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Wildfire smoke and your health: Do you need to worry?

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Wildfires burning in the West

Firefighters look out over a burning hillside as they fight the Blue Ridge Fire in Yorba Linda, California, on Monday, October 26.

Wildfires burning in the West

A man evacuates his home as flames from the Blue Ridge Fire approach in Chino Hills, California, on Tuesday, October 27.

Wildfires burning in the West

Firefighters conduct a backfire operation in Chino Hills on October 27.

Wildfires burning in the West

A firefighter uses a hose as the Silverado Fire approaches near Irvine, California.

Wildfires burning in the West

Firefighter Raymond Vasquez battles the Silverado Fire in Irvine on Monday, October 26.

Wildfires burning in the West

Flames rise from mountain ridges near a farmstead as a wildfire burns near Granby, Colorado, on Thursday, October 22.

Wildfires burning in the West

Evacuees drive through a traffic jam exiting Big Thompson Canyon as the East Troublesome Fire forced residents out of Estes Park, Colorado, on October 22.

Wildfires burning in the West

Structures burned by the Cal-Wood Fire are seen in Boulder County, Colorado, on October 18.

Wildfires burning in the West

Flames from the Cameron Peak Fire, the largest wildfire in Colorado history, work their way along a ridge outside Estes Park on October 16.

Wildfires burning in the West

An airplane drops fire retardant on the Bruder Fire in Redlands, California, on October 15.

Wildfires burning in the West

Wildfires burning in the West

Wildfires burning in the West

A firefighter walks along a path as the Glass Fire burns in Calistoga, California, on October 1.

Wildfires burning in the West

Vehicles burned in the Glass Fire sit outside of a home that survived in Calistoga on September 30.

Wildfires burning in the West

The remains of guest houses smolder at Calistoga Ranch after the Glass Fire passed through on September 30.

Wildfires burning in the West

Firefighter Abraham Garcia signals a water truck in Angwin, California, on September 29.

Wildfires burning in the West

Firefighters watch the Glass Fire slowly creep across a clearing near Calistoga on September 29.

Wildfires burning in the West

Damaged wine barrels sit stacked at the Fairwinds Estate Winery in Calistoga on September 29.

Wildfires burning in the West

The Glass Fire burns in the background as Josh Asbury, an employee of CableCom, installs fiber-optic cable in Calistoga on September 28.

Wildfires burning in the West

Residents of the Oakmont Gardens senior home are transported to safety as the Shady Fire approaches in Santa Rosa on September 28.

Wildfires burning in the West

Cellar worker Jose Juan Perez extinguishes hotspots at Castello di Amorosa, a Calistoga winery that was damaged in the Glass Fire.

Wildfires burning in the West

An officer with Napa County Animal Control rescues a cat after the Glass Fire passed through Napa Valley, California, on September 28.

Wildfires burning in the West

The Glass Fire burns on a Napa County mountainside on September 28.

Wildfires burning in the West

Flames from the Glass Fire consume the Black Rock Inn in St. Helena, California, on September 27.

Wildfires burning in the West

Embers fly from a tree as the Glass Fire burns in St. Helena on September 27.

Wildfires burning in the West

An air tanker drops fire retardant on the Glass Fire, which was burning near the Davis Estates winery in Calistoga on September 27.

Wildfires burning in the West

Cal Fire Capt. Jesse Campbell works to save the Louis Stralla Water Treatment Plant as the Glass Fire burns in St. Helena.

Wildfires burning in the West

A photograph of Charles Morton, a firefighter killed battling the El Dorado Fire, is displayed at a memorial service in San Bernardino, California, on September 25. Morton, 39, was a 14-year veteran of the US Forest Service and a squad boss with the Big Bear Hotshot Crew of the San Bernardino National Forest.

Wildfires burning in the West

An inmate firefighter takes a break while working to contain the Bear Fire in Oroville, California, on September 24.

Wildfires burning in the West

Inmate firefighters extinguish hot spots while working to contain the Bear Fire on September 24.

