pandemic

College students face financial strains, health concerns from pandemic ahead of fall semester

Brittany Goddard’s final semester at Howard University isn’t the dream ending she imagined in Washington, D.C. 

When the coronavirus pandemic shut down the U.S. economy in March, she scrambled to pack up her belongings since she had to be out of her dorm room within 48 hours. At the same time, she lost her part-time job at a catering company and still hasn’t received unemployment after filing for jobless benefits in April. 

She was set to study abroad in Barcelona over the summer, but those plans were upended due to the pandemic. And with just weeks to go before the fall semester begins, she’s worried about how she’ll pay the remaining balance of her tuition and fees – roughly $9,000 – since her financial aid won’t cover it at the private school.

“It’s heartbreaking. I’m a low-income student. I can’t afford tuition,” Goddard, 20, says, who’s created a GoFundMe page … Read More

COVID-19 pandemic puts future of Catholics schools in doubt

As the new academic year arrives, school systems across the United States are struggling to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Roman Catholic educators have an extra challenge — trying to forestall a relentless wave of closures of their schools that has no end in sight.

Already this year, financial and enrollment problems aggravated by the pandemic have forced the permanent closure of more than 140 Catholic schools nationwide, according to officials who oversee Catholic education in the country.

Three of the nation’s highest-ranking Catholic leaders, in a recent joint appeal, said Catholic schools “are presently facing their greatest financial crisis” and warned that hundreds more closures are likely without federal support.

“Because of economic loss and uncertainty, many families are confronting the wrenching decision to pull their children out of Catholic schools,” said New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley and Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, president of

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Disney World to Cut Theme Park Hours Due to Lower-Than-Expected Attendance amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Disney World will be reducing their operating hours in September amid lower-than-expected attendance due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Florida theme park shared its revised hours on the Disney World website over the weekend.

The Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios are both losing an hour of operation at the end of the day. Meanwhile, Epcot is cutting back by two hours and the Animal Kingdom is losing an hour in the morning and an hour at the end of the day.

RELATED: Splash Mountain Log Flume at Disney World Sinks Under Water During Ride in Viral Video

Disney World’s new hours set to begin on Sept. 8 are:

Magic Kingdom: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Epcot: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Hollywood Studios: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Animal Kingdom: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Disney World officially reopened on July 11 after shutting down all operations in mid-March

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Young people struggle with finding mental health support amid COVID pandemic

Kathryn Boit feels “guilty for struggling so much” these past few months. 

As the president of the Harvard Student Mental Health Liaisons, she has “college friends, acquaintances, and strangers reach out to me for resources and advice,” she said. “I don’t know the answers anymore.”

It’s no wonder Boit, a Harvard sophomore, feels overwhelmed. Prevalence of depression among college students increased since the pandemic caused the closure of campuses this spring compared to fall 2019, according to a survey of 18,000 college students published by the Healthy Minds Network on July 9. And of the nearly 42% of students who sought mental health care during the pandemic, 60% said it was either much more or somewhat more difficult to access care.

Mental health among young people has been worsening for years. A 2019 analysis of teens reported 13% of U.S. teens ages 12 to 17 (or 3.2 million) said in

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Pandemic wedding horrors for vendors

NEW YORK (AP) — Wedding planners, photographers and other bridal vendors who make the magic happen have a heap of new worries in the middle of the pandemic: no-mask weddings, rising guest counts and venues not following the rules.

Now that weddings have slowly cranked up under a patchwork of ever-shifting state and local restrictions, horror stories from vendors are rolling in. Many are desperate to work after the coronavirus put an abrupt end to their incomes and feel compelled to put on their masks, grab their cameras and hope for the best.

No-mask weddings, no social distancing and dance floors prohibited in many states have been the talk of online groups for vendors around the country.

“People have worked in venues outright looking the other way on masks and size,” said photographer Susan Stripling in New York.

Reports of COVID-19 outbreaks traced to weddings remain rare. One wedding was

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Pandemic pushes Mexico’s ‘lucha libre’ wrestlers outdoors and online

Xochimilco (Mexico) (AFP) – Driven from their spectator-filled stadiums by the coronavirus, Mexico’s “lucha libre” wrestlers have taken their flamboyant costumes and acrobatic maneuvers to an unlikely new battleground immersed in nature.

As dawn breaks over the capital, a dozen burly fighters board a boat in Xochimilco, a maze of canals and artificial islands created centuries ago by the area’s indigenous peoples.

The pocket of green in the sprawling smog-plagued metropolis is now the scene of high-flying moves, blows and insults that will be broadcast online.

The goal is to raise funds to save the wildly popular mix of sport and entertainment.

Lucha libre is an integral part of Mexican popular culture, but like many activities it is now facing financial disaster because of the coronavirus.

In the absence of the usual crowds of fans, the hubbub of the wrestlers’ arenas has been replaced by birdsong in the nature reserve

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How pandemic pods and zutors are changing homeschooling

When the number of coronavirus cases began to rise in the San Francisco area in early July, mother of one Lian Chikako Chang started a Facebook group to support local families and teachers who were suddenly facing the prospect of schools not opening in person as planned in mid-August.

The “Pandemic Pods” group, which aims to help with childcare and schooling needs, grew to more than 30,000 members within three weeks, as areas across the US were hit by Covid-19 spikes and more schools decided to stay shut.

“Families were left scrabbling for solutions,” says Ms Chang. “Most parents have to work, and most jobs are not compatible with homeschooling”.

And it’s not just Facebook parents are turning to. Matchmaking apps and websites have sprung up offering to help parents connect with other families to form “safe” learning pods, or match them with teachers who can give online lessons, dubbed

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What to know about sending your kids to college during the pandemic

How to go back to college safely during the pandemic
How to go back to college safely during the pandemic

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With the end of summer drawing near, college students and their parents are preparing for a new semester. But for most, going back to school this year will likely look a lot different amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Some colleges and universities are reopening as fully virtual this fall, while others will offer a mix of both online and in-person classes. Those that are choosing to invite students back to campus are doing so with strict sanitation procedures in place along with new changes, like reduced class sizes, solo dorm rooms, and limited dining options. Some are even closing campus after fall break to reduce any risk from out-of-state students who are traveling.

Hannah Grice, a junior at Stevenson University in

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Pandemic ushers in a ‘new normal’ for historically underfunded HBCUs

When South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, a Republican, issued an order in early March to close all public schools to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Roslyn Clark Artis jumped into action.

Artis, the president of Benedict College — a private, historically Black liberal arts school in Columbia — knew she had to evacuate roughly 2,000 students from campus, which she described as a “herculean effort.”

“I put out a bat signal, a call for help, and sent a letter to my board of trustees and within 24 hours they raised $54,000 and we set up a travel agency in my office,” Artis told NBC News in a phone interview.

The school ended up buying more than 100 plane, bus and train tickets to get the students with greatest need home, started a 24-hour shuttle service from the campus to local airports, bought luggage for students, paid baggage fees and

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