Fifth & Mission

The flagship news podcast of the San Francisco Chronicle. Producer/host Cecilia Lei and director of news Demian Bulwa discuss the biggest stories of the day with Chronicle journalists and newsmakers from around the Bay Area. | Get full digital access to the Chronicle:

The Dos and Don’ts of Reopening
Counties around the state are slowly reopening for business and loosening the shelter-in-place restrictions in place since March. But what will best practices be? Can you have a dinner party? What about a child play date?
17 min
Brianna Noble: The Black Lives Matter Rider
Tony Bravo talks to the 25-year-old East Bay native who went viral by riding her horse, Dapper Dan, to a George Floyd protest last week in Oakland. She discusses bringing people of color like herself into the predominantly white "horse world."
20 min
School's Out: Now What?
With this very strange school term wrapping up, will students be woefully behind? Reporter Jill Tucker has a reassuring message for stressed-out parents: The kids will be all right.
24 min
A Reform Plan for the SFPD
Sparked by the national protests over the death of George Floyd, San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton wants to ban the police department from hiring any officer who engaged in misconduct in a previous job. | Get Full Chronicle coverage:
18 min
Fighting for Gun Safety During COVID-19
Shannon Watts, a new resident of the East Bay, founded Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America after the Sandy Hook school shooting. She's worried about the panic buying of guns during the coronavirus pandemic, but confident of big election wins in November.
20 min
The Protests Are Different This Time
Chronicle East Bay columnist Otis Taylor Jr. joins Audrey Cooper to talk about how the Bay Area is handling the unrest that's followed the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, and why the demonstrations feel different.
24 min
San Francisco's "$1.7 Billion Dollar Challenge"
Controller Ben Rosenfield describes what it's like to go from balancing the books of an economic powerhouse — the City and County of San Francisco — to facing down a $1.7 billion budget gap almost overnight.
20 min
San Francisco's Grand Reopening
Mayor London Breed laid out when residents can browse in stores, eat in restaurants and work out at gyms. Reporter Dominic Fracassa delves into the details and describes the new, stricter face-covering requirements.
16 min
BART on the Ropes
Riders have peeled away and sales tax projections are abysmal because of the coronavirus crisis. Some officials want to close stations. BART has a budget to survive for one year. What happens after that is a big question mark.
19 min
Why Are COVID-19 Cases on the Rise?
Diagnoses of coronavirus are increasing in some Bay Area counties. Notably, Alameda County is now the hardest hit in the region. What’s happening here? Health writer Erin Allday explains the latest theories.
18 min
Inside a Homeless Hotel in San Francisco
Supervisor Matt Haney has been working at a hotel for homeless people to shelter in place during the coronavirus pandemic. He tells Heather Knight it's convinced him more people on the streets need to be moved into vacant rooms.
33 min
COVID-19 Devastates the Tenderloin
Ten weeks into shelter-in-place, the San Francisco neighborhood remains crowded with tents, and people can't maintain social distance. Sam Dennison of the anti-poverty nonprofit Faithful Fools lays out what City Hall should be doing to help.
28 min
Where and How to Go Outdoors
Slowly but surely, governments are reopening parks, preserves, beaches and lakes. Outdoors writer Tom Stienstra is tracking it all, and he talks about the dos and don’ts of venturing outside this Memorial Day weekend and beyond.
22 min
The Mystery of the Missing PPE
A shortage of masks, gowns and other medical-grade equipment has been a major issue in the coronavirus pandemic. It's still happening, and reporter Dominic Fracassa says that hospitals and county officials don't want to talk about it.
21 min
How to Smile With a Mask On
You're never fully dressed without a smile, but with face masks mandatory, no one can tell you're smiling. Reporter Annie Vainshtein talks about the importance of smiles in American culture and what might replace them.
19 min
Songs of the Coronavirus Shutdown
Professional musicians around the Bay Area are entertaining and consoling their neighbors with public performances during shelter-in-place. Heather Knight talks to Page Street cellist Saul Richmond-Rakerd about why music is so comforting.
12 min
I'm Over 65 But Who Are you Calling Elderly?
