Some Americans refuse to mask up. Rules, fines and free masks will change that, experts say

Many Americans have embraced health officials’ recommendation to wear masks in public, and those who refuse to mask up are likely to encounter increasing pressure in the coming weeks and months.

There is a “sizable minority” of Americans who are skeptical, Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told USA TODAY – evidenced in part by numerous viral videos showing shoppers flouting mask rules.

Critics say mask mandates infringe on their personal freedom. Some right-leaning Americans call masks a tool of oppression, Democratic conspiracy and even sacrilege.

Evidence shows face coverings are an effective way of slowing the spread of COVID-19, leading more state leaders to enact mask mandates. Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, said face coverings were “the only way” to avoid another shutdown of the state’s economy.

Officials voting to require face masks in public have faced lawsuits and have been shouted down by

Read More

District 47’s 3 Options For Reopening Schools

CRYSTAL LAKE, IL — Students are expected to return to school in the coming weeks, and District 47, like most school districts throughout the Chicago area, is still weighing its options on how to safely do that amid continued concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. Denise Barr, director of communications and public engagement for District 47, told Patch that the District 47 Board of Education discussed the pros and cons as well as the logistics behind various instructional models during a July 7 meeting and is expected to vote on one of these three options during its July 20 meeting:

  • full-day, in-person instruction every day on Monday through Friday

  • half-day in-person instruction every day on Monday through Friday

  • full-day in-person instruction two to three days per week

IL Coronavirus Update: Daily New Cases Double Since Last Friday

But no matter what in-person instruction looks like, District 47 plans to offer some

Read More

Radish is best food to pair with champagne, say French experts

File image of champagne bottle on display - Getty
File image of champagne bottle on display – Getty

What goes best with bubbly? Some pair it with Beluga caviar, others prefer foie gras or smoked salmon. But now the best accompaniment for fine champagne can be revealed after a lifetime’s work: the humble radish.

The discovery was unearthed by a renowned French chemist who spent half a century painstakingly researching which foods go best with different wines. Jacques Puisais, 93, has now convinced experts of the validity of his science, including Didier Depond, head of the venerable Delamotte champagne maker.

“Radishes and champagne are a perfect match,” Mr Depond said. He is so enamoured of the piquant, peppery bite of the radish when paired with the crispness of a dry fizz that he has taken to growing his own radishes. “They have all the virtues. They cost hardly anything and they don’t make you fat,” Mr Depond said during

Read More

What meeting your spouse online has in common with arranged marriage

<span class="caption">David and Elizabeth Weinlick, a Minnesota couple who began their life together through an arranged marriage </span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="http://www.apimages.com/metadata/Index/Arranged-Wedding-Renewing-Vows/c700db29a86948808707a64f7ff11777/21/0" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:AP Photo/Kyle Potter">AP Photo/Kyle Potter</a></span>
David and Elizabeth Weinlick, a Minnesota couple who began their life together through an arranged marriage AP Photo/Kyle Potter

Most Americans who get married today believe they are choosing their own partners after falling in love with them. Arranged marriages, which remain common in some parts of the world, are a rarity here.

But while doing research about arranged marriages, I’ve made a surprising observation: These seemingly different kinds of matrimony may be beginning to converge.

Couples who ostensibly marry after spontaneously falling in love increasingly do that with some help from online dating services or after meeting through hookup apps. And modern arranged marriages – including my own – are becoming more like love marriages.

Going strong in India

According to some estimates, more than half of the marriages taking place around the world each year are arranged. They are the norm in India, comprising at least 90 percent

Read More

Canada’s cautious school reopening plans leave moms in the lurch

By Julie Gordon

OTTAWA (Reuters) – April van Ert should have been relieved when her son’s Vancouver school reopened on June 1. For months she had been juggling her busy job and her 11-year-old son’s education amid the COVID-19 shutdowns.

But due to distancing requirements, the return was hybrid: one day in class, and online work the rest of the week. The model was “completely untenable” for working parents, said van Ert.

“If that’s the plan if there’s a resurgence in the fall, then I don’t see how I’m going to avoid reducing the hours I work,” she said.

Planning is now underway to get Canadian children back into classrooms in the fall and many provinces are eyeing Vancouver’s hybrid model: part-time in school and part-time at home with online learning.

