Published August 3, 2021
A crisis looms for renters and homeowners. Denial fuels a surge in COVID cases. And “Help Wanted” signs multiply, confounding employers.
Millions of people could lose their homes now that the federal moratorium on evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic has expired, reports CNN. Many housing and public health experts are concerned that greater numbers of evictions will add to the current wave of infections by the Delta variant among the unvaccinated. “Given low vaccination rates in areas at highest risk of eviction and the rapid spread of the Delta variant…, the public health case for an eviction moratorium is every bit as strong today as it was when the CDC originally instituted the policy,” says Peter Hepburn, an assistant professor of global urban studies at Rutgers University–Newark.
NBC News features insight from Brian Strom, chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, on rising COVID cases in states with low vaccination rates. Strom explains that those who are vaccinated have stronger protection against the Delta variant, whereas unvaccinated individuals are at extreme risk of becoming severely ill. “The Delta variant is dramatically more contagious,” says Strom. “And vaccinations petered out. The net effect is that this would become a disease on the unvaccinated, and that is what happened.”
Rampant politicization can make it difficult to engage with unvaccinated people and encourage them to get a shot. But there are productive ways to start a conversation, New Jersey Medical School professor Shobha Swaminathan and School of Public Health dean Perry Halkitis tell the Star-Ledger. Swaminathan tries to understand where a person stands and identify his or her specific concerns, “treating them just as I would a loved one, family, or friend.” Halkitis suggests gently guiding the conversation toward possible ramifications, asking naysayers to think of “their children, their well-being, the possibility that their business will be completely shut down. Encourage them to [get the shot] so bad things don’t happen.”
News 12 New Jersey features insight from James Hughes, a professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, on the nationwide labor shortage and how it is affecting assisted living facilities. Hughes explains that there are several factors contributing to the labor shortage, such as individuals not having the transportation to get to work or not having certain skill sets. This has impacted the operation of not only assisted living facilities but many other types of businesses, such as those in the food and hospitality industry. “You may not be able to open your restaurant for four days, you may have to limit evening hours,” says Hughes.
What’s on your summer reading list? The New York Times delves into the history of “summer reading,” noting how the rise of the middle class in the mid-1800s helped birth a whole genre of literature. The growing availability of paperbacks also fueled summer reading, says Leah Price, a Henry Rutgers Distinguished Professor of English at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. She tells the Times, “The novelty of paperbacks is not only their physical form, but also that they were sold in drugstores and newsstands. You could buy them anywhere at the spur of the moment. So in that sense, you could see the paperback as an ancestor to the ebook.”
New York Times | A brief history of summer reading
Former U.S. senator Robert Torricelli RC’74, NLAW’77 writes a Star-Ledger op-ed supporting New Jersey governor Phil Murphy’s decision to end bear hunting in the state. “The most important things to know about the bear hunt sanctioned by the Fish and Wildlife Council are that it isn’t a hunt and it isn’t a sport. It’s a barbaric slaughter,” says Torricelli. Urging legislators to channel more resources into bear research, Torricelli argues that “wildlife is not simply the province of hunters. Hikers, conservationists, biologists, students, and ordinary citizens enthralled by the mystery and majesty of bears and other native species have a stake in their management and a constitutional right to be represented.”