From the Desk of the Publisher

COVID Casualties


When the pandemic hit in 2020, we were taken aback. Life changed drastically – and quickly. Many places where we typically congregated – the supermarket, church, stores – had to shut down.

I don’t know if you remember, but my friend Amy and I were traveling to Cambria when news started trickling in on the radio of the global virus. Back then, we were told that if we could deeply inhale and hold our breath we were fine. So periodically during the drive I’d turn to her and say, “Breathe.” We’d both take a deep breath and hold it. Neither of us would cough so I declared we were fine and we’d continue north.

But that was the beginning. It was so bizarre – we’d go to a winery, then it would close. That was constant. Thankfully we were able to stop by every place we wanted to visit – no reservation needed. I remember, though, going into the Target store up there and the shelves were decimated. I mean there was little to no product available. It was so insane to me that I actually took video. Little did I know that the same situation was happening here.

From then things got worse. First we were told that businesses would shut down for two weeks “to flatten the curve.” Early on it was deemed that CV Weekly was an essential business and we didn’t have to close. But we still wiped down everything and took a ton of precautions to keep everyone safe.

The paper took a financial hit. The majority of our revenue comes from advertising; who was going to advertise a closed business? It was tough; thankfully our subscribers stepped up and some gave us financial support. Between that and government money we were able to keep our doors open.

For nearly a decade CV Weekly had held The Finest, a chance for our readers to share with the community what businesses, people and services they felt were the best. During the pandemic The Finest was put on hold. In fact, this year – 2024 – The Finest returns. Due to its popularity and the number of ballots we’ve received, we extended placement of the ballot in the paper to this week, March 14. (All completed ballots – each ballot must have a minimum 10 selections or will be disqualified – must be received or postmarked by March 20).

In 2022, life started to return to nearly normal – but symptoms of the pandemic can still be found. Up in Cambria, reservations are now needed to visit wineries whereas before the pandemic you could just stop by … but at least they’re open. Also, new cleaning regimes have been instituted at many public places.

But there have been some casualties. Many businesses didn’t survive. Some of the restaurants set up outside dining because patrons couldn’t go inside their establishments. After the pandemic, many kept that outside dining experience.

Some didn’t though. Yesterday morning I drove by El Sol on Honolulu Avenue and the colorful patio it had built in its parking lot was being torn down.

I thought it was sad – even though it was reflective of a bad time in the world. It struck me how easily I’ve accepted those things that were instituted specifically due to COVID.

Although it still makes me shake my head when I see someone in their car, alone, wearing a mask.

Robin Goldsworthy is the publisher of the Crescenta Valley Weekly. She can be
reached at
or (818) 248-2740.