By Joe Roman and Taylor Ricketts
The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is the deepest and longest period of malaise in a dozen years. Our colleagues at the University of Vermont have concluded this by analyzing posts on Twitter. The Vermont Complex Systems Center studies 50 million tweets a day, scoring the "happiness" of people's words to monitor the national mood. That mood today is at its lowest point since 2008 when they started this project.
The Hedonometer measures happiness through analysis of key words on Twitter, which is now used by one in five Americans. This chart covers 18 months from early 2019 to July 2020, showing major dips in 2020. hedonometer.org<p>These same tweets also indicate a potential salve. Before pandemic lockdowns began, doctoral student <a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=0P0ZYbIAAAAJ&hl=en" target="_blank">Aaron Schwartz</a> <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/pan3.10045" target="_blank">compared tweets before, during, and after visits to 150 parks, playgrounds and plazas</a> in San Francisco. He found that park visits corresponded with a spike in happiness, followed by an afterglow lasting up to four hours.</p><p>Tweets from parks contained fewer negative words such as "no," "not" and "can't," and fewer first-person pronouns like "I" and "me." It seems that nature makes people more positive and less self-obsessed.</p><p>Parks keep people happy in times of global crisis, economic shutdown and public anger. Research has also shown that transmission rates for COVID-19 are <a href="https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Is-risk-of-coronavirus-transmission-lower-15287602.php" target="_blank">much lower outdoors than inside</a>. As scholars who study <a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=yFzb2EUAAAAJ&hl=en" target="_blank">conservation</a> and how nature <a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=CCnUeN8AAAAJ&hl=en" target="_blank">contributes to human well-being</a>, we see opening up parks and creating new ones as a straightforward remedy for Americans' current blues.</p>
Park Visits Are Up During the Pandemic<p>According to the Hedonometer, sentiments expressed online started trending lower in mid-March as the impacts of the pandemic became clear. As lockdowns continued, they registered the lowest sentiment scores on record. Then in late May, effects from George Floyd's death in police custody and the following protests and police response once again could be seen on Twitter. May 31, 2020 was the saddest day of the project.</p><p>Recent surveys of park visitors around the University of Vermont have shown people <a href="https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/sd3h6" target="_blank">using green spaces more</a> since COVID-19 lockdowns began. Many people reported that parks were highly important to their well-being during the pandemic.</p>
<div id="4c7e4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="bc0ac146ab2a94228f32d973fc2ab272"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1289428912879964160" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">#Goldengatepark #sf #quarantinemood https://t.co/9l3ufnbkt6</div> — Suvd (@Suvd)<a href="https://twitter.com/Suvd19486406/statuses/1289428912879964160">1596258783.0</a></blockquote></div><p>The powerful effects of nature are strongest in large parks with more trees, but smaller neighborhood parks also provide a significant boost. Their impact on happiness is real, measurable and lasting.</p><p>Twitter records show that parks increase happiness to a level similar to the bounce at Christmas, which typically is the happiest day of the year. Schwartz has since expanded his <a href="https://arxiv.org/pdf/2006.10658.pdf" target="_blank">Twitter study</a> to the 25 largest cities in the U.S. and found this bounce everywhere.</p><p>Parks and public spaces won't cure COVID-19 or stop police brutality, but they are far more than playgrounds. There is growing evidence that parks contribute to mental and physical health in a range of communities.</p><p>In a 2015 study, for example, Stanford researchers sent people out for one of two walks: through a local park or on a busy street. Those who walked in nature showed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2015.02.005" target="_blank">improved moods and better memory performance</a> compared to the urban group. And a team led by <a href="https://penniur.upenn.edu/people/eugenia-gina-south" target="_blank">Gina South</a> of the University of Pennsylvania showed in a 2018 study that greening and cleaning up blighted vacant lots in Philadelphia <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.0298" target="_blank">reduced local residents' feelings of depression, worthlessness and poor mental health</a>.</p>
Creative Strategies<p>It isn't easy to create new parks on the scale of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park or the Washington Mall, but smaller projects can expand outdoor space. Options include greening vacant lots, closing streets and investing in existing parks to make them safer, greener and shadier and support wildlife.</p><p>These initiatives don't have to be capital-intensive. In the University of Pennsylvania study, for example, renovating a vacant lot by removing trash, planting grass and trees and installing a low fence cost only about US$1,600.</p><p>Urban green space is most needed in neighborhoods that have lacked funding for parks, especially given <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/08/nyregion/coronavirus-race-deaths.html" target="_blank">COVID-19's disproportionate impact on Black and Latinx people</a>.</p><p>Cities can also create parklike spaces by <a href="https://theconversation.com/with-fewer-cars-on-us-streets-now-is-the-time-to-reinvent-roadways-and-how-we-use-them-140408" target="_blank">closing streets to cars</a>. Many cities worldwide are currently retooling their transportation systems for the post-COVID-19 world in order to <a href="https://thecityfix.com/blog/bicycles-slower-speeds-livable-city-paris-mayor-anne-hidalgo-plans-ambitious-second-term-dario-hidalgo/" target="_blank">reallocate public space</a>, widen sidewalks and make more space for nature.</p><p>Urban designers, artists, ecologists and other citizens can play a direct role, too, creating pop-up parks and green spaces. Some advocates <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-15/a-brief-history-of-park-ing-day" target="_blank">transform parking spaces into mini-parks</a> with grass, potted trees and seating for just the time on the meter, to make a larger point about turning so much public space over to cars.</p><p>Or cities can invest a little more. Minneapolis, Cincinnati and Arlington, Virginia, have won <a href="https://www.tpl.org/parkscore" target="_blank">national recognition</a> for their ambitious investments in public park systems. These areas could serve as models for neighborhoods that lack access to parks.</p>
<div id="25fd0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="383f0d2df0237e9359c30dcce6cd6c42"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1276558744835379201" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Looking to safely get outside? Check out the best parks for social distancing in this year's top ten ParkScore citi… https://t.co/HJjEtDsrTD</div> — The Trust for Public Land (@The Trust for Public Land)<a href="https://twitter.com/tpl_org/statuses/1276558744835379201">1593190296.0</a></blockquote></div>
A New Park Deal?<p>The United States has historically driven economic recovery with major infrastructure investments, like the New Deal in the 1930s and the 2009 <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/american-recovery-and-reinvestment-act.asp" target="_blank">American Reinvestment and Recovery Act</a>. Such investments could easily include nature-positive spaces.</p><p>Parks are not panaceas, as evidenced by the widely publicized <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/06/nyregion/amy-cooper-false-report-charge.html" target="_blank">racist confrontation between a white woman and a Black birder</a> in New York's Central Park in early July. But Hedonometer data add to a <a href="https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/7/eaax0903?utm_source=miragenews&utm_medium=miragenews&utm_campaign=news" target="_blank">growing body of evidence</a> that they provide <a href="https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1807504116" target="_blank">clear mental health benefits</a>. Creating and expanding parks also <a href="https://www.nrpa.org/contentassets/f568e0ca499743a08148e3593c860fc5/economic-impact-study-summary.pdf" target="_blank">generates jobs and economic activity</a>, with much of the money spent locally.</p><p>We believe investments in nature are well worth it, offering both short-term solace in difficult times and long-term benefits to health, economies and communities.</p>
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By Gianna-Carina Grün
While the first countries are easing their lockdowns, others are reporting more and more new cases every day. Data for the global picture shows the pandemic is far from over. DW has the latest statistics.
