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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: In South L.A., social distancing doesn’t mean stop caring for your neighbor

Joe Ward-Wallace delivers a takeout order at South LA Cafe on March 28.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I appreciate the spotlight on the small businesses in South Los Angeles enduring economic hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am inspired daily by the resilience and dedication of these businesses that continue to provided healthy food, decent jobs and essential services in an area that had struggled to provide them long before the pandemic.

From my home in South Los Angeles, I watch as my neighbors from El Salvador prepare and deliver home-cooked meals for the elderly African American man next door, just like they do every day. My children made baskets of eggs and produce and left them on the doorsteps of our elderly neighbors only to be surprised the following morning by gifts of pan dulce and fresh mangos on our doorstep.

Despite historic oppression and economic inequality, or perhaps because of it, many of my neighbors are accustomed to depending on each other and facing adversity with creative grace and fortitude.

All neighborhoods have challenges, but I am certainly proud that my neighborhood is not using this time to violate social distancing orders to protest the creation of beds for homeless patients “in their neighborhood.”

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Keegan Hornbeck, Los Angeles


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