California's Uneven Covid-19 Toll

ENCINITAS, Calif .– A mariachi band celebration chords filled the community center. On all surfaces, apparently, fresh marigold blossom...


ENCINITAS, Calif .– A mariachi band celebration chords filled the community center. On all surfaces, apparently, fresh marigold blossoms glowed a vivid orange.

And, in this town just north of San Diego, two types of masks were present at its recent Día de Muertos event: faces painted white and black to look like skulls as well as the more familiar type – cloth coverings. to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The virus we have lived with for almost two years has left us with a staggering and unfathomable level of loss. Monday, the world official Covid-19 death toll reaches five million.

In California, the pandemic has permeated Día de Muertos, the annual tradition also known as The day of the Dead, with a special and painful meaning.

Covid-19 has killed more than 32,000 Latinos in California, giving the group the highest death rate of any race or ethnicity in the state.

Naimeh Woodward, president of Encinitas Friends of the Arts, which hosted the Día de Muertos celebration this weekend, told me, “This year is really more relevant than ever.

Día de Muertos ceremonies commemorate and honor the dead, usually around November 1 and 2 – All Saints and All Saints in the Catholic calendar. The holiday, widely celebrated in Mexico, has grown in popularity around the world and the United States over the past few decades, with an additional boost from 2017 Pixar movie “Coco”.

At the event in Encinitas, colorful candles, painted skulls, fresh and paper flowers, and framed photographs of smiling faces lined tables. These altars, or ofrendas, are intended to encourage deceased loved ones to return briefly to the land of the living.

I saw ofrendas adorned with mangoes, sweetbreads, cans of Tecate and glass bottles of Coca-Cola. Bright marigold garlands and bouquets also help to draw spirits.

“If you don’t put that photo in there it means you forget them, which is why every year you have to remember them so they can come and bless you,” said Beatriz Villarreal, who grew up in Mexico City and runs the Encinitas. Event. “My dad loved whiskey and chocolate, so I put in a little bottle of whiskey and chocolate.”

Latinos are California’s largest ethnic group (they make up 39% of the population) but their share of Covid-19 deaths (45%) is even higher, especially among younger age groups. It is the same at the national level.

Sixty-six percent of the 18 to 34-year-olds who died from Covid-19 in California were Latinos, although Latinos make up only 45% of the population in this age group, according to the Los Angeles Times. In contrast, white Californians make up 30% of this age group but 12% of its deaths.

There are several reasons: Latinos are more likely to have limited access to medical care, to do essential jobs that cannot be done remotely, and to live in crowded, multigenerational homes where the virus can easily spread. .

The mortality gap is likely to persist as long as the pandemic does, and may even widen. In recent months, a drop in the vaccination rate against Covid-19 has appeared among Latinos.

For all communities in California, the toll of the pandemic has been extraordinary, and far more than we could have imagined in March 2020. Last month, California has exceeded 70,000 deaths of Covid-19.

It is a scale of devastation typical of wars and the most horrific of natural disasters. The pandemic has left us with such tremendous grief that we will deal with it for years to come, perhaps on Día de Muertos.

  • Covered California Opening: Open registration for the country’s largest state-run health insurance market began on Monday, Associated Press reports.

  • American Airlines attack: A flight attendant on a plane to California was struck by a passenger, leaving her with a concussion and facial injury.

  • Pursuit of transgender rights: The Supreme Court Monday refused to go into business involving a transgender man and the Mercy San Juan Medical Center near Sacramento, the Associated Press reports.

  • Vaccine Harassment Act: Federal judge rejected California’s new 30-foot buffer zone designed to restrict protests at coronavirus vaccination sites, Associated Press reports.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

  • Garcetti’s assistant returns: Ana Guerrero returned to Los Angeles City Hall after being put on leave for comments she made to a Facebook group, The Los Angeles Times reports.

  • New Chargers Headquarters: The Los Angeles Chargers plan to build a headquarters and training facility in El Segundo, The Los Angeles Times reports.

CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

  • Catalytic converter theft: The number of catalytic converters stolen from cars in Fresno County has increased this year, Fresno Bee reports.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA


When a pit stop in California became permanent, they rushed to find a place to buy. Which house would you choose?


Today’s tip is from Vicki Rae, a reader who lives in Sonoma. Vicki recommends nearby Sébastopol and Bodega Bay:

In Sevastopol, stock up on artisanal chocolate truffles at Sonoma Chocolatiers, then meander down Florence Avenue, where artist Patrick Amiot’s whimsical metal sculptures line the street. Let’s move on to Walker Apples in Graton, a family-owned apple orchard that gives a glimpse of Sonoma County 50 or 100 years ago. Continue up a wooded hill to Occidental, then take Coleman Valley Road to Bodega for stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Make a quick stop at Spud Point Crab Company for a crab cocktail to watch the sunset at Bodega Head. Perfect day.

Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions to CAtoday@nytimes.com. We will share more in future editions of the newsletter.


These 12 titles before they leave Netflix in November.


When Gabi Conti went on a date with Daren Johnson at a bar in West Hollywood, she did something pretty unusual for Angelenos: said exactly what she was thinking.

“I apologized for going to the bathroom and said, ‘If you don’t start asking me things to let me know you’re interested in me, I’m leaving,” Conti said. The temperature.

Johnson found the franchise appealing and upped its game. Later that night, in September 2019, they shared a kiss.

This month they got married.


Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. – Soumya

PS here the mini-crosswords of the day, and a clue: ___ Mahal (3 letters).

Mariel Wamsley and Shelby Knowles contributed to California Today. You can join the team at CAtoday@nytimes.com.

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Newsrust - US Top News: California's Uneven Covid-19 Toll
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