What's the Current Global Trend?<p>The goal for all countries is to make it to the blue part of the chart and stay there. Countries and territories in this section reported zero new cases both this week (past seven days) and the week before.</p><p>Currently, that is the case for 14 out of 209 countries and territories. </p>
How Has the Covid-19 Trend Evolved Over the Past Weeks?<p>The situation has improved slightly: 87 countries report more cases this week than last week. </p>
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By Bob Spires
As American school officials debate when it will be safe for schoolchildren to return to classrooms, looking abroad may offer insights. Nearly every country in the world shuttered their schools early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have since sent students back to class, with varying degrees of success.
Israel: Too Much, Too Soon<p>Israel took stringent steps early on in the coronavirus pandemic, including severely restricting everyone's movement and closing all schools. By June, it was being <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/08/middleeast/israel-coronavirus-second-wave-netanyahu-intl/index.html" target="_blank">lauded internationally</a> for containing the spread of COVID-19.</p><p>But shortly after schools reopened in May, on a <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/224fa625-657c-4ffb-a6a0-a40e04d685b9" target="_blank">staggered schedule paired with mask mandates and social distancing rules</a>, COVID-19 cases <a href="https://twitter.com/DrEricDing/status/1278682387325616129" target="_blank">surged</a> across Israel. <a href="https://www.thedailybeast.com/israeli-data-show-school-openings-were-a-disaster-that-wiped-out-lockdown-gains" target="_blank">Schoolchildren and teachers</a> were among the sick. Today, <a href="https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/07/school-openings-across-globe-suggest-ways-keep-coronavirus-bay-despite-outbreaks" target="_blank">several hundred Israeli schools have closed again</a>.</p><p>Some blame <a href="https://www.vox.com/2020/7/15/21324082/coronavirus-school-reopening-trump-children-safety" target="_blank">lax enforcement of health guidelines</a> in schools. The weather didn't help: In May, a <a href="https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/07/school-openings-across-globe-suggest-ways-keep-coronavirus-bay-despite-outbreaks" target="_blank">record heat wave hit Israel</a>, making masks uncomfortable for students to wear.</p><p>But schools were only part of a broader reopening in Israel that, many experts say, <a href="https://www.timesofisrael.com/where-we-went-wrong-expert-says-these-3-blunders-caused-new-israeli-covid-chaos/" target="_blank">came too soon and without sufficient testing capacity</a>.</p><p>"The reopening happened too fast," said <a href="https://www.thedailybeast.com/israeli-data-show-school-openings-were-a-disaster-that-wiped-out-lockdown-gains" target="_blank">Mohammed Khatib, an epidemiologist on Israel's national COVID-19 task force</a>. "It was undertaken so quickly that it triggered a very sharp spike, and the return to more conservative measures came too little, much too late."<br></p><p>Israel's public health director, Siegal Sadetski, resigned in early July, saying the health ministry had ignored her warnings about <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/israel-battles-new-wave-coronavirus-infections-after-reopening-n1233139" target="_blank">reopening schools and businesses</a> so rapidly.</p>
Sweden: A Hands-Off Approach<p>Schools never closed in Sweden, part of the Scandinavian country's risky <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/05/15/world/europe/sweden-coronavirus-deaths.html" target="_blank">gamble on skipping a coronavirus lockdown</a>. Only students 16 and older stayed home and did remote learning. <a href="https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/2020/05/sweden-hasnt-locked-down-but-normal-life-is-a-luxury/" target="_blank">Social distancing</a> and <a href="https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/07/school-openings-across-globe-suggest-ways-keep-coronavirus-bay-despite-outbreaks" target="_blank">masks were recommended but optional</a>, in line with the Swedish government's emphasis on personal choice.</p><p><span></span>This strategy earned <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/schools-reopening-coronavirus/2020/07/10/865fb3e6-c122-11ea-8908-68a2b9eae9e0_story.html" target="_blank">praise from President Donald Trump</a> but some resistance from Swedish parents, especially those whose children have health issues. The government threatened to <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-sweden-compels-parents-send-kids-to-school-2020-5" target="_blank">punish parents</a> who didn't send their kids to school.</p><p>Sweden's plan <a href="https://www.axios.com/coronavirus-schools-sweden-denmark-5ff88c81-67e3-4c33-8b74-fe57b9555827.html" target="_blank">seems to have been safe enough</a>. Its health agency reported on July 15 that <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-sweden-schools/swedens-health-agency-says-open-schools-did-not-spur-pandemic-spread-among-children-idUSKCN24G2IS" target="_blank">COVID-19 outbreaks among Sweden's 1 million school children</a> were no worse than those in neighboring Finland, which did close schools. And pediatricians have seen <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa864" target="_blank">few severe COVID-19 cases</a> among school-age children in Stockholm. Only <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/1107913/number-of-coronavirus-deaths-in-sweden-by-age-groups/" target="_blank">one young Swedish child is believed to have died of the coronavirus</a> as of this article's publication.</p><p>However, officials in Stockholm have admitted they don't know how the disease may have affected teachers, parents and other adults in schools.</p><p>Sweden had <a href="https://www.coronatracker.com/country/sweden/" target="_blank">over 70,000 COVID-19 cases</a> as of July 21, which puts it in the middle of the pack in Europe, according to <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa864" target="_blank">a joint study</a> from Sweden's Upsala University and the University of Virginia. Of those, slightly more than <a href="https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/contentassets/c1b78bffbfde4a7899eb0d8ffdb57b09/covid-19-school-aged-children.pdf" target="_blank">1,000 involved children and teens</a>.</p>
