PACIFIC PALISADES (CBSLA) — The night before Christmas Eve, in the wake of a global pandemic and local stay-at-home orders, there were still shoppers out and about hoping to find some last-minute gifts.
“I think people are doing their best to social distance without sometimes spacing out for a second and needing to be reminded,” Nadine Kijner, a shopper, said.
Kijner said her brother is an emergency room doctor, so she has been very cautious throughout the pandemic. But, with the holiday looming, she said she felt safe taking an evening trip to Palisades Village when it was not as crowded.
“I’ve been here during the day when it’s been a lot more crowded, and it seems at night everything clears out at night,” she said. “I don’t see a lot of people at night.”
And while there was a noticeable decrease in foot traffic at the popular shopping center, other shoppers said they did not mind safely being around others in order to support the local economy.
“I think that the rules are changing so often that people don’t always necessarily know what does or doesnt make sense,” Sydney Brecher, a shopper, said. “But given that local stores are open, people want to go support them.”
Under the current regional stay-at-home orders, malls must limit their capacity to 20%, and health officials have urged all residents to stay home as much as possible to slow the spread of the virus as cases and deaths continue to spike across the region.
Those who do go out must wear face coverings and practice social distancing. Health officials have also encouraged residents to wash or sanitize their hands frequently to limit possible exposure.
“I still live with my parents, so they’ve been really, really cautious about COVID, so we try and avoid people at all costs for their safety,” Olivia Zellen, a shopper, said. “So it’s better to come out when there’s not a ton of people.”
Shoppers who spoke with CBS Los Angeles said spending time at outdoor malls felt safer as they searched for the perfect last-minute gift.