SD Rostra

The irony of a political gathering during COVID

For several office seekers and voters in East County, last Thursday night’s Politics in Paradise may have been the first and ultimately even the only in-person candidate event they’ll attend this election season.

Over 20 candidates and several more attendees were able to enjoy the election year soirée (well, ok, not quite that elegant) at Rancho San Diego’s Water Conservation Garden, nicely pulled off in the time of COVID by Rick Wilson and his staff at the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce.

The rules to hold the event were abundant, from temperature checks and masks, to the way food was handled, but such is the reality of the day. The lack of adult beverages (the County isn’t allowing permits) could have been a damper, but attendees seemed to be so in need of the presence of other real, in-the-flesh people, it nearly went unnoticed.

Linked here are some great photos from the event, which I was honored to emcee, taken by Jay Renard of the East County Community Times.

Darrell Issa and Ammar Campa-Najjar, vying for the 50th Congressional seat, took part, as did 53rd District candidate Sara Jacobs. A smattering of other politicos joined in, from water board and city council to county supervisor and state legislative contests.

Choosing not to attend included those wanting nothing to do with the enforcement of rules, as if the East County Chamber and the attendees had any choice to flaunt them at a private venue.

In mentioning the event, the Facebook-based East County Enquirer elicited one such response:

“We skipped it, knowing there’d be Covid believers there, face diapers proudly on display.”

The Enquirer responded with, “Believers or not, the requirement by the County and the Water Conservation Garden was to wear face coverings to hold the event.”

“So be it,” came the rebuttal. “It’s great that everyone complied, like good soldiers. Believe it or not, if people didn’t wear the masks, there would be no repercussions. It’s really the honor system at this point. How many people do you personally know have been fined or arrested for not wearing one, has been the question of the day. A guy that runs a gym in Ramona.

“This ridiculous rule won’t change on it’s own. Remember, many states have no mask requirements. Has it been 14 days yet?”

In that case, some excellent points, I have no question. I received a couple of messages from others asking why I would participate in an event where I wasn’t able to completely do as I please.

Hmmm. It seems like a completely missed opportunity to turn out and protest against a gathering of folks wanting to meet in-person with the candidates they will be choosing.

Yet when it was over, the COVID believers, those brainwashed by the government and media into mere sheeple, had literally risked their lives and the lives of others by bravely going headlong into the deadly fray, masked heads yes, but headlong nonetheless, to engage directly with two dozen candidates for office, all while having a pretty decent time.

Yet the naysayers, scared out of their wits to be in the presence of anyone wearing a facial covering, hunkered down, hiding behind their computer screens, using the brute force of keyboards to decry the event and its burdensome, overbearing regulations.

The irony is stunningly rich.

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