Bolinas residents protest visitors during coronavirus pandemic


Bolinas residents protest tourists at the intersection of Mesa Road and Olema Bolinas Road. (Courtesy of Lucian Patton)

By Kara Kneafsey

Approximately 30 Bolinas residents gathered at the intersection of Mesa Road and Olema Bolinas Road over the weekend of March 21 urging visitors to return home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

“It was the Wednesday after quarantine started and I’d look out my window and see people walking past on their way to the beach all day long,” senior Garnett Silver-Hall said. “Thursday and Friday were even worse. It was literally hundreds of people in Bo throughout the day when they were supposed to be at home.”

Silver-Hall is a reporter for The Tam News.

Unusually high numbers of outside visitors came to Stinson Beach and Bolinas, according to the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services, following the shelter-in-place order announced by the state on March 19. Some of these individuals were seeking recreational activities that were permitted under the shelter-in-place at the time. 

“We understand that they want to get out of the house and be in nature, but they also [need to] understand that people live here — lots of people who cannot afford to get sick,” senior Lucian Patton said.

Many tourists, according to Patton, turned around after seeing the gathering. However, some responded negatively.

“People were calling us assholes and pieces of shit — I had a sandwich thrown at me from someone’s window,” Patton said.

On March 22, the County of Marin closed all parks to motorized traffic, which curbed the issue.