As a Native Californian I am Deeply Troubled by how COVID-19 is Impacting San Francisco, California

This is a personal post about a city in my home state of California. San Francisco is a place  I adore. Watching the city be hit by the COVID-19 situation is heartbreaking and then on the flip side you have the economic effects of the virus. This is a brief post about a city I love and my hope to see it come roaring back when this crisis is in the history books. 

“San Francisco has only one drawback: ’tis hard to leave.”

Rudyard Kipling

Washington Post video of a vacant San Francisco

I live in the Washington, D.C. area but I also follow the news in California. Though D.C. is where I reside I am a native Californian. I was born in Fresno, and grew up in California and resided in that state for nearly 20 years. In the wake of my parents deaths I have been spending more time in San Francisco and the Bay Area as my family lives in the area. California is my home and as you can imagine I have a soft spot for it. I look forward to visiting California each year and spending time taking in The Golden State. San Francisco is a city that I have become intimate with over the last 2 years. I have ridden BART and walked in the financial district. In the process I explored coffee shops in the North Beach area, and walked down Geary and Powell and enjoyed all that the city had to offer. Don’t get me wrong San Francisco as a city has its problems. Homeless, cost of living and more are difficult. But as a Californian I adore this city just as I love my home state. 

Over the past month I have been paying close attention to the COVID-19 situation not just in the Bay Area but also Southern California. As the virus hit the San Francisco peninsula I have been horrified as to what is unfolding. The San Jose Mercury News has been sending out updates that feed my email account on the current status of the Bay Area and COVID-19. Its been hard to watch the infections go up and hear about the deaths that are taking place. Its also hard to hear about how the city is economically being hit. My worry is for people who work from paycheck to paycheck who struggle to live in the area. If you want to see some disturbing economic forecasting for San Francisco you can read that here and here

The other day in the Washington Post they had a video that I watched. Its actually leading this post. In watching the video I wanted to cry. When I think of the bustling, hopping international city with a unique flavor its distressing to see how quiet it is now. I could not wrap my mind around that video above. The BART being empty and no people present at Pier 39. Its a far cry from what I remember and its hard to process. As a native Californian I am weeping for my state and I look forward to seeing it rally back when this pandemic is history. Below are some pictures of San Francisco that I took when I visited the area frequently over the past two years. In a couple of situations you can compare what the city looks like in normal times versus what it looks like now in the video. I plan to write about New York City in a few days but can we all be San Franciscans during this crisis? 

The welcome in the San Francisco airport.

Food vendors in the ferry terminal building. You can buy so many delicacies to eat.

North Beach not far from Telegraph Hill.

Westin St. Francis of Union Square. 

Pier 39 has always been hopping when I visit.

Chiantown

San Francisco Skyline from the Bay at night.

What is San Francisco without its beloved cable car?

Trans-America Building

Financial District 

Millennium Tower with the Salesforce Tower in the reflection. 

Crossing the Golden Gate bridge

Tadich Grill is the oldest restaurant in California. Its roots dates back to the Gold Rush, and it was the personal favorite of my Uncle who adored this place. This historic restaurant is hurting in the financial situation that exists but its owners are refusing to lay off staff. You can read about that here and if you feel inclined to help please do so here

Traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge 

Going North on the 101 with the city skyline coming into view. 

Golden Gate Bridge

This is what I think of when California comes to mind. Yosemite is the other location that defines the state as well.