Here's your daily audio briefing (updated weekdays):
In Crenshaw, Reflections On The Death Of George Floyd
In parts of Los Angeles, anger and pain over George Floyd's death this week at the hands of police in Minneapolis comes on top of much more pain and anxiety.
Not only is it the most recent in a long string of killings of black men, it comes at a time when communities of color are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.
Joelle Earle, co-owner of the hot dog place Earle's on Crenshaw, told us:
"Now we remember that the world is messed up. It always was that way, it's just now you're hearing about again as life is somewhat returning to normal."
READ THE FULL STORY:
- 'The World Is Messed Up:' In One LA Neighborhood, Reflections On George Floyd's Death, The Pandemic, And Pain
LAPD Declares 'Unlawful Assembly' In DTLA On Third Day Of George Floyd Protests
The LAPD declared an unlawful assembly in downtown L.A. shortly before 9:30 p.m. tonight.
According to an emailed statement from the LAPD the boundaries are the 10 Freeway to the 101 Freeway, and the 110 freeway to Alameda.
The LAPD said:
This declaration is being made following repeated acts of violence and property damage. Residents should stay inside. Business should close. Persons on street are to leave area
Anyone who does not immediately leave the area will be subject to immediate arrest under the order.
The unusual declaration came on the third day of protests around the country, in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Floyd, a black man, died Monday after a white officer, Derek Chauvin, pinned him to the pavement by pressing his knee against his neck for nearly nine minutes. Chauvin was arrested today and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He had been fired, along with three other officers involved in the incident, earlier in the week.
The first L.A. protest was held Wednesday, with protesters shutting down the 101 Freeway.
Then yesterday, protesters swarmed the LAPD's downtown headquarters.
Ahead of today's protest, LAPD Chief Michel Moore appealed for peaceful action:
My statement regarding planned protest activities in Los Angeles: pic.twitter.com/rSslocJPJX— Chief Michel Moore (@LAPDChiefMoore) May 29, 2020
Today, the protest started to pick-up downtown near Pershing Square, around 5 p.m. Live video streamed from news choppers, showed some protesters walking onto the 101 and 110 freeways. Some businesses in the area closed down in response.
By 7 p.m. KPCC's Director of Product Development, Andy Cheatwood, who lives in the area, said he saw at least 30 patrol cars race by on 5th street. Others posted videos of the strong LAPD presence in the area on social media.
A scuffle between police and protesters was captured on camera shortly before 7 p.m. at Fifth and Olive streets. Demonstrators could be seen smashing police car windows and dragging a police officer into the crowd after he tried to detain someone, appearing to beat him before he managed to get away.
The L.A. Times is reporting that an LAPD spokesman confirmed one officer had been injured near Pershing Square and was receiving medical treatment.
CNN just showed video from Los Angeles of an make officer getting beat by a crowd after attempting to detain someone. What is happening around the country tonight is HISTORIC. pic.twitter.com/SSDOf97hSt— Dakarai Turner (@Dakarai_Turner) May 30, 2020
At 8:30 p.m. KPCC's Andy Cheatwood said protestors had started to form a barricade at 5th street near the exit of the 110 freeway. Shortly after, he saw protestors smashing an LAPD car on 7th Street and Grand.
We will be covering the protests Saturday, which are scheduled for 12 p.m.
FOLLOW OUR COVERAGE OF THE GEORGE FLOYD PROTESTS:
- Mis Ángeles: George Floyd Should Be Home With His Family Right Now
- How LA Is Reckoning With The George Floyd Protests
- George Floyd's Death Is One Of Many Reasons Activists Are Pushing For A 'People's Budget' In LA
- At Least 1 Injured At DTLA Rally Protesting Police Killing Of George Floyd
- Protesters Gather Outside LAPD Headquarters For 2nd Day Of Demonstrations Over Death Of George Floyd
Garcetti Announces Outdoor Dining Program, Says Offices In LA Can Reopen If Telework is Not Possible
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said data from the L.A. County Department of Public Health shows that "we have reduced the spread of the virus and met the state's criteria to open more businesses and activities."
