COVID Is Not Behind Us — It’s Still Sending Children to the Emergency Room

“Americans have declared an unofficial end to the pandemic,” writes Robert Pearl, M.D. for Forbes. “Most people are no longer willing to mask up, keep their kids out of school or avoid spending time with family and friends…. Americans are moving on from Covid-19, whether or not health-policy experts believe they should.” All over, you say? Someone forgot to tell that to the preschool-aged son of my dear friend and colleague, a 4-year-old who presented with a viciously spiked fever over the weekend. As with nearly 4 million children in the U.S., my colleague’s child is susceptible to seizures if…

A Majority of Adults Still Support Masking in Public to Prevent COVID Surges

A new national survey has found that the daily lives of a majority of adults in the U.S. have not fully returned the pre-pandemic “normal,” and large majorities of people of color and lower-income adults — who are more likely to work frontline jobs — say everyone should remain diligent about COVID precautions such as masking in public. Despite the lifting of COVID restrictions across the country and media hype about “pandemic fatigue,” six in ten U.S. adults agree that people should continue wearing masks in some public places to avoid future surges of infections, according to the Kaiser Family…

Only 10 Percent of Africa’s Population Is Fully Vaccinated

As new cases of the highly infectious Omicron variant continue to climb in undervaccinated parts of the world, we speak to the head of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about how vaccine inequity could lead to even more variants of the coronavirus. Dr. John Nkengasong says only 10% of the population is fully immunized in Africa, a continent of 1.3 billion people, and millions of vaccines donated by COVAX went unused because of their short shelf life. Meanwhile, several countries in Africa have begun manufacturing their own vaccines. “We have to shift our focus to vaccinating —…

Thousands of Students Stage Walkouts, Protest In-Person Classes Amid COVID Surge

Thousands of U.S. students and teachers are organizing walkouts and work stoppages over their schools’ lack of COVID-19 precautions – a development that comes amid an unprecedented upsurge in coronavirus cases as the the Omicron variant tears through the nation. On Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of New York City school students flooded out of class midday in protest of their school’s choice to continue in-person learning despite the uptick in COVID-19 cases over the past month, according to The New York Post. The demonstration, which saw especially high rates of participation from Brooklyn Tech High School, Stuyvesant High, and Bronx Science,…

Gorsuch Goes Maskless at Supreme Court, Increasing Colleagues’ COVID Risk Levels

Since last Friday afternoon, Justice Neil Gorsuch has refused to wear a mask during in-person hearings at the Supreme Court, a decision that could impact the health of his fellow justices — especially given that the highly contagious Omicron variant of the virus continues to push COVID hospitalization rates into record high levels. NBC News has reported that on Tuesday Gorsuch appeared without a mask on. All other justices in attendance were wearing masks, while two justices, Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer, attended via remote video communication. All nine justices are vaccinated, including with boosters, for protection against coronavirus. The…

Flight Attendant Union Criticizes CDC for Decision “Pushed by Corporate America”

Flight Attendant union president and labor leader Sara Nelson is criticizing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for changing its guidance on quarantining for COVID-19 after business leaders asked the agency to cut its recommendations by half, potentially at the cost of public health. Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA International, accused the CDC in a statement of making its decision to benefit businesses that may be experiencing staffing issues, rather than stemming the spread of the virus. “We said we wanted to hear from medical professionals on the best guidance for quarantine, not from…

Report: Borrowers Will Lose $85 Billion Yearly If Student Loan Payments Resume

If student loan payments are allowed to resume without mass debt cancellation, borrowers will lose out on billions of dollars monthly, according to a new report done on behalf of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts). The Roosevelt Institute analysis finds that while the payment pause has helped borrowers save money and even accrue interest, it will cost them over $7 billion a month if payments resume in February. This translates to $85 billion annually. Restarting payments will especially impact Black and Latinx people, who hold disproportionate amounts of student loans and who struggle…

Where Are the Damn PCR Tests Already? It’s Been 21 Months!

When I look back on the prior two years — if I’m around to look back — I’m going to remember these last few days as the moment I met peak frustration and bade it come sit a spell. I’m used to blaming Donald Trump when I achieve this level of aggravation, but the Biden administration a year after Trump’s departure has some serious explaining to do. I’ve been a good soldier all throughout the long slog of COVID, got my shot times three, got my daughter vaxxed, wore my mask and social distanced, stayed away from people when possible,…

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