Age is a factor in coronavirus risk, but many Americans over 65 are pushing back on sometimes condescending advice to isolate — often from their own adult children. Ryan Kost talks about it with his favorite older American: his mom.
20 min
Examining COVID-19 Myths
Does eating garlic prevent the coronavirus? Can you test whether you have it by holding your breath for 10 seconds? Chronicle reporter Sam Whiting tells you if any of the wild things you might have heard are true.
19 min
Coronavirus Detectives: Contact Tracers
They'll be a key part of gaining control of the spread of coronavirus, but most health departments don’t have nearly enough people to track the outbreaks. Aidin Vaziri discusses the effort to train tens of thousands.
18 min
California Budget: Pay Cuts, Furloughs and Tax ...
Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed a way to close a $54 billion hole in the state budget, and none of it is going to make anyone happy. Alexei Koseff breaks down the governor’s proposals and how it will affect Californians.
23 min
Coronavirus and the Flu: A Potential Disaster
Medical experts are predicting a relatively calm summer before a big uptick in COVID-19 cases in the fall. Health reporter Erin Allday describes why that, coupled with the regular flu season, has hospitals worried.
18 min
Budget Ideas: Help for Renters? Tax Hikes?
The hole in California's budget is massive — tens of billions of dollars. But officials say they need extra money to help renters and others suffering under the shelter-in-place orders. Alexei Koseff explains the latest proposals.
21 min
A San Francisco Doctor at the COVID-19 Epicenter
Dr. Maya Kotas tells the Chronicle's Sarah Feldberg about the month she and a team of fellow UCSF health care workers just spent at a New York City hospital that was understaffed and overwhelmed by a tsunami of disease.
21 min
Elon Musk’s Strange Gamble
Chronicle business editor Owen Thomas, who's been covering Elon Musk since the '90s, joins Heather Knight to talk about the Tesla CEO's huge ego and whether his fight with Alameda County could hurt his customer base.
18 min
Coronavirus and the Future of Sports
America’s favorite pastimes are a clear casualty of the pandemic. But with billions of dollars at stake, teams and players are eager to get back to work. Ann Killion discusses the implications of reopening pro and college sports.
24 min
Suing to Save the Tenderloin
Rhiannon Bailard, executive director of operations for Hastings Law School in San Francisco, discusses the dire conditions in the Tenderloin that prompted the school to team with residents and business owners to sue the city.
23 min
Latinos’ Coronavirus Burden
Data analyzed by The Chronicle shows just how hard COVID-19 has hit communities of color — particularly Latinos and black people. Reporter Joaquin Palomino explains the data.
18 min
Why the Bay Area Can't Open Up Yet
Dr. Mark Shapiro, a hospitalist at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and the host of the podcast Explore the Space, explains why it's important to continue sheltering in place despite the region's coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations being lower than most of the rest of the country.
25 min
Layoff Tracker: 92,000 and Counting
Business reporter Roland Li talks about the Chronicle's new tool, a constantly updated tally of Bay Area workers who've lost their jobs as the coronavirus crisis has hammered the economy.
21 min
What It's Like to Be a Nurse in the Crisis
On National Nurses Day, several Bay Area nurses talk about how the coronavirus crisis has affected their lives and their work — from delivering babies to caring for the elderly in nursing homes.
18 min
Baby Steps Toward Reopening
Gov. Gavin Newsom announces some changes to how businesses may operate under coronavirus shelter-in-place orders — but they won’t supersede the Bay Area’s more stringent limitations. Alexei Koseff explains.
19 min
New Shelter-in-Place Rules: What’s Allowed?
It's complicated. Reporter Dominic Fracassa explains where you can go, what you can do — and, critically, how health officials will know if we are successfully staving off a coronavirus resurgence.
26 min
Making Homeless Tent Camps Safe
San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman has proposed building safe sleeping sites for unhoused people on city parking lots and in schools and parks to keep people safer during the coronavirus pandemic.
19 min
How Coronavirus Is Affecting the Tenderloin's D...
