Friday, August 14, 2020

Pandemic Paradise

Lot more gridlock now.

I hate to say it because it sounds so callous, but this coronavirus pandemic has made living in Los Angeles so pleasant. Yes I know thousands of people have died and millions of people have lost their jobs. But there are many millions more people who are still working, and that includes most healthcare workers. 

The situation isn't so dire as it was a few months back. At that time, we didn't really know what we were dealing with. Images from Italy and New York portrayed apocalyptic images of doctors and nurses overwhelmed with the sick and dying. But frankly, they were the exception, not the rule. In fact, hospitals and surgery centers across the country lost billions of dollars because they sat empty as patients were too afraid to seek medical care and operating rooms went dark. 

No traffic! Love it.
I wrote about how deserted the freeways were here in the city. As the stay at home orders forced businesses to close and millions of people were laid off, LA looked like a scene from the Twilight Zone. There was no traffic any time of day or night. I could zip down the 405 freeway at 5:00 PM going 80 mph. It was amazing.

Now things have improved. Restaurants have started opening up. I see packed tables socially distanced apart appearing along sidewalks and parking lots as people enjoy their meals al fresco. The hospital and surgery centers are busier than ever as the backlog of cases are slowly getting whittled down. Traffic has even picked back up. At the worst moments in the spring, my commute time was less than half the usual time. Now my commute is back up to about seventy-five percent of my previous time. I actually have to avoid the 405 now during peak rush hour and take local streets again, like a true Angeleno. It's still a vast improvement from the previous gridlock though.

I hope the economy picks back up quickly for everybody so we can continue to live our American prosperity. But for those of us who are working harder than ever, this time is indeed a blessing as getting around town is easier than ever. Now if only more places, like museums, movie theaters, and shopping malls, opened up, I will have somewhere to go during this golden era of LA freeway driving.

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