LA used to think it was exceptional. Then came the coronavirus pandemic

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Dodger Stadium’s COVID-19 vaccination site on the second day of its closure due to dose shortages, February 14, 2021. The site is expected to reopen on February 16, 2021. Photo by Brian Hardzinski.

In LA, skyrocketing costs of living and a pandemic are highlighting the economic inequalities of a city known for glitz, glamour, and Hollywood happy endings.  

What will LA look like in the future? Will COVID-19 help Angelenos and the country see what needs to be fixed, or will the city go back to how it’s been for decades?

Journalist and author Erin Aubry Kaplan’s new opinion column for the New York Times is titled “Los Angeles, ravaged by COVID, faces a sobering reality.

Kaplan says Angelenos suffer from a sense of exceptionalism. "Maybe it's the Hollywood thing, maybe it's being on the West Coast, being the last place in the American frontier. But we just see ourselves as kind of a special entity." 

But she says COVID-19 has illuminated that LA isn’t exceptional at all, and the aftermath of the pandemic won’t be the anticipated Hollywood happy ending people expect.

Credits

Guest:

  • Erin Aubry Kaplan - contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, former columnist for the LA Times, author of the book “Black Talk, Blue Thoughts, and Walking the Color Line: Dispatches From a Black Journalista”