Posted in coronavirus, Covid-19, economy, Education, Employment, Health, news, Politics, school

Trump Vows Another Shutdown Will Not Occur In the Fall – But Does He Have Control?

Image above from AP/Getty Images

Speaking at a Ford plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, President Donald Trump vowed he would not allow the country to shut down again if a second wave of COVID plagues us this Fall.

He stated, We are going to put out the fires. We’re not going to close the country. We can put out the fires.”

Although his optimism was applauded by many who have found the economic downturn from months of business closures to be irreparable, many wonder if he actually has control of stopping a second country shutdown.

In early March the Trump administration tried to contain the panic, and keep businesses open, however other powers were at play.

Schools closed down first. With school closures, many employees could not leave their children unattended and needed to stay home.

Then traffic to many businesses slowed, as many chose to “shelter in place” for fear of being exposed to COVID-19. Employees of businesses chose to stay home as well in fear of exposing vulnerable family members to the virus.

Then as death tolls were reported, Governors began to institute stay at home orders and business closures.

As businesses reopen and schools ready for the new school year, many teachers and parents are preparing for a bumpy road ahead.

Even if a COVID second wave spares us, influenza is notorious for causing death, and each year takes its toll on the pediatric population.

Concerned parents may easily call for school closure and online learning because of flu, COVID, school shootings, or any other issues that could tragically affect children.

If schools close this Fall for any reason, employees will be forced to stay home and the cycle can occur all over.

Many businesses are transitioning to work from home models, however many businesses still require traffic and in person customer service such as restaurants, salons, movie theaters, shops, etc.

I believe our healthcare system will, as Pres. Trump suggests, be able to address new COVID cases, however, whether the administration will have the ability to mitigate the panic or calls for business shutdown is entirely another issue.

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

Posted in Education, Health, news, school, sex

New Title IX Rules for Campuses Begin This Summer

New Title IX regulations have been created and their implementation begins on college campuses throughout the US on August 14, 2020.

Title IX was born out of the Civil Right’s Act of 1964 which prohibited discrimination in employment based on race, color, sex, national origin, or religion.   Then the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibited discrimination based on a person’s sex by any educational institution who received federal funds.

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Then Title IX evolved over the next few decades including rules against sexual harassment.

By 2001, Title IX had specified the consequences of sexual harassment, creating a “hostile environment” that may be caused by a repetitive series of harassing conduct.

In 2011, Title IX through a “Dear Colleague” letter (DCL) included specific guidelines for sexual assault and violence.

In order to assist recipients, which include school districts, colleges, and universities (hereinafter “schools” or “recipients”) in meeting these obligations, this letter1 explains that the requirements of Title IX pertaining to sexual harassment also cover sexual violence, and lays out the specific Title IX requirements applicable to sexual violence.2 

In 2014 another DCL, urged universities to not racially discriminate in terms of discipline and sanctions.

….in our investigations we have found cases where African-American students were disciplined more harshly and more frequently because of their race than similarly situated white students. In short, racial discrimination in school discipline is a real problem.

In 2018, President Trump announced the formation of the Federal Commission on School Safety and rescinded parts of previous DCL’s with plans of providing new guidelines.  These were released this week.

The regulations are summarized here.

In these, issues of harassment definitions, reporting and due process are outlined.

Updates in the “Final Rule” include:

  • Harassment includes sexual assault, dating violence, domestic assault, and stalking as well as unwelcome conduct that is “so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive” as to deny a person equal educational access.
  • School must take action on those grievances that occurred during an education program or activity provided by the school.  But the scope of the school’s jurisdiction will continue to be reviewed as it pertains to a building owned or controlled by a student organization (i.e. fraternity house.)
  • Schools must continue to guarantee the rights protected by the US Constitution including freedom of speech, but if an allegation does not meet the definition of “sexual harassment” the school may address the allegations as deemed appropriate through their “code of conduct.”
  • Parents and legal guardians can submit formal complaints and act on behalf of parties in Title IX matters.
  • School response to an allegation must be performed “promptly” with supportive measures provided to the victim.
  • “Burden of proof” lies with the schools and not the parties
  • “Live hearing with Cross Examination” is mandatory in post secondary school Title IX cases.  Victim and accused do not need to be in the same room, and virtual hearings can be done with audio or audiovideo footage recorded.  Affected parties can have an “advisor” present and if they cannot bring one, the school must provide one free of charge if requested.  If one chooses not to engage in the live hearing or answer certain questions, it should not be used against them in the final determination.

 

This is a developing story….

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

 

Posted in college, Education, Graduation, Health, medical school, school

To the Class of 2020: Dear Graduates…..

This year many of you have lost a moment you have spent years fighting for.  Your graduation was a rite of passage, a ceremony in which those who saw you sacrifice, toil and triumph could witness and share.  The coronavirus epidemic and resulting closures robbed you and your loved ones of this opportunity, but it couldn’t rob you of this….

Your mark in this world.

You have succeeded honorably despite multiple obstacles and reached your goal during a time when life was very uncertain.

Those of Generation Y and Z have witnessed some of the most tumultuous times, and this pandemic adds to the rocky start to many of your careers.

We older individuals might have had difficult paths as well but we had a much clearer picture of our future, of that finish line which helped guide our path.

You all had to, in the fog, reach this point and the fact that you chose to keep fighting and working at it defines the new generation of Americans.

fog

Our future may seem uncertain during this time of pandemic and economic hardship, but one thing that is certain is you all give us hope.

