pandemic

pandemic

Education News Top Story

COVID cautions land NC family with truancy charge

Stanly County mom defends decision to temporarily homeschool son during spikes in the pandemic In January, when the COVID positivity rate climbed to nearly 40% in Stanly County, northeast of Charlotte, Morgan Perez made the tough call to keep her son Jaxon home from school.

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Education Top Story

State Board of Education hears sobering details of the pandemic’s impact on youth mental health

Trauma, depression, and suicide have spiked and a bill in the General Assembly could make things worse The pandemic has been unkind to America’s school children. Academically, K-12 students experienced significant learning loss while stuck at home during the height of the pandemic. The long-term impact of students falling behind in school keeps educators awake at night.

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Radio Interviews

Documentary producer Cristin Severance discusses WRAL-TV’s latest powerful documentary entitled “Pandemic Generation: Kids in Crisis”

WRAL’s documentary unit: Videographer Jay Jennings and producer/reporter Cristin Severance

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Surgeon General declared a national state of emergency in children’s mental health with one in five young people experiencing anxiety or depression.

The latest WRAL Doc, Pandemic Generation, shines a light on the real, lasting impacts of remote learning, quarantine, and the uncertainty our kids endured these last two years. Watch the documentary here.

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Top Story

Do you need a second booster shot? An epidemiologist scoured the latest research and has some answers

In late March 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a second booster shot of COVID-19 vaccines for vulnerable populations in the U.S., a move that was soon after endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People ages 50 years and older and certain immunocompromised individuals who are at higher risk for severe disease, hospitalization and death are eligible four months after receiving the initial booster shot.

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Congress COVID-19 News Top Story

Congressional testimony: Alcohol use rates “staggering,” 40% of U.S. adults report experiencing anxiety or depression

Prior to the pandemic, one in 10 American adults reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression. Over the past two years, that rate has skyrocketed to four in 10 adults — 40%. On Wednesday members of the powerful U.S. House Ways & Means Committee held its first hearing on mental health in more than a decade.

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COVID-19 Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Only spreading Aloha: A journalist reflects on air travel and tourism in the pandemic era

Last month my wife and I did something that seemed unthinkable for the last two years. We traveled nearly 5,000 miles to spend a week in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. It was a trip we’d talked about since before the COVID-19 pandemic. We dreamed, we planned, we saved. But we postponed it repeatedly, then indefinitely, as the light at the end of the tunnel provided by vaccines and boosters dimmed...

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Legislatures across country back off pandemic protocols

Despite the explosive spread of the omicron variant, many statehouses are attempting to conduct business as usual As Dr. Jennifer Bacani McKenney walked the halls of the Kansas Statehouse on opening day of the legislative session this month, she was taken aback by what she saw. In the hallways, where "people are chatting and hugging and all that stuff, there were probably less than half of the people wearing masks...

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News Top Story

Fibs, fraud, and frustrations: North Carolina’s unemployment program draws more scrutiny

Claire Niver, a senior vice president with Pepsi Bottling Ventures, told legislators last week the global pandemic has had a “monumental impact” on the North Carolina-based company. Niver described in detail how the company hand-made 1,600 masks for frontline workers and created a partnership with Jim Beam so employees would have a ready supply of hand sanitizer when it was unavailable in most stores. "We had no layoffs and no furloughs. We are an essential business," Niver said proudly.

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News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the rapid and stunning growth of the super-rich

While the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic recession it spawned have taken a huge toll on low and middle-income people across the globe, most members of the very exclusive club frequently referred to as the “super-rich” have been doing just fine, thank you. In fact, a recent report prepared by veteran policy analyst Chuck Collins of the Institute for Policy Studies for the website Inequality.org, put it this way...

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

President Biden’s remarkable record of accomplishment under nearly impossible circumstances

It’s been almost 90 years since humorist Will Rogers uttered his famous lament: “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.” Sadly, for that party and, no doubt, quite amusingly for those otherwise affiliated, the observation would still hold were Rogers alive today.

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Education Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the effectiveness of TV learning during the pandemic

After schools closed to in-person instruction in March 2020, PBS North Carolina (then known as UNC-TV) provided students learning from home with broadcast and online educational content aligned as closely as possible to the NC Standard Course of Study.  Curated materials – content created by others – were used during what the NC Department of Public Instructions and PBS North Carolina officials called Phase 1 of the ambitious At Home Learning Initiative.

  The second phase began in August 2020 with North Carolina teacher-generated content supporte ...
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COVID-19 Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Wake Forest prof: the links between politics, science denial and the pandemic

Vaccine refusal is a major reason COVID-19 infections continue to surge in the U.S. Safe and effective vaccines have been available for months, but as of mid-September 2021, only 65% of eligible American adults are fully vaccinated. In many areas, a majority of eligible adults haven’t taken advantage of the opportunity to get vaccinated. In the U.S., polling on intent to get vaccinated shows a massive political divide.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW exclusive: UNC pandemic specialist says school is repeating mistakes from 2020

Veteran epidemiologist and ethicist is fearful university leaders have not learned vital lessons from last year As students return for the fall semester at UNC-Chapel Hill Wednesday, Dr. Jim Thomas is having an uneasy sense of déjà vu. “I’m very uneasy about what I’m seeing,” said Thomas, a professor emeritus in the Epidemiology department at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. “Or what I’m seeing again.”

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COVID-19 Education News Top Story

As debate over masks in public schools continues, experts say the answer is clear

The Delta variant of COVID-19 is “several-fold” more transmissible than the Alpha variant, making mask mandates in schools more important than ever, a Duke University professor of pediatrics said Wednesday.  Dr. Danny Benjamin’s advice comes as most of North Carolina’s 1.5 million school children prepare to return to classrooms and school boards wrestle with whether to adopt mask mandates amid surging COVID infections.

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