All your COVID-19 questions answered: An archive of Coronavirus Today reader Q&As

A photo collage showing an N-95 mask, a syringe of COVID-19 vaccine, a coronavirus test swab and other images
(Ross May / Los Angeles Times; Getty Images)

Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve answered hundreds of questions from readers of our Coronavirus Today newsletter. Our reporters have consulted doctors, scientists and public health experts to bring you the most up-to-date information on the virus, the crisis it has created and the global fight against it.

In the newsletter’s regular “Your Questions Answered” section, we’ve addressed queries about vaccines and medical treatments, about whether it’s safe to go shopping or send kids to school, about the science behind the threat of new variants and about when we might expect life to return to normal. Through it all, we’ve aimed to be your trusted guide as we navigate this uncertain world together.

You’ll find answers to all the questions we’ve answered in the newsletter listed below in our archives. Just click the link, and scroll to the bottom of each edition to read them.

Each edition appears as it did at the time it was published, so please keep in mind that some of the guidance in our older editions may be out of date.


March 2023

— Can a sinus rinse (like a neti pot) help flush out the coronavirus in an infected person? (March 28)
— Can I get a prescription for Paxlovid to take with me when I travel abroad in case I get COVID-19 while I’m there? (March 21)
— Does it still make sense for my choir to have a vaccination requirement, especially if it only applies to the initial shots and not boosters? (March 14)
— Will people in L.A. County still have to wear masks in healthcare settings once the county’s health emergency ends? (March 7)

February 2023

— It’s been six months since my last booster shot. Is there a plan in place for the next round? (Feb. 28)
— How is wastewater being tested for the coronavirus in Los Angeles? (Feb. 21)
— Should I be worried about the XBB.1.5 variant? (Feb. 14)
— When should I get my second bivalent booster shot? (Feb. 7)

January 2023

— Is the risk of dying of COVID-19 still higher for unvaccinated people than for vaccinated people? (Jan. 31)
— What is a COVID-19 case cluster? (Jan. 24)
— When I wear an N95 mask, is it mostly protecting me from other people’s germs, or does it protect them from mine as well? (Jan. 17)
— Did a COVID-19 vaccine cause Damar Hamlin to collapse on the football field? (Jan. 10)

December 2022

— How can I celebrate the holidays without getting COVID-19? (Dec. 20)
— What would it take for L.A. County to bring back its mask mandate? (Dec. 13)
Is there a test that can confirm my belief that I’ve never had a coronavirus infection? (Dec. 6)

November 2022

— How long do I need to air out my house if someone comes inside without wearing a mask? (Nov. 29)
— After getting Evusheld, how long should I wait to get a booster shot? (Nov. 15)
— Will I have to remove my mask during jury duty? (Nov. 8)
— Have the main symptoms of COVID-19 changed? (Nov. 1)

October 2022

— Can I find out which coronavirus strain made me sick? (Oct. 25)
— Is it possible to have too many coronavirus antibodies? (Oct. 18)
How long should I wait to get the new booster if I’ve recently had COVID-19? (Oct. 11)
— Can I get a COVID-19 booster and flu shot at the same time? (Oct. 4)


September 2022

— Does it matter which bivalent booster shot I get? (Sept. 27)
What’s the difference between being “fully vaccinated” and being “up to date”? (Sept. 20)
— Should I get the new COVID-19 booster right away or wait until closer to winter? (Sept. 13)
— How soon can I get the new COVID-19 booster? (Sept. 6)

August 2022

— How can I tell if my COVID-19 tests are expired? (Aug. 30)
— Is there any reason to keep my cloth masks? (Aug. 23)
— How can my child avoid COVID-19 at school? (Aug. 16)
— Does COVID-19 still affect men more than women? (Aug. 9)
— Should I wait to get a booster until the one that targets Omicron comes out? (Aug. 2)

July 2022

— Should I let the county health department know that I got a positive result on a rapid test? (July 26)
— What is Centaurus? (July 19)
How can I protect myself against the super-contagious BA.5 subvariant? (July 12)
— If I get COVID-19, how long do I need to stay isolated? (July 5)

