Some parts of the LA avoided the winter Covid-19 hike

The winter growth of COVID-19 has been sending case rates and deaths to the skies for weeks due to the brutality of much of Los Angeles County.

But epidemic rage was rarely felt in some neighborhoods.

In West Hollywood, Malibu and Playa del Rey, infection rates have actually been lower or much lower than elsewhere, according to data analyzes from the Times of the county’s more than 300 neighborhoods and cities.

The relative good fortune of those communities can be explained by some obvious demographic factors, such as the low housing density in Malibu and the large population of singles in West Hollywood working from home.

But residents and city officials also point to other factors that are believed to help control the epidemic: sea breezes, easy access to open spaces for exercise, access, a strong culture of mask adherence and, decisively, limited contact with others.

“I’m not saying I’m in the minority,” said Shayna Moon, project manager at Technol G, a home-based company in Playa del Rey. “My age and income brackets and the way people are educated, so few people are protected.”

Data analysis underscores the ranching inequalities unveiled by the epidemic in LA County and beyond.

Some areas – Eastside, East San Fernando Valley, South LA and the southeastern part of the county – have been devastated by the coronavirus. Many of these are low-income communities with a large number of residents who are essential workers, risking their lives on supermarkets, manufacturing companies and other businesses. They live in increasingly crowded conditions, bringing coronavirus home from work and spreading it between homes.

The hardest-hit areas lack wealth – large recreational open spaces and economic means to live at home with the population, deliver goods and work remotely – to better affluent communities. He was living in modest apartments instead of just scattered houses in single-family homes, but with additional economic and lifestyle factors.

When taken in full, these factors paint a story of two sums – showing that the luxuries of location and convenience play an important role in the ability to avoid coronavirus.

The story, which examines the weekly case rate between November 15 and January 15, is about some of the places that pass in addition to the holidays.


Crowds of visitors in masks at the pier

Masquerade visitors to Malibu Pier, with shopping, fishing and restaurants open for outdoor dining.

(El Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Last week in the courtyard of Malibu Shopping Plaza, 27-year-old Renee Hain was sitting on a sun bench while people were drinking coffee, chatting over lunch at a physically spaced table, and rushed to Pilates Studio.

Han, who lives in a house near the beach with his father and his girlfriend, was able to work remotely at a local tech company during the epidemic. He said the lack of density, lifestyle factors and even the Malibu climate could help explain the region’s relatively poor COVID-19 numbers.

“We’re close to the water, and the sea air is healing,” he said. “Everyone is out all the time.”

While LA County coronavirus case rate increased by 50,550 percent, Malibu city case rate only doubled. That puts it near the top of the list of communities that are least affected by the boom.

Precious real estate may have helped insulate Malibu. According to census figures, the average home value in a seaside community is $ 2 million, and in its compact commercial district many of the workers needed for rest restaurants, groceries and other businesses live outside the area.

As soon as the epidemic began, affluent residents of the city were able to work remotely, and most city hall services and meetings were immediately moved to online.

The mayor of the city, Mike Pierce, said, “A lot of people in Malibu were able to adjust to working from home, and I think that’s a big difference compared to all the people who went from 9 to 5. The jobs they needed to live among others. . “

Pierce noted that Malibu does not have nursing homes or long-term care facilities (although some attempts have been made to establish them), which have become centers of virus outbreaks.

But as a tourist destination, Malibu poses some dangers. With 15 million visitors a year, crowds on beaches and roads during the Malibu epidemic are considered a “real concern,” said city spokesman Matt Mairhoff.

To promote healthy behavior, the City Council passed an ordinance in November requiring the use of masks. A penalty of 50 is imposed which can be avoided if the violator complies immediately. Digital signage was also put up along the highway encouraging the use of face-painting in public in the city.

“The city is using all its communication channels for repetition and consolidation. [Los Angeles County] Safety recommendations of public health officials [and] Health order, ”Myroff said.

In addition, there is plenty of open space in the area. Julib Bagnoli, a Julib, lives “in the air in the woods” in the mountainous area of ​​Topanga, east of Malibu. She has many jobs – including alcohol treatment counseling and teaching yoga in children’s school – but her primary occupation is Vedic astrology, which she has been able to study remotely during epidemics.

Playing with her puppy Usha in a shopping plaza on the Pacific Coast Highway, she said that, compared to her Woodsy home, “the city is even more crowded.” He noted that there are only 10,000 people in Topanga and less than 14,000 in Malibu. “There are 14,000 people in a four-block radius in Hollywood. We are just more spread out. ”

West Hollywood

Long-exposure photos taken at night show the light trails from the car at an intersection

Cars flow at the intersection of La Sinega Boulevard and Holloway Drive in West Hollywood.