Tonight, he said, that includes indoor dining for restaurants that follow strict rules, including proper physicial distancing, and also businesses whose employees cannot telework. Soon it will also include outdoor dining for restaurants who have applied to the city and been approved for it.
Garcetti made the announcements as part of his regular briefing on the city's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
"I know a lot of you are thinking, 'Oh is this just about people getting haircuts or being able to go out to a restaurant?' At its heart, this is about saving lives and livelihoods. The people who work in those restaurants...the people who cut hair, have not had a paycheck in months. This is about what we can do to learn the lessons of living with COVID-19 and to take steps forward. Urgent steps, safely."
THE NUMBERS, WITH QUOTES FROM THE MAYOR:
- This week we had a 20% reduction in deaths from last week
- "In our testing centers, we have the lowest positive rate for our tests since we started testing." -- that's about 4.5%
- Our hospitalizations are lower than the week before, and lower than the week before that. "In fact, we haven't seen hospitalizations this low since it was March."
"I know for some we can't go too fast with the reopening, for others we can't go too slow, but I'm always guided by this data. And our data shows that our county has met the criteria to move into the advanced stages of Phase 2 of the state's resilience roadmap. But the data also reminds us the virus isn't gone."
Garcetti said, in light of this data, he is comfortable allowing the following, starting today:
- Barbershops and hair salons can reopen, serving one client at a time
- Spa services, like massage, facials and waxing are not yet permitted
- At restaurants, outdoor dining and curbside pick-up will be "prioritized," but inside dining can now restart at 60% capacity
- Offices can now reopen, but only when telework is not possible. "So if you can work from home, you still need to work from home."
He urged everyone to pay with card, instead of cash, to make transactions safer, and to wear face coverings in all businesses. He also urged business owners not to rush into reopening until they are ready. "To be clear, businesses are not mandated to open," he said.
Every business that's reopening is still required by the county to implement the detailed public health protocols and post them, Garcetti said. Those can be found at coronavirus.la city.org/business.
INTRODUCING (DRUM ROLL PLEASE) L.A. AL FRESCO
Another new change, Garcetti announced tonight, is the opening of a new outdoor dining program with a fancy Italian name.
L.A. Al Fresco will provide temporary "no-cost allowances" for restaurants to set up outdoor dining on sidewalks and private parking lots. The mayor said the program may expand to streets in the future, but that takes more "engineering" to figure out.
Interested restaurants can apply at coronavirus.lacity.org/alfresco. The city will notify applicants as soon as "resources are made available."
"I know it's hard for restaurants to make a profit at reduced capacity. But what this allows is for you to have more people, even with that reduced capacity, by expanding the capacity to sidewalks and to parking lots, and to make sure you can get the number of customers you need to make sure people keep their jobs and our restaurants can stand back up."
All of this comes on the same day L.A. County reached 50,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus (exact number is 51,560). The county had 250 new deaths this week; 111 of them were in the city of L.A.
The U.S. reached the sad milestone of 100,000 deaths this week.
STATEMENT ON THE LOCAL GEORGE FLOYD PROTESTS
Garccetti started tonight's briefing by expressing solidarity with national and local protesters.
"We saw a fellow American, George Floyd, killed before our eyes. He was killed when he should not have been. He is dead when he should be alive. He was murdered in cold blood in front of this nation," he said.
The mayor said it is important to him and his team to protect the right to protest and take the next step in listening to demands "to make sure this death was not in vain."
FilmWeek: Our Reviews Of ‘The High Note,’ ‘The Vast of Night,’ ‘The Infiltrators’ And More
Every week, Larry Mantle, who also hosts our newsroom's longtime public affairs show AirTalk, and KPCC film critics spend an hour talking about new films.
