How Florida’s ‘don’t say gay’ law could harm children’s mental health

Stella, 10, attends a private school in Atlanta, Georgia, and explains to friends that she has four moms. Two of them are the lesbian couple that adopted her. The other two are her birth parents, one of whom recently came out as a transgender woman. “I’m so grateful that [Stella] is somewhere that sees” the family “as what it is: her moms just love her”, said Kelsey Hanley, Stella’s birth mother, who lives in Kissimmee, Florida. But Hanley, 30, worries that children who have multiple moms or dads or are LGBTQ+ themselves won’t get the same acceptance in Florida.

New York City’s restaurant industry grapples with easing vaccine rules

Tyler Hollinger, owner of Festivál Cafe, a “farm-to-bar cocktail cafe” in New York City, said he recently started learning Brazilian jiu-jitsu because of physical altercations with visitors who are unvaccinated against Covid-19. The reason for the fights isn’t that Hollinger is a crusader for the city’s requirement that people show proof of vaccination to sit inside at bars and restaurants. In fact, Hollinger, who is vaccinated and boosted, has opposed the mandate since it was announced in August and now welcomes the plan to lift it.

A nonprofit says it collected over $1.5 million for a D.C.-region-bound truck convoy. Its director recently pleaded guilty to fraud.

At a rally point near the Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, Tex., as the wind whipped American flags atop an 18-wheeler behind her, a Southern California lawyer and anti-vaccine activist named Leigh Dundas exhorted a crowd to make donations. “We’re going to be doing a little altar call up here. A hundred percent of that cash is going back into the boys’ pockets for the next fuel stop,” Dundas told onlookers and live-stream viewers, encouraging them to give online to the “People’s Convoy,” a U.S.-based group of activists opposed to vaccine mandates and inspired by the self-styled “Freedom Convoy” that occupied Canada’s capital for weeks.

‘We are so tired’: US parents and doctors say kids under five left behind in Covid vaccine race

Four-year-old Joanna Gillikin likes to watch Ada Twist, Scientist, a Netflix children’s show about a young girl with a giant interest in science. So when Matthew Gillikin and his wife, Shannon, enrolled Joanna in a trial in Charlottesville, Virginia, for the Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19, they described it to her as a science experiment, like the ones Ada does. “Her mind was able to latch onto the fact that not only is she participating in something that could make her healthier, but also help make other people healthier,” said Matthew, a speech therapist. Many parents across the United States are eagerly waiting to see whether Joanna and other trial participants can help them.

With Vaccine Mandate Looming, Nursing Homes Face More Staffing Problems

Jamie Smith, a staffing agency nurse who loves end-of-life care, said she has been warmly welcomed by staffers and residents at Frontier Health & Rehabilitation in this conservative St. Louis suburb. That’s even though she has not been vaccinated against COVID-19. But leaders of the nursing home, where 22 residents died from COVID before vaccines were available, likely won’t be able to employ unvaccinated people like Smith for much longer.

‘There’s a lot of anxiety’: US grapples with Covid test shortage amid surge

As a history professor at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, Kevin Bruyneel had been tested for Covid-19 more than 100 times and typically waited less than 15 minutes for the free tests. So Bruyneel was upset when he went to get a PCR test at a clinic Sunday in Brooklyn, New York, and waited more than an hour after his scheduled appointment and was billed at least $100 – though he could owe more depending on what his insurance covers. “There were a lot of people in line, incredibly desperate to get tested because they were flying” for the holidays, said Bruyneel, who planned to fly to his native Vancouver, British Columbia, for Christmas. “There was a lot of anxiety.”

At Amazon Site, Tornado Collided With Company’s Peak Delivery Season

Nearly every day as Christmas nears, Amazon’s share of online sales typically rises, as customers turn to the e-commerce giant to quickly deliver packages. To make that happen, Amazon hires hundreds of thousands of additional workers, both full-time employees and contractors, and runs its operations at full tilt. One of them, Alonzo Harris, drove his cargo van into Amazon’s delivery depot in Edwardsville, Ill., after 8 p.m. on Friday after a full day delivering packages north of St. Louis. Suddenly, an alarm blared on his work phone. Someone yelled that this was not a drill. Mr. Harris, 44, ran into a shelter on Amazon’s site and heard a loud roar. “I felt like the floor was coming off the ground,” he said. “I felt the wind blowing and saw debris flying everywhere, and people started screaming and hollering and the lights went out.”

US Covid cases surge as vaccine progress slows and Omicron variant sparks fears

For Dr Rina D’Abramo of the MetroHealth System in Cleveland, it’s difficult when patients in the emergency room tell her they have not been vaccinated. “You can hear it in their voice when you say, ‘Are you vaccinated?’” said D’Abramo, who works at a hospital in the Brecksville suburb. “They shrink down and are like, ‘No. Now I know why I need to be vaccinated.’ ” Unfortunately, there are plenty of people in Ohio and the rest of the US too who have not yet learned that lesson, even as infection rates nationally start to surge again amid fears of the possibly highly contagious new Omicron variant.

