UC Santa Cruz students wear masks as in-person classes resume on campus
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Ups and downs as UCSC returns in person; inequity plagues COVID meds

Good morning, all, and welcome to a new month! It’s Tuesday, Feb. 1, and a sunny but breezy day is ahead for Santa Cruz County, with highs around 60. The forecast is calling for windy conditions into Thursday, particularly in the upper elevations:

Students have returned to in-person learning at UC Santa Cruz, and Lookout’s Hillary Ojeda found many mixed emotions on campus amid the continuing pandemic.

That’s not all I have for you on the COVID front this morning: The Bay Area has fared much better than Southern California in the Omicron surge, with vaccination rates among the keys; meanwhile, in echoes of last year’s vaccine rollout, equity is becoming a concern with new COVID medications.

And the push for single-payer health care has failed again in the California Assembly, leaving advocates furious.

Let’s dig on on those headlines:

‘I love it, but I hate it’

A student walks to class on the first day back on campus for the winter quarter on Jan. 31, 2022.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Students who were back on the UC Santa Cruz campus Monday expressed excitement, concern, encouragement and frustration. Read what they told Lookout’s Hillary Ojeda.

AROUND THE STATE: UC return to campus riven by conflicting pressures over in-person vs. remote classes (Los Angeles Times)

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Omicron hit Southern California much harder than Bay Area

A woman holds her husband's hand at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Local officials credit higher rates of vaccination and booster shots for helping Northern California weather the latest surge better. Get the details here from our partners at the Los Angeles Times.

THE LOCAL PICTURE: COVID-19 updates in Santa Cruz County: Infections, hospitalizations, deaths and demographic data (Lookout)

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As with vaccines, equity becomes an issue with COVID-19 medicines

Capsules of Pfizer's drug Paxlovid.
(Via Pfizer)

Remember all those problems we had with vaccine equity? Now they’re cropping up with new COVID-19 medications that are in short supply. The Times examines the developing issues.

LOCAL VAX SCENE: Vaccine update: Rates, where to find a COVID shot or test; wait, cost and turnaround times (Lookout)

Why Neil Young did society a big favor by targeting Joe Rogan’s COVID lies

Neil Young
(Neil Young Archives on Instagram)

Neil Young specifically targeted his protest at Spotify’s marquee podcaster, Joe Rogan, who has been a prime purveyor of dangerous COVID-19 information. Times columnist Michael Hiltzik has an analysis here.

POLITICIANS AND COVID: Newsom, S.F. and L.A. mayors get blowback for maskless photos with Magic Johnson at 49ers-Rams game (Los Angeles Times)

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Why single-payer health care died in the California Legislature, again

California lawmakers on the Assembly floor on Jan. 31, 2022.
(Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / CalMatters)

A bill for single-payer health care in California didn’t even get a vote in the state Assembly after its author couldn’t round up enough support before Monday’s deadline. Advocates are incensed. Our partners at CalMatters report on the latest misfire.

MORE FROM STATE GOVERNMENT: California moves forward on plans to shut down death row (Los Angeles Times)

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Around the county ...

Death penalty off the table for Steven Carrillo’s federal capital murder case (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
More victims come forward after arrest of Aptos deli employee for sexual assault (KSBW-TV)
Second Santa Cruz Starbucks begins union effort (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

That about does it for right now, but Lookout has much more on tap today, including another newsletter from our food and drink maven, Lily Belli. How do I get that, you ask? Head over to our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center for Lily and all the newsletters and alerts we offer. You can also keep tabs throughout the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

That’s all part of the local journalism membership helps to support — so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member. Our content isn’t possible without community support.

Have an excellent Tuesday, and let’s do this again tomorrow morning.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

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