(l) Juliette doing school work at home after her school closed amid Coronavirus outbreak.   (r) Nicolas doing school work at home. 

It’s easy to feel sympathy for Maritza Leyva.

The Pacoima resident has four kids at home, all of them unable to attend school. Her oldest child is back from California State University Northridge (CSUN). Another child is a 10th-grader at PUC High School in Lake View Terrace. Then there are the two young ones, one in fourth grade at Pacoima Charter Elementary School and a four-year-old in a head start.

Leyva sees the closure of the schools during the coronavirus outbreak as a blessing and a burden.

“On one hand it’s good because (school and health authorities) want to stop the virus from propagating,” the mother said. “But if one lives in a small place, they’re fighting, yelling, and sometimes one can’t find what to give them to keep them entertained and busy.”

At least Leyva knows they’re safe when she — like hundreds of others — goes shopping for the family.

While her high school and elementary school children have homework to do while school is out, Leyva still worries that the lack of regular instruction will hurt them.

“I do think it’s going to affect them not being in regular classes. Doing work here at home is not the same as the teacher telling them how to do things. Here, they’re just trying to find something to do,” she said.

Leyva is grateful the Los Angeles Unified School District is opening 60 Food Centers to assist families affected by the school closures.

The centers would offer meals to children out of school.

“Hopefully I can take them to one, even if it’s just in and out, so that they get distracted a little,” she said.

Other Families

Cindy Lopez’ 10-year-old daughter is also out of school, and doing school work at home.

“All her classwork has been put online into a LAUSD program. The advancement of technology is really paying off with being able to still continue education and classwork from home,” Lopez said.

The Granada Hills resident adds that, thankfully, the elementary school student is not alone at home.

“She is with her dad for these next two weeks, as his job asked that he and others from his company work from home during this tough time,” Lopez said.

Meanwhile Rosa Sandoval, also from Pacoima, says her three daughters — who normally attend Vaughn’s MIT middle school — are not bored at all while at home.

“We’re having our quality time together because my husband is also at home since his work is outdoors and the weather [hasn’t] allow him to work,” Sandoval said.

“They (my daughters) are doing classroom work their school gave them to keep them busy.”

Sandoval adds that the family is also watching documentaries of museums around the world.

“That’s a good way of visiting, without having to travel,” she notes. “We’re also playing lotería, and we’re going to keep planning activities at home, like baking a cake, cooking, cleaning to keep them occupied.”

“God willing this pandemic will pass. Always with good attitude and patience, everything will be fine,” Sandoval said.