June 2022

— Which COVID-19 vaccine should I get for my toddler? (June 28)
What’s the criteria for having a “high” COVID-19 community level? (June 21)
— How can I tell if my kid’s summer camp is taking COVID-19 seriously? (June 14)
— Should I just get COVID-19 and get it over with? (June 7)

May 2022

— Is COVID-19 increasing the country’s overall death rate? (May 31)
— How many Americans who died of COVID-19 were unvaccinated? (May 24)
— How are COVID-19 deaths counted in the U.S.? (May 17)
— Is the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine still an option in the U.S.? (May 10)
— What will happen to me if I get COVID-19 while traveling abroad? (May 3)

April 2022

— How can I reduce my infection risk on a plane when other passengers aren’t wearing masks? (April 26)
— Where can I go to participate in the “Test to Treat” program? (April 19)
— How can I tell if I have COVID-19 or just normal allergies? (April 12)
— Should I get a second COVID-19 booster shot if I’m not immunocompromised? (April 5)


March 2022

— What’s the latest on COVID-19 shots for the youngest children? (March 29)
— When can I get another COVID-19 booster shot? (March 22)
— What is Deltacron, and do I need to worry about it? (March 15)
— If I got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, should I get two booster shots instead of just one? (March 8)
— Where do I still need to wear a mask in Los Angeles County? (March 4)
— Why does the CDC now recommend a longer wait between COVID-19 shots? (March 1)

February 2022

— Did Omicron infect enough people to get the U.S. to herd immunity? (Feb. 25)
— How many times can I reuse my N95 or KN95 mask? (Feb. 22)
What’s the difference between pandemic and endemic? (Feb. 18)
— Can I toss my face mask now that California’s mask mandate is ending? (Feb. 15)
— How does California’s new COVID-19 sick-pay law work? (Feb. 11)
— Are there any special COVID-19 rules for Super Bowl visitors? (Feb. 8)
— How soon might a COVID-19 vaccine be ready for preschoolers? (Feb. 4)
— How can I tell whether a COVID-19 testing site is legit? (Feb. 1)

January 2022

— What is BA.2? (Jan. 28)
— Why can’t people on Medicare get reimbursed for buying COVID-19 test kits? (Jan. 25)
— Should I order the free COVID-19 test kits if I’m triple vaxxed and don’t feel sick? (Jan. 21)
— If I test positive for a coronavirus infection with an at-home test, do I need to report it to someone? (Jan. 18)
— Has Omicron made my cloth mask obsolete? (Jan. 14)
— Why is it so hard to find a rapid coronavirus test? (Jan. 11)
— Should I hold a COVID party for my kids so I can get this over with? (Jan. 7)
— Are any of California’s new laws aimed at protecting people from COVID-19? (Jan. 4)

December 2021

— What makes the Omicron variant spread so quickly? (Dec. 28)
— How can I minimize my infection risk when I fly for the holidays? (Dec. 21)
— How do I report a business that isn’t checking to see whether customers are fully vaccinated? (Dec. 17)
— Can I use money in my flexible spending account to buy COVID-19 supplies? (Dec. 14)
— How will the world decide when the COVID-19 pandemic is over? (Dec. 10)
— If I don’t have side effects after getting a COVID-19 booster shot, does that mean it didn’t work? (Dec. 7)
— Where did the Omicron variant come from? (Dec. 3)

November 2021

— What should I do to protect myself against Omicron? (Nov. 30)
— Are there any COVID-19 restrictions for my out-of-town visitors? (Nov. 23)
— What safety precautions should I take if I’m traveling for Thanksgiving? (Nov. 19)
— What should I do about a COVID-19 booster shot? (Nov. 16)
— Does the Biden administration’s new vaccine mandate apply to me? (Nov. 12)
— What are the new rules about international travel? (Nov. 9)
— Do I need to start carrying some kind of vaccine passport in Los Angeles? (Nov. 5)
— Can children get long COVID? (Nov. 2)

