pandemic

Michiana Chronicles: Reduced Circumstances

May 20, 2021
Ken Smith

Over the years I grew tired of the not always faster Interstate highway route to see family on the west side of Saint Louis. On I-80 around Chicago, the Slinky-style traffic would have me in the driver’s seat shivering and levitating with frustration.Then there’s the lulling boredom of I-55, where one Illinois mile undulates as mildly and blandly as the next.

Andrew Kreider

This last week I was finally let go from my job – not my regular 9 to 5 you understand, but from my side gig - as a personal shopper.   It was always for a very select clientele, mind you – just my parents-in-law and my mother.  But I did get to do it for an entire year.

Brett McNeil

This time last year, we were still Cloroxing Costco boxes and quarantining groceries in the garage. 

 

Don’t laugh. 

 

My wife returned from one Meier trip dressed like an extra from Lawrence of Arabia -- layer atop protective layer, scarf on mask, hands triple-gloved. 

 

She disrobed complicatedly and straight into the washing machine then ran to a scalding shower.

 

(Marco Verch/Flickr)

Though carbon emissions went down during Stay-At-Home orders last year, the pandemic may not have had as much of an effect on air quality in 2020 as we once thought. A professor at IUPUI says as restrictions lifted, carbon emissions went right back up.

(balouriarajesh/Pixabay)

Most Americans who have used their homes to work remotely in the past year won’t be eligible to claim a tax deduction for home-related work expenses – even if they haven’t stepped foot in an office since March.

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, many people who would otherwise have to report to work in person began working from home. And while it’s common for self-employed workers to claim deductions related to their home office workspaces, most American workers don’t actually qualify.

(Provided by Emily Race)

The pressure to track kids down, get them engaged in school, and come up with lesson plans they can do remotely or in-person is a lot for one person to handle. Crawfordsville language arts teacher Emily Race said she's exhausted.

(AP PHOTO/CARLOS OSORIO, FILE)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — At least 50,000 nursing home staff, home health aides and other direct care workers in Michigan will lose a $2 hourly pandemic pay raise next week if the Republican-led Legislature and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer do not enact COVID-19 relief aid. Disability advocates are sounding the alarm ahead of lawmakers’ return to session Tuesday. Some Medicaid-funded caregivers, including those who help people in their homes, first got the wage hike last April through an order issued by the governor.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

House Republicans approved a new, two-year, $36 billion budget Monday they say boosts education and helps businesses recover from the pandemic.

Heather Curlee-Novak

I got to play in the snow this week.  We got nineteen inches give or take eighty.  So I played in the snow but not in the fun way. I played in ‘the dog won’t go on her own and you don’t want her to pee on the porch” sort of way.  Our poor sedan that should be put out to pasture got stuck TWICE in one day.  I told my husband John to just leave it there with a ‘FREE PLEASE TAKE’ sign.   

Only 42 percent of Hoosiers have what is considered a good paying job according to a new report released Wednesday by the Brookings Institution. It details issues facing Indiana’s economy and what can be done to improve conditions.

Image provided by St. Margaret's House

WVPE's Kent Fulmer recently interviewed Kathy Schneider, who is the Executive Director of St. Margaret’s House in South Bend. They discussed how the organization is taking its annual 'Winter Walk' virtual this year, plus a whole host of other topics.

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

The number of Hoosiers who are members of labor unions is at its lowest point in two decades, even as workplace safety issues in the pandemic may be sparking more interest in organized labor.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

A group of school choice bills are prompting lengthy and emotional debates about school funding at the Indiana Statehouse, with dozens of individuals and organizations testifying on the legislation at committee hearings Wednesday.

(Screenshot of iga.in.gov)

Indiana would require all nursing homes to allow at least some limited visitation for their residents – even during a pandemic – under legislation unanimously approved by a Senate committee Wednesday.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Small businesses in Indiana are one step closer to having access to additional financial aid from the state. House Bill 1004, passed by the Indiana House Tuesday, will provide funds to help small businesses that have been hit hard during the pandemic.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Telehealth services temporarily expanded during the pandemic will be permanently expanded under legislation unanimously approved by the Indiana Senate Tuesday.

What does an entertainment journalist do when he can’t cover events? Seth Johnson talks about his experience learning new skills — including creating radio diaries for Side Effects — during the pandemic. Part 1 of our Move to Include series on how people with disabilities are coping during this nationwide public health crisis. 

