LA County Swap Meet sells masks but does little else in protecting patrons from COVID-19

Photo essay by Hazel Salguero, CONTRIBUTOR


On November 29, 2020, at Alpine Village Swap Meet, people arriving to shop for Christmas presents and personal items.

Alpine Village is relatively empty at 7 a.m. in the morning when social distancing is possible.

Marcos Villanueva is happy to be back selling his products. He knows his workplace is high-risk for contracting COVID-19. He perseveres by constant hand washing and sanitizing products after a day’s work.

Ana Garcia and her husband, Eric sold cookware and household items pre-COVID.
Ana changed 95% of her inventory to disposable masks when they returned to sell at the swap meet. She says her sales have been better since making the switch.

People stop frequently at this table full of face masks. The owners sell at least 100-150 masks per hour.

David arrives at 6 a.m. to set up his stand selling auto supplies. He is more concerned about paying his bills and rent than contracting COVID-19. He believes the mask is enough protection.

As the hours go by, the swap meet becomes crowded and social distancing is no longer possible.

Multiple cars exiting and entering the full parking lot of the swap meet. A few people walking back to their cars.