As the coronavirus crisis hit the U.S. and shuts down schools for the academic year, students, parents and teachers have had to adjust to a new way of learning. Research shows that low-income ($25,000 a year or less) and special needs children have suffered the most since the remote learning model has been put into place in mid-March. According to a new survey by the advocacy group, ParentsTogether, four out of 10 of the poorest U.S. students are accessing remote learning as little as once a week or less. For middle- to high-income families making more than $100,000 a year, 83% of students are performing distance learning every day. Experts in distance learning warned that remote learning can widen learning gaps and have a negative effect on students who need more support.
The survey found that remote learning increased ten-fold for children in families making six figures, compared to that of the lowest-income parents. Four out of ten families with special needs children reported not receiving any support at all during the pandemic crisis. Forty percent of parents of special needs students say they are concerned about their mental health, compared to 24% of parents of other students.
Some of the reasons for the extreme gap include lack of access to a computer or having to share it with other siblings and lack of distance learning materials provided by schools.
Infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warns the public not to be overconfident as states begin to reopen businesses and public places. In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Fauci says that citizens will not see an uptick in COVID-19 cases immediately.
“One thing that I think the people who are out there frolicking need to realize — that when you do that, and you see no negative effect in one week, please don’t be overconfident because the effect of spreading is not going to be seen for two, three, maybe even more weeks,” Fauci said.
More than 62,000 American doctors and nurses have gotten sick caring for Covid-19 patients. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 291 have died. In addition, these numbers may be inaccurate as many reports of deaths do not include if the person worked in health care.
Dr. Dara Kass, an emergency medicine physician at Columbia University Medical Center, says her staff experienced a rise in the number of patients requesting, and in some cases demanding, to be given hydroxychloroquine after Trump touted its ability to prevent coronavirus. She also added that she’s seeing more cardiac distress in some coronavirus patients who have taken the anti-malaria drug.
In new guidance by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, experts say antibody tests for Covid-19 are wrong up to half the time, adding that they are not accurate enough to use to make vital policy decisions or who is well enough to return to the workplace.
According to an AP-NORC poll, only about half of Americans would get a COVID-19 vaccine if it became available. The poll also found that 31 percent of respondents were unsure if they would get vaccinated, while one in five said they would refuse the vaccine.
Beaches and hotels in Miami-Dade County will reopen on June 1. Guidelines announced by Mayor Carlos Gimenez include maintaining six feet of social distancing, wearing face coverings in restrooms or at concession stands and limiting groups to no more than 10 people.
Coronavirus cases in Alabama, California and Virginia are on the rise as restrictions are being lifted. California is reporting 15,000 new cases since last Thursday. In four of the last five days in Alabama, the state has reported more than 500 new cases each day. Virginia has set new one-day highs for confirmed cases Monday and then again Tuesday.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the reopening of all retail stores and churches in the city. Although there will be limits to the number of people who can be in these spaces, Garcetti said, “We’re not moving beyond COVID-19, but we’re learning to live with it.” Garcetti said. Barbershops and hair salons will remain closed and in-restaurant dining is prohibited.
In nearby Nevada, casinos will be allowed to open their doors on June 4. Some casinos are trying to attract visitors by waiving parking and resort fees and offering discounts on hotel rooms.
American Airlines is announcing plans to tell passengers when flights are getting full and give them options to switch flights. The company says it will continue to limit the number of passengers on planes, although a specific number or percentage was not provided. American, along with other aircraft carriers, have recently been criticized for full flights that lacked social distancing.
Executives at SeaWorld and Walt Disney World announced the theme parks will reopen in Orlando, Florida, in June and July. Beginning June 11, SeaWorld will open to the public, followed by Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on July 11. Epcot and Hollywood Studios will resume business on July 15. Visitors will be required to make reservations in advance for park entry.