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Morning Briefing: The Seriousness Of Living Through A Pandemic

A man wears a scarf around his face as a makeshift face mask in Huntington Park. (Chava Sanchez/Laist)
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Public health officials are calling this a “critical” week, during which Los Angeles could find out whether cases of COVID-19 are going to start leveling off or drastically increasing. Addressing residents yesterday, the county’s public health director, Barbara Ferrer, said it “really is time for people… to understand the seriousness of what’s going on in our communities – the seriousness of living through a pandemic.”

To help with that, we have the day’s new numbers, plus updates on local institutions from LAUSD to the L.A. Zoo, a report on the L.A. sky and also, some activities for you and your kids – if you have them – to try to relax and have some (socially distanced) fun.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you tomorrow morning.

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  • Now that the USNS Mercy is here, Emily Elena Dugdale asks what the naval hospital ship can do to help with the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Many financial institutions are struggling to make the coronavirus stimulus package’s small business loans work. Emily Guerin checks in with small businesses and banks about how the application process is going.
  • Mariana Dale gets more details on what to expect from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order approving child care aid for essential workers.
  • Judge David O. Carter is holding another hearing in a lawsuit alleging negligence in how L.A. City and County have dealt with homelessness, reports Matt Tinoco.
  • Elly Yu talks to a local ER doctor about her daily routine of trying to keep herself from getting COVID-19.


L.A., California, The World: There are now more than 6,000 coronavirus cases in L.A. County, including 420 new cases and 15 new deaths. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that 500 ventilators from California's cache would be sent to the national stockpile to be distributed immediately to states in need. In the U.S., there are nearly 348,000 coronavirus cases, and there are over 1.3 million worldwide.

Let Them Entertain You: Levar Burton, Patrick Stewart, Dolly Parton and more celebs are reading children’s books online. The timing of today's launch of the short-form video site Quibi is either brilliant ... or bonkers. A fundraiser to support health care workers and local charities will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, and Jimmy Fallon, with a lineup curated by Lady Gaga.

L.A.’s New Normal: LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner said “it’s clear that normal is not returning anytime soon.” The L.A. Zoo is taking extra safety measures for its cats after a Bronx Zoo tiger tested positive for COVID-19. L.A.’s skies are cleaner and clearer as many drivers stay off the road, but our local airspace is more complex than just that. The Southern California News Group, which operates 11 local newspapers, furloughed roughly 50 employees and laid off several more. Experts have shared how to talk to kids about the coronavirus; now, let's look at how to explain it to our aging parents.

What’s For Lunch: In the first of Fiona Ng’s new series on how restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley are coping with the coronavirus, she checks in with Monterey Park hot pot restaurant Uniboil. A youth leadership group that serves low-income families in Chinatown has partnered with two other organizations to collect funds for food, care packages and financial support for seniors in the area.



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I don't know about you, but I feel better immediately looking at this picture. Patrick Stewart and Lavar Burton are both reading to kids online during the pandemic.

Former 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' co-stars Sir Patrick Stewart and LeVar Burton read to kids (and adults) on social media. (Michael Kovac/Getty Images for STARZ)

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The news cycle moves fast. Some stories don't pan out. Others get added. Consider this today's first draft.