It is unclear what impact this will have on teachers, staff and students in the near term. In some states, masks in schools are already optional.

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Chris Hodges, the principal of Gaylord High School in Otsego County, Michigan, never thought he’d be a contact tracer.


This story is from a reporting partnership that includes WCMU, NPR and KHN. It can be republished for free.

“I definitely thought, you know, ‘Why — why am I doing this?’” he said with a laugh. “That’s not what I went to school for.”

In what has become a regular part of his school day, Hodges fields reports on his charges such as hearing from the Health Department of Northwest Michigan that a student had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and was in school for three days when she might have been contagious.

One Tuesday in April, after the school day was over, he found himself walking the almost-empty halls with a laptop and a tape measure, making a list of other students who sat close enough to their sick … Read the rest

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This past March, the NPD Group, which forecasts marketing, said that U.S. sales of e-bikes blew up 145 percent in 2020 vs. 2019. The pandemic is clearly one reason. But besides Peloton making gold on workout fiends stuck at home, the rest of us realized we could range farther (thanks to battery tech that promises at least 50 miles a charge) and arrive without being coated in sweat.

In turn, that growth has meant a niche within e-bikes that’s blowing up now includes more pragmatic, non-sports designs, with fenders and racks, plus room for panniers to carry gear or groceries, so you can ditch the car for at least half your errands. The insider move: Nab one of these bikes and—finally—your athleisure Zoom “workwear” wardrobe makes total sense when you hit the pedals.

 

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I’d love to tell you there’s some particular fault … Read the rest

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India faces a global health crisis as the number of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections reaches over 23.7 million. As India’s health system buckles with increased admissions and a lack of resources, another health threat has emerged.

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Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s government insists the country has low numbers of cases and deaths from the pandemic. A grassroots group is working to reveal the true impact is far worse.

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An exclusive Montana resort wants to turn sewage into snow so that its rich and famous members can ski its slopes in a winter season that’s shrinking because of climate change.


This story also ran on Men’s Health. It can be republished for free.

The Yellowstone Club — a ski and golf resort just north of Yellowstone National Park that counts Bill Gates, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel among its members — has asked the Montana Department of Environmental Quality for a permit to allow it to use wastewater for snowmaking operations on its ski slopes.

About a dozen other ski areas across the U.S. have used wastewater to make artificial snow before, but the Yellowstone Club would be the first in Montana. The technique has also been used in Europe and Australia.

Officials at the club say the program would not only ensure the slopes can open … Read the rest

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As weather warms and the melt begins, it’s time to start getting oriented back outdoors—or at least to find new ways of creating outdoor space beyond the worn winter boundaries of your pandemic bubble. When rounding out your spring camping kit, advances in materials and design are only yielding lighter, higher-performing equipment when ounces count in a pack, or when storage space in your vehicle of choice to get farther from the crowd—whether it be bike, boat, or car—is at a premium. The spring shoulder season also means the flexibility to handle big day-to-night swings in temperature and sudden changes in the weather. Prepare for change with the right gear. Start the longer days of the early camping season with these new 11 key camp items for both backcountry adventures and frontcountry fun.

 

Clean backcountry drinking water is guaranteed with the new MSR Guardian Water Purifier. The Guardian … Read the rest

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A new study led by the Centre for Nutraceuticals in the University of Westminster shows that pink drinks can help to make you run faster and further compared to clear drinks.

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Children as young as 12 can now get Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, but it may be hard to convince some parents to let them. NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly and pediatrician Dr. Sally Goza discuss this hesitancy.

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Olivia Klassen’s face lights up when she talks about summer camp. She loves to do the scavenger hunt with her camp friends. She also loves paddleboarding, swimming in the lake and “kitchen raids.” But what she loves most is being surrounded by kids who, just like her, have Type 1 diabetes — which allows her to focus on having fun instead of being different.


This story also ran on The Washington Post. It can be republished for free.

“Camp is a top priority for me,” Klassen, 13, said of Camp Ho Mita Koda. “I don’t really feel the same without camp. That’s my second family, my home away from home. Being there makes me feel like a normal kid, because everyone is doing the same things I do.”

Camp Ho Mita Koda, in Newbury Township, Ohio, is one of about 300 American summer camps focused on people with … Read the rest

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