It’s been seven months since the stay at home order was announced in the state of California. The coronavirus pandemic unexpectedly came and forced big and small businesses to close worldwide. The city of Burbank quickly took action to close their restaurants in early March.
Burbank is a predominantly white city, with a population of 102,508 people. In early January, it was very busy, with people enjoying a night out. Whether it was dining in restaurants, going to AMC to watch the latest hit movie or even taking a stroll in the mall, people were seen in Downtown Burbank enjoying their night out. However, since March, it has been a lot quieter.
Many restaurants across the state received notice that they were able to open outside dining, with restrictions. NBC4 tells that Burbank restaurants were able to open up for outdoor dining in July. They were given permission to close a portion of San Fernando Boulevard in Downtown Burbank, so restaurants could continue serving residents.
In a late September article, myBurbank released a statement telling residents that outdoor dining in Downtown Burbank will continue until January 18, 2021. As additional restaurants continue to open up, more people find themselves going out to eat in the midst of a global pandemic. For Burbank, residents are not shying away from eating out. Some, like Anthony Pelayo, a Burbank resident, has expressed his contentment with outdoor dining.
“I feel pretty comfortable eating outdoors at restaurants,” said Pelayo.
According to the Census Reporter The city of Burbank only has a rate of five percent of poverty for children under eighteen. The per capita household income is 45-thousand 609-dollars. While Burbank has a leading White population of 55%, it has a 23% of Hispanics living in Burbank.
Many Hispanics in Burbank, have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. However, life hasn’t changed much for those working in the medical field.
“Being an essential worker in the medical field, it has not affected me financially,” said Carlos Cortez, a 25-year-old Burbank resident. He even shares the moments he has gone outdoor dining. “I have gone to a few restaurants since they have been opening up slowly, and I do not feel fearful in dining in, as the restaurants I have been to has made me feel safe” Cortez said.
While there are medical workers, like Cortez, who have not been affected, there are other LA medical workers who have. Suze Uzunyan, a clinical lab technician at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and new soon to-be mom, tells how COVID-19 has affected her and her family.
“My husband lost his job once they began closing back in March. Thankfully, I work at Children’s Hospital,” said Uzunyan. “Our work has stopped matching 401k and no promotions or raises will be given. My yearly review is due soon, but I won’t be able to get a raise or the promotion that was promised,” she said. She continues by expressing the financial strain they are in. “My husband received unemployment, but it was so little. He finally got a job at Home Depot, but it’s only part-time. While we are lucky that all our bills have been getting paid, we’ve had to dip into our savings, and we have lost our financial security” Uzunyan said.
Unlike most Burbank residents, Uzunyan does her best to not be in most social gatherings. However, she is not opposed to going outdoor dining.
“I have been practicing precautions and haven’t been in any social settings. If the restaurant is on the busy side, I won’t eat. I feel comfortable going during non-peak hours,” Uzunyan said. “I think it’s good though, mentally, for people to be able to safely be outdoors eating.”