The California stay-at-home orders were recently extended as cases rise in the state. Over the holidays, St. Mary’s Medical Center in Apple Valley made national news as coronavirus cases pushed the hospital to turn their main lobby into a COVID-19 ward. For residents of the High Desert, reaction to the news has been mixed.
Joe Kiolli lives in Phelan and has been a High Desert resident for over 30 years. He believes that the stay-at-home orders are an overreach of government. “If everybody is wearing their mask, you’re not going to stop it,” he says, referring to containing the virus. Although the order is in place, he says that it will not affect his holidays. For others, the problem with the order is its effect on the economy.
Fabian Mendoza believes the problem with the stay-at-home order is that it’s putting businesses in a difficult position. He likes that the government is trying to protect people but says the orders are too restrictive. “I do think people should be allowed to, at least, eat outside.” As part of the order, restaurants have been forced to stop outdoor dining and to move to carry out only.
Max Pavolich is a Wrightwood resident and is an ICU trauma nurse. He believes that the state’s stay at home orders are necessary, considering the staggering number of infected and deceased. “I have personally lost family,” he says. “It didn’t have to be this way.”