Today’s Coronavirus Tracker

Current updates on association response to the global COVID-19 crisis, along with a roundup of conference, travel, and business news and information.

Supporting School Reopenings

A lot of people are feeling skeptical about the potential for kids to go back to school in a normal way starting this fall. But the American Academy of Pediatrics is taking a different stance on the issue—it’s saying that the risks of keeping children out of school far outweigh the potential for them to get COVID-19.

“The AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school,” the group wrote last month in a planning considerations guide. “The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020.”

(Steven White/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

The guidelines made a big splash in the mainstream press—leading The New York Times to interview a pediatric infectious disease specialist who helped write them, Dr. Sean O’Leary of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. O’Leary noted the risks to learning and behavior that keeping children away from school for months on end have already created—and this could worsen without further changes.

“From our perspective as pediatricians, the downsides of having kids at home versus in school are outweighed by the small incremental gain you would get from having kids 6 feet apart as opposed to 5, 4, or 3,” O’Leary, who is himself recovering from COVID-19, told the newspaper. “When you add into that other mitigation measures like mask wearing, particularly for older kids, and frequent hand-washing, you can bring the risk down.”

Recent Headlines

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Sponsoring a Protégé—Remotely (Harvard Business Review, 07/02/20) “To retain and fully realize the brightest and the best—and to secure the current and future success of your organization—managers and executives must prioritize sponsorship. They need to figure out how to continue to invest in a small, diverse portfolio of high performers using virtual tools and tactics.”

Daniel Pink: How to Not Be Overwhelmed Right Now (Inc., 06/24/20) “Not long ago, popular business thought encouraged leaders to aim ‘for the moon’ to motivate themselves to stay on track in pursuit of goals, says Pink. But research has shown the opposite is true, he says. People are best inspired at work by making meaningful, day-to-day progress. How? Pink recommends finding the unique personal contribution you can make as an individual, rather than focusing on changing the whole world. Try to move toward your goal by just a few feet, one day at a time, he says.”

How Remote Work Risks a New Digital Jobs Divide for Minorities (CNBC, 07/01/20) “The mass migration to remote work helped companies solve a major coronavirus challenge, but the recent civil unrest has exposed diversity and opportunity gaps across the U.S., which telecommuting is beginning to exacerbate. Low-income students and students of color entering the workforce are struggling to overcome a telecommuting digital divide. The data is starting to back up the personal experience. A WayUp survey in April 2020 highlighted that Black and Hispanic college students and recent grads are much less comfortable with virtual work than their white peers.”

Current Incidence Statistics

Source: Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering. Data sources include the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, and National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China, as well as local authorities, medical sources, and news reports.