CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — As people decided to brave the Black Friday crowds at La Palmera Mall on Friday, many shoppers said they think the COVID-19 pandemic was the reason they didn’t see as much foot traffic.
“I don’t really like going anywhere where I know it’s going to be really packed,” Xavier Trevino said.
Some shoppers at La Palmera waited in lines, but said they were pleasantly surprised they weren’t as long.
“It’s not as crowded as last year or previous years before,” Brawnse Lopez said.
Roylene Tiner said she was at Kohl’s at 5 a.m.
“It was very empty and very nice,” Tiner said.
Most workers and some customers continued to wear facemasks inside the stores.
“I do not feel as safe because there is COVID and I don’t want to get anyone sick, so I do wear my mask a lot,” one shopper said.
The CDC recommend those who are not vaccinated to avoid crowds, and advise them to wear a mask that covers their nose and face if they decide to venture out for some shopping.
“My husband and I are vaccinated but our kids are not so we are just trying to keep them as safe as we can,” Brittney Sanchez said when she was in line.
Other shoppers said they didn’t feel the need to wear one anymore.
“I feel safe. I’ve taken all three of those darn shots," Tiner said. “It’s been such a blessing talking and meeting to people.”
Some stores still had social-distancing stickers and there were plenty of hand sanitizing stations around the mall.
Not only are folks here at the mall on Friday to shop, there were quite a few people at the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District’s clinic who received their vaccines.