This week, Claudia Puig, Amy Nicholson and Peter Rainer join Larry to review this weekend’s new movie releases and share some of their recommendations:
- Available on VOD and digital (iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, FandangoNOW, Google Play, Vudu, DirecTV On Demand, Spectrum On Demand and more)
Here’s what Claudia had to say:
“This is an enchanting and escapist summer movie, and we could use some escape right about now. But it also has something to say about the male-driven world of pop music...it says something about women with ambition and what it’s like to be in the pop music world and to be a woman, but it’s also light and entertaining and it’s got a bit of a fairy tale quality to it, in the best way.”
Available on Amazon Prime Video
“You would think that with all of the cliches that are ever-present with UFO movies and the desert that this movie would just sort of be generic, but it’s remarkably sharp and funny and ominous and it’s a terrific debut. I mean, the director, Andrew Patterson, really is at full control of what looks to be a budget of about $28. It has such a fascinating mixture of tones -- scary, funny, ominous, weird, goofy -- all of these things mesh in ways that seem very organic."
- Available on FandangoNow
“I think it’s so smart how the directors made this film exist. It’s documentary right up until the minute that these kids go inside, and from then on it’s very clear that this is an actor reenacting what happens. What really strikes you here is just how bright and media savvy these young Dreamers are...you just see that these kids have so much potential to really be great leaders in this country, and many of them can’t even go to college, so they’re using their energy here, directing it in this way, and it’s really spectacular that they’re doing that."
Listen above to hear more in-depth reviews of these films and more:
- “On the Record” on HBO Max
- “The Grey Fox” (4K restoration of 1982 film) on Laemmle’s Virtual Cinema and The Frida Virtual Cinema
- “Papicha” on Laemmle’s Virtual Cinema
- “And Then We Danced” on VOD & digital (iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play & Vudu)
- “I’m No Longer Here” on Netflix
- “I Will Make You Mine” on VOD & digital (iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play Vudu, YouTube, & Vimeo OnDemand)
ABOUT OUR CRITICS:
- Claudia Puig is also president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association; she tweets @ClaudiaPuig
- Peter Rainer is also film critic for KPCC and the Christian Science Monitor
- Amy Nicholson is also film writer for The Guardian and host of the podcasts ‘Unspooled’ and the podcast miniseries “Zoom”; she tweets @TheAmyNicholson
WANT MORE PICKS?
Hungry Viewers Aren't Taking Big Bites Of Quibi
In what is becoming 2020's rival to New Coke, Google Glass and the Facebook phone, the heavily-funded Quibi is struggling on multiple fronts: deficient subscriptions, poorly reviewed content, technical complaints, and unhappy advertisers.
The site's founders, Disney and DreamWorks veteran Jeffrey Katzenberg and eBay alumna Meg Whitman, promise a variety of changes to turn the platform around, including the elimination of one of Quibi's foundational features: that you can only use it on a mobile phone.
The service launched in early April, and even though Quibi attracted prominent actors (Liam Hemsworth in "Most Dangerous Game," Sophie Turner in "Survive"), and $1.8 billion in funding, Quibi only could sign up a fraction of its projected subscribers, with 1.5 million on board so far. "They are below our very high expectations," Whitman told me in an interview today.
George Floyd Protests: 'Why Do People Burn Down Their Own Neighborhood?'
Protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis have swept the nation.
Floyd died Monday after an officer pinned him to the pavement by pressing his knee against his neck for nearly nine minutes, even as Floyd said he couldn't breathe and continuing after Floyd became unresponsive. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested today and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Whenever violent unrest follows incidents of police violence against black Americans, it's almost inevitably trailed by some version of this question: "Why are protesters ruining their own neighborhood?"
But depending on who's doing the asking, the question is probably already loaded. USC law professor Jody Armour says we shouldn't necessarily expect "rational, reasoned behavior" when trying to understand a community experiencing trauma.
"It is one of the tragedies that comes out of this that, you know, people who are feeling so traumatized, they can't get to the other side of town. They can't go anywhere else. Sometimes they'll go to the Third Precinct police station like they did in this case, and set it ablaze."
