Bay Briefing: Will the Bay Area be an outlier on the BA.2 variant?

In the past week, we wrote about the dramatic rise in coronavirus cases in Europe and Asia, driven by the “stealth” omicron subvariant BA.2. It’s thought to be anywhere from 30% to more than 50% more transmissible than omicron, and is causing China’s worst outbreak of the pandemic. The subvariant is quickly moving toward dominance in the Bay Area, but what happens next still is not certain.

“Interestingly enough it is not driving up the levels overall,” Santa Clara County health officer Dr. Sara Cody said at a press briefing last week. “I don’t know why, but it isn’t.”

Most experts we’ve talked to have said a rise in cases is likely inevitable, but could the Bay Area’s high vaccination rates set it apart from the rest of the country?

Read more on whether the Bay Area can avoid a BA.2 surge here.

• Do you need a fourth COVID shot to protect against BA.2? It’s complicated, says UCSF’s Monica Gandhi.

Tiny homes

 Bay Briefing: Will the Bay Area be an outlier on the BA.2 variant?

A 22-fooy tiny Victorian that was delivered to Oakland from Pacifica Tiny Homes.

Provided by Pacifica Tiny Homes

Here’s another measure of California’s deepening housing affordability crisis: Over the last few years, there has been increasing interest in tiny-home living — particularly across the Bay Area, real estate agents say.

Some sellers offer plots where people can live after buying their tiny home. Others require them to be shipped or trucked to land that the buyers own.

So what’s a $95,000, 200-square-foot home on wheels look like?

Check it out here, plus see photos of more properties that illustrate the sheer scale of how the market is growing.

Around the Bay

 Bay Briefing: Will the Bay Area be an outlier on the BA.2 variant?

Scaffolding beneath the Golden Gate Bridge is part of a suicide net now under construction.

Jessica Christian/The Chronicle 2019

Signs of life: Surgeons studied more than two decades of Golden Gate Bridge jumps. Their research shows why some manage to survive the brutal fall.

Transamerica Pyramid: One of the city’s most recognizable landmarks is getting the biggest makeover in its 50-year history. Read about the redesign and see renderings here.

Weather forecast: The Bay Area is logging temperatures up to 20 degrees above normal for early spring. How long will this heat wave last?

New restaurant: They worked in S.F.’s top Michelin-starred spots. They’re now opening their dream restaurant in a sleepy coastal town.

Delivery delay: Amazon is pausing work on its proposed warehouse after S.F. supervisors passed legislation on a delivery services moratorium.

Giants: Why former All-Star Carlos Martínez said “yes” as soon as the team called.

Speed racers: The Formula 1 of high-speed sailing is coming to S.F. Bay this weekend.

50 years later: Read The Chronicle’s 1972 “The Godfather” review: “Best gangster movie ever produced.”

Itineraries to explore … on less than a tank of gas

 Bay Briefing: Will the Bay Area be an outlier on the BA.2 variant?

Highwire Coffee serves coffee out of a vintage trailer in Flowerland, a nursery in Albany.

Courtesy Tommy Ly

Spiking gas prices across the U.S. have put a damper on weekend getaways and spring road trips. That SoCal road trip you were planning? Suddenly it looks significantly more expensive.

May we suggest a Bay Area getaway: Perhaps make a day out of exploring a new-to-you neighborhood. The Chronicle food team’s “Best Day Ever” series guides you through one ideal day in culinary hot spots like San Francisco’s Mission District and under-the-radar gems like the city of Albany. Use these local to-do lists to get outside and start exploring.

Outer Sunset: One of S.F.’s most appealing food and drink destinations.

Uptown Oakland: Home to some of the Bay Area’s most thrilling bars and restaurants.

S.F. Chinatown: From historic establishments to swanky new dining destinations.

Bay Briefing is written by Gwendolyn Wu (she/her) and sent to readers’ email inboxes on weekday mornings. Sign up for the newsletter here, and contact the writer at

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