In Signal of Progress, Fewer Than 1% of New York’s Virus Exams Are Optimistic

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The proportion of virus tests that came positive in New York state stayed below 1 percent for 30 days, suggesting that the state's aggressive approach to contain its outbreak – once the most severe in the country – has largely worked.

The state's positivity rate announced on Sunday remained below 1 percent, although parts of the economy were gradually reopened, the number of people tested continued to rise and other states had to contend with sharply rising case numbers.

Despite all the encouragement provided by the month-long marker, many New Yorkers remain concerned through the fall and winter when the number of cases may rise as the nation's largest public school district and more businesses prepare to reopen.

Even Governor Andrew M. Cuomo took the opportunity not to celebrate but to remain cautious, referring in a statement to New York's approach to reopening – slower and more controlled than most other states – as well as the entire state of mask mandate.

"Caution is a virtue, not a vice," said Mr. Cuomo.

According to a New York Times database, the New York state average is currently just over 700 cases per day – an increase from about 600 in late August, but still a fraction of the 9,000-10,000 cases per day reported at peak times In April. The number of people in hospitals because of the virus fell to 410 on Saturday, the lowest since March 16.

The governor's announcement came in the middle of a bank holiday weekend that, like others before, was sure to entice many to gather socially over the course of the summer. Mr Cuomo warned the state's profits could be jeopardized by regressions on precautionary measures such as wearing masks and social distancing.

"Our actions today will determine tomorrow's infection rate," he said. "As Labor Day weekend goes on, I urge everyone to be smart so we don't see a surge in the coming weeks."

A recent outbreak at State University of New York at Oneonta, a public college in central New York, showed how quickly new clusters can emerge.

After some students held large parties, more than 500 students tested positive there. Officials canceled face-to-face tuition for the semester less than two weeks after it started, closed the school's dormitories, and sent students home. On Sunday, Mr Cuomo said a state rapid test team sent to the city of Oneonta had found 91 more cases, mostly in college-aged adults.

At New York University, more than 20 students have been suspended for violating virus-related rules, the school said on Twitter on Saturday.

India, home to the world's fastest growing coronavirus outbreak, has outperformed Brazil and is the country with the second highest number of cases.

According to a New York Times database, India reported 90,802 new infections on Monday, breaking its own record from the previous day, rising to over 4.2 million. Brazil ranks third with more than 4.1 million cases.

In early July, India outperformed Russia to become the third-highest number of cases. By then, the United States was anchored at # 1, where it remains to date with more than 6.2 million cases.

"Overcrowded cities, lockdown fatigue and a lack of contact tracing have spread Covid-19 to every corner of this 1.3 billion-inhabitant country," the Times' Jeffrey Gettleman and Sameer Yasir reported in late August.

India recorded 71,642 deaths from the virus, the third highest death toll in the world after the US and Brazil, despite India having a relatively low per capita death rate in a youthful nation.

The country's surge in cases is because the government is further easing lockdown measures to help the economy. On Monday, the metro system in New Delhi, the capital, began to gradually reopen after being closed for more than five months.

The pandemic was economically devastating for India, which not so long ago had dreamed of becoming a global powerhouse. Last week the government reported a 24 percent decline in the second quarter, the worst of any of the world's top economies.

British health officials announced a sharp spike in new infections on Sunday, leading to warnings that they may need to reconsider the country's aggressive reopening.

The UK Public Health Agency reported that 2,998 new cases had been confirmed – the highest number since late May during the height of the UK outbreak.

Amid criticism that the government had once again lost control of an outbreak that has already killed more than 41,000 people in the UK, government officials signaled they were ready to crack down on them.

"We will take all necessary measures," said Matt Hancock, the Minister of Health, declaring that "we can and will use local locks if necessary."

But when he found that, as in many parts of the world, the latest outbreak is mostly affecting younger people, Mr. Hancock begged them to think about their grandparents and be vigilant.

"The first line of defense is that people should follow social distancing," he said.

There have been nearly 350,000 coronavirus cases in the UK, initially unwilling to acknowledge the threat posed by the outbreak and act decisively to resolve the issue. It suffered some of the worst casualties in Europe in April and May, but cases gradually declined after the government lifted its lockdown.

However, cases increased again in August.

