BERKELEY (KPIX) — With the distractions of Christmas now behind us, the fight against the coronavirus continues and, for those being tested Saturday, there were concerns about another surge in infections.
The COVID-19 testing kiosk at the Adult Education Building in Berkeley saw a quiet but steady flow of customers.
“It’s not something that I really enjoy but it’s something that is necessary,” said Yen Phan from Oakland. She sees the same bubble of friends but gets tested once a week anytime she goes out to see others. She said she’s concerned about infections climbing as people travel to gather with family and friends.
“It’s scary … we’ve been in this pandemic for nine months now and so I think I can understand how people are like, ‘It’s during the holidays and I don’t want to be alone,’” she said.
Jason Lucero flew to Maryland for Thanksgiving. Upon returning, he spent two weeks in quarantine and, Saturday afternoon, despite feeling fine, he got his mouth swabbed at the request of his housemates.
“It’s peace of mind for my roommates, mainly,” Lucero said. “It’s been two weeks, I’ve had zero symptoms but I could be asymptomatic and this could be a bullet to the head of the roommate, you know?”
There are worries about the number of people who spent time traveling or hitting the malls. Ashley Golden got tested after working in a retail store for the past few weeks.
“I was surprised by how many people were out shopping,” she said. “I thought, you know, we should close, no one’s going to be out shopping. But there were a lot of people out.”
Health officials will be holding their breath as test results pour in from around the Bay Area. While the vaccine offers some hope, Lucero said he has his doubts about the prospects for the new year.
“I think 2021’s going to be a lot of the same stuff,” he said. “It’s not going to change much even with the vaccine. I think we should play it safe through the year until we know we’re good to go because this is a scary way to go, from what I’ve seen.”
Speaking of scary, Anthony Lu of Orinda had a grim prediction about how long he thinks we’ll be living under the cloud of COVID-19.
“Forever,” he said. “Yeah, I think humans will have to learn to live with some virus going forward. I don’t feel 100 percent that we will go back to the old normal.”