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Morning Briefing: Happy (Though Crowded) Trails

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The most frightening thing about the coronavirus, for me, is how little we actually know about it. This week, I've found myself repeatedly referring to this specific section of our No-Panic Guide:

L.A. County's public health director, Barbara Ferrer, said the virus is too big and heavy to linger in the air, while others are investigating the possibility of spread via "bioaerosols." The World Health Organization says it doesn't seem to linger or travel more than three feet, but at least one medical expert says it's way too soon to know that.

The reason for this obsession is obvious. Everything about this virus wreaks of uncertainty. And uncertainty makes me uncomfortable. Trying to get closer to resuming normal life, when we don't know the basics, is truly mind-boggling.
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If we don't know how the virus spreads outside, how can we safely walk on the beach or go for a hike? Judging by the arguments going on via my NextDoor app, I can say with full confidence that I am not the only person who manages to reach new levels of confusion every day. But also, as someone without central air, I would sacrifice my first born (although I don't have a child) to be at the beach right now.

Something that's helping? This brown butter cinammon cake. It tastes like straight-up butter.

Now go forth and read the news.

– Gina Pollack

Maybe The Worst Birthday Ever? Despite multiple warnings from public health departments across the country, many scientists, and the CDC, a group of 30-40 people in Pasadena thought it would be a good idea to have a birthday/Easter party in a global pandemic. Now five of them have coronavirus and several others are "significantly ill," which comes as a shock to exactly no one.

COVID-19 Feels Like: Aching gums, extreme fatigue, major weight loss, and some truly disturbing episodes of not being able to communicate with words — those were just some of the symptoms Highland Park resident Toban Nichols, 50, experienced over the course of 26 days. It was early March and he didn't qualify for a test.

Speaking Of Testing: The FDA gave emergency authorization to a San Diego-based corporation to manufacture a new antigen test, which can reportedly produce a result in minutes. It's also cheaper and easier to use than genetic testing. Sound too good to be true? It might be. False negatives are a possibility and there's still no proof that having COVID-19 makes you immune to getting it again.

Boots On The Ground: Saturday was the first day that trails in L.A. were open since mid-March, when the county shut them down. Here's what that looked like in three popular spots — Eaton Canyon, Temescal Canyon and Griffith Park. Here's a fun math problem: how do you stay six-feet apart from other humans on a two-foot wide trail with two-way foot traffic?

In Non-COVID But Still Sad News: We lost the King — and the Queen, as he liked to say — of rock n' roll yesterday. Little Richard was no stranger to the City of Angels. He once owned a house in Lafayette Park and later spent much of two decades living in a hotel on the Sunset Strip.

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Your Moment of Zen

Karen Foshay, a producer at fellow public media station KCET, took this photo of an actual bunny rabbit on her hike in Temescal Park today. She said in her 15 years of hiking that trail, she's never seen so much wildlife.

(Photo by Karen Foshay/KCET)

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