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Californians Also Face Life Under Shelter-In-Place Order

RACHAEL MYROW, BYLINE: I'm Rachael Myrow of KQED. The Ferry Building on San Francisco's Embarcadero is normally packed, but not now. Those that do show up wear face masks, gloves and a wary expression. Grocery shopping is allowed, and most of us are a little stir-crazy from spending a week indoors.

PIPER LAGRELIUS: I vacillate between like, we can totally do this; we've got this, to, like, this is a total disaster. This is impossible.

MYROW: Piper LaGrelius (ph) is the mother of four children, ages 10, 7 and 3-year-old twins.

LAGRELIUS: I make them get dressed every day, which they're not impressed by. And I still make them take showers.

MYROW: We reached her via Zoom, where she's now a full-time camp director, as in Camp Shelter in Place. LaGrelius does get some help from the kids' teachers.

LAGRELIUS: Our PE teacher is amazing, and she sent a Wednesday workout.

AMY MATARAZZO: You're going to step out to the side, squat down and come back up to the middle.

LAGRELIUS: The ballet teachers have sent videoed lessons of an entire class.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: We're going to take two plies - one and two and three.

LAGRELIUS: I don't know. Just take it every few minutes at a time, you know? Just do what you can.

MYROW: Life at home is a little more sedate for Kent Jue and his husband, who've been spending a lot of quality time with their two Chihuahuas, Dexter and Mercedes.

KENT JUE: She's actually the prima donna. Say hi.

MYROW: Jue's also stockpiled his favorite local ice cream brand, Humphry Slocombe, hoping to help keep them in business. He has 10 pints on hand.

JUE: Probably nine pints now.

MYROW: Sweet treats aside, Jue is actually under a great deal of stress these days. He runs the Ragazzi Boys Chorus, the largest in the Bay Area - or what's left of it now that the coronavirus pandemic has vaporized much of the work they do. Even after the crisis ends, it's not clear how many parents will be able to afford to come back.

JUE: A shutdown is not good for anyone, especially for people who are not in the position to have a monthly paycheck or, you know, dependent on part-time work.

MYROW: California's unemployment claims have spiked. For all the good humor and clever life hacks, there's a strong sense the worst is yet to come.

For NPR News, I'm Rachael Myrow in San Francisco.


Rachael Myrow