Orange County vs LA County: Are residents being cautious enough in this pandemic?



SAN CLEMENTE, CA — WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8, 2020: An aerial view of the previously closed San Clemente pier and now closed San Clemente beach, which was closed to help curb the spread of the coronavirus in San Clemente, CA, on April 8, 2020. Officials said the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Marine Safety, Code Enforcement and Park Rangers will increase monitoring and people who do not comply could be cited. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Jazmin Taha, Co-Sports Editor

Residents in Orange County seem more relaxed and less worried compared to people in Los Angles County who are scared and taking extra precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since moving to Orange County a little over 6 months ago, the differences between both counties were a little less noticeable than they are now during the stay at home order.

There are fewer cars once you cross into LA County while driving up the 5 freeway.

Fewer grocery markets are open and are making people wait in line before entering, letting only a few customers in at a time to practice social distancing.

In Orange County people are still going to hiking trails that haven’t been blocked off by the county or city and going to parks with their children.

Children get restless with being indoors all day but now is not the time to take risks.

Orange County is known to be a wealthier area compared to Los Angeles County and you can’t help but wonder if the fact that some people who are better off money-wise think they are safer than others who live paycheck to paycheck.

Another reason for the different approaches to the crisis can also be related to the fact that Orange County is way smaller in size to Los Angeles County. It doesn’t have to only be about the money.

By being a bigger county, Los Angeles has more cases and more people who can get infected. Therefore increasing the chances of spreading and increasing the need for enforcing stricter stay at home orders for them is a must.

Driving around my apartment complex and others surrounding my neighborhood you see children still playing with each other outside and running around.

A few days ago a neighbor shouted to a mother for being outside with her children in the middle of the parking lot. He told her that she shouldn’t be outside because of the pandemic and she’s putting her children at risk.

If you don’t have the luxury of owning a home with a backyard to let your children play there are other things like board games, card games and other activities to spend time with your children indoors.

In Los Angeles County people take turns with other adult family members for going to the store to buy essentials. They are taking a more cautious approach by limiting exposure to any unnecessary people.

Panic buying in Orange County isn’t as big an issue as it is in LA County.

People don’t rush to the store to stock up on necessities like toilet paper and water. Almost everyone is just out gathering enough groceries for a week at a time, or stick to their normal pace.

These are scary times we are living in and we must all do our part to flatten the curve.

We must follow the governor’s advice and stay at home order. Regardless of where we live.

It is the only way we will be able to get back to what we know as normal or what our new normal will be after this pandemic.