California Sun

Good morning. It's Friday, March 27.

Terrifying projections of the death that awaits.
Mask-sewing brigades spring up across the state.
And a run of crystal blue skies over Los Angeles.



A medical worker waited to administer a coronavirus test in Daly City on Thursday.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Best-case scenario in Silicon Valley: 2,000 dead by June.

That projection came from San Jose's office of emergency management, which modeled outcomes based on how faithfully people adhere to social distancing guidelines in California's coronavirus epicenter. County officials declined to endorse the estimate. Mercury News | San Jose Inside


In Southern California, Los Angeles County saw a surge of confirmed cases, rising from 808 to 1,229 between Wednesday and Thursday — an increase of 52 percent. "If this rate of increase continues, in six days we will be where New York is today," Mayor Eric Garcetti said. L.A. Times | A.P.

Numbers also rose sharply in Riverside County, where officials warned that more than 1,000 people could die by May. Press Enterprise

Here are the latest totals:

Confirmed cases:
85,381 in U.S.
4,033 in California
1,418 in Bay Area
2,152 in Southern California

1,271 in U.S.
83 in California

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


California's farmworkers haven't been slowed down by the pandemic.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Farmworkers have been deemed "essential workers." That means every day, thousands of them are continuing to pile into buses to be driven to California's fields and orchards, where they ensure the nation's food supply — sometimes with few safety measures. No farmworker has been confirmed to be carrying the coronavirus, but it's been marching across the state's agricultural regions. Civil Eats | HuffPost


A statewide health care union based in Oakland said it found a whopping 39 million N95 masks that it would make available to hospitals in California and elsewhere. S.E.I.U.-U.H.W. said it tracked down the masks from a private company based in Pennsylvania. "There was nothing magical about it," a spokesman said. "We just rolled up our sleeves and tried anybody who we thought might have a supply." Buzzfeed | NBC Bay Area

Mask-sewing brigades have been springing up across Orange County. O.C. Register


Dr. Timmy Cheng has moved into his garage.

An Irvine doctor who has treated several COVID-19 patients moved into a tent in his garage to safeguard against spreading the disease to his family. Dr. Timmy Cheng can see his wife, toddler, and parents, but only from a distance. "They bring me food from the garage door," he said. "They drop it off at the doorway, they run away, then I go pick up the food." NBC Los Angeles


There may never be a return to normal in Hollywood. Audiences have been retreating from theaters to home video for some time. But now the transition is getting an adrenaline shot. For the story, on the cover of this week's Hollywood Reporter, a photographer captured strange views of an abandoned Hollywood. Hollywood Reporter


On this week's California Sun Podcast, host Jeff Schechtman talks with CalMatters' Dan Walters. The longtime political columnist discussed how Gov. Gavin Newsom has been handling the coronavirus pandemic. His verdict: Meh. "He has a tendency to like the sound of his own voice," Walters said. He added: "I mean, he's a smart guy but he doesn't have to keep trying to prove to us how smart he is by talking and talking and talking and talking." California Sun Podcast

Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify.

Other coronavirus developments:

Los Angeles County supervisors moved to oust Sheriff Alex Villanueva as head of the county's emergency operations center, a move he called a "pure power grab at the worst time possible." L.A. Times
The California DMV is shutting down all of its field offices to the public starting today over COVID-19 concerns. Sacramento Bee
Two Tesla employees tested positive for the coronavirus. It wasn't clear whether either worked at the Fremont factory that defied an order to close last week. Business Insider

Los Angeles normally has some of the country's dirtiest air. But not lately. Rainfall has certainly played a role in L.A.'s run of pristine skies, but air quality researchers have been observing dramatic improvements in cities on coronavirus lockdown around the world. Laura Nelson, a transportation reporter at the L.A. Times, shared the image above on Twitter. "I've never seen the skies so clear in Los Angeles for so many days," she wrote. "So beautiful that it's almost painful to look at."

Below, a few more views from the last week.

Downtown Los Angeles, looking resplendent during morning rush hour.

Alexa Ymer

A hiker at Stoney Point Park on Sunday.

Mark J. Terrill/A.P.

Empty freeways have helped ease pollution.

● ●

This week, L.A. drivers averaged more than 70 mph at 5 p.m. L.A. Times


As you prepare for another weekend in isolation, make sure you haven't missed any classics: Hollywood Reporter surveyed studio chiefs, Oscar winners, and TV royalty to craft a ranking of the 100 best movies of all time, among them "Slumdog Millionaire," "Amelie," "Fargo," and "Chinatown." Hollywood Reporter

Also: The Louvre. The Guggenheim. San Francisco's De Young Museum. Here are 10 world-class museums that offer virtual tours. Smithsonian magazine




Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks on Capitol Hill in January.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Nancy Pelosi turned 80 on Thursday. The Washington Post marked the occasion with a profile headlined "A troublemaker with a gavel." It included this anecdote: At a meeting a few days after President Trump's inauguration in 2017, he repeated his fantastical claim of widespread voter fraud. "There's no evidence to support what you just said," Pelosi snapped. "And if we're going to work together, we have to stipulate to a certain set of facts." "She's going to get us," Stephen Bannon whispered to colleagues. "Total assassin. She's a total assassin." Washington Post


In case you missed it


Californians who failed to wear masks faced arrest during the 1918 flu pandemic.

California State Library

Five items that got big views over the past week:

We've been through shutdowns like this before. Here's a look back at the way California responded to the 1918 influenza pandemic. California Sun
A videographer piloted a drone around San Francisco on Sunday and captured haunting views of boarded-up buildings and empty avenues. YouTube/Space Race Studio
A Stanford biophysicist correctly predicted that China would get through the worst of its coronavirus outbreak long before many health experts had predicted. His view of the U.S.: "We're going to be fine." L.A. Times
The S.F. Chronicle published a great photo essay on San Francisco's cooped-up residents, seen at their windows.
Here's what death looks like in the time of coronavirus. As Stacey Silva's father lay dying at a Gilroy hospital, she watched from the ICU hallway, behind two sets of glass doors. "It broke my heart into a million pieces," she said. Mercury News

Thanks for reading!

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

The Sun is built by Marquee on Proof.

Consider becoming a member.

Please tell us how we can make the newsletter better. Email

California Sun masthead
The California Sun, PO Box 6868, Los Osos, CA 93412
Wake up to must-read news from around the Golden State delivered to your inbox each morning.