Los Angeles County residents weigh in on the rise of COVID-19 and restrictions

Janessa Robinson

Face mask lies on the floor.Janessa Robinson/Artistry Land

With COVID-19 cases on the rise as ABC 7 News reports a 700% increase of hospitalizations in Los Angeles County since June, residents continue to observe how restrictions impact their everyday lives and work.

Three Los Angeles County residents weigh in on their COVID-19 experiences with protocols, restrictions, and home life: Former NCAA football player, actor, and service industry professional Dee Issacs moved to Los Angeles in 2018. Actress and service industry professional Mariel Flores moved to Los Angeles in 2008. A healthcare worker who prefers to remain anonymous moved to Los Angeles in 2021.

What would be the impact of another shutdown in Los Angeles?

“If LA were to shutdown again I’d be a bit freaked out because I’d have to figure out something in terms of work but there are essential businesses out here that have continued during the pandemic,” says Issacs. “I’m lucky enough to have friends that I could call to get a job. I’d hunker down in my apartment with my dog. If it really hit the fan, I might pack up and hit the mountains.”

An unnamed healthcare worker shares, “If there’s another lockdown… I would be very annoyed but also feel helpless and like I have no other choice.”

Flores says, “It might sound strange, but I think I would welcome another lockdown. There are times I wish we would go back into lockdown. I understand people’s need to work and make a living; however, I have often seen how people disregard how dangerous COVID could be, and want to just get back to “normal” without taking any precautions for other people’s safety.”

How have restrictions have impacted residents so far?

The unnamed healthcare worker feels wearing a mask has a significant impact on them. "I already have to wear one at work and in the operating room, and wearing one throughout the whole day makes me feel like I'm suffocating."

Issacs was in graduate school finishing a Master in Fine Arts when the first shutdowns took place in early 2020. “The shutdowns sucked and it was eerie. I was cooped up in my apartment with my girlfriend at the time. There were military and police patrolling, people were scared, there were protests going on with Black Lives Matter. Hollywood was hectic, choppers flying in. I started seeing animals I’ve never seen before wondering. Being inside was mandatory unless you had to go to the grocery store. I was freaked out.”

Flores works in a restaurant and her employment was impacted by the shutdowns. “All restaurants and bars were closed. I also chose not to go back to work until I was fully vaccinated, because of the amount of people I come into contact with during a shift at the restaurant.”

Issacs got his vaccination shots in early June. “Team Pfizer, baby. I got it at CVS and it was Free 99, no insurance, nothing. I was nervous. I did it for the betterment of humanity to protect myself, also my mother was persistent. My arm was a little numb but I feel fine.”

Can a balance be struck?

Flores has since returned to work. "The current mask mandate is the thing currently having the most impact on my work life. I have no problem masking up, but I have co-workers that would prefer not to, even though it means they put themselves at risk for contracting the new Delta variant, and then passing it along.”

The unnamed healthcare worker believes that “the government should not make all-in blank statement mandates, as it really takes away people's liberties.” They feel that instead the government “should focus on finding ways to invest in lowering obesity, diabetes, and other health-related problems that significantly increase the risk of COVID, and be selective in who, where, and how people wear masks. Not a one size fits all rule.”

“There are aspects of lockdown I quite enjoyed: more time to myself, time to dedicate to acting and training that was previously taken up by my day job,” says Flores. “Connecting with people via Zoom or the phone that I hadn't in some time. Rethinking what it means to be a responsible person in a society that respects and values other people's spaces. I wish there could be a balance because I think people are in a rush to get back to "normal" without taking into account that things may not go back completely to the same place they were pre-COVID.”

These three residents have unique experiences and perspectives when it comes to COVID-19, protocols, and restrictions but they all hope to see COVID-19 get under control to safeguard public health.

Stay up to date on the latest Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for COVID-19 and keep an eye on Governor Newsom’s COVID-19 directives for the State of California.

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Janessa writes news stories on local businesses, entertainment, events, politics, arts, and culture in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles County, CA

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