Local News

Life During a Pandemic: Fullertonians Share Their Stories

During these difficult times, it becomes easy to focus just on the “big picture” stories of how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the country as a whole. But each of us has been experiencing this in their own unique way. How is this affecting individual families, businesses, and life in general?

Last week, we asked Fullertonians to send in their individual stories of struggle and hope. Here are a few of the responses we’ve gotten so far, plus a few extra local stories. To share your story, e-mail: contact@fullertonobserver.com.

A Mini Art Walk

Because the Downtown Fullerton Art Walk was cancelled, The Austin family (Travis, Laura, Savannah, and Cade) decided to make their own mini Art Walk on their lawn on the first Friday of April—for neighbors to walk by and enjoy and a distance. Here’s their set-up, along with some individual artworks.

Job and Family Struggles

One reader wrote: “Born and raised on E. Truslow Ave, a low income community in beautiful Fullerton, I take care of my elderly parents. Mom is on dialysis and my brother has Down Syndrome. I’m the bread winner of our house. While I was blessed working for an amazing dentist, unfortunately due to CDC guidelines, I can’t work full time. I’ve been forced to tap into my savings, whitch I didn’t have much of to begin with—I live paycheck to paycheck and I’m about to run out. It’s devastating for me. I don’t sleep well at night thinking of where I’m going to find means to pay for things my family needs. My mother is high risk since she’s on dialysis, so it’s not like I can go get a job just anywhere—I fear bringing home unwanted illnesses. It’s been very hard for me; the stress is overwhelming, but I hope and pray this illnesses that has plagued many family will be over soon…stay safe Fullertonians.”

Lawn Encouragement

Some families have taken to decorating their lawns, with encouraging messages, like this one:

Business On Hold

Alia Cass, who works at Unity Salon downtown, shared: “This a been an incredibly long month for us but as of now my family is healthy and we are doing the best we can. My husband works in the Trade Show industry and at the end of February, early March he was installing The Natural Products Expo. This is a pretty big show and on the day before the show was to open, it was postponed. He knew this was the beginning of no work for the foreseeable future.

What we did not know is that my work as a Hair Stylist would soon follow. He was able to file unemployment his last day of work and we were fortunate enough to get it processed very quickly. As for myself, my business is on hold for now and I am so lucky to have clients who have purchased gift-certificates for future appointments which has been so amazing and helpful.

So here we are, currently unemployed and home with our 8 year old twins. They are enrolled in the Dual-Language program at Raymond. We are tackling home-schooling in Spanish and I have to say, aside from our finances, this is the most challenging of all. It is easy to be overwhelmed by our current circumstances but like I said we are doing the best we can. My kids are healthy and happy, even though they currently have me as a teacher and we are just trying to enjoy our family time. I truly hope that this is the worst of our problems. Thanks for allowing me to share!”

Army TP Rations

From Judy Berg: “In the 1950s and ’60s, my husband, Henry C. ‘Hank’ Berg’s team of USGS field geologists used surplus WWII C-rations in their remote Alaska camps.  He recently remembered his cache of leftover toilet paper from that era and is using it during the COVID-19 ‘shortage.’  There are about 20 4”X4” single-ply sheets in each packet. Hank’s quote, from his working days: ‘Illegitimi non carborundum.'”

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Sharing Local News and Views

From Bryan Crowe: “Just wanted to write and tell you how much I’ve enjoyed having a local paper during our current situation. Few cities have that, and we are lucky you keep it going…We have proved that we can work together. If and when the economy rebounds, that will show we can weather a shutdown, if again it becomes necessary. We learned we weren’t quite prepared, and that we need a federal plan of action, so all citizens get the same protections. We also learned where we spend our federal dollars protecting our citizens matters. A significant slice of the defense budget needs to defend us against pandemics. I hope that my children and grandchildren will live in a country that learns from its history, and is better prepared for tomorrow.”

From Dewella With Love

Residents of the Dewella Apartments on Wilshire have put up a sign of encouragement to the Windsor Gardens Care Center across the street, where many seniors live.

Home Art Kits from the Muck

To alleviate some of the coronavirus housebound blues, The Muckenthaler Cultural Center has invited parents to drive by and pick up a new free art project each week to entertain housebound kids, all without leaving the car.  On Tuesday mornings, the Muck will have a drive through Art Kit Kiosk in their parking lot from 10am-1pm.

The art projects are designed by Muck Master Artists Marsha Judd and Willie Tabata, and constructed by community volunteers from CSUF. Additional help has been provided by one of the true angels of our community Christine Sanchez at Giving Children Hope.

Janelle wrote: “I wanted to send you some pictures of my sons enjoying the Muck art project. They put their own twist to the art project—they made them into rocket ships. They enjoyed this project with their dad while I was able to cook dinner for the family. It was a fun project. I know it took so much time and effort to put this together. Our family is so grateful for everyone who put this together to make this moment a reality for our cooped-up family of five.”

The Muckenthaler Cultural Center is located at 1201 West Malvern Avenue, Fullerton, California. For more information please visit http://www.TheMuck.org.