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Acceptance and anger as Los Angeles imposes masks again


At the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday, where jazz musician Kamasi Washington was headlining, some in the crowd wore masks, when they didn’t have to.

With Covid-19 cases on the rise again, Los Angeles County on Sunday became the first large county in the country to return to requiring indoor masks, regardless of vaccination status. Those in masks at the Hollywood Bowl were very careful – the new mandate did not apply to outdoor concerts or any other outdoor space.

Twenty miles away, the scene was quite different at a sports bar in Santa Clarita, northwest Los Angeles County. At one point on Sunday afternoon, not a soul could be seen wearing a mask inside, employed as a boss. Two men drinking beer at an outdoor table said they didn’t even know the rules had changed.

A count. Two of a multitude of reactions.

The county, the most populous in America, is a sprawling, highway-connected galaxy of 88 cities and 10,039,107 people. She is ultra-rich and ultra-poor, mega-urban and mega-suburb.

In parts of liberal Los Angeles, the new mask requirements have been applauded as a wise course of action. In some conservative parts of Los Angeles, the rules were a nuisance some ignored, illustrating the problem of health officials in undoing part of the state’s festive reopening in a county where a sort of sun-kissed cacophony is a fad. life.

On Sunday morning in Beverly Hills, there were masks on many faces as people flocked to cafes, pastry shops and brunches. For some, the application was lax.

“I noticed a few people who weren’t wearing masks,” said Maritza Alvarado as she sat in front of Urth Caffé with her niece, both of whom said they were vaccinated and sipped pink smoothies at the banana and strawberries. “People who have not been vaccinated prevent us from living our lives. “

While other counties in the state now recommend indoor masks and debate whether to follow the lead of Los Angeles County officials in making the recommendation mandatory, different reactions to the warrant could. be a sign of things to come in parts of California.

At an Agoura Hills hardware store near the Ventura County line, three customers entering separately with bare faces were offered disposable masks by workers within 20 minutes. One of the three – a bearded veteran buying a single bulb – put on the mask, but he wasn’t happy.

“The emperor wants us to have masks again,” the man said.

It was an apparent reference to Gov. Gavin Newsom, who faces a recall election in September – and who had nothing to do with Los Angeles County’s tenure. The decision was local, made by county public health officials out of concern for the highly transmissible Delta variant, which has led to a sharp rise in coronavirus cases in recent days. California gives counties the ability to locally impose stricter restrictions than those required by the state.

As the man’s comment illustrates, some in the county are anxious to blame Newsom, and the jumble of changing recommendations and demands at the local, state and federal levels has made it easier. Confusion and anger was evident on Sunday over the mandate, as well as the gap between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.

Carol Hopkins, a waitress at the Original Saugus Cafe in Santa Clarita, waited at tables for customers escaping the 100-degree heat outside.

Hopkins, who is vaccinated and wears a black mask, said it was unfair that others in Santa Clarita – one of the most conservative cities in Los Angeles County – refused to be vaccinated, killing their lives more difficult for hospitality workers like her.

“Why,” she said, “do I need to wear a fucking mask? “

Michelle O’Donnell contributed reporting.

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