Seven million residents in six counties -- Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, San Francisco, and Santa Clara -- were told to restrict travel and activities to only essential tasks.
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It was the start of something unprecedented.
"This is not the time to panic," said San Francisco Mayor London Breed.
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"People are just buying, panic buying is all that it amounts," said shopper Mike Foster.
"No chicken at all, they don't have eggs," said shopper Consuelo Gil.
In mid-March, the bustling Bay Area suddenly stopped.
MAP: CA counties that can, can't reopen under new rules
Work went remote.
Small businesses suffered.
"Whether it's today, tomorrow or Friday I'm going to be unemployed," bartender Lisa Veveiros said.
"On one day, we had over $1 million in cancellations. It's basically our entire business and all my life savings and all my employees' jobs," said Bandago Van Rental owner Sharky Laguna.
California's EDD processed more unemployment claims in a month than in all of last year.
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By May, protesters wanted an end to the shelter-in-place rules.
"California needs to open up, people need to go back to work."
A week later, California entered Stage 2, allowing businesses to offer curbside pickup.
Soon counties were getting state approval to open up dine-in restaurants and shopping malls.
The state moved into Stage 3 just after Memorial Day, allowing us to get haircuts again.
"They had at me. It was a family effort to remove what was described by my wife, as forgive me, a mullet," said Gov. Newsom.
Sheltering in place had paid off in flattening the curve of new coronavirus cases in the Bay Area.
In June, that curve changed shape. Case counts climbed, reopenings at both the state and county level were revised and sometimes reversed.
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"Our plans to reopen a number of businesses, those plans will be put on pause," said Mayor London Breed.
"It's a heavy blow," said Old Ship Saloon manager Will Herrera.
"We were able to suppress the spread of this virus, we were able to knock down the growth of this in the beginning, we're going to do that again," said Gov. Newsom.
But we didn't.
A big decision was made in mid-July: most students wouldn't go back to class when school started in the fall.
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"We are extremely relieved that safety and health seem to be the number one consideration," said Evergreen Teachers Assoc. President Suzanne Lima.
"But there isn't consideration for what working parents are going to do," said San Francisco parent Jonathan Alloy. "Working parents can't teach and elementary school kids can't be on Zoom every day for six hours by themselves."
The state used a watch list then changed to a color =-coded system to determine which businesses can resume.
More coronavirus activity means more restrictions, fewer businesses open and greater struggles that hit home here in the Bay Area every day.
"We need to reopen...I don't know how else to say it...I have barbers that are behind on rent. Behind on mortgages," said Old Mission barber shop owner Omar Nazzal. "Barbers that have family members and kids that they have to feed, including myself."
"It's sad to see so many places close," said La Rosa Grill owner Caitlin Kurasek.
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"I'm scared that they're going to evict me and I have a 16-year-old daughter and my husband and my husband's mom, we all live here," said renter Kari Rojas.
"It's very confusing, things change overnight," said La Penca Azul owner Octavio Guzman. "We're going day by day, just trying to survive."
"I may relocate my businesses. I may run for mayor, I don't know," said Ole's Waffle Shop owner Ken Monize.
"I've been through hell this past six months," said Oakland resident Laura McKinley.
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