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A Christmas unlike any other

Hello.

While typing this, I’m sitting in my undecorated kitchen in Los Angeles, blowing up Spotify’s “Christmas Favorites” playlist and trying to summon something that looks like joy. Instead, I started to cry as Don Henley cried about the bells ringing “sad, sad news”.

Needless to say, it’s still tough for the Golden State.

As Californians met their first Latino senator and the first black woman to be appointed secretary of state on Tuesday, hospital officials made an extraordinary appeal for people to stay at home, to resist the temptation to reunite with their loved ones.

Intensive care units across the state are at or near full capacity, and tens of thousands more people are testing positive for the coronavirus every day. Even as the outbreak diminishes sharply – unlikely, given the way things went after Thanksgiving, experts say – the state has predicted patients will continue to flood intensive care units and emergency rooms until January.

Healthcare workers are exhausted, overworked, and feeling growing “moral distress,” as Joanne Spetz, professor at the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California at San Francisco, explained earlier this week. week.

And yet, as the Los Angeles Times reported, shoppers are still flocking to malls, which are still allowed to be open, although in most states almost every other type of non-essential business is supposed to be. be closed.

Nevertheless, there are reasons to be cheerful. More and more health workers and their families are receiving doses of the vaccine, giving them a peace they haven’t known since the start of this year.

There are still tamales and cookies and even Zoom parties. There is hope that next year will be better. And when it does, we can hope the holidays will be even brighter.

(This article is part of California today newsletter. Register to have it delivered to your inbox.)


  • Track coronavirus cases by California county, as well as hospitalizations and deaths. [The New York Times]

  • See the filling level of intensive care units in hospitals near you. [The New York Times]

And follow the state’s alternative care sites. [CA.gov]


We will be gone tomorrow and Monday. We wish you comfort, safety and time to rest. Thanks, as always, for reading.


California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. PT on weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com. Have you been forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here and read each edition online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from UC Berkeley and has reported statewide, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles – but she always wants to see more. Follow us here or on Twitter.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley.

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