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Morning Brief: Honoring COVID Victims, Nurse Protests, And The LAX Festival

Photos of people who have died during the pandemic on a board mounted on the wall of a church.
The "photo mural" at Our Lady of Talpa Church feature photographs of parishioners and their loved ones who have died during the pandemic.
(Brian Feinzimer
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Nov. 2.

This week, communities around the world observe Día de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. And as the pandemic lingers, many Angelenos are using the time to remember loved ones they lost to COVID-19. 

To help parishioners work through their grief, some L.A. churches have set up memorials to those who died from the coronavirus, as well as those who died of other causes while the virus was at its peak.

“For a family member, or for me, to see that photo here means a great deal,” said Father Jorge Chalaco, the pastor of Our Lady of Talpa Church in Boyle Heights. “When I pray, I can see them.”

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At Chalaco’s parish, a large photo board — dubbed the “photo mural” — honors those who passed away with images put up by their loved ones. Similarly, at St. Sebastian Church in West L.A., 40 photographs are arranged inside a big metal frame.

Father German Sanchez, the pastor at St. Sebastian’s, said that the images will stay up for the foreseeable future.

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They are “like a small remembrance in our church of all the suffering that these families endured during this time,” he said, “like a small medicine to calm the deep pain of these families.”

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

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • Jury selection in the manslaughter trial of Luke Liu, who is one of very few L.A. law enforcement officers to be criminally charged in a shooting, began yesterday.
  • Registered nurses and healthcare workers protested working conditions at two San Gabriel Valley hospitals yesterday morning. 
  • With open enrollment happening for many employers, some insurance companies are no longer covering all costs related to treatment for COVID.
  • A group of NASA employees at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena protested the federal vaccine mandate yesterday.
  • Friday’s return of the annual rivalry between Boyle Heights' Roosevelt High and East L.A.'s Garfield High will go down in L.A. history.

Before You Go ... This Week's Outdoors(-ish) Pick: LAX Festival

The L.A. Contemporary Dance Company presents Body Mecanique - Dancing Machines and Objects that speak tonight. / Photo courtesy of LACDC.

The LAX Festival, a celebration of contemporary performance, returns after a pandemic pause. In-person events take place at an airy downtown warehouse space featuring artists in dance, theater, music and cross-genre performance, beginning with Solo Voice, a vocal performance by Odeya Nini that explores the relationship between mind and body.

Or, you could: Listen to orchestral arrangements of The Police’s classics hits. Watch recent films from Latin America and Spain. Check out a new tiki bar in Glendale and the latest Roscoe’s location. And more.

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