Pandemic in Los Angeles: Day 08

Today I awoke to the news that over 3.3 million people in the United States filed for unemployment benefits over the past week. When I mentioned this to mom, she gasped. She then pointed out to me that the number doesn’t even include the informal economy, comprised of nannies, tamaleras, small business owners like herself, and countless more.

At the same time, the number of cases of Coronavirus found in L.A. County topped 1,200 today, with the figure reaching over 4,000 for the golden state overall; I realize that the figure is just the tipping point if Californians don’t heed the warnings to stay home and minimize travel down to the essentials. As well as if the professionals don’t have the personal protective equipment they need to reduce the risk of becoming infected by their patients.

But most signs point to the fact that people have stayed home as ordered thus far. In my own community, I’m surrounded by humble, God-fearing citizens, who, as working class people, largely play by the rules set up for us daily anyway for fear of reprisal otherwise. I know that las familias have been home, led overwhelmingly by mama, that is, and that for many of them the shutdown has even been a reprieve, especially for the laborers among them who wear their backs daily with brittle bones undergirding them to bring the day’s bread home.

We are a people as humble as angels peering down from their portraits as if weighed down by their wings. And something tells me that if Jesus himself walked through Los Angeles today, he’d smile deeply on meeting our glances for our still looking up through yet another storm. Perhaps he does. We are the people of the awakening. Tomorrow it’s my turn to bring back some more bread.

J.T.

10 Ways Not to Beat Summer 2019

Jer knows what's up this Summer 2019, with his J.T. gear on point
Jer knows how to beat Summer 2019; with J.T. gear on point

 

    1. Stay home all day playing Fortnite. Because let’s be frank: if you spend your entire summer just wriggling your thumbs to the Fornite Gods you’ll lose extraordinary amounts of sleep and simply age faster, except not in the cool way, but in the way where you end up looking like Yoda from Star Wars for lack of enough sunlight and oxygen.
    2. Stay home all day watching Netflix. Face it. No matter how chill it is to stay planted on your couch watching re-runs of On My Block, the fact is that there’s a real block out in L.A. that only you can tell great stories about. Does this mean that you’ve got to write out your own magnum opus instead of watching someone else’s? No, but it does mean that getting started on it is probably a good idea.
    3. Stay home all day waiting for ______ to get home to take you out. Whether we’re talking about parents, big brothers, sisters, or whoever, it’s fundamental for you to understand that 99.9% of the people around you have their own lives to lead and take care of. This means that depending solely on another person to show you a good time is 1: Going to require lots of waiting, and 2: Not going to work out most of the time.
    4. Don’t visit your local public library. Who needs books, right? Books are for school! And school is OUT. So what does the library matter? Oh, idunno. I guess it’s just there to provide you with free air conditioning, peace and quiet, and time, all of which are key for you to develop the outline of your own On the Block. But wait, that’s what you’re NOT trying to do, right? You’re NOT trying to create your own elaborate stories, but hoping to leave it for others to do, right? (WRONG)
    5. Eat lots of McDonald’s and other fast food. Did you know that in a single day the average McDonald’s in your vicinity takes home nearly $7,500, or about 75% of what the state of California spends on educating just one student in a single school-year? How much do you take home, after your 3rd happy meal for the week? You take home a +$21.00 Loss, my friend, not including gas. We can do better!
    6. Drink lots of soda and consume endless amounts of Takis. Look, I get it. Often when you’re Young, you’ve got maybe just five dollars in your pocket. Once you get to the market, you feel the only things you can get with that are a bag of Takis, chewing gum, and a Gatorade. But did you know that for five bucks you can also get a half-gallon of milk, a container of strawberries, and a handful of bananas? For what, you ask? To make your own strawberry banana smoothie, which gets you more natural sugar without all the extra calories, bud!
    7. Don’t read Jimbo Times: The L.A. Storyteller. Because free Los Cuentos merch for what, you say? Who needs that!!! NOT YOU.
    8. Don’t sign up for a free class at your local community college even though in L.A. it’s practically free for students under 18. After all, learning is too much of a lethargy anyway, right? And there’s no time for that. Wait, what does lethargy mean again? Not time for school!
    9. Don’t Exercise. After all, exercise is for animals, and humans aren’t animals, we’re mammals. Which is so different, right? Oh, I forgot. Not time for school!
    10. Don’t care. Because since we’re not doing much this Summer 2019 anyway, whatever this potentially productive item could be doesn’t even matter! Just imagine just how much doesn’t get done when we think and act this way! A lot.

      J.T.