Healdsburg in the CoronaCrisis, March 30th, 2020
It’s pretty quiet in our small town of 12,000 people here in Sonoma
County, California about a 90 minute drive north of San Francisco.
This CoronaVirusCrisis has the town pretty much shut down.
Two weeks ago our town was the usual bustling high end world
tourist destination with the sidewalks packed with out of towners
on the sidewalks and stores, hotels and restaurants. I heard
Europeans speaking on the town square.
But now it’s like a ghost town with only a few stores and restaurants
open. The hotels are all closed.
I went for a walk last night in the rain to get some fresh air after
dinner to see how the Russian River was flowing. The 1921
Healdsburg Memorial Bridge was still there in all of its millions of
dollar glory that took 2+ years to rebuild. It’s as narrow as ever.
The speed limit on the bridge is 15 mph, but everyone was driving
over it at full bore 35 mph or more. No cops around.
Only one Hburg cop car is on duty at anytime near as I can tell. I
walked by the cop station parking lot and the cop mobiles are all
Folks are figuring this out and drivers speed and blow through stop
signs all the time now.
We also got our Hburg city utility bill in the mail. It was the usual
$250. It’s for water, sewer, and electricity. Our sewer bill was $103.
We have the best sewage treatment plant in Sonoma County and it is
Of course the hillbillies on Fitch Mountain just east of town are all
on septic systems which leak their excrement into the Russian River
just upriver from our town’s water pumps, but what the hell?
And then we have our new City Hall Addition built two years ago in
record time. It took months and a few million of our tax dollars. The
roundabout and Memorial Bridge took years to do.
But at least now the City of Healdsburg bureaucrats are in
The City Council put out a notice that no one’s utilities will be shut
off during the CoronaVirusCrisis. So I’m wondering, “Why the hell
should I pay the utility bill?”
This is how society breaks down. The thin veneer of civilization is
torn away as the rules disappear.