COVID-19 restrictions and heatwave burns up Labor Day weekend plans for Angelenos


Photo credit: Eliza Tiles

Seniors Gracey Wyles and Norah Adler socially distance while spending Labor Day at the beach in Santa Monica. Los Angeles County reached a record high temperature of 121 degrees over Labor Day weekend.

By Vaughan Anoa'i and Thea Leimone

In the midst of Labor Day weekend, Los Angeles County experienced the hottest temperatures ever recorded with a high of 121 degrees. This record high led to rolling blackouts, overcrowded beaches and “unbearable” heat for Los Angeles citizens, according to sophomore Zoe Epps.

“Because of COVID we couldn’t really go anywhere, but because of the heatwave you don’t want to go anywhere either because there’s AC and stuff at home,” Epps said. “Yesterday it was unbearably hot”

Due to the heatwave, inland temperatures in the Los Angeles County skyrocketed, which led many citizens to head for open public beaches for the holiday weekend. Senior Gracey Wyles was among the weekend beachgoers as she went on her morning ocean swim.

“It was packed. No one was really wearing masks when they’re sitting in the sand,” Wyles said. “We saw the effects of COVID during spring break beachgoers so I think the effects could be similar to that.”

Echoing Wyles’ experience, junior Nina Salomon also noted how the overcrowding beaches as a result of the heatwave prevented her and her family from taking any trips down the coast during the weekend.

We didn’t have any planned activities but it definitely did stop us from going to the beach because it was going to be way too crowded,” Salomon said.

Although summer is coming to a close, the heatwave signified the ongoing effects that global warming has on our planet, according to the Los Angeles Times. The understanding that the heatwave was linked to global warming is a shared belief between Wyles and Salomon, despite the grade difference.

Parts of California up and down the coast, and parts of the central valley have just hit these record breaking numbers,” Wyles said. “I think we are witnessing global warming and I think that in the winter it’s going to swing the total opposite direction.”

In agreement, Salomon also noted how the heatwave personally shifted her experiences regarding global warming during these record-breaking times.

I think it’s definitely a sign of global warming especially because in the Valley they hit a lot of highs that haven’t been hit in so many years,” Salomon said. 

As the heatwave continues, students shared the ways in which they are attempting to stay cool, while also following proper social distancing regulations and preparing for the possible consequences of the heat.

“[Our power] didn’t go out, but we thought it was going to so we were preparing for that but it didn’t, but it still might,” Epps said.“But I have a pool, and functioning air conditioning, there’s also twelve different fans set up in various places,” 

In addition to staying cool, Salomon shared the importance of conserving energy as blackouts still serve as a potential threat to all residents of the Los Angeles County at this time.

“We have a pool so we’ll swim a lot with the pool heater off because the sun already heats it up enough,” Salomon said. “And just trying to stay cool, but not using all of the electricity in our house.”