COVID19

My Daughter And I Just Became ‘Unhoused’ During The COVID-19 Crisis

"My fear, and I know it is shared by many, is that the chasm between socioeconomic classes will irreparably grow through this economic downturn." (Photo: Morsa Images via Getty Images)
“My fear, and I know it is shared by many, is that the chasm between socioeconomic classes will irreparably grow through this economic downturn.” (Photo: Morsa Images via Getty Images)

The new phrase is unhoused. Homeless is out. I didn’t have to look it up. Having volunteered at a day shelter for the last nine years, I already knew the answer.

I did so anyway, because my sweet friends keep trying to convince me that we are not, in fact, either homeless or unhoused. They resist the label because they love me, and because being homeless, or unhoused, is an unpleasant, socially awkward situation; it is vulnerable and unstable and none of the things you want for a friend.

Except that we are. Unhoused. Our belongings are packed in a garage in central Virginia, and I no longer have employment. The question of where my daughter and I will lay

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‘I can’t teach when I’m dead.’ Professors fear COVID-19 as college campuses open

Students' return for fall semester was staggered over 10 days at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, to enforce social distancing during as they settled in. <span class="copyright">(Gerry Broome / Associated Press)</span>
Students’ return for fall semester was staggered over 10 days at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, to enforce social distancing during as they settled in. (Gerry Broome / Associated Press)

When masked students walk back into his Northern Arizona University lab room at the end of the month, Tad Theimer will face them from behind a Plexiglas face shield while holding an infrared thermometer to their foreheads. As they examine bat skulls under microscopes, the biology professor will open windows and doors, hoping to drive out exhaled aerosols that could spread coronavirus.

But as one of hundreds of professors who will be back on campus along with 20,000 students in one of the states hit worst by the pandemic, Theimer is also torn on whether to enter his classroom at all.

“I want to teach and it’s best done in person,” said Theimer, 62, who has been a professor

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Public colleges hide donors who seek to influence students. Will COVID-19 make it worse?

Long before the coronavirus hit the United States, cash-strapped public higher education systems looked to private donors to offset the steady decline in public funding, sometimes with significant secrecy and strings attached.

Critics fear the economic downturn could give donors more leverage to quietly influence curriculum, hiring and scholarships. Open government laws in many states already allow donors to demand that the public – including students and faculty – be kept in the dark.

The pandemic has presented universities a triple whammy: Reduced tax revenues slashing government support, online-only courses gutting dormitory and cafeteria revenues, and – with more students and families out of work – less ability to offset that loss with tuition increases.

“They are going to be desperate for funding,” said Douglas Beets, who teaches accounting at Wake Forest University, and has studied nearly two decades of university donations and donor demands.

Linda Durant, vice president of

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How The South Botched Spanish-Language Outreach On COVID-19

“I don’t know how I’m going to do this,” the man on the phone stammered in Spanish, his voice cracking. “I’m asking you, please. Whatever you can … I’m desperate for me and my family. I cannot help them. Please help us.” 

María Cruz was already stretched thin. On that June morning, the community organizer had two laptops open and a phone ringing every few minutes with new callers seeking COVID-19 information in Spanish. Her employer, the nonprofit Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice, set up the hotline to supplement the lack of translated public health materials in a state with a Latino population of nearly 200,000. 

The man on the phone told her that he, his wife, and their three children, all Mexican immigrants like Cruz, were exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. The man had it the worst. His feverish body ached. He could barely move. He didn’t have a car,

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Do kids still need vaccinations if they are learning online during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The 2020-2021 school year will soon begin the way it ended in South Florida: online.

And while your child may be temporarily learning through a computer screen instead of in a classroom, that doesn’t mean you should delay a trip to the doctor.

All public and private schoolchildren from kindergarten through 12th grade in Florida still need to get the necessary vaccines required to attend school — even if they are learning online, according to the Florida Department of Health.

And yes, this includes students who plan to remain in virtual school once kids can return to campus masked up for socially distanced learning.

Miami-Dade and Broward Public Schools are reminding parents that they need to make sure their children’s immunization records are up-to-date, or that exception requirements have been met, now that the school year is starting again, as usual.

