California Sun

Good morning. It's Monday, April 6.

Virus accelerates efforts to house the homeless.
Defiant pastors hold Palm Sunday services.
And coping with adversity through dad jokes.



Edwin Chang, a Stanford medical worker, took blood as part of a coronavirus antibody study on Friday.

Ray Chavez/Mercury News via Getty Images

Stanford has developed a blood test that detects antibodies to the coronavirus, rather than the virus itself, and it could be released as soon as this week, Gov. Gavin Newsom said. Antibody tests are expected to play a crucial role in reopening institutions. In theory, those who show immunity could safely return to work without catching or spreading the virus. Sacramento Bee | Mercury News

California sharply reduced its COVID-19 testing backlog. About 13,000 remained pending as of Friday, down from a peak of roughly 60,000. Still, California needs to do significantly more testing. CalMatters | A.P.


The USS Theodore Roosevelt led a formation of ships in 2014.

Universal History Archive, via Getty Images

Kai Ryssdal, journalist and Navy veteran: "A failure of weak-kneed leadership in crisis."

Rep. Jackie Speier of the House Armed Services Committee: A "heinous act of whistleblower retaliation."

Tweed Roosevelt, great-grandson of Theodore Roosevelt: "Captain Crozier is a hero."

Some prominent voices rose to the defense of Brett Crozier, the Navy captain who was removed from command of the coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. Then on Sunday, this development: Crozier himself tested positive for the coronavirus. N.Y. Times | S.F. Chronicle

Hundreds of sailors from the Theodore Roosevelt cheered for Crozier. N.Y. Times


California has secured nearly 7,000 hotel rooms for the homeless with plans to add another 8,000 as an initial goal. The "Project Roomkey" initiative is said to be the first of its kind in the nation. Within a "matter of days," one lawmaker said, the Legislature accomplished what "used to take decades." CBS News | Sacramento Bee

Here are some powerful photos of Los Angeles's homeless in the time of a pandemic. N.Y. Times


On Palm Sunday, a pastor who vowed to defy stay-home orders in Lodi was greeted by four police officers in his church parking lot hours before the service was to start. He agreed to cancel, praying with congregants at their cars. Another church about 50 miles away went ahead with a service. "WE ARE AT WAR!" the pastor wrote on Facebook. Sacramento Bee | KCRA

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Pastor Rob McCoy led a communion ceremony at Godspeaker Calvary Chapel sanctuary on Sunday.

Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

A Thousands Oaks councilman, Rob McCoy, who also serves as a pastor, quit his elected office to defy an order against holding a church service. Ventura County Star | L.A. Times


How did the Bay Area get a jump on the coronavirus? According to a new CDC study, Santa Clara County did a small survey of residents in early March and found that 11 percent of them tested positive for COVID-19. The next day, the chief health officer of Santa Clara County, Dr. Sara Cody, called a meeting of Bay Area health officials. The day after that the region was on lockdown. S.F. Chronicle | Mercury News


Barbara Ferrer, L.A. County's public health director, took questions on March 12.

Damian Dovarganes/A.P.

The columnist Steve Lopez profiled Barbara Ferrer, the public health director whose has emerged as Los Angeles's version of Dr. Anthony Fauci — straight-talking, respected, overworked. Ferrer has delivered daily updates on death tolls with a measure of compassion and unity, Lopez wrote. It's no act, a colleague said: "When she talks about the deaths ... she feels it." L.A. Times


First cases in Del Norte County, a mail carrier in Madera County, and 30 residents of a nursing home in Riverside. Here are the latest coronavirus totals, according to tallies by the S.F. Chronicle and N.Y. Times.

Confirmed cases:
336,776 in U.S.
15,182 in California
3,623 in Bay Area
10,044 in Southern California

9,655 in U.S.
349 in California

Cumulative infections and deaths in California:

See trackers of cases in California, the U.S., and worldwide.


A reporter and a photographer visited Slab City, a renegade community on the ruins of a former military base in the Mojave Desert. It might seem like an ideal place to ride out a pandemic, but a general distrust of authority means few slabbers are adopting measures to protect themselves from an outbreak. Desert Sun


Other coronavirus developments:

No hiking, jogging, or uncovered faces. Riverside County on Saturday ordered all residents to wear face masks outdoors. Desert Sun
A Los Angeles suicide hotline fielded more than 1,800 calls related to COVID-19 in March. Also surging: Domestic violence calls. L.A. Times | Crosstown
San Francisco's transit system, Muni, planned to stop nearly every bus and train route it runs in the city. "We will deliver the worst Muni service since 1906," an official said. S.F. Examiner

"COVID-19, Day 20

I ordered a chicken and an egg from Amazon.

I’ll let you know."

A delightful family in Claremont has been posting a new dad joke in their front yard each day to mark the passage of time during the lockdown. Photos of the groaners were shared by a neighbor on the social network Reddit, where they've been a sensation. Harrison Klinski, 22, an aspiring medical school student cooped up in the home with his parents, told the Sun they came up with the idea to inject some levity into a dismal situation. "We just thought that laughter's the best medicine," he said.

Below, a few examples.

Julian Iannini

Julian Iannini

Julian Iannini




A banner hung from a home occupied by activists in Los Angeles on March 19.

Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

A group calling themselves the "Reclaimers" have occupied a dozen empty homes in a working-class neighborhood of Los Angeles. The houses are owned by California, which bought them last century with a goal to expand a freeway. That plan was abandoned in 2018. Housing activists have been petitioning for years to make the homes available at affordable prices. The coronavirus pandemic, they now hope, will add urgency to that message. New Yorker


On Saturday, a foregone conclusion became official as Kobe Bryant was selected for enshrinement in the Basketball Hall of Fame three months after his death in a helicopter crash. The columnist Bill Plaschke imagined how Bryant might have reacted: "Here's guessing he would have been kind, embracing, inclusive, a reflection of a personal evolution that was evident in the final years of his life." L.A. Times | ESPN


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The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.

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