(Louis Cinco / Los Angeles Times)

West Hollywood, in some ways, seems to be the main candidate as a superprider locale. The city jams 36,000 people in less than 2 square miles.

Other densely populated areas of the county, including South L.A. And parts of San Gabriel Valley, where the rate of coronavirus cases increased by more than 1000% during the boom, while its cases in West Hollywood increased by only 46%.

The main difference: household size. West Hollywood is a place where many residents live alone, according to city data. And many in the area have been able to work from home during the epidemic.

Those options are far from the table for many essential workers and people who rely on multi-growth housing in parts of LA that are severely affected by the boom.

Dex Thompson, the 33-year-old actor, said he was the sole occupant of his home near the busy intersection of Fairfax Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard and had been running “Zoom Itinerations” since the beginning of the epidemic. The decision to audition has also been made deliberately, he said.

“There’s a little bit of narcissism out there,” Thompson said of West Hollywood, when he had a sushi and beet juice snack outside of Whole Foods. “Everyone feels a little important, like, ‘I’m going to be someone, and you’re not, so am I risking my life for you or for this opportunity?'”

The neon sign in the shape of a highway shield on the median says relax you are right

An incentive mark shone in the middle of the Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

That luxury – accommodation, work and preferences – has, in many ways, been a decisive factor in the epidemic.

Stylist Lisa Serra said she and her business partner have managed to grow their business by working outside of her apartment apartment.

Like Thompson, she is the sole occupant of her home, around the corner of West Hollywood’s commercial corridor. She has three interns – two of whom work remotely – and is tested for coronavirus at any time she wants to set foot on the set of the film.

Although there are friends on the east coast of Serra who have contracted COVID-19, she said she doesn’t know anyone in West Hollywood who has it.

She said staying healthy can help her and others in her neighborhood stay healthy during an epidemic. He hires in the Runyon Canyon almost every day and takes care to pull his mask tightly when someone approaches him on a famous trail.

Although the sea breeze and the scent-filled juice seem to be less than a factor, their relationship to health and COVID-19 has made a case for staying away.

Lifelong, systemic lack of primary health care and nutrition, as well as environmental factors such as pollution, can contribute to a higher probability of lihood to disease and death from the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of those factors have long plagued the poorer, denser and more diverse parts of the county that were hit hardest during the boom.

West Hollywood’s network of social programs can also make a difference. The city has developed free grocery and food distribution for vulnerable residents, extended assistance for tenants and small businesses, and advanced technological reach and communications efforts, city spokeswoman Lisa Belsanti said.

In addition, West Mali, like Malibu, passed an ordinance requiring the use of masks in public.

Some residents said the combination of factors worked.

“We’re a small town,” said Douglas, a 49-year-old real estate developer. “West Hollywood is good at communicating policies and getting information.”

Plaia del Rey

In Playa del Rey, a prosperous beachfront neighborhood near Los Angeles International Airport, the epidemic is rarely reported.

In fact, the rate of infection has dropped by 25% during the two-month period identified by the Times.

Malibu doesn’t have a place in the middle of Silicon Beach, but it does seem to have demographic advantages. U.S. According to a Times review of Census Bureau data, the coastal community is largely residential, consisting of a mix of single-family homes and ments apartments, and less densely populated than most neighborhoods and cities in the county.

It is also among the wealthiest people – and has a percentage of white-collar workers, which means many have the advantage of working from home.

Moon, a project manager and a Midwest transplantist in the neighborhood, is wary of following public health guidelines, he said, adding that his employer has allowed him to work from home since April.

Chandra said he would never set foot outside his apartment without a mask – and rarely ventured more than the neighborhood grocery and drugstore.

“I see very little risk on a daily basis. I’ve been basically isolated from it because of the demographic area I’m in.

A man in a mask looks at his phone as he walks down the sidewalk with coffee in hand

Perry Chung Playa runs with coffee from Playa Provisions from the popular commercial center of Dove Ray.

(Al Saeeb / Los Angeles Times)

But public health precautions – such as stay-at-home orders and intermittent bans on indoor and outdoor dining – have come into the neighborhood.

On PlayA provisions, there is a 75% reduction in business, a well-known snack near the beach.

“We like to be the main and trusted place for people to come,” said Brooke Williamson, co-owner and co-chef of the restaurant. “Every moment of this has been very painful.”

She said that despite better performance in the neighborhood than in other parts of the county, she and her staff never put a damper on their safety precautions.

“I did not try to think that the area was not dangerous. I always treated my rest restaurant rent, staff and family as if we were in the highest risk area to try not to be relieved in any way. “

While Williamson was talking, more than a dozen people walked into his restaurant. All wore masks.