Losses and Lessons: Community Members Reflect on COVID Year

Photo courtesy Perez family
Lisa Perez, pictured here with her husband Mario, said they are avid moviegoers. However, they haven’t been to the theater in about a year due to the pandemic, and though they’ve reopened, Lisa isn’t sure when she’ll be going back.

The woman who found out she had breast cancer amid a pandemic. The martial arts instructor who had to move classes from a studio to a garage. The leader of a charity that found itself supplying dozens of households with food.
These are just a few of Burbank community members who found themselves grappling with the coronavirus pandemic. Their stories are by no means uncommon. By the time the first COVID-19 case in Burbank was confirmed on March 19, 2020, businesses had closed, events had been canceled and schools had shut down.
Just over a year later, the virus has killed more than 200 residents and infected more than 8,500. While many businesses have adapted to the pandemic, and restaurants are able to offer limited indoor dining again, others have closed permanently.
“We’ve absolutely lost businesses as they could not survive the economic impacts and we’ve lost jobs as businesses have laid off people,” Mayor Bob Frutos said in an email. “This is sad and why it’s so important to focus on making the recovery happen as quick as possible.
“At the same time, we have gained a stronger relationship with our community as they have come together to help each other from simply delivering groceries to a senior citizen to assisting decreasing the spread of the virus by wearing our masks.”
In interviews with the Leader, many community members hit similar notes, explaining ways they’ve adapted to the pandemic while describing periods of intense anxiety. Many balanced caution against predicting a too-early end of the pandemic with hope spurred by vaccination efforts.
None had been unaffected by the pandemic.

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