Japan: So Far, So Good<p>Japan, which has mostly <a href="https://www.coronatracker.com/?country_code=JP" target="_blank">kept COVID-19 under control</a>, took <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/japan-coronavirus-schools-reopen/2020/06/06/9047be8c-a645-11ea-8681-7d471bf20207_story.html" target="_blank">a conservative approach</a> to reopening schools in June.</p><p>Different schools have <a href="https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/06/bdd000c967a7-school-restarts-picking-up-in-japan-amid-lingering-coronavirus-fears.html" target="_blank">different strategies</a>, but generally Japanese students <a href="https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/05/18/national/japan-schools-reopen-state-of-emergency/" target="_blank">attend class in person on alternating days</a>, so that classrooms are only half full. Lunches are silent and socially distanced, and students undergo daily temperature checks.</p><p>These precautions are <a href="https://globalhealth.washington.edu/sites/default/files/COVID-19%20Schools%20Summary%20%282%29.pdf?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTkRreE5XWXlORFF3TXpNeCIsInQiOiJIbVNQTTVySEo0Vzk1cHVBZVVqWnFGVmR1UEJxRGdpd01mTXg4OGw3Mk5nTnpmaUoyMGt2UXIwWVZBOE5GVjIybHA5aStrbzJ3MUxsanoxamZibmlocmpSbXZyVFVoV0VHYU1aTGx0RnpsMXlmOEtXSVJqaDJsZ0RJU1BQcVZjZSJ9" target="_blank">more stringent than those in many other countries</a>. Still, some Japanese school children have <a href="https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/06/bdd000c967a7-school-restarts-picking-up-in-japan-amid-lingering-coronavirus-fears.html" target="_blank">gotten COVID-19</a>, particularly in major cities.</p><p>A survey from Save the Children found that Japanese school children <a href="https://www.nippon.com/en/japan-data/h00744/" target="_blank">wanted more clear and detailed information</a> about the virus and the outbreaks. <a href="https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/04/06/national/japan-parents-back-to-school-coronavirus/" target="_blank">Parents</a>, students and <a href="https://japan-forward.com/what-its-like-going-back-to-school-after-the-coronavirus-emergency/" target="_blank">teachers</a> continue to express hesitancy about returning to school and <a href="https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/06/09/national/japanese-students-coronavirus-measures-school/" target="_blank">displeasure over reopening measures</a>.</p>
Uruguay: A+ for Safety<p>Analysts credit Uruguay's <a href="https://www.wlrn.org/post/small-uruguay-big-proof-committing-public-health-can-contain-covid-19#stream/0" target="_blank">well-organized and efficient public health system</a> and Uruguyans' <a href="https://theconversation.com/uruguay-quietly-beats-coronavirus-distinguishing-itself-from-its-south-american-neighbors-yet-again-140037" target="_blank">strong faith in government</a> for its success stopping the coronavirus. The progressive South American country of 3.4 million has the region's <a href="https://www.wlrn.org/post/small-uruguay-big-proof-committing-public-health-can-contain-covid-19#stream/0" target="_blank">lowest rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths</a>, and it never shut down its economy entirely.</p><p>Uruguay was one of the Western Hemisphere's first countries to send its students back to school, using a <a href="https://blogs.iadb.org/educacion/en/uruguayreopening/" target="_blank">staged approach</a>.</p><p>In late April, Uruguay <a href="https://www.elobservador.com.uy/nota/gobierno-anuncio-que-el-22-de-abril-se-pueden-retomar-las-clases-en-973-escuelas-rurales-202048204622" target="_blank">reopened schools in rural areas</a>, where the student population is small. In early June, it brought vulnerable student groups, which were <a href="https://blogs.iadb.org/educacion/en/uruguayreopening/" target="_blank">struggling to access online learning</a>, and high school seniors back into classrooms. Then all students in non-urban areas went back to classrooms.</p><p>Finally, on June 29, <a href="https://www.infobae.com/america/america-latina/2020/06/29/uruguay-completa-la-reapertura-de-las-escuelas-256-mil-alumnos-vuelven-a-clase-en-montevideo/" target="_blank">256,000 students in the capital of Montevideo</a> returned to school. An <a href="https://labs.ebanx.com/en/notes/uruguay-one-of-the-first-in-the-americas-to-reopen-schools/" target="_blank">alternating schedule</a> of in-person and virtual instruction reduces the number of students in classrooms at one time.</p><p>Uruguay is notable for residents' <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-06-30/in-midst-of-covid-chaos-one-latin-american-nation-gets-it-right" target="_blank">consistent and early adoption of measures</a> like social distancing and masks. Its successful pandemic response comes despite its <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-06-30/in-midst-of-covid-chaos-one-latin-american-nation-gets-it-right" target="_blank">proximity to hard-hit Brazil</a>, where schools remain closed.</p>
Final Grades<p>There is no perfect way to reopen schools during a pandemic. Even when a country has COVID-19 under control, there's no guarantee that schools can reopen safely.</p><p>But the policies and practices of countries that have had some initial success with schools point in the same direction. It helps to slowly stage the reopening. Strict mask wearing and social distancing is critical, both in schools and surrounding communities. And both officials and families need <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/puar.13252" target="_blank">reliable and up-to-date data</a> so that they can continually assess outbreaks – and change course quickly if necessary.<span></span></p>
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By Jose Pablo Ortiz Partida
The immediate emergency of COVID-19 has been a powerful reminder that the most valuable things in our lives are our families, friends, and the welfare of our communities.
