The Coast News Group
Letters Opinion

Letter: A discouraging display of selfishness

I saw the protests on TV today. A hundred or so people gathered near Swami’s protesting the closure of local beaches and trails. They held up placards professing the right to assemble. Others demanded the beaches be reopened. One declared that surfing was his life and religion.

On the one hand, they have a point. Civic life has to reopen at some point. We can all agree on that. But as I listened, I realized that these people weren’t defending American rights. They were defending only their right to the personal individual liberty to do as they please. They were out for themselves, not us.

I am confident that the man holding the First Amendment banner wasn’t a real student of the Constitution or our founding beliefs. If he were, he would know that Life ranks ahead of Liberty, both in our Declaration of Independence and in practical life. You can’t have liberty if you’re not around to experience it.  Anyone who has a compromised immune system or other health factors that make this pandemic so deadly gets that. Why couldn’t he?

Then there was the lady who was tired of the beaches being closed. “It’s been long enough,” she said. Really? Has it been long enough because you have studied the science and the data? Or is it because you have been discomforted for far too long, say four weeks? Can’t the greater good of our society keep you entertained by Netflix for just a little longer? There really are lives at stake.

Lastly, there was the surfer whose life depended on his worship of the waves. I get it. I love to be in the water too. But seriously, your religion? Churches have closed, most voluntarily. Why? Because they want their congregations to be able to come back one day. Until then, worship alone or with close family. That is a real virtue.

What really got to me the most was that none — zero — of these people expressed a single interest in the people who are really hurting. The average hourly wage earner who has lost his or her job and all income until this pestilence fades. The tireless health care workers, emergency management professionals (police, firefighters) and others who are truly essential to our society that willingly risk themselves for our greater good. The list goes on. If any of you had protested for them, we would all be with you, even if from a safe distance.

I would be concerned for our society if these people represented a majority, or even a significant segment of our area, California, or the nation. Thankfully, they do not.

So, for everyone out there doing the right thing, Thank You.

Mark J. Desens



Christine Farr May 1, 2020 at 11:03 am

The leader of the protest coughed in my friend’s face who disagreed with her and said she had the virus. She’s a wannabe local. He’s a famous surfer and shaper. It was so rude.

Nadine Scott April 26, 2020 at 2:05 pm

Good commentary. Thank you. I stay home to keep myself self, my loved ones, AND yours, and theirs!

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