LOS ANGELES – There is some comfort in a good book. For Chris Capizzi, who owns A Good Used Book in Grand Central Market, the signs of the evolving situation around the coronavirus, like homemade hand sanitizer, are all around him.
“It’s equal parts aloe Vera liquid and 91 percent isopropyl alcohol. And you just mix those together,” says Capizzi.
He is one of a number of vendors in the usually bustling open-air market hoping to just stay afloat during these uncertain times.
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“After Wednesday and especially yesterday on Saturday we saw basically a 90 percent drop in total sales. So it’s been pretty rough,” Capizzi says.
As more businesses close due to health, safety, and related concerns, the climate is becoming increasingly sparse for consumers. Mayor Eric Garcetti on Sunday called for all L.A. bars to close, along with dine-in restaurants.
A group of local friends were grabbing a drink while they could, taking precautions like wearing latex gloves and using disinfectant wipes.
“We’re kind of basically under the assumption that the market’s going to shut down any day now. So let’s go have a little drink... it’s our favorite spot... and support our businesses in the neighborhood,” says the group of DTLA residents.
Butcher Jonathan Knobel from Belcampo Meat Company is one of those businesses trying to stay dynamic, hoping to take advantage of more delivery options rather than over-the-counter interactions, keeping a distance also a means of curbing the spread of the virus.
“We’re trying time have people get our food without needing them to be in close quarters with others,” Knobel says.
And for Capizzi, who is evaluating the timetables out there, it is the indefinite uncertainty of a potential closure that scares him most.
“At that point we wouldn’t be able to pay for basic necessities and bills and things like that. So, pretty worried,” Capizzi says.
Hoping the next chapter is sooner rather than later.