Published July 27, 2021

Photo by James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Helpful perspective on new COVID dangers. A look at attitudes regarding public safety. And insight into a misunderstood law enforcement strategy.

People features a Q&A with Reynold Panettieri, professor of medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, on the rise of COVID breakthrough infections and the Delta variant. Panettieri explains that despite the existence of breakthrough cases, those who aren’t vaccinated are most at risk of having a serious illness and being infected with the new variant. “The best protection is to get vaccinated,” advises Panettieri. “If you’re vaccinated and you develop COVID-19, you’ll likely experience a milder version of the illness.”

People | What to know now about COVID breakthrough cases and the delta variant

While the crime rate is well below what it was 30 years ago, the public still perceives crime as a major societal concern. Lisa Miller, a professor of American politics at Rutgers’ School of Arts and Sciences, says this tendency is understandable. “Violence matters to people. You don’t have to be very close to it for it to worry you,” she tells The Atlantic. “Violence is a first-order political problem. If there’s one thing the state’s supposed to do, it’s protect us from internal and external threats.”

The Atlantic | All crime is local

With different interpretations of “community policing” proliferating across the nation, is there a methodology that can produce real success? Rutgers University–Camden assistant professor of sociology Kayla Preito-Hodge appears on NJ Spotlight News to discuss the subject. Preito-Hodge advocates “being transparent with the community and being very, very involved with the community. The community should be making decisions about how policing is carried out. It shouldn’t be the department administrator or department chief dictating how things should look in a particular community…because the police department’s perception of what a community might need may be different than what the actual community needs.”

NJ Spotlight | Community policing: Examining what works — and what doesn’t work

Home internet access is often viewed as binary: you either have it or you don’t. But millions of students in America are still “underconnected”—they have access but not of a speed or quality that enables them to consistently learn online. Vikki Katz, an associate professor at Rutgers’ School of Communication and Information, tells EdSurge, that “there are many, many, many more kids who, if we’re just focused on ‘access,’ we’re ignoring. We’re going to miss this huge number—millions—of families.”

EdSurge | Millions of students with home internet access still can’t get online

Murad Mithani, assistant professor of management at Rutgers‒Camden, talks about how businesses are able to recover from disruptions caused by the pandemic. Mithani observes that the economy endured a much different, more emotionally influenced disruption than in past recessions and asserts that resilience will help businesses recover. “Being able to figure out how not to be affected by a trauma is in itself resilience,” Mithani tells New Jersey Business Magazine. “You go through a negative phase and then you figure out a behavioral pattern that works for you. That is…the elastic form of resilience.”

NJB Magazine | Rutgers research: Companies will recover from pandemic

The Star-Ledger publishes an op-ed by Rutgers University–Newark history professor Alison Lefkovitz on a universal basic income (UBI) pilot program in Newark and the history of similar programs in New Jersey. Although Lefkovitz notes that the new plan, adjusted for inflation, provides less money than plans devised in the 1960s, she asserts that “Newark’s 2021 pilot can enact real change” and “removes the punitive aspects of most UBI programs of the past.” Lefkovitz adds that “the first step to achieving a higher payout is already embedded in the Newark pilot’s call for eventual state or federal funding.” | A forgotten past repeats itself as Newark’s attempt to create economic equity

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