social bubbles

New Bay Area Health Orders Mean Social Bubbles are ‘Popped'

As most of the Bay Area reverts to another stay at home order, one of the biggest concerns for families is a return to isolation

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The coming stay at home orders in most of the Bay Area will also mean a pause on social bubbles as the rules restrict people in different households from coming together under nearly all circumstances.

That could be a tough situation during the holiday season.

In Los Gatos, vehicles lined up for the opening of the annual fantasy of lights display at Vasona Park. In the midst of a pandemic, this socially-distanced drive-through event is ideal.

For the Raudez-Fultz family, it may be one of the last things they’ll be able to enjoy together for the rest of the month.

“I don’t really like it,” said Alex Fultz of San Jose. “I like having our in-laws, or my in-laws at least, and sharing family time.”

Their social bubble for the last few months has mostly included immediate family, but under new rules, that is supposed to stop.

“Until we get through this wave, you should not meet in person with anyone you do not live with, even in a small group, and even outdoors with precautions,” said Berkeley Public Health Officer Dr. Lisa Hernandez. “If you have a social bubble, it is now popped.”

As most of the Bay Area reverts to another stay at home order, one of the biggest concerns for families is a return to isolation.

“I understand the concern, but at the same time it’s hard,” said Britney Raudez of San Jose. “I mean, I have kids so we’ve been inside for so long and now again we have to be inside even longer.”

In addition to possible mental health issues from another lockdown, at least one epidemiologist is raising concerns about the unintended consequences of shutting down all outdoor activities such as dining, playgrounds and socially distanced meetups.

“Outdoor, where we haven’t had any data-driven reasons for closing these things, I think it can really lead people to possibly drive them indoors,” said Dr. Monica Ghandi of San Francisco. “Which is what I’m most worried about, right? Because then, that is the place that’s least safe.”

Santa Clara County’s shutdown kicks in Sunday night at 10 p.m.

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