Despite COVID-19 surge, people hit the stores to holiday shop

The COVID-19 pandemic isn't keeping people from getting their Christmas shopping done.

Malls and other retailer stores have been packed with people.

"Essential is relative, when it comes to Holiday Shopping"

"I know, I know…" says one weary shopper, when we ask why she has to brave the crowds at a Best Buy, even if she is worried about getting exposed to coronavirus. "But it’s my last gift, and it’s the one thing my daughter wants, and I am being careful…" she goes on to say.

She echoed many others at malls and stores like Best Buy, even as LA County Public Health is reporting more positive cases at malls, including the JC Penney’s at the Northridge Fashion Center.

Now, that is not necessarily indicative of the stores themselves not cleaning, but if you look at our images of malls, you can appreciate that a virus can spread when there are several people inside, even if they are lined up outside. 

As part of COVID-19 county guidelines, all stores are required to limit their capacity to 20%. Everyone wears a mask, which helps, but not everyone for example disinfects their hands after holding an escalator handrail.

It’s also important to add that just like what is essential is relative to the people we talked to, so is their perception of exposure danger. Just about everyone is wearing a mask, since most stores will not serve or deal with people without them.

RELATED: COVID-19 death toll continues to rise, LA county sets new daily record

They believe they won’t endanger others that way. But some shoppers carry disinfectant and constantly use it. Others take advantage of the big containers outside stores and yet others don’t use it at all.

What is pretty certain is that many people are out shopping for gifts, which one could assume, is that lots of people plan to see loved ones during the next four days. That is worrisome to health officials who say they fear a lot more positive results in the next few week. If people get sick from the virus that will further strain hospitals, which are reporting record number of patients, including quite a few sick with the virus.

Some possible thoughts if you plan to go out.

You can check the LA County public health website for the public locations of most recent COVID outbreaks, and there are plenty of businesses and public offices, even a police department or two, in there.

Remember, you can order what you want online, pay for it, and have it delivered to your vehicle outside many stores.

Finally, you now have a great excuse to not spend lots of money on gifts, a pandemic - hopefully an excuse we will not have, again.

May your Holidays and New Year be healthy and happy.