Thousands of People in the SJV Live Without Reliable Access to Water.<p>California is the wealthiest state in the most prosperous country in the world, and yet, there are close to one million people living without reliable access to safe, clean, and affordable drinking water. Most of these people are <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/21/us/california-central-valley-tainted-water.html" target="_blank">concentrated in disadvantaged communities</a> in the SJV. California identifies <a href="https://oehha.ca.gov/calenviroscreen/sb535" target="_blank">disadvantaged communities</a> as areas that experience disproportionate levels of a combination of poverty, air and water pollution, high unemployment, and high rates of cardiovascular diseases and asthma. According to a report from the UC Davis Center for Regional Change, residents in these communities are <a href="https://regionalchange.ucdavis.edu/publication/water-justice" target="_blank">over 60% Hispanic</a>.</p><p><span></span>The SJV is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world, <a href="https://www.ppic.org/wp-content/uploads/water-and-the-future-of-the-san-joaquin-valley-overview.pdf" target="_blank">producing more than half of California's agricultural output</a> with over 200 different crops and annual revenue of about 20 billion US dollars. The astonishing volume of water that agriculture requires has led to over-exploitation of groundwater and the continuous lowering of groundwater levels that has impacted water quality and quantity.</p><p>Groundwater is the primary source for household water needs and agricultural water supply. Yet, thousands of people are unable to drink and use the water in the SJV, because there are multiple contaminants in it. Some of the water pollution comes from natural sources and includes substances like arsenic, but most of it has emerged due to agricultural practices. These contaminants include pesticides and nitrates, which are linked to cancer, birth defects, and blue baby syndrome.</p><p>In years with average precipitation, water flowing in California's rivers from rain and melted snowpack meets about 60 percent of the state's water demand and groundwater meets the remainder. However, during dry years water supply sources shift and put severe stress on groundwater levels. During the California drought from 2012 to 2016, groundwater use, mostly from agricultural water pumping, <a href="https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/04/droughts-exposed-california-s-thirst-groundwater-now-state-hopes-refill-its-aquifers" target="_blank">grew to 80 percent</a> in some regions of the SJV increasing overdraft. Groundwater overdraft occurs when water extractions exceed recharge into an aquifer. An analogy is your bank account; extract more money than is put in, and your account will go dry. Aquifers are like a shared account, with some people taking out more than others. Consequently, thousands of domestic wells ran dry, unable to reach water due to lowered groundwater levels, in large part due to increased agricultural water pumping, and affecting thousands of people across the valley.</p><p>We think about drought as standalone events, but in reality, human actions triggered by droughts can have effects that continue long after the drought has ended, like permanently lowering the water table. In the SJV, the last drought has permanently reduced the capacity of some aquifers because overdraft left air in between soil particles instead of water, and the soils subsided eliminating the space for water storage. Overdraft also leads to infrastructure damage from land subsidence, that is when the ground levels drop, plus reduction of surface water, and an increase in water quality problems. That range of concerns brought by overdraft formed the basis of SGMA.</p>
Groundwater Sustainability Plans Could Fix Part of the Problem but Are Currently Inadequate.<p>SGMA passed in 2014 and is the first legislation in California to mandate sustainable management of groundwater resources. SGMA is intended to bring about groundwater sustainability by the year 2040. Local water agencies describe the means to achieve this goal in their Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). For those interested in the details of SGMA, <a href="https://water.ca.gov/Programs/Groundwater-Management/SGMA-Groundwater-Management" target="_blank">here is a thorough description of it</a>. The focus of this post is on the latest developments.</p><p>The 21 most critically over-drafted groundwater basins submitted their GSPs at the beginning of the year and are now under review by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). External reviews of these plans argue that some of them do not sufficiently address current and future impacts on disadvantaged communities. For example, the Groundwater Leadership Forum (a group of organizations funded by the <a href="https://waterfdn.org/" target="_blank">Water Foundation</a> focused on ensuring the success of SGMA and of which UCS is part) also reviewed several GPSs and found gaps in how drinking water, climate change, stakeholder involvement, managed wetlands, and groundwater-dependent ecosystems were addressed in the plans. The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) reviewed 36 plans submitted for basins overlapping the SJV. They found Kings Basin (surrounding Fresno) stands out for having the highest number of domestic wells that may go dry, about 600 of them, under the proposed water level sustainable thresholds and yet the local groundwater plan considers that an <a href="https://www.ppic.org/blog/will-groundwater-sustainability-plans-end-the-problem-of-dry-drinking-water-wells/" target="_blank">insignificant impact from continued overdraft</a>. This is concerning and unacceptable. Public comments can be consulted in the <a href="https://sgma.water.ca.gov/portal/gsp/all" target="_blank">SGMA portal from DWR</a>.</p><p>I, and many others are concerned that multiple GSPs have questionable integrations of climate change projections. GSPs are considering numerous projects to tackle their local overdraft, yet they are not planning for the uncertain future that climate change is bringing. To reduce some of the vulnerabilities that we see now, GSPs need to integrate climate change and show benefits on the range of future scenarios.</p><p>Another concern is that on May 14, the <a href="http://www.ebudget.ca.gov/FullBudgetSummary.pdf" target="_blank">Governor announced</a> a $40 million cut on funding for SGMA. Part of the money was expected to support 37 new staff positions at DWR to uphold its statutory obligation on reviewing GSPs. While the budget still allocated $26 million of existing Proposition 68 bond funds to help with implementation projects in critically overdraft basin, it is unlikely that DWR will have the capacity to review the GSPs thoroughly. However, the governor's budget did prioritize safe and affordable drinking water and the State Water Board approved <a href="http://californiawaternewsdaily.com/infrastructure/state-water-board-approves-2020-21-funds-to-improve-access-to-healthy-drinking-water/" target="_blank">$130 million for 2020-2021</a> to projects that support such objective on vulnerable communities.</p>
