Fear of Coronavirus Has Changed Habits in L.A.'s San Gabriel Valley

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A woman and her family wear masks to shop at San Gabriel Square. They are visiting the U.S. from Shanghai for a month.(Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

A woman and her family wear masks to shop at San Gabriel Square. They are visiting the U.S. from Shanghai for a month.(Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

It was the accessory of the moment for many of the people driving into the massive San Gabriel Square mega-mall.

Customers fidgeted with the filters of the masks covering their mouths as they streamed around the warren of Chinese restaurants, tea houses, jewelry stores and other shops. They wanted to make sure they were well protected from what Sarah Chong, 37, an accountant from Shanghai visiting friends, called “flying germs.”

Fear of the coronavirus was in the air.

In the San Gabriel Valley, the mecca of Asian culture in Los Angeles County, people have changed their habits in ways big and small to stave off infection: what they eat and buy; not to mention when and where and how they interact with others. In Alhambra, officials postponed the city’s Lunar New Year festival, scheduled for Saturday, after vendors shared concerns about low turnout.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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