- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 30, 2020

California’s Democrat governor, Gavin Newsom, is poised to order all beaches in the state closed because citizens dared to defy his social distancing order by flocking to the seashore, COVID-19 be danged.

And this should be the collective Californian response: Storm the beaches anyway.

Storm ‘em like a Stormin’ Norman — like a Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, a.k.a. “The Bear,” subduing the entirety of Saddam Hussein’s forces in a shockingly short span of six weeks. Storm ‘em all, and storm ‘em strong.


The fact is fresh air beats back viruses.

Medically speaking, Newsom’s command to close all the state’s beaches — which comes on the heels of his closure of state parks, state trails and state recreational facilities — is about the dumbest thing to do to protect a population from sickness.

Politically speaking, he’s out of line. Drunk with power. Demanding and petulant and deserving of a massive citizen-style face-slap.

But medically speaking, in a March article titled, “Coronavirus and the Sun: a Lesson from the 1918 Influenza Pandemic,” Medium wrote: Go outside — doctor’s orders.

To quote: “Put simply, medics found that severely ill flu patients nursed outdoors recovered better than those treated indoors.,” Medium wrote. “A combination of fresh air and sunlight seems to have prevented deaths among patients; and infections among medical staff. There is scientific support for this. Research shows that outdoor air is a natural disinfectant. Fresh air can kill the flu virus and other harmful germs. Equally, sunlight is germicidal and there is now evidence it can kill the flu virus.”

Or, put another way — go outside. Doctor’s orders.

Indeed. Yet Newsom wants everybody to stay inside, stay as far away from the fresh ocean air — some of the freshest air to be had — and stay cooped in the artificially warmed, artificially cooled, artificially circulated air of the home?

This is madness.

This is politician-gone-mad-with-power kind of madness.

Particularly the part where he’s notified police of his plans, in order to prepare to stop the citizens and roadblock the beaches. Humble public service, anyone?

From CNN, an excerpt of the memo that reportedly came from a senior law enforcement official, apparently distributed among police: “We wanted to give all of our members a heads up about this in order to provide time for you to plan for any situations you might expect as a result, knowing each community has its own dynamics.”

The memo came after tens of thousands flocked to California beaches a few days ago — after which Newsom threw a tantrum.

“This virus doesn’t take the weekends off,” he said. “This virus doesn’t go home.”

No. But fresh air certainly helps send the virus on its happy way. Fresh air, sunshine and bodies strengthened by fresh air and sunshine.

“Medical professionals tell us the importance of fresh air and sunlight in fighting infectious diseases, including mental health benefits,” Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner wrote in a statement responding to Newsom’s beach-closings, CNN reported.

That’s common sense.

That’s proven medical truths.

That’s scientific and sound health advice.

Compare that with Newsom’s ridiculous order — and it’s clear: Californians ought to stampede the beaches. It’s time, high time, way past high time, in fact, to rein in the COVID-19 government abuses and overreaches and remind public servants like Newsom who’s really in power, who really holds the purse strings, who really serves as employer.

American citizens have a right to go outside and walk on their public, taxpayer-funded beaches. The burden is on the government to prove they don’t, or show they shouldn’t.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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