Right Now

It has almost been a week since the Bay Area has been locked down and right now the Republicans are looking to save big corporations versus the small businesses and its workers. Hospitals are running out of supplies, UPS workers continue to work to keep products moving, more and more restaurants are closing and I still have not found toilet paper.

Two weeks are left of this mandatory quarantine and it has been the longest week. Thankfully, I am able to work from home but many of my friends and loved ones cannot. I am concerned about their well-being and how they will be able to survive. There is no definite end in sight that we can look forward to.

I am fine. I have food, shelter, water and company. I wanted to highlight some real stories of real people that will not specifically make the news or thought of specifically by our politicians. But I see you.

Cugino & Cugina
My Cugino is a great bartender here in the Bay Area. Like many other establishments, his employer is closed thru April 7th. He also works in sports. With all large events cancelled, including this year’s Olympics, that stream of income is also unavailable.

Cugina & Cugino – Monterey, California – 9/1/19

My Cugina, Cugino’s wife, is an emergency room nurse. Like many of those in the healthcare field, they can’t work from home. They are on the front lines and are easily exposed to the virus. Unfortunately, my Cugina did get sick, but thankfully she did not test positive.

My Niece in College
I have attended graduation ceremonies for my niece throughout the years. We even recreate the same pose since she graduated kintergarten in Pleasant Hill. She was supposed to be moving on from her junior college with a ceremony this June. Given colleges have shut down but some still offer online classes, commencement ceremonies have been cancelled. It won’t be the same with a virtual ceremony. I am sure this 4.0 smart girl will do just fine, but I am disappointed that she won’t get celebrate. I am sure she is too.

Ex-Coworker Marries in Park
During my time at the Argonaut Hotel in San Francisco, now currently a ghost town, I befriended a coworker who now lives in New York City. Two days ago, he married his Bride in Washington Square Park. HERE is a video clip of the those around them and they even had a news article in the Daily News. Love wins, wouldn’t you say?

Waiting for a Divorce
I have definitely been there. You wait for that court date to finalize that divorce. My cousin is waiting as well. But now her court date has been pushed back due to courts closing. Resolutions are postponed – alimony, child support and funds that could help move things along during this time for people will need to wait a tad bit longer. People in jail are being released and the public requests halting arrests in non-violent cases. Businesses are being boarded up. I am hoping a time of rioting and theft will not occur. Where would we put them?

SFPD
My best friend is a cop and she cannot stay home with her two kids, my niece and nephew. She is risking her life every single day on the normal. Now, continuing to be out and about when the shelter-in-place order has been issued. I would hate for her to get into a confrontation for issuing a citation (which there have been none) to someone not following the order. And there are plenty! Friends have posted people are picnicking in the parks in groups. Please stay home. Don’t be THAT person.

FaceTime on different coasts – Feb 2020

Island Living
I just spoke with my dear cousin on Kauai. She says the island has under 30 ICU beds and little to none ventilators. My father and stepmother are on Maui with three hospitals. Tourists are still coming to the Islands and they really should be staying home. This is not OK. Now, these all tourists and returning residents will be subject to a 14-day quarantine. I am OK with that. Friends are posting that they love the tourism but just not right now. Stay home, People.

When your cousin from Kauai visits the mainland, you play like you were kids again.

Friends in Hospitality and Restaurant Industry
Oh, my heart goes out to all of them. I know very few people in the hospitality and restaurant industry that live more than an above-average lifestyle. They don’t work double shifts to get into their Ferrari or $3,200 a month studio at the Jasper in San Francisco. They go home to a small apartment that is shared with multiple people and often live month to month. Two more weeks of no income means they will not be able to pay rent. Counties are gathering to vote on assistance and stop evictions due to loss of jobs during this time but nothing has been finalized.

Met up with a former restaurant co-worker in NYC. Oh, the smells off of a hot plate.

As much as I love food and beverage and most of my blog posts are on food, I am doing what I can to support my favorite spots. If they offer take out, I will take advantage. If they tweet, I do not mind retweeting to my followers. When it’s safe to do so, I look forward to doing what I can to help revive the business and of course support my friends that own and work in the industry.

Pesto Gnocchi – Osteria Toscana – Palo Alto, California

I wanted to share these stories of different folks to communicate something real and how the corona virus is affecting their lives. You may not know them and they may not matter to you, but they matter to somebody and that’s why you should stay home, quarantine and even after all this has passed, wash your hands!

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