And here's another way of looking at it, from a caller — David in Los Feliz — to our newsroom's public affairs talk show, AirTalk:
"It's a message to the powers that be that says, 'You don't want your neighborhood, you don't want your community, burnt down, [so] stop killing our people.' And I think it's a tradition that goes back to the American Revolution ... They got fed up, and they tried and they petitioned and nothing happened, so they threw the tea in the bay, and they started, you know, burning stuff down. If there's no price to be put on a person's life, that's a powerless community's attempt to put a cost on that."
And then there's the fact that not everyone at a protest is there for the same reason.
CHECK OUT THE FULL DISCUSSION:
Dining In Restaurants Can Resume In LA County; Coronavirus Death Rate In Poorer Communities Is 'Alarming And Growing'
Dining inside restaurants can resume and barbershops and hair salons can begin to reopen, now that Gov. Gavin Newsom has approved a variance submitted by Los Angeles County, officials announced today.
Restaurants can reopen for in-person, indoor dining "as soon as [they] can adhere to the protocols," county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a media briefing.
Health officials will not be inspecting restaurants as a requirement to reopen, she added, saying businesses are on "the honor system" to follow the new standards.
Those standards will be released later today, according to Supervisor Kathryn Barger, and will include "best practices for spacing between patrons, using barriers, optimizing capacity and other recommendations that ensure restaurants can open safely and quickly."
County officials say it’s too soon to tell if the relaxed public health restrictions are leading to an increased transmission rate, but health officials will continue to monitor the case trends as more businesses get the greenlight to reopen.
If it feels like the recovery process is moving a lot faster all of a sudden, that's because it is. Just last week, Barger had proposed July 4 as the target date to fully or partially reopen retail, restaurants, and malls in the county.
Back then, Ferrer had noted that county leaders and residents "have do a lot of things right so that we can actually get to that date... and we're still going to need to pay a lot of attention to what the data's telling us."
BY THE NUMBERS
L.A. County officials reported 1,824 new confirmed cases of coronavirus today, bringing the total to at least 51,562 cases countywide. In total, 1,741 cases have been reported in Long Beach and 911 in Pasadena (those two cities operate their own health departments).
County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer also reported 50 new deaths of COVID-19 patients. To date, an estimated 2,290 people have died countywide.
So far, 93% of those who have died had underlying health conditions, Ferrer said.
The death toll at institutional facilities in L.A. County continues to climb and now accounts for more than half of all deaths countywide. Ferrer reported that 1,222 people living at those facilities have died. Of those victims, 89% were nursing home residents.
“While we've seen a continued decrease in deaths over the last two weeks at the skilled nursing facilities, we do know we have significant work ahead,” Ferrer said.
'ALARMING AND GROWING' DEATH RATE IN POORER COMMUNITIES
Ferrer also gave updates on the disporportional death rates being documented among minority groups and in the county's poorest communities.
She provided a racial breakdown of the confirmed deaths, based on information for 2,112 of the victims. The data was presented by rates per 100,000 residents in each ethnic group. Those numbers “help reveal which groups are disproportionately affected,” Ferrer said. According to that analysis, the number of deaths for every 100,000 people in the given group are:
- 108 - Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
- 28 - African American
- 25 - Latino/Latina
- 18 - Asian
- 14 - White
Ferrer also reported that the death rate in poor L.A. County communities is "alarming and growing." She said:
“People who live in areas with high rates of poverty have almost four times the rate of deaths from COVID-19 — 46 per 100,000 people, compared with communities with very low poverty levels where the death rate is 12 deaths per 100,000 people ... we must address the complex issues around these inequities with our partner departments, organizations and communities.”
MORE ON CORONAVIRUS:
LA County Restaurants Can Reopen Their Dining Rooms Immediately — With Restrictions
Los Angeles County restaurants have the greenlight to reopen for dine-in service. Hair salons and barbershops can also resume service. The order is effective immediately, which means restaurants can open as soon as tonight.
That's because L.A. County received word from the state today that its request for a "local variance," which allows more businesses to reopen, had been approved.
