Coronavirus, Health

Atlantans Begin To Adapt To Social Distancing

Residents step on measured tape placed outside a supermarket last week to practice social distancing as a precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus in Manila, Philippines. Just like people across the world, Atlantans also are dealing with closed businesses, keeping a distance from each other when they do have to go out and adapting to changes.
Residents step on measured tape placed outside a supermarket last week to practice social distancing as a precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus in Manila, Philippines. Just like people across the world, Atlantans also are dealing with closed businesses, keeping a distance from each other when they do have to go out and adapting to changes.
Credit Aaron Favila / Associated PRess

It’s been a little over a week of social distancing for Atlantans, with jobs and lives disrupted.

Last week, people experienced rules getting stricter, as some places — including the city of Atlanta — moved to close or limit some businesses. Other Georgia cities and counties have done the same.

WABE asked how people are doing with social distancing so far, and what they hope for this coming week.

Northeast Atlanta resident Lila Lane said she and her husband are elderly, and her husband is immunocompromised. So they have spent time reading books, watching movies and occasionally going to the grocery store.

“Friends do check in, especially our friends at the Decatur Y. And we’re glad to have NextDoor let us know how our neighbors are faring,” she said. “And we’re glad for the sunny days, so we can be out on our patio.”

Melody Cruz, who lives in Ormewood Park, said she got uninvited to her mother’s birthday party. “So, yeah, my week has been a bit strange,” she said.

Cruz and her roommates are asking their landlord to extend their lease, which is up in April, since they don’t feel comfortable meeting up with realtors or visiting rentals right now. Plus, she and one of her roommates just lost their jobs as preschool teachers, “which was really devastating,” she says.

“Last Friday they made the announcement that we had to close, and leaving that day I will admit felt uncanny and peculiar and just sad,” she said. “We didn’t know what we know now, which is, we won’t go back.”

She is still working as a nanny, though, for two children while their parents work from home. For this coming week, she said she plans to write more – she’s working toward a master’s degree in writing – and maybe clean out her garage.

Looking ahead, DeKalb County resident Walter Bergeson said he hopes people keep taking the situation seriously, or begin to, if they haven’t been.

“As every indication seems to show that more people are going to get sick, and this is going to keep getting worse, so just hope that people continue to take all precaution as necessary,” he said.

Engagement at WABE is powered, in part, by our collaboration with America Amplified, a Corporation for Public Broadcasting-funded initiative to use community engagement in our reporting. 

This week’s question: Is your job involved in responding to the crisis?

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