Without Bold Action and Preparation, Climate Change Threats May Bring Similar Impacts to Those of COVID-19.<p>The lack of drinking water causes many residents in the valley to rely on bottled water as their primary source for drinking and cooking. Panic buying at the beginning of the pandemic left stores across the valley without bottled water. In the case of COVID-19, unsafe and unreliable access to water has endangered a multitude of low-income communities by preventing them from performing protective, hygienic acts, handwashing, in particular, and forcing them to go to public water supply kiosks. As we've all learned, hand washing is one of the most necessary measures needed to slow and stop the spread of a virus. Without a correct implementation of groundwater sustainability plans under SGMA, many of these risks will continue.</p><p>Shelter in place orders resulted in people losing their jobs and hence, their source of income and being unable to pay utility services. Small utility services were also impacted because of low economic margins of operations in which small drops in income translate to being unable to provide service. Fortunately, many organizations and individuals wrote a letter to Governor Newsom that prompted him to issue an <a href="https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/04/02/governor-newsom-issues-executive-order-protecting-homes-small-businesses-from-water-shutoffs/" target="_blank">executive order</a> protecting homes and small businesses from water shutoffs.</p><p>We now have the opportunity to give meaning to these current hardships by learning from them to prevent hardships from climate change. Climate change is a threat intensifier. In this case, the threat is a virus, and historical inequities and water vulnerabilities increased its impact on the most vulnerable among us. An example of the unpreparedness of the system to support our vulnerabilities during times of crisis is seen in the case of school children who rely on school lunches as their main meal of the day but are now unable to access this resource due to school closures. Some farmworkers, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/02/us/coronavirus-undocumented-immigrant-farmworkers-agriculture.html" target="_blank">while cataloged as 'essential' by the federal government</a> during this crisis, are undocumented and were not part of the stimulus package. The height of irony is <a href="https://www.kvpr.org/post/covid-19-deepens-food-insecurity-san-joaquin-valley" target="_blank">farmworkers struggled with access to food distribution</a> when they needed it.</p>
There Is No Scenario Where Water Is Not Absolutely Necessary to Lessen the Impacts During a Crisis.<p>One of my <a href="https://blog.ucsusa.org/cecilia-moura/covid-19-air-pollution-and-health-impacts-an-interview-with-pediatric-pulmonologist-dr-denise-serebrisky" target="_blank">colleagues wrote</a> that moments of crisis often expose the weak points of a system. In the SJV, the weak points of the water system have been exposed for years and won't be strengthened without managing water resources sustainably. This is evidenced by the number of people in the SJV without access to safe, clean, and affordable drinking water. Considering that about <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/28/california-water-wells-dry-sgma" target="_blank">95% of valley residents</a> depend on groundwater for at least part of their water, it is critical that GSPs explicitly include strategies for addressing some of the current and future water issues in the SJV.</p><p>Numerous, various kinds of climate threats will come, whether they develop as <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-020-0804-2" target="_blank">floods, heatwaves, wildfires, droughts, or other climate hazards</a>, we need to be prepared and do everything possible to improve sustainable water management for all. While future climate-change-derived crises most likely will be different than COVID-19, there is no scenario where water is not absolutely necessary to lessen the impacts.</p>
German biotechnology company Biontech and U.S. drugs giant Pfizer announced on Tuesday that they would start Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials of their BNT162b2 vaccine after getting the go-ahead from regulators.
'The Power of Vaccines'<p>The World Health Organization (WHO) is tracking more than 140 candidate vaccines of which only 5 are in Phase 3 clinical trials. American biotechnology company Moderna has also announced Phase 3 trials this week.</p><p>However, Western countries have also fought to gain rights to the first batch of vaccines, raising concerns that impoverished countries may be the last to receive them.</p><p>Phase 3 clinical trials are the final regulatory hurdle before approval. Amid a rise in disinformation campaigns questioning the safety of vaccines, the WHO has pushed to educate societies on the benefits of such medical treatments.</p><p>"The COVID-19 pandemic is unraveling many of the gains we have made through immunization campaigns ... putting hundreds of millions of people at risk," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last month. "Now is the moment for the world to come together in solidarity to realize the power of vaccines."</p>
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Hand sanitizers are everywhere these days — store counters, car cup holders and even belt loops — as people try to avoid coronavirus germs. The ubiquity of this hygiene staple is not without its problems though, and the concern keeps growing as the FDA recently recalled 77 hand sanitizers for containing dangerous levels of methanol, CBS News reported.
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By Jake Johnson
Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate are demanding that the Trump administration immediately reverse an order requiring hospitals to send Covid-19 patient information directly to a Health and Human Services database instead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a change that threw the data-collection process into chaos as states struggle to cope with soaring infections.
