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A Virus That’s Here To Stay. And Other Headlines

An Asian American woman with a blue face mask pulled down around her neck stands beside her daughter, who has a pageboy style haircut and is wearing a red t-shirt, on a beach.
Cindy Liu and her daughter Sammy at the beach in 2021. Cindy is Sammy's in-home health provider.
(Courtesy Cindy Liu)
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Today is not just any ordinary Thursday, my friends. It’s actually historic. And depending on how you feel about it, you might either be relieved or anxious.

COVID's impact on Angelenos

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Today is the official end of our nation’s COVID public health emergency. And with the expiration of the emergency comes the end of federal funds dedicated to free testing and treatment. Now, California will still offer free vaccines until November and most health plans should cover additional COVID treatments, but public health officials nationwide have determined we’re now at a place to adjust to the virus as if it was any other communicable disease.

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For many people, however, COVID is not over. We cannot escape the impact that this pandemic has caused on our nation and in our own backyard of Los Angeles. According to public health officials, 36,200 of the more than 101,700 people in California who died from the pandemic lived in L.A. County. And many people are still dealing with the effects of long COVID.

My colleague Jackie Fortiér has covered the nuts and bolts of what happens now that the emergency is declared over. But in a separate story, she spoke with three people LAist has interviewed various times over the course of the pandemic about what the end of the emergency means to them.

You’ll hear Jun Jai, an ICU nurse who has worked there for 14 years and is now suffering an injury that is forcing him to leave; Cindy Liu, a mother of a child with disabilities who had to fight for resources and the ability to get her daughter vaccinated; and Tim Jin, a man with cerebral palsy who is medically vulnerable and has had to consciously think about the vaccination status of the people around him, like his health aides.

Dig into these three Angelenos stories here.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

More news

(After you stop hitting snooze)

  • New research found that workers who help unhoused people struggle with finding affordable housing themselves. My colleague David Wagner reported on why these workers' incomes are below living wage and what needs to be done to fix it. 
  • Now that new medium- and heavy-duty trucks sold in California are required to be electric or hydrogen-fueled by 2036, there’s other changes shifting the economy. For example, some community colleges are training students to work on zero-emission trucks. Read my colleague Erin Stone’s story for more into how these new mandates are changing the job market. 
  • The Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time is returning in 2024. My colleagues Ernesto Arce and Jessica Ogilvie have more on what you should expect with this large collaborative art project. 
  • California workplace regulators are now preparing an emergency response after an in-depth report in December from Public Health Watch, LAist and Univision on the silicosis epidemic. L.A. has the largest cluster in the nation of people suffering from the lung disease, and all the victims are Latino men, mostly younger than 50. 
  • The federal COVID public health emergency isn’t the only thing ending; pandemic-era border restrictions are too. That means that there could be an influx of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border seeking asylum. But new rules could push them back to Mexico. 
  • What does Donald Trump and the WGA strike in 2007 have to do with his rise to presidency? Actually, a lot. My colleague John Horn looked into how the last writers strike has a direct tie to Trump’s reality TV stardom, which led to his 2016 presidential election. 
  • With talks over the Directors Guild of America’s contract starting, some film and TV studios and streamers are concerned about the current future of the business. My colleague John Horn has the latest. 
  • My colleague Jackie Orchard spoke with students at L.A. Trade-Technical College about their involvement in the oldest continuous culinary arts program in the nation. 
  • By 2025, programs that hire workers with disabilities will have to pay them $15.50-an-hour minimum wage, or close for good. But advocates say the change may not benefit all and some people could lose their jobs. It begs the question: can the state find better paying job opportunities for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities? 
  • *At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

Wait! One More Thing...

Cheap Fast Eats: Silverlake

A round pizza with four different kinds of slices: one is cheesy with round pepperoni, next to it a slice with chunks of white burrata and green basil leaves, then a pizza with red sauce, and another cheese slice with a green pesto-looking sauce. The pizza is on a top of an open pizza box which sits on a bright round yellow table atop asphalt of a parking lot. Two hands hold the pepperoni slice and split it up so the melted cheese is the only thing adjoining them.
A slice of Slices of pepperoni pizza amongst slices of Adriana, burrata and cheese from La Sorted's Pizza in Silverlake.
(Brian Feinzimer
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Silverlake just oozes an essence of cool. You don’t have to be there too long to feel the hipster vibe take over you. As much as I go over there to run errands, I have not eaten out there much. Thank goodness my colleague Gab Chabrán has some tasty suggestions in his latest edition of Cheap Fast Eats.

Once again, he’s educating me and you about some eateries that sound absolutely mouthwatering. Sure you’ve heard of chop cheese in New York City, but have you ever had the sandwich at Bodega Park? Maybe this upcoming weekend is a good time to try it. Maybe take your mama out? What about Hong Kong-style french toast with Japanese milk bread and peanut butter in between? And who doesn’t like a nice slice of pizza in the springtime? Hit up La Sorted’s Pizza for a delectable piece of pie…especially if you’re a Dodgers fan.

Curious to know more? Well, don’t hesitate to read Gab’s piece. And if you want to FEEL like you are actually chowing down in these restaurants, dig in to the audio tour of Cheap Fast Eats on the latest How to LA podcast.

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