered by way of a plastic bin.

Now, I applaud the employer for trying to create a safe work environment, hence the masks and gloves. For someone who is dealing with money, one of the most filthy items on the planet, that level of protection seems prudent. The use of a plastic bin to deliver the change is an upgrade, and probably safer to prevent the accidental dropping of coins. Where this transaction crossed into absurdity was the change in a plastic bag. I’m not sure what that was supposed to do.

The issue of cross contamination is an ever present danger when dealing with germs, bacteria and virii. It’s just a given when dealing with money. Having someone, who is wearing already exposed/unclean gloves, take my money, then use those same gloved hands to make change, thus contaminating the change, and putting it a plastic bag, where I have to reach in and withdraw it, thus exposing me to what is on the money, is an exercise in wasteful, excessive, and ultimately futile, safety precautions.

It’s these overly officious attempts that drive me crazy. I fully back real efforts at prevention. If someone tests positive they should quarantine. The use of hand sanitizer on a regular basis, makes sense. Recommending that people wear masks in public – seems like small concession to reduce a public risk. Do I like them? Not really, my glasses fog, I don’t like not seeing people smile. Is it forever? No. Will it make a difference? Probably. So the experts say, and not being a public health expert, I have to defer to them.

There are those who think they know better than the experts, and they were out in an embarrassingly small force on Saturday at the Pier protesting the Safer at Home and demanding their freedom. I did not attend, but I did see the pictures and read many of the comments on Residocracy where it appears there are more than a few crackpots of dubious reality taking misogynistic swipes at women and promoting their anti-vaxxer doctrine. They’re not really people so I stayed away. Their efforts appeared as futile and poorly thought out as the change in a plastic bag was.

We all need to do our part to stop the spread of the virus, and we also need to stop the spread of silly, irrational and comical responses to a reality that is verifiably true. It’s the only way we’ll make real progress against real problems.

David Pisarra is a Los Angeles Divorce and Child Custody Lawyer specializing in Father’s and Men’s Rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at dpisarra@pisarra.com or 310/664-9969. You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra

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  1. Maybe people should quit using cash and use cards. They can be easily wiped down with a disinfectant wipe or smothered between your hands with a dose of hand sanitizer. I agree cash is dirty, very dirty. Then people should goto a cashless system out of respect for each other’s health concerns.

  2. Limiting purchases to cash will not allow people who may be struggling to conduct transactions because they do not or cannot get bank cards. Think about homeless people who collect change from others…they are entitled to make purchases like everyone else without being turned away.

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