<div id="0f796" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="41cb9aadf10669bb35a474e7b89ae543"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1284174201457434626" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">At a time when we already have more than 3.5 million cases and more than 138,300 deaths, we should not allow health… https://t.co/7gH0WvlTkr</div> — Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@Rep. Pramila Jayapal)<a href="https://twitter.com/RepJayapal/statuses/1284174201457434626">1595005963.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div id="940ab" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fb2269328c04bdfb18d2c52baf066a30"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1283848421225316353" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">New HHS apology memo is worthless... HHS directs COVID hospital data “Re-establish the dashboard” to CDC website ..… https://t.co/zv29VX5Ijg</div> — Eric Feigl-Ding (@Eric Feigl-Ding)<a href="https://twitter.com/DrEricDing/statuses/1283848421225316353">1594928291.0</a></blockquote></div>
By Michael Fakhri and Ntina Tzouvala
According to a new United Nations report, global rates of hunger and malnutrition are on the rise. The report estimates that in 2019, 690 million people – 8.9% of the world's population – were undernourished. It predicts that this number will exceed 840 million by 2030.
How Much Should Healthy Food Cost?<p>Experts have debated for years how best to measure hunger and malnutrition. In the past, the U.N. focused almost exclusively on calories – an approach that researchers and advocacy groups <a href="http://archive.wphna.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/2013-Ethics-Int-Aff-Francis-Moore-Lappe-et-al-Counting-hunger.pdf" target="_blank">criticized as too narrow</a>.</p><p>This year's report takes a more thoughtful approach that focuses on access to healthy diets. One thing it found is that when governments primarily focused on making sure people had enough calories, they did so by supporting large transnational corporations and by making fatty, sweet and highly-processed foods cheap and accessible.</p><p>This perspective raises some important issues about the global political economy of food. As the new report points out, people who live at the current global poverty level of US$1.90 per day cannot feasibly secure access to a healthy diet, even under the most optimistic scenarios.</p><p><span></span>More broadly, the U.N. report addresses one of the longest-running debates in agriculture: What is a fair price for healthy food?</p><p><span></span>One thing everyone agrees on is that a plant-heavy diet is best for human health and the planet. But if prices for fruits and vegetables are too low, then farmers can't make a living, and will grow something more lucrative or quit farming altogether. And costs eventually go up for consumers as the supply dwindles. Conversely, if the price is too high, then most people can't afford healthy food and will resort to eating whatever they can afford – often, cheap processed foods.</p>
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The Role of Governments<p>Food prices don't just reflect supply and demand. As the report notes, government policies always directly or indirectly influence them.</p><p>Some countries raise taxes at the border, making imported food more expensive in order to protect local producers and ensure a stable supply of food. Rich countries like the U.S., Canada, and in the EU heavily subsidize their farming sectors.</p><p>Governments can also spend public money on programs like farmer education or school meals, or invest in better roads and storage facilities. Another option is to grant people living in poverty food vouchers or cash to buy food, or to ensure everyone has a basic income that allows them to cover their fundamental spending. There's a host of ways in which governments can make sure food prices allow producers to make a living and consumers to afford healthy meals.</p>
The Human Cost of Cheap Food<p>The U.N. report focuses on trying to make sure that food is as cheap as possible. This is limited in a number of ways.</p><p>New <a href="https://www.yalelawjournal.org/note/amazons-antitrust-paradox" target="_blank">research</a> highlights that mostly focusing on <a href="https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520299931/a-history-of-the-world-in-seven-cheap-things" target="_blank">cheap prices</a> can promote environmental damage and brutal economic systems. That's because only large corporations can afford to compete in a market committed to cheap food. As our research has shown, <a href="https://www.academia.edu/30170463/Food_for_the_Global_Market_The_Neoliberal_Reconstruction_of_Agriculture_in_Occupied_Iraq" target="_blank">today</a> and in the <a href="https://uoregon.academia.edu/MichaelFakhri" target="_blank">past</a>, people's access to food is usually determined by how much power is concentrated in the hands of the few.</p>
<div id="68c2c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3b52ed2e8c0a86bc4d0075279238dc4a"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1282318358864699392" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">meatpacker #Toennies slaughterhouse in #Germany under fire for requesting government support after #COVID19… https://t.co/RzRN023XIS</div> — Hiro (@Hiro)<a href="https://twitter.com/mnDonotpanic/statuses/1282318358864699392">1594563495.0</a></blockquote></div><p>One current example is <a href="https://news.trust.org/item/20200612121508-ftbpr" target="_blank">meatpacking plants</a>, which have been coronavirus transmission centers in the U.S., Canada, Brazil and Europe. To keep prices low, people work shoulder-to-shoulder <a href="https://theconversation.com/to-understand-the-danger-of-covid-19-outbreaks-in-meatpacking-plants-look-at-the-industrys-history-137367" target="_blank">processing meat at an incredible speed</a>. During the pandemic, these conditions have enabled the virus to spread among workers, and outbreaks in factories have then spread the virus to nearby communities.</p><p>New international standards allow factories to continue to operate, but in a way that <a href="http://www.iuf.org/show.php?lang=en&tid=36" target="_blank">protects workers</a>. In our view, governments are not adequately enforcing these safety standards to stop the spread of the virus. Globally, four corporations – Brazil's JBS, Tyson and Cargill in the United States, and Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods – dominate the meat-producing sector. Studies have shown that they are able to <a href="https://www.iatp.org/blog/leaders-global-meat-complex" target="_blank">lobby and influence government policy</a> in ways that prioritize profit over worker and community safety.</p><p>Our work has convinced us that the best way for governments to make sure that everyone has access to good food is to view a healthy diet as a human right. This means first understanding who has the most power over food supplies. Ultimately, it means making sure that the health, safety and dignity of people who produce the world's food is a central part of the conversation about the cost of healthy diets.</p>
By Sarah Thomas and Nathan Heffernan
Fossil fuel companies have reaped millions of dollars in benefits from a stimulus package intended to help struggling Americans and the economy. Among these is Marathon Petroleum, the largest oil refiner in the country, which has a history of air pollution violations impacting low-income and Black and Brown communities.
