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Hey, hey, it’s the weekend.

And not just any weekend. The one before the crazy holiday week leading into the crazy holiday weekend … which precedes the next crazy holiday week and weekend.

Yes, get your deep breath in — maybe even a deep tissue massage — the next few days. I also highly recommend a re-viewing of Christmas Vacation if you haven’t already this holiday season. A little Chevy Chase, Randy Quaid and Julia Louis-Dreyfus will fix much that ails this time of year.

But before you do any of that, let’s talk Omicron, a national social media school hoax that led to an arrest locally, some delicious eating options for the weekend and our latest Unsung Santa Cruz story.

To the headlines of the day we go…

Time costs money: The price for same-day COVID-19 tests can be high

CruzMedMo owner Andrew Lewis stands outside a company van.
CruzMedMo owner Andrew Lewis stands outside a company van. Credit: Haneen Zain / Lookout Santa Cruz

Convenience at a cost: Under state and federal law, COVID-19 tests must be covered by insurance, and any provider that accepts coverage must also provide it for free to the uninsured. Results often take between three and five days. For Santa Cruzans who need it faster, there are local options, but the most convenient can cost up to $225. Haneen Zain has the details.

VARIANT CONCERN: Delta, Omicron could overwhelm hospitals soon (LA Times)
SAFETY OF YOUNGEST: What’s the timeline for kids under 5 to get a COVID vaccine? (LA Times)
The latest data on vaccines/boosters in Santa Cruz County
COVID-19 updates in Santa Cruz County: Infections, hospitalizations, deaths and demographic data

No credible threat in school-violence ‘challenge,’ but one middle school student is arrested

A Watsonville police squad car. Like other cities, Watsonville is grappling with calls to 'defund the police.'
A Watsonville police squad car. Like other cities, Watsonville is grappling with calls to ‘defund the police.’ Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

What we know: Santa Cruz officials say there were “no verified or credible threats” identified amid a social media trend that encouraged users to call in shooting or bomb threats to schools Friday. However, a student who allegedly made a threat at a middle school in Watsonville was arrested in the afternoon. More on that here.

ICYMI: Jorge Zamora selected to serve as Watsonville’s new police chief (Grace Stetson)

Rustic Ales’ food transition, Hanloh pad thai at home & Gayle’s holiday treats

Hanloh's Rustic Pad Thai Kits have everything you need to make authentic Pad Thai for six in your own home.

EATERS DIGEST: A makeover will bring Todd Parker’s pizzas to Sante Adairius’ Midtown location in the new year, but before then, don’t miss your chance to prepare Lalita Kaewsawang’s pad thai in your own kitchen, perhaps with dessert courtesy of a Capitola institution. Lily Belli digs in on all that and the coming week’s top foodie events in Eaters Digest. That and more from Lily Belli.

ICYMI: Local eateries vs. the supply-chain blues: What we learned about pricing switch-ups, menu casualties, sourcing (Lily Belli)

‘They needed a community,’ and she was the one to keep them together

Juko Holiday
Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Unsung Santa Cruz: Through the pandemic and the CZU fire, yoga studio owner Juko Holiday prioritized her clients through the community and safe space she cultivated at Ease Mountain Yoga in Ben Lomond. Holiday lost her two tiny homes in the blaze but continued to offer free meditation classes over Zoom from a hotel lobby to help heal her community. Haneen Zain with the story here.

OUR ONGOING SERIES: All of the normal folk doing amazing things in one place

More from here & elsewhere

Lawsuit filed to reopen the Great Highway and other SF streets (SF Gate)
SF Mayor declares State of Emergency in the Tenderloin (SF Gate)
Nets, unvaccinated Irving find middle ground letting him play (USA Today)
Fact check: No evidence Trump asked for 10,000 troops before Jan. 6 (USA Today)
Amid rise of omicron, businesses ease up on return-to-work policies (NBC News)
Food suppliers blame inflation for price hikes. Lawmakers say they’re padding the bill. (NBC News)

Have a great weekend, everyone. We’ll kick off the holiday-week craziness together on Monday.

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor

Follow Mark Conley on: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Mark joins Lookout after 14 years at the Mercury News and Bay Area News Group, where he served as Deputy Sports Editor on a staff that covered three...