‘I Get a Sense that People Don't Care': San Diego's COVID-19 Concerns

COVID-19 has hurt businesses and ripped families apart

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“I get a sense that people don’t care.”

Alissa Bjerkhoel said that with a sigh.

The COVID-19 positivity rate isn’t going down. If it doesn’t, San Diego County could face tighter restrictions on businesses and activity.

Bjerkhoel was baffled.

“I feel like sometimes I’m living in the Twilight Zone because I have certain friends and family members who are very much adhering to the rules and staying home and being safe,” she explained. “And then I have another set of individuals that they’re taking advantage of this time to be more social.”

“It’s hurtful because I know what the product of that is,” she added.

Bjerkhoel said several members of her extended family have contracted coronavirus. She said her father-in-law, Tommy Foley, died in a Texas hospital a few hours after checking in with a cough.

Tommy Foley. Photo Courtesy: Alissa Bjerkhoel

“It is something to be afraid of and something to take serious,” Bjerkhoel warned. “I don’t want to be responsible for someone else losing their father or their father-in-law.”

“I think some people are (over it),” said Gerry Torres. “I think the vast majority is still very cautious, still believes in taking care of their fellow man and woman.”

Torres owns the City Tacos franchise in San Diego County. He said his restaurants have seen a 40% dip in sales.

“COVID was a complete 180 on everything,” he said. “What we can and can’t do has gone back and forth.”

More restrictions because of worsening COVID-19 positive tests would be another step back.

“You gotta be optimistic. You gotta work hard,” he said.

"If people just stayed home, they could save lives,” concluded Bjerkhoel.

She said Foley was a U.S. Army veteran and a cancer survivor. She said he had heart issues before contracting COVID-19.

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