Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic should force a rethink of higher education

Sara Goldrick-Rab is Professor of Sociology and Medicine and Founding Director of the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice at Temple University. Christine Baker-Smith is Managing Director and Director of Research at the Hope Center.

As the fall season approaches, students and higher education administrators are preparing for a difficult return to college.

With both the coronavirus pandemic and overdue attention to systemic racism confronting the sector, one thing is clear: For many, a new mindset is required to produce positive results for students. 

The American public and a preponderance of legislators think college is still 20 or even 30 years ago. Say “undergraduate” and their minds conjure a rose-colored, movie-constructed utopian scene: Mom and Dad dropping off their son at his new dorm, setting him up to study for a bachelor’s degree fueled by sushi from the dining hall, parties with his friends, perhaps a part-time job at

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Pandemic delivers first crisis lessons to Southeast Asia’s Grab

By Aradhana Aravindan and Anshuman Daga

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – In the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak, Anthony Tan, the CEO of Southeast Asia’s biggest ride-hailing firm, recalls how he mistook the infection to be a China-only problem, similar to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in 2003.

As COVID-19 turned into a pandemic, sending markets into a tailspin, the 38-year-old sought advice from titans among his investors including Softbank’s Masayoshi Son and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella.

The message was clear. No one knew how long the crisis would last or how deep it would be. Tan, who co-founded Grab in 2012 with fellow Harvard Business School alumni Tan Hooi Lin, learnt he had to set thresholds and make decisive moves, even if they were unpopular.

“There’s no more debate, it’s just execution,” he said.

In June, the Singapore-based company laid off around 360 employees, just under 5% of its headcount, after

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L.A. County offering money to renters affected by COVID-19 pandemic

Rodolfo Cortes, 30, of El Monte and other tenant rights activists assembled in March at El Monte City Hall to demand that the City Council pass an eviction moratorium during the COVID-19 pandemic. <span class="copyright">(Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)</span>
Rodolfo Cortes, 30, of El Monte and other tenant rights activists assembled in March at El Monte City Hall to demand that the City Council pass an eviction moratorium during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County renters who’ve suffered financial setbacks because of the COVID-19 pandemic can soon apply for thousands of dollars in assistance to help them get on top of their payments.

The application period for the income-based L.A. County COVID-19 Rent Relief program opens Monday and will remain open until Aug. 31. Up to $10,000 will be given to households that meet the program’s income guidelines.

The emergency rent relief is financed through $100 million in federal CARES Act money. Its goal is to help about 9,000 households.

Half of the available money will be directed to residents who live in specific ZIP Codes the county identified where residents are at higher risk

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Why Are People Still Catcalling During a Pandemic?

We’ve long known that it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing or what you’re doing — for many, street harassment is a dark cloud that always looms. Claiming your own space in public can feel difficult with this constant threat, whether it manifests as a person whistling, yelling from their window, asking for your number, following you home, or, in some cases, assaulting you. Many have become so used to anticipating harassment that a stranger’s voice, muffled by headphones, can evoke fear, even if they’re simply asking for directions. The potential for harm — and escalation — is nearly always top of mind.

As COVID-19 cases rise across the nation and people mask up and cover up to prevent the spread, you might think catcalling would dwindle. Plenty of people seemed to think so. After all, much of our appearances are hidden behind cloth, and don’t these harassers have more

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Do kids still need vaccinations if they are learning online during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The 2020-2021 school year will soon begin the way it ended in South Florida: online.

And while your child may be temporarily learning through a computer screen instead of in a classroom, that doesn’t mean you should delay a trip to the doctor.

All public and private hoolchildren from kindergarten through 12th grade in Florida still need to get the necessary vaccines required to attend school — even if they are learning online, according to the Florida Department of Health.

And yes, this includes students who plan to remain in virtual school once kids can return to campus masked up for socially distanced learning.

Miami-Dade and Broward Public Schools are reminding parents that they need to make sure their children’s immunization records are up-to-date, or that exception requirements have been met, now that the school year is starting again, as usual.