October 2021

— What’s a safe way to celebrate Halloween? (Oct. 29)
— Should I use a different type of COVID-19 vaccine for my booster shot? (Oct. 26)
— Will we have to worry about coronavirus variants forever? (Oct. 22)
— Can I get a COVID-19 booster shot designed for the Delta variant? (Oct. 19)
— Does it really matter if I get vaccinated against COVID-19 at this point? (Oct. 15)
— Is it safe to go trick-or-treating this year? (Oct. 12)
— Do I need to delay my flu shot in order to get a COVID-19 vaccine? (Oct. 8)
— When can we stop wearing masks indoors in Los Angeles County? (Oct. 5)
— Is the Delta variant worse for kids than previous versions of the coronavirus? (Oct. 1)


September 2021

— How can I get a COVID-19 booster shot? (Sept. 28)
— When can young children get vaccinated for COVID-19? (Sept. 24)
— Is it unhealthy for kids to wear masks all day? (Sept. 21)
— Do I need to be vaccinated to go to a bar in L.A. County? (Sept. 17)
Where can I get help now that temporary programs for unemployed Americans have ended? (Sept. 14)
— Should I be worried about the Mu variant? (Sept. 10)
— Should I be worried about the C.1.2 variant? (Sept. 7)
— What is the coronavirus situation in my child’s school? (Sept. 3)

August 2021

— What happens if my child tests positive for a coronavirus infection at school? (Aug. 31)
— If COVID-19 tests are supposed to be free, why did I get charged? (Aug. 27)
— Should I be worried about the Lambda variant? (Aug. 24)
— Do I need a booster shot if I got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine? (Aug. 20)
— Are teachers and school staff members required to get vaccinated against COVID-19? (Aug. 17)
— How will schools keep students safe as they reopen? (Aug. 13)
— When will a COVID-19 vaccine receive full FDA approval? (Aug. 10)
— Does a journalist asking about my vaccination status violate HIPAA? (Aug. 6)
— Why does the Delta variant spread so easily? (Aug. 3)

July 2021

— Can employers require their workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19? (July 31)
— Do I need to get vaccinated if I’ve already had COVID-19? (July 27)
Who is enforcing L.A. County’s indoor mask mandate? (July 23)
— If COVID-19 vaccines work so great, why do vaccinated people need to mask up indoors? (July 20)
— Am I eligible for California’s new stimulus money? (July 16)
— Are COVID-19 symptoms worse for people infected with the Delta variant? (July 13)
— How well do COVID-19 vaccines work against the Delta variant? (July 9)
— If I got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, should I get a booster shot of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine? (July 6)
— For children, how does the risk of a serious side effect from the COVID-19 vaccine compare with the health risks of getting COVID-19? (July 2)

June 2021

— Why is Japan lagging so far behind on COVID-19 vaccinations? (June 29)
— When will I need to get a COVID-19 booster shot? (June 25)
— What should I do if my COVID-19 vaccine record doesn’t show up in the state’s digital system? (June 22)
— What’s the etiquette for interacting with workers when I go into a store or restaurant? (June 18)
— Now that the economy has reopened, when do I need to wear a mask? (June 15)
— When can kids younger than 12 get vaccinated? (June 10)
— What happens if I lose my vaccination card? (June 9; update to April 12)
— Do COVID-19 vaccines cause problems with pregnancy? (June 8)
— Can COVID-19 vaccines actually spread the coronavirus? (June 3)
— How is emergency use authorization for a vaccine different from full FDA approval? (June 2)
— Why does your vaccine tracker graphic show the percentage of all Californians who have been vaccinated instead of the percentage of people who are eligible? (June 1)

May 2021

— Should I get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine even though I already got the Johnson & Johnson shot? (May 27)
— If you catch the virus, will you get less sick if you’re infected by a vaccinated person than by an unvaccinated person? (May 26)
— What are my chances of getting COVID-19 if I’m fully vaccinated? (May 25)
— Can the COVID-19 vaccine affect my hearing? (May 24)
How will stores know if customers and employees are vaccinated? (May 20)
— How can I convince my employer to let me keep working remotely? (May 19)
— Can I take off my mask inside a Trader Joe’s if I’m fully vaccinated? (May 18)
— How do you persuade someone who’s reluctant to get vaccinated to go ahead and do it? (May 17)
— What do I need to do to get a COVID-19 shot for my younger teen? (May 13)
— When can 12- to 15-year-olds start getting COVID-19 vaccines? (May 11)
— How do I get the COVID-19 vaccine in Los Angeles now that appointments are no longer required? (May 10)
— Will the COVID-19 vaccines affect my period? (May 6)
— How can I persuade my loved ones to get the COVID-19 vaccine? (May 5)
— I’m afraid of needles. What can I do to overcome my fear and get vaccinated? (May 4)
— My 14-year-old child isn’t eligible to get vaccinated yet. Is there anything I can do to get around that? (May 3)

