• The far more communicable strain of COVID-19 that's been circulating in the UK and elsewhere has been discovered in Southern California. San Diego County officials announced that the variant was detected in a 30-year-old man today; the strain was first documented in the United States in a Colorado patient working for the National Guard, who was assigned to a nursing home in Simla, Colorado; both patients reported no travel history. [NYT/CBS News]
  • 2020 was, without question, a dumpster fire of a year — but it was a year characterized by far fewer public mass shootings than usual. 2019 saw 10 documented public mass shootings in the United States; 2020 has, thus far, seen less than two of them. [Associated Press/ CBS News]
  • California's COVID-19 death count is close to passing the 25,000 threshold. The California Department of Public Health today released their most recent data on the pandemic, showing that 24,958 people have died of COVID-19 so far in California; there's also now over 2,218,000 confirmed cases of the novel disease in the state. [Twitter]
  • Harrison Fong, a proprietor of Vintage Wine Merchants on San Jose's Santana Row, has all of your NYE wine recommendations. [Hoodline]
  • Alas, these are among the "saddest" and most "heartbreaking" Bay Area restaurant closures of 2020. [Eater SF]
  • Though on a more cheery note: dining in the East Bay was year populated with newfound pandemic comfort foods for many local writers, editors, and overall foodies. [Oaklandside]
  • Wastewater testing to help quantify the presence of  SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen responsible for COVID-19, in Santa Clara County is expected to begin ahead of the CDC's National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS) effort. [Hoodline]
  • From Godzilla (2014) to Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus, here are all the ways the Golden Gate Bridge has crumbled in cinema. [Broke-Ass Stuart]
  • It's likely rainstorms will soak the Bay Area as we enter into 2021 (and may those showers exist as a collective metaphor to cleanse us all of 2020's hellacious vibes.) [KRON4]

Image: Getty Images via fotoVoyager