Shelter-in-place extended: How one San Francisco neighborhood has found hope in space

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A new graph shows in part why Bay Area leaders could be reluctant to lift shelter-in-place (SIP) orders.

It shows the number of cases reported each day across 10 counties. Some days the number of COVID-19 cases spike, other days they dip.

RELATED: 6 Bay Area counties extend shelter-in-place orders through end of May

This is not the bell curve doctors have described and hope to achieve.



On Monday most of the Bay Area - the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara - announced that they plan to extend restrictions through May. The current orders were set to expire this Sunday.

With another four weeks of SIP, residents in at least one San Francisco neighborhood are reacting with a surprising amount of hope.

"It's amazing," said Ilmi Granoff, as he walked on Page Street with his family. "I think we should have Page like this forever!"

Granoff is talking about the new "Slow Street" traffic-less thoroughfare, which has softened the blow of San Francisco's four-week shelter in place extension for many in the neighborhood.

"I am glad that Mayor Breed has the confidence to make difficult decisions like that," said Granoff.

During her press briefing, when she announced the SIP extension, Mayor Breed said that she needed an outlet herself this weekend. "I started playing music that I grew up to, and I started dancing by myself and singing the words to songs I hadn't heard in years. It really did make me feel good, it made me feel feel alive, it made me feel hopeful that there is a light at the end of this tunnel," she said.

RELATED: SF to close 13 miles of city streets to allow cyclists, people on foot more room to socially distance

By all accounts, San Francisco residents kept their distance after the Slow Street launch on Friday.

Governor Newsom said Monday that distance is key to the recovery.

"The only thing that will set us back is our behavior, the only thing that will set us back is people stopping physical distancing and appropriate social distancing. That's the only thing that's going to slow our ability to reopen this economy," he explained.

More space for all Californians could be key to compliance.

"The whole street was just filled with life. It was a huge quality of life improvement right away. It was much more peaceful and quiet," said Alex McCauley, who lives on Page Street and feels more San Franciscans should have the opportunity to bike, run, and recreate without oncoming cars.

RELATED: Gov. Gavin Newsom admonishes Californians who went to crowded beaches, warns it could delay reopening

"I think there should be more streets in SOMA, the Tenderloin in particular, that get this Slow Street treatment."

"Nobody has ever seen a shut down like this worldwide, nationwide before, and going for as long as this, it's unheard of," said ABC7 news contributor and Chronicle insider Phil Matier, who explained with so many unknowns, one thing is crucial.

"Whether it's hope for June 1st, or hope for June 15th, or hope for May 25th, the game is now hope."

Inke Noel lives on Page Street and says she was not surprised by the shelter-in-place extension. "It's kind of something that we were expecting, I guess it's just something that we have to deal with."

One thing that helps her cope - her new found neighborhood space. "I am optimistic in a way that we will adapt to some degree."

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