April 2021

— How are the COVID-19 vaccines tested in kids? (April 29)
— What will change when L.A. County moves to the yellow tier? (April 28)
— I am fully vaccinated. What can I do with my unvaccinated friends? (April 27)
— What activities are safe for families when kids still aren’t vaccinated? (April 26)
— With vaccinations rising fast and infections remaining low, do I still need to wear a mask? (April 22)
— For how long will the COVID-19 vaccine protect me? (April 21)
— Can my employer require me to get the COVID-19 vaccine? (April 20)
— Will the pause in the administration of the J&J vaccine mean I’ll have to wait longer for a COVID-19 shot? (April 19)
— Why is Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine the only one associated with a rare type of blood clots? (April 15)
— Can the government require proof of vaccination? (April 14)
— I got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Should I be worried about a blood clot? (April 13)
— What should I do if I lose my COVID-19 vaccination card? (April 12; also see update on June 9)
— Can businesses require customers to show proof of vaccination? (April 8)
— How do we know the COVID-19 vaccines are safe? (April 7)
— What is different now that L.A. County has moved to the orange tier? (April 5)
— Are there plans to get vaccines to homebound seniors? (April 1)


Vaccinating children is the critical next step in the U.S. campaign against COVID-19 — and one that public health officials worry could prove difficult.

April 2, 2021

March 2021

— I’m at least 50 years old and qualify for a vaccine starting April 1. What do I need to know? (March 31)
— When can temperature checks at workplaces be phased out? (March 30)
— How can I get a COVID-19 vaccine even if I don’t officially qualify for one yet? (March 25)
— If I’ve been fully vaccinated, is it safe for me to take public transportation? (March 24)
— What is a data and safety monitoring board, and how does it ensure that vaccine trial results are accurate? (March 23)
— What does it mean for a vaccine to be 95% effective? (March 22)
— What do we know about the coronavirus spreading among high school athletes? (March 18)
— How are gyms making it safe to work out indoors? (March 17)
— Can I get the vaccine if I have a cold? (March 16)
— How will we know when we have reached herd immunity? (March 15)
— How will the COVID-19 relief package affect me? (March 11)
— When can children and teens be vaccinated? (March 10)
— How close is L.A. County to moving into the red tier? (March 9; update to March 2 edition)
— What will I be allowed to do once I’m fully vaccinated? (March 8)
— Can I improve the effectiveness of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by getting a booster shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine? (March 4)
— If I’ve had a bad reaction to a vaccine before, how do I know the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for me? (March 3)
— How close is L.A. County to moving into the red tier? (March 2; see March 9 edition for update)
— Is it OK to mix and match doses from different COVID-19 vaccines? (March 1)

Why are things like this — with our kids, our families, school? Consider me your accountability yenta, the person who figures things out for you.

April 5, 2021

February 2021

— Is it safe to go to the gym yet? (Feb. 25)
— How long should I wait to get vaccinated if I’ve recovered from a coronavirus infection? (Feb. 24)
— When will I get my California stimulus check? (Feb. 23)
— Is it dangerous to get a COVID-19 vaccine while you have an active coronavirus infection? (Feb. 22)
— Why do I still need to wear a mask even after I’ve been vaccinated? (Feb. 18)
— Should we brace for another coronavirus case surge in the spring? (Feb. 17)
— Is it safe for children to go back to school if they haven’t been vaccinated? (Feb. 16)
— Should you expect more side effects after your second dose of vaccine than after your first? (Feb. 11)
— Will wearing two masks protect me better than just one? (Feb. 10)
— I live in Los Angeles. When are we getting more vaccine shipments? (Feb. 9)
— What’s the difference between a variant and a strain? (Feb. 8)
— Is it OK to take painkillers before or after a COVID-19 vaccine? (Feb. 4)
— How will I know when it’s time for my second dose of COVID-19 vaccine? (Feb. 3)
Which company’s vaccine should I get? (Feb. 2)
I’m pregnant. Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine? (Feb. 1)

The emergence of new virus variants will complicate efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists say. But they’re confident we’ll still get there.