Wildfires burning in the West

The Bobcat Fire burns near Cedar Springs, California, on September 21.

Wildfires burning in the West

Wildfire smoke rises in Medicine Bow National Forest in southeastern Wyoming on September 21.

Wildfires burning in the West

A deer looks for food in an area burned by the Bobcat Fire in Pearblossom, California.

Wildfires burning in the West

A woman takes photos as the Bobcat Fire burns in Juniper Hills, California, on September 18.

Wildfires burning in the West

Wind whips embers from Joshua trees burned by the Bobcat Fire in Juniper Hills on September 18.

Wildfires burning in the West

Firefighter Kirk McDusky walks past smoke rising from the Brattain Fire in Paisley, Oregon, on September 18.

Wildfires burning in the West

A Juniper Hills home burns during the Bobcat Fire on September 18.

Wildfires burning in the West

A firefighter battles the Bobcat Fire while defending the Mount Wilson observatory in Los Angeles on September 17.

Wildfires burning in the West

Stacey Kahny fixes her hair inside her tent at the evacuation center at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Central Point, Oregon, on September 16. Kahny lived with her parents at a trailer park in Phoenix, Oregon, that was destroyed by fire.

Wildfires burning in the West

A charred yearbook lies in the debris as Fred Skaff and his son Thomas clean up their home in Phoenix, Oregon, on September 16.

Wildfires burning in the West

In this aerial photo taken with a drone, red fire retardant sits on leveled homes in Talent, Oregon, on September 15.

Wildfires burning in the West

A firefighter works at the scene of the Bobcat Fire burning on hillsides near Monrovia, California, on September 15.

Wildfires burning in the West

President Donald Trump listens as California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks about the wildfires during a briefing on September 14.

Wildfires burning in the West

George Coble walks through his destroyed property in Mill City, Oregon, on September 12.

Wildfires burning in the West

The Bobcat Fire burns in Angeles National Forest, north of Monrovia, California, on September 11.

Wildfires burning in the West

Crystal Sparks kisses her 4-year-old twins, Chance and Ryder Sutton, as they escape the Obenchain Fire in Butte Falls, Oregon, on September 11.

Wildfires burning in the West

North Valley Disaster Group member Kari Zeitler and Butte County Animal Control officer Linda Newman bridle up two donkeys wandering along a roadside in Berry Creek, California, on September 11. The donkeys were displaced by the Bear Fire.

Wildfires burning in the West

A firefighter shoots an incendiary device during a back burn to help control the Dolan Fire in Big Sur, California, on September 11.

Wildfires burning in the West

Dora Negrete is consoled by her son Hector Rocha after seeing their destroyed mobile home in Talent, Oregon, on September 10.

Wildfires burning in the West

This aerial photo shows a destroyed mobile-home park in Phoenix, Oregon, on September 10.

Wildfires burning in the West

A street is shrouded by smoke from wildfires in West Linn, Oregon, on September 10.

Wildfires burning in the West

A tanker jet drops fire retardant to slow the Bobcat Fire in the Angeles National Forest north of Monrovia, California, on September 10.

Wildfires burning in the West

Looking up San Francisco’s Columbus Avenue, the Transamerica Pyramid and Salesforce Tower are covered with smoke from nearby wildfires on September 9. This photo was taken in the late morning.

Wildfires burning in the West

Wildfires burning in the West

Wildfire smoke hangs over the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on September 9.

Wildfires burning in the West

Bejhan Razi, a senior building inspector in Mill Valley, California, checks out repairs on a lamp-post clock as the sky is illuminated by nearby wildfires.

Wildfires burning in the West

People stand in Alamo Square Park as smoke hangs over San Francisco on September 9.

Wildfires burning in the West

People stop to take pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge as it is affected from smoke by nearby wildfires on September 9.

Wildfires burning in the West

Firefighters cut defensive lines and light backfires to protect structures in Butte County, California, on September 9.