Dr. Barbara Ferrer, who leads the L.A. County Department of Public Health, said at a press conference on Friday afternoon that county officials would not require restaurants to submit to any sort of inspection prior to reopening. She asked that restaurants adhere to the protocols posted on the county's website, but no one will check whether or not restaurants follow the guidelines.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti will likely address the status of restaurants, barbershops and hair salons in the City of L.A. at his Friday afternoon briefing.
Gov. Newsom: Counties Will Decide When To Reopen From Coronavirus; Talks George Floyd's Death
Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered an update on California's response to coronavirus Friday, including comments on the death of George Floyd. The state granted Los Angeles County a variance this morning, allowing the county to move further into reopening. That includes the county having permission to reopen restaurants, barbershops, and hair salons.
You can read highlights below or watch the full press conference above.
THE DEATH OF GEORGE FLOYD
Newsom was emotional as he opened today's news conference spoke about George Floyd. The governor said that he was listening to President Trump's press conference and collecting his thoughts before speaking, thinking about the state of California, the U.S., and the state of race relations in America right now.
Newsom talked about when he first heard the news about Floyd, when his daughter came to show him video of the death on TikTok, and how upset the incident made his own children. He said that their hearts go out to George Floyd and the community, and he called on people to be better and to recognize the need for change in institutions — including the criminal justice system.
Newsom said that "localism is determinative," with local areas being given freedom to make decisions around reopening businesses in their areas. However, he noted that counties have to attest to certain health standards before being able to move further into reopening. He went through a series of slides laying out why the state feels comfortable with moving further into reopening.
The state is allowing counties now to move into phase three at their own pace, but local public health officers will decide on the appropriate timing to reopen different sectors of the economy, Newsom said.
Phase four includes concerts, stadiums, festivals, and large conventions — Newsom said that the state isn't there yet, and no guidance has been provided for moving into that phase.
"No one will go forward to concerts, no one will be allowed to move forward with large venues like conventions and festivals, until we are in a much better position than we are today," Newsom said.
Newsom said that it's expected that there could be more spread of the disease as the state reopens.
"No one is naive about the reality of reopening our economy, and the expectation that as more and more people mix, and are not practicing physical distancing, are not wearing face coverings, that the likelihood that we see a larger spread of this disease presents itself," Newsom said.
The state has issued guidance for 17 sectors of the economy to reopen so far. Newsom noted that the state provides guidance on how to reopen, while counties decide when they'll reopen.
There are three steps as the state and counties monitor COVID-19, according to Newsom:
- Step 1: Active monitoring: Seeing where there are flare-ups of coronavirus
- Step 2: Targeted engagement: Working with local areas to get those flare-ups under control
- Step 3: Reinstitute interventions: If things get out of control, the state will direct local health directors to bring back increased stay-at-home orders
LOS ANGELES COUNTY REOPENING
California Health & Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly talked about the COVID-19 trends in different counties, including L.A. County. He noted that case numbers are higher due to the population, as well as an enormous increase in testing helping to identify which parts of the county need additonal focus.
Some of the biggest problems in the county are among nursing facilities, essential workers, and among brown and black communities, Ghaly said. He noted the importance of hospitals being able to help these different communities.
Newsom stressed that it was L.A. County's health officer that made the decision to move further into phase three of reopening. He noted that the state's guidelines direct how to reopen, but not when to reopen. You can view the full L.A. County COVID-19 attestation here.
HOSPITALIZATIONS AND HOSPITAL SURGE CAPACITY
Hospitalizations have remained static, modestly declining over a number of weeks, Newsom said. Those in ICU beds has remained stable, with both declining in the past 24 hours.
"Within that frame of stability, again gives us confidence that counties can decide on their own pace what's best for them in terms of their reopening plans," Newsom said.
The state has identified 50,000 additional hospital beds in surge capacity, according to Newsom. The majority are within the current delivery system, along with regional/local alternative care sites, as well as state-developed alternative care sites.
