Morning Brief: A New Phase
Good morning, L.A.
As many workplaces shut down for Christmas, those on the front lines of the unprecedented coronavirus surge are bracing for the worst.
With ICUs at 0% capacity throughout Southern California and many medical centers having already employed their surge practices, local hospitals are preparing to take the next step: rationing care.
My colleague Jackie Fortiér reports that a memo from the county’s Department of Health is advising health care workers to make sure their most fragile patients have filled out advance care directives. If the surge continues, those less likely to survive won’t get the same level of care as they normally would; there simply won’t be enough staff to save everyone.
Meanwhile, forecasting suggests that between Nov. 1 and Jan. 31, over 8,000 people in Los Angeles County will die from COVID-19.
“That is nearly three times the number of people that died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks," said Department of Health Services Director Dr. Christina Ghaly. "The worst is yet to come.”
Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.
What You Need To Know Today
A Tamale Shortcut: Don't want to go through the complicated and exhausting process of making your own holiday tamales? Can't get hold of the lady your mom calls every year? Don't worry. Los Angeles has a wealth of tamalerias, from the serviceable (let's skip those) to the sublime.
The Show Will Go On: The Bob Baker Marionette Theater has a holiday surprise: it hit its $365,000 goal and will be able to keep its doors open in 2021. The fundraising success was reached through a combination of small donors and a last-minute $100,000 check.
Here’s What To Do: See the best Christmas light displays. Dine at BCD Tofu's drive-in movie nights. Watch Jewish and Muslim comedians on Christmas. Attend a Kwanzaa festival. Take an urban architectural hike. It’s all happening in this week’s best online and IRL events.
Before You Go… Some Very Last-Minute Gift Ideas, For Your Family (Or Yourself)
Need a little very-last-minute inspiration to get into the holiday spirit as we crawl en maske to the 2020 finish line? You're not alone.
If you want to support local restaurants, check out LAist's eclectic, food-focused, Southern California-centric gift guide, which is filled with creative suggestions for a variety of budgets, tastes and personalities. For all other types of retail therapy, check out our 60 best places to shop local.
Or, you know what? This year has been hard. We endorse buying a gift for yourself for making it through 2020.
Help Us Cover Your Community
- Got something you’ve always wanted to know about Southern California and the people who call it home? Is there an issue you want us to cover? Ask us anything.
- Have a tip about news on which we should dig deeper? Let us know.
The news cycle moves fast. Some stories don't pan out. Others get added. Consider this today's first draft, and check LAist.com for updates on these stories and more. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Never miss an LAist story. Sign up for our daily newsletters.
Southern California's Snow-Capped Mountains Are Beautiful. Here's Where To Maximize The View (And Snap A Great Picture)It's been many, many years since we saw this much snow in our mountains. Going up there right now isn't safe, but here are some places where you can enjoy the view and snap a pic.
April Valentine died at Centinela Hospital. Her daughter was born by emergency C-section. She'd gone into the pregnancy with a plan, knowing Black mothers like herself were at higher risk.
A look at years past when snows creeped into our citified neighborhoods, away from the mountains and foothills.
In the face of a drier future, that iconic piece of Americana is on its way out in Southern California.
Another Missing Hiker Has Been Found Dead In San Gabriels As Search For Actor Julian Sands ContinuesBob Gregory, 62, went missing the same day as Sands. His body was recovered near Mount Islip.