Published October 28, 2020
A resurging pandemic, glaring gaps in social equity, a looming and foreseeably controversial election—now more than ever, as we evaluate current national and global events, it’s important to get insight from knowledgeable sources. Rutgers experts provide it, appearing across the media landscape every day and offering fresh perspective on healthcare, science, politics, and more.
If you know you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, should you wait before getting tested or do it immediately? Lewis Nelson, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, addresses that question in a Prevention article. “While it is not optimal to wait for symptoms in some cases, it may be the most practical answer,” says Nelson. He adds: “If you are feeling very sick, particularly having unexplained shortness of breath, you should go to the emergency department, as you should for any other medical emergency. Regardless of where you seek care, be very open about your exposure and risk of having COVID-19.”
Before COVID-19 struck the United States, Black women were among the fastest growing entrepreneurs—and now are among the hardest hit by the pandemic, says Jeffrey Robinson, founding assistant director of the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at Rutgers Business School–Newark and New Brunswick. Robinson ENG’95 tells Forbes, “Hair salons, catering, restaurants, or anything related to events…all of that shut down, and so the success of business owners in those industries depends on how much they have in reserves or were able to get from the federal government—both of which pose challenges for Black entrepreneurs.”
Industries that have struggled during the pandemic, such as retail, food service, and hospitality, have traditionally employed high numbers of women. Bringing female workers back to the table requires a broad approach, says Elaine Zundl, research director at the Rutgers Center for Women and Work, in a Mashable report. In addition to “returnships” that help women transition back into the workforce, Zundl says, companies and organizations need to revise policies to allow for the flexibility female employees often need.
A study by Lisa Schur and Douglas Kruse, professors in the Program for Disability Research in the School of Management and Labor Relations, has opened a nationwide conversation about the potential impact of disabled voters in upcoming U.S. elections—as well as the conceivable disenfranchisement of those voters. Citing data in the Schur-Kruse study, a TIME report focuses on Alabama as it examines that state’s “high proportion of Black and disabled voters, all of whom are disproportionately affected by both the pandemic and voting rights issues.”
The lopsided support for the Biden-Harris ticket among female donors who give in larger amounts comes as women have stepped up their political activity more broadly, notes a CNN article. This year, a record 298 women are running in the general election for U.S. House seats, according to Rutgers’ Center for American Women and Politics. The 2016 election helped drive women into politics, says Debbie Walsh GSNB’80, director of the center. “They realized they need to have a role and a voice because this was a place affecting their lives and the lives of their families, and they couldn’t sit on the sidelines,” she says.
Autumn will bring plenty of star-gazing events to the Garden State. Your eyes or a wide-view pair of binoculars are probably better than a telescope for events like meteor showers, according to Eric Gawiser, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers. “They move very quickly across the sky, and so you don’t know ahead of time where they’re going to be, so you don’t want to have the magnification of a telescope with a correspondingly small field of view, because you’ll just miss them,” Gawiser tells NJ 101.5.