There are now more than 50,000 tests per day being conducted in California, with up to 67,000 people tested in one day being the highest they've hit so far. There have been 1,835,478 tests conducted so far, with a 61.9% increase in the past 14 days.
Newsom said that the total number of tests is going up, but that there is stability in the positivity rate. The average positivity rate over the last two weeks is 4.1% — 4.2% over the last week, Newsom said. He added that this number is lower than many states.
He provided a racial/ethnic breakdown, talking about the disparities within that data. A disproportionate amount of cases have affected Latinos, while a disproportionate number of the deaths have affected the black community, Newsom said.
- Latino: 54.6% of cases, 38.5% of deaths (38.9% of state population)
- White: 20.6% of cases, 33.8% of deaths (36.6% of state population)
- Asian: 9.4% of cases, 14.8% of deaths (15.4% of state population)
- Black: 5.3% of cases, 10.1% of deaths (6% of state population)
- American Indian or Alaska Native: 0.2% of cases, 0.4% of deaths (0.5% of state population)
- Other: 9.8% of cases, 2.5% of deaths (2.5% of state population)
The state is planning to be able to contact people as part of contact tracing for 3,600 new cases per day. There were 2,189 new cases in the past day. The state redirected 3,000 county employees to be part of those tracers, with plans for 10,000 to be trained by July 1.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
So far, the state has procured 85.9 million surgical procedure masks, Newsom said. They've also procured 8 million face shields and 5.6 million sets of gloves.
The state has distributed 44,303,900 procedure masks. Broken up by sector, those have gone to:
- Agricultural: 154,000
- Business and Office: 36,000
- State Agency: 930,000
- Public Works and Utility: 198,000
- Hotel and Lodging: 272,000
- Local Government: 6,764,500
- Logistics and Warehouse: 184,000
- Tribal Governments: 912,000
- Public Health: 4,320,000
- Public Safety: 416,000
- Social Services: 12,512,000
- Education: 1,232,000
- Construction and Trade: 378,000
- Retail: 66,000
- Transit and Transportation: 422,000
- Non-Emergency Medical: 5,507,400
- Emergency Management Assistance Compact/FEMA: 10,000,000
There are 11,000 ventilators that can be targeted if there are coronavirus flare-ups in different parts of the state, Newsom said.
Among vulnerable populations, the state is conducting daily reporting and monitoring of COVID-19 in nursing homes, as well as testing staff and residents. There is a surge capacity of an additional 240 people, with 798 staff on standby, according to Newsom's presentation.
As part of Project Roomkey to help homeless people, 15,679 rooms have been acquired, with a 60% occupancy rate. There is 78% occupancy for asymptomatic rooms, with 19% occupancy with COVID-19-positive rooms.
You can read L.A. County's full COVID-19 attestation to modify the stay-at-home order here:
Which LA Industries Have Been Hardest Hit By Coronavirus?
New state data illustrates what we’ve all suspected: in greater Los Angeles, retail and restaurants have suffered the greatest job losses due to the coronavirus.
The data show how many people worked in a given industry in April 2020 compared to April 2019.
Bookstores and music stores had the biggest drop of any industry, with 85% fewer workers. Full service restaurants have about 64% fewer workers, and clothing stores are down a similar amount.
"This report really sort of shows that the hardest hit industries are those that employ lower-wage or lower-skilled workers," said Tyler Laferriere, an economist with the L.A. County Economic Development Corporation.
Some industries actually employed more people this April than a year ago: namely, those that helped us stay at home, like video streaming, web hosting, and couriers and messengers.
These numbers are through April, and will likely change as California begins to reopen its economy in May.
CHECK OUT OUR TRACKER ON COVID-19 HAS AFFECTED THE ECONOMY:
READ MORE ABOUT THE PANDEMIC'S ECONOMIC TOLL:
Power Your Quarantine Baking With SoCal-Grown Flour And Grains
With supermarkets selling out of commercial flours, customers are flocking to artisanal, organic flour and other heritage grains.
