In Depth: Coronavirus: Business, tests and song


Hal speaks to CA 35th district congresswoman Norma Torres about the  cancellation of the rest of the school year, and the imposition of “distance learning.” Torres says that she is concerned that so many children have become disconnected from the system, have not picked up lesson plans or meals. She says that even though there are internet services being offered to the families who are struggling that they still need to have a credit card to sign up for them, and that makes them unavailable to some. She emphasizes that more needs to be done to assist students working from home.

Torres talks about the CARES Act to provide assistance to small businesses, with forgivable loans, gig workers and others who need more unemployment insurance and also help for the homeless. Torres assures businesses that things will improve and offers her staff’s help to fill out paperwork to apply for the grants to keep them afloat.

SEGMENT B:  New tests

Hal talks to  Dr. Homayoon Khanlou, the Director of Urgent Med Network about the slow  availability of coronavirus testing. Dr Khanlou says  that more tests are being put into circulation, and more are being devised. He says two new tests will soon be available to detect the virus in its earliest manifestations, so that people will know if they are contagious before they start showing symptoms. Two different tests are ready for distribution and they will give results a lot more quickly than previous tests-  Abbott Labs test as quickly as just a few minutes.

The doctor says that it is possible that there are a lot more people who have the virus than we are currently aware of because of the lack of tests.

SEGMENT C: Valencia Jazz Choir

Stephanie Mocha is the Valencia High School Choral director. She talks to us about the viral video of the high school’s jazz chorus performing her original song “refugee” via zoom.  The students recorded their parts and the parts were merged together.

Mocha says she composed the song last November to address the refugee crisis. She says the students actually came up with the idea of doing the virtual performance because they wouldn’t  be able to get to an of their performances. Mocha and her husband took the videos of the kids singing into their cellphones and melded them into that viral video. She says the quarantine is especially difficult because their “instruments”  depend on being together to create harmonies. Mocha says that the chorus will get back together to sing even if it has to be well into the summer.


Hal profiles the owner of two local Westlake Village restaurants who is making sure his employees are well fed even though the restaurant is closed and the workers currently unemployed. Hamid Sadraie, the owner of Boccacio’s ordered food and is handing it out to his staff.