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Crowds Gather In Little Tokyo To Denounce Anti-Asian Violence

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Former LA County CEO Bill Fujioka was among the speakers at a March 3, 2021 rally in Little Tokyo to denounce incidents of anti-Asian violence. (Josie Huang/LAist)

Amid a continuing wave of attacks against Asian Americans during the course of the pandemic, hundreds of people gathered in Little Tokyo on Saturday to denounce the violence and show support for Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

The rally, called "Love Our Communities: Build Collective Power," was billed as a healing space to "meet, collaborate, and build with grassroots organizations doing direct work in Los Angeles Asian American communities." It was held outside the Japanese American National Museum. (See the livestream here.)

The event featured speakers from throughout Asian American Pacific Islander communities. Among them was former L.A. County Chief Executive Officer Bill Fujioka, who said strangers have approached him during the pandemic to say he and others like him brought the coronavirus into the country. He called on elected leaders "to take aggressive action to protect our communities."

"Ignoring it, denying its existence, or refusing to speak up is almost as bad as participating in this disgusting behavior,” he told the crowd.

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Hospital Chaplains Are Key To Spiritual Well-Being For Families And Staff

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Folks wait in line to check in at the Martin Luther King Jr. Outpatient Center. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

With medical facilities overwhelmed and pandemic restrictions still in place, hospital staff can only do so much to help families through the grief and goodbye process. That's where hospital chaplains step in.

Rev. Rudy Rubio is the chaplain at MLK Community Healthcare in South L.A. He told KPCC's AirTalk that chaplains are crucial to providing spiritual support for both families and stressed health care workers.

"Having to have so many difficult conversations with family at the end of life, withdrawing care, and just multiple family meetings over Zoom and conference calls with interpreters. I found myself doing a lot of interpreting for our doctors as we were having family meetings with the patients' family to update them because most the time to patients were unconscious, on a ventilator."

The coronavirus has taken the lives of nearly 55,000 Californians. More than 500,000 have died nationwide.

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California Among States With Highest Number Of COVID Variant Cases

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California is among the states with the highest number of coronavirus variant cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CDC map)

California is among the states with the highest number of COVID-19 variant cases, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Florida and Michigan were also high on the CDC's list of Emerging Variant Cases in the U.S. There have been almost 1,400 variant cases among the three states alone.

Dr. Robert Wachter, chair of the Department of Medicine at UC San Francisco, sexplained the difference in variants.

"You can divide the variants into two main buckets. One is they appear to be more infectious, and the prototype there is the United Kingdom, and then the second type are ones where they may not be particularly more infectious, but they seem to be somewhat resistant to immunity. Generally (that's) the South African and the Brazilian variant."

More than 260 U.K. variant cases have been recorded in California –– with more than 3,800 cases nationwide.

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Vaccine Talks: My Mom Is A Teacher, But She Did Not Want To Be First To Get Vaccinated

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Mary Tatevosian. (Photo by Angelica Tatevosian)

This is part of a series of conversations that Cal State Northridge students had with loved ones about COVID-19 vaccinations. Planning your own conversation with family or friends? Here are some tips.

Angelica Tatesovian, Glendale

My mother, an elementary school teacher in her 50s, was on the fence about whether or not to take the vaccine. Some told her the side effects are minor, but she has also heard a story of someone tragically dying after getting vaccinated.

Many of her colleagues were also stuck between opposing opinions. There was a massive debate within her school district as Glendale Unified considered returning to in-person classes. District officials then asked that teachers volunteer to take the vaccine. Just like her colleagues, my mother did not want to be the first. She was open to taking the vaccine, but wanted to see how others reacted before she decided to take it herself.

After she noticed the positive responses outweighed the negative, my mother decided to get vaccinated, as the district also confirmed they will return to in-person classes by the end of March. She felt that this was the best decision for the safety of her students, her family, and herself.

READ THE REST OF OUR 'VACCINE TALKS' SERIES:

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