Corona-Fest ’20 – Are We Having Fun Yet?

@TheGussReport – What I find most maddening about The Great ‘Rona Outbreak of 2020 isn’t a lack of groceries that inconvenienced my neighborhood for a couple of weeks.

That was largely remedied in particular by Dayton-Hudson, the parent company of Target, which figured out a fair, orderly way to hand out bountiful quantities of name-brand bathroom tissue, paper towel and disinfecting wipes even faster than our Costco did, proving that America’s private sector almost always gets things done right. By comparison, the government is supposed to be good at paving streets, running the trains on time and responding to large scale disasters.  In California and Los Angeles, our governments almost always deliver mixed results at best.  And some governments simply elect better leaders than others.

Take for example last week when LA Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke alongside LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger and “my brother mayors” Robert Garcia of Long Beach and Terry Tornek of Pasadena.

Wait, isn’t it “sexist” and “gender-biased” for Garcetti to describe them that way?

Anyhoo, Garcetti offered mostly gelatinous melodrama rather than guidance, pointlessly referring to the Corona Virus as “this generation’s 9/11.”

Are you f*cking kidding me?  

First, the Corona Virus doesn’t belong to any generation; we are all waiting for it to pass.

Second, it has nothing in common with the ideologically driven terrorist attack that a handful of whack-jobs deliberately inflicted upon all of us.

This only further exposes Garcetti as a phony in search of a congregation rather than someone capable of providing sober and instructive guidelines for a City that can’t wait for him to finally leave.  “Today is a day that will be seared into the story and the streets of this city,” Garcetti said at one point. “It will be a moment where everything changed.” 

Good grief.  Several news stations went back to their regular reporting while Garcetti kept yammering. By comparison, Garcia, Barger and Tornek were direct, helpful and void of Garcetti’s trite aphorisms when it was their turn to speak.

If anything is “this generation’s 9/11” in LA, it is Garcetti’s professional malpractice as our Mayor and Council President before then.


While there was an irrational but apocalyptic vibe while walking through the new supermarket in our area, what caught my attention was not the temporarily empty shelves, but what my neighbors decided to leave on them.

Bizarre aloe- and chia-based drinks went untouched, and I was shocked to find that our stores had hidden on their normally packed shelves and refrigerators inventories of processed-sugar poisons like Starburst-branded yogurt and Twix-branded milk. 

I never noticed them before, but the momentarily bare shelves surrounding these invitations to dental cavities and poor health made their presence front and center.  I’m thrilled to see that my neighbors rejected them even in a panic.


This Thursday was supposed to be opening day for the Los Angeles Dodgers and all other Major League Baseball teams.  When normal life does resume, this will be the franchise’s 137th season in various incarnations named Los Angeles Dodgers, Brooklyn Dodgers and earlier incarnations like the Brooklyn Robins, Brooklyn Superbas, Brooklyn Bridegrooms, Brooklyn Grooms, Brooklyn Grays and Brooklyn Atlantics.  And somewhere in there, the Brooklyn Trolley-Dodgers if I’m not mistaken.

Based solely on their opening day record, we aren’t missing much.

The Boys in Blue are remarkably average on opening day with 68 wins, 64 losses and 4 ties in their first game of past seasons, with the last tie being a 14-inning 1-1 snoozer on April 16, 1933.

We are connected to someone with terrific seats at Dodger Stadium and can’t wait until summer arrives so we can once again enjoy the privilege of overpriced-everything, including $40 preferred parking, and crowds that aren’t afraid to breathe on one another.

On that positive note, does anyone remember Garcetti’s promise to get the Dodgers back on more than one broadcast outlet?  How did that go?


At Target, I came across a semi-panicked neighbor who was down to two rolls of tissue.  I reassured that I could help, later tossing a bundle of the goods over the patio fence.

It had absolutely nothing to do with her good looks and awesome rescued pit bull.  I swear.


Predictably, some in the media are making an issue of President Trump calling the Corona Virus, which emanated from Wuhan, China, “the Chinese flu.”

Obviously, that name has nothing to do with racism or the race of people.  It is a geographic designation.  And journalists complaining about it had previously used similarly named virus outbreaks like “MERS Virus,” which stands for MIDDLE EAST Respiratory Syndrome.  Why hasn’t there been an outcry about that or other names like Marburg, Zika, West Nile and Newcastle viruses as “racist?”

It’s because – as Obama advisor Rahm Emanuel said – “You never let a serious crisis go to waste.” 

I suppose Emanuel means like playing the race card during a legitimately universal health scare.

Perhaps the motivation there is that if Trump can help restore order to our lives and the financial markets before the fall, he will probably defeat Joe Biden even more soundly than some imagine and, after the failed impeachment, need something else to hurl.


Friends reported that a standalone dollar store was selling hand sanitizer for $1.21 with a limit of 10.  While that turned out to be true, it wasn’t a familiar brand like Purell, but a garbage brand named for an old slushy drink. 

But a pop of its top and a sniff of the goop in the pocket-sized bottle showed a lack of the strong scent of alcohol that is necessary to kill the Corona Virus. 

Its label confirmed that its primary ingredient is benzalkonium chloride, which is useless in killing the Corona Virus or much of anything else.

Rumor is that there’s a bunch of 70% isopropyl alcohol waiting to be distributed from our docks.  If it is blended one-third with two-thirds of aloe vera gel, which is available everywhere including Target near the tanning items, it will do the trick until Purell finally arrives in mass quantities. 

In fact, you can super-charge your hand sanitizer with a slightly higher balance of isopropyl alcohol, whenever it becomes available.

Over the weekend, a neighbor gently sprayed a mist of 70% isopropyl alcohol into the air from a travel-sized bottle and walk through it as one might do with cologne or perfume (with his eyes closed, of course) before spraying some onto his hands and rubbing them together. 

Wouldn’t it be great if Mayor Garcetti could, instead of serving up pointless dark poetry at press conferences, update us on what he’s doing to get this inexpensive, restorative liquid into our literal and figurative hands and perhaps even demonstrate its use for us?

Now there’s a constructive way for Garcetti to be of value to LA.

In the meanwhile, stay calm, stay safe and drink-up.  Based on the apocalyptically long line I saw at BevMo! the other day, this column anticipates normalcy ahead and a baby boom in December and January.

I don’t know what I’m going to do with all of this paper towel…..

(Daniel Guss, MBA, is a member of the Los Angeles Press Club, and has contributed to CityWatchLA, KFI AM-640, iHeartMedia, 790-KABC, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Magazine, Movieline Magazine, Emmy Magazine, Los Angeles Business Journal, Pasadena Star News, Los Angeles Downtown News, and the Los Angeles Times in its Sports, Opinion, Entertainment sections and Sunday Magazine, among other publishers. Follow him on Twitter @TheGussReport. His opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.)