Del Seymour, a former drug dealer now known as the Mayor of the Tenderloin, talks to Heather Knight about how the neighborhood is coping during shelter-in-place. | Full COVID-19 coverage:
21 min
Will JFK Drive Stay Closed?
San Francisco has finally closed some streets to cars, including roads in Golden Gate Park and McLaren Park. Marta Lindsey of the pedestrian advocacy group Walk SF talks about why she's hopeful the policy will continue after shelter-in-place rules are lifted.
24 min
A Terrifying Day in the Life of an E.R. Nurse
San Francisco General Hospital emergency room nurse Christa Duran prepares for her shifts like a soldier preparing for battle. Reporter Trisha Thadani talks about how Duran and her colleagues confront their own fears as they work.
17 min
Can Your Marriage Survive Shelter in Place?
We've been stuck inside for almost two months. How's your relationship faring? Columnist Tony Bravo surveyed a variety of Bay Area couples, and he has some ideas about how to make marriage work in these unusual times.
19 min
What Victim No. 1 Taught Us
The first known U.S. resident to die of coronavirus died from a ruptured heart. As frightening as it sounds, that information could be useful in learning more about how the virus attacks otherwise healthy people.
16 min
Shelter In Place: A Relaxation and Extension
Six Bay Area counties have extended the shelter-in-place orders, but many public health officials say they intend to ease limits on some low-risk activities. Erin Allday discusses what might be allowed in the coming days.
18 min
The Class of '20 Is Dejected Over Covid-19
No prom. No sports championships. No graduation ceremony. There's never been a senior year quite like this one. Kate Green, a senior at Lowell High in San Francisco, talks about what the coronavirus has meant for her and her classmates.
16 min
You Have to Wear Face Masks: Make Them Fun
Sister Roma, one of San Francisco's most beloved drag queens, talks about judging the "Masks Are Fierce" competition this week and explains how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting queer nightlife.
19 min
What Will Our New Normal Be? A Doctor's View
Dr. Jessica Briggs, an infectious disease fellow at UCSF, discusses what Bay Area life will look like as the coronavirus crisis plays out over the next year — and why she's recruiting recovered COVID-19 patients for her new study.
21 min
The Future of the Bay Area Economy
New data shows unemployment is at record levels in the region, with as many as 1 in 6 San Franciscans out of work. So why are some tech stocks are at an all-time high? Business Editor Owen Thomas discusses the future of the local economy.
26 min
The Critical Barrier to Reopening California
Gov. Gavin Newsom started slowly easing restrictions in California on Wednesday. But he also dramatically revised upward how many daily coronavirus tests would need to be done before the state can reopen.
17 min
Coronavirus Was Killing in February: Why It Mat...
A person infected with COVID-19 died in Santa Clara County on Feb. 6, a stunning discovery that adds to the evidence that coronavirus was in the United States far earlier than once thought. Erin Allday on what this means.
17 min
Why COVID-19 Has Hit the Mission and Bayview So...
City Hall reporter Dominic Fracassa joins Heather Knight to discuss why people living in the Zip codes around those areas are more likely to get the coronavirus than those in wealthier neighborhoods.
20 min
Keeping San Francisco Voters Safe From COVID-19
David Campos, chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party, is calling for an all vote-by-mail election in November so voters don't have to go to the polls during the coronavirus pandemic.
24 min
Troubles with Coronavirus Testing
Regular and widespread testing might be the biggest hurdle to overcome before the U.S. can return to normal. But California is still struggling with getting tests where they should go and clearing the backlog.
18 min
It’s All Political: Kamala Harris "Would Be Hon...
In this episode of the Chronicle’s It’s All Political podcast, California Sen. Kamala Harris reveals what she'd say if Joe Biden asked her to be his running mate. In an interview with Joe Garofoli and Tal Kopan, she says she's "very concerned" about being able to do oversight on the $2 trillion that Washington is spending on coronavirus pandemic relief —and what she's doing about it.
36 min
Devastation at Nursing Homes
Long-term care centers around the country are becoming deadly hot spots for the coronavirus. Reporters Jason Fagone and Megan Cassidy discuss criminal investigations into one Bay Area nursing home.
