Blog Archive


I Wrote a Novel About an Epidemic. Here’s What Living Through One Taught Me.

The question arrives via email, DM, Facebook message. The wording varies, but boils down to this: Do you feel like you’re living in your own novel?

a laptop computer sitting on top of a table: Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images, Christopher Gower/Unsplash, chokja/iStock/Getty Images Plus, and Anshu A/Unsplash.

© Provided by Slate
Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images, Christopher Gower/Unsplash, chokja/iStock/Getty Images Plus, and Anshu A/Unsplash.

The Weight of Ink—the book these messages refer to—is partially set during London’s devastating 1665–66 plague outbreak. And yes, there’s an abundance of similarities between that 17th century catastrophe and ours—so much so that in my replies to these readers, I make sure to also underscore what I find reassuring. Unlike our 17th century counterparts, we live in a world of genome sequencing and double-blind studies. However devastating the mortality rate in this epidemic, it won’t match the 60–90 percent mortality rate of pre-antibiotics plague.

But my replies have felt hollow. I’ve avoided admitting the

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Community Voices for Health Equity team helps Washtenaw County identify residents’ health needs

In 2019, a mobile home park in Whitmore Lake was experiencing water quality issues, so residents reached out to Marta Larson, a member of the Community Voices for Health Equity team founded by the Washtenaw County Health Department.


“We convened a meeting with community leaders and environmental health and elected officials about what they needed to do,” says Adam Paberzs, health equity analyst with the health department. “We had limitations in what we could do because a water issue is outside our regulatory authority, but we were able to help identify the right folks who needed to be in the room with residents to get something done about it and hold management accountable for fixing the water.”


Paberzs points to this incident as an example of how community feedback is vital in helping the health department zero in on issues that concern county residents. Similar feedback in the past led

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In the time of COVID-19, kids can keep learning if we build the village | Opinion

Today I begin with an apology to local educators who might have taken some of my criticism of our school apparatus personally. Such is often the case, and this emotional reaction blocks any meaningful thinking about complete restructuring. I’ve been critical. I’ve made an attack. I have only praise and admiration for any teacher who can succeed in the current environment. 

It isn’t difficult to succeed under the current criteria, especially in our region, where “all the kids are above average,” so my proposal likely won’t fly easily, and if we were to actually get it off the ground, we might only see it as a stopgap until we get back to normal. On the other hand, this is the perfect moment to try it, because normal isn’t possible right now, and who knows? We might actually realize we’ve discovered something better.

I’m in no way criticizing our teachers. Some

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‘I lost consciousness and a tooth in attack’ – Chinese men tell of racism ordeal

Gardai are investigating an alleged racist attack in which two Chinese men were verbally abused about the source of the Covid-19 virus before being assaulted.

he duo – Martin Hong and Arthur Ma, both in their early 20s – were assaulted by three teens in Cork after they objected to comments passed to them about the source of the virus.

Both required hospitalisation for minor cuts, bruises and a broken tooth.

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to the August 8 incident – and are treating it as a racially-motivated attack.

It came after a Chinese woman was verbally abused and then pushed into a canal in Dublin by a group of youngsters who were mocking her about the coronavirus.

That particular incident made world headlines.


Mr Hong said their incident involved three teens.

“It was around 8pm when I was walking with my friend to do some grocery shopping,”

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Deployment Guides and Resources |

For deploying servicemembers and families, there are resources available to help you during your transitions — here’s a rundown of help programs by service.


Army Community and Family Support Center. The Army Community & Family Support Center serves as the headquarters for Army MWR (Morale, Welfare & Recreation).

Army Family Action Plan. The AFAP program seeks input regarding critical issues that affect the well being of soldiers, Army families, retirees, and DA civilians. All components are included–active duty, Army National Guard, and Army Reserves. AFAP issues are solicited directly from Army constituents through annual conferences convened at installations, major Army commands, and HQDA. The results from AFAP conferences are reported to leaders who ensure the issues are worked toward resolution.

