November brought small bits of good news for those near the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. Buena Vista Street in Disney’s California Adventure opened up, allowing guests to enter the park for the first time to shop, eat, and just be in a Disney park. Technically what Disney did was expand their Downtown Disney shopping area into DCA, which would increase capacity for the outdoor mall shopping center. The expansion was a hit and no real problems were reported. So that is the end of this story, correct? Sadly, no.
We are talking about November here, many things happen in November every year. The temperatures drop and rain becomes more likely, which brings people indoors and in close quarters. Inhaling and exhaling the same air. November also kicks off as the first day after Halloween, the holiday where people get dressed up, drink too much, and go to parties where people are inhaling and exhaling the same air. Roughly three weeks into November we approach Thanksgiving, one of the bigger holidays of the year. The two busiest travel days in the US are always the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after, as friends and family travel long distances to be together for the holiday. Sitting in family rooms and dinner tables inhaling and exhaling the same air.
However, when we are in the middle of a pandemic caused by an airborne virus, these activities were warned against. We were told to skip Halloween parties and think of something fun to do at home with those you live with. We were warned that cooler temperatures and higher humidity would make the virus particles easier to pass between one another. So we were told to socially distance ourselves and wear a mask if we must be out of our house. We were also warned about Thanksgiving gatherings. The travel was dangerous, as millions of Americans lined airports, crammed into airplanes, used ride share services from the airport, and then spend the weekend sharing germs for four days straight. We were told to forego the traditional Thanksgiving just this once, so that we keep one another safe and keep the hospitals from overflowing.
Well, needless to say, many heeded the advice of the experts and altered their plans, but, many more (it seems) felt like they were the exception to these rules and acted like normal. To some not wearing a face mask was a political statement, one they were happy to make following the end of the 2020 elections. The bottom line is, as a whole, we did not follow the advice from the experts and we are starting to see the ramifications.
One might think to themselves, “this seems like a bit of a build up for a story about new restrictions within the Disneyland Resort, this could have been summarized in one paragraph.” The answer to that is, true. Yes, this could have been another carbon copy of the many “Disneyland is closing XYZ Due to Covid-19” articles. But this one is different, here is why.
Covid-19 cases are reaching astronomically high levels. The highest we have ever seen. Killing and sickening at a rate that is way higher than the scariest weeks back in March and April. Just this week Covid-19 became the number one cause of death in the United States. It surpassed Homicide, Suicide, Car Accidents, Cancer, Diabetes, and Heart Disease, yes, it beat out heart disease. Heart Disease is always at the top of this list, but Covid-19 has even surpassed Heart Disease.
So it is not like California is seeing a disturbing trend that could lead to some potential issues down the road. We are at those potential issues, we’ve exited, we’ve ran out of gas, and we are staring at this lethal monster that we have been warned about for months and, collectively, couldn’t follow directions provided by public health experts. The result? Death, of course. But also, a new health crises, area hospitals are overpacked, people are being turned away that need life saving medical attention, Doctors are literally deciding who’s life should be saved and who’s shouldn’t because they don’t have the resources to help everyone. Care is being rationed and dead bodies are being wrapped and packed in makeshift freezer trucks waiting for an overloaded morgue to make room.
This is happening in California and all around the United States and it was totally preventable. Now that I have filled in the pictures from the outside in, let me get to the point of this post. Due to the fear of further stressing the hospital system, many areas of California are seeing tighter restrictions. One of the consequences for these tightened restrictions is that Downtown Disney will be having to close all of their restaurants and food and beverage locations that do not offer takeout. Those that do offer takeout, cannot be consumed in the Downtown Disney area. They must be mobile ordered, picked up, and then consumed in their car or their home. This starts Monday December 7th.
Now we have the final pain from the Covid-19 fallout. Obviously there are people dying, then there are people who get sick but don’t die, many of those have unknown longterm effects from being sick, then there is the depression, the rise in addiction problems, the lack of proper education for the children, and, of course, the final pain, the millions and millions who have lost their income and their savings and they are completely broke.
This also applies to this story, because Disney will have to, once again, furlough 350 cast members. Most of these employees were furloughed and Disney brought them back to work to operate the new restaurants and shops on or near Buena Vista Street in DCA. Therefore, with many of those places being forced to close, the employees are back at home on furlough.
Retail shops that sell food, including, Marceline’s Confectionary, in Downtown Disney, and Trolley Treats in DCA will remain open. Food purchased at those locations must be eaten off-site .
Downtown Disney restaurants that offer outdoor dining such as Splitsville, Ballast Point, and Catal are expected to close. Other restaurants such as Tortilla Joes, The Jazz Kitchen, and Black Tap have the option to remain open. Food and beverages purchased at Wetzel’s Pretzels, Jamba, Salt & Straw, and other smaller dining and drinking establishments, such as Earl of Sandwich and Starbucks, must be consumed off Downtown Disney property as well.
Hopefully we can finally get sick and tired of being sick and tired and collectively agree to listen to public health guidelines and actually do what they say. If not, this situation is only going to get worse and hearing about Disney Parks being closed systematically will be the least of our problems. It is up to us and what we’ve done so far is not sufficient.
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