These O.C. Locals Share Their Experiences During COVID-19

Carl St.Clair; Photograph courtesy of Pacific Symphony

Orange Coast shares stories of how people in our county connected and coped in the early days of COVID-19: tales from the helpers and heroes, tips for surviving stay-at-home orders, shifts local businesses made to adapt, advice going forward, and a community displaying hope and resolve. You’ll find plenty of reasons to be proud of where we live and how we’re rising together.

“For musicians, what we can offer as an orchestra is probably one of the most important ways for us to stay together, which is through the joys and the beauty of music, and we’ve been silenced. That’s sad and that’s painful for all of us. The optimism is that this too shall pass. Soon we’ll be sharing and making music together for Orange County. I firmly believe that there will be a moment when we will be reunited and make music, and that Pacific Symphony will go on serving our community.”
Carl St.Clair, director of the Pacific Symphony for 30 years

“We have staff using their talent. I have (someone) leading a karaoke singalong in memory care. (Another staff member) is asking her church junior high group to send us cards for our seniors. She also plays her guitar for small groups. And a resident in memory care is making scarves, hundreds of them, for veterans. Belmont is sending care packages to all the staff weekly for the foreseeable future. … Our obligation is to our staff as much as it is to our residents!”
Sadie Harness, executive director at Belmont Village Senior Living, Aliso Viejo

“I’ve been making packets of vegetable and wildflower seeds to plant a garden. Activity can reduce anxiety, plus with all of the food insecurity, I think it will help everyone feel better to know that in short course they will have food to eat steps away from their own back door”

“I’m posting simple quick home-ec style recipes and activities for all us homeschooling parents”

“I’m cooking healthy food. Reconnecting with my husband. Taking more online Spanish lessons. Doing beach workouts and long walks. It’s still rough. There’s so much uncertainty. Loss. My sister-in-law had to lay off her entire staff of 8 people. A fellow student was supposed to start a job she badly needed. My dentist’s receptionist called to cancel my appt and said she “hopes” they can reschedule in two weeks or she’s “out of work.” My single friend spent her birthday alone and quarantined. Weird times.”

“An afternoon family walk with mom, dad and 3-year-old daughter has been great. 1 hour walk, play “I spy” the whole way, has been refreshing and eye opening”

“I’m planting an edible garden”

“I’m working from home and it is very awesome because more designs come to my mind”

“I have been on the Nextdoor App, and offered to help with seniors in our neighborhood”

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