LOS ANGELES — It may be close to the holidays, but Gov. Gavin Newsom has issued an advisory against all nonessential travel, but for John Graves, that may not be possible. Owner of a new garlic seasoning company, he had to travel to Texas to sign up customers. A family man with a wife and five boys, growing his business is essential.
“I just got back in, and one of my main concerns is Texas is now a very big hotspot,” Graves said. “We’re back here in L.A. We have a pretty large family. I’m super concerned with infecting anybody, bringing that back.”.
California has just surpassed 1 million COVID-19 cases. According to Newsom, there are no signs of the coronavirus slowing down, so the governor is also urging visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival. After being gone for two weeks, Graves misses his boys but plans to do his best to keep his family safe.
“Listen, I think what Gov. Newsom is doing is great for the population,” Graves said. “Of course, you know, we all have anxiety. We want to get back out and get used to what we’re used to, but let’s get it under control.”
And there’s real cause for concern. Thanksgiving and Christmas are the biggest travel days of the year, and with the weather getting colder, COVID-19 could potentially reach new milestones. Like many parents, as much as Graves wants to hug his wife and kids, he knows showing love during a pandemic means giving a fair amount of space.
“Thank goodness that I have a fairly large home where we can actually go to our own corners,” Graves said. “Everybody doesn’t have that ability, you know, but thank goodness for us, we can go to different rooms.”
Graves said he feels lucky, and he understands it may not be possible for everyone.
“It’s a learning process. It’s all-new for everybody here,” Graves said.
So the Governor’s office is urging everyone to behave responsibly when traveling.
“We may actually put our guard down, take our guard down, take our mask off, get a little closer than we should, and that’s exactly the condition that creates spread and transmission,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of California Health and Human Services.
After being gone for two weeks, quarantining for an additional two weeks right before the holidays may not be entirely possible for Graves, but with a family at home, he’s not taking any chances.
“We still got a little time in the day, we’re going to go to one of our little testing sites, get ourselves tested, make sure we’re all good so we don’t bring Texas to California,” Graves said.