School officials say Florida also hasn’t issued any waivers

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CES 2021 Looks Set to Be All-Online in Wake of COVID-19

Anyone interested in product design has likely heard of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) traditionally held in famous Las Vegas, Nevada. Unfortunately, the event’s organizers have recently announced that the 2021 edition of the show would look much different than in years past. Not just figuratively or literally speaking, but virtually, taking on an all-digital format in the wake of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Promotional graphic for the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Promotional graphic for the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) made the announcement in July 2020, a full six months before the January show. On one hand, that means attendees need not worry about airfare and hotel rooms. On the other hand, it means preparing to observe, disseminate information, and make purchasing decisions entirely online.

Traditionally, the show is set up like any other type of trade exhibition, with rows of booths manned by product specialists ready

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Indigenous Mexicans turn inward to survive COVID-19, barricading villages and growing their own food

<span class="caption">Zapotec farmers return from their 'milpa,' the garden plots that provide much of the communities' food, in Oaxaca, Mexico. </span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Jeffrey H. Cohen</span>, <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:CC BY-SA">CC BY-SA</a></span>
Zapotec farmers return from their ‘milpa,’ the garden plots that provide much of the communities’ food, in Oaxaca, Mexico. Jeffrey H. Cohen, CC BY-SA

While the coronavirus hammers Mexico, some Indigenous communities in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca are finding creative ways to cope.

Oaxaca, one of Mexico’s poorest and most ethnically diverse states, is home to numerous Indigenous communities, including the Zapotec people. I have spent many years in the central valleys of Oaxaca conducting anthropological research in rural Zapotec villages, documenting the people’s lives, migration patterns and food culture.

Map of Mexico showing Oaxaca
Map of Mexico showing Oaxaca

Now, my summer research in Oaxaca canceled due to the pandemic, I am learning from afar how the Zapotec are confronting the coronavirus given such complicating factors as chronic poverty, inadequate health care, limited internet, language barriers and a lack of running water.

Working with colleagues at Mexico’s Universidad Tecnológica de los

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Should students get a discount if they won’t be on campus because of COVID-19?

<span class="caption">COVID-19 has caused colleges to spend more to cope with the pandemic. </span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/beautiful-young-woman-working-at-home-with-dog-royalty-free-image/1215354586?adppopup=true" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:elenaleonova/GettyImages">elenaleonova/GettyImages</a></span>
COVID-19 has caused colleges to spend more to cope with the pandemic. elenaleonova/GettyImages

Not long after the COVID-19 pandemic caused colleges to start teaching remotely, students balked at the idea of paying full tuition for online learning. It’s not hard to understand why. After all, they were not getting the football and basketball games, student clubs, access to labs and the library and the out-of-class conversations that are all part of the typical campus experience.

Although students who study online will not pay the room, board and activities fees that typically cover nonacademic costs, concern about paying full tuition continues this fall, as many universities opt to continue online instruction in the interest of keeping students, faculty and staff safe from the pandemic.

Is it right to expect to pay less tuition for online learning? Or are colleges justified in charging the full tuition price when classes – at least

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Back to school plans for students across Canada in the age of COVID-19

COVID-19 in Canada
COVID-19 in Canada

With the start of the school year drawing ever-closer, many parents and students are anxious about what the return to the classroom will look like for them. We’ve got a roundup of some of the back-to-school plans that have been released.

Quebec

  • Masks are mandatory for all students in Grade 5 and up when not in a classroom, including on school transportation like buses, or public transit.

  • Each classroom will be its own bubble, and students will not be required to socially distance from classmates.

  • Students who are not in the same class must maintain one metre of social distance.

  • A distance of two metres must be maintained at all times between students and school staff. The exception is Kindergarten, where social distancing will not be required.

  • All children in elementary and secondary schools are expected to return to the classroom in September, with exceptions made for

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Young people struggle with finding mental health support amid COVID-19 pandemic

Kathryn Boit feels “guilty for struggling so much” these past few months. 

As president of the Harvard Student Mental Health Liaisons, she has “college friends, acquaintances and strangers reach out to me for resources and advice,” she said. “I don’t know the answers anymore.”

It’s no wonder Boit, a Harvard sophomore, feels overwhelmed. Prevalence of depression among college students increased since the pandemic closed campuses this spring compared with fall 2019, according to a survey of 18,000 college students published by the Healthy Minds Network on July 9. And of the nearly 42% of students who sought mental health care during the pandemic, 60% said it was either much more or somewhat more difficult to access care.

Mental health among young people has been worsening for years. A 2019 analysis of teens reported 13% of U.S. teens ages 12 to 17 (or 3.2 million) said in 2017 that they had

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