The sheriff’s department arrested almost 160 people over the weekend in Palmdale at a massive underground party and what they fear will be a superspreader event.

The party was thrown together by a 17-year-old who not only violated state and county public health orders by throwing it but had a few other crimes thrown in there. In order to have the party, they broke into and used an unoccupied house without permission. In addition, the police recovered firearms as well as an underage sex trafficking victim at the party.

“This was a flagrant violation of the governor’s health order, but also, please understand, even without the health order, these actions were criminal in nature,” the sheriff stated.

California, which had been one of the earliest states to lock down when the COVID-19 pandemic began, had begun opening up in varying degrees around the state. Skyrocketing COVID numbers and decreasing hospital capacity has led to a statewide stay-at-home order, which counties throughout enacting it earlier, especially in Southern California. Governor Newsom set an ICU capacity trigger that much of the state inevitably hit, especially after the holidays.

The news of the second stay-at-home order has been met with mixed reactions, as businesses struggle to stay afloat and wonder if they can survive another lockdown. Some are protesting and staying open despite the orders. In some counties, such as Los Angeles, enforcement is focused on catching the superspreader events instead of businesses that are taking precautions. As this pandemic continues on, many outbreaks are being traced to indoor, large, mask-less gatherings as opposed to restaurants.

“…our focus and plan is to target superspreader underground events for enforcement such as the one we’re talking about today,” stated the sheriff of LA, Alex Villanueva, “As you see, we don’t have unlimited resources, just like some of my peers in other counties said, we still have barely enough resources to handle the crime that is occurring. But this is something that we’re gonna have to devote some time and energy because it drives so many other things, what’s keeping the hospitals full.”

They’re put in this difficult position where they’re deciding between complying with the orders or putting food on the table for their families, and we shouldn’t really be, in government, we should not be in a position of putting people in this precarious position. As such, I asked our state and local politicians to strongly consider allowing our restaurant industry to reopen, and instead strongly support law enforcement in focusing on the targeted enforcement with superspreader events such as this one.

Other SoCal counties are following suit hoping to save businesses and deter people from being reckless and weighing down on our healthcare workers. With a vaccine looming up ahead and California’s numbers skyrocketing, it is a are against numbers as the death toll rises. We’ve been dealing with this pandemic and lockdowns coming on a year now, so let’s hope the end is near. Until then, be safe, GDE fans, and don’t be that superspreading guy.


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