With the schools reopening, some British experts are sounding the alarm about the latest infection figures.

"You lost control of the virus," Gabriel Scally, a former National Health Service official, told The Guardian.

Senator Kamala Harris of California, the Democratic nominee for vice president, said she would not trust President Trump's assurances that a coronavirus vaccine was safe and instead wait for medical experts to confirm that the vaccine was reliable before taking one Received vaccination.

"I will not take his word for it," Ms. Harris said of Mr. Trump on CNN's State of the Union program. (In a previous version of this article, the program was incorrectly identified as "Inside Politics".)

"He wants us to inject bleach," she added, referring to remarks made in April when the president incomprehensibly suggested dangerous coronavirus treatment.

Ms. Harris' remarks came after federal officials alerted state and major city health officials last week to prepare to distribute a vaccine to health care workers and other vulnerable groups as early as late October or early November. Given that no vaccine candidates have completed the kind of large-scale human studies that can demonstrate efficacy and safety, this timeframe has heightened concerns that the Trump administration will roll out a vaccine before Election Day, November 3rd want to strive for.

For months, Ms. Harris and Joseph R. Biden Jr. have been attacking Mr. Trump for dealing with the coronavirus crisis. Ms. Harris 'Sunday comments questioning a potential vaccine as vaccine-fighting scientists report constant pressure from a White House for good news is likely to fuel Americans' skepticism when considering whether to get the vaccine when it becomes available.

With vaccines and treatments becoming increasingly politicized, five drug companies are preparing to issue a statement this week promising to only release a vaccine if it meets strict standards of effectiveness and safety. The companies – Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, and Sanofi – want to reassure the public that they will not seek early approval under political pressure.

Ms. Harris also said Sunday that she and Mr. Biden would set a national “standard” for wearing masks without endorsing a mandate.

“This is not about punishment. It's not about Big Brother, ”Ms. Harris said, adding that wearing a mask in times of crisis is a“ sacrifice ”.

Her comments seemed to be a weakening of the position she and Mr. Biden had previously staked out.

Last month, Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris demanded that Americans wear masks and, after being briefed by public health experts, told reporters that every American should wear a mask outside for at least the next three months and that all governors should mandate wearing a mask.

Mr Biden suggested in July that, as President, he would require masks to be worn in public, and asked if he "could use federal leverage to mandate this," said he could and "would from the point of view of the Executive out ".

In the past few weeks, a Harvard scientist has made headlines for a bold idea to contain the spread of the virus: the introduction of antigen testing, a decade-old underdog in testing technology, to tens of millions of Americans at home almost every day.

These tests are not very good at picking up low-level infections. But they're cheap, convenient, and deliver results in minutes. Real-time information, argued Dr. Michael Mina, the Harvard scientist, would be far better than the long delays clogging the test pipeline.

The rapid and frequent approach to testing has drawn the attention of scientists and journalists around the world, as well as top officials from the Department of Health and Human Services.

However, more than a dozen experts said that nearly ubiquitous antigen tests, while fascinating in theory, may not be effective in practice. The plan not only poses major logistical hurdles, but also depends on broad buy-in and compliance with regulations by people who are increasingly disillusioned with coronavirus disenchantment tests. The goal also assumes that rapid tests can achieve their intended purpose.

"We're open to thinking outside the box and finding new ways to deal with this pandemic," said Esther Babady, director of the clinical microbiology service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. But she said antigen tests that might work at home have yet to come out on the market.

Also, no rigorous study has shown that quick and frequent real-world testing is better than sensitive, but slower, she said. "The data for it is missing."

What has been set out about the approach is "largely ambitious and we need to compare it to reality," said Dr. Alexander McAdam, director of the Infectious Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Boston Children's Hospital and author of a recent report on pandemic testing strategies in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

Most virus tests to date are based on a laboratory technique called PCR, which has long been considered the gold standard because it can even pick up small amounts of genetic material from germs such as the coronavirus.

However, the sputtering supply chains have hampered efforts to collect, ship and process samples for PCR testing and have increased lead times. And the longer the wait, the less useful the result.

A Chinese pharmaceutical company that has tested coronavirus vaccines on its own employees said workers had traveled to countries with major outbreaks without becoming infected.