23 min
Coronavirus Danger in the Tenderloin
Jose Ramirez, executive director of St. Anthony’s, says City Hall has left the Tenderloin out of its response to the coronavirus pandemic, and the neighborhood is as crowded and neglected as ever.
23 min
Health Workers Exposed to Coronavirus
More than 2,700 health workers in California have COVID-19. Heather Knight talks to reporter Mallory Moench about what frontline workers are afraid of, what protection they need and what information they want about exposure.
14 min
Why San Francisco Won't Close Streets
Rec and Parks director Phil Ginsburg explains why the city is not following Oakland's lead of shutting down miles of roads to cars during the coronavirus shutdown to allow walkers and bicyclists to spread out — even in Golden Gate Park.
22 min
Understanding Dr. Fauci's History
Dr. Anthony Fauci worked with a president who was spreading disinformation about a virus long before Donald Trump. He helped the country fight AIDS during the Reagan administration. Peter Hartlaub dives into the Chronicle archives.
18 min
Armistead Maupin Consoles Us
The beloved author of the "Tales of the City" series has been offering virtual readings during the coronavirus shutdown, including the first chapter of his latest book in the classic series of San Francisco novels.
13 min
How Close Is the Coronavirus Peak?
Scientific models can’t predict the future, but they can give a pretty good idea of what it might look like. Erin Allday discusses the science of disease modeling, and how it could affect plans to start a return to normalcy.
25 min
Why Animal-to-Human Viruses Are on the Rise
Scientists are increasingly concerned that environmental degradation is linked to an increase in the transmission of viruses — like the coronavirus from animals to humans. Reporter Kurtis Alexander explains.
17 min
Heather Knight Joins Fifth & Mission as Co-Host
To better cover the coronavirus pandemic and its fallout, City Hall columnist and San Francisco City Insider host Heather Knight joins Fifth & Mission as co-host with Audrey Cooper.
11 min
Wear a Mask! But How?
Health officials say everyone should wear a mask when going out during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Tony Bravo talks about how the fashion industry is stepping up to produce them, and how you can make your own.
20 min
Homelessness, Fare Evasion Worsen on BART
Essential workers who rely on BART feel even less safe in transit than they did before coronavirus prompted shelter-in-place orders and caused huge drops in ridership. Phil Matier on the eerie situation aboard the trains.
21 min
More Trouble Aboard the Theodore Roosevelt
Matthias Gafni discusses his troubling report about how the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt is being cleaned with few safety precautions in the wake of the resignation of Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly.
26 min
We’ve Flattened the Curve — Now What?
The pace of the coronavirus outbreak is slowing down in the Bay Area, and the number of new cases may even be falling in San Francisco. Can we declare victory yet? Erin Allday discusses what this means for life in the Bay Area.
25 min
Exclusive: Listen to Acting Secretary of the Na...
Fifth & Mission presents the raw audio of a speech given by Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly to the crew of the nuclear aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt Monday. Modly relieved Capt. Brett Crozier of his command of the ship last week after Crozier pleaded for help with a coronavirus outbreak in a letter to the Navy. Crozier has since tested positive for COVID-19.
16 min
“I Am Risking My Health By Being Here”
Listen to the voices of San Francisco workers who have either lost their jobs to the coronavirus shutdown or must continue to work — possibly endangering themselves — amid the pandemic.
14 min
First Responders Sickened, Sidelined
Reporter Megan Cassidy joins Audrey Cooper to talk about what local police, fire and ambulance companies are doing to limit exposure for health care workers. Plus: Why is one ambulance company considering furloughing its EMTs?
17 min
Homeless and Coronavirus Positive
San Francisco has recorded its first instance of a homeless person testing positive for coronavirus. Kevin Fagan on the steps officials are taking to contain the virus before it sweeps through the unhoused population.
22 min
Financial Help You Might Not Know About
Confused about the money you could be entitled to receive from the government? You’re not alone. Columnist Kathleen Pender talks about coronavirus and COVID-19 relief, including programs that have flown under the radar.
