As another round of business closures goes into effect for California, the Roundup caught up to community members to get their viewpoints of the COVID-19 crisis.
Shelley Marshall, who was not working due to the virus, has two children who could not go to school. She found distance learning during this time to be a mixed blessing.
“It was difficult to change hats, from ‘Mom’ to ‘teacher,'” she said. “We had to work at setting up a routine, a stay-with-it schedule, which wasn’t easy. I have enjoyed the special time we had together, though. It opened my eyes to the hard work teachers do, and you can bet I’m looking forward to things going back to normal. It will be nice to get back to work.”
New Clovis residents, Colonel and Faye Burke, who previously lived in Maryland, faced challenges accomplishing routine tasks related to a long-distance move.
After a quarantine of two weeks, the couple needed to register their vehicle.
“California’s DMV was not open for anyone needing to register their out-of-state vehicle and obtain tags,” said Faye. “Maryland assesses a hefty fee to anyone not returning tags as soon as Maryland insurance is canceled. But without the ability to register and obtain new tags, returning current Maryland tags would leave us driving with no tags. In addition, the local DMV offices were not taking appointments for any new driver’s licenses. This presents issues when your out-of-state Real ID driver’s license is expiring.”
Mountain View Community Church was quick to follow the new guidelines and now offers two gatherings outside their building.
“We are planning to worship through song as outdoor worship has been deemed allowable by the Governor,” said Pastor Fred Leonard. “What a blessing! We can’t wait to sing our praises to King Jesus together with our church family!”
Besides offering online church services on YouTube, Mountain View will set up socially-distanced chairs and have an area sectioned off for vehicles for those who want to stay in the comfort of air-conditioned cars. The service will be transmitted over the car radio.
“The Bible says, “do not forsake the meeting together of believers, and we take that very seriously,” explains Leonard.
As a visible example of neighbors helping neighbors, residents have stepped up to help those who are at risk and can’t get out safely.
“I’m here to help running errands, picking up meds, buying groceries and essentials,” said Jennifer on a social media platform. A map links those who need help to those who provide it.
Sarah Jensen is thankful for the support. Her health conditions put her at risk for the life-threatening virus.
“I don’t know what I would do without my wonderful neighbors,” she said. “They’ve looked after me ever since this whole thing started.”
The Marjaree Mason Center also stands by to support the community.
“The Crisis Response Team members at Marjaree Mason Center have shared that cases of new clients entering our programs during the onset of COVID-19 have been more severe in nature,” comments Charity Susnick, Director of Development and Communication.
“The summer months are the busiest time at Marjaree Mason Center, and client numbers continue to be consistent with what we typically experience. Law enforcement officials, including Clovis PD, have reported an increase in domestic violence calls. For those experiencing various types of violence, home is not a safe place. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please do not wait to call.”
The center is available 24 hours a day by calling 559-233-4357 or visit www.mmcenter.org.
To help businesses keep their employees and customers safe, the City of Clovis issued an emergency order on July 13 to grant businesses a temporary waiver in Clovis. The action allows companies to expand and use public and private outdoor common areas for their operations during this time.
Public common areas include sidewalks, streets, and parking lots. Private common areas are usually within a private shopping center and include sidewalks and parking lots.
“We hope that our quick action to provide Clovis businesses a safe permitted outdoor option gives them a fighting chance to survive, continue to pay employees, and serve their customers,” said Andy Haussler, Community & Economic Development Director for the City of Clovis. “The flexibility the City has offered has been embraced and has allowed creativity to pivot to outdoors for quite a few businesses. Many are grateful and are working hard to take advantage of it.”
The customer reaction has been receptive.
“Feedback has been positive, and the community is rallying around businesses to help them survive the shutdown,” said Haussler.
Clovis business owners who would like to expand operations to an outdoor area can contact Andy Haussler at 559-324-2095 or email AndrewH@CityofClovis.com to discuss details.