Wildfires burning in the West

Flames shoot from a home in Butte County.

Wildfires burning in the West

A Pacific Gas and Electric worker looks up at the advancing Creek Fire near Alder Springs, California, on September 8.

Wildfires burning in the West

Lisa Theis unloads the last of her 44 alpacas after she evacuated her ranch in North Fork, California.

Wildfires burning in the West

Flames burn at a home leveled by the Creek Fire in Fresno County, California.

Wildfires burning in the West

A slide is melted at a school playground in Fresno County.

Wildfires burning in the West

Wildfires burning in the West

Firefighter Nick Grinstead battles the Creek Fire in Shaver Lake, California, on September 7.

Wildfires burning in the West

A firefighter in Jamul, California, battles the Valley Fire on September 6.

Wildfires burning in the West

A fire encroaches Japatul Road in Jamul on September 6.

Wildfires burning in the West

Little League baseball players warm up for a game near Dehesa, California, as the Valley Fire burns on September 6.

Wildfires burning in the West

A firefighter watches the advancing Creek Fire in Shaver Lake.

Wildfires burning in the West

A business owner in Shaver Lake walks next to kayaks he rents as smoke from the Creek Fire fills the sky on September 6.

Wildfires burning in the West

Family members comfort each other as the El Dorado Fire moves closer to their home in Yucaipa, California, on September 6.

Wildfires burning in the West

A firefighter sets a controlled burn with a drip torch while fighting the Creek Fire in Shaver Lake.

Wildfires burning in the West

Dozens of evacuees are airlifted to safety on a California National Guard helicopter on September 5. The Creek Fire had left them stranded in a popular camping area in the Sierra National Forest.

Wildfires burning in the West

Firefighters walk in a line in Yucaipa on September 5.

Wildfires burning in the West

Haze and smoke blanket the sky near Naches, Washington, as the Evans Canyon Fire burns on September 3.

Wildfires burning in the West

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, right, listens as Santa Cruz State Park Superintendent Chris Spohrer talks about the fire damage to the Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

Wildfires burning in the West

Randy Hunt packs up his belongings, including his daughter Natasha’s first Pooh bear, left, in case he and his wife Sheli had to evacuate the home they rent in Middletown, California, on August 26.

Wildfires burning in the West

Firefighter Juan Chavarin pulls down a burning tree trunk in Guerneville, California, on August 25.

Wildfires burning in the West

A sign reading “Vaca Strong” adorns a charred hillside in Vacaville, California, on August 24.

Wildfires burning in the West

Austin Giannuzzi cries while embracing relatives at the burned remains of their Vacaville home on August 23.

Wildfires burning in the West

A firefighter looks out from a helicopter while battling the LNU Lightning Complex fires in Lake County, California.

Wildfires burning in the West

Flames from the LNU Lightning Complex fires leap above Butts Canyon Road in Lake County on August 23.

Wildfires burning in the West

Karol Markowski of the South Pasadena Fire Department hoses down hot spots while battling the CZU Lightning Complex fires in Boulder Creek, California, on August 22.

Wildfires burning in the West

A burned-out vehicle is left in front of a destroyed residence as smoke fills the sky in Boulder Creek on August 22.

Wildfires burning in the West

Smoke hangs low in the air at the Big Basin Redwoods State Park as some redwoods burn in Boulder Creek on August 22.

Wildfires burning in the West

A firefighter watches the LNU Lightning Complex fires spread through the Berryessa Estates neighborhood in Napa County on August 21.

Wildfires burning in the West

Veterinary technician Brianna Jeter comforts a llama injured by a fire in Vacaville on August 21. At right, animal control officer Dae Kim prepares to euthanize the llama.

Wildfires burning in the West

Smoke from nearby wildfires hangs over San Francisco on August 21.

Wildfires burning in the West

A firefighter monitors the advance of a fire in Boulder Creek on August 21.

