Balboa Park Visitors Hope Museums Remain Open Amid Pandemic

San Diego COVID-19 positive test rates could increase restrictions

NBC Universal, Inc.

“Yeah, it’s been tough. It’s been tough,” said Mike Norris while standing in front of the Natural History Museum in Balboa Park.

The Lemon Grove-based photographer said he hoped to display his new book in the park earlier this summer. He said it contains his work during his time as San Diego Chargers great Junior Seau’s personal photographer.

“It’s called 'Junior Seau, My Buddy,'” he said from behind a colorful face mask.

The coronavirus pandemic canceled those plans and closed most of Balboa Park’s museums for weeks.

“Sad, frustrated, and I just pray that one day this will lift, and we’ll all be back to normal,” sighed Norris. “Truly broke my heart.”

Norris was walking the park again Sunday because he envisioned another book about the positivity during their weird times.

“Just to show that people are not afraid to get out and still enjoy their lives,” he said while pointing to the crowds of people walking through the park.

Unfortunately, the growing crowds in San Diego’s signature park could diminish once again because the region's COVID-19 positive test rate keeps creeping back up. The number started to look good earlier in the summer.

“And then they reopened the museums and, I don’t know, a few days later people are coming by and they say, ‘Oh, the museums are closed again!’” said James Brown, who played his saxophone outside the San Diego History Center Sunday.

The museums closed for several more weeks until recently when the positivity rates improved enough for them to admit guests again. Unfortunately, San Diego’s numbers once again are creeping up to a point restaurants, businesses, and museums could be impacted.

“It’s open and closed and nobody can make up their mind what’s going on,” complained Brown.

As of Sunday, many of Balboa Park’s museums remained open including the Automotive Museum, the Air and Space Museum, the Museum of Us, and the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.

Norris said he hoped it stayed that way.

“I got my mask. You got to wear your mask!”

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