don’t remember the first time I met Judy Heumann, but I’ve only ever known her as an omnipresent elder statesman of the disability rights movement. A former President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama appointee, the word that best describes Heumann, if I had to pick one, would be “dignified.”
How a student with his 800-pound iron lung pioneered disability rights, changed U.S. law | Washington Post
Today, ventilators help pump air into the lungs of patients with the novel coronavirus and other illnesses who cannot get enough oxygen on their own. Modern units are relatively compact. But in the past, massive iron lungs were the only option for people with polio and other illnesses — and a tussle over one person’s iron lung would help pave the way for the Americans With Disabilities Act, ADA.
A stint as lion tamer in Hollywood got Steven Austad interested in animal biology. And soon he turned from training animals to studying them. He’s now chair of the biology department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where his research focuses on aging.
People with underlying medical conditions — such as heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease — are more likely to be hospitalized and die as a result of the virus. In the United States, these patients disproportionately include people of color. This horrifying reality, unfolding throughout the United States was, sadly, predictable. We need to act now to prevent staggering death rates from Covid-19 in black communities across America.
Oscar-winning singer/songwriter Randy Newman has written the coronavirus anthem that we didn’t know we needed. A Los Angeles radio station asked Newman to compose a social distancing message and he penned “Stay Away.”
Take a listen.
It’s hard to find an upside in all of this. The coronavirus has killed thousands of people across the country and sickened hundreds of thousands more. It has shuttered big factories and small businesses alike, leaving millions unemployed. It has crippled the economy and drained large savings from personal retirement accounts. It has made the poor poorer still.
Sheltering-in-place has gone on long enough now that we’re starting to get songs about quarantining that sound fully produced, not like quick novelty knock-offs. That’s the case with Twenty One Pilots’ new release, “Level of Concern,” which the band just dropped to YouTube and most other digital services.
‘It’s a racial justice issue’: Black Americans are dying in greater numbers from Covid-19 | the Guardian
While New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo once called the coronavirus a “great equalizer”, data shows the virus has been anything but indiscriminate. As the US climbed to more than 10,000 coronavirus deaths on Monday state health officials grappled with its disproportionate impact on black Americans. The disparity is especially stark in cities like New Orleans, Chicago and Detroit, where high concentrations of African Americans live.
On our 21st day of total isolation, my husband, David, and I curled up in bed, sleepily discussing how our toddler was coping with having only us as playmates. (Mostly okay, albeit with some new phobias: certain pillows, falling vases and our sleepy geriatric dog’s “sharp claws.”) Mid-conversation, I made the ill-advised decision to check the news on my phone. Within seconds, we were wide-awake, sitting up, computers out, plotting how to make me appear as not-disabled as possible.
The coronavirus pandemic is impacting all segments of our society in unprecedented ways. Much remains unknown about the disease and its course, but we know for certain that older people will be disproportionately impacted. Foundations and corporate giving programs have a critical role at times like these. What is philanthropy’s role in responding to this crisis to support older Americans?
The call came on March 24. Bob McGuire, the executive director of CP Nassau, a nonprofit group that cares for the developmentally disabled, received a report from a four-story, colonnaded building in Bayville, N.Y., that houses several dozen residents with severe disabilities ranging from cerebral palsy to autism. For many of them, discussions of social distancing or hand washing are moot.
In the best of times, Meals on Wheels faces the herculean task of delivering 200 million meals annually to 2.4 million hungry and isolated older Americans.But this is the time of the dreaded novel coronavirus.
Public health plays a critical role in building strong, prosperous, and free societies around the world. Today, as our Nation and entire global community continue to combat the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, we reaffirm our commitment to do our part to stop the spread of this virus, care for the sick, and protect the health and well-being of our fellow Americans.
Singer Gloria Estefan has turned one of her most iconic songs into a coronavirus anthem for a new generation of fans who are facing challenging times.
Sassy Outwater-Wright has fought off cancer three times in the last 33 years, losing most of her eyesight to a rare form of the disease at the age of three. And now, at age 37, she’s fighting a fourth cancer — this time in her brain. As a result, Outwater-Wright is no stranger to navigating the byzantine corridors of the healthcare system, and she guides others who’ve lost their sight in her role as executive director of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
It’s too late to save those who’ve died from COVID-19. We also can’t recoup the time we could have spent preparing our now-overburdened health-care system. But there’s one thing we can do: Preserve our country’s effective and trusted disability safety net, despite efforts by the Trump administration to dismantle it. I’m hoping the president’s team has learned from its severe missteps in dealing with this pandemic and understands that many of the systems and processes in place do indeed work, if they’re properly implemented and supported. Now is not the time for more disruptions and freelancing of unproven theories.
The COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to place older Americans at an increased risk for poor nutrition and its negative health impacts, according to a national coalition of more than 100 organizations and stakeholders working to defeat older adult malnutrition. “Many older Americans are newly homebound and isolated due to COVID-19. In light of this, we are encouraging Americans to become aware of the risk of malnutrition to older Americans and how they can help to protect them from it,” said Bob Blancato, national coordinator for Defeat Malnutrition Today.
“We’re being punished again”: How people with intellectual disabilities are experiencing the pandemic | Vox
From ventilator restrictions to the challenges of self-isolation, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are facing a crisis years in the making. The novel coronavirus pandemic is exposing major cracks in the systems that protect Americans living with disabilities, particularly intellectual and developmental disabilities. And if they do fall ill, some states’ policies could restrict their ability to get lifesaving treatment.
Voting in the Time of Corona: The Difference between Absentee Voting and Voting-by-Mail | Bipartisan Policy
If election officials are going to expand voting by mail this election cycle because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s essential to examine the existing absentee and vote-by-mail infrastructure that states already have in place. To maintain strict social distancing guidelines in upcoming elections, it’s clearly a good idea to ramp up vote-by-mail and allow absentee voting. But what would that entail? Don’t many states already have absentee voting? Are vote-by-mail and absentee voting the same?
People should wear cloth face coverings in public, CDC recommends, to reduce spread of coronavirus | The Washington Post
President Trump on Friday announced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone wear a simple, cloth face covering while out in public. The debate about whether the public should wear masks came after increasing evidence that infected people without symptoms can spread the coronavirus. Medical masks should still be reserved for health-care workers.
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