How Did Californians Spend Their Second Summer of the Pandemic?

3 weeks ago 11

California Today

Finding joyousness adjacent successful bleak moments.

Soumya Karlamangla

Sept. 24, 2021, 8:52 a.m. ET


Janel Kajisa, a scholar  who lives successful  San Francisco, told america  her champion  acquisition   this summertime  was visiting a household  compartment  successful  Stanislaus National Forest with her grandpa.
Credit...Janel Kajisa

This summertime successful California was not what we signed up for.

Instead of a “summer of freedom” from the coronavirus, we got a surge successful the Delta variant. “Hot vax summer” turned into a literal, way-too-hot summer.

Between the drought, immense wildfires and 17 cardinal gallons of sewage spilled disconnected the Los Angeles coast, Californians were forced to wonder, “Is this the extremity of summertime arsenic we cognize it?

But fearfulness not. With summertime officially ending this week, I asked you to stock the champion happening that happened to you implicit these past fewer months. And, I’m blessed to report, the California summertime is inactive kicking.

You wrote astir planetary adventures, outdoor movies and concerts, adopting pets, bingeing shows, reunions with friends, attending Zoom drama classes and a full big of activities that made this summertime worthy enjoying. The play of solemnisation and relaxation lives on.

Here’s immoderate of what you shared, lightly edited for clarity:


Credit...Kristi Manning

“Road trip! And the champion benignant — picking up 2 longtime friends connected the way.

We ate, we drank, we reveled successful our relationship of implicit 50 years! It was a summertime solace.”

Melanie Lunsford, San Diego

“My favourite summertime representation has been learning cooking and sharing meals with my 87-year-old grandma, without a disguise and indoors. I’m truthful grateful to the scientists who made the vaccine imaginable truthful we could bask each other’s institution safely.”

Amanda Ha, San Francisco

“My Vermont lad and woman brought their 2 children to a compartment astatine Lake Tahoe to walk a week with my Oakland son, his woman and their kid — the archetypal clip the 3 grandchildren got to beryllium with each other.

That love-fest feels similar the happiest infinitesimal of my beingness truthful far.”

— Peter Fisher, Berkeley

“Wine nights with adjacent girlfriends successful the backyard aft the kids are dormant person sustained maine done this summer.

We interest astir our kids, astir school, astir the pandemic and the impacts of wildfires. But mostly we laughter and we observe making it done different week, leaving recharged capable to tackle the next.”

— Tracey Weinstein, Sacramento


Credit...Megan Conlon

“What got maine done this summertime — and each period since lockdown — was dancing unsocial successful my surviving country for my Cuban ‘nightclub parties.’

I formal up, enactment connected my creation shoes, perfume, lipstick, and dim the lights. Then I transmission Havana and sway.”

Natasha Ravnik, Oakland

“Feeling harmless capable to be an creation store successful teacher’s covered patio area. Everyone was required to amusement impervious of vaccination connected arrival. Had amusive doing thing happy, gathering caller people.”

Corinne Schnur, Topanga


Credit...Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

“Take maine retired to the ballgame! Monday evening, Giants vs. Mets:

It was an perfectly gorgeous evening successful San Francisco (read: nary fog), capable radical successful the stands to consciousness similar portion of a assemblage of excited fans, but not truthful galore that it activated our Covid fears. My New Yorker hubby successful his Mets jersey, maine and my Giants chapeau — we were covered nary substance who won. Happily for maine (and San Francisco) the Giants won successful a very, precise breathtaking game!”

— Shelly Hanan, Napa

“This summertime I decided to marque definite I went swimming each azygous day.

Swimming successful the cold, wide h2o helped wide my encephalon and punctual maine to beryllium grateful for everything I have.”

Debbie Beane, South Lake Tahoe


Credit...Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group, via Getty Images

“Watching my friends’ hairsbreadth crook grey (and excavation WHITE) successful August I decided to crook my hairsbreadth into an big coloring book. Using impermanent colour spray, I gave myself a coloring of the week and matched my fingernails and toes to spell with it.”

— Carol Bonomo, Lake San Marcos

“These past 18 months I’ve been doing each I tin to ‘find the good’ successful books, location betterment projects, nostalgia, vacation smells …

On Sept. 8, I ‘graduated’ from my bosom crab radiation treatments — wherever they enactment up a banner, played ‘Pomp and Circumstance,’ rang sound makers, had maine ringing a doorbell to people the infinitesimal and gave maine a certificate.

Getting to region stickers that I had worn since July = ‘finding the good.’”

Missy Castro, Livermore


Credit...Ruth Clawson

“Our backyard plot produced an astonishing harvest of aureate cherry and yellowish pear tomatoes this August. To celebrate, we utilized 5 pounds of these gorgeous fruits to marque what turned retired to beryllium a astir exceptional gazpacho; highest sweetness and uncharacteristic hue enactment it implicit the top. It was similar eating summertime by the spoonful.”

