Vern Lawson

On Monday afternoon, I was gathering material for this column when the phone rang. It was John Hall who gave me some breaking news.

What great timing.

The story is a major step in California’s emergence from shutdown orders issued in March to slow the spread of the Coronavirus.

The California Department of Public Health made the announcement on Monday.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors was scheduled to vote Tuesday on a motion supported by Hahn and Kathryn Barger, that the county follow the request of the North County Coalition — comprised of Palmdale, Lancaster and Santa Clarita — to allow on-site dining in restaurants, with proper face covering and physical distancing.

Gov. Gavin Newsom released guidelines to reopen dine-in restaurants, malls, offices and more in California.

On May 21, Hahn said on Twitter she wrote to Gov. Gavin Newsom and proposed he amend the state’s health order to allow all retailers to reopen with limited capacity, mask requirements and physical distancing.

Supervisor Hahn subsequently issued a statement that said, “All retail stores statewide will now be able to reopen for in-store shopping under the same rules Target and Walmart have been able to operate under throughout this crisis.”

The New York Times devotes front page to names of nearly 1,000 pandemic fatalities.

It wasn’t just some crazy newspaper stunt.

The heavy-duty impact of the news story about marauding congregations of the Coronavirus — that are so small they can only be seen with a high powered microscope — was designed to present a jarring mass of information about the staggering number of deaths being experienced this spring from the illness.

As the death toll from Covid-19 in the United States approached 100,000, a number expected to be reached soon, editors of The Times have been planning to mark the grim milestone.

Simone Landan, assistant editor of the graphics desk, compared the result to a “rich tapestry” that she could not have woven by herself.

Inside the paper, the list continues, threaded with Dan Barry’s essay. But mostly there are names. More names, and more lives lost.

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