by Sasha Ryu
In my 17 years of living in Los Gatos, I’ve never seen Noah’s Bagels empty on a Saturday morning. Usually, there’s a line going out the door that doesn’t start to subside until around noon. However, this weekend, when I visited, it was eerily quiet. In light of the COVID-19 closures, Noah’s has become one among countless other local restaurants that’s resorted to a ‘take-out only’ policy. Currently, customers are prohibited from dining-in, but can still purchase take-out style meals. Pictured below, chairs are stacked away to discourage patrons from loitering in the restaurant.
In contrast to the town’s desolate restaurants, local supermarkets seem to be busier than ever. At Trader Joe’s, store employees guard the doors, only granting passage to a couple of customers at a time. Every morning, dozens of residents wait in a line that extends across the marketplace. All the while, employees walk up and down the line, making sure that the patrons are standing at least six feet apart. Before customers are allowed to enter the store, an attendant sprays a dollop of hand sanitizer into each visitor’s hand. At the checkout counter, the cashiers make sure customers don’t purchase more than two of the same item, in order to prevent panic-buying and supply shortages.
Inside the store, at first, everything seems normal. However, it quickly becomes clear that something unusual is going on. Nearly every shelf of canned food is close to empty. The same goes for bottled water and toilet paper.
At the local Safeway, there are less restrictions, but the same supplies seem to be running out: canned foods, water, and toilet paper.
Shortages appear to be just as severe at the Dollar Store.
During this time of heightened public health risk, there are still ways to maintain a sense of normalcy. Recently, the town issued a statement, encouraging residents to consider visiting local parks and trails (and, of course, reminding everyone to practice social distancing while doing so.) Today, at Vasona Park, countless citizens and their families were out, taking walks.