Feb. 10, 2021

January 2021

— If I got a vaccine from Moderna batch 041L20A, what should I do? (Jan. 28)
— Can I get my second dose of COVID-19 vaccine a few days early? (Jan. 27)
— What happens if my second dose of vaccine is delayed? (Jan. 26)
— I’m eligible for a vaccine. Will I be able to get my shot soon? (Jan. 25)
— When will all the folks who aren’t healthcare workers, nursing home residents or at least 65 years old be eligible to get a vaccine? (Jan. 21)
— I’m an older resident of L.A. County who is eligible for the vaccine. How do I get it? (Jan. 20)
— Can you be infected with the same strain of the coronavirus more than once? (Jan. 19)
— How soon can I get vaccinated? (Jan. 14)

Americans waiting their turn for a COVID-19 vaccine may not be pleased to see who’s in line ahead of them. Does a prisoner or smoker deserve it more?

Dec. 19, 2020

— If I’ve had COVID-19, do I still need to get vaccinated? (Jan. 13)
— Will a COVID-19 vaccine reduce my risk of transmitting the virus? (Jan. 12)
How many U.S. states have the coronavirus strain from the United Kingdom? (Jan. 11)
— How will I know when to get my second dose of COVID-19 vaccine? (Jan. 7)
How safe are the COVID-19 vaccines in the real world? (Jan. 6)
— How worried should we be about the coronavirus variant from the U.K.? (Jan. 5)
— How does L.A. County’s new mandatory quarantine order work? Does it apply to me? (Jan. 4)

The Biden administration is boosting efforts to identify and track coronavirus variants to help scientists see where the pandemic is heading next.

Feb. 7, 2021

December 2020

— When will I get my stimulus check, and how much am I getting? (Dec. 29, 2020)
— Why isn’t more COVID-19 vaccine available? (Dec. 28, 2020)
— Does a negative coronavirus test clear me for holiday gatherings? (Dec. 22, 2020)
— Are the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines effective in children and teens? (Dec. 21, 2020)
— If I get the vaccine now, will there be enough available for me to get the required second dose in a few weeks? (Dec. 17, 2020)
— If I get the vaccine, do I still have to wear a mask? (Dec. 16, 2020)
— If I had COVID-19 several months ago but still have symptoms now, am I still likely to be contagious? (Dec. 15, 2020)
— How did the first COVID-19 vaccine get approved so fast? (Dec. 14, 2020)
Do you need to wear a mask after recovering from COVID-19? (Dec. 10, 2020)
— What’s the science behind banning outdoor dining at restaurants? (Dec. 9, 2020)
— If I already had COVID-19, should I still get the vaccine? (Dec. 8, 2020)
— What’s the difference between vaccination, inoculation and immunization? (Dec. 7, 2020)
Who will be the first to get the vaccine in the U.S.? (Dec. 3, 2020)
— Is it safe to eat prepared foods that can’t be cooked? (Dec. 2, 2020)
— How long does the virus stay in the air outside? (Dec. 1, 2020)

Researchers share which numbers they’re watching to forecast when California’s deadly COVID-19 surge will end.

Jan. 8, 2021

November 2020

— How easy is it to contract the virus through the eyes? (Nov. 30, 2020)
— If your toes turn red but you have no other symptoms, could you have the coronavirus? (Nov. 24, 2020)
— How safe is it to go to indoor movie theaters during the pandemic? (Nov. 23, 2020)
— Should we mask up when we come into contact with people who have recovered from COVID-19? (Nov. 19, 2020)
— What’s the evidence that masks help reduce transmission? (Nov. 18, 2020)
— When will a vaccine be available, and how soon can I get it? (Nov. 17, 2020)
— How many infectious people are missed by screening methods like temperature checks and questionnaires? (Nov. 16, 2020)


Can you have Thanksgiving during the COVID-19 pandemic? Researchers have created an interactive map that estimates the risk you’ll face in any county.

