A coalition of unions representing Disneyland cast members is planning a protest against the resort’s planned reopening, as the number of Covid cases soars in California and many other states.
The Coalition of Resort Labor Unions - the same organization that wrote to California Gov. Gavin Newsom last week - is organizing a Disney Caravan for Safety around the resort this Saturday, from 10am to noon. The unions are asking members and supporters to drive around the perimeter of the resort, from Katella up Disneyland Drive to Ball Road then down Harbor Blvd back to Katella.
Disneyland has asked government authorities for permission to open its theme parks on July 17, but so far there's been no word in response from the state. [Update: Disneyland has postponed the reopening, pending guidance from the state.]
California today reported a record number of new Covid-19 cases, with an additional 7,149 cases. A Los Angeles County health official estimated that one in between 200 and 750 county residents is currently infectious.
Remember how many different people you saw on your last trip to Disneyland (which is located in neighboring Orange County but draws most of its visitors from LA County)? Even with limited attendance, if that infection rate holds, it's almost certain that you would encounter an infectious person at the parks if Disneyland's planned temperature scan does not catch a high percentage of infectious would-be visitors... or if there's a large queue of visitors before that scan.
That's part of the reason why unions are calling for state officials to delay the parks' return. They want to feel certain that Disney - and the state - can protect them from exposure while on the job.
Covid-19 numbers are blowing up in several states across the country, including Florida. That prompted the governors of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut - the original epicenter of the virus' outbreak in the United States - today to impose on 14-day quarantine on people entering their states from nine other states with high infection or test positivity rates: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Texas, and Utah.
Irony: Florida originally imposed a 14-day quarantine on visitors from New York, but now the roles are reversed. That certainly won't help draw visitors to Central Florida, where Universal Orlando yesterday laid off an unspecified number of team members in reaction to forecasts that it will take years for theme park tourism to return to pre-pandemic levels.
Ultimately, the people are in charge here. When a government clears a park to reopen or the park choses to return does not matter if people refuse to visit. With news that America today set a new daily record for Covid-19 cases, it's clear that not only is this pandemic not over... it's getting worse.
And remember that hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and, ultimately, deaths are all lagging indicators. Whenever the true peak of Covid-19 infections comes, we won't be able to tell that the worst is over for a month or so later. It's hard to see how travel recovers until well past that.
But a long-off travel recovery won't help workers - in theme parks and other businesses - who in the meantime must take the risk of facing customers who won't wear masks because they're too selfish or too beholden to certain politicians to do the one of the most effective things they can to help get all of us out of this mess.
How strict will workplaces be in enforcing mask usage? That question might determine whether businesses can remain open, with an adequate supply of workers and customers, or whether we're headed back to stricter stay-at-home orders.
Or to a lot more unnecessary Covid deaths.Tweet
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