Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders. We hope you are staying safe, and we welcome your thoughts; you can always reach out to us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Stergios, Executive Director: Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb takes the various pieces of the puzzle suggested by other experts and structures it into a sequential set of steps that should guide federal, state and local government action to re-open America for business.
Also, how is Massachusetts doing so far in its efforts to deal with Coronavirus? Jim joined WBUR’s Radio Boston to discuss this and other COVID-19 topics on “Week in Review.”
Greg Sullivan & Charlie Chieppo: Will the new $2.2 trillion federal relief package be sufficient to help states like Massachusetts weather budget and unemployment storms? Read this Boston Business Journal op-ed, as well as this Boston Globe article, and our latest policy brief.
Mary Z. Connaughton, Director of Government Transparency: Yes, they are comforting in a crisis but who would have guessed this shortage reported in the Wall Street Journal?
Jamie Gass, Education Policy Director: The latest episode of “The Learning Curve” continues coverage of COVID-19’s impact on K-12 education, with stories on parents’ (sometimes amusing) struggles to homeschool their kids, and the Milwaukee choice program’s work to continue delivering instruction through distance learning. Veteran Washington Post education columnist Jay Mathews shares his thoughts on the pandemic, as well as on renowned California math teacher Jaime Escalante (the subject of his bestselling biography), and his observations on the ingredients for school success.
Jamie also passes along this insightful C-SPAN Book TV interview with John M. Barry, author of “The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History.” In this 2004 talk, Barry addresses topics we’re all paying attention to now – the critical role of doctors in tracking the virus, how they were able to contain it, governments’ secrecy regarding public health concerns, and more.
Lauren Corvese, Annual Fund Director: In an attempt to continue exercising during quarantine, I have been attending live virtual classes from Savin Hill Fitness Studio, a female-owned small business in Dorchester. They are offering ~35 live online classes per week, and a steeply discounted virtual membership of $50 per month. Plus, there is one free class each day!
Barbara Anthony, Senior Fellow in Healthcare: Thanks to Mass. Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders for expanding the scope of practice of many nurse practitioners, and to Governor Baker on allowing the early graduation of medical students. These changes will enable more patients to access the care they need, so critical right now.
Also from Barbara, here is a great, creative and safe activity for kids home from school. The Massachusetts Health Council is sponsoring a video contest for middle and high school students on preventing spread of Covid-19. Teams and family participation encouraged – remotely of course. $500 prize to the winning entry. And, file under smart shopper: “A well donned shopper at Whole Foods (see image below). First, a line spaced every six feet outside with employees sanitizing basket handles and only admitting shoppers after one leave leaves. Inside, not crowded at all. At registers, there was tape to show where to stand and employees monitoring. Employees were all wearing gloves, some with masks. These measures make for a safe and less stressful experience. All supermarkets should implement these safeguards.”
Questions for Our Public & Private Sector Leaders:
Last week, Pioneer called on the federal government to quickly release a single report identifying which federal laws are relevant to the topic of school closure during the COVID pandemic, and providing concrete guidance on how schools can comply in the coming weeks.
Take Our Poll:
POLL: Are you happy with how K-12 public schools have handled remote learning during COVID-19?
— Pioneer Institute (@PioneerBoston) March 30, 2020