The effects of COVID

The changes to our society caused by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down our lives for longer than a year, continue to reverberate.

Public school students appear to have suffered losses considered so great that there is no coming back.

This is evidenced by so many school teachers dropping out of the public school education field, and the need for so many teachers at a time of crying need.

The pandemic ruined the school lives of millions of children across the nation and the world.

Taken away from them were activities, socialization programs and even public and well attended graduations.

Teaching, for many months, was accomplished, if you want to call it that, by zoom or on computers and smaller laptops – hardly the best solution to the problem of moving on during a time when nearly everything public about our lives was shut down.

Nothing replaces the teacher doing their things inside a classroom where everyone can presumably learn in person, every day for years until successful graduation.

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COVID Changed Our World

We are longer than a year past the end of COVID.

Make no mistake, COVID rocked our world.

COVID changed our world.

The United States is a far different place today than when the COVID pandemic shut down our world and sent us inside away from each other.

The colossal impact of shutting down our society in 2020 has not entirely been replaced by a return to normalcy.

Our city’s downtown areas remain largely empty by comparison to the way they were before the pandemic, a dramatic change for which there seems to be no simple antidote.

The unrestrained nature of life seems to have coalesced into something far different than nearly all of us experienced before the pandemic.

We no longer rush to be among thousands of people in crowded downtowns or stadiums or concert venues.

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City Sends Back Unspent $2.3 million COVID Funds Without Explanation

By Paula Sterite and Josh Resnek

The return has returned to the state 2.3 million in COVID emergency funding the city of Everett could have used for a variety of expenditures including school expenses.

City financial records reveal the city wrote a check to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for $2,307,912.85 on June 30, 2022.

The city used some of the total amount it got in COVID emergency funding to pay back the Everett Public Schools for $471,000 of COVID expenses it incurred in 2020, but the payments were made so late in the budgetary process that the School Department never got to use the money.

This raises the question of why the city waited so long to reimburse the city.

In what might be viewed as bureaucratic incompetence or outright political retaliation, the city ultimately refunded the money to the School Department but the refund was too late to be used in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget because the refund arrived after the schools closed their books in 2020.

Unable to spend the money because its books had been closed, the School Department account was swept of the $471,000 by the city and placed into the city’s free cash account.

The result, the School Department is out $471,000 of funding it could have used in a variety of ways in 2021 and 2022 and the city likely used the funds elsewhere.

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Covid To Be With Us For Years; Don’t Let Down Your Guard

A man waits on Broadway. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

By Josh Resnek

With mask mandates being loosened throughout the nation, there comes the make believe belief that the pandemic is at an end, that we are all safe, again, and that our lives can return to normal.

Wrong – according to epidemiologists.

Between February 14-27 the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported 20,938 new cases – so the scourge is hardly at an end – but the end is nearer than it was two months ago.

When does the end finally arrive?

MDPH officials claim COVID-19 is going to be with us for years, that it isn’t going away anytime soon.

At this time, Massachusetts has reported 23,370 deaths since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Total cases reported since the beginning – 1.67 million.

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COVID Seems To Have No End

Third Year In A Disaster for Millions

By Josh Resnek

The big news this snowstorm weekend is that Omicron cases are down but remain abundant – in the many, many millions.

The December and January onslaught has gone from a coast to coast invasion to a lesser invasion, more of an economic inconvenience than anything else, unless you happen to get very sick or in fact, die, from Omicron.

Although the figures have declined, the impact of the COVID-19 variant is causing major headaches for the economy, for the supply chain, for education across the board – from early childhood learning centers to colleges and universities.

All the disruption in the health care industry and in areas of production across the land has led to shortages of all kinds.

Shortages of consumer goods and industrial items like electronic chips, and an increase in consumer spending has led to a sharp price hikes for automobiles, food, clothes, heating fuel — gas and oil — building supplies, and for all kinds of good and services.

The Federal Reserve Board said last week that interest rates are going to be rising to contain the inflation. The more consumers have to pay for goods and services will be affected by the rise in interest rates which will cause consumers to pay more for the money they borrow.

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