A New Year of Uncertainty

RANTZ & RAVEZ-Hello and happy 2021 to all Rantz & RaveZ readers.

Well, we made it through another year in spite of the COVID-19 factors that have changed our lives and imposed restrictions which we will continue to live under into the future. It is unknown when we will be able to return to a “normal” life and enjoy the freedom to travel without restrictions, dine at restaurants, and gather with friends and neighbors. 

The first case relating to the COVID-19 pandemic in the state of California was confirmed on January 26, 2020. A state of emergency has been in place since March 4, 2020 and a mandatory statewide stay-at-home order was issued on March 19, 2020. Safety guidelines and restrictions were issues for all of us. We were all instructed to  wear a mask when we venture out of your residence, wait in line to enter a store where the maximum capacity of shoppers is 20%, stand six feet apart, wash hands often, and dine in your car or have a tailgate experience when you go to a restaurant where you now can only buy take-out food. Some states – like California -- are more restricted than others.  

Not getting dressed in a suit or a dress to go to work or school is now normal for many of us who are attending meetings and classes on Zoom. Zoom this and Zoom that -- each and every workday. I know all about Zoom meetings from the many organizations I serve on as a member of the Board of Directors. This includes the United States Army Recruitment Battalion, Angel’s Way, the YMCA, Jewish Home for the Aging, and The West Valley Warner Center Chamber of Commerce, just to name a few. After a while you can go Zoom crazy! 

During most of the meetings, I wear jeans and a T-shirt -- no suit and tie or even socks and shoes, just comfortable slippers. This is the way many of us are attending meetings and functions on a daily basis. We no longer need to travel on congested roads and rack up hours of drive time. We no longer have the challenge of finding a parking place. These days, it’s a cup of coffee or tea, an instant Zoom connection, and away we go. 

This is the new way of doing business in California and around the country and in most of the modern world. Many of us have adjusted to this new way of life in LA and beyond. Like many of you, though, I am looking forward to returning to the Good Old Days of in-person meetings, in-person conversations, having refreshments together, and even driving in a car to the destination. I’ll be happy to return to the way it was before COVID-19 claimed so many innocent lives, brought the economy to a halt, and restricted our freedoms and liberty to gather together and enjoy all of what America is about.      

The story never ends - COVID-19 is constantly in the news. 

Day after day, it’s been the same for the last ten months. The lead story involves the impact of COVID-19 on our medical system and the staggering, ever increasing numbers of sick and dying people. I have never heard of a news story maintaining the lead so continuously. After a while, it really gets to you. 

Many people are suffering from depression while others have a difficult time dealing with the new restrictive way of life. I can offer you this simple suggestion: Take the time to walk or bicycle in your neighborhood. It is refreshing and will bring you a new focus. Almost every day, I do a three-mile relaxing walk with some neighbors. You will be surprised at the number of people you encounter along the way. While you can’t go to your local gym, walking will help keep you in shape and give you a new perspective each day. Always remember to follow the CDC safety guidelines when you are with others in a public area. 

Mayor Garcetti caved to pressure from anti-police groups to DEFUND the LAPD. All but two Councilmembers supported this foolish and reckless idea. The two Pro-Police opposing councilmembers were John Lee and Joe Buscaino. 

Mayor Garcetti is responsible for all communities and over four million residents living in the City of LA. He took an oath to represent everyone in our city. Sadly, he has let many residents down by his action to defund the LAPD. The following statistics paint a negative picture of what the Mayor and the majority of council members have done to destroy public safety in Los Angeles communities.  

On June 27, 2020, there were 9,991 sworn LAPD Officers protecting and serving the people of Los Angeles. At that time, there were 132 murders reported. On December 31, 2020, the LAPD reported 9,818 sworn LAPD Officers and a total of 350 murder victims. The last time Los Angeles had over 300 murders was 10 years ago. 

What we can expect in 2021 are fewer LAPD Officers and a continuing increase in crime, especially violent crime. This may be why so many people have purchased guns to protect themselves and their families. I know there are some of you who are anti-gun and I respect that. On the other hand, there are many of you who realize the LAPD is not able to “Protect and Serve” with the restrictions placed on them by elected LA City officials. And so, for survival you purchase a gun to make sure you and your family are protected. 

There will be more coming from RantZ & RaveZ about guns and the new District Attorney George Gascon.                      


(Dennis P. Zine is a former and retired LAPD Supervisor, former and retired 12-year Los Angeles City Councilman and current General Manager at Bell Canyon in Ventura County.) Photo: ABC News. Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.