San Diegans Surviving the Pandemic on Multiple Fronts

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It’s been nine months since the pandemic started making waves in San Diego County. There have been many restrictions and regulations to keep up with, including the regional stay-at-home order that went into effect this week.

According to state officials, the order was designed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed.

“We’ve seen a rapid increase in the intensity of the number of patients with COVID,” said Scott Eisman, M.D., the Chief Operating Executive Physician and Pulmonary Critical Care doctor at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas. He said he has treated hundreds of COVID-19 patients since March.

“I think the rate of increase of COVID-19 patients is certainly reminiscent of that (March),” said Dr. Eisman.

More people are becoming infected with COVID-19 and some are being hospitalized, like Ana Novello. She’s a mother of three and has been fighting COVID-19 in the hospital for more than 15 days.

“So many people die because of this,” said Novello, as she warned about the severity of the disease.

While some are fighting the virus, others are fighting to keep their business alive after being ordered to shutdown yet again.

“It’s all we have,” said Federica Penn, co-owner of Operacaffe in the Gaslamp Quarter.

Many others have lost their jobs.

The stay-at-home order has been a controversial topic of discussion, particularly for business owners.

“The Village in San Diego will remain open, despite Governor’s orders to shut down,” announced Alondra Ruiz, owner of The Village SD restaurant, in a video broadcasted on social media. She later told NBC 7, “I’m standing up for the people that want to say something, but don’t have the courage or are afraid of the fines."

But other restaurant owners, like Sandra Cardet, owner of Havana Grill, say they support the Governor’s effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. “I don’t understand why people would defy a health order from the Governor. Unless someone can show me that there is no more pandemic, I will follow the government's recommendations.”

“I appreciate, tremendously, the business part of it, and the family and the personal part of it, and I’m deeply sensitive to that, but the alternative is so much more grave and we don’t want to get to a point where we really have to pick and choose who gets care,” warned Dr. Eisman.

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