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Reopening America

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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.

182 Episodes
The reopening of schools in the fall continues to be a contentious discussion with some committed to on-campus instruction and others only online. Los Angeles, San Diego, and Atlanta, three of the nation’s largest school districts, said this week that they will begin the new school year online and bring students back later in the year. Illustrating the divide in California, the Orange County Board of Education voted to support the return to school without social distancing or masks. Laura Meckler, national education reporter at the Washington Post, joins us for more. Learn more about your ad-choices at
As President Trump continues the push to reopen schools, the CDC wants to take a more cautious approach. A CDC document on its guidelines was leaked and it recommends that schools be prepared to shut down for several days if a person carrying the virus was in a school building, they should have multiple means of social distancing and limits on out-of-classroom activities. As with many things these days however, there seems to be a disconnect between policy and science. John Timmer, senior editor at Ars Technica, joins us for the CDC’s approach to reopening schools. Learn more about your ad-choices at
California is largely closing again amid a rise in coronavirus cases. Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered once again, the closure of indoor dining and limits on gyms, churches, hair salons and other businesses. And as cases go up, testing continues to be a problem to get under control. From the very beginning of the pandemic, the state fell behind and has been struggling to keep up. There was problems with current infrastructure, supply shortages, and it led to difficulties in contact tracing too. Emily Baumgaertner, reporter at The LA Times, joins us for California’s failure at mass testing. Learn more about your ad-choices at
The reopening of America has not been going so well just yet. While some gains have been made, a resurgence of cases and delays in unemployment benefits have continued to push people to the edge. There are issues with fraud and user confusion, long waits to process jobless applications, and outdated computer systems used by unemployment offices. Eli Rosenberg, work and labor reporter at the Washington Post, joins us for more. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Short of a vaccine, testing is the first line of defense in helping limit the spread of COVID-19. But what will it look like when everyone returns to work? Some employers are finding out that testing employees is more trouble than it's worth. Issues with cost, access, and employee privacy are some of the reasons why testing isn't part of back-to-work plans. Instead, employers are in favor of lower cost options like masks, hand sanitizer, temperature checks, and symptom screening. Emma Court, heath reporter at Bloomberg News, joins us for workplace safety during the pandemic. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Antibody tests were also hailed as one of the main ways to get people back to work. Test positive for antibodies and it means you've had the coronavirus and aren't in danger of catching it or infecting someone else. But these tests have had problems with accuracy. The reporter we speak to next had to take five antibody tests before she could trust the results. And the big question, does testing for antibodies give you a free pass? We still don't know how much immunity is bestowed on a person or for how long it lasts. Stephanie Baker, senior writer at Bloomberg News, joins us for what to know about these tests. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Some marriages are starting to buckle under quarantine and strict lockdowns. In some households, months of monotony and spending too much time together is exposing bad behavior and exacerbating underlying problems most likely there before the pandemic began. Marisa Kashino, senior editor at Washingtonian, joins us for more. Learn more about your ad-choices at
President Trump is pushing hard for schools to fully reopen in the fall. He has slammed the CDC guidelines on reopening and also threatened to cut funding from schools that don’t open. While children are only half as likely as adults to get infected with COVID-19, there is still a lot of concern over how to reopen. Laura Meckler, national education reporter at the Washington Post, joins us for the fight to reopen schools. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Who is getting all the money? The Small Business Association and the Treasury Department have released the names of more than 660,000 businesses that received money from the Paycheck Protection Program. The program has given payouts to lawmaker-connected businesses including car dealerships, casinos, construction companies and restaurants. Nicholas Wu, politics reporter at USA Today, joins us for more on the PPP. Learn more about your ad-choices at
There is an ongoing discussion about how COVID-19 spreads through the air. We know that it can spread from respiratory droplets when someone coughs or sneezes, but there is a growing body of evidence showing that is can spread through even smaller aerosolized droplets that can linger in poorly ventilated areas. Kat Eschner, contributing editor at PopSci, for why COVID’s airborne transmission may deserve more attention. Learn more about your ad-choices at