It’s the same model being considered by New York City, the early epicentre of the U.S. coronavirus crisis, as

Read More

What Science and Other Countries Teach Us

Returning students have their temperature checked on the first day back at Sawasdee Wittaya Primary School in Bangkok, July 1, 2020. (Adam Dean/The New York Times)
Returning students have their temperature checked on the first day back at Sawasdee Wittaya Primary School in Bangkok, July 1, 2020. (Adam Dean/The New York Times)

As school districts across the United States consider whether and how to restart in-person classes, their challenge is complicated by a pair of fundamental uncertainties: No nation has tried to send children back to school with the virus raging at levels like America’s, and the scientific research about transmission in classrooms is limited.

The World Health Organization has now concluded that the virus is airborne in crowded, indoor spaces with poor ventilation, a description that fits many American schools. But there is enormous pressure to bring students back — from parents, from pediatricians and child development specialists, and from President Donald Trump.

“I’m just going to say it: It feels like we’re playing Russian roulette with our kids and our staff,” said Robin Cogan,

Read More

Push to Reopen U.S. Schools; New York Cases Steady: Virus Update

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said “the rule should be that kids go back to school this fall,” despite rising cases around the country. New York reported 677 new cases, in line with daily rises in the last week, and five deaths.

South Africa may reintroduce tighter regulations on the movement of people and curb sales of alcohol as coronavirus infections soar, the Sunday Times reported. Hungary is also restricting travel after spikes in neighboring countries. Infections in Germany increased by 377.

Thailand plans to start human trials for a locally developed, potential Covid-19 vaccine as early as September, making it among the first done outside high-income countries, after encouraging results in monkeys and mice.

Global Tracker: Cases top 12.7 million; deaths surpass 565,000Aversion to mask-wearing holds back U.S. economyU.K. set to tighten rules on wearing face masksWall Street forges a new relationship to data in coronavirus ageConflicting visions emerge … Read More

Virus spread, not politics should guide schools, doctors say

As the Trump administration pushes full steam ahead to force schools to resume in-person education, public health experts warn that a one-size-fits-all reopening could drive infection and death rates even higher.

They’re urging a more cautious approach, which many local governments and school districts are already pursuing.

There are too many uncertainties and variables, they say, for back-to-school to be back-to-normal.

Where is the virus spreading rapidly? Do students live with aged grandparents? Do teachers have high-risk health conditions that would make online teaching safest? Do infected children easily spread COVID-19 to each other and to adults?

Regarding the latter, some evidence suggests they don’t, but a big government study aims to find better proof. Results won’t be available before the fall, and some schools are slated to reopen in just a few weeks.

“These are complicated issues. You can’t just charge straight ahead,” Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of

Read More

A 19-year-old aspiring astronaut is the only person who’s attended every NASA space camp. She’s already positioning herself for a mission to Mars.

Alyssa Carson is an aspiring astronaut.
Alyssa Carson is an aspiring astronaut.

Bert Carson

  • Alyssa Carson is part of a group of young people working to position themselves to be the first astronauts to go to Mars.

  • Carson, who is now 19, has attended every NASA space camp and was the youngest person to graduate from the Advanced Space Academy.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Alyssa Carson attended her first space camp at 5 years old. She graduated from the Advanced Space Academy program at 16, the youngest person ever to do so. Before the pandemic hit, the rising college sophomore had planned to spend her summer flying airplanes. 

The eventual goal: fly to Mars. 

Carson is one of a small group of young people who are already positioning themselves to be astronauts in the US’s next phase of space exploration. They are attending advanced preparation programs and building social media personas to put

Read More

The Greatest Teaching Techniques Don’t Compute Over Zoom

(Bloomberg Opinion) — I rise to defend the classroom: that traditional venue where the students sit, the teacher declaims and the educational technology has hardly advanced in centuries. This old-fashioned arrangement has been abandoned in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, all of us, learners and teachers, have been reduced to tiles on a screen, competing for attention with all the distracting detritus of the digital age.

Let me be clear: I deny neither the dangers of the pandemic nor the utility of the virtual classroom in this moment. Nevertheless, it’s important to acknowledge what online learning misses. Here, then, on the basis of nearly four decades of experience, is what we might call “The Case for the Classroom”:

First: Physical presence allows the instructor to read the room. A good teacher does more than stand up and lecture and answer the occasional question. The delivery of the material

Read More