Families shelter in vacation homes

Gabrielle Guido

Gabrielle Guido, Senior Reporter

With the close proximity of people at overwhelmed food stores and local beaches, some families are moving outside of the city for shelter-in-place seeking an escape from city life. 

San Francisco’s shelter-in-place order was extended today to May 31 by Mayor London Breed, providing more time and opportunities for families to spend time at vacation homes. 

“My family runs a farm in Glen Ellen, a town about 15 minutes north of Sonoma,” sophomore Anneli Dolan said. “I love being out of the city because I find that I am outside almost all day.”

The close-quarter living of San Francisco can pose a challenge for practicing social distancing which requires a separation of six feet between people at all times. 

“We have decided to stay in our house in La Quinta in Southern California,” junior Grace O’Reilly said. “We felt that no one was taking wearing masks and social distancing seriously where we lived.”

In addition to protecting themselves from close contact with others, moving outside of the city can allow families to spend more time outdoors and enjoy more space and freedom.

“The idea of having variety and change, and something different than just the inside of the four walls of one’s house, is really important,” Child and Adolescent Psychologist Ashley Maliken said. “Being in the same place all the time it is a drag on our brains, emotions and wellbeing, so I think it’s great to get out of the city, especially if with access to nature.” 

Even though not all teens may have access to vacation homes or cars, staying connected with the world around them, friends and being present is essential as teens battle isolation, according to Maliken. 

“I really enjoy being out of the city because it’s nice to have a lot more space and I don’t feel so cramped up anymore,” O’Reilly said. “It’s easier for me and my mom to work in our own spaces and my dog is able to run around freely in the backyard.”

With the recent warming weather, the nicer environment encourages families and teens to spend more time outside in nature, often made possible by moving to more remote vacation homes away from the city.  

“I love the open air and space and I have more time to do things such as paint that I otherwise wouldn’t have the time and space to do in the city,” Dolan said. “I feel like being outside has given me a more positive view on shelter-in-place.”