They arrived at the beach by car, skateboard and on bare feet. They carried Frisbees, cameras and surfboards. They wore running shorts, yoga pants and wetsuits.
Many wore masks.
That was the starkest difference this week apart from a moment in time in March that seems hard to conjure now — before beaches closed and face masks seemed like an extreme and maybe even ineffective protection from coronavirus.
No longer. Masks are now required at Los Angeles County beaches, which reopened Wednesday, to join counterparts in other states that have allowed a somewhat limited return to famed stretches of sand.
“You get some side eyes if you don’t wear a mask,” said Tom Ventura, who sported a light blue face covering with white polka dots while cooling down after his morning run Thursday in Santa Monica.