Big Sur and COVID-19

Dear Community Members,

Big Sur Chamber of Commerce, Big Sur Health Center, Esalen Institute Community Liaison, Big Sur Fire, Monterey County Sheriff and the Community Association of Big Sur met today to check in and where possible, coordinate our organizational efforts to help sustain the Big Sur community during the global pandemic.

In an effort to be proactive in addressing community concerns at the onset of this emerging public health crisis, leadership from the community non-profits above met to reconnect lines of communication established during past incidents. It is important to note that as of this moment, there are no known cases of COVID-19 in the Big Sur planning area.

At this time, it is suggested that community members:

  • Stock up on basic food supplies and prescriptions.
  • Reach out to your neighbors to check on their status.
  • Wash your hands and maintain social distancing.
  • Remember our local stores are stocked saving a trip to town. 

We also recommend utilizing reliable official sources of information to base your decision making on such as the following links: 

Big Sur Fire Chief Matt Harris has asked Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) leaders Martha Karstens and Hal Latta request their members to conduct neighborhood outreach to establish who in Big Sur is sheltering in place and their current needs.  CERT may play an important support role as issues from this event emerge.

As this global emergency unfolds, the leadership group that met yesterday will continue to collaborate, provide updates and when appropriate take actions to help support the Big Sur community.


Butch Kronlund Community Association of Big Sur. Kirk Gafill Big Sur Chamber of Commerce, Matt Harris Big Sur Fire, Sharen Carey Big Sur Health Center, Lacy Shannon Esalen Institute Community Liaison

Coronavirus & Monterey County

This is not my usual area of information to post, but given the panic that is going on with four of the Grand Princess passengers — all of whom have been tested and are negative for COVID-19 — that is going on in Monterey County as evidenced on social media. However, I think it prudent to reiterate that caution, not panic, is a much more effective response, and to assist readers in locating sources for accurate, timely information.

Today, WHO, World Health Organization, has declared this a pandemic due to it wide spread globally, and due to the lack of preparedness by some countries. Also today, Trump cut short a briefing by leading experts in order to have “an emergency meeting.” In my opinion, he cut it short because Dr. Fauci was speaking to fact, not fiction. Dr. Fauci was publicly contradicting talking points from WH and VP’s office. Dr. Fauci spoke to underlying the severity of the situation we’re in right now. This is the first appearance where we’re really getting somewhat of a full picture.

Today, the California Department of Public Health published this:

State has launched an online hub that consolidates all available guidance
on how to prepare and protect Californians from COVID-19

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Public Health today announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19. California now has 157 confirmed cases: this does not include passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship currently docked in Oakland. For more information on the progress of the return of individuals from the Grand Princess cruise ship, see this update from ASPR and CalOES.

The California Department of Public Health has consolidated state guidance on how to prepare and protect Californians from COVID-19 in a single location

You can find more information on this release here:

The “on-line hub” mentioned above contains: Guidance Documents: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A list of various guidance documents can be found at this direct link:

Also today, Dr. Robert Redfield and Dr. Anthony Fauci along with other emergency response officials testified on the coronavirus outbreak before the House Oversight & Reform Committee this morning. This hearing is the one Trump cut short. You can find it on C-Span here:

There will be all sorts of inaccurate and sometimes dangerous information floating around on social media — particularly the sociological petrie dish we call Facebook. Don’t fall for the group think panic that is being perpetuated there. Instead, look for original information from reliable sources, like John Hopkins, CA OES, etc. Exercise caution, not panic, and feel free to post links to reliable, accurate information in the comments section.

Veterans Day, 2019

I was honored to be a part of a dinner and award ceremony for Monterey County Veterans of the Year with 2 other women, and 9 other men — all continuing their service through volunteer work for our community.

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Photo by Martha Karstens
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Congressman Panetta, himself a former Veteran of the Year

Then, I joined the staff and friends of Voices of Monterey Bay for a joyous birthday bash for Voices and a celebration of the First Amendment on Sunday night at the Haute Enchilada Social Club in Moss Landing. The evening was full of music, performance, readings, good food and good company. This was one of the musical performances: a family that played and sang for us.

Finally, we are wrapping up our weekend with Veterans Day free-admission-for-vets at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Photos later, I hope.

I hope yours was as blessed and filled with warmth and smiles as mine was.

Blog Posts

I am absolutely engaged and totally engrossed in history-in-the-making as I watch our entire democracy in action. I am reading every document that has been released, including the court opinions of the lawsuits filed against this administration, the news reports, and the twitter feeds of the political analysts I follow. As a result, I am not paying as much attention to my blog as I usually do. I do not and will not cover politics here, so I might be MIA a bit more than usual. Please bear with me. If you are interested in my political interests, follow bigsurkate on twitter, and you will get a taste for who I follow and my observations and/or opinions on the subjects being played out on the international stage. I will continue to do the copy and paste of the notices sent to me that impact the community, but otherwise? No promises right now.


Do you know what Juneteenth (today) celebrates?

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.

President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves effective January of 1863.

Then on June 19, 1865, the Union soldiers landed in Galveston with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free, according to the Austin History Center. After this, more than 250,000 slaves across Texas learned that they were finally free.

The celebration of June 19 was coined “Juneteenth” and grew with more participation from descendants as they treated the day as their Independence Day, according to the Texas State Library. It spread to other states and has been celebrated every year since.

In 1872, Rev. Jack Yates led a fundraising effort to purchase land for Emancipation Park in Houston.

On January 1, 1980, Juneteenth became an official state holiday in Texas. It’s a day to celebrate African American freedom and achievement, while encouraging self-development and respect for all cultures.

President Obama states of this painting: “Outside the Oval Office, I kept a painting of a small crowd huddled around a pocketwatch, waiting for the moment the Emancipation Proclamation took effect. On Juneteenth, we celebrate the anniversary of that news – freedom – reaching slaves in Texas.”

CCC Meeting now online!

The recent community meeting in Big Sur with California Coastal Commissioner Carole Groom is available online on the Monterey County Government Channel YouTube channel:

Maia Carroll
Communications Coordinator
County of Monterey