Imagine a sleepy town getting sleepier.
“Oh, it’s a little oasis in the middle of nowhere, 70 miles from San Diego,” said David Landman while standing near the middle of Jacumba Hot Springs.
The town is so small, the coronavirus hasn’t visited yet.
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“We’re in the middle of nowhere and the nearest case, I think, is El Centro,” said Landman who owns the town’s only hotel, the Jacumba Hot Springs Resort and Spa. He also owns the only bar and one of the town’s two restaurants.
However, Landman followed the rules dictated by the State of California. He shut down his hotel. He shut down his bar. With the town a standstill with people staying at home, he also closed his restaurant. It effectively closed Jacumba Hot Springs.
“It was awful,” he said. “I’m sitting there, looking in the eyes of these people that have been with me since we opened, and it broke my heart.”
Landman said he sent 23 people home with a promise of a job when the rules change.
“Usually this area is busy on the weekend,’ said Jay Cousins.
He owns the other restaurant in Jacumba Hot Springs: Jay’s Southern Café.
Cousins said business is stable because he’s the only one preparing warm food for carry-out for miles. However, he said all the businesses in town rely heavily on each other and on the traffic that no longer rolls through town on weekends.
“We don’t know what the future holds,” he said.
Landman said the future looks bleak if other people throughout the country don’t follow the rules.
“I think they’re inconsiderate. I don’t think they care about anybody but themselves and I’m rightfully pissed off,” he said. “Every time somebody gets sick, it delays me reopening longer.”