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By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Miriam Raftery: Lake Cuyamaca in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is among sites now closed to vehicle access.

March 29, 2020 (San Diego) – California State Parks announced today that vehicle access is shut down to all 280 state parks due to visitors not following social distancing requirements during the COVID-19 outbreak. In San Diego County, state parks include Cuyamaca Rancho, Anza Borrego Desert, and San Pasqual Battlefield state parks as well as state beaches at Cardiff, Carlsbad and Torrey Pines.

"During this pandemic disease, every person has a role to play in slowing down the spread of #COVID19. Please protect yourself, your families and communities by practicing social/ physical distancing,” a Facebook post from California State Parks reads.

The action to close vehicular access follows earlier closure of campgrounds, visitor centers, museums and events in all state parks.

It is unclear when any of the parks will be reopened as the pandemic continues to spread statewide.

California State Parks encourages residents to take precautions, which include:

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Stay close to home when you get outdoors. This is not the time for a road trip to a destination park or beach.
  • Venture out only with people in your immediate household.
  • Walk around the neighborhood and enjoy neighborhood parks.
  • Always maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more when recreating in the outdoors. If you cannot maintain physical distancing, leave the park.
  • Do not congregate in parks. 

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No reason for this

Lies and more lies. Lies and fear to control people. Borrego was very quiet last week and no one was congregating. I want to see some proof. The many conflicting things on the news, the low numbers of sick, hospitalized and deaths that they do not compare to the population, knowing an El Cajon Pharmacist was sick then fled to Orange County to self Quarantine, and allegedly died of the virus without seeking any help and having the fastest autopsy of the month, without informing anyone in the community when Leaders knew are a few reasons I am so upset about the closures of our open spaces. I want scientific evidence that hiking, bike riding, offroading, walking across the beach to surf have any chance of spreading or contracting this virus (NOT a disease as many are calling it). People are not going to put up with this crying wolf for the next 2 months. Yes, people will die as they do of countless other illnesses, vehicle collisions and such. Ch 8 was telling people to "get out and Volunteer", Cuoma was on the news this morning saying "if you are healthy, come to New York and help us", we are supposed to support restaurants when the preparers are now turning up with the virus, yet you can't hike in the Desert? Can't have it both ways and the non-Sheeple know it.

You can hike desert trails but state parks parking lots are shut

down.  They are open to locals who know how to get in there, and that is still legal with social distancing, FYI, though not an option for everyone.

I agree with you that the press and public should be told earlier when there is a confirmed case in a place the public visited, including a business open to the public such as the pharmacy in El Cajon.

Actually there is scientific disagreeement on how far away is safe for social distancing with coronavirus.  Studies and estimates around the world range from 3 feet to 27 feet.  Wind may blow the virus farther, so surfers six feet apart in the ocean are likely not safe on a breezy day. 

Those who ignore social distancing will prove Darwin's survival of the fittest; if they ignore science and crowd together they will be the most likely to die of this virus.

Yes, I hike nearly every day in Anza Borrego DSP,

hardly ever see anyone, and try to remember not to get close when I do encounter another hiker because they may have the virus without realizing it (no symptoms). The virus can spread in an aerosol, respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or just breathes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. This virus does have the ability to transmit far easier than flu, and is probably about three times as infectious as flu.

The reason is simple. . .

people were using their freedom to move by congregating with others, which is a problem because the virus spreads by aerosols emitted by infected people. It has been amply demonstrated in other countries that isolation reduces transmission, and thereby reduces casualties which ought to be in everyone's interest. Therefore that freedom to move and poison others was removed, which is a good thing.

The people who brought Coronavirus here were not undocumented.

They were Americans returning from China and wealthy Americans air-lifted off a quarantined cruise ship, against the CDC's advice, and brought back to the U.S. specifically, here to California At least those were the first known cases in the U.S.

It's wrong to scapecoat and blame immigrants or any other group of people for the virus.  By your logic, hundreds of thousands of lives would be lost and many others would be left with permanent lung damage -- and this now includes people of all ages.  I personally know someone who is not old, and was on a respiratory for days with COVID-19 here and many now be left with damaged lungs. 

While I, too, am concerned about our loss of liberties, in times when many lives are threatened such as during wars, natural disasters and pandemics, Americans should be pulling together to fight the common enemy -- a virus in this case -- not stooping to scapegoating innocent people out of fear as we look for someone to blame.

If there is any analysis of who to blame, it should focus on any political leaders around the world and in various states and cities who in some cases have failed to listen soon enough to the health officials and scientists. 

Oh, and many of those people who came here originally as immigrants years ago are now doing critical work to keep open our grocery stores, delivering goods to those at home, working as janitors in our hospitals and other facilities, nurses and other critical  jobs, often at minimal pay, risking their lives to keep all of us safe.







AMEN! I agree Miriam, and could not have said it better!

Why worry?

The answer is yes,” said Dr Anthony Fauci, a top expert on the coronavirus response team, when asked if the US could really see between 100,000 and 240,000 fatalities in the outbreak at a White House press conference on Tuesday, but added that he "hoped" containment measures could reduce the number. Without some drastic social distancing efforts over the next 30 days – which are already underway in a number of states – the team projected up to 2.2 million fatalities.

Anza Borrego

I can imagine closing parks like Cuyamaca, there's a road where it's easy to control traffic. Anza Borrego is the largest  state park in California.It will be difficult to close it, there won't be any rangers patrolling the park.