Coronavirus Today: A weekend at home

The budget woes have left California desperate for more resources. Intensive care beds at Los Angeles County‘s emergency-room hospitals are already at or near capacity, even as those facilities have doubled the number available for COVID-19 patients. Because of the continuing shortage of test kits, the county health department has instructed doctors not to bother testing symptomatic patients if a positive result won’t change their treatment decisions.

Health workers will have to make choices about which patients receive scarce resources like hospital beds and ventilators. “We have to decide who must die and whom we shall keep alive,” said one doctor in Italy, where the death toll has already passed 3,400. Besides navigating wrenching ethical dilemmas, doctors, nurses and other hospital workers say their anxiety levels are rising as they hear about medical workers falling sick not just in Italy and China, but in the U.S. as well. “We’re going to start dropping like flies,” said one urgent care nurse in Los Angeles.

With a vaccine as far as 18 months off and effective treatments still unidentified, some scientists are investigating convalescent plasma, a little-known therapy with ancient roots. Scientists believe antibodies in the blood of recovered patients have the potential to prevent reinfection, and possibly even act like a vaccine. “This is not a proven treatment,” said U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn, but he called convalescent plasma “a pretty Los Angeles News.  exciting area.” A coalition of more than 20 research institutions is investigating its possibilities.

Beware of misinformation about the pandemic; it’s spreading like wildfire via social media, email and text messages. “We’re not just fighting an epidemic; we’re fighting an infodemic,” said World Health Organization director Tedros Adhanom.

Weekend activities
Just yesterday, emergency orders were handed down by various officials from Gov. Gavin Newsom to L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. The gist? Stay at home.

— Read Los Angeles’ FAQ and list of what’s open and closed here.
— Read the county of Los Angeles order here.
— Read the state of California’s “Stay Home” FAQ here.

If you’re looking for ways to spend the weekend at home, here are some ideas compiled by Times audience engagement editors Adrienne Shih, Jessica Roy and Fidel Martinez.

Set up virtual get-togethers with your friends. If you can set up a Skype call or a Google Hangout, you can do happy hour, karaoke, game night, watch parties, or book club. We’ve got technical instructions here, plus more ideas for stuff to do. Everyone’s itching for Press Release Distribution Services In Los Angeles human contact — this is the next best thing.

Work out at home. When was the last time you stretched? Do a yoga video (“Yoga With Adriene” has great stuff for beginners and vinyasa regulars alike), download the Peloton app (now free for 90 days), or search YouTube for whatever kind of workout class you normally do at the gym. You can also work out outside — more on that below.

Get closer to nature. Even under the new state and local orders, you’re allowed to go out for a walk, run, hike or bike ride — provided you maintain 6 feet of distance from everyone else. L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said on KPCC’s “Air Talk”: “I encourage people to have as much outdoor activity as they can.”

Plus, here are lists of the 50 best TV shows to binge, 11 TV shows to occupy your kids and 10 free L.A. Times podcasts to listen to. In our latest podcast, “Asian Enough,” The Times’ Jen Yamato and Frank Shyong invite celebrity guests such as John Cho and Lulu Wang to share their personal stories and unpack their Asian American identity on their own terms.
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