22 min
SF City Insider: San Francisco After COVID-19
In this episode of San Francisco City Insider, Heather Knight talks to Benjamin Grant, urban design policy director at SPUR, about the ways San Francisco will be permanently changed — and maybe improved — by coronavirus.
23 min
School’s Out For Summer
It’s all but certain that most, if not all, California schools will remain closed for the rest of the academic year. Does this mean students will fall woefully behind? Reporter Jill Tucker has a reassuring message for stressed out parents.
24 min
“Sailors Do Not Need to Die”
In a stunning letter obtained by The Chronicle, the captain of the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt pleads with the Navy to help him contain the coronavirus spreading among his sailors. Matthias Gafni reports.
17 min
SF City Insider: Is the Coronavirus Surge Still...
Have we flattened the curve? In this episode of San Francisco City Insider, Dr. Allison Bond, an infectious disease expert at UCSF, gives Heather Knight an inside view of San Francisco hospitals — which, so far, seem like a calm before a storm.
23 min
Coronavirus Scammers and Price Gougers
Criminals are using the pandemic as a fresh excuse to swindle people. Crime reporter Megan Cassidy runs down some of the common scams and offers tips on how to avoid them. Plus: Details about price gouging schemes in the Bay Area.
15 min
Is San Francisco the Next New York?
The epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus pandemic is New York City, where officials acted more slowly than the Bay Area to shut down businesses and schools. Have we escaped the worst, or is New York's crisis our future?
19 min
SF City Insider: Inside San Francisco's Emergen...
In this episode of the San Francisco City Insider podcast, Ivy Lee, a legislative aide who’s among the hundreds of City Hall staff members who've been spending long days inside Moscone Center to prepare for the expected surge in coronavirus cases, talks to Heather Knight about San Francisco's readiness for a potential disaster.
21 min
Mortgages on Hold — Is Rent next?
Alexei Koseff talks about Gov. Newsom's announcement of relief for people struggling to pay mortgages in the coronavirus crisis — and what tenant advocates are demanding from the governor. Plus: The latest on testing, data collection.
16 min
Is Your Check in the Mail?
Congress is on the brink of passing a historic $2 trillion aid package. Dustin Gardiner joins Audrey Cooper to discuss possible cash payments, loans for big and small businesses and expanded unemployment benefits.
20 min
Is S.F.’s “Powder Keg” About to Explode?
Laguna Honda Hospital, a nursing home full of some of the state’s most vulnerable people, is struggling to determine the full size of its coronavirus outbreak after two nurses there tested positive. Jason Fagone discusses the different stories being told by city officials and the health workers on the ground at the 750-patient facility.
22 min
SF City Insider: Disaster for Small Businesses
In this episode of San Francisco City Insider, Heather Knight talks to Sharky Laguana, president of San Francisco's Small Business Commission, about how the shutdown to stem the coronavirus outbreak has already destroyed some small businesses, including his own.
25 min
Where Are the Tests?
For weeks, the country has struggled to test everyone suspected of having the coronavirus, a key part of helping to slow the spread of Covid-19. Catherine Ho and Audrey Cooper discuss increasing testing capacity, what is being done to rush the results, and whether it’s all too late to make a difference.
19 min
Coronavirus Hits Workers Hard
People who've lost jobs are worrying about how to pay their bills, and many who work for essential businesses are worrying about staying safe. Reporter Mallory Moench joins Audrey Cooper to discuss the morale of the Bay Area workforce.
17 min
Coronavirus: When Will This End?
Health reporter Erin Allday joins Audrey Cooper to talk about whether the current shelter-in-place is working to #FlattentheCurve. Plus, she answers some of our most-asked reader questions.
27 min
Where Are the Masks?
As hospitals brace for a surge of coronavirus patients, many are running out of critical protective gear — especially masks. Rachel Swan and Audrey Cooper discuss a situation so dire the CDC is telling health workers to wear scarves and bandanas.
20 min
Refusing Coronavirus Tests
Vice President Pence promised that every Grand Princess passenger would be tested for coronavirus. But The Chronicle's Matthias Gafni has learned that hundreds of quarantined patients — encouraged by federal officials — have refused. Is that a threat to the community?
