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Major impact seen at UC Santa Barbara and Isla Vista after Coronavirus changes

UC Santa Barbara empty
John Palminteri
UC Santa Barbara is shockingly empty of the thousands of students who generally move about on a school day, due in part, to the on line class announcement because of coronavirus concerns. Nearby in Isla Vista, businesses are hurting for customers and apartments are starting to clear out. (Photo: John Palminteri)
UCSB empty
John Palminteri
UC Santa Barbara is shockingly empty of the thousands of students who generally move about on a school day, due in part, to the on line class announcement because of coronavirus concerns. Nearby in Isla Vista, businesses are hurting for customers and apartments are starting to clear out. (Photo: John Palminteri)
Isla Vista restaurant
John Palminteri
UC Santa Barbara is shockingly empty of the thousands of students who generally move about on a school day, due in part, to the on line class announcement because of coronavirus concerns. Nearby in Isla Vista, businesses are hurting for customers and apartments are starting to clear out. (Photo: John Palminteri)
Isla Vista restaurant
John Palminteri
UC Santa Barbara is shockingly empty of the thousands of students who generally move about on a school day, due in part, to the on line class announcement because of coronavirus concerns. Nearby in Isla Vista, businesses are hurting for customers and apartments are starting to clear out. (Photo: John Palminteri)
Isla Vista restaurant
John Palminteri
UC Santa Barbara is shockingly empty of the thousands of students who generally move about on a school day, due in part, to the on line class announcement because of coronavirus concerns. Nearby in Isla Vista, businesses are hurting for customers and apartments are starting to clear out. (Photo: John Palminteri)

ISLA VISTA, Calif. - One of the most populated areas in the West is a shocking sign of the coronavirus impacts, even when no single case has been detected.

The largely college town of Isla Vista is very quiet. The thousands of bikes in motion have rolled to a slow, occasional pace and big groups of students walking together in or near the traffic lanes have been reduced to just a few here and there.

UC Santa Barbara adjacent to I.V. announced Tuesday it was going to on line classes until the end of April.

Some students have taken off, going home or to some other location to finish their studies.

Some are upset, saying they looked forward to going to the ocean front campus, getting instructions directly from a professor and having group session to improve their understanding of courses.

"Most people are going home  some people are really disappointed about the news. They really wanted to stay, like me," said Cal Birgisson a New York student at UCSB who says he will be going back to his home town and handle on class work there

At the bike racks near Campbell Hall, Alexa Honsberger said when the email message came out, "some people were excited and some people were stressed."

When it comes to the transition, she said there were many unanswered questions.

"I don't know if professors are equipped to do that. I don't know if students are equipped to do that. I don't know if the coronavirus is going to become more or become less," said Honsberger.

She is a Global Studies major and says this crisis is a true example of impacts in multiple countries, in real time.

Darya Moein is leaving in a week. "I am staying until finals are done, because I need an environment where I can study. If I go home I feel like I won't be able to."

When it comes to spring break plans, Honsberger said, "who knows maybe road trip in California. I'll do something,  but gotta stay safe."

Many Isla Vista businesses normally swamped with customers, mainly students, had open tables around lunch time. This includes some of the most popular food places in town.

During the early evening hours, more students were making plans and decisions that included leaving the area and bidding an early farewell to friends, for now.

Many had questions about graduation in June which is not in the information from UC officials at this time.

The school has an extensive and effective outreach to the campus community for emergency and other alerts and will be using that for up to date information about the health and safety protocols.

Related story on : UCSB going online

Economy / Education / Safety / Santa Barbara- S County

John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3 and KCOY 12 Central Coast News.