(KERO) — Billions of people worldwide had similar thoughts to local Pastor Angelo Frazier: “Well my initial reaction was what in the world is going on?”
As the pandemic struck last year, it resulted in lockdowns, limited gatherings, and brought about mask-wearing. But with all of this came some pushback. Churches banned together, some even filing lawsuits against officials for infringing on religious rights saying churches deserved to be open.
“I think it’s essential," said one pastor. "I know at the beginning we were told we were not essential.”
This is why Pastor Frazier adjusted quickly, incorporating online and outdoor services before eventually moving back indoors. This was just the start of lifestyle changes for many.
When workout facilities were forced to go strictly virtual, many gym-goers worked out from home.
Bekky Plante a local fitness coach at Orange Theory said gyms shutting down took a mental and physical toll on so many after taking away a sense of normalcy.
“I heard a lot of people say 'I tried this but it wasn’t the same' or 'I tried that and it wasn’t the same. I need my tribe. I need my people. I need my encouragement,'” she said. “It disrupts their timeline of the day but also all of the awesome benefits as far as getting all those endorphins and adrenaline going or relieving stress is just gone. It's almost an empty void is what I think happened to a lot of people.”
However, Plante says many gym-goers took their gym time for granted, which is great motivation when moving forward.
And although many facilities now operate outdoors this is not the case for the Bakersfield Fox Theater.
Matthew Spindler, the executive director of the Fox Theater, says that their last “normal” event was a movie held last March and since then they have partnered with the community on various livestream platforms. But Spindler says it’s been a huge lifestyle change for many.
“We were one of the first to shut down and we will be one of the last to open,” he said. “It’s a release from reality. It’s a bonding thing for a lot of people. You go to a show see your favorite artist whether that’s a performance in music or comedy or dance. For those into live entertainment as much as I am it is something you live and breathe.”
Spindler says a lot of firsts have happened at the historic theater. Including one of their employees - Ally Lara. She was the woman behind the viral “Find Ally Love” message on the Fox Theater marquee.
“What other way is there to meet someone during a lockdown. I mean you can’t go out places. All the restaurants are closed. So I put myself out there on a singles ad on the marquee.”
But whether it's dating, entertainment, religious events, or even just heading to the gym Pastor Frazier says all we can do from here is to look forward - whatever that may be - and he hopes that others can do the same.
"It’s going to take a long time for people to get a sense of normalcy back if they ever do. So it's gonna be hard but I think it's going to be good and hopefully, we will all be better.”