San Diego is In The Purple Tier So Why Are So Many People Outside?

Many people say Covid fatigue has set in, and they feel safe wearing a mask and staying socially distanced.

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As of Tuesday, 94% of California is in the most restrictive purple tier, meaning many non-essential businesses have had to modify operations or -- for restaurants, gyms, and churches -- close indoor operations altogether.

But have you looked outside lately?

From the freeways to business corridors to local neighborhoods, traffic appears to be bustling as people go about their daily business unimpeded by the latest round of public health restrictions.

“I’m shocked because it seems like we’re back to normal, the stores are crowded. People are wearing masks, but nobody’s staying home that I see,” said Lynne D’Agostino of Encinitas.

In March, when initial public health orders went into effect, virtually every area in the county looked like a ghost town, with people staying home, and adapting to the uncertainties of the coronavirus.

Now, many have lost that uncertainty and say they feel safe while wearing a mask and staying socially distanced.

“I think people choose. They’re selective in terms of when it’s important to be COVID friendly. You go into the necessities of your life like a grocery store, and they aren’t afraid to be around a lot of people, but yet they don’t want to let anyone into their home," said Josh Taekman of Calabasas.

“I think a lot of people are really over it, and they want to be around other people even though they’re not supposed to be, so they’re walking around, engaging,” said Allie Mazur of Encinitas.

But seeing so many people out and about is bittersweet for Debbie Zinnigar, who’s owned the Encinitas Café for 31 years. She spent thousands of dollars upgrading her restaurant for safety only to have indoor operation halted.

“I feel like they should be able to come inside if the restaurant is doing everything proper, just like Home Depot and Costco and all the supermarkets,” said Zinnigar.

“I almost feel like it’s safer inside, we got the airflow coming because we cannot control the people walking down the sidewalks if they do come without a mask,” said Zinniger.

Until restrictions are lifted, Zinnigar says she is thankful for loyal customers choosing to eat outdoors in temporary seating outside of her restaurant.

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