Reopening America

Reopening America

We have shifted into a new phase in the coronavirus pandemic. We are social distancing, washing our hands, wearing face masks, and we are Reopening America. Oscar Ramirez from the Daily Dive Podcast updates you on any new information about the virus and vaccine development, but will focus on how cities, states, and industries affected by the shutdown are opening back up.

Episodes

September 12, 2022 7 min

A new Gallup poll shows that half of US workers say they are quiet quitting, a phenomenon in which employees do the bare minimum at work. The key term here is employee engagement which measures involvement at work and enthusiasm employees have about work. Since 2021, employee engagement has fallen as workers feel unfulfilled with their jobs and are now being asked to return to the office. Ray Smith, reporter on the Careers Team at ...

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Schools are back but they are still dealing with the setbacks and learning loss all due to the pandemic.  Recently we saw Department of Education data showing 9-year-olds are behind in reading and math, the sharpest decline we’ve seen since 1990.  The learning loss was generally worse in districts that kept classes remote longer.  To combat this, states are spending billions on tutoring, expanded summer school, and more individual ...

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As overall pandemic worries continue to fade, one of the biggest curiosities continues to be log Covid, what causes it and who is the most susceptible?  A new study says that psychological factors such as depression, anxiety, and loneliness, could be better predictors than physical ailments.  To be clear, it is not a causal relationship, but there is an association.  Siwen Wang, research fellow at Harvard and lead author of this st...

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September 6, 2022 11 min

Telehealth companies got a big push during the pandemic when rules were waived that required people to see an in-person health provider to be prescribed controlled substances.  Now telehealth apps are spending millions to advertise on TikTok saying they can get a person a diagnosis of ADHD and a prescription for Adderall in as little as 30 minutes.  Content creators are also posting about living life with ADHD leading to billions o...

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Even as pandemic disruptions have faded and most schools have returned to in-person instruction, permanent virtual classes are still being offered to protect vulnerable children.  Districts in Texas, California, and New York are creating full-time remote learning programs for this school year.  The virtual option may only be appropriate for a small percentage of students, but in an effort to fight declining enrollment and disruptio...

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The fall Covid-19 booster campaign will be upon us soon and how well the new Omicron-specific boosters will work may depend on a phenomenon called “original antigenic sin.”  Since people have been infected, vaccinated, and boosted, people’s immune systems are on different playing fields and your first exposure may play a bigger part in future immune responses.  Carolyn Johnson, science reporter at the Washington Post, joins us for ...

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The Covid pandemic has changed just about every aspect of Americans’ health, and it has mostly been for the worse.  As people missed health screenings, abandoned routines, and went through isolation we saw a range of other chronic diseases worsen.  Overall death rates of heart disease and stroke rose, drug overdose deaths and alcohol abuse rose, and even mental health took a hit.  Brianna Abbot, health reporter at the WSJ, joins us...

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August 10, 2022 6 min

Despite fears of a recession and record-high inflation, pent-up demand for travel and fun are leading people to Las Vegas.  After sheltering for most of the pandemic, older consumers are returning to the Strip, international travelers are also back, and work and fan conventions are filling up the calendar.  Katherine Sayre, gambling reporter at the WSJ, joins us for how people are feeling lucky as Vegas is still booming.

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We are seeing an increase in food insecurity around the country and this time around it is not due to a wave of people losing jobs, rather high inflation has been hitting Americans hard, leading many to seek out help from food banks.  Lora Kelley, business reporter at the NY Times, joins us for how the food banks themselves are struggling to meet demand as they see decreasing donations and increased costs due to paying more for tra...

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As the group of people who have not had Covid continues to shrink, many ideas begin to swirl about how they have avoided it for so long.  For some it could be a healthy immune system, masking, or just luck, but could genetics also be at play?  Katherine Wu, staff writer at The Atlantic, joins us for how scientists are looking into whether some are just naturally resistant to the virus.

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As interest rates are rising, companies are calling workers back to the office, and home prices expected to fall, Zoomtowns that drew in remote workers during the pandemic are showing that the housing market is cooling fast.  Boise, Idaho in particular is emblematic of this with its housing market currently overvalued by 69%.  Nicole Friedman, U.S. housing reporter at the WSJ, joins us for what to know as more houses are sitting on...

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Let’s talk about all those pandemic impulse buys you may be regretting.  It was a time when everyone had a lot of time on their hands and some extra money, so people bought Peloton bikes, roller skates, bread makers, even new homes or pets, but now that things have returned a little more to normal those things have hit the back burner.  Emily Stewart, senior correspondent at Vox, joins us for pandemic buyer’s remorse.

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The impact of the pandemic on children has been so uneven that in classrooms across the country we are seeing a wider range of student abilities and it could be harder for those lagging behind to catch up.  A recent study shows that students in grades three to eight showed a larger spread in achievement levels this year compared to 2019.  The gap was 4-8% in reading and 5-10% in math.  Erin Einhorn, national education reporter at N...

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The exclusive club of people who have not had Covid continues to shrink.  However, some experts say that most people have been infected even if you didn’t realize it as some 40% of confirmed cases are asymptomatic.  Immunologists are looking into whether exposure to other pathogens or coronaviruses could trigger immune responses before Covid spreads.  Julie Wernau, health and medicine reporter at the WSJ, joins us for those that th...

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President Biden has tested positive for Covid-19 despite being vaccinated and double boosted and is experiencing mild symptoms.  The current wave of infections we are seeing are mostly the BA.5 Omicron subvariant and it could be what the Covid normal looks like.  Katherine Wu, staff writer at The Atlantic, joins us for how the endless churn of variants will keep infecting people even if you’re vaccinated or had prior infection.

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As more companies are resuming normal operations, work conferences are also making a comeback and these professional gatherings are acting as mini vacations for parents who spent the pandemic taking care of their kids while they were out of school.  Alina Dizik, contributor to the WSJ, joins us for how parents are escaping their families by going on work trips.

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The Omicron subvariant BA.5 is proving that the pandemic is still not over.  It continues to evade immunity, even from previous omicron infections.  The good news is that death rates are down and hospitals aren’t overwhelmed like before, but the virus is spreading fast again and the small fraction of people getting seriously ill can add up.  Umair Irfan, senior reporter at Vox, joins us for how virus mutations are keeping Omicron i...

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Americans relationship with college is complicated and according to a new poll many think that it might not be worth the cost and time commitment.  Overall, most people believe that the benefits outweigh the costs long-term, and those with bachelor’s degrees usually earn 75% more than they would if they only have a high school diploma.  But the pandemic also plays a big part in this as enrollment has been down 1.3 million students ...

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Driven by mass migrations of both workers and employers, red states have been winning the post-pandemic economic recovery over blue states.  Not really a move because of political preferences, workers left for financial and lifestyle reasons such as cheaper housing, less Covid restrictions and lower taxes.  Biggest winners are Florida, Texas, and North Carolina while California, New York and Illinois have lost the greatest number o...

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There are now enough doses of vaccine available globally to vaccinate all adults and children, but the demand has dropped so much that governments, vaccination sites, and even the drugmakers themselves are having to dispose of millions of doses.  One of the main problems is that vaccines are packaged in multi-dose vials, and once they’re opened, the rest must be discarded if not used in 12 hours.  Peter Loftus, Pharma reporter at t...

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