The 'summer slide' was tough before COVID-19, but getting kids in back-to-school mode is extra tough this year. Here are some tips to get you started.
Usually around this time of year, the Homewood Science Center near Chicago is full of school and camp groups learning about roller coasters and building with Legos. This summer, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the south suburban center has been offering at-home science activities to keep kids engaged.The free kits include printed instructions (in English or Spanish) and some supplies to create things like an aluminum foil boat to hold pennies, a butterfly life cycle model and a bird feeder from household containers. Homewood Science Center Executive Director Edie Dobrez said more than 8,0...
Commentary: A new Works Progress Administration could create 'learning pods' for all schoolchildren
We are facing so many crises all at the same time. COVID-19 cases are again rising, a pandemic of racial oppression has spawned an uprising in U.S. cities as well as around the globe, and sky-high unemployment rates threaten the stability of American families. But our most immediate crisis is what to do with the kids this fall. Chicago Public Schools, like many other districts, is starting the year online entirely, perhaps offering a hybrid model in the next quarter. Can this really work — for children and for their parents?How is a parent to keep their own job with children at home rather tha...
A coronavirus survivor's story shows how doctors are learning and sharing treatment discoveries
PHILADELPHIA — Four days after he tested positive for COVID-19, Radames Plaza reluctantly told his wife to call 911 because he couldn’t catch his breath.As he was loaded into the ambulance, gasping for air, Plaza was struck by how familiar — and how foreign — the situation felt. He had spent 22 years as an emergency medical technician, but never wore the kind of head-to-toe protective gear these paramedics used. He realized that he was hazardous material.It was April 9, and the pandemic was roaring through New Jersey. Plaza, 53, was promptly admitted to the intensive-care unit at Virtua Memori...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Rapid, cheap, home tests for coronavirus are in the works, but accuracy is an issue
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tweeted early Thursday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus and would not be greeting President Donald Trump. Hours later, DeWine announced that two different tests had come back negative.There, in a nutshell, is the nation’s next pandemic testing dilemma.DeWine first had an “antigen” test — fast and convenient, but not very reliable. Then he had two high-accuracy, lab-based molecular tests — the kind that have been a technical, logistical, and public health nightmare in the United States. Most molecular test results now are so delayed that they are practically...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Walt Disney World slashes park hours for fall
ORLANDO, Fla. — Walt Disney World will cut its theme-park operating hours this fall, with Epcot closing two hours earlier than normal despite hosting the Taste of Epcot Food & Wine Festival.This week, Disney announced the coronavirus shutdown had cost the company $2 billion.The theme-park giant generally reduces its operating hours as tourism slows after the busier summer months, but this year has been far from the normal pattern. Since reopening in July after a monthslong shutdown because of the pandemic, the parks have been admitting only a small percentage of the usual number of visitors. T...
Michael Cunningham: College football needs to play in a 'bubble' but won't
ATLANTA — The Big Ten and Pac-12 canceled football and all fall sports Tuesday and will try again in the spring. The SEC and ACC are, for now, still planning to play starting next month. The actuaries, attorneys and medical professionals are steering the ship now.Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said there’s too much uncertainty with medical risks for players during the pandemic. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey says his medical advisors believe the season can safely go forward but will halt should that advice change. Dueling medical opinions aside, there’s one obvious way to make college footbal...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Coronavirus devastates a Michigan convent, but even in death, nuns inspire helping others
DETROIT — When Lisa Zervos heard 13 religious sisters living together in a Livonia, Mich., convent died of coronavirus, she felt heartbroken.She sent the Catholic order a donation, brought flowers to the sisters’ graves at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Southfield and keeled down to prayed for the repose of their souls.“I was so sorry they suffered, and I know there are some sisters are still ill,” Zervos, 52, of Northville, said. “Their whole lives were devoted not to themselves but others. It helps — when you think about what they did with their lives — to be a better person yourself.”Religious ...
Detroit Free Press
Omar Kelly: NFL doesn't need fans in the stands to be successful, so it shouldn't allow them to attend games at all this season
While the nation and world struggles to come to terms with our new reality caused by the COVID-19 pandemic it is important that the arena we turn to for relief, a distraction from these trying times, sets a good example for society.That’s why the NFL needs to come out and announce that fans won’t be in the stands at all during the 2020 season or the foreseeable future.As long as the medical community is working on a vaccine, and formulating an efficient course of treatment for those who become infected by the novel coronavirus, sports teams have no business putting thousands of onlookers into ...
Editorial: Another California heath official resigns amid COVID-19. Not a good sign for Gov. Newsom
One day, someone will calculate how many lives California Gov. Gavin Newsom could have saved by making wiser choices during the coronavirus pandemic. That terrible figure will likely stand as his political legacy.Until that day comes, we must grapple with another horrifying number: 10,365. This is how many Californians have died from COVID-19 so far. More will die in the days and weeks ahead. Strong and decisive leadership could save countless lives, but — like testing kits and contact tracing capability — it appears to be in short supply.Bizarrely, as the death toll climbs, Newsom keeps tryin...
The Sacramento Bee
COVID-19 testing falls in Texas, but spread continues
AUSTIN, Texas — The amount of coronavirus testing in Texas has decreased substantially in recent weeks, just as the rate of positive cases has climbed, state data show, raising concerns about the accuracy of recent trends that show a declining number of new cases.As of Monday, the weekly average of molecular coronavirus tests conducted statewide had fallen to its lowest level since June 21. Meanwhile, the rate of tests returning positive results more than doubled over that same period.It is a troubling trend, disease experts say — one that shows not nearly enough testing is happening in Texas ...