The food isles are mostly empty at a Ralphs grocery store in Encino, Calif. on March 16, as people buy groceries in panic. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned the public to avoid outside activities on March 15. (Photo by Valery Barrera)
Daniel Pearl Magnet High School

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti emphasizes importance of social distancing

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a larger control of people’s day-to-day lives in Los Angeles County.

Schools resume through either an online platform or in the form of paper packets that were given to students on March 13. For students that are affected by the school closures, food banks are to open at the LA Dream Center. LAUSD will partner with the Red Cross and open 60 Grab and Go food centers on March 18.

The food centers will be open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and each student will be given two nutritious meals to take home. All local districts contain schools where students will be able to pick up their food.

LAUSD has also partnered with PBS SoCal, KCET and KLCS-TV to provide free educational resources for students. Spectrum is also providing free broadband and WiFi to students who currently don’t have it.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered through executive action the immediate closure of gyms and entertainment sites until March 31 to prevent any spreading of the virus through these public venues, the L.A. Times reported.

Along with this, he also ordered that restaurants temporarily close their dine-in services but are allowed to deliver or offer takeout. Starbucks has removed chairs in their coffeehouses to avoid any sit-ins.

“In my opinion, all these things should have closed like a week ago,” senior Rosa Nava said. “If they had done it sooner, there probably would’ve been a lot (fewer) cases and it would’ve decreased the chance of it spreading as much as it has.”

To avoid exposure to the virus, Garcetti recommended that anyone over the age of 65 stay home. This means that some households will now be made up of a mix of ages being home throughout these days.

“I encourage all Angelenos to help support these critical small businesses — the restaurants we love in our neighborhoods — by continuing to order from them or getting pickup or delivery,” Garcetti said in a video news conference Sunday.

People have avoided going out, only leaving their homes to attend grocery stores in an attempt to stock up in case the virus were to cause a nationwide lockdown just as countries like China, Spain and Italy. All grocery stores, food banks and pharmacies will remain open, according to Garcetti.

“Keeping a safe distance from each other, literally will save lives — if not yours, that of someone you love,” Garcetti said in the news conference.

Not only has this created a halt in food services but a panic in housing as well. Many people aren’t working because they are being asked to stay home and avoid large crowds. For those who live paycheck to paycheck, this may create a huge stressor in their lives.

In attempts to ease some of this stress, Garcetti announced a moratorium on residential evictions. As COVID-19 continues to spread, the government is trying to keep up with it and prevent it as much as possible.

“If we do go into a nationwide lockdown I feel like it would be hard for some families to get water and food because even now there is rarely any left,” freshman Ryan Nevsky said.

In one of President Donald Trump’s most recent statements on March 16, officials recommended that social groups of more than 10 people be avoided. Originally having begun at 100, the numbers have continuously dropped since. According to Trump, the country may deal with these restrictions through July or August.

“If everyone makes this change or these critical changes and sacrifices now, we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus and we’re going to have a big celebration altogether,” Trump said in the news conference.