People still leery about venturing out in public

Some continue to go out to restaurants, other activities even though health risks are still high.

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The City Cinema 16 in downtown Stockton reopened briefly as San Joaquin County moved into the Red Tier for COVID-19 cases, the state’s second-highest tier. The location closed again on Oct. 8 as Regal Group shuttered all its theaters. PHOTO BY JESUS HERNANDEZ

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is still a danger,  some people are less fearful of being outdoors. With different reasons as to why people go out, instead of staying quarantined, people are well aware of health risks and safety precautions.  

“I don’t go out, to be honest, I go to work and grocery shopping, mostly,” Juan Hernandez said.“I went to Denny’s — first in Stockton then in Sacramento — but couldn’t stay. The place was very packed. So packed it was kind of scary to see so many people in one place like that.”

Hernandez, who lives in Modesto, said that when he does go out, he is shocked by seeing how many people have gathered around in small locations like convenience stores, grocery stores, and retail stores.   

As Hernandez mentioned, there are many people gathering together in one place. 

“I do notice that in restaurants, workers tend to clean up a lot more and prevent people from sitting too close from each other,” said Hernandez. 

According to a New York Times database, at least 107 new coronavirus deaths and 3,410 new cases were reported in California on Oct. 7. 

Over the past week, there has been an average of 3,230 cases per day, a decrease of 10 percent from the average two weeks earlier, according to The New York Times database. As of Oct. 8, more than 7,582,300 people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 211,700 have died. 

The San Joaquin County Public Health COVID-19 dashboard reported 52 new cases on Oct. 7 alone. In total, there have been more than 20,000 cases and 473 deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Eric Mendoza, a father of two and a student at California State University, Stanislaus said he only goes out to get his groceries, but when he does, he makes sure he wears his mask for safety.

“I try not to take my kids out much to prevent them from touching anything and get sick… but when I take them to their appointments, I make sure they are always putting hand sanitizers and keeping their masks on at all times,” said Mendoza.

Jorge Melchor, who was shopping at the Safeway grocery store in Manteca with his child, said he only goes to the store for what he needs. 

“I don’t go wandering around and waste more time, I get for what I came for,” he said. “The only reason I bring my son is that he is always stuck at home. I make sure that wherever we go people are also wearing their mask and I maintain a good distance from them. After I leave the store, I put hand sanitizer in the car.”

American life has been fundamentally reordered because of the virus. 

Concerts, parades, and high school football games continue to be called off. Countless people have found themselves jobless and struggling to afford house. Many schools and colleges will hold few or no in-person classes this fall.

Although many stores, amusement parks, and entertainment centers continue to be closed, it does not stop people from being social and going out to eat.

Although people continue to go out to do errands, people take precautions to protect their health and others. Somjai Thana, a worker at the Tracy FedEx warehouse, said he recently went to the Livermore outlets to buy some clothes and wears gloves and his masks to stay safe.

When it was suggested he shop online shopping instead of going out shopping to protect his health, he said he would rather go out because he wants to go out with his family instead of being indoors.

“I just wear my gloves and mask and I’ll be OK because everyone else is wearing them,” said Thana.