A world leader in pandemic preparedness at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security has said that we might have to deal with wearing masks for several years as it will take time for a vaccine to hit the masses. He also suggests that there will be no summer time lull in cases leading us to a another big wave in the fall. Claire Reilly, host of “Hacking the Apocalypse” and senior editor at CNET, joins us for this and how technology is being leveraged to help the fight against COVID-19. Learn more about your ad-choices at
The hunt is on for vaccine test subjects and coronavirus researchers are having to compete to recruit tens of thousands of healthy people for phase 3 trials. While drugmakers usually recruit patients through advertising on social media or at doctor’s offices, they are now looking at pharmacies, enlisting churches in the search and even requesting that their own employees and families ask around. Jared Hopkins, Pharma reporter at the WSJ, joins us for the search for vaccine trial participants. Learn more about your ad-choices at
As the coronavirus continues its spread throughout the country, some hospitals are also struggling to contain the spread inside its walls. While it's only a small number of overall cases, U.S. medical centers have reported over 5,000 cases of patients catching coronavirus after being admitted for other conditions and that number does not include cases of medical staff that have caught the virus at work. Melanie Evans, hospital reporter at the WSJ, joins us for more on how hospitals try to protect both staff and patients from infection. Learn more about your ad-choices at
We continue to monitor how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the economy, and for the retail sector, it looks like it will be a tough rebound. Retail lost about 1.2 million jobs between March and June and many store closure that were supposed to be temporary might end up being permanent. Online shopping will continue to grow and brick and mortar stores will have to continue to adjust their models to buy online and pick up in-store as shopping in person continues to face difficulties. Jennifer Kingson, managing editor for business news at Axios, joins us for more. Learn more about your ad-choices at
As the school year approaches in the fall, it might not be the best course of action to treat schools like COVID hot zones. Thankfully, children are, by and large, spared most of the effects of the virus. They are only half as likely to get infected as adults and while they can transmit the disease, they seldom cause outbreaks. In the meantime, as schools in other countries have already opened, we can look to them to see what has worked and what has not. Some of the most appropriate safety measures could include testing and contact tracing, improved ventilation in classes, and keeping students with a single group of peers throughout each day. David Zweig, contributor to Wired, joins us for more. Learn more about your ad-choices at
The 4th of July will not be the same this year as various states are closing down beaches, bars and restaurants, and shutting down fireworks displays in response to rising COVID-19 cases.  Officials are targeting places that younger people tend to congregate as the rise in cases are affecting more people in their 20s and 30s. Rachel Adams-Heard, reporter at Bloomberg News, joins us for how more young Americans are getting the coronavirus. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Several Texas bar owners have filed a lawsuit against Gov. Greg Abbot over his order to shut down bars for a second time since the pandemic began. Bar owners feel like they are being unfairly targeted when restaurants that serve alcohol can remain open and other businesses can continue to operate. Bars are especially vulnerable because people tend to gather in close quarters for extended periods of time, there is poor air ventilation, and virus particles can spread with people speaking loudly. Sarah Blaskovich, reporter at the Dallas Morning News, joins us for more. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Moderna is currently the front-runner in developing a coronavirus vaccine. They will be entering the third phase of clinical trials this month with about 30,000 people participating. While there is a lot of hope riding on Moderna to come through, the company has no track record in developing an approved drug and is also using an unproven approach to making the vaccine. Still, the company is worth $24 billion because of its current work. Peter Loftus, reporter at the WSJ, joins us for more on vaccine front-runner, Moderna. Learn more about your ad-choices at
It’s happening again. As we moved to reopen the country, cases are starting to surge and the demand for testing is increasing. But testing shortfalls are causing long lines in hard hit states such as Florida and Texas. Without a vaccine, testing has become the first line of defense and delays complicate everything. Emma Court, healthcare reporter at Bloomberg News, joins us for how testing is hitting a snag again. Learn more about your ad-choices at
The Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University has become the gold standard for tracking COVID-19 cases and deaths. They help provide near real-time data on how coronavirus is spreading across the world in an environment where case counts are consistently inconsistent. Kyle Swenson, reporter at the Washington Post, joins us for more. Learn more about your ad-choices at
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