Zhou Song, the general counsel of vaccine maker Sinopharm, suggested on Sunday that the vaccines, which are still in the final stages of testing, could be effective in fighting the virus. However, it will take months before final conclusions can be drawn and the employee data cannot be used to obtain regulatory approvals.

An "emergency use" program approved by the Chinese government in July allows a wide range of people at high risk of virus exposure, including border guards, soldiers, medical personnel and state-owned company employees, to receive unapproved coronavirus vaccines outside of official clinical studies. Chinese vaccine manufacturers are also conducting clinical trials under normal regulatory procedures in Brazil and other countries that, unlike China, have large, active outbreaks.

Mr. Zhou did not say which countries Sinopharm employees had traveled to or what vaccine they had received. The state-owned company has two vaccines in phase 3 trials.

It is also unclear whether the employees who received the vaccine were had mixed up with locals on their trips abroad, increased their chances of exposure, or had been assigned to their homes. If they avoided infection by staying to themselves, it wouldn't prove the vaccine was working.

In an interview with eastday.com, a Shanghai-based news website, Mr. Zhou said the lack of infection in vaccinated employees was "a remarkable thing".

He also said that none of the workers had shown any serious side effects and that "if one is optimistic, the vaccines could be introduced by the end of the year".

Regardless, Sinovac, a Beijing-based company that also has a coronavirus vaccine in its final phase of testing, stated that nearly all employees and their family members – around 3,000 people – were voluntarily vaccinated as part of the emergency program, The South China Morning Post reported on Sunday. Sinovac's executive director Yin Weidong said he expected the vaccine to be approved for use by the end of the year.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, US public health officials have faced harassment and death threats, and some have even been evicted. Now a university studying the virus intensely has warned hundreds of its researchers to be on the lookout for dangerous packages.

Last Monday, the Seattle-based University of Washington sent an email to about 500 of its researchers urging them to be wary of suspicious packages and saying that virus researchers have been targeted elsewhere.

"We have received unfortunate reports from our contacts at the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) that threatening mail has been sent to COVID-19 researchers on the east coast of the United States," said the email, first reported by BuzzFeed News was on Saturday.

The BuzzFeed News article quoted an F.B.I. The spokesman said the office "worked with our local law enforcement partners to respond to a suspicious package sent to some university researchers" and that "preliminary tests have shown that this mailing does not pose a threat to public safety".

A University of Washington spokeswoman Susan Gregg forwarded a copy of the university's email to the New York Times, saying no suspicious packages had been reported to date.

The email warned researchers to look out for any signs of suspicious mail, including an address with misspelled words, no return address, oily stains, discoloration, or a strange smell. Any email raising concerns should be left unopened and reported to the police on 911.

Research at the University of Washington includes 16 clinical studies on the virus and a prominent, but sometimes criticized, predictive model. The model estimated last week that Covid-19 would kill about 410,000 people in the United States by the end of the year, more than double the current death toll, making experts skeptical of predictions about the future of the pandemic months are too insecure to be useful.

The report on threats to researchers follows earlier signs of the risks that public health officials and others involved in the pandemic are facing. Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of President Trump's Virus Task Force and the country's leading expert on infectious diseases, received additional security in April following threats and said security had been expanded to include his daughters. Local and state health authorities have also been addressed by these challenging public health actions.

For many Americans, Labor Day is a goodbye to summer before the kids go back to school and cold weather arrives. However, public health experts fear that this weekend, amid a pandemic, could turn into a disaster this fall.

After Memorial Day and July 4th weekends, cases of Covid-19 increased in the United States after people held family reunions or gathered in large groups.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, said he wanted people to enjoy Labor Day weekend but called for precautionary measures.

"You don't want to tell people on a holiday weekend that even the outdoors is bad – they get completely discouraged," said Dr. Fauci. “We're trying to say we can enjoy the outdoors, but you can do so from a safe distance. They can be on a beach and don't have to fall on top of each other. They can be six, seven, eight, nine, or ten feet apart. You can go for a hike. You can walk. You can have a picnic with a few people. You don't have to be in a crowd of 30, 40 or 50 people, all breathing at each other. "

In terms of daily case numbers, the United States is in worse shape on Labor Day weekend than it is on Memorial Day weekend. The nation now has an average of 40,000 new confirmed cases per day, up from 22,000 per day prior to Memorial Day weekend.

