By Len Ramirez

SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — Anxieties were rising in Santa Clara late Friday night as the county was teetered on the edge of slipping back into the state’s more restrictive reopening tier in the wake of a new wave of COVID cases.

The stormy weather seemed to put an exclamation point on the already gloomy news that COVID is surging and the county will be cancelling indoor dining in Santa Clara County next week.

That throws restaurant workers and managers into yet another financial tailspin.

“We’re not feeling overly happy or confident right now, but it is what it is and we just do our best to get through,” said David Mulvehill of O’Flaherty’s.

On Friday night, the rain cancelled outdoor dining at San Pedro Square and with tables limited inside, fewer servers were needed so their already thinning paychecks took another hit.

“That’s really heartbreaking to send staff home,” said Alex Guilliano of Sushi Confidential. “But there’s not much revenue coming in. It’s really hard.”

There were people still coming downtown to have a meal, or see some friends. But COVID was on their minds.

“I have co-morbidities that could cause trouble,” said Steven Thomas of San Jose. “It’s totally out of control.”

Those concerns were echoed by San Jose resident Michel Habib.

“I’m hanging around my grandparents, I’m hanging around my parents and I know they’re a little more vulnerable so obviously, I don’t want to bring that into the family,” Habib said. “(I’m) anxious to get back to a normal life. If that calls for a lock down, then it does, but then I’m anxious about the economy. Finding the right answer is tough, and I’m anxious about that.”

“We’ve all had a really, really tough year,” he added.

Mego Lien with Santa Clara County Behavioral Health says the feelings and fears were normal and there’s a place where people can reach out for help.

But instead of calling a crisis hotline, people were sending concerns to a free new 24-7 crisis text line. She says texts to RENEW 741741 are up 5 times from their pre-pandemic levels.

“The majority of them turned to us for anxiety and stress,” Lein said of the texts. “There is definitely a mental health effect that we are seeing from the pandemic.”

She says trained counselors can help, but so can calling an old friend, or going outside for fresh air and a walk.

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