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Coronavirus Outbreak Creates Rare Sight: Empty Southern California Attractions

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Landmarks across Southern California usually teeming with tourists, locals and workers were eerily empty this week after being shut down in the effort to slow the coronavirus outbreak.

coronavirus empty venues
(credit: CBS)

On any typical day, even during chilly winter months, Disneyland, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Universal Studios and the Santa Monica Pier generally are hot spots for tourists. But aerial views of each landmark showed a rare sight — not one person.

Most of Southern California's tourist attractions are shut down through at least the end of March.

At Staples Center, the bright lights continued to shine, but there were no cars on the usually busy streets and just one person walking in front of the home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers. At the nearby Pantry Cafe, which generally bustles even when the Lakers are not playing, chairs were stacked upside down on top of tables in the closed dining room because the breakfast hot spot is only serving to-go meals. The restaurant has had to let go of employees, and the ones who are still working say they miss the customers.

"It's been slow, we've been hurting for our tips, pretty much, so we're not really making money at the moment," employee Jairo Lopez said.

Grand Central Market was also a ghost town, but for security guards strolling the shuttered food stalls. Brad Carlson, who is on vacation from Texas, says he had a hard time finding a place where he could order food.

"I kinda feel bad, I know LA's been hit pretty hard. There's no traffic, so it's been totally, totally dead everywhere," Carlson said.

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