(College of DuPage Newsroom/Flickr)

Most Hoosiers value education beyond high school, according to an annual survey, but almost three-quarters believe financial strains from the COVID-19 pandemic pushed higher education further out of reach.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

The U.S. Department of Education is investigating Indiana for how it has handled special education during the pandemic.

(Daniel Conjanu/The National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation via AP, File)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — One of the world’s longest-running wildlife field studies has fallen prey to the coronavirus pandemic. Since 1959, a research team has spent most of the winter observing the interplay between wolves and moose at Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior. But Superintendent Denice Swanke said Friday that this year’s mission has been scrapped to protect the scientists and support personnel from possible exposure to the virus. The remote park is closed from Nov.

(Brandon Smith/IPB News)

Indiana Republican legislative leaders aren’t totally sold on Gov. Eric Holcomb’s proposal to spend nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars this year to pay down state debt instead of direct relief for Hoosiers struggling during the pandemic.

Michigan Opioid Overdoses Were Up In 2020

Dec 28, 2020
MARY ALTAFFER/AP PHOTO

Fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses trended up in Michigan this year.

The University of Michigan tracks that information. It gathers data about naloxone given by emergency medical personnel across the state.

And it tracks suspected fatal overdoses recorded by medical examiners.

Jason Goldstick is a statistician and associate professor of emergency medicine at U of M.

He says between March and September of this year, fatal overdoses were up 15-percent over 20-19. Non-fatal overdoses were up more than 28-percent.

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

Throughout the pandemic, federal estimates show about half of Hoosier employers told workers not to work at some point. But the U.S. Bureau Labor Statistics says a significant number still paid workers or kept paying health insurance premiums. 

Purdue To Pay Workers During Pandemic A Bonus

Nov 26, 2020

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Purdue University plans to reward its faculty and staff with a $750 bonus for their “heroic work” keeping the West Lafayette campus open during the coronavirus pandemic. School officials announced Wednesday that more than 15,000 faculty, staff and graduate student staff hired before Sept. 1, 2020, will get the money in their checks in December. Part-time staff will get a pro-rated amount.

Sid Shroyer

We are standing in a field on the Saturday before the election, somewhere between Highway 61 and the White Bear Yacht Club, 20 miles northeast of Minneapolis.

NEW: Indiana Reports 3,000+ New COVID-19 Cases For The Last 4 Out Of 5 Days

Nov 2, 2020
ISDH

NEW (Nov. 2): 

Indiana as a whole reported 3,080 new cases Sunday. That means the state as a whole has seen 3,000+ new daily cases in the last 4 out of 5 days for which data is available.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Gov. Eric Holcomb insists Hoosiers are safe at polling places across the state amid the ongoing pandemic. That’s despite a record new number of COVID-19 cases, long lines at the polls and some county clerks who refuse to follow Holcomb’s mask-wearing order.

Indiana's Public Pension Funds Remain Stable In Pandemic

Sep 27, 2020
https://www.facebook.com/INPRS/photos/a.238127909628357/1406949646079505/

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s public pension funds for state and local government employees, including teachers, has apparently weathered the financial markets’ volatility during the coronavirus pandemic, new data from the state show. The General Assembly’s Pension Management Oversight Committee heard Wednesday that the Indiana Public Retirement System increased its pension assets by 2.56% to $30.6 billion during the 2020 budget year, which ran from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020.

(Brock Turner, WFIU/WTIU News)

While Gov. Eric Holcomb stresses the state is ready to re-open, many local health officials aren’t convinced.

For weeks, the state has blamed coronavirus spread on younger people attending bars, nightclubs and parties.  However, yesterday, Holcomb and State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box shifted their rhetoric.

“We have proven effectively—whether it be at schools or businesses—that you can operate safely and manage your interaction,” Holcomb said.

CREDIT (AP PHOTO/MICHAEL CONROY)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Discontent among some conservatives about Gov. Eric Holcomb's statewide mask mandate and other coronavirus restrictions poses a possible disruption to his reelection campaign. Some longtime reliable Republican voters complain Holcomb’s coronavirus orders have been “overbearing" and say they intend to support Libertarian candidate Donald Rainwater. Holcomb defends the mask order has helping keep the coronavirus spread in check.

Pages