Many people were shocked when on social media, they saw photos of Californians flocking to the beach as if it was just another ordinary day when the whole world is currently battling a deadly health pandemic. It was even more shocking because these people have already been warned and asked to stay at home and yet, they are openly defying the government official’s orders. 

On Sunday, March 22, crowds pack beaches along the coastlines of California. They hike in the trails, play and hang out in the parks, ride bicycles with friends and more when it’s only been two days since the governor issued the “shelter in place” state order. 

Pictures of people at Huntington Beach in Los Angeles were posted on social media and clearly, beach-goers who have gathered there are not worried about the COVID-19 infection. It was reported that this is the same scenario in other beaches located in Santa Monica, Long Beach and Malibu. 

“Today is not the day to go to the beach,” The Los Angeles Times quoted city manager of Santa Monica Rick Cole as saying. “We know that it’s difficult to stay at home when the weather is so nice and being close to the beach is one of the primary reasons why we love to call Santa Monica home.”

He added that this is the time that everyone must take the guidelines from health officials to heart. Cole further urged the residents to stop going to any public spaces where it could be difficult to observe social distancing.

It can be recalled that on March 20, to help stop the spread of COVID-19 infection, California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered his 40 million constituent to stay at home by issuing a shelter in place order. This measure aims to restrict and prevent all the residents from going out except for really important activities such as buying food and medicines. It also asked everyone to make sure to stand six feet away from other people when outside of their homes.

According to CNN, Gov. Newsom's order went into effect at midnight on March 19 and it marks the first statewide mandatory restrictions in the U.S. to fight the pandemic that already claimed thousands of lives around the world. The restrictions will be in effect until the governor put out a notice saying that it has been lifted. 

The governor went on to warn the Californians that if they will not follow, half of the state could be infected by the coronavirus in just two months. However, it was evident that people are already ignoring his warnings when they crowded the beaches the past weekend. 

In response to the people’s defiance, Malibu city officials that have received reports of people going to the beaches updated its website with a message saying that although they don’t own or operate county beaches and state parks, they are working with state and county officials for them to address the issue. Long Beach mayor Robert Garcia also issued a warning and posted it on social media. 

“Seriously people, you need to practice social distancing. To be clear, the Governor and City’s order does allow people to go for a walk or visit a park or beach," he tweeted. “I am seeing tons of people out there acting like there’s no crisis. You could be carrying the virus, have no symptoms and be responsible for the illness or worse of others.”

Meanwhile, there are now 2,133 coronavirus cases in California and 40 patients have died already.

Coronavirus Covid-19 USA, California Passengers wear face masks to protect against the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) after arriving at the LAX airport in Los Angeles, California on March 5, 2020. - California has declared a state of emergency as the number of novel coronavirus cases and deaths in the US continues to climb. MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images