Perspectives: Resilience Or Ruin? Time Will Tell; Easy Does It On Double Masking
Opinion writers express views about how the pandemic will impact society and others issues, as well.
The Wall Street Journal:
The Old New York Won’t Come Back
You can know something yet not fully absorb it. I think that’s happened with the pandemic. It is a year now since it settled into America and brought such damage—half a million dead, a nation in lockdown, a catastrophe for public schools. We keep saying “the pandemic changed everything,” but I’m not sure we understand the words we’re saying. It will be decades before we fully appreciate what the pandemic did to us, and I mean our entire society—our culture, power structures, social ways, economic realities. We’ll see it more clearly when we look back from 2030 and 2040. A lot is not fully calculable now, and some problems haven’t presented themselves. One is going to be the profound psychological impact on some young people—how anxious and frightened this era will leave them, even how doom-laden. (Peggy Noonan, 2/25)
The Washington Post:
Beijing’s SARS Lockdown Taught My Children Resilience. Your Covid Kids Will Likely Be Fine.
Many parents are filled with angst as they prepare for their children to exit a year of pandemic isolation: Will it be okay to send them to school, per the recent recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? Will school feel like school if students are masked and can’t trade snacks? Will children’s development be impaired by nearly a year of seeing few friends? With 20-20 hindsight, I can provide some reassurance, because my kids were 8 and 10 when SARS hit Beijing nearly two decades ago, shutting down the city for months: Your children will likely be fine, and maybe even better as human beings, for having lived through this tragic experience. (Elisabeth Rosenthal, 2/25)
Two Masks Could Be One Too Many
The Centers for Disease Control now says you’re better off doubling up on certain kinds of masks. But after talking to several experts and examining the research, I’m sticking with one mask for now — one that fits well and has several layers — and I fear the CDC’s recommendation is confusing. Here’s why. Cloth masks are now like Legos and toy vehicles, the kind of thing I find in every nook of my home. My kids and I have been trying out masks for the product review site Wirecutter since last July, and I’ve been closely following mask research and policies since the start of the pandemic. (Christina Szalinski, 2/26)
The New York Times:
The Masks Of Mexico
We Mexicans live behind masks of our own creation, even if in these portraits they are more a symbolic gesture of futility than protection. Masks have long been a part of our cultural history, from the Lucha Libre masks to those worn for la Danza de los Viejitos, a traditional folk dance from the State of Michoacán. (Russell Monk and Valerie Mejer, 2/25)
Dallas Morning News:
Here’s Another Reason To Hate The Pandemic: Rats.
When we say rats, we aren’t uttering a mild swear word or expletive. But it certainly would be appropriate given what seems to be North Texas’ ongoing battle with rodents. Blame the pandemic for what appears to be an increase in rat sightings in residential neighborhoods. With less food waste available in restaurant dumpsters, rats are fleeing more often to residential areas for food, water and shelter. And, if you hoped that the cold snap that left you shivering and without electricity would thin out the rat population, think again. That noise in the attic may be — guess who? After all, they didn’t have the option of escaping to Cancún, either. (2/25)
Discarded Drugs: A Wasteful And Costly Problem
Controlling the rising costs of pharmaceuticals, particularly those administered by physicians, has been a top health care priority for policymakers, with recent actions in both Congress and the executive branch. Reducing the waste from discarded drugs is a piece of the broader approach to drug affordability. (Kavita Patel, Julie M. Donohue and Edward H. Shortliffe, 2/25)
Los Angeles Times:
Treating Mentally Ill Accused Felons Saves Money, Prevent Crime
The Los Angeles County jail is filled with hundreds of inmates accused of crimes but too mentally ill to understand the charges against them or assist in their own defense. Being incompetent to stand trial, they burn through county taxpayers’ money as they wait in jail. Wait for what? Not to get completely and sustainably well, but just well enough to be fit for trial. (2/26)
As Massachusetts Shows, Strong Gun-Safety Laws Work
For gun-safety activists or everyday Massachusetts citizens concerned about gun violence, it doesn’t get much better than this. Newly released data from the for Disease Control and Prevention show Massachusetts is the state with the least amount of gun violence per capita, while a new study by Everytown for Gun Safety concludes that the Commonwealth has the lowest-in-the-nation per capita costs from gun violence. Building on that good news, US Senator Ed Markey hopes to make the Massachusetts approach to guns the model for other states. All of which leaves John Rosenthal, cofounder of Stop Handgun Violence and a longtime force for strong gun laws, feeling pretty good. (Scot Lehigh, 2/5)