Angelenos hit the trails and shops as coronavirus restrictions ease


Governor Gavin Newsom reopened some public spaces and businesses over the weekend as part of his 4-phase plan to lift the COVID-19  quarantine. 

CeCe Rodriguez was one of the many Angelenos who took advantage of the looser rules this weekend For the first time in months, she went for a run through Griffith Park. She said she felt more like herself than she has in a while. 

“Just to be out and about a little bit, I think you feel like everything's back to normal and everybody's OK,” Rodriguez  said. 

Last weekend marked the phase two debut,  which reopened public parks and non-essential businesses, including bookstores, clothing stores, and sporting-goods stores. 

Cece Rodriguez parks her car just before running in Griffith Park. Photo Credit: Jerome Campbell

While cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County continue to spike — last Tuesday saw more than 1,600 new reported cases — some people still went out, mindful of others  around them. 

Anabeth Johnson went for a hike in the Santa Monica Mountains with her friend on Saturday. 

She said as long as others respected social distancing and wore  face masks, she would be at ease. 

“I believe that a life outdoors is a life well-lived, and the outdoors is healing,” said Johnson. “And I believe that everyone should enjoy the outdoors as much as they possibly can.”

The first weekend of phase two not only saw an influx of people hitting the trails, it synced up with Mother’s Day, prompting many people to shop for flowers at newly-reopened florists.

Amorette Brooms, owner of  the mid-Wilshire area clothing boutique Queen, transformed her business into a flower pop-up store. She sold out of bouquets  in about five hours. 

Amorette Brooms outside her store, Queen, in the Mid-Wilshire neighborhood. Photo Credit: Jerome Campbell

“I started putting feelers out about a week ago,” Brooms said. “About three or four days ago, I said, ‘Yes, I'm doing it.’ … And then I got a bunch of people that just Venmoed me right away to secure their bouquets.”

Brooms, who is not a florist, said she enjoyed converting her shop just for the weekend and used the experiment as a learning experience.

As the state continues to reopen in stages, Brooms will be looking to pivot to meet public needs.. She is selling masks made by a dressmaker friend and other fashionable safety equipment including rhinestone goggles. 

State officials will evaluate how the weekend reopening fared and determine how they’ll continue to roll-out the rest of Newsom’s plan to restore  California’s economy. 

Phase three of reopening is expected to come in about a month. Newsom plans to open up nail salons and gyms, as well as beauty parlours and barbershops. In addition, the county is working on their own reopening plan; their first consideration is opening the beaches on Wednesday.