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Morning Brief: COVID Holidays, A Bloody Strike, And Hollywood’s Pet Cemetery

Silver takeout trays of food are shown, including a whole turkey, rice, sausage links, and several vegetable side dishes.
The Thanksgiving meal from Holy Basil.
(Courtesy of Holy Basil)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Nov. 24.

At this time last year, L.A. County was in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic’s peak. Gov. Gavin Newsom had implemented an emergency curfew, and things in L.A. were starting to get confusing, with county orders, city orders and state orders sometimes conflicting with each other, and sometimes conflicting with themselves.

Despite officials’ best efforts, we still had a brutal winter surge, and some are wondering whether the same thing will happen this year. 

The answer is, it depends. Overall, California is in much better shape: according to our newsroom’s partner, CalMatters, the seven-day average of Californians hospitalized with COVID-19 on Nov. 21, 2021 was 3,330, which is 36% lower than the same day last year.

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But in 18 California counties, there are more hospitalizations than there were at this time last year. Those counties are primarily in the Central Valley and rural Northern California, which are still recovering from bad summer surges, including Humboldt, Madera and Lassen.

The main driving force in most areas that have higher case numbers is low vaccination rates, but reopening may be a cause for some as well.

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In addition to worrying about sick residents, experts are also concerned about burnout among hospital staff that have now been dealing with COVID-19 for over a year and a half.

“They are exhausted,” said Gary Herbst, the CEO of Kaweah Health Medical Center in Visalia, “and that’s our number one worry.” 

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Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • UC's student researchers have threatened a strike if university officials continue to refuse to recognize the union chosen by student researchers to represent their interests. 
  • In 1945, tensions between producers who wanted to sell the Hollywood dream and workers who did the grueling labor behind the scenes boiled over into a violent brawl. 
  • Thinking about going back to college? Here’s how to find out if your credits will transfer. 
  • The Mojave Trails National Monument, over 1.5 million acres in the Mojave Desert, is under consideration for International Dark Sky Sanctuary designation.

Before You Go ... Where Old Hollywood Buried Their Beloved Pets

A photo of the grave of Kabar, silent film star Rudolph Valentino's pet dog. The headstone reads "Kabar, my faithful dog, Rudolph Valentino, owner." Beneath the headstone is a bouquet of white silk roses and yellow silk flowers.
The grave of Kabar, silent film star Rudolph Valentino's famous pet dog.
(Zoe Ives for LAist)

The Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park was founded in 1928 by veterinarian Eugene Jones. Like the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, it houses some of film’s most illustrious players — in this case, their four-legged (and two-legged, and two-winged…) friends. Animals laid to rest at the park include Boogie, Mae West’s pet monkey; Tawny, one of the original MGM lions; and Kabar, silent film star Rudolph Valentino’s Alsatian Doberman. Here’s the story behind the plots.

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