CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Working from home, and social distancing has made the need for companionship more important than ever.
One Coastal Bend pet shop owner's expansion suggests that birds may be able to help.
As businesses throughout Texas are able to increase their capacity, some are even expanding to new locations amid the pandemic.
Even ones you wouldn't expect.
When the shutdown began, Marcus Lozano didn’t expect many faces to pop in to his store, Feathered Friends & Co.
“And one day to the next, It was just like, it got busy, and then I got busier and then I got busier,” Lozano said.
But as owner of Feathered Friends & Co., Lozano made a discovery.
"I realized shortly after that people really needed companionship,” he said.
Because they sold food for family pets, Lozano’s business was considered essential by the state and able to keep their doors open.
Those doors are now open in a new location roughly twice the size of their previous store near Kostoryz and Sunnybrook where social distancing was difficult.
"It was a really small store that we were in for the last almost seven years,” said Lozano as he held his friend Elvis. “And because of our space, we only allowed about six people in at a time."
Lozano says that this move speaks to him on a personal level.
"My business being able to grow during a time like this only reinforces the fact that birds really are fantastic pets,” he said.
Even visitors we spoke to say that birds are special animals that people can bond with.
"When I'm sad or like anything actually, I go to my bird and talk to them,” said Aaliyah Vega, a bird owner visiting from Brownsville.
And Lozano says that need for socializing isn't just happening here in the Coastal Bend.
"With my colleagues who have other bird stores or other pet shops throughout the state, they're also very busy as well,” he said.
Screeching a universal message that these animals may just be what you need to take under your wing to get through these times.
“This is really proof to me that everybody needs a companion,” he said.
Lozano says the larger space will also aid in social distancing.