School officials say Florida also hasn’t issued any waivers

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Young people struggle with finding mental health support amid COVID-19 pandemic

Kathryn Boit feels “guilty for struggling so much” these past few months. 

As president of the Harvard Student Mental Health Liaisons, she has “college friends, acquaintances and strangers reach out to me for resources and advice,” she said. “I don’t know the answers anymore.”

It’s no wonder Boit, a Harvard sophomore, feels overwhelmed. Prevalence of depression among college students increased since the pandemic closed campuses this spring compared with fall 2019, according to a survey of 18,000 college students published by the Healthy Minds Network on July 9. And of the nearly 42% of students who sought mental health care during the pandemic, 60% said it was either much more or somewhat more difficult to access care.

Mental health among young people has been worsening for years. A 2019 analysis of teens reported 13% of U.S. teens ages 12 to 17 (or 3.2 million) said in 2017 that they had

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College students face financial strains, health concerns from pandemic ahead of fall semester

Brittany Goddard’s final semester at Howard University isn’t the dream ending she imagined in Washington, D.C. 

When the coronavirus pandemic shut down the U.S. economy in March, she scrambled to pack up her belongings since she had to be out of her dorm room within 48 hours. At the same time, she lost her part-time job at a catering company and still hasn’t received unemployment after filing for jobless benefits in April. 

She was set to study abroad in Barcelona over the summer, but those plans were upended due to the pandemic. And with just weeks to go before the fall semester begins, she’s worried about how she’ll pay the remaining balance of her tuition and fees – roughly $9,000 – since her financial aid won’t cover it at the private school.

“It’s heartbreaking. I’m a low-income student. I can’t afford tuition,” Goddard, 20, says, who’s created a GoFundMe page … Read More

Pandemic to Create Strong Headwinds Against Holiday Spending This Year

With consumer behavior changing rapidly due to unprecedented times, industry experts and consultants expect this holiday shopping season to be a far cry from those past.

Due to the pandemic, consumers have experienced a vast amount of uncertainty — leading to fear, anxiety and conservative spending.

“Over 40 percent of Millennial and Gen Z shoppers expect to spend less this year, with a greater proportion of younger shoppers indicating this compared to older Millennials, according to our survey,” said Deborah Weinswig, chief executive officer and founder of Coresight Research, a global advisory and research firm specializing in retail and technology. “Younger shoppers are early on their jobs or are recent graduates and will be heading into the holiday season with a lower propensity to spend, given their low incomes compared to older shoppers. Savings rates in the U.S. are also on the rise, and younger shoppers are likely to want

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Disney World to Cut Theme Park Hours Due to Lower-Than-Expected Attendance amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Olga Thompson

Disney World will be reducing their operating hours in September amid lower-than-expected attendance due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Florida theme park shared its revised hours on the Disney World website over the weekend.

The Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios are both losing an hour of operation at the end of the day. Meanwhile, Epcot is cutting back by two hours and the Animal Kingdom is losing an hour in the morning and an hour at the end of the day.

RELATED: Splash Mountain Log Flume at Disney World Sinks Under Water During Ride in Viral Video

Disney World’s new hours set to begin on Sept. 8 are:

Magic Kingdom: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Epcot: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Hollywood Studios: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Animal Kingdom: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Olga Thompson/Disney

Disney World officially reopened on July 11 after shutting down

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Young people struggle with finding mental health support amid COVID pandemic

Kathryn Boit feels “guilty for struggling so much” these past few months. 

As the president of the Harvard Student Mental Health Liaisons, she has “college friends, acquaintances, and strangers reach out to me for resources and advice,” she said. “I don’t know the answers anymore.”

It’s no wonder Boit, a Harvard sophomore, feels overwhelmed. Prevalence of depression among college students increased since the pandemic caused the closure of campuses this spring compared to fall 2019, according to a survey of 18,000 college students published by the Healthy Minds Network on July 9. And of the nearly 42% of students who sought mental health care during the pandemic, 60% said it was either much more or somewhat more difficult to access care.

Mental health among young people has been worsening for years. A 2019 analysis of teens reported 13% of U.S. teens ages 12 to 17 (or 3.2 million) said in

Read More