This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by Dr. Abigail Cartus, PhD in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh; Justin Feldman, epidemiologist and Health and Human Rights Fellow at the Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights; and Jay O'Neal, West Virginia teacher and organizer who co-founded the West Virginia United Caucus within the WVEA. After getting to know our guests, including Jay’s experience leading the West Virginia teachers wildcat strike in 2018 that kicked off a wave of teacher strikes nationwide, Abby, Justin, and Jay help us better understand the impact of the pandemic on the United States' educational institutions and how the pressure to open schools is failing our teachers and students, leaving them at greater risk despite little to no support from state officials.
Abby and Justin explain the myths and realities behind many of the studies being shared on social media, and Jay argues why it's necessary that public health advocacy on behalf of school re-openings involves a thorough understanding of what community transmission means and its implications both inside and outside the classroom. Jay also gives us a clearer picture of how dire things are for teachers, many of whom are risking their lives after being pressured to go back to in-person teaching.
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