Wildfires burning in the West

Members of the US Forest Service discuss their next moves to battle the Grizzly Creek Fire near Dotsero, Colorado, on August 21.

Wildfires burning in the West

People pack brown-bag lunches at an evacuation center in Santa Cruz, California, on August 21.

Wildfires burning in the West

A smoke plume from the LNU Lightning Complex fires billows over Healdsburg, California, on August 20.

Wildfires burning in the West

A firefighter battles flames in Santa Cruz County, California, on August 20.

Wildfires burning in the West

Only scorched homes and vehicles remain in the Spanish Flat Mobile Villa in Napa County, California, on August 20.

Wildfires burning in the West

Peter Koleckar reacts after seeing multiple homes burned in his neighborhood in Bonny Doon, California, on August 20.

Wildfires burning in the West

A forest burns in Bonny Doon on August 20.

Wildfires burning in the West

A man looks at a tree blocking his way after a fire ravaged Vacaville, California, on August 20.

Wildfires burning in the West

A melted plastic fence lies on the charred ground after fire swept through Vacaville on August 20.

Wildfires burning in the West

Sarah Hawkins searches through rubble after her Vacaville home was destroyed on August 20.

Wildfires burning in the West

Fire crews maintain a backburn to control the River Fire near the Las Palmas neighborhood in Salinas, California, on August 19.

Wildfires burning in the West

Gina Santos cries in her car after evacuating Vacaville on August 19.

Wildfires burning in the West

People herd cows down Pleasants Valley Road in Vacaville on August 19.

Wildfires burning in the West

Flames consume a home in Napa County, California, on August 19.

Wildfires burning in the West

Embers burn along a hillside above Lake Berryessa as the LNU Lightning Complex fires tear through Napa County on August 18. This image was taken with a long exposure.

Wildfires burning in the West

A resident runs into a home to save a dog while flames from the Hennessy Fire close in near Lake Berryessa on August 18.

Wildfires burning in the West

A home burns as the LNU Lightning Complex fires tear through the Spanish Flat community in Napa County on August 18.

Wildfires burning in the West

An air tanker drops retardant on fires in the Spanish Flat community of Napa County on August 18.

Wildfires burning in the West

Flames from the Hennessy Fire consume a cabin at the Nichelini Family Winery in Napa County on August 18.

Wildfires burning in the West

Tony Leonardini works on a spot fire as thunderstorm winds fan the Hennessy Fire in Napa County on August 17.

Wildfires burning in the West

Smoke from the Grizzly Creek Fire is thick in Glenwood Canyon, near Glenwood Springs, Colorado, on August 16.

Wildfires burning in the West

Kathy Mathison looks at the still-smoldering wildfire on August 16 that, just a day before, came within several feet of her home in Bend, Oregon.

Wildfires burning in the West

Firefighters look at smoke and flames rising from the Ranch2 Fire in the San Gabriel Mountains, east of Los Angeles, on August 14.

Wildfires burning in the West

A helicopter makes a water drop over the Ranch2 Fire in Azusa, California, on August 13.

Wildfires burning in the West

A car is charred by the Lake Fire near Lake Hughes, 60 miles north of Los Angeles, on August 13.

Wildfires burning in the West

A couple watches the Ranch2 Fire from a distance on August 13.

Wildfires burning in the West

A firefighter crew works in Lake Hughes on August 13.

Wildfires burning in the West

The Lake Fire burns a home in Angeles National Forest on August 13.

Wildfires burning in the West

Flames and smoke from the Lake Fire rise on Wednesday, August 12.

Wildfires burning in the West

A firefighter works against the Lake Fire on August 12.

Wildfires burning in the West

Firefighters make an escape plan as the Lake Fire burns a hillside on August 12.

Wildfires burning in the West

A tanker makes a drop on the Lake Fire on August 12.

Wildfires burning in the West

A plume of smoke rises from the Lake Fire on August 12.

Wildfires burning in the West

Fire crews battle the Grizzly Creek Fire near Glenwood Springs, Colorado, on August 11.



