SALINAS, Calif. (KION) Friday night in downtown Salinas brought out a decent crowd looking to reclaim the weekend vibes tarnished by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most people were wearing masks throughout the streets as restaurants supplied outdoor seating areas for patrons to come and enjoy.
As the weekend kicks off again on the Central Coast, many are beginning to acclimate to the COVID-19 pandemic lifestyle.
Despite having limited outdoor dining, having to wear face coverings and having to measure your distance with others, people in downtown Salinas found ways to enjoy the Friday night.
By now, most businesses and patrons know the drill.
"We got a whole box of masks by the door, so grab them when we get out," said Rose Delancey, a Salinas resident.
"I think we've come along pretty well, we're pretty much used to it now," said Max Gibbons, the owner and manager at Portobello's.
COVID-19 mantras we will all remember years from now: wash your hands, wear a mask, social distance, all losing their novelty and slowly becoming just a way of life.
At Patria, a Salinas restaurant in desperate need of more outdoor seating just week ago, there were a new set of furnishings wrapping the adjacent alleyway with plenty of people dining on the new tables and seats.
Maya Cinemas also cooked up some popcorn to hand out to people. While the new new normal seems running along smoothly, the shorter it lasts, the better.
"I hope we get some normalcy back. That'll definitely help us," said Gibbons.
"I'd like to see more things open, obviously, for longer hours," said Delancey.
Some restaurants still appear to be remaining closed during this time. While the crowds do come out on the weekends, it is still caution winning the day with many.
"It doesn't really worry me that much because I figure I have my mask on and I social distance, so I feel I'm OK," said Kyle Delancey, another Salinas resident.
"I'm not really concerned about it, but I do try to limit where I go, how many times I go out, I don't try to.. not making any unnecessary trips," said Rose.
All three Central Coast counties, including Monterey County, are still on the state's monitoring list with elevated restrictions. That means gyms, hair and nail salons and houses of worship are to remain closed.