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Beachgoers enjoy a fun, but chilly, day at the beach. (Photo by Chris Frost)
Wednesday, July 29, 2020

By Chris Frost


Oxnard-- It was an overcast and chilly day, July 26, but when you factor in Covid-19 cabin fever, that negated the need to get out and enjoy the beach at Silver Strand.


A large crowd gathered at the kids' beach, just down the block from the big beach, and despite the weather, they took the plunge and decided to take a swim.


Kids played in the sand and had a blast in the water while parents sat on the sidelines and tried to keep warm.


Deborah Bernhardt braved the weather, and she was dressed in a jacket and a pair of shorts. Regardless, she still wanted to take the trip to the beach.


"We just wanted to get away from being cooped up in the house," she said. "We were looking for a change of scenery. That's what we were trying to do."


As events continue to be canceled, she hasn't given up on 2020, but she does want to get outside and start doing things again.


“I do love seeing the restaurants having all that open seating,” she said. “I like that a lot.”


Deborah had no plans to take the plunge into the water and laughed at the idea.


“Definitely not,” she said. “The only ones out there are the kids, so no, no, no. It’s still beautiful, even though it’s cold. It’s a nice change of scenery, and it’s still beautiful. We’re fortunate enough to live close to the beach, so why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of this.”


Her husband Mark came along with Deborah, and the two share their appreciation of the outdoors.


“We get out of the house as much as we can,” he said. “The two of us do this pretty often.”


He has no interest in getting wet and laughed a lot at the thought.


“We wanted to get out in the cooler air,” he said. “It’s definitely cooler out here. It’s 20 degrees cooler here. We live in Simi Valley.”


Mark understands the lack of events in the area.


“We’ve all given up a lot,” he said.


Denis Oratowski and Jill Torres brought their dogs Tucker and Hudson, ages 2 and 2.5, to the beach. Both dogs took the plunge and were happy and wet.


“They cry when they see the beach,” Jill said. “They sense and smell the water, and they’re ready to go,” Denis added.


Denis is grateful for the lifeguard on duty.

“You can put them in without a problem,” he said. “They are the professionals.”


Denis was not wet, and neither was Jill.


“To me, the water was a little too cold,” he said. “It’s fun bringing the dogs and putting them in the water without a problem. We’re grateful for that.”


Jill agreed that the water was too cold. She also had on an outfit that would not protect her from the weather.


“It’s worth it for the dogs,” she said. “Anything for them.”


She doesn’t like how Covid-19 has stopped a lot of events, but Jill keeps a positive attitude.


“We’ll get past this,” she said. “I try to put this into perspective. We’re not at war, and I have food, shelter a job, and I’m healthy. I feel blessed.”


Denis owns a bakery in Los Angeles, and Covid-19 has slowed him down.


“We’re busy; however, there are no wedding cakes or big presentations because there are no big parties,” he said. “Everything is smaller these days, but we are busy, and we’ve got to move forward.”


Moses Enriquez is heading into Sophomore year at St. Bonaventure High School, and he took the plunge into the cold water, and said it wasn’t cold at all.


He’s been learning virtually on his iPad and said it’s easier than class.


“The deadlines are way far back than the deadlines at school, because of that reason,” he said.


He’s on the football team, and the season has been pushed back until December.


“It affects my training schedule a little bit because we can’t practice as a team,” he said. “I have my own gym at home.”


He’s been stuck at home for quite a while.


“There’s not a lot to do outside,” he said. “I wasn’t worried about the weather today, and I was going to get in the water, no matter what the weather was going to be.”


Jade De’La O got in the water despite the lousy weather and said she was freezing.


“Moses pushed me in, but it was good,” Jade said. “I feel a lot better now. We were going to the beach, no matter what. We were coming to visit some family, so whatever we do, the beach is a good place to be.”


Jade keeps optimistic through Covid-19 and tries to stay safe, distant, and clean. She attends Tehachapi High School and said she’s hopeful school will start in October.


“We’re trying to make a lot of changes to see if we can come back soon,” she said. “I’m going to be a junior this year. I want to go to college and become a veterinarian.”


Moses had no plans to douse his mother with cold beach water.


“He’d die,” Mom Channell Enriquez said. “I’d get him back, but he’s already wet. I get him back at a later date. They came in from out of town, so we were coming (to the beach) no matter what.”


She doesn’t mind having Moses home all the time.


“He likes it, but you’ve got to be on top of him,” Channell said. “We have to be little micro managers to make sure they’re doing what they need to do every day. The kids these days are homebodies. They like to be on their phones, the internet, and playing games. They’re used to it, so it doesn’t bother them like it bothers our generation.”