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Neighbors on Milwaukee's East Side adapt to 'Safer at Home' order

Business owners say they are feeling the impact
Posted at 12:35 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 15:48:44-04

MILWAUKEE — Both the City of Milwaukee and the State of Wisconsin have issued new guidance on fighting the coronavirus. Milwaukee's "Stay at Home" order took effect at midnight on Wednesday and the state's 'Safer at Home' ordinance took effect Wednesday at 8 a.m.

Milwaukee's order will remain in effect until further notice, and the statewide order is set to last at least 30 days.

On Milwaukee's East Side, businesses such as Landmark Lanes and The Oriental Theatre are closed. So are salons and retail shops in the area. However, other essential businesses such as banks, grocery stores, and restaurants offering curbside, carry-out, or delivery remain open.

"It looks like a ghost town," said Fransau Vazquez while waiting for the bus to pick him up after working a shift at the grocery store. "Even going downtown, it's a weird thing because you only see two or three people."

Both the city's and the state's ordinances ask residents to avoid all non-essential travel. The goal is to keep as many people home as possible in effort to slow and stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

"For safety purposes it's cool with me," said Vazquez.

Co-owner of Ma Fischer's Diner, Heidi Panos, said times are challenging.

"Typically we are a 24-hour business," she said. "It's sad. We've tried to keep as many people employed as we possibly can."

The diner is now only open from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m., offering curbside pickup and carryout. However, Panos said business has been slow.

"We just have to kind of adapt and change and hope that we can withstand the change," said Panos.

Neighbors are now saying it's important to stay positive and to support each other as the entire community adapts to a new "normal."

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