The Army’s Well Being Division. The Army’s Well Being Division provides a central source of compiled human dimension data (both objective and subjective) with the commensurate analytical capability to

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Mario’s Westside Market woven into fabric of community

Mario Berlanga’s busy corner market means so much more than a grocery store to customers in Las Vegas’ Historic Westside. It has earned its place as a welcoming refuge where old-school hip-hop plays and customers young and old can relax and be themselves.

Regulars know Berlanga as Mario, a local Latino kid who grew up in a nearby housing project, later becoming an entrepreneur who for decades has looked out for the historically Black neighborhood.

At Mario’s Westside Market, on the corner of North Martin Luther King and West Lake Mead boulevards, customers can buy hard-to-find Southern soul food such as smoked pig’s ears and hog jowls, pickled sausage, turkey necks, Louisiana-style beans, spices and hog head cheese.

The owner routinely walks his store, keeping up a running banter with customers, many of whom he knows on a first-name basis. At Mario’s, the jokes keep rolling. The other day, a

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Cobb Parents Push Back On Virtual Classes, Rally At Civic Center

MARIETTA, GA — Parents and students lined up Saturday morning in front of the Cobb County Civic Center, chanting and waving signs to protest the school system’s decision to offer classes online only this fall.

“We’ve been emailing, we’ve been calling, we’ve been on TV asking, what are you going to do to get our kids back to school?” Amy Henry of East Cobb said to a noisy crowd of several hundred in the civic center’s parking lot.

“Do you know what Cobb County has told us? Nothing!” she went on, shouting into a microphone while standing in the bed of a pickup truck draped with an American flag. “There’s no transparency because they don’t have a plan. They have no intention of getting the kids back in school!”

When Henry told the crowd that some parents were abandoning Cobb’s high-quality public schools for private education because of online-only classes,

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The Future of Remote Work is Now

The pandemic has created drastic changes on the way people and organizations do things on a daily basis, which thrust everyone into a new phase called the “new normal.”  Everything is shifting to digital from doing menial tasks like grocery shopping to performing duties at work. Many organizations are already transitioning to a remote work setting where everything is done virtually, making work more flexible while maintaining productivity. Industry leaders agree that remote work will continue to be the norm for the medium- and long-term world of work.

The HR & Recruitment industry is likewise affected with the disruptions brought about by COVID-19.  This is true even in the context of what government and private agencies are citing that millions of jobs will be lost.  Therefore, the HR & Recruitment Industry is changing organizational and operational practices to adapt to the new normal in order to drive business continuity.  Experts

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Young Canadians ‘unknowingly’, ‘rapidly’ spreading COVID-19, health officials warn

As cases of COVID-19 continue to spread around the world, Canadians seem to be increasingly concerned about their health and safety.

4,600 active cases of COVID-19 in Canada (with more than 121,000 diagnoses so far) and 9,000 deaths. Nearly 90 per cent of the country’s reported COVID-19 cases have recovered.” data-reactid=”27″Currently, there are more than 4,600 active cases of COVID-19 in Canada (with more than 121,000 diagnoses so far) and 9,000 deaths. Nearly 90 per cent of the country’s reported COVID-19 cases have recovered.

archive of events.” data-reactid=”29″For a full archive of the first month of the pandemic, please check our archive of events.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, … Read More


Friends & Family Community Connection disbanding after director’s resignation

Friends & Family Community Connection, the Rancho Bernardo-based organization that coordinated and led charitable projects at the local, national and international level over the past 24 years, announced via email Friday it is disbanding.

“It has been a great run,” was the July 31 email’s subject line, followed by a “thank you” message for all those in the community who provided “faithful support.”

Per the email, director and founder Phil Harris had given the nonprofit organization his resignation the previous week and the board accepted it “effective immediately.” In addition to Harris no longer being involved with FFCC, the board “determined that the best course of action for FFCC is to begin winding down its operations.”

The organization’s website has been disabled. As of Tuesday night, there was no reply to phone messages left for Harris and longtime volunteer leaders of various FFCC projects. Also unanswered was an email to

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