With streets and sidewalks across Oakland emptied out, a flurry of new signs has appeared on storefronts across the city to help businesses keep their customers updated, or just to share a few words of hope and solidarity. Whether the message is handwritten or computer-generated, logistical or philosophical, each represents a facet of the new normal in Oakland.
An East Oakland laundromat lets customers know that they can still wash and dry on the premises, but must fold their own clothes at home. A Fruitvale florist gives a website and telephone number for placing orders, while a North Oakland restaurant name-checks every delivery app you can imagine. A mechanic on International Boulevard who’s still open for business asks customers to “Keep your distance, 6 feet please.”
Other signs send supportive messages, like the Rockridge restaurant that reminds passersby that “Mutual support is how we will all get through this.” Several restaurants have also started posting the COVID-$19 challenge to support those who rely on tips.
In true Oakland tradition, some apartment dwellers and homeowners have gotten in on the action with messages of their own, even if just a reminder to “Take care of each other.”