Children are feeling the effects of COVID-19.
Children are not known to be especially at risk, and many don't exhibit severe symptoms. But they can be affected in other ways. Here are some of the problems they're facing:
Child abuse…With most states experiencing school closures, experts are warning of a potential increase in child abuse. Stay-at-home orders have kept teachers from being able to observe and report signs of abuse. And stressors from the pandemic (think: job loss, bills) could put kids further at risk, without a safe way to escape or call for help. Some states have seen hotline calls decrease as much as 70% – a figure that raises concern abuse is going unreported and undetected.
Lack of education...Many households have had to adapt to homeschooling. But 15% of US households may not have access to high-speed internet. And many lack access to a computer. Now, with stay-at-home orders in effect, some children aren't able to meet their educational requirements. And while educators are proposing options to help them catch up – like summer school or an early fall start – some may be held back a grade.
Missing vaccines...While some doctors' offices are open, the World Health Organization says coronavirus fears are keeping parents from getting their children vaccinated. The org has said that even a minor disruption of immunization could lead to an outbreak of other diseases (think: measles, polio). And warns that children "will die" as countries report vaccine shortages because of coronavirus travel restrictions.
Children are one of the most vulnerable demographic groups in the world, and the effects of this pandemic may endanger them further. As they're forced to adapt to new school schedules and at-home life, many aren't able to receive the help they need.
If you believe a child is being abused, neglected, or in immediate danger of being harmed, call 911 or your local police department. You can also contact The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD.
Health insurers. Yesterday, the Supreme Court said some insurers could 'pass go and collect $12 billion' from the gov – to make up for losses racked up under the Affordable Care Act. Let's back up a little...the ACA marketplaces took effect in 2014. To help insurers, the gov set up the "risk corridor" program to offer some protections during the ACA's early years. And allowed insurers who experienced higher-than-expected losses to get reimbursed by the gov. But in 2015, the Republican-led Congress passed legislation barring payments, arguing that the money was a misuse of taxpayer dollars. Insurers weren't about to let that slide. The case made it to the Supremes, who are now ordering the gov to pay up as much as $12 billion.
Next up: ACA-tober. The Supreme Court is expected to hear a case challenging whether the ACA is legal in its next term this fall.
...Oh and speaking of the Supremes, they said 'pass' to their first gun rights case in nearly 10 years. It was seen as a blow to gun rights advocates who hoped the court's conservative majority would be on their side.
New York. Yesterday, the state became the first to cancel its presidential primary because of the COVID-19 pandemic. One Dem on the state's Board of Elections said it was "unnecessary and frivolous" to hold an election that's already got former VP Joe Biden as the presumptive nominee. Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) supporters were not happy, and called on the DNC to reverse the decision and keep him on the June 23 primary ballot. That's because although he technically dropped out, Sanders could still rack up delegates, giving him more leverage to influence the party's platform.
These writers. A study found most authors say they can hear their characters' voices as they write. And some even have conversations with them. Welcome to 'The Twi(write) Zone.'
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