Gov. Gavin Newsom directed California residents to a list of outdoor activities that the state said are still permissible during the shelter-in-place order, drawing ire on social media.
Newsom reportedly directed state residents to read the list that includes activities like Badminton (singles), BMX biking, gardening (not in groups), car-washing, and tree climbing. The state still wants safe social distancing to be practiced.
“We want you to see sunsets,” Newsom said, according to SFGate. “We want you to enjoy activities outdoors. What they don’t want is people congregating outside in large groups.”
The idea that the state would make a list to inform its residents that gardening is allowed did not sit well with many on social media. Residents in the state have been inside for weeks and some have already spoken out on what they see as a Sacramento overreach.
Newsom has insisted that keeping the coronavirus at bay is his top priority and he has been praised for his early approach to the pandemic. But there is beginning to be fissures in the state and more pushback from business owners to surfers.
Some scientific studies are raising questions about whether the restrictions are necessary to protect people.
One expert described the outdoor exercise as “likely low-risk,” according to SFGate.com. “The risks of virus transmissibility in the air outdoors is likely quite low in those contexts, although this risk hasn’t been definitively measured,” Angela Rasmussen, a virologist told Vox. “Outside, things like sunlight, wind, rain, ambient temperature, and humidity can affect virus infectivity and transmissibility…”
A Japan study found that “one is 18.7 times more likely to contract the virus indoors” instead of outdoors, since the virus is primarily transmitted via respiratory droplets on surfaces and not through the air, SFGate reported.
But state health officials say guidelines are in place to protect citizens from a highly contagious virus.
Earlier Thursday, Newsom cracked down on beachgoers in Southern California, initiating a “hard close” of beaches in Orange County in response to what he considered social distancing violations last weekend.
Huntington Beach City Council voted in an emergency session Thursday night to try and obtain an injunction against Newsom’s order, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes reportedly said his intention “is to not take enforcement action on this order.”