Police departments face a shortage as unions enable officers to refuse vaccines

Sgt Randy Huserik and all other officers with the Seattle police department who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 are prepared to report at 7am Tuesday morning to any of the city’s five precincts rather than their usual assignments. Some detectives could even be responding to 911 calls instead of following up on their case load, he said. That’s because the city is implementing a vaccine mandate for officers on 18 October and preparing to fire hundreds of officers who refuse to get the vaccine, which could leave the department significantly understaffed.

US hospitals outfitting nurses with panic buttons amid rise in assaults

In 2019, Laura Paul, a registered nurse, was seeing a sedated patient in the intensive care unit at Cox Medical Center Branson in south-west Missouri when “he went from out cold to swinging in a matter of seconds,” she said. Paul, a house supervisor who moves among different units of the hospital, tried to dodge the patient’s attack and screamed for help. Fortunately, a nurse in an adjacent room heard Paul, rushed over and called for additional help.

Virtual Care Spreads in Health System That's Home to ‘Hospital Without Beds’

When Tom Becker was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat in March 2020, the 60-year-old EMS helicopter pilot from Washington, Missouri, worried he would never fly again. But his cardiologist, Dr. Christopher Allen, had served in the Air Force and knew aviation physiology. So Becker felt reassured when Allen told him he didn't expect any problems, because Becker was still fairly young. Allen told Becker — who lives about 50 minutes away from his office at Mercy Hospital South, near St. Louis — that Becker could call his cellphone with any concerns and meet with him virtually. Becker estimates they had more than 10 video appointments over six months.

Inmates’ distrust of prison health care fuels distrust of COVID vaccines

One November night in a Missouri prison, Charles Graham woke his cellmate of more than a dozen years, Frank Flanders, saying he couldn’t breathe. Flanders pressed the call button. No one answered, so he kicked the door until a guard came. Flanders, who recalled the incident during a phone interview, said he helped Graham, 61, get into a wheelchair so staff members could take him for a medical exam. Both inmates were then moved into a COVID-19 quarantine unit.

After St. Louis jail unrest, inmates’ advocates allege desperate conditions while officials defend pandemic response

Some inmate advocates and attorneys said Monday that they are not surprised at a weekend uprising at the jail here during which inmates smashed windows and set fires and a corrections officer ended up hospitalized. “They are desperate in there, and anyone would be at this point,” Erika Wurst, a lawyer with the St. Louis public defender’s office, said of the more than 700 people detained at the St. Louis Justice Center, a six-story building a few blocks from the city’s riverfront. Wurst and other advocates allege that inmates have been mistreated during the coronavirus pandemic, left in de facto solitary confinement and minded by jail staffers who do not maintain proper safety protocols. City officials, meanwhile, defended their management of the facility, saying they have provided appropriate treatment and protective equipment.

The Cash and Consequences of For-Profit Online Education in Missouri

Attorney Joshua Schindler had one word for the way Missouri school districts treat families who want to enroll their students in a virtual education program: "disgusting." "I have been fighting from one side of the state to the other side of the state," Schindler, a St. Louis lawyer, told the Missouri legislature's Joint Committee on Education at an August 2020 hearing. He has filed lawsuits against districts throughout the state on behalf of families seeking to enroll their children in a local program run in conjunction with one of the largest for-profit online education companies in the United States. His fees are not paid by the clients, but rather a lobbying group that has fought government regulation of the company's charter schools.

How public health ads that incite fear can backfire

The public service announcement showed a mother finding her teenage son lifeless, juxtaposed with the sound of a ukulele and a woman singing, “That’s how, how you OD’d on heroin.” It aired locally during the 2015 Super Bowl, but attracted national attention and has been viewed more than 500,000 times on YouTube. “You want to tap into a nerve, an emotional nerve, and controversy and anger,” said Mark Schupp, whose consulting firm created the ad pro bono. “The spot was designed to do that, so we were happy with it.”

Missouri officials cover noose display at voting site in local courthouse

In recent days, voters entering the courthouse in Galena, a town of 440 in the southwest part of Missouri, encountered tables to cast their ballots — and in a nearby display case, a rope used in 1937 to hang Rosco “Red” Jackson, a White man convicted of murdering a traveling salesman. “It’s just part of our history here at the courthouse; it’s nothing to do with intimidating,” said Mark Maples, the presiding commissioner of Stone County. But the hangman’s noose is often associated with the lynchings of Black people in the United States. Missouri had the second-highest number of lynchings in states outside of the Deep South, according to the Equal Justice Initiative, an Alabama-based nonprofit that has worked to document such violence.
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