Nov. 11, 2020

— Is it better to wash my hands with warm water than cold? (Nov. 12, 2020)
— How accurate are coronavirus tests when given to asymptomatic people? (Nov. 11, 2020)
— Am I more likely to get COVID-19 if I get the flu? (Nov. 10, 2020)
— How safe is it to stay in motels and hotels, particularly ones with shared hallways? (Nov. 9, 2020)
— What’s the difference between isolation and quarantine? (Nov. 5, 2020)
— How do I tell family I won’t see them without alienating or insulting them? (Nov. 4, 2020)
— How much do people put themselves at risk by voting in person rather than by mail? (Nov. 3, 2020)
— If you were the virus czar, what three things would you do to control the pandemic? (Nov. 2, 2020)

Many teachers, grocers and even some hospital employees are wary of the COVID-19 vaccine and don’t want it. The question of mandatory vaccine requirements by employers is complicated.

Jan. 15, 2021

October 2020

— What is the purpose of face shields? Do they replace masks? (Oct. 29, 2020)
— Will it be safe in July 2021 to hold large events, such as weddings? (Oct. 28, 2020)
How does train travel compare with car and air travel in terms of coronavirus risk? (Oct. 27, 2020)
— Will I be exposed to the virus if I eat with someone at a small table in a restaurant? (Oct. 26, 2020)
— What is the risk of exposure when getting medical tests that require close contact? (Oct. 22, 2020)
Is mask acne a thing? (Oct. 21, 2020)
— Surely I don’t need to wear sunscreen under my mask, right? (Oct. 20, 2020)
— How risky is it to use public restrooms? (Oct. 19, 2020; following up answer from Oct. 6, 2020)

— What would Joe Biden and President Trump do for struggling small businesses? (Oct. 15, 2020)
— Wouldn’t at-home rapid tests help us safely see family for the holidays? (Oct. 14, 2020)
When will Los Angeles schools reopen? (Oct. 13, 2020)
— Does The Times’ reporting on the White House outbreak include staff there? (Oct. 12, 2020)
Is pink eye a sign someone has COVID-19? (Oct. 8, 2020)
— After her COVID-19 diagnosis, how is First Lady Melania Trump doing? (Oct. 7, 2020)
— How risky is it to use public restrooms? (Oct. 6, 2020; more details on Oct. 19, 2020)
— What’s the difference between an osteopath and a regular doctor? (Oct. 5, 2020)
— Does COVID-19 hit people with preexisting conditions hard even when those conditions are properly medicated? (Oct. 1, 2020)

Emotions spilled forth in the Ramirez household after mom and dad, both doctors, received their second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Feb. 11, 2021

September 2020

— What are the COVID-19 symptoms to watch for? (Sept. 30, 2020)
— Why are playgrounds closed? What’s the plan to reopen them? (Sept. 29, 2020; update to answer from Sept. 8, 2020)
— Could the masks we already wear mitigate the effects of air pollution from wildfires? (Sept. 28, 2020)
— How do I fly safely and navigate an airport safely? (Sept. 24, 2020)
— Are there easy ways to screen for COVID-19? (Sept. 23, 2020)
— Will it be safe to travel and visit my family for the holidays? (Sept. 22, 2020)
— Can you get COVID-19 from dogs? (Sept. 21, 2020)
— Can a recovered COVID-19 patient safely go out in public without a mask? How long does immunity last? (Sept. 17, 2020)
— Is it safe and legal to attend a sibling’s backyard wedding? (Sept. 16, 2020)
— Is it sufficient to wear a face shield and not a mask? (Sept. 15, 2020)
— Is it OK for workers to come into your home for repairs? (Sept. 10, 2020)
— How do you differentiate between symptoms of smoke inhalation and COVID-19? (Sept. 9, 2020)
— Why are playgrounds in L.A. County closed, and what are the plans to reopen them? (Sept. 8, 2020; also see update from Sept. 29, 2020)
When will libraries reopen? (Sept. 3, 2020)
— Why can’t we use public broadcast TV stations for school classes? (Sept. 1, 2020)

Trying to create a social pod so her daughter could again play with her friends led this mom down a rabbit hole of awkwardness, rejection and frustration.

