Man sitting on staircase wearing face mask. (courtesy: wallpaperflare)
The residents of Laguna Hills have been doing their part in helping slow the spread of the Coronavirus. In following the advice of the government, citizens have been practicing self-quarantine at home and social distancing when outside.
Whereas a month ago the city was operating per usual and was flooded with people, it is now virtually a ghost town. The few places where relatively large gatherings of people can be seen are grocery stores and a select few restaurants that are offering take out.
When choosing to leave their house to go to such places, residents are taking all necessary precautions to protect themselves and others. Just about everyone is covering their mouth and nose with some semblance of a facemask, and many others also have taken to wearing gloves as well.
“It’s really strange to go out to the store and see everyone all masked up,” said local resident Marc Hedde. “It kinda looks like a scene out of a horror movie.”
When they’re not getting groceries or takeout residents have been holed up in their homes with their immediate family. In practicing proper self-quarantine, citizens are abstaining from seeing friends and non-immediate family in hopes of flattening the curve.
Those with jobs that enable them to work from home are doing just that, but sadly most residents do not have this luxury. Many local businesses are still in operation, continuing to cater to the needs of the community and they rely on employees to do so. Stores such as Costco, where Sean Amorde, 22, works will remain open.
“It’s scary man, it really is,”said Amorde. “Everytime I go to work I’m really scared of coming into contact with someone or something that might get me and my family sick.”
Those who work at grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants and especially hospitals are the ones making the biggest sacrifice in this time of crisis. They have no choice but to put themselves in harm’s way so that the community can continue to experience at least some form of normality.
In attempt to remedy the dire situation that these brave workers are enduring, many around the city have gone out of their way to recognize and support those on the frontlines. One house in the Nellie Gail neighborhood has a lawn littered with thank you signs for healthcare professionals and many others have a sign or two up as well. Many residents have also made a point to get takeout from local restaurants in order to ease the financial strain they are facing.
For restaurants such as Romano Cucina, times have not been easy. Not even a month ago the place was packed to the brim nearly every day with paying customers, and now with no dine-in they’re in a world of hurt. The owner, Maria De La Rosa is still optimistic though due to the influx of takeout orders.
“We have regulars that are getting takeout two to three times a week, and a lot of new customers too,” said De La Rosa. “People have been spreading the word through social media and it’s really helped a lot.”
Those making a smaller sacrifice are the youth of the community who are being forced to keep clear of friends and school campuses. While most young kids are more than happy to take a break from school, it’s much different for seniors at Laguna Hills high school who are missing out on arguably the best times of high school. Without prom or graduation these high schoolers are understandably bummed out, yet they understand that this is ultimately for the greater good.
In times like these it’s easy for people to get pessimistic and start to question why life has to be put on pause. However, as of now, the city of Laguna Hills and it’s residents have refused to let this crisis get the better of them and continue to fight the good fight.