MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Tuesday morning in Marin County, clocks inexorably ticked their way to noon, and with its arrival, the end to any semblance of normalcy, even in coronavirus times.
Noon marked the beginning of yet another dreaded shutdown, the third this year for stylists like Carol Kelly, who worked to the last possible moment, squeezing in one more client.
"I have worked 90 hours in the last eight days," she said.
For everyone in the Sola salon, this would be a day for gritting their teeth with frustration.
"I don't understand the numbers," said manager Kellie Little. "We have not had a lot of cases. We are being shut down, for what?"
Marin County's COVID-19 numbers have worsened in recent weeks.
Tuesday, the health department reported 89 new cases, one short of its all-time worst day last July. For that reason, and a dwindling supply of intensive care beds, Dr. Matt Willis shut the county down pre-emptively.
"The trend is going in the wrong direction. We're seeing a surge on top of a surge. The earlier were in, we're out. It will be easier for businesses in the long run," he said.
His statement brought small consolation to restaurant owners.
"I don't think it is helpful for anybody," said Rajae Mazbar. He co-owns the Aroma Café on San Rafael's Fourth Street.
Mazbar served his last outdoor cup of coffee to attorney Terry Rayner, who expects no medal or commemorative plaque for the act.
"Hopefully I don't get arrested," joked Rayner.
Have you heard of the last supper? This was the last outdoor coffee, at least for awhile.
"I don't care about it being fair. I care about it being smart," said Lisa Merrigan while sitting with friends outside. "I enjoy eating out. But, you cannot stay six feet apart. And, you have to take your masks off to eat."
That's the trade-off. Closing restaurants will likely reduce COVID-19's spread. However, when restaurants close, it effects every other business on this street.
These days, you'll need more than a couple of hands to count the for lease signs. And, you didn't need a clock to know when 12-noon struck. It brought, not the sound of chimes, but a clattering of tables and chairs being moved from the street to an unpopular winter hibernation.
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