Jan. 22, 2021

August 2020

Is it safe to book travel yet? (Aug. 31, 2020)
— Why are child-care centers allowed to stay open while schools are closed? (Aug. 26, 2020)
— What happens if schools reopen and someone gets COVID-19? (Aug. 25, 2020)
— Given the double threat of smoke and COVID-19, what kind of mask should I wear? (Aug. 24, 2020)
— Why was there a sudden drop in daily coronavirus cases in L.A. County? (Aug. 18, 2020)
— How do we persuade our friends and family to wear masks? (Aug. 17, 2020)
— How can I support my child as they begin a new semester of distance learning? (Aug. 13, 2020)
— What tips can you give people looking for new jobs? (Aug. 12, 2020)
— What resources are there for domestic workers who can’t show up to their jobs? (Aug. 10, 2020)
— How do I know if I’m a victim of a coronavirus scam? (Aug. 6, 2020)
What kind of hand sanitizer should I be using? (Aug. 5, 2020)
— How do I report a business ignoring coronavirus safety orders? (Aug. 4, 2020)

In the dusty fields of the San Joaquin Valley, “El Profe” brings masks, music and help to farm laborers, some of whom are barely scraping by.

Dec. 21, 2020

July 2020

— Why is it so hard to find local data on the number of people who have recovered? (July 30, 2020)
— What is the status of the eviction moratorium for commercial tenants in L.A. County? (July 29, 2020)
— How might our society change for the better after the pandemic? (July 28, 2020)
— Will the DMV issue an extension for driver’s license renewals? (July 27, 2020)
— If I don’t feel safe meeting friends and family, what should I do? (July 23, 2020)
— Is it true that children are less likely to get infected and spread the virus to others? (July 21, 2020)
— Does wearing a mask lower my oxygen levels? (July 20, 2020)
— What happens when California’s eviction moratorium expires in September? (July 16, 2020)
How does contact tracing work? (July 15, 2020)
— How dangerous is the virus to students if in-person classes resume? (July 14, 2020)
— Can an unborn baby get the coronavirus? (July 13, 2020)
— Is there any link between blood type and COVID-19 outcomes? (July 9, 2020)
When can I renew my passport? (July 8, 2020)
— Why do some tests provide almost immediate results and others take a few days? (July 7, 2020)
How does the coronavirus spread? (July 6, 2020; update to answer from March 12, 2020)
What’s closed outdoors in Southern California for the long holiday weekend? (July 1, 2020)


When did you realize that the COVID-19 pandemic would profoundly alter your life? For this reporter, it was the last week of February 2020.

Dec. 15, 2020

June 2020

— What’s the status of coronavirus protections on planes? (June 30, 2020)
— How can we plan family gatherings and stay safe? (June 29, 2020)
— How can I ride my bike while staying safe from COVID-19? (June 25, 2020)
— What resources are available for people experiencing domestic violence? (June 24, 2020)
— Our economic stimulus money has not yet arrived. What can we do? (June 23, 2020)
— What happens after the $600 federal unemployment benefit ends? (June 22, 2020)
— Is it safe to go shopping and eat at restaurants yet? (June 18, 2020)
— Is it safe to go camping? (June 17, 2020)
— How important is it to wear a mask, really? (June 16, 2020)
— Is it safe to visit museums? (June 15, 2020)
— Is it safe to drive long distances? (June 11, 2020)
What will gyms do to prevent the spread of the virus? (June 10, 2020)
When will the DMV reopen? (June 9, 2020)
— Is it safe to visit the dentist? (June 8, 2020)
— Is it safe to visit our national parks? (June 4, 2020)
When will cruises resume sailing? (June 3, 2020)
— What are the rules for religious gatherings? (June 2, 2020)
How can I protest while reducing the risk of spreading the virus? (June 1, 2020)

Obituaries, once reserved for warm remembrances of the deceased, are including passionate and sometimes angry warnings about the dangers of the coronavirus and failures of government officials.