20 min
Coronavirus Evictions
Local officials have taken steps to keep people and businesses from being evicted. But what happens after shelter-in-place ends? And how are we taking care of the homeless? Dominic Fracassa discusses the latest steps.
25 min
Coronavirus Update: $1.1 Billion Aid Package
Alexei Koseff reports from Sacramento, where state lawmakers passed funding for coronavirus response on Monday, then suspended their session for a month — reportedly a first in more than 150 years.
5 min
Shelter in Place
The Bay Area is shutting down after an emergency order across most of the region that's the nation's strongest move so far in response to the coronavirus threat. Erin Allday and Audrey Cooper discusse what is — and isn't — covered by the order.
19 min
The Kids Are Home: Now What?
Reporter — and former kindergarten teacher — Steve Rubenstein gives Audrey Cooper and all parents advice on what to do with kids who are because of school closures in response to the coronavirus. Plus: Thoughts from a real expert, age 7.
16 min
Predicting the Coronavirus Future
Disease modelers are trying to come up with their best guesses about how badly COVID-19 could take hold in the United States. Health reporter Erin Allday discusses what we know and what could stave off the worst possible outcomes.
24 min
Schools Are Closing
Children in San Francisco will be out of school for three weeks due to coronavirus fears and districts around the region are following suit. Trisha Thadani on what happens to families with no other options or children who need school meals.
11 min
Fifth & Mission Is Working From Home
Coronavirus has forced thousands, maybe millions, of Americans to work from home. That includes Chronicle journalists like Audrey Cooper and Mallory Moench, who discuss pros and cons and what to expect.
19 min
SF City Insider: “This Is Going to Be Catastrop...
San Franciscan Amanda Kahn Fried is on sabbatical in Italy, a coronavirus hot spot where events seem to be a few weeks ahead of the Bay Area. On the San Francisco City Insider podcast, she tells host Heather Knight what it’s like to live under lockdown. | Subscribe to San Francisco City Insider.
19 min
A Top S.F. Doctor on the Coronavirus
Dr. Andre Campbell, a longtime trauma surgeon and ICU doctor at San Francisco General Hospital, tells Heather Knight what to expect with COVID-19 in the weeks ahead and how the hospital is preparing.
26 min
Can We Contain the Coronavirus?
As mitigation measures spread across the country, health writer Erin Allday discusses whether they can succeed and explains the leading theories about how best to keep the public safe.
22 min
Drones at the Golden Gate Bridge
Flying cameras are swarming San Francisco's landmark bridge, and officials say photos are being taken illegally. Business reporter Roland Li talks to Audrey Cooper about the rise – and crashes – of local drones.
13 min
Coronavirus: What We Know Now
Health reporter Erin Allday joins Audrey Cooper to explain the latest on the coronavirus response and business reporter Mallory Moench explains what parents should do to keep kids safe and calm.
23 min
Super Tuesday: What Did We Learn?
Super Tuesday is over and we're down to a two-man race. Joe Garofoli and John Wildermuth join Audrey Cooper to break down the results, including some interesting races you might not have thought much about.
19 min
Super Tuesday Troubles
Democratic candidates are dropping out, much to the dismay of voters who have already cast their ballot. Political writers Joe Garofoli and John Wildermuth break down what's likely to happen as Californians head to the polls.
29 min
Tracking the Coronavirus
Erin Allday talks about efforts to keep track of who has the virus. Plus: Chase DiFeliciantonio on what local industries and workers are doing to prepare, and some wild conspiracy theories.
18 min
Coronavirus Game Changer
The diagnosis of a Bay Area resident shows the virus has spread beyond those who recently visited China. Plus: The fight to get more testing kits into California hospitals. Erin Allday and Catherine Ho with the latest.
28 min
San Francisco’s Coronavirus Emergency
Warnings about a global pandemic are becoming more urgent as stocks fall and local officials — including Mayor London Breed — declare states of emergency. Health reporters Erin Allday and Catherine Ho on the latest local cases.
27 min