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Health

Coronavirus may disrupt lives until next year, Fauci says

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“If you’re talking about getting back to a degree of normality which resembles where we were prior to Covid, it’s going to be well into 2021, maybe even towards the end of 2021,” Fauci said Friday.

A vaccine will help, but there are caveats, Fauci said in a series of interviews Friday.

Fauci has said repeatedly that it’s possible at least one of the vaccines being tested could get emergency authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration by the end of this year or early next year. But it won’t be available to everyone immediately.

“By the time you mobilize the distribution of the vaccinations, and you get the majority, or more, of the population vaccinated and protected, that’s likely not going to happen to the mid or end of 2021,” he told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.

One stumbling block — keeping the vaccines cold. Most of the experimental coronavirus vaccines must be kept frozen.

Speaking during a Friends of the Global Fight webinar earlier on Friday, Fauci said, “One of the things that’s always an issue is the cold storage issue, and the ‘cold chain’ that is so often required.”

Debunking nonsense

Plus, people are not always doing what they should do to control the spread of the virus, even now, Fauci said.

“When you’re dealing with a situation that requires behavioral change, we in the United States have a significant issue that I’m very disappointed in,” Fauci said during the webinar.

“It was stunning to me … that in some states and cities and counties, you would see television clips of people crowded indoors at bars, which is a superspreading event if you ever saw it.”

Young people may think they are not going to get dangerously ill, and get careless, Fauci said.

“But what they forget is their societal responsibility to not propagate the outbreak because if they get infected, they’re likely going to infect someone else who then might infect someone who really is vulnerable and will have a serious severe consequence.”

After record low flu season in Australia, US hopes for the same

And people are spreading misinformation, making the virus even harder to fight.

“The one thing that bothers me is the amount of things that aren’t evidence-based, and we’ve seen examples of that in the United States like claims that certain drugs have a great positive effect when there’s no scientific evidence whatsoever that they have a positive effect,” Fauci said.

“And yet it gets ingrained and I and my colleagues have to spend a lot of time trying to debunk that. And you’re in the middle of a pandemic and you’re trying hard to address all the appropriate issues, it is truly a waste of time to have to debunk nonsense.”

Fauci also cautioned that just because coronaviruses are in the spotlight, people should not forget the flu.

“The one thing I’ve learned throughout the years is don’t put anything past the flu — don’t take anything for granted,” he said during the MSNBC interview.

There “a hint of potential good news” when it comes to flu season. In Australia, where the flu season just ended, “They have had the lightest flu season in memory — which most people think is because they’re doing things to prevent SARS-CoV2 infection with masks, distancing, avoiding crowds, outdoor more than indoor. That what they’ve done as a secondary offshoot of that is they brought down the level of influenza cases, very, very low,” he said.

He added that if Americans can do this, he’s optimistic the country will have a light flu season too.



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US coronavirus: Nation could see a ‘very deadly December’ with tens of thousands of coronavirus death to come, model predicts

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A possible scenario sees 415,090 Covid-19 deaths by January, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington says in its latest forecast. The worst-case scenario is 600,000 deaths by January 1.

“When we look ahead into the winter with seasonality kicking in, people becoming clearly less vigilant, you know mask use is down, mobility is up in the nation, you put all those together and we look like we’re going to have a very deadly December ahead of us in terms of toll of coronavirus,” IHME director Dr. Christopher Murray told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

“I really do believe we’re rounding the corner and the vaccines are right there, but not even discussing vaccines and not discussing therapeutics, we’re rounding the corner,” Trump said.

Speaking with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Friday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he does not agree with the President’s statements.

“We’re plateauing at around 40,000 cases a day, and the deaths of around 1,000,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

He said test positivity is increasing in some regions of the country and people are spending more time indoors because of cooler weather.

“That’s not good for a respiratory-borne virus,” he said. “You don’t want to start off already with a baseline that’s so high.”