Colleges are working hard to deter students from breaking security protocols and many have seen significant outbreaks, as have many university towns. ABC News posted a video on Twitter showing the crowd at a sports bar near the University of South Carolina. The university, which disciplined some of its Greek homes last week, has reported more than 1,735 cases since Aug. 1, including 1,461 active cases. This is evident from the Covid-19 dashboard.

Dr. Fauci said an increase in infections after Labor Day would make it far more difficult to control the spread of the virus in the fall, when cooler temperatures force more people indoors.

Public health experts said it was harder to convince people to cut their Labor Day weekend plans compared to previous holiday weekends because so many people suffer from pandemic fatigue after six months of restrictions, closings and separation.

"People get tired of taking these precautions and changing their lives," said Eleanor J. Murray, assistant professor of epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health. "They miss their friends and family and everyone wishes things were back to normal. That is completely understandable, but unfortunately we cannot really have our say."

Even so, there are signs that a pandemic precaution – wearing masks – has gained increasing acceptance over the summer. A poll by the Pew Research Center found that 85 percent of Americans said they wear masks all or most of the time in shops or businesses, compared to 65 percent in June.

As autumn approaches quickly, symptoms alone are not helpful in differentiating the coronavirus from similar-looking flu cases. That means routine testing for both viruses is crucial – possibly even after some patients have died.

In New York, officials recently announced an increase in autopsy tests for the coronavirus as well as for the flu. Respiratory disease-related deaths that have not been confirmed before a person dies must be tested for both viruses within 48 hours under the new regulation.

"These regulations will ensure we have the most accurate death dates possible as we continue to administer Covid-19 as we prepare for flu season," said Dr. Howard Zucker, the state's health commissioner, in a statement last week.

The coronavirus outbreak>

frequently asked Questions

Updated September 4, 2020

  • What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?

    • In the beginning, the coronavirus appeared to be primarily a respiratory illness – many patients had a fever and chills, were weak and tired, and coughed a lot, although some people don't show many symptoms at all. Those who seemed the sickest had pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome and were given supplemental oxygen. By now, doctors have identified many more symptoms and syndromes. In April the C.D.C. added to list of early signs of sore throat, fever, chills, and muscle pain. Gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea and nausea have also been observed. Another tell-tale sign of infection can be a sudden, profound decrease in your sense of smell and taste. In some cases, teenagers and young adults have developed painful red and purple lesions on their fingers and toes – nicknamed "covid toe" – but few other serious symptoms.
  • Why is it safer to hang out together outside?

    • Outdoor gatherings reduce the risk as the wind spreads viral droplets and sunlight can kill some of the virus. Open spaces prevent the virus from building up and being inhaled in concentrated quantities. This can happen when infected people exhale in a confined space for long periods of time, said Dr. Julian W. Tang, virologist at the University of Leicester.
  • Why does it help to stand three feet away from others?

    • The coronavirus spreads mainly through droplets from your mouth and nose, especially when you cough or sneeze. The C.D.C., one of the organizations using this measure, bases its six-foot recommendation on the idea that most of the large droplets that people make when they cough or sneeze fall within six feet of the ground. But six feet has never been a magical number that guarantees complete protection. For example, sneezing, according to a recent study, can trigger droplets that are far more than two meters away. It's a rule of thumb: it is best to stand six feet apart, especially when it's windy. But always wear a mask even if you think they are far enough apart.
  • I have antibodies. Am i immune now?

    • As of now, this seems likely for at least a few months. There have been terrifying reports of people appearing to be suffering from a second attack of Covid-19. However, experts say these patients may have a protracted course of infection, with the virus taking a slow toll weeks to months after initial exposure. People infected with the coronavirus typically produce immune molecules called antibodies, which are protective proteins made in response to an infection. These antibodies may only last in the body for two to three months, which may seem worrying, but that's perfectly normal after an acute infection subsides, said Dr. Michael Mina, an immunologist at Harvard University. It may be possible to get the coronavirus again, but it is highly unlikely to be possible in a short window of time after the initial infection or make people sick the second time.
  • What are my rights if I am worried about going back to work?

Deceased hospital patients and residents of nursing homes as well as facilities cared for by undertakers or medical examiners are selected for follow-up tests, among other things.

