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Radio Diary: How One Cafe Maintains Community Amid LA's COVID Surge

Albert Maghbouleh, far left, and Miles Santamour, 89, with Amigos de Jaibalito Foundation (ADJ) share lunch outdoors guarding social distancing, overlooking the skyline of Los Angeles Monday, Jan. 11. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Albert Maghbouleh, far left, and Miles Santamour, 89, with Amigos de Jaibalito Foundation (ADJ) share lunch outdoors guarding social distancing, overlooking the skyline of Los Angeles Monday, Jan. 11. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

This diary accompanies our hour on LA’s coronavirus surge. Listen here.


Los Angeles is experiencing a devastating coronavirus surge. On Saturday, LA County became the first county to reach 1 million cases since the start of the pandemic.

The pandemic is having an economic impact, too. On Monday’s show, we turn back to Sean Knibb, owner of Knibb Design interiors and Flowerboy Project, a cafe and flower shop in Venice, California. Business has dropped significantly, he says, but they’re still open, following safety protocols.

“Everyone has been very mindful of the regulations and cautious with the interactions with the people that are coming in and getting coffee and flowers,” Knibb says.

Knibb says the cafe has become a comforting community hub, even as the coronavirus spreads, touching his employees lives, his family’s life and the neighborhood itself.

“I do know that everyone is paying attention to everyone, and is very supportive in checking in,” he says. “Especially because I think everyone knows someone who has COVID, or is one degree away from someone who is going through COVID.”

In this diary … we hear from:

Sean Knibb, owner of the Flowerboy Project in Los Angeles.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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