Things That Matter

#TheWorldReopenedAnd Is Highlighting All The Ways We Are Failing In Our Response To COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is still spreading across the U.S. with several states seeing significant spikes. Globally, some regions and countries have had to reinstitute lockdowns and travel bans to tamp down outbreaks. After almost four months of isolating and staying home, people are being allowed back out with restrictions and it isn’t going super great.

Twitter users let their feelings be known about the recent reopings using #TheWorldReopenedAnd.

There is a big debate raging in the U.S. about the use of facial masks. At some point, the facial mask was politicized leading to people on the right claiming that the mask violates their rights. Meanwhile, health experts around the world have stated that wearing facial masks is the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19.

There are a lot of people on social media who just don’t trust the general public right now.

With some states and cities reopening, the cases have started to once again spike in the U.S. California, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, and Florida has seen spikes great enough to start rolling back some of the reopenings that have happened in their states. The most common places reclosed are bars and nightclubs. Bars and nightclubs are considered as dangerous for COVID-19 spread as gyms.

The numbers are all trending poorly for a majority of states.

According to The New York Times, new coronavirus cases are increasing in 35 states. Some of the worst spikes are coming from states that have rushed reopenings ahead of their previous plans. The U.S. recorded more than 45,000 new cases on June 26 and more than 39,000 on June 30.

As the country reevaluates its reopening, without a national plan in place, Americans favor science leading the charge.

According to a poll by The New York Times, a majority of voters trust medical experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over President Donald Trump when it comes to the coronavirus. Eighty-four percent of all voters surveyed by The New York Times said they trust medical experts when it comes to information on COVID-19. Alternately, 26 percent of voters trust President Trump for information. The numbers show an overlap in those who trust both medical experts and President Trump. Support for President ran on part lines as 66 percent of Republican voters trusted President Trump while 4 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of Independents trust President Trump.

On a different note, some people are convinced that the end of the quarantine released an eager populations of Karens loose.

As the lockdowns have eased, there have been more social media videos of people acting out. How are you feeling about the current reopenings?

READ: Court Orders ICE To Release Children In Their Custody As COVID-19 Tears Through Detention Centers

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As The U.S. Expands Vaccine Eligibility Here’s What You Need To Know

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As The U.S. Expands Vaccine Eligibility Here’s What You Need To Know

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Starting today, everyone 16 and older can get in line for the Coronavirus vaccine. This is a huge milestone that has been months in the making after a very ambitious plan by the Biden administration.

But with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine still on pause, many have been wondering what the vaccine program will look like – especially since nearly everyone is now eligible to receive a shot in the arm.

As of Monday, anyone 16 and over is technically eligible to receive the Coronavirus vaccine.

On Monday, every state in the U.S. expanded its vaccine eligibility to include all adults over the age of 16, meeting President Biden’s deadline which he established two weeks ago.

The country is now administering 3.2 million doses a day on average, and half of all adults have now received at least one dose. Additionally, 84.3 million people have now been fully vaccinated against the disease. These are truly encouraging figures in the fight against the pandemic but a lot of uncertainty remains.

Ok but can I get a shot?

Technically, yes, anyone over the age of 16 is now eligible for the vaccine but your access to it really varies from state to state.

Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, D.C., were the last to open up eligibility on Monday, after other states expanded access to the general public over the past month.

If the country’s present vaccination rate continues, 70% of the total U.S. population could be vaccinated by June 17 and 90% by July 25, the New York Times has projected. That timeline will likely depend on what happens with Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine, however, as distribution is now paused following reports of blood clots, despite being statistically extremely rare.

So, what’s going on with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

On Sunday, the nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony S. Fauci said that he believed the pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will likely be lifted on Friday. During interviews on talk shows, Fauci stated that he expected federal health officials to decide on the vaccine’s future by the end of the week and that he did not anticipate the vaccine being permanently banned.

One alternative to banning is to limit who is able to receive the one dose shot, perhaps limiting it to males over the age of 50. This is how Europe adjusted its strategy following similar blood clotting issues with the Astra Zeneca vaccine, which was created using similar methods.

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Texas High Schoolers Conducted a Mock ‘Slave Auction’ Of Black Students Over Snapchat

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Texas High Schoolers Conducted a Mock ‘Slave Auction’ Of Black Students Over Snapchat

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Students at a high school in Aledo, Texas are being disciplined after the administration discovered they held a mock slave auction on Snapchat where they “traded” Black students.

Screenshots of the Snapchat group show that these unnamed students “bid” on students of color, ranging anywhere from $1 to $100.

One student in particular was priced at $1 because his hair was “bad”. The screenshot also shows that the group chat’s name changed regularly. The group’s name started as “Slave Trade” then changed to “N—-r Farm”, and finally to “N—– Auction”.

Upon learning of the mock slave auction, the Daniel Ninth Grade Campus’s principal wrote a note to parents explaining the situation. Principal Carolyn Ansley called the mock slave auction “an incident of cyberbullying and harassment” which “led to conversations about how inappropriate and hurtful language can have a profound and lasting impact” on people.

Many people felt that the school principal downplayed the gravity of the mock slave auction. Not once did she mention the word racism in the letter that she sent out to parents.

“Calling it cyberbullying rather than calling it racism… that is the piece that really gets under my skin,” said Mark Grubbs, father to three former Aledo ISD students, to NBC DFW. But Grubbs, along with many other Aledo parents and community members, say that the incident didn’t surprise them.

In fact, Grubbs said he had to take his children out of the Aledo ISD school system because of how much racist harassment his children were facing. “A lot of racism,” he said of his son’s experience at the school. “My son being called out of his name and what not and it got to the point he didn’t mind fighting and that didn’t sit right with me and my wife. My son was never a fighter.”

After the backlash to the initial statement, Superintendent Susan Bohn finally released a statement condemning the racism and “hatred” of the mock slave auction.

“There is no room for racism or hatred in the Aledo ISD, period,’ Bohn wrote. “Using inappropriate, offensive and racially charged language and conduct is completely unacceptable and is prohibited by district policy.”

The problem with “policies” like these is they fail to target the issue of racism at the root. Hate speech may be “prohibited”, but if a child is displaying racist behavior for whatever reason, the bigger problem is the way that they have been educated and indoctrinated. Slave auctions have no place in 2021.

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