These tests can help health officials track the prevalence of both types of infections and indicate whether close contacts with the deceased should be warned that they may need to be quarantined.

"People need to know who has been sick around them," said Dr. Valerie Fitzhugh, a pathologist at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. "If someone cannot be tested in life, why not test shortly after death?"

Adopting regulations early will also encourage counties to improve their testing readiness before fall and winter, when seasonal viruses like flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) tend to thrive, said Dr. Mary Fowkes, a pathologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Coronavirus cases are still occurring on a daily basis in many parts of the United States – and they become harder to track down when similar illnesses mess up the picture.

As a number of schools in the U.S. are moving to outdoor education beyond the potentially tighter boundaries of their traditional indoor spaces, some outdoor-oriented companies are launching new product lines or re-using existing ones to capitalize on how the pandemic has transformed the educational experience.

The demand for waterproof clothing and related equipment "has been overwhelming," said Sam Taylor, general manager of Oaki, a rain suit maker in the Salt Lake City area. Mr Taylor said the demand for Oaki products has increased 60 percent this year.

"There's been a lot of research into how productive it is to be outside," said Taylor. "There's no reason a little moisture or rain should stop this. If anything, it should be positive if you have the right equipment."

Those looking for weatherproof materials have also turned to Rite in the Rain, a centuries-old company based in Tacoma, Washington that sells waterproof products like notebooks and printer paper.

Fifty percent of the rite in the business of rain comes from the government, mostly the military. Aside from "pretty decent college bookstore deals," said Ryan McDonald, the company's director of marketing, it hadn't focused much on students until recently, as orders from elementary and high schools had increased.

The coronavirus has thrived in Mexico's dense capital, Mexico City, home to nine million people, half of whom are poor. But while more than 11,000 have died, analysts say it could have been worse without Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum's interventions.

Although she is one of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's most trusted confidants, she has taken care to distance herself from him whenever possible when it comes to the virus. Mr. López Obrador minimized the pandemic early on, challenged the science behind face masks, and conducted few tests. To avert economic pain, he has barely restricted travel.

Mexico has the fourth highest number of coronavirus deaths in the world under his observation.

Mexico had 67,326 coronavirus deaths on Saturday, according to a Times database. However, the Ministry of Health also said the country had recorded 122,765 more deaths than usual since the pandemic began through August, suggesting that the actual death toll could be much higher than reported.

When Mr. López Obrador kissed babies at rallies and compared the virus to the flu, Ms. Sheinbaum planned a long pandemic. She pushed for an aggressive testing and contact tracing campaign and setting up test kiosks where people could be dabbed for free.

She also called for everyone in Mexico City to use face coverings for public transportation and wear a mask every time she reached out to the news media. And when doctors told her the N95 masks the federal government imported from China were too narrow to fit Mexican faces, she had a local factory converted into a mask-making facility.

For Ms. Sheinbaum, a Ph.D. In power engineering, coordinating too closely with the president would mean ignoring the practices that it knows are in the best interests of public health. If you go too far, she risks losing the support of a political kingmaker who sees her – the first woman and first Jewish person elected to run the nation's capital – as the party's next presidential candidate.

So far, their strategy has been to follow science and refuse to criticize the president.

Other coronavirus news from around the world:

  • Israel Curfews were announced on Sunday for around 40 cities hit by the virus, but they backed off the full lockdown after a riot by politically powerful religious leaders, The Associated Press reported. In July, under heavy public pressure, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed a respected hospital director as the national "coronavirus project manager". However, when the new official began pushing for the complete lockdown of areas with the worst outbreaks – including ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities – the leaders there resisted strongly. In an obvious compromise, Mr. Netanyahu opted for curfews. The measures will take effect on Monday evening.

  • Just one week after opening, most schools in a province are in the center Cuba close their doors because of an escape. 75 of the 90 schools in Ciego de Ávila are now teaching on television again, reported The A.P. The province has reported 30 new infections in the past 15 days. The students had returned to the classroom on September 1st after a six-month hiatus. Cuba as a whole has reported more than 4,300 infections and 100 deaths since March. The biggest problem in Havana is the night curfew.

  • MelbourneAustralia's second largest city on Sunday extended its lockdown by two weeks to at least September 28. Der Bundesstaat Victoria, das Zentrum des schlimmsten Ausbruchs Australiens, ist seit Anfang August gesperrt.

