What it’s really like living in California during the COVID-19 lockdown


ORANGE COUNTY — California residents are now under strict lockdown in an attempt to flatten the curve of COVID-19. California’s coronavirus death toll rose to 35 last night. With hospitals crowded and medical supplies running out, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a statewide “shelter in place” order last Thursday. 

Counties with confirmed cases of COVID-19

Newsom pleads Californians to shelter in place for the safety of others. He says, “It’s not just about the old folks, it’s about your impact on their lives. Don’t be selfish.”

Jim and Deina Wakeham are two California natives currently in lockdown. I sat down and interviewed them about their experience.  

Q: Under this new order, what can you do and what can’t you do? 

A: (Jim) Unless you’re going to work, to the store, pharmacy or hospital you need to stay in groups under ten people. 

A: (Deina) It also talks about social distancing. You have to be six feet away from people. And, it talks about closing businesses that are non-essential, but I think there’s some confusion on what is an essential and non-essential business. 

Q: How is the lockdown affecting your everyday lives?

A: (Jim) We’re in Huntington Beach, California and we are known for being an outdoor people. And so, we are not doing very well with it. The good news is the beaches are open and they are encouraging people to go to the beach and use social distancing. If you go to the beach right now, it’ll be packed with people, but they’re not really talking to each other. So, a little weird, but it gets you out and doesn’t get you stir-crazy.

A PSA from the City of Huntington Beach

Q: How is it affecting your jobs?

A: (Deina) All of the vendors that I use – I am in the construction industry – and a lot of them are refusing to shut down. Many of them are keeping open and saying that they will continue to do business until they are forced not to. I think people are reducing their workers to kind of skeleton crews and most people are trying to work as much from home as they can, but are trying to keep orders going for people who have projects that are ongoing. 

Q: How are you two holding up with staying inside for most of the day?

A: (Jim) All of the rumors are that in December you are gonna see two things. You are gonna see a lot of babies, and a lot of divorces. So, we’ll see which one wins out in the end. *laughs*

COVID-19 international cases

New York, Illinois and Oregon are among the ten other states participating in a “shelter in place” policy. Utah leaders have not yet discussed the possibility of a statewide lockdown. 

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