Our country will be rebuilt and thrive because the next generation of hardworking Americans is YOU.  You who wouldn’t falter after 9/11 or the Great Recession, or social media invading every part of your life. You defied odds and proved that a job, or money or career did not need to be dangled in front of you to complete your studies and finish your schooling.

You got the job done! And I, who have been through multiple graduations – high school, college, and medical school, am saddened that you can’t be on that stage, applauded for your perseverance, ambition and passion.  But realize, no ceremony can begin to describe the pride your friends, families, teachers, mentors and fellow Americans have for you.

You are loved, revered, and honored, and we are so excited and grateful that our future will be driven and strengthened by you and your classmates!

Congratulations Class of 2020!!!

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

 

Posted in college, coronavirus, Covid-19, Health, news, school

Students Across America Petition Their College to Give Partial Refunds for Tuition

In an effort to protect students and abide by state mandates to close “non-essential” businesses during the COVID-19 epidemic, schools closed and moved students to an online learning platform.  Access to libraries, learning spaces, equipment, faculty and labs were thereby limited among other education necessities.

Students at NYU Tisch School of Arts approached administration with a request for partial tuition refund for the Spring 2020 semester but did not like the response they received.

Dean Allyson Green responded to their request with a video of herself lip syncing and dancing to R.E.M’s “Losing My Religion” in an attempt to explain how it would be challenging to give the students’ their money back.

In an already stressful time, some criticized Dean Green’s video as “embarrassing” and apathetic to the student’s plight.  Dean Green however, explained her dance was an attempt to use art to keep people connected.

The question, however, of will students get a partial tuition refund for being off campus, remains to be answered.

Thousands of students have petitioned their respective schools, asking for partial reimbursement of tuition, housing and food. Some universities will be offering refunds for dormitory and food expenses paid. But offering tuition refunds may be more difficult as much of that money is spent or accounted for in the school budget, and not easily liquid if they cannot displace funds for salaries and rent with government stimulus money.

Students who pay tens of thousands of dollars in tuition each year however are frustrated that their fees including labs, equipment, security, parking, facility access, campus transportation, medical clinic, student government, etc. are not justified when they are home engaged in online learning.

So many have turned to Change.org and created petitions to the following schools, as well as others:

As stated previously, headway has been made for those students living in dormitories and requiring meal plans. However, a partial tuition refund for the conversion to online learning can be very challenging and has yet to be seen.

 

spanish book

Learning Medical Spanish is Easy!!!

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

 

 

Posted in Health, news, school, students, teachers

Back to School: How Kids and Teachers Can Avoid Getting Sick and Stay Safe

The start of the school year may be the most exciting time of the year (well maybe just for parents…) However going back to school can bring on a slew of health issues, so let’s look at how we can prevent them.

Good hand-washing

The most basic and easiest thing we can teach our children is to wash their hands whenever they touch something dirty, use the restroom or before they eat. True we need to be exposed to germs to increase our immunity, but some of these germs aren’t friendly and bring on colds, flu, rashes and intestinal bugs when we’re not expecting it.

handwashing-banner1

 

Good nutrition

If a child skips breakfast or eats primarily sugar and carbohydrates, they not only face immune system weaknesses but also poor attention, concentration and ability to do well in school. Make sure your kids eat a good breakfast with protein and Vitamin C-packed fruits before heading for the school bus.

Rainbow-with-Pot-o-Gold-Square-Watermarked

Good sleep

If the kids were accustomed to staying up late and now have to wake up at 5:30 in the morning, they might spend much of their school day nodding off.  Insufficient sleep has been linked to obesity as well as poor immunity so get them on a regular schedule of a bedtime that will allow 8-10 hours of sleep a night.

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Proper clothing

Chances are your child grew an inch this summer, so shoes and clothing may be a little tight.  Use the finger tip rule for pants and shoes to make sure there is room to grow. And avoid accessories that your kids can chew on, swallow or can lose as they will concentrate more on the lost earring than what the teacher is saying.

Talk to them, often

Back to school can bring on anxiety in many children and make sure you have open conversations to allow them to share their fears.  Bullies make themselves apparent the first few days of school, and your child may be getting wet willies, wedgies or their lunch stolen right under the teacher’s nose.

Be aware of what’s going around the school

If joining the PTA doesn’t appeal to you, at least make buddies with parents of children in your kid’s class as they will be the first to notify you if lice, pink eye or sore throat is making the rounds before a school may.

Discuss stranger safety with your children

If you child walks to or from school or a bus stop, educate them on how to avoid strangers and what to do if approached by one.  Consider driving your child if you think they are at risk.

Teachers face health risks

In 2006, a study published in BMC Public Health, found teachers to suffer more from ENT (ear, nose and throat) ailments, dermatitis, bladder infections, bronchitis, conjunctivitis and varicose veins than those who work in other professions.  Teachers are on the front lines when it comes to cough and cold season as they come into contact with hundreds of children a day, many of whom are contagious prior to knowing they are symptomatic. Once the fever shows itself, parents may keep the child home but the student already exposed others earlier in the day.

Standing on one’s feet for extended hours does a number on the peripheral vascular system, manifesting in leg swelling and at times, varicose veins.  And when breaks are infrequent, bladder infections brew since one can’t visit the bathroom when they need.

Long work hours during the week prevent many educators from seeing a health care provider and many health plans don’t have providers who work on the weekends.  Teachers can very easily put their own health care needs on the back burner during a long school year.

Taking care of school business is paramount during the school year but parents, teachers and kids need to still put health and safety.

 

ultimate book cover final

Great Gift!!!

The Ultimate Medical Student HandBook

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.