Innerhalb weniger Tage nach der Wiedereröffnung der Universität von Iowa beschwerten sich die Studenten darüber, dass sie keine Coronavirus-Tests erhalten konnten oder auf Menschen stießen, die isoliert sein sollten. Studenten blockierten Bürgersteige und Bars in der Innenstadt, Masken hingen unter ihren Kinn, egal wie das Maskenmandat der Stadt war.

Jetzt ist Iowa City ein ausgewachsener Pandemie-Hotspot – eine von rund 100 College-Gemeinden in den USA, in denen die Infektionen in den letzten Wochen zugenommen haben, als die Studenten für das Herbstsemester zurückgekehrt sind. Obwohl die Infektionsrate im Nordosten, wo das Virus erstmals in den USA seinen Höhepunkt erreichte, nach unten gesunken ist, bleibt sie in vielen Bundesstaaten des Mittleren Westens und des Südens hoch, und es gibt Hinweise darauf, dass Studenten, die an große Standorte zurückkehren, ein wichtiger Faktor sind.

In einer Überprüfung der New York Times in 203 US-Bundesstaaten, in denen mindestens 10 Prozent der Bevölkerung Studenten sind, hat etwa die Hälfte die schlimmsten Wochen der Pandemie seit dem 1. August erlebt. In etwa der Hälfte dieser Fälle zeigten die Zahlen, dass die Zahl der Neuankömmlinge Infektionen sind derzeit auf dem Höhepunkt.

Trotz des Anstiegs der Fälle gab es laut Daten keinen Anstieg der Todesfälle in Hochschulgemeinschaften. Dies deutet darauf hin, dass die meisten Infektionen vom Campus stammen, da junge Menschen, die sich mit dem Virus infizieren, weitaus seltener sterben als ältere Menschen.

Führungskräfte befürchten jedoch, dass junge Menschen, die infiziert sind, zur Verbreitung des Virus in der gesamten Gemeinde beitragen werden.

Der Anstieg der von den Gesundheitsämtern des Landkreises gemeldeten Infektionen ist darauf zurückzuführen, dass viele Hochschulverwaltungen auch Cluster an ihren Standorten offenlegen und Disziplinarmaßnahmen gegen Studenten ergreifen, die gegen Regeln verstoßen. Die Northeastern University hat letzte Woche elf Studenten wegen Verstößen entlassen und ihre Studiengebühren beibehalten.

Und am Samstag sagte die New York University, sie habe seit Wiederaufnahme des Unterrichts 20 Studenten suspendiert. Die potenzielle Ausbreitung des Virus über die Grüns des Campus hinaus hat die Arbeitsplätze, Schulen, Regierungen und andere Institutionen lokaler Gemeinschaften tiefgreifend beeinflusst.

Das Ergebnis ist oft eine Verschärfung der traditionellen Spannungen zwischen Stadt und Gewand, da Universitätsstädte versucht haben, die wirtschaftliche Abhängigkeit von Universitäten mit Ängsten im Bereich der öffentlichen Gesundheit in Einklang zu bringen.

Zufällige Office-Begegnungen, die früher das Networking ermöglichten, wurden durch die formale Geometrie des Zoom-Bildschirms ersetzt. Und mit immer weniger umfassenden Verbindungen als weiße Kollegen können sich schwarze und hispanische Arbeiter isolierter als je zuvor fühlen.

Die Aufgaben fließen letztendlich an Personen, die eher wie Top-Manager aussehen – ein langjähriges Problem -, während Farbarbeiter zögern, bei Online-Meetings ihre Stimme zu erheben, sagte Sara Prince, Partnerin des Beratungsunternehmens McKinsey.

"Es ist ein kritisches Thema, und es besteht ein echtes Risiko für Vielfalt und Einbeziehung in das aktuelle Umfeld", sagte Frau Prince. „Wenn der Anführer jemanden sucht, der den Mantel übernimmt, gehen die meisten von ihnen in die Komfortzone von Menschen, die sie an sich selbst erinnern. Dies wird durch das virtuelle Büro noch verstärkt. "

Es ist schwieriger zu sagen, welche Mitarbeiter in ihren Stühlen zurückgeschrumpft sind oder sich in virtuellen Besprechungen auf andere Weise zurückgezogen haben, sagte Evelyn Carter, Geschäftsführerin bei Paradigm, einer Beratungsfirma, aber Moderatoren sollten auf Hinweise achten, wie Menschen mit ausgeschalteter Kamera, und dies versuchen Ziehen Sie diese Teilnehmer zurück in die Diskussion.