Dec. 26, 2020

May 2020

— How can I find a new apartment rental during the pandemic? (May 28, 2020)
— What’s happening with our utility bills? (May 27, 2020)
— If I get the coronavirus, should I tell my apartment neighbors? (May 26, 2020)
— Is it safe to have repairs done in my home? (May 21, 2020)
— Is it safe to swim? (May 20, 2020)
— What’s the latest with vaccine research? (May 19, 2020)
— When can we see our friends? (May 18, 2020)
— How long does the coronavirus last on clothing? (May 14, 2020)
— Do people see lasting health impacts from having had COVID-19? (May 13, 2020)
— Why is the rule for social distancing to stay 6 feet apart? (May 12, 2020)
— How can I spot fake coronavirus news on social media? (May 11, 2020)
— Is it safe to go to the doctor for routine appointments? (May 7, 2020)
— Where can I find mental health resources? (May 6, 2020)
— Does your car need to be disinfected? (May 5, 2020)
— If you have mild COVID-19 symptoms, can you take cough syrup? (May 4, 2020)
— Will banks suspend mortgage payments? (May 1, 2020)

April 2020

— I’m worried about getting the virus at work. What can I do? (April 30, 2020)
— How do I decide which charity needs my help the most during the pandemic? (April 29, 2020)
— Does cooking food kill the coronavirus? (April 28, 2020)
— Does cigarette smoke spread the coronavirus? (April 27, 2020)
Should my child wear a mask? (April 24, 2020)
— What are the chances the coronavirus roars back when flu season begins? (April 23, 2020)
— Would herd immunity help people who have not been exposed to the virus? (April 22, 2020)
— What is happening with the outbreaks in nursing homes? (April 21, 2020)
— How do I care for someone who has the coronavirus at home? (April 20, 2020)
— Should I wear a mask every time I leave home? (April 17, 2020)
— How does the virus spread inside you? (April 16, 2020
— Will ultraviolet light kill the coronavirus? (April 15, 2020)
— How are students handling graduation now that schools are closed? (April 14, 2020)
— What will it take for businesses to reopen? (April 13, 2020)
— Can my pet get the coronavirus or give it to me? (April 10, 2020)
— If I’ve been exposed but don’t have symptoms, what should I do? (April 9, 2020)
— Now that officials want everyone to wear masks, where can I buy one? (April 8, 2020)
— If I contract the virus, how sick will I get? (April 7, 2020)
— Is it possible for people who have recovered to have immunity? (April 6, 2020)
— Does the pneumonia vaccine have any effect on the virus? (April 3, 2020)
— Are homemade masks effective in preventing the virus’ spread? (April 2, 2020)
— Is it safe to swim in pools? (April 1, 2020)

March 2020

What should seniors do to mitigate the risk of infection? (March 31, 2020)
— How many days does it take to recover from the virus? (March 30, 2020)
— Special edition coronavirus FAQ: Your top questions answered (March 29, 2020)
— Is the government helping with paid sick leave during the outbreak? (March 27, 2020)
— What does COVID-19 do to the lungs? (March 26, 2020)
— What are the chances of contracting the virus on public transportation? (March 25, 2020)
— What precautions are needed when getting the mail or the paper? (March 24, 2020)
Do drugs like chloroquine help patients with COVID-19? (March 23, 2020)
— What extra precautions should pregnant women take? (March 20, 2020)
— Can ibuprofen worsen the symptoms of COVID-19? (March 19, 2020)
— Will COVID-19 subside when spring arrives? (March 18, 2020)
— What’s the difference between the coronavirus, COVID-19 and other terms? (March 17, 2020)
Do you gain immunity to the virus after exposure? (March 16, 2020)
— Should you self-quarantine? (March 13, 2020)
— How does the coronavirus spread? (March 12, 2020)
— How can you protect yourself while flying? (March 11, 2020)
— Should you cancel your travel plans? (March 10, 2020)
— What can you do if you’ve run out of hand sanitizer? (March 9, 2020)
— Is the coronavirus worse than the flu? (March 6, 2020)
— What are the actual symptoms of the coronavirus? (March 5, 2020)