workers

Should teachers be considered essential workers?

“The 360” shows you diverse perspectives on the day’s top stories and debates.

What’s happening

As the coronavirus pandemic began to hit the United States, schools shut down and moved online for the remainder of spring for the safety of their teachers and students. Now, with a new academic year on the horizon, schools are trying to decide whether to send teachers and students back to classrooms in person, continue online instruction or use a hybrid model.

Federal guidelines for what’s considered an essential worker — those whose jobs are necessary to keep society functioning even when much of the economy has been closed —  include professions such as health care workers, media and grocery store employees. But while the guidelines say child care workers are considered essential, it does not include teachers. In the United States, teachers have not been treated as frontline workers in the fight against the

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How U.S. Soccer turned old jerseys into new masks for frontline workers

Deep in the bowels of the-19th century Chicago mansion that serves as the headquarters for the United States Soccer Federation, several hundred decades-old U.S. national team jerseys hung on storage racks, gathering dust.

Some of them had been worn in games by the biggest stars in modern men’s and women’s national team history. But even after a December 2019 purge during which the USSF sent many to the former players whose last names were emblazoned shirts, much of the inventory remained. Three months later the global Coronavirus pandemic hit, and with it a shortage of personal protective equipment for front line workers. An idea was born: maybe the old jerseys could be turned into functional, virus-mitigating face masks.

Led by its chief medical officer Dr. George Chiampas, U.S. Soccer had already started working on a number of COVID-19-related initiatives. Now federation staffers found themselves lurking on Esty, an online marketplace

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An Upper West Side Family Affair: Feeding NYC Front-Line Workers

UPPER WEST SIDE, NY — When Mayor Bill de Blasio shut down all New York City restaurants in March except for takeout and delivery due to the coronavirus crisis, Luca Di Pietro had to make an excruciating decision.

With income all but gone, he had to lay off 95 of his 102 employees across his five Italian restaurants.

The loss of staff meant he had to close four locations and say goodbye for now to dozens of loyal employees.

Tarallucci e Vino, located on 83rd Street and Columbus Avenue on the Upper West Side, was his lone outpost to remain open — and uncertainty clouded the future of the business that he had spent nearly a decade creating.

“It was really, really difficult. We all went into survival mode,” Di Pietro told Patch.

But little did he know the turmoil of owning restaurants in the epicenter of a global pandemic

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Live event workers call for federal relief

America’s live event and entertainment businesses came to a screeching halt this year when most states imposed restrictions on large gatherings because of COVID-19. Now, many say their industry feels forgotten, and they need financial relief to survive.

Brad Dunnum has owned ARIA Show Technology in western Michigan since 1999, employing 10 people who provide sound, lighting, video and other services for live events. But the pandemic forced Dunnum to lay all of them off in June.

“We’re not seen or heard a lot because we’re behind the scenes,” Dunnum said. “When nobody notices us that means we’ve done a good job … and because of that, a lot of folks have forgotten about us.”

Nearly 17 million people were employed in the leisure and hospitality industry, which includes the live events industry, at the beginning of 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number dropped sharply to

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The university workers tasked with getting Maryland’s campuses ready to reopen fear for students’ return in the fall

Five days a week, Relford Matthews reports to dormitories at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to paint, fill holes in the walls and install Plexiglass dividers meant to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Lots of the time, Matthews works by himself. So, for the moment, the 64-year-old maintenance worker feels safe at his job.

But he knows a storm is coming. The students.

UMES, like numerous other Maryland colleges and universities, is hoping to welcome students back to campus this fall — even on a limited basis — after an abrupt end to the spring semester as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

But the frontline workers toiling to make it happen, housekeepers and maintenance workers among them, say they harbor fears for the fall. Fears that students won’t follow protocol in the dorms, and walk about mask-less. Fears that the workers would be the ones most likely to

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China firm uses workers to ‘pre-test’ vaccine in global race

BEIJING (AP) — In the global race to make a coronavirus vaccine, a state-owned Chinese company is boasting that its employees, including top executives, received experimental shots even before the government approved testing in people.

“Giving a helping hand in forging the sword of victory,” reads an online post from SinoPharm with pictures of workers it says helped “pre-test” its vaccine.

Whether it’s viewed as heroic sacrifice or a violation of international ethical norms, the claim underscores the enormous stakes as China competes with U.S. and British companies to be the first with a vaccine to help end the pandemic — a feat that would be both a scientific and political triumph.

“Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is the new Holy Grail,” said Lawrence Gostin, a global public health law expert at Georgetown University. “The political competition to be the first is no less consequential than the race for the moon

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We’re Facing a Mental Health Crisis in Healthcare Workers, the Majority of Whom Are Women

More than 130,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, a novel strain of coronavirus, and cases continue to surge in communities across the country. But for front-line medical workers, particularly those working in emergency rooms and treating COVID-19 patients, the fight has only just begun.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that at least 515 healthcare workers have died so far after contracting COVID-19 – with 34 percent of cases still unreported – a larger, potentially even more deadly crisis is looming. For doctors, nurses, hospital cleaners, and other staff members on the front lines – nearly 80 percent of whom are women, according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics – it’s their mental health that has been devastated, and this country is beyond ill-equipped to help them repair it.

“Trauma does not have a timeline, so we will be seeing the ramifications from this

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Amazon mistakenly tells workers to take TikTok app off phones

San Francisco (AFP) – Amazon on Friday said it mistakenly sent workers an email telling them to dump the TikTok mobile application from their cell phones because of security concerns.

The internal message told workers they could still access the popular video-snippet sharing platform using laptop web browsers, but would lose access to company email on smartphones that have TikTok.

“This morning’s email to some of our employees was sent in error,” an Amazon spokesperson said in reply to an AFP inquiry without going into detail.

“There is no change to our policies right now with regard to TikTok.”

The concern expressed in the internal message appeared to be that the TikTok mobile app could access Amazon company email, according to a copy posted online.

“User security is of the utmost importance to TikTok -– we are fully committed to respecting the privacy of our users,” a spokeswoman for the

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Amazon tells workers to take TikTok app off phones: report

Amazon workers were given a Friday deadline to dump the TikTok mobile application because of unspecified security concerns, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The e-commerce colossus told workers they can still access the popular video-snippet sharing platform using laptop web browsers, but will lose access to company email on smartphones that have TikTok, the Journal and other media reported.

The concern appeared to be that the TikTok mobile app could access Amazon company email, according to a copy of an internal message posted online.

“User security is of the utmost importance to TikTok -– we are fully committed to respecting the privacy of our users,” a spokeswoman for the company said in reply to an AFP inquiry.

“While Amazon did not communicate to us before sending their email, and we still do not understand their concerns, we welcome a dialogue so we can address any issues they may

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Here’s how to manage your remote worker’s device security

One of the biggest consequences of COVID-19 for enterprises beyond 2020 will be the acceleration of the trend to working the majority of the working week from home.

Already organizations were encouraged to look into it on the promise that each employee working from home would, on average, work an additional 1.4 days per month, and that there would be greater productivity due to a perceived improvement in work/life balance.

This working from home percentage was increased in an accelerated fashion due to the COVID-19 situation. With lockdown effectively mandating that most people in professional careers work from home, as we return to ‘normal’ it is likely that the dominant trend going forward will be that employees will want to continue working from home into the future. Indeed, research suggests that as much as 41 percent of employees will continue to work from home to at least some extent following

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