EDITORIAL: Encinitas protests run against our better nature

North Coast Current

Encinitas has come together in a pandemic before. In 1918, as the nation faced the ravages of the Spanish flu, a Cardiff-by-the-Sea church served as an infirmary to treat those sickened by the disease.

Like the medical centers on the COVID-19 frontlines today, the Little Church of the Roses, now known as the Sanctuary business building, provided a place to treat the afflicted in terribly dark times.

Unfortunately — over the weekend of April 18 in the midst of the modern coronavirus pandemic — Encinitas residents chose to afflict each other.

Instead of standing united with medical experts (likely including their own family physicians) and the majority of residents who see the wisdom behind the science and decision-making of physical distancing and the closure of public spaces, the protesters chose to flout legitimate health concerns by converging on the coast.

The protesters brought a message of anger and negativity to a town often known for its good nature, as exemplified by how the community has handled hard times in the past. The protesters brought teenagers with them holding “FU” posters mixed with American flags. They mobbed outside the mayor’s house over issues having nothing to do with the pandemic. (Why the protesters did not converge on City Hall, the seat of leadership responsible for recent closures, has yet to be answered.)

There is room for fair debate on what should be closed during the coronavirus crisis, when, why, and for how long. But these voices of honest debate were yelled out of the conversation over the weekend.

Over the past several weeks, the North Coast Current has chosen to bring updates on key decisions, business impacts, and the good deeds of residents seeking to help each other in this challenging time.

Such good deeds are a reminder of the best traits in coastal North County communities. The protests are a crass showing of the opposite. They have gained local and national media attention, to the embarrassment of many, and the Current sees no reason to feed the fire of attention they crave beyond this editorial.

Cardiff’s Little Church of the Roses opened its doors to the leadership and expertise of the time to treat the ill of its community. A century later, the measures in place during today’s viral crisis are designed to help prevent the use of our churches for such a purpose again.

Common sense and community spirit will get us through this challenge.

Editorials solely represent the opinions of North Coast Current ownership. The Current welcomes letters to the editor and longer commentaries sharing opposing points of view.

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