Health

U.S. Refusal to Join COVAX Puts World’s Poorest at Risk

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The United States has refused to join COVAX, the global initiative to ensure widespread equitable access to a COVID-19 vaccine, a decision that has reduced funding and made it likely that millions of the world’s poorest won’t have access to a COVID-19 vaccine in 2021. Pfizer’s and Moderna’s announcements of promising results of their phase III clinical trials sparked hope in the United States and Europe that a COVID-19 vaccine may start to be available by the end of the year. But millions of healthcare workers, elderly adults, and other vulnerable people in lower and middle income (LMICs) countries will likely not have access to COVID-19 vaccine until 2022 or…

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Prop 23 Fails While Needs of Dialysis Patients Persist

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Proposition 23, a California ballot measure that would have increased regulations on outpatient dialysis centers that serve nearly 80,000 patients in California, was overwhelmingly defeated by 63 percent of the electorate who voted against it. The initiative was proposed by Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers West (SEI-UHW) who claimed that increasing regulations on outpatient dialysis centers would improve patient safety. The successful No-Campaign, which raised nearly $100 million to fight the initiative, argued that the measure wouldn’t mprove patient safety and was being used as a political tactic by SEI-UHW. For now, the battle between dialysis companies and the worker’s union is over, but the needs of…

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Tensions rise in "Art" at SF Playhouse

SF Playhouse Returns to Theater and Films Live Performance

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Three actors drank champagne in Zone A. Their director, exhausted but giddy, offered cheers from Zone B. Feeling grateful yet discombobulated, these seasoned actors celebrated their successful completion of the unusual— they had just performed a play onstage. Sure, cameras replaced a packed audience and actors threw props at each other in lieu of a wrestling scene, but regardless, SF Playhouse set a precedent for professional theaters across the country. SF Playhouse performed and filmed a live play in-house, making it the first West Coast theater company to produce an in-person show on an Actors Equity Association contract since COVID forced theaters to shutter over seven months ago. SF Playhouse…

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Addie Hermstad

Oregon’s President says that the decision to bring back college sports “has nothing to do with money”. This student-athlete disagrees.

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College sports are back in season. Last month, the Pac-12 CEO group unanimously voted to reverse the August 11 decision to postpone a fall sports season to 2021 – just 45 days after the Pac-12 released a 12-page document it was not safe to do so. The move by the Pac-12 comes in wake of a similar reversal of plans by the Big Ten conference, which will kick off its season tomorrow, October 24. The reason? Players want to play, and there are measures put in place that will prioritize the health and safety of student athletes, says Michael Schill, President of the University of Oregon. What wasn’t the reason?…

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North Bay School District Candidates Grapple with How to Continue to Reopen Schools During Covid-19

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The four candidates campaigning for two open seats in the North Bay’s Reed Union School District’s Board of Trustees are focused on reopening the schools safely and improving communication with the community. The K-8 public school district serving Tiburon, Belvedere, and Corte Madera residents opened its doors to hybrid in-person learning on Oct. 5. The four candidates answered questions related to COVID during a two-hour live webinar, hosted by the League of Women Voters of Marin County. All candidates support the district’s phased reopening plan which intends to guide the district toward a full reopening in five phases. The district is currently operating in phase 2. Under phase 2, half…

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Novak Chernesky

As Schools Stay Remote, Pandemic Adds Barriers to Mental Health Support

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It was as simple as walking down the hall. Before COVID-19 shut down school campuses, if a San Mateo County student felt anxiety welling up in her chest, she could slip out of class and find the school counselor’s office just down the hallway. If a student was hurt by a friend’s put-down at lunch, he could show up unannounced, knowing a mental health professional was on the other side of the door willing to talk it out. With the shift to online instruction, students are saying that they took for granted their ability to get on-campus, immediate counseling support. “Now you have to make an appointment, and they might…

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Undocumented Workers Face Worsening Economic Crisis Without Relief

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California’s undocumented workers face food insecurity and evictions now that $75 million in California state funding appropriated in April to support them through the crisis has been depleted. An estimated 2 million undocumented workers reside in California. Of those, approximately 125,000, or only a little less than 6 percent of them, received the one-time benefits of $500 per adult or $1000 per household before they dried up in July. “You have a hemorrhage and we’re giving you a Band-Aid,” said Maria Cadenas, co-founder of Undocufund, a group dedicated to providing financial support to undocumented immigrants in the North Central Coast. “I appreciate the intent. But it’s not enough.” Christopher Rios…

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UC students stock shelves

UC Considering Boosting Aid to Most Needy Students Amid Pandemic

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PALO ALTO – As students across the nation grapple with the challenges of a virtual semester, the University of California is considering expanding its definition of basic needs beyond minimal food and shelter. Finances, transportation, health and medical care, emotional and mental wellness, hygiene, sleep, and services for students with dependents are new basic needs areas that were identified in a comprehensive report examining basic needs across the UC’s 10 campuses released in July. “Anyone in higher education right now that is committed to access, affordability, persistence, performance, and graduation needs to understand that basic needs are a huge factor that needs to be addressed,” said Ruben E. Canedo, co-chair…

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