Einige Experten sehen Vorteile für Büroangestellte, die möglicherweise an den Rand gedrängt wurden.

"Die meisten Minderheiten sind von informellen Netzwerken ausgeschlossen und wurden möglicherweise nicht zu einem Drink oder Mittagessen eingeladen", sagte Tina Shah Paikeday, die bei Russell Reynolds, einer Personalvermittlungsfirma, für die Beratung in Bezug auf globale Vielfalt und Inklusion zuständig ist.

"Das Zoom-Meeting ist absichtlich geplant, und Manager sind sehr darauf bedacht, alle einzuladen."

"Es ist ein großartiger Ausgleich und schafft Möglichkeiten für Affinitätsgruppen in großen Organisationen", sagte sie. "Es könnte eine gute Sache für Minderheiten sein."

Around the globe, including in some of the world’s wealthiest countries, educators are struggling with how to facilitate distance learning during the pandemic. But in poorer countries like Indonesia, the challenge is particularly difficult.

In North Sumatra, students climb to the tops of tall trees a mile from their mountain village. Perched on branches high above the ground, they hope for a cellphone signal strong enough to complete their assignments.

The travails of these students and others like them have come to symbolize the hardships faced by millions of schoolchildren across the Indonesian archipelago. Officials have closed schools and brought in remote learning, but internet and cellphone service is limited and many students do not have smartphones and computers.

More than a third of Indonesian students have limited or no internet access, according to the Education Ministry, and experts fear that many students will fall far behind, especially in remote areas where online study remains a novelty.

Indonesia’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus have met with mixed results. As of Saturday, the country had 190,665 cases and 7,940 deaths. But testing has been limited and independent health experts say the actual number of cases is many times higher.

With the start of a new academic year in July, schools in virus-free zones were allowed to reopen, but these schools serve only a fraction of the nation’s students. As of August, communities in low-risk areas could decide whether to reopen schools, but few have done so.

“Students have no idea what to do, and parents think it is just a holiday,” said Itje Chodidjah, an educator and teacher trainer in Jakarta, the capital. “We still have lots of areas where there is no internet access. In some areas, there is even difficulty getting electricity.”

Thousands of police officers in riot gear filled the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday, stifling a protest over the postponement of legislative elections because of the pandemic and over China’s imposition of a national security law that gives the authorities sweeping new powers to pursue critics.

A large police presence was seen across the Kowloon Peninsula, where some activists had called for a march on the day the elections were initially scheduled to take place, despite social distancing rules that prohibit mass gatherings. Although occasional pro-democracy chants broke out as small groups wound through side streets, the number of demonstrators remained small compared with the huge crowds that gathered last year.

While Hong Kong has seen an increase in coronavirus cases over the past month, a recent wave has largely been brought under control. The city announced 21 new cases on Sunday, after more than a week of daily totals in the single or low double digits.

Hong Kong’s government, with the aid of a team from mainland China, began a universal testing program last week that it said was necessary to break hidden chains of virus transmission. Some activists and health care workers urged residents to boycott the plan, calling it a waste of resources motivated by a political desire to burnish the image of China’s central government.

Health officials said on Thursday that six positive cases had been found in the first batch of 128,000 tested in the program, including four people with previously confirmed cases who were treated in hospitals. Five more cases detected through the program were announced on Sunday. About one million people in the city of 7.5 million have registered for tests.

Reporting was contributed by Kenneth Chang, Catie Edmondson, Natasha Frost, Robert Gebeloff, Shawn Hubler, Danielle Ivory, Jennifer Jett, Natalie Kitroeff, Sarah Kliff, Patrick J. Lyons, Tiffany May, Dera Menra Sijabat, Eric Nagourney, Richard C. Paddock, Tara Parker-Pope, Austin Ramzy, Nelson D. Schwartz, Mike Seely, Sarah Watson, Sui-Lee Wee, Katherine J. Wu and Mihir Zaveri.

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