Oil Companies Receiving Bailout Money<p>The CARES Act included several provisions to support businesses, one of which allowed companies to claim an immediate tax refund by deducting current operating losses from income taxes paid in the past five years. As a result of changes to allow the <a href="https://foe.org/news/big-oil-scores-1-4-billion-in-covid-tax-scam/" target="_blank">"carryback"</a> of net operating losses, Marathon received <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-15/-stealth-bailout-shovels-millions-of-dollars-to-oil-companies" target="_blank">$411 million in tax benefits</a>, a sum even greater than their recent $334 million penalty for environmental violations. The Federal Reserve also included Marathon Petroleum in its <a href="https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-energy/2020/06/29/fed-buys-millions-in-energy-bonds-788849" target="_blank">recent purchase of energy bonds</a>.</p><p>Oil and gas companies, like Marathon, are not violating any rules by claiming this tax benefit, but there are significant downsides to using public resources to prop up dirty companies with a history of air pollution violations in the midst of a pandemic that targets the respiratory system. As part of the paycheck protection program, a separate program under the CARES Act, at least <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jul/07/fossil-fuel-industry-coronavirus-aid-us-analysis" target="_blank">$3 billion</a> in taxpayer dollars intended for small businesses have gone to over 5,600 U.S. fossil fuel companies and are being used to save an antiquated industry, rather than investing in a sustainable future that will benefit all Americans.</p><p>Democratic <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/may/14/us-oil-gas-companies-coronavirus-relief-loan-ppp" target="_blank">lawmakers have warned</a> that this oil bailout is not only taking the funds meant for smaller businesses, but is also forcing taxpayers to pay for the industry's past mistakes. Senators Brian Schatz and Sheldon Whitehouse <a href="https://www.schatz.senate.gov/press-releases/schatz-whitehouse-senators-to-fed-loans-should-help-small-businesses-not-bail-out-oil-companies-that-risk-stability-of-financial-system" target="_blank">wrote</a> that the pandemic "was not the source of the oil and gas industry's dire financial condition," and that this bailout "poses both a credit risk and a more profound climate transition risk to taxpayers."</p><p>Marathon Petroleum is just one example of an oil company that was <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-marathon-petroleum-activist/marathon-petroleum-to-change-ceo-split-company-after-hedge-fund-campaign-idUSKBN1XA1DI" target="_blank">already struggling</a> prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, partly due to their expensive 2018 acquisition of rival refiner Andeavor. Oil companies have been pursuing such <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/18/the-us-oil-industry-shook-up-the-world-and-now-its-shaking-out.html" target="_blank">mergers</a> in an attempt to generate investor excitement and make up for the structural weaknesses of the oil sector. More specifically, upstream companies have spent billions more on drilling than they receive from selling the produced oil and gas, which creates a condition known as <a href="https://ieefa.org/the-depreciation-dodge/" target="_blank">negative free cash flow</a>. Investing in oil stock has had a similarly negative trajectory, as the average U.S. oil producer over the past three years has produced <a href="https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/10/16/the-oil-stock-merger-wave-continues-despite-invest.aspx" target="_blank">a total return of negative 17%.</a></p>
A History of Environmental Racism<p>The acquisition of Andeavor and other refineries has made Marathon Petroleum the largest refiner in the U.S. with a long list of costly penalties. All told, Marathon and its acquired companies have been <a href="https://violationtracker.goodjobsfirst.org/prog.php?parent=marathon-petroleum&order=pen_year&sort=desc" target="_blank">fined more than $1.4 billion</a> in environmental, consumer protection and workplace violations since 2000. A significant recent example was its <a href="https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/marathon-petroleum-company-reduce-air-pollution-refineries-five-states" target="_blank">$334 million settlement with the EPA in 2016</a> to reduce air pollutants in five states: Michigan, Louisiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Illinois. The EPA <a href="https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/marathon-petroleum-company-reduce-air-pollution-refineries-five-states" target="_blank">announced</a> that the required investments in air pollution controls would "help reduce emissions that can cause respiratory and cardiovascular health impacts, which can disproportionately affect low-income and vulnerable populations."</p><p>Many of Marathon's refineries have notably high indicators for <a href="https://www.epa.gov/ejscreen" target="_blank">Environmental Justice Indexes</a>, signifying high levels of air pollution among minority and at-risk groups. For the 1-mile radius surrounding the Detroit, Michigan refinery, the surrounding communities score above the state 90th percentile for diesel particulate matter, air toxics cancer risk, and respiratory hazard index. The Canton, Ohio refinery additionally scores around the 75th percentile in these indexes. The Garyville, Louisiana refinery — located in Louisiana's infamous "Cancer Alley" — scores in the 99th percentile country-wide for air toxics cancer risk. The Political Economy Research Institute lists Marathon as the <a href="https://grconnect.com/tox100/ry2017/index.php?search=yes&company2=4274" target="_blank">33rd worst air polluter in the nation,</a> with an Environmental Justice Minority Share of 59%, meaning that its refineries disproportionately impact communities of color.</p>
Lobbying Against Common-Sense Solutions<p>The CARES Act bailout to Marathon Petroleum, a significant air polluter, is further concerning given the lobbying ties the fossil fuel giant has with the Trump administration. In May 2020, the House Oversight Committee <a href="https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/500015-house-oversight-seeks-docs-from-marathon-oil-after-trump-mileage" target="_blank">requested documents from Marathon Petroleum</a> related to its <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/13/climate/cafe-emissions-rollback-oil-industry.html" target="_blank">extensive lobbying efforts</a> related to Trump's rollback of fuel economy standards — a rule change that has already been mired in scandal. In 2018, Gary Heminger, Marathon's former CEO, told investors <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/13/climate/cafe-emissions-rollback-oil-industry.html" target="_blank">the new rule would help sell up to 400,000 more barrels of oil a day</a>. The investigation seeks documents detailing meetings with top officials at the EPA and the Department of Transportation.</p><p>While the CARES Act is necessary for stimulating the economy during this crisis, large hand-outs to notorious air polluters must be scrutinized. Air pollution exposure has been linked to<a href="https://epha.org/air-pollution-caused-conditions-the-risk-of-co-morbidities/" target="_blank"> increasing incidence and severity of several respiratory infections that are similar to COVID-19.</a> Residential areas surrounding oil refineries such as Marathon Petroleum are often predominantly Black communities, which are already affected disproportionately by the pandemic. The bailout money towards Marathon Petroleum maintains oil refineries that pollute surrounding communities, worsening the health and economic impacts of the Covid pandemic.</p><p>Our recovery from this crisis shouldn't worsen existing public health problems or lock us into higher greenhouse gas emissions. We need a green and just recovery that puts us on a path to the sustainable future we need.</p>
By Michael Addonizio
Safely resuming in-person instruction at U.S. public schools is important for the academic, physical, emotional and social well-being of children and their families. It's also a key factor for the nation's economic recovery.
