When we started Totally LA a few years back, it was to show people all the reasons to visit Los Angeles and show off just how beautiful our city is. I never dreamed I would be writing about the things I am now.
We told about the Four Ladies of Hollywood Gazebo that marks the western entrance to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and did a little video about the landmark some time back. (see below) The sculpture is the work of artist Harl West. The four ladies are Brooklyn born multi-ethnic actress Mae West, the African-American actress Dorothy Dandridge, Asian-American actress Anna May Wong and Mexican actress Dolores del Río. The weather vane at the top is Marilyn Monroe in her iconic billowing skirt pose.
The artwork has received some heavy criticism by art critics since it was commissioned in 1994, but we noticed while creating our video of it how everyone couldn’t resist interacting with it. Critics or not, it was loved by tourists.
Not now. As the long California quarantines and open again, closed again shutdowns have forced millions out of their jobs it has also forced them out of their homes. Apartment buildings across the city all have prominent for lease signs out… and the number of tents popping up around the city have grown proportionally.
I couldn’t help but be struck by the irony of the sign at the edge of the Four Ladies of Hollywood homeless encampment reading “rooms for rent.”
It’s tragic what the lockdowns have done in Los Angeles. California was the first state to lock down. It did so after just one person died of COVID-19 and we don’t know if it was the virus that caused that death or the person happened to have it along with the condition that actually killed him.
California also stayed locked down the longest, and per data from cell phone location monitoring by Google, Californian’s were more diligent about obeying the quarantine than anywhere else in nation. The state was also the last to begin re-opening. On several occasions after allowing partial reopenings it would shut the businesses down again a week or two later.
A large number of businesses have not been able to reopen at all in the over nine months since the lockdown first began. Despite this, California now claims to have had more coronavirus cases than any other state!
Something about those numbers just doesn’t add up! If the lockdowns work and California locked down harder than any other state, why does it also have the highest number of cases?
One thing is clear. The economic hardship created for California residents is mind boggling! Over 2.3 million Californians lost their jobs back in April. Of those that found work again, most lost their new jobs too due to subsequent lockdowns. Over 60% of the state’s residents reported significant loss of income.
You don’t have to be a scientist to understand why the number of tents on the street of Los Angeles have almost doubled in 2020. Nor do you need a medical degree to see that the lockdowns that destroyed businesses, eliminated jobs and bankrupted millions did nothing to contain the spread of the virus.
More images after the break…
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