— Paul Kimball, Campbell

In Tennessee, adjacent if a section schoolhouse territory requires cosmopolitan masking, students don’t person to comply. Gov. Bill Lee has allowed parents to nonstop their children to schoolhouse maskless, nary questions asked.

That hostility precocious exploded successful a suburb of Nashville, wherever 1 parent, a self-described “California refugee,” held up copies of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, the Federalist Papers and the Bible successful beforehand of the schoolhouse committee and said: “These warrant my freedom, and yours, and my children’s to respire oxygen.”

Read the afloat article from my workfellow Erica L. Green.


Credit...Philip Cheung for The New York Times
  • Amazon bill: Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a measure that restricts warehouse employers specified arsenic Amazon from mounting productivity quotas that forestall workers from taking breaks oregon pursuing wellness and safety laws.

  • Vaccine request for kids: Top authorities officials are considering requiring vaccines against the coronavirus for each children 12 and up to be school, NBC Bay Area reports.

  • Booster shots: State officials accidental they are prepared to statesman distributing booster shots to radical 65 and older, The Los Angeles Times reports.

  • Wildfire funds: Newsom connected Thursday approved astir $1 cardinal successful caller spending aimed astatine stopping wildfires earlier they start, The Associated Press reports.


  • Finding a location successful the Los Angeles suburbs: A household looking for a four-bedroom location adjacent downtown Los Angeles toured 40 homes to find the close premix of abstraction and amenities. Here’s what they found.

  • Supply concatenation strained: Sixty-one vessels were anchored disconnected the seashore of Southern California connected Thursday waiting to unload cargo, a stark reminder of the proviso concatenation woes plaguing the planetary markets.

  • L.A. sheriff targets governmental enemies: There’s a peculiar portion wrong the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department that appears to spell aft outspoken critics of Sheriff Alex Villanueva oregon the department, The Los Angeles Times reports.

  • Teacher raise: Teachers successful the Los Angeles schoolhouse territory would person a 5 percent rise nether a tentative statement announced connected Wednesday, KTLA reports.

  • Christmas parade returns: After being canceled past twelvemonth due to the fact that of the pandemic, the Hollywood Christmas parade is backmost connected this year, NBC Los Angeles reports.

  • Palm Springs bounty huntsman case: New constabulary assemblage camera footage shows however a suspected usurpation of a backstage bail statement resulted successful the decease of a antheral successful beforehand of 2 Palm Springs constabulary officers, The Desert Sun reports.


  • Sequoia fire: The KNP Complex occurrence had scorched much than 33,000 acres and drawn much than 1,500 firefighters and different unit to the Sequoia National Forest arsenic of Thursday, The Fresno Bee reports.


  • Fire prompts evacuations: The Fawn occurrence forced mandatory evacuations successful Shasta County connected Thursday, The Associated Press reports. The aforesaid day, the authorities arrested the pistillate believed to have started the fire.

  • Oakland vaccination requirement: The Oakland Board of Education has voted to necessitate students 12 and older to beryllium vaccinated against the coronavirus to be in-person school, The Associated Press reports.

  • Holmes trial: Former U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis testified this week successful the proceedings of Elizabeth Holmes, erstwhile C.E.O. of Theranos, The Associated Press reports.


Credit...Julia Gartland for The New York Times

In her latest newsletter, The Times’s California edifice professional Tejal Rao offers recipes to assistance modulation your cooking from summertime to fall.

Today’s question extremity comes from Thomas Cushing, a scholar who lives successful Napa. Thomas recommends Doris Lake successful Mono County:

“‘Hidden’ astatine the extremity of 20 miles of a bad, one-lane logging road, this blistery springs-fed water is simply a temperate Sierra beauty. Near Mono Hot Springs, with a spot of a hike up to it — to enactment you successful the temper for a bully soak.”

Tell america astir your favourite places to sojourn successful California. Email your suggestions to We’ll beryllium sharing much successful upcoming editions of the newsletter.

Fall tv returns to mean this twelvemonth aft past year’s pandemic wipeout. Here are 31 shows to watch.

The Michelin Guide awarded 45 California restaurants this week bib gourmands — a designation a measurement down from Michelin’s celebrated prima ratings, but which guarantees a delicious repast nonetheless.

The restaurants are a sampling of the afloat Michelin California edifice usher that volition beryllium released adjacent week, Eater San Francisco reports.

For now, browse the 45 caller bib gourmands connected Michelin’s site.

Thanks for reading. I’ll beryllium backmost connected Monday. Enjoy your weekend. — Soumya

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Popular bureau messaging work (5 letters).

Steven Moity and Miles McKinley contributed to California Today. You tin scope the squad astatine

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