House Democrats seek information on $250 million contract on coronavirus PR campaign
Fauci’s disagreement with that comment is another example of a top scientist and a member of the White House coronavirus task force publicly disputing the President’s claims about the virus.

“We’re in a very politically-charged atmosphere now and whenever you’re trying to get people all together singing from the same tune and doing the same things as a society, unified against this common enemy — this virus — it’s very difficult to do that when you have such a charged atmosphere that we have right now,” Fauci told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Friday. “And that really is truly unfortunate.”

Fauci warned that the country needs to get the levels down lower “so that when you go into a more precarious situation, like the fall and the winter, you won’t have a situation where you really are at a disadvantage right from the very beginning.”

US may not return to normal until 2021, Fauci says

The US might not return to pre-coronavirus life until the end of next year, Fauci said, but he is cautiously optimistic the US will have a vaccine by the end of this year.

“But it’s not going to be turning a switch off and turning the switch on. It’s going to be gradual and I think it’s going to take several months before we get to the point where we can really feel something that approximates how it was normally before Covid-19,” he said.

There’s also the issue of how many doses of the vaccine will be available and how long it takes to distribute the vaccine.

“It’s going to take several months to get the country safe and vaccinated,” Fauci said.

Nearly 30 US states are reporting downward trends in Covid-19 cases, but the pandemic will likely worsen again, Fauci said.

“We need to hunker down and get through this fall and winter because it’s not going to be easy,” Fauci said.

Fauci says normal life may not be back until the end of 2021
Experts — including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director — have warned the months ahead will be challenging. The US continues to see about 36,000 new cases each day — which is better than August but still too high, Fauci said.

“I keep looking at that curve and I get more depressed and more depressed about the fact that we never really get down to the baseline that I’d like,” he said.

As the weather gets colder, Americans will move indoors more, where the virus spreads more easily.

The coming flu season will complicate diagnoses. The strains on the healthcare system will make for one of the “most difficult times that we experienced in American public health,” CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield has said.

Where we stand now

The actual number of infections could be far greater. Many may have had Covid-19 without knowing, as the CDC projects about 40% of people who are infected don’t show any symptoms.
9/11 and Covid-19: 2 mass trauma events with different recovery challenges
Others could have been sick but never got tested. A new study says the US greatly undercounted Covid-19 cases at the start of the pandemic — missing 90% of them — mostly due to a lack in testing.

Across the US, 28 states are reporting downward trends — including Florida and California — compared to the previous week, and 14 are steady.

Experts worry a surge could come weeks after Labor Day celebrations, like cases soared after the Fourth of July.

An ensemble forecast from the CDC now projects that between 205,000 and 217,000 people in the US will die by October 3.

Medical experts also worry about the upcoming flu season. Fauci told CNN Friday the CDC recommended people getting their flu vaccines by October 31.

White House coronavirus task force focuses on higher education in state reports

“What we’re hoping for — and I hope this happens — is that a combination of people getting vaccinated against the flu and the fact that the very public health measures that they implement to avoid coronavirus will actually help them avoid influenza,” Fauci said.

Fauci also recommended people “hunker down” for the fall and winter, but he says that does not mean shutting down the country again.

“We don’t need to shut down, we can do this if we pull together and abide by relatively simple and understandable public health measures,” Fauci said, adding that the measures include social distancing, wearing masks and avoiding crowds.

Non-symptomatic children can transmit virus, data show

Even children with mild or no symptoms can transmit Covid-19, according to contact tracing data from three Utah child care facilities released Friday.

Researchers said 12 children got Covid-19 in a child care location and transmitted it to at least 12 people outside, including household members.

They analyzed contact tracing data from 184 people with links to three child care centers in Salt Lake County from this April to July.

They found at least two children who had no symptoms not only had caught the virus but passed it to other people, including one mother who was hospitalized. One 8-month-old child spread the virus to both parents.

The researchers say that two of the facility outbreaks began with staff members who had household contacts with the virus.

Overall, children accