Workplace Absences Soar; Higher Ed Delays In-Person Classes
Media outlets report on how the pandemic and new variants of the virus impact the workplace, colleges and airline travel.
COVID-19: Workplace Absences Surge In 2020 Due To Illness, Fears
More workers called in sick in 2020 than at any time in at least two decades, a USA TODAY analysis of federal labor market data has found. An average of 1.5 million people a month missed work because of their "own illness/injury/medical problems," survey data show -- 45% more than normal over the past 20 years. Childcare-related absences increased even more, soaring 250% above the 20-year average. Roughly 67,000 people a month said childcare problems made them miss work. (Jones and Wynn, 1/21)
The Washington Post:
Spring Term Delays: New Wave Of Coronavirus Uncertainty Slams Higher Education
Johns Hopkins University is revving up for a wider opening in Baltimore after a months-long clampdown to fight the pandemic. But undergraduate classes will remain online for the first week. The College of William & Mary in Virginia and the University of Maryland at College Park won’t start teaching in person until the spring term is two weeks old. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will hold off for three weeks. (Anderson, 1/20)
The Washington Post:
U.S. Is Requiring Covid-19 Tests On Arrival And Upholding Travels Bans. Experts See Flaws.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last week that the United States will require a negative coronavirus test result taken within 72 hours before arrival for all international arrivals, beginning next week. The new rule is an effort to keep out a fast-moving new variant of the coronavirus, but in the rollout of the new health protocols, some travel groups saw an opportunity to restart some banned international travel. Airlines for America, a trade group that lobbies for the biggest airlines in the United States, called for the new testing rule to replace bans on international travelers from countries with cases of the new strain. (McMahon, 1/20)
Yurts, Igloos And Pop-Up Domes: How Safe Is ‘Outside’ Restaurant Dining This Winter?
With the arrival of winter and the U.S. coronavirus outbreak in full swing, the restaurant industry — looking at losses of $235 billion in 2020 — is clinging to techniques for sustaining outdoor dining even through the cold and vagaries of a U.S. winter. Yurts, greenhouses, igloos, tents and all kinds of partly open outdoor structures have popped up at restaurants around the country. Owners have turned to these as a lifeline to help fill some tables by offering the possibility at least of a safer dining experience. (Stone, 1/21)
In news about ALS —
After A Decade Of Lobbying, ALS Patients Gain Faster Access To Disability Payments
Anita Baron first noticed something was wrong in August 2018, when she began to drool. Her dentist chalked it up to a problem with her jaw. Then her speech became slurred. She managed to keep her company, which offers financing to small businesses, going, but work became increasingly difficult as her speech worsened. Finally, nine months, four neurologists and countless tests later, Baron, now 66, got a diagnosis: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ALS, often called Lou Gehrig’s disease after the New York Yankees first baseman who died of it in 1941, destroys motor neurons, causing people to lose control of their limbs, their speech and, ultimately, their ability to breathe. It’s usually fatal in two to five years. (Andrews, 1/21)