As this is also my first blog post, I would like to start by introducing myself! :) My name is Samuelu (I go by Sammy) and I am a first year Psychology major. I was born in 2001 (the Year of the Snake) and raised in the beautiful city of Oceanside, California (the northern area of San Diego County).
Hailing from a coastal city, the beach has become a part of my - and fellow neighbors - identity and idea of home. However, to maintain COVID-19’s spread, our city council issued a “beach closure” effective April 3rd (Oceanside Chamber of Commerce). No wading in the ocean. No walking along the shore. No cruising along the strand. These everyday activities stripped away so suddenly put an end to a very central part of Oceanside life. In other terms, the prize beauty of our city was cut out of our lives with a simple announcement posted on a red, rectangular sign reading "beach closed".
This lockdown measure was not accepted by many town residents and they met our city council with great resistance claiming that people could still follow World Health Organization safety regulations while still being able to enjoy the beach. Although I completely understand where my neighbors are coming from, I stand with the council in that we are better safe than sorry, and should have let the beaches remain closed. However, city council-members surrendered to the voices of the public and our beaches were “open for limited use” by April 27th, and currently continue to be so (City of Oceanside).
One of our council-members, Christopher Rodriguez, justified the reopening being “safe” in a town hall meeting by adding that “Risk is inherent in life” and that “Tens of thousands of people die in car crashes every year, and yet no one reduces the highway speed limit to 45 mph or demands bigger bumpers on cars” (Diehl). I feel that my animal connects with the looming COVID-19 pandemic and the aforementioned logic in how I think state governments and local county governments alike are channeling a bit of snake energy by deceiving and lying that the reopening of our beaches are “safe”.
The intention behind the lie is clear as day when Councilman Rodriguez emphasized the pandemic’s very stark and negative impact on our city’s economy. Clearly, money seems to be more important than the lives of our people to city councils such as mine.
Furthermore, connecting to the zodiac, the year of the rat represents the start of a new beginning as the first of the twelve animals (Barr). Likewise by extension, it also represents the end of an era, and a way of living that most have grew accustomed to. As a snake, a natural predator of the rat, it seems fitting that I would have this abrupt change to our global society consumed and destroyed from existence altogether - that way very lives could be restored and lifestyles could be regained. However that is not reality. Also, when I was reading over Brea’s blog, I also am realizing how Western society has largely demonized the snake. Within Christianity, they are literal symbols of evil and deception (“Are snakes evil?”). Even so, this year being that of the rat (a snake’s natural food source), snakes may be in line for a time of nourishment and rejuvenation… and maybe even societal ascension??? Who knows?
Moreover, with spending time in the class, I have gained a new perspective of food - as a source of medicine and nourishment. So, instead of wishing this change would just be scarfed down and done away with, maybe I am supposed to focus on how this pandemic will help me grow - understand how the goal and position as a snake might be to focus on really savoring this unprecedented year of the rat and its new, interesting flavors.
Figure 1. Oceanside Beach Closure Sign.
Figure 2. Oceanside Beach Warning Sign after its Semi-Opening.
Figure 3. Snake-Christianity Meme.
“Are Snakes Evil? Does the Bible Say Anything about Snakes?” CompellingTruth.org, www.compellingtruth.org/Bible-snakes.html.
Barr, Sabrina. “When Is the Chinese New Year and What Is the Meaning of the Year of the Rat?” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 24 Jan. 2020, www.independent.co.uk/life-style/chinese-new-year-2020-rat-zodiac-sign-meaning-calendar-race-ox-fortune-a9292686.html.
“CITY OF OCEANSIDE ISSUES FULL BEACH CLOSURE NOTICE.” Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, www.oceansidechamber.com/member-news/city-of-oceanside-issues-full-beach-closure-notice.
Diehl, Phil. “Oceanside Officials Demand County Allow It to Reopen.” Tribune, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Apr. 2020, www.sandiegouniontribune.com/communities/north-county/oceanside/story/2020-04-23/oceanside-asks-county-for-faster-reopening.
“News Details.” City of Oceanside, California - News Details, www.ci.oceanside.ca.us/news/displaynews.asp?NewsID=1821&TargetID=1.
Figure 3 -