I live in San Luis Obispo County and have not set foot in your neck of the woods since the onset of the pandemic. I was deeply saddened by what I saw on State Street when I visited on Thursday January 27.
I was there to visit the Museum of Art, which was essentially closed in preparation for the upcoming Van Gogh exhibition — a disappointment. More disheartening yet is that the blocks between the museum and Paseo Nuevo — which used to be so vibrant — have become a virtual ghost town. The sidewalks were deserted. The few eateries that were open had very few customers, as were the few remaining operating stores. The merchants were visibly distressed. It was not a comfortable place to visit.
I am sorry. Santa Barbara deserves better. I hope things will get better for you soon.