Crown Beach Equals Crowd Beach

Crown Beach Equals Crowd Beach

While writing this piece, U.S. COVID-19 deaths surpassed 100,000, with nearly 1.7 million of our fellow countrymen infected.

Sobering statistics are no match for soaring temperatures and COVID-19 cabin fever. The invitation of a fun cool down, a (socially distant) sprawl in the sand being just a short trip away was all-too tempting for the sweat-soaked masses. Families and friends threw off their shelter-in-place shackles for a slosh in the bay at Crown Beach Tuesday night following Memorial Day.  

I’d been schvitzing just sitting still at my dining room table where I now work. When I filed my last report, I took off for the beach. I shouldn’t have been surprised to see crowds given it was still 79 degrees outdoors after 7 p.m. There was very little mask-wearing, but who can blame us? Folks were smiling, sloshing, shrieking and swimming. A group of tweens were having a dance party. We know the virus doesn’t do as well outdoors and everyone needed a break, and to breathe.

To breathe was also what George Floyd had begged for before dying, head pressed into the pavement of a street in his own hometown, Minneapolis, Minn., the day before. When crowded, Crown Beach is a sandy United Nations. I’ll hear languages I swear I’ve never heard before. I’ll see Muslim families identifiable by their modesty. I’ll hear all different sorts of music, some Mariachi of course.

It makes me — White —- self-aware. It’s good for Causcasians to experience being the minority once in a while. Thing is, everyone gets along just fine. No judging, no pulling out of cellphones to record and shame. To my knowledge, no fights broke out, the police weren’t called. I’m just saying.

But not all was going to end well. I knew from all of the people that the beach would be a mess. I planned on picking up some trash Wednesday morning. I like to walk on the beach anyway, so it’s no big deal. 

While drinking coffee and poking about online I saw a post showing an abandoned raised truck on the beach. It looked like it got hung up on a large log. When I got there, Alameda police, some East Bay Park District guys and two tow trucks with drivers were there. It clearly took some doing to get the Chevy off the tree trunk. There was a John Deere tractor in the sand as well.

Wear a mask, wash your hands, drive on streets only, and we’ll all get through this.

Since this article was written Alameda County COVID-19 cases have continued to spike.

Heather Hamann is an Alameda resident and a local radio traffic reporter.