It was an early overcast Sunday morning in Inglewood, and gamblers flocked to Hollywood Park Casino on Century to do what they had been doing for years…play cards and bet on horses.
However, upon arriving they were met with long lines for the simulcast wagering and counted one by one at the casino.
The casino was adhering to state guidelines and was only allowing a maximum of 250 people in for the horse wagering and an equal or smaller number for the various card games.
Then they were informed that at midnight, the casino and Off Track Betting would be suspended for at least two weeks and perhaps even longer.
Ironically, just the day before the local restaurant Lavender Blue hosted two-birthday celebration with a live band ensemble for a group of close to 50 people. Balloons floated from the pink boxes of birthday cakes as patrons munched on chicken and drank cocktails.
These two stark examples of how life for our community was and is going to be for the foreseeable future are another example of how the coronavirus has altered the normal routine of the lives of our citizens, regionally, nationally and globally for who knows how long.
School closures are rampant throughout, restaurants, bars and small businesses have been restricted, the airline industry crippled to a crawl, cruise lines docked, `churches and places of worship void of souls to save and our global medical professionals baffled beyond belief at the havoc the coronavirus has heaped upon us.
Our elected officials, once divided at their core, now unified in their hope that the continued spread of the unknown fatal virus can somehow, someway be contained.
Traffic on our streets and highways as shallow as a cave, grocery stores and wholesale distributions raided of essential supplies that were once stocked in abundance supply.
Life as we once knew it…
The stress of a long day at work can no longer be relieved by the ball game or at a theatre, all of which has been either suspended or cancelled.
That is if we still have a place to go to work, owners of 243,000 small businesses, a vital veins our statewide economy grappling with the decision to layoff or close down indefinitely. Not knowing what the future holds for them.
Kids who were born to learn, live and play now boxed into the confines of their homes with family members and loved ones, not knowing if even they carry the coronavirus that could prove fatal to a dotting grand parent.
More than a half million people are in the abyss of homelessness nationwide and roughly 153,000 in the county, and those numbers are growing as rapidly as the coronavirus.
States throughout the nation have implementing curfews and restrictions on travel, a clear indication that such measures are imminent nationwide.
A country and a world that had frequently grown accustomed to have better relationships with a cell phone, social media handle or video app, now slowing recognizing how paramount it is for us the respect each other now more than ever.
A woman in the supermarket giving an air hug to her longtime friend, presidential candidates giving clothed elbow bumps instead of handshakes, women wearing masks instead of make-up, people stocking up on guns instead of vegetables.
Life as we knew it…is Over…for now!