It's (Virtual) Commencement Season. A Dance Major Shares Her Experience
Cypress College dance major Kylie Christensen couldn't believe the news that she wouldn't have an in-person graduation ceremony.
“I went downstairs and I was crying to my dad, telling him that this isn't fair, and I've worked so hard for this and now I'm not going to get the recognition that I want to and anything like that.”
Her dad, Dean Christensen, has been her main cheerleader in life. Her mother died 10 years ago.
After attending Los Alamitos High School and joining its show choir for performances at Lincoln Center and the Grand Ole Opry, Christensen's lifelong love of singing took a sharp turn in community college. She changed her major to dance after taking a ballet class.
“It really saddens me that I didn't really get to spend the last couple months with all of my classmates. Because being in dance classes, you get really close with people, because dance can be very vulnerable sometimes.”
When it came time to watch the commencement last Friday, it was obvious her dad would be with her, as well as her boyfriend. The long ceremony made her think of the people who’d helped her along the way.
“Going through this, it has made me as well as my peers so much stronger, and I think it's helped us be a little bit more equipped for our future ahead of us.”
READ THE FULL DIARY:
Morning Briefing: Pandemic Pregnancies
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In the best of times, giving birth is full of unknowns. During the pandemic, reports Mariana Dale, it’s even more anxiety-inducing. Hospitals are restricting the number of people who can be in the delivery room, doulas are providing support via video calls, and pregnant people are getting fewer prenatal appointments.
"People are feeling like they're getting less support from their families and from their community networks," Darby Saxbe, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Southern California, told Mariana. "I thought that these differences were really, really striking considering that the pandemic's only been going on for a relatively short time."
Many are making do by getting creative; doula Monique Cowan provided laughter and encouragement via FaceTime as one laboring mother danced to Juvenile's "Back That Thang Up."
And it’s that spirit and energy – pregnant or not – that will pull us all through. Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.
Coming Up Today, May 29
Cypress College graduate Kylie Christensen speaks to Adolfo Guzman-Lopez about virtual commencement ceremonies and the distress she felt, spending the last two months away from her friends and teachers. She says she and her peers will come away from the experience stronger.
John Horn has an update on Quibi, the new subscription-based streaming platform for quick-bite content that’s struggling to find viewers.
April job numbers for the L.A. region show some industries, like book stores and apparel manufacturing, have lost more than 60% of jobs compared to this time last year, reports Emily Guerin.
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The Past 24 Hours In LA
L.A., California, The World: There are now 49,849 coronavirus cases and 2,241 deaths in L.A. County, and at least 103,450 cases and 3,974 deaths in California. Worldwide, there are more than 5.8 million cases and over 359,000 deaths.
Money Matters: California politicians are worried Wall Street will swoop in and buy up single-family housing, just like they did after the 2008 financial crisis. Local performance venues are joining an effort to get more support from the federal government.
Pregnancy In The Time Of Coronavirus: The way people give birth is changing during the pandemic. Prenatal doctor’s visits might be less frequent and done via telehealth, hospitals are limiting the number of people in the room when a baby is born and doulas are trying to figure out how to support parents virtually.
Taking A Stand: The new documentary On The Record details sexual assault allegations against hip hop mogul Russell Simmons – but that’s not the whole story. The L.A. County Sheriff's Department is stepping up patrols of Asian American churches in the wake of an increase in hate-related incidents.
The People’s Budget: Black Lives Matter L.A. released a "People's Budget" that emphasizes investment in social work, mental healthcare and conflict resolution instead of law enforcement. It’s a response to Mayor Garcetti's new city budget for the fiscal year, which begins July 1.
So Much To Do (...Sort Of): This weekend, watch two virtual concerts from the Dropkick Murphys and Imogen Heap, plus an online global film festival and a few restaurant deals. Thinking about pitching a tent? A bored rafting guides in the Kern River area learned to code and made a campground search tool.
Your Moment Of Zen
Visual journalist Chava Sanchez caught these flowers in bloom in Boyle Heights.
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