SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- When labor and delivery nurse Bree Berry went into labor herself, she knew COVID-19 protocols meant only her husband Nate could be in the delivery room, but she cheated the system in a way: "I delivered where I worked, and so everyone who was there was my friend anyway."
We have kept up with Nate and Bree's pregnancy journey through ABC7 Original's ongoing COVID-19 Diaries, along with five other individuals and families throughout the Bay Area. While welcoming their first daughter Aniah into this world is a momentous change for them, not much has improved for everyone else in the last four months of the coronavirus pandemic. After phased reopenings across California, the state has suffered a jump in cases and deaths due to COVID-19.
Frank Nguyen, owner of Academic Coffee in downtown San Jose, admits everything feels the same. "If anything, it's actually gotten worse." He has kept his cafe a pickup window only and has not opened his patio to outdoor seating. Now, Academic Coffee is the only business open on the block.
For Oakland residents Kirstin Hernandez and Andre Ramos, the extended pandemic means tough discussions with their kids about starting a new school year at home. "I don't think it totally makes sense to our would-be kindergartener," Kristin admits. "I'm like, 'you're looking at it, buddy,'" motioning to the dining room that serves as their classroom.
Brentwood resident and recent high school graduate Kendall Jensen has committed to UC Santa Barbara and wants to move to Southern California even though her classes will be held online. "Just because I am currently going to be paying those tuition dollars," Kendall says, "And that's a lot of money for me."
San Francisco video producer Alisa Lee originally pushed her wedding to Halloween of this year, but now she's decided to postpone again. "Even next year, who knows? We could still be in a pandemic," Alisa says.
David Wolfson and Paula Baessler, retirees in Oakland, are struggling to make life interesting while staying safe from coronavirus. "The big events are going to the grocery store and Home Depot," David admits. Paula still maintains her daily 45-minute walk, but says its psychological benefit has faded away. "The magic of a walk has been used up," she says.
COVID-19 Diaries is an ABC7 Originals limited series that shares personal stories as we work together to cope with novel coronavirus and re-define what it means to live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Take a look at all of their stories here.