COVID-19

COVID-19

COVID-19 Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

COVID-19 crisis spawns another dangerous epidemic in NC: A spike in domestic violence

It was nearly 4 a.m. and Jennifer had been pretending to sleep for two hours. She tried to ignore the sound of her own heartbeat, which pounded faster and harder than seemed possible, so she could hear her husband next to her on the bed. Was he sleeping? Was he sound asleep? When she was sure he was, she quietly slipped out of the bedroom and down the hall to retrieve the garbage bag she had hidden behind the washing machine that afternoon.

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COVID-19 Top Story Weekly Briefing

Prospect of bipartisanship on Jones Street is welcome, but only a first step in addressing NC’s needs

If you’d like to understand how utterly illogical and cruel the political right’s stance on closing the state’s lethal health coverage gap has become, consider the following two scenarios: 1) Wanda is part-time clerk at a convenience store who works the morning shift before heading off to clean houses in the afternoon. Recently, she has developed a fever, severe cough and other classic symptoms of COVID-19. After much agonizing (since she falls in the health insurance gap and lacks coverage), she decides to visit her local hospital emergency room.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

PW special report: Voices from the pandemic

Jessica Richardson is doubling up on the protective face masks these days. She has three children at home to protect, ages 1, 9 and 13. A LabCorp phlebotomist, she works at a doctor’s office in Charlotte, drawing blood from patients. “I double mask,” Richardson said. “I try to stay as positive as possible. I take my daily vitamin and extra Vitamin C.

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COVID-19 Education Top Story

Newly elected education leaders pledge to resist privatization, say pandemic could change future of public schools

Tamika Walker Kelly began to hear talk about the N.C. Association of Educators (NCAE) being taken over by "radicals" almost immediately after winning election to become president of the state’s largest teacher advocacy group.  It’s a description with which the Cumberland County elementary school music teacher takes issue.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

Duke health experts call for patience, testing, improved federal coordination in pandemic battle

Sudden reopening would jeopardize progress made thus far This is Day 50. It feels like Day 500. A new coronavirus, which technically isn’t even alive, has outwitted us. The COVID-19 pandemic has paralyzed the state and the nation, vanquished our economy and killed 40,000 people in the U.S. — including 235 in North Carolina — and another 131,000 worldwide, all of whom were loved by someone.

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COVID-19 Top Story Weekly Briefing

Ignorance and cynicism in action: The “re-open” movement and the hypocrites helping to drive it

The personality of the typical American – often to their credit and occasionally to their benefit – is marked by a broad streak of what is probably best described as cussedness. Generally speaking, we don’t like to be told what to do and we can be a pain in the neck when someone tries. It’s actually not all that unique of a characteristic. Many a 20th Century revolutionary movement was based on the premise that it’s better to be poorly governed by one’s own people than wisely governed by a foreign power. This spirit also plays an obvious role in many of the world’s modern day political hotspots.

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COVID-19 Progressive Voices Top Story

Local COVID-19 survivor: Pandemic shows need for action, policy changes

As noted by President Obama last Tuesday, “pandemics have a way of cutting through a lot of noise.” We’ve seen just that in the past week, as experts across the country have used emerging data to illustrate that COVID-19 is not some “great equalizer” as initially mythologized, but rather has exacerbated America’s severe and longstanding disparities along lines of race and class. While recognizing these disparate impacts and structural inequities is a great first step towards progress, we must not let it be the last. Let’s prove that we’ve learned something from this crisis by doing something about it.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

COVID-19 pushes Postal Service’s finances to the brink

Everything from pharmaceutical deliveries to mail-in ballots could depend on whether Congress can shore up the agency’s finances. WASHINGTON — Millions of Americans are relying on the U.S. Postal Service for key supplies while they isolate themselves to slow the spread of COVID-19. But the Postal Service itself faces uncertain times ahead, as the economic fallout of the pandemic and hostility from the Trump administration threaten to hobble it.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Pandemic bringing changes to higher education that could be long-lasting

Some say “new normal” at UNC could feature more faculty input, fewer applicants, depleted budgets and an expanded commitment to online instruction This week Eric Muller dialed in to a UNC-Chapel Hill faculty leadership video conference to wrestle ...
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COVID-19 Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Federal COVID-19 checks: What they mean and who might get left out

Much has been made of the direct cash payments included in the CARES Act passed by Congress to provide relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. Providing emergency aid was the right move, but this step alone won’t solve the financial challenges facing North Carolina families or pull the state out of a rapidly deepening economic hole.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

Pro Publica report: Senator Richard Burr sold D.C. townhouse to donor at a rich price

The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr, has come under fire in recent weeks for unloading stock holdings right before the market crashed on fears of coronavirus and for a timely sale of shares in an obscure Dutch fertilizer company. Now the North Carolina Republican’s 2017 sale of his Washington, D.C., home to a group led by a donor and powerful lobbyist who had business before Burr’s committee is raising additional ethical questions. Burr sold the small townhouse, in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, for what, by some estimates, was an above market price — $900,000 — to a team led by lobbyist John Green.

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COVID-19 Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Making a bad situation unbearable: A state prison inmate’s wife explains the toll COVID-19 is taking

I am exhausted. Just like everyone else, I'm worried and scared about my family's safety. I'm the mother of a beautiful child with a physical disability and the caregiver to a parent with Alzheimer's. I'm doing everything that is recommended to protect them, and then some. But I am powerless when it comes to protecting my husband, and so is he.

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COVID-19 Top Story Weekly Briefing

Let the people vote!

Health pandemic will put democracy itself at risk unless we act There are a lot of complex decisions to be made by American elected leaders in the coming weeks and months in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Know-it-all commentators and internet trolls will try to push “simple” solutions or try to convince us that the whole thing is overblown and that we should simply suck it up and get back to work, but the truth is that societal recovery will likely be a frustrating painstaking process with plenty of difficult calls and gray areas.

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COVID-19 Law and the Courts News Top Story

Monday numbers: Incarceration and COVID-19

Last week, several civil rights organizations and incarcerated people filed a lawsuit seeking emergency help from the North Carolina Supreme Court. Conditions for battling the COVID-19 pandemic in prisons and jails are less than ideal, and they’ve asked justices to consider releasing to release as many incarcerated adults and youths as possible in the face of the rapidly spreading virus. Below are several numbers about incarceration and COVID-19 (numbers are current as of Sunday):

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COVID-19 Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

COVID-19 reignites dark memories for those who survived the AIDS epidemic

Twice a week, Brad Batch goes on a walk with some friends in Raleigh. The Wednesday and Sunday outings are about more than just getting some fresh air. They’re an important and communal part of his week — a chance to get out of the house, have a laugh, catch up with people over coffee. But last month Batch, who is 67, told the group he wasn’t going anymore — at least until the COVID-19 pandemic was over.

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COVID-19 Education Top Story

Positive virus tests spurs Durham Public Schools to cancel popular meals program

A week ago, Durham Public Schools (DPS) bus driver Gail Clay was what’s known these days as an "essential employee." That meant the work Clay did was important enough that she was expected to show up while DPS employees with less essential jobs or jobs they could perform remotely were told to stay home to help slow the spread of COVID-19.  Clay’s “essential” duties included delivering food to needy students ordered to stay home since March 13 after Durham became one of the first districts in the state to announce it would close schools to help battle the contagious and deadly virus.

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