Concerns Expressed<p>In June, a survey of the members of the <a href="https://www.aft.org/sites/default/files/June_2020_member_poll_slides_07072020.pdf" target="_blank">American Federation of Teachers</a>, a union with <a href="https://www.aft.org/publicservices/about-aft-public-employees" target="_blank">1.6 million members</a>, found that only 21% of K-12 teachers preferred to resume school on a traditional schedule. Another 42% supported a hybrid approach combining in-person and distance learning and 29% wanted to continue with distance learning exclusively and the rest didn't express a preference.</p><p>Fully 62% of the teachers responding to the survey expressed concerns over school safety tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.</p><p>One reason for this trepidation is demographic. More than 1 in 4 of the nation's <a href="https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372#PK12_teachers" target="_blank">3.7 million public school teachers</a> are <a href="https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2020142" target="_blank">50 years old or older</a>. That means they have a high <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/older-adults.html" target="_blank">risk of getting severe symptoms</a> if they contract COVID-19.</p><p>Countless other teachers live with someone who is in a high-risk category due to their age or have underlying conditions that put them at a greater risk should they get sick.</p><p>A recent effort to at least bring teachers together while they taught young students online over the summer didn't bode well. <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/beloved-arizona-teacher-dies-coronavirus-two-others-sharing-classroom-also-n1233672" target="_blank">Three teachers shared a classroom</a> at an Arizona public school. Although all three wore masks and gloves, used hand sanitizer and socially distanced, they all got infected with the coronavirus. One of them, who was 61, died in June.</p><p>Even experts do not yet have a good understanding of the likely risks tied to <a href="https://doi.org/10.17226/25858" target="_blank">reopening K-12 school buildings</a>. Much remains unknown about the degree to which kids, who appear to be <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/10/politics/do-kids-spread-coronavirus-fact-check/index.html" target="_blank">unlikely to develop COVID-19 symptoms</a>, can spread the coronavirus. It's unclear whether the <a href="https://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2020/06/schools-COVID-era-return-air-system-problems-watchdog.html" target="_blank">heating and cooling systems</a> in school buildings function adequately enough to rely on during a pandemic. And no one knows how the <a href="https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2020/06/25/hybrid-school-schedules-more-flexibility-big-logistical.html" target="_blank">alternative scheduling scenarios</a> taking shape might affect student and staff safety since for the most part they are unprecedented.</p>
Greater Clout<p>This pushback from teachers is in keeping with a recent wave of mass mobilization by educators.</p><p>In <a href="https://theconversation.com/whats-behind-the-teacher-strikes-unions-focus-on-social-justice-not-just-salaries-111490" target="_blank">2018 and 2019</a>, tens of thousands of public school teachers, both unionized and not, walked out of their classrooms. In states like Kentucky, Arizona, California and Illinois, they protested low salaries, large class sizes and cuts to school budgets that have forced many teachers to spend their own money on classroom materials.</p><p>From these walkouts, some statewide and others limited to specific school districts, teachers won better pay and working conditions. They also garnered <a href="http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/teacherbeat/2019/01/los-angeles-deal-end-strike.html" target="_blank">considerable public support</a> that may have bolstered educators' <a href="https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/lausd-will-not-have-in-person-classes-in-the-fall-online-learning-to-continue/2395329/" target="_blank">political clout</a> in decisions being made about how to carry on with K-12 schooling in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.</p>
Major Consequences<p>Teaching is challenging in the best of times. Now teachers are being asked and told to do more than ever: prepare in-person, online and hybrid lessons, allay students' anxieties, and risk their own and their families' health while serving students and families, often in communities where the pandemic isn't anywhere near under control.</p><p>Should school systems not heed teacher safety concerns, there's a risk that large numbers of educators <a href="https://www.chalkbeat.org/2020/5/9/21252608/older-teachers-heath-concerns-coronavirus-return-to-schools" target="_blank">might retire early or quit</a> until conditions are safer.</p><p>A wave of resignations could have major consequences for school quality. <a href="https://www.shankerinstitute.org/resource/does-money-matter-second-edition" target="_blank">Teacher experience makes a big difference</a>, in terms of both measured student achievement and student behavior. And replacing them with inexperienced substitute teachers and others far less qualified and issued emergency credentials would surely take a toll on the quality of education children get, whether it happens online or in classrooms.</p><p>In my view, the educational costs of losing scores of veteran teachers over personal health concerns would be incalculable.</p><p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michael-addonizio-688882" target="_blank">Michael Addonizio</a> is a professor of educational leadership and policy studies at the Wayne State University. <br></em></p><p><em>Disclosure statement: Michael Addonizio does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.</em></p><p><em>Reposted with permission from <a href="https://theconversation.com/until-teachers-feel-safe-widespread-in-person-k-12-schooling-may-prove-impossible-in-us-142358" target="_blank">The Conversation</a></em><em style="">.</em></p>
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