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Morning Briefing: Capturing Those Unscripted Moments Of Pandemic Parenting

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Rain droplets on a car window on a rainy day in May. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Shammeer Dawson was trying to record a quick update for KPCC/LAist’s project documenting the lives of parents with kids under 5 when she was interrupted by one of her children.

“I see it,” she said. “I see you made the truck.”

The unscripted moment was perhaps the best possible summation of what it means to parent small children, especially right now: constant interruptions, coupled by constant attempts to make kids feel seen and heard, even when — or maybe, particularly when — you are trying to accomplish something else.

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As the parent of one child, my hat is deeply, deeply off to Dawson, who has four little ones. There are no breaks from parenthood in the best of times; in the coronavirus times, it sometimes seems like there are fewer than none.

And yet, Dawson – whose children range in age from 3 to 8 – still sums up her day on this joyful and optimistic note:

"All they want to do is play and jump on my air mattress and eat all the food up that they can that's carbs, and I love it. I love that they're happy... and I'm going to push my daughter now on the bike. Hope everyone is blessed."

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

Jessica P. Ogilvie

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Coming Up Today, May 19

What are the best trails for social distancing? Casey from Modern Hiker gives Leo Duran and Gina Pollack some tips.

Covina-Valley schools superintendent Richard Sheehan is reportedly under investigation by the Glendora Police Department for “misconduct.Carla Javier has more on last night's meeting at which the district Board of Trustees was scheduled to vote on dismissing him.

Some California public colleges and universities have already announced that their courses will remain online for the fall semester, but a handful of private Southern California campuses say they’re making plans to resume in-person classes this fall. Adolfo Guzman-Lopez takes a deeper look at the planning process and what the risks might be.

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People who rent their homes for TV/film shooting are losing revenue, reports John Horn, and wondering how things will work when production resumes.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

L.A., California, The World: There are now 38,415 coronavirus cases and 1,839 deaths in L.A. County, plus at least 80,299 cases and 3,240 deaths in California. Worldwide, there are more than 4.7 million cases and over 317,000 deaths.

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California Kids: Shammeer Dawson, a single mom of four children who lives in Hawthorne, checked in with us about parenting in the time of COVID. LAUSD’s superintendent said that proposed state budget cuts could be disastrous for public education. A handful of private Southern California campuses say they're working to resume in-person classes this fall.

Undocumented Workers: California's undocumented immigrants can apply for up to $1,000 per household in government aid under Gov. Gavin Newsom's coronavirus emergency assistance plan.

Keep Yourself Occupied: Zócalo talks with author William Sturkey, the Hammer Museum examines the Department of Justice's decision to drop charges against Michael Flynn, and more online events. An expert said that coronavirus test results should come back within three days.

Quarantine Hair: Some L.A.-area hairstylists who haven't been able to sign up for unemployment have resorted to stealth home visits and sneaky trips into the back door of shuttered salons. Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom said that haircuts and live sports could come back soon in some counties.

Fire In Downtown: There are a lot of unanswered questions about the fire and explosion at the Smoke Tokes location on Boyd Street in DTLA on Saturday night that sent 12 Los Angeles firefighters to the hospital.

At-Home Deaths: April 2020 had about 52% more deaths than the same month in 2019, 2018 and 2017. Why? That's not totally clear just yet.

No Lucky Numbers: Californians are spending a lot less money on lottery tickets, and that could hurt retailers who rely on sales for a lot of their revenue. It also could hurt students – lottery proceeds fund a small share of education funding in California.


Your Moment Of Zen

Digital Producer Gina Pollack caught this soothing image of the calm water at Huntington dog beach, which she calls "my dog's happy place."

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Huntington dog beach on May 17, 2020. (Gina Pollack / LAist)

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