LAFAYETTE (KPIX) — Monday the state and counties will begin cautiously relaxing some of the shelter-in-place orders, allowing some businesses and activities to resume. For some of them it may be just in the nick of time.
Nese and Edward Ganch, who own Floral Arts flower shop in Lafayette, picked up their first load of fresh flowers in weeks. They’re excited that the stay-at-home orders will allow their store to be open for business in time for Mother’s Day.
“For florists, Mother’s Day is actually the busiest week of the year,” Nese explained. “It’s busier than Valentine because everyone has a mom, you know!”
It’s good timing for other activities as well.
Skate parks can reopen and tennis can once again be played — although the order forbids multiple people touching the ball so it’ll be interesting to see how that works.
With the good weather, even rusty golfers will be thrilled to get back on the greens to play that maddening game they love so much.
“It’ll take time to get back into it and really be able to hit the ball and that sort of thing,” said golfer Dennis Wasco from Clayton.
Speaking of greens, if people’s grass is looking a little seedy these days, there’s hope. Monday, landscape workers can go back to work and nurseries will be open to serve them. Some, like Sloat nursery in Danville have already been open and doing booming business because the law allowed nurseries which sell plants that can produce food to stay in operation.
“As soon as we get a flat or two of tomatoes in, they hit the table and they’re gone!” said Sloat store manager Brad Sheehan.
Construction sites which have been shut down can reopen Monday as well, with some restrictions. Exterior work or work required for habitation are the only jobs that can be performed on occupied houses. But Chuck Barnett said work on three homes in his Danville cul-de-sac never really slowed down during the shelter-in-place.
“This one has been going full time for the last three weeks,” he said pointing at the houses. “That one’s been going for almost two months.”
The real estate market has not been going full-time lately because realtors could only show vacant homes. Houses with people still living in them could only be viewed virtually.
“If you have an investor, that’s all about the numbers,” said Janel Pelosi, a realtor with Keller Williams East Bay. “But when you’re looking at a first-time home buyer or a traditional home buyer, they really want to touch and feel a house. And, when you are looking at it online it’s kind of tough to do that.”
Pelosi can begin showing occupied homes Monday as long as it’s just she with up to two clients. She’s asking owners to leave the lights on so no one has to touch the switches. It’s a new, hands-off way of doing business but she’ll take what she can get.
“I’m super excited,” she said. “I mean we actually get to put on work clothes instead of yoga pants and meet with our clients so we’re really excited about that.”
All these activities come with a lot of social-distancing restrictions and county officials say they’ll be watching closely to see that they are being obeyed. If not, everything could quickly get shut down again.