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Connecting with our Community

The City of Carlsbad is full of amazing, every day people. We’re excited to launch a series of profiles of people in our community who call Carlsbad home and are finding ways of staying connected or inspired during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are their #Care4Carlsbad stories.

Jordan Jackson

Meet Jordan, who was shooting baskets by himself at Poinsettia Park and has found consistency in a healthy routine.

“I moved from Carlsbad to Tampa Bay and lived there until COVID hit. I lost two jobs in the service industry when this whole thing happened and had to move back in with my family here in Carlsbad. They’ve been extremely supportive and helping me get back on my feet. I was able to get my old job back at Jimbo’s too and it’s a good work environment. I believe in health, natural and local food and taking care of your body.

Before COVID, I didn’t play basketball consistently, even though basketball has been in my family and I played when I was younger. I wanted to go pro but I had some bad injuries in high school. Now I’m back to playing about an hour and a half, six days a week. Between eating healthy and playing basketball, I’m getting my mind and body right. It has helped me focus on my health and routine. It makes me feel consistent and I think it’s made me be a more efficient person.

Unfortunately, I’ve said had to say no to others who want to play a pick-up game. It’s definitely been hard and it’s not like I don’t want to, but it’s my way of making sure I don’t spread COVID. 

Since I’ve been back, I’ve been more engaged with the city. I called the city earlier in COVID when nobody could play basketball. I was like, ‘Hey I just need something to do in this pandemic and I'm losing my mind. Is there any way you could even put half the hoops back up?’ I got a call back from the city saying they’re looking into it and three days later, they put the hoops back up. It made me feel more like I’m a part of a community that cares. I’ve lived all over the country but interacting with Carlsbad has made me think about community government and engagement in a different way.”

– Jordan, Carlsbad resident

Meghan Cedeno

Meet Meghan and learn a little more about what’s kept her grounded during this time.  

“I’ve been surfing for 11 years. I love the tranquility of it and the ability to connect with the water. I never get the same session twice, which I love. Carlsbad beaches are the best.

During COVID, every morning I’ve been taking walks through neighborhoods I’ve never been before. At this point, I’m up to walking 6-8 miles a day and listening to podcasts about what’s happening beyond Carlsbad. I’m still feeling connected to where I live being safe in my own community but still learning about what’s happening in the world. It’s been my sanity check for the last 8 months.

This week I’m feeling optimistic and thankful. I’ve been able to have my job during this time and am developing as a traffic engineer professional. I was intimidated by the idea of working and living at home and those blurred lines, but I’m really proud of myself. I can tackle challenges ahead. I’m realizing this isn’t forever and I’m trying to make the most of it.”

– Meghan, Carlsbad resident

Nazila Hatami

Meet Nazila, who sees the value of finding support for herself so she can support others through her work.

“I’m a licensed marriage and family therapist and am supporting a lot of people through the group practices that I’m a part of. There’s a great need for therapists right now and it’s been challenging. I’ve had to learn to say no. I’ve also recognized that I need more support than usual right now. As a therapist, I need to receive my own help and encouragement so I can continue to support others. I’m finding that through morning meditation, online groups, my own teachers I rely on and my partner is also a great support. He encourages me.

I’ve lived in many different cities and traveled a lot, but one of my favorite places is along Highway 101 where I can take my two dogs out. We live off Cannon and the wooded areas around us are beautiful. There’s always some kind of trail nearby. I feel safe here.

My partner and I both had COVID and both recovered well, but it was so scary. My partner had preexisting conditions and he took longer to recover. The mental struggle of it was not worth it. I know at some point, we got tired and weren’t wearing masks, but don’t let your guard down. Don’t have too much fear, but be concerned enough to take care of yourself. It was scary and not worth getting.

Right now I’m focusing on the positive and feel relaxed. This time has brought me and my partner closer and for us it’s been good. Having the right perspective is the most important.”

– Nazila, Carlsbad resident

Larry Doran

Meet Larry and his two kids who are finding joy at local parks and cooking with each other during this time.

“I’ve lived here for 18 years and moved to Carlsbad from the Temecula area. My family and I were already spending so much time here at the beach so we decided to move closer. We go to all the parks in Carlsbad. It’s been a good opportunity to be outdoors and get exercise while having a sense of space and being safe. We can still see people while the kids are getting exercise and stay socially distanced vs being indoors. We’re at Holiday Park today because we just visited some shops and ate lunch.

I’m seeing a lot of our neighbors reaching out to each other in creative social distance ways. We’ll be outside in our cul-de-sac with neighbors and our masks so the kids can have fun together and be in a safe environment. My family had a random act of kindness upon us from a neighbor who sent a gift. It was a really sweet gift with a polite note. My wife was having a rough day and the gift made her cry! Our neighbor made her whole day. It’s things like that that make a difference. I’m seeing people just do their best to be supportive and safe.

Adjusting to life during COVID, our family has been cooking at home and looking up new recipes. We try to incorporate a few vegetarian dishes in during the week to balance it out. The kids really enjoy pizza so we’ve been making our own pizza at home. It’s fun to get the kids involved. My wife and kids like the more traditional toppings but my go-to toppings? Jalapeños, black olives and Canadian bacon.”

– Larry, Carlsbad resident