LA Times Columnist Gustavo Arellano On Why Southern California is Covid’s American Epicenter

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People stepping out of a Covid vaccine location are directed by a volunteer wearing a face mask and shield to a waiting area in Los Angeles, California on January 28, 2021. - The daily number of deaths from the coronavirus pandemic is likely to remain elevated for another two weeks due to a recent surge of Covid patients swarming intensive-care units, but hospitalization numbers have been trending downward, according to the LA County Publlic Health Director Barbara Ferrer. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Early on in the pandemic, Southern California drew praise for its aggressive social distancing policies that helped contain the spread of the coronavirus. But now the region is the American epicenter for COVID-19 and what Los Angeles Times columnist Gustavo Arellano calls a cautionary tale for the dangers of lifting restrictions too quickly. He says the reasons for the backslide are in large part structural: the disease is "tailor-made" for Latino and other tight-knit communities who tend to work on the front lines and live in multigenerational households. But Arellano also blames those he calls "pandejos" -- who, like "covidiots," willfully ignore public health advice. We'll talk to Arellano about his recent story for The Atlantic, called "The Pandejo Movement Destroyed California’s Pandemic Progress."


Gustavo Arellano, columnist, Los Angeles Times, His recent story for The Atlantic is "The Pandejo Movement Destroyed California’s Pandemic Progress."