Burbank, CA

7 Reasons Burbank Might Be Approaching a Massive Tipping Point

Michael Loren

A fistfight broke out in the checkout aisle of one of Burbank's popular grocery stores. As the two men threw punches and grabbed handfuls of each others’ Lululemon athleisure wear, the passionate brawl moved into the parking lot. Onlookers poured out of the nearby Burbank Starbucks and folks clicked record on their iPhone 12s. It was like a scene out of a movie. 

I looked at my husband who relocked the doors of our parked SUV. 

“It’s coming,” he said grimly. 

I looked back at the scrimmage which was finally being broken up by a security guard. He was right. It’s definitely coming. I could feel it in the air.

Not to get all “the sky is falling” on you, but right now, people in Burbank are beginning to lose their ever-loving minds. Take a look at your NextDoor app and just read some of the comments. We’re at a tipping point, people, and if we aren’t careful, our previously effed up but marginally functional society will swiftly and definitively disintegrate into a low-budget indie version of The Purge 6. 

Feeling stressed lately? Join the ranks of every single dang person in Burbank. When I say it’s been a tough few years, I mean I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to devour a pizza and rewatch the entire first season of Bridgerton. And I’m a resilient gal. 

Like I said, I can feel the tension in the air. I can hear the hum of the angry chains on social media. I can smell the scent of desperation wafting through the summer air. Instantly, the phrase inserts itself into my bones. If we’re not careful, we’re going to lose it all. 

Why? Well, there are a lot of reasons. Seven to be exact. But probably more if you're not a Kardashian or J Lo. Let’s look at some of the reasons two seemingly rational adult men decided to start decking each other between rows of quinoa and protein bars in one of Burbank's grocery stores. 

  1. Vaccinations. Who would have thunk it, but disputes about being either vaccinated or unvaccinated are separating us Americans almost as violently as our political divisions. In fact, they run almost right along those same lines. The unvaccinated are over people shaming them. The vaccinated are over the unvaccinated’s general lack of understanding about societal and moral obligation.
  2. Schools. That’s right — many schools in Burbank (and America) just started classes two days ago. In person. And what’s happening now? Well, some people are so ticked off about kids either wearing or not wearing masks that they’re issuing threats. Meanwhile, an entire fifth-grade class in Cobb County, Georgia will begin virtual learning when a number of children in the class tested positive for Covid. 
  3. Working from home. Yes, many residents of Burbank are still working from home. That often means conditions that aren’t ideal, multiple people in one space doing different jobs, and yes, all of those people's kids just might be coming back home as well if there is a Covid outbreak in their schools.
  4. Global warming. It’s coming for us and we know it. Those wildfires, droughts, soaring temperatures, insect outbreaks, and erosion lurk in the back of our minds every time we drink out of a plastic water bottle. We know that if we don’t make a massive change now, it will be too late. And deep down, if we really ask ourselves? We're pretty sure we’ve already missed the boat. 
  5. Politics. We thought the political poop flinging would stop after the 2020 election. It didn’t. It just got worse. It continues to divide families, incite angry interactions, and cause seemingly rational individuals to come to absolutely unbelievably irrational conclusions. 
  6. Covid-19. I know, many of the previous issues have to do with the virus, but here’s the thing — we all know it’s coming back. Like a kindergartener shoving a handful of potato chips in her mouth right as her mom takes away the bag, we’re trying to get every last drop of normality out of these last few weeks before inevitable spikes and shutdowns. And that handful of potato chips? They’re adding fuel to the speeding freight train headed our way.
  7. Social media. It’s not going to kill us all or burn down the state of California…or will it? We underestimate the power of social media, our addiction to it, and the veritable anonymity with which we can quarrel on it. Social media is pouring gasoline on the emotional turmoil fire burning within us. And it is not only allowing us to tear each other apart, it’s adding those quarrels to our algorithm, widening the political and moral divides already present. 

I am not proposing any solutions to any of these issues. That is another article. Or seventeen of them, at least. What I am saying is that Burbank is at a dicey place right now. Just open your NextDoor app and read some of the comments. Things could go south real fast. The cracks are there, we just need one more little tap for the whole egg to shatter. 

I say all this to say…just please take it easy. On yourself. On each other. And on the guy next to you in the grocery store. Whatever you believe, whatever you do, just…easy does it. We'll all eventually come out on the other side of this together.

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Writer, dad, entrepreneur, observer, cautious optimist

Burbank, CA

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