But with the emptiness, some community members are worried about crime and looting - But instead of just speaking up over their concerns, a group calling themselves the SF Peace Collective have formed to take action.
San Francisco Police say violent crime & property crime is down this month compared to the same time last year (thank the Coronavirus outbreak).— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) March 23, 2020
Even so-- this group called the SF Peace ☮️Collective formed to keep their neighborhood, Chinatown safe. #coronavirus #SafetyFirst pic.twitter.com/LJChHfi2Xi
Facebook video from Monday shows a couple, Leanna Louie and her partner Robert Lowe patrolling the streets of their Chinatown neighborhood, on the lookout for anything "off."
"I want my future generations to know we have a voice and we have to use it. We can't be quiet we have to let people know we're here we're alive and we need to be treated right." says Leanna.
RELATED: Coronavirus Diary: Quarantined SF family shares daily updates about what it's like to be tested, isolated due to COVID-19 fears
The duo are just two of the thousands who responded online in less than 48 hours, wanting to keep Chinatown safe during the coronavirus outbreak. The group watches for anything out of the ordinary, such as seniors who appear to be in poor health to looters.
Many wanted to join because they were fed up over a string of incidents, caught on camera in the past year, such as the brutal assault of two seniors in broad daylight.
"Asian Americans, they're not really speaking out or they figure they can't do nothing, so they're timid and we decided we have to do something," says Robert.
SFPD's Chief William Scott spoke at a news conference Monday about the decrease in crime in the wake of coronavirus. Compared to last March, violent crime, property crime and the number of service calls are down.
Here is the specific breakdown:
Violent crime: Down 9 incidents
Property crime: Down 400
Calls for service: Down 25%
RELATED: Coronavirus: How to stay safe when going out in public for essentials such as food, gas
However, that's not stopping SF Peace Collective founding member Max Leung from continuing the mission of watching out for his neighbors, whose frustrations seem to be mounting.
"Finally it got to the point where it's like 'OK. I just need to take it upon myself,' and luckily there are like minded individuals. We need to become the leaders ourselves and oftentimes true leaders are reluctant. It's not for the fame or recognition. It's simply to heed the call that it's needed."
SFPD says there were zero hate crimes reported this month but many in the community say, and Chief William Scott acknowledges anecdotally they're happening. He encourages people to report these crimes in order to make change.
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Live updates about coronavirusoutbreak in US, around the world
- Everything you need to know about the Bay Area's shelter-in-place order
- Bay Area cancelations, closures related to COVID-19
- Symptoms, prevention, and how to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak in the US
- List of stores, companies closing due to coronavirus pandemic
- Canceled late fees, free services available amid COVID-19 crisis
- Here's how you can help during COVID-19 pandemic
- Coronavirus in CA: Get resources and information about COVID-19
- Bay Area school closures related to coronavirus pandemic
- How to maintain learning during school closures
- How coronavirus compares with the flu
- No masks but here are 100+ products that may help protect you against novel coronavirus germs
- Busting COVID-19 coronavirus myths: Facts from the Centers for Disease Control
- Here's a look at some of history's worst pandemics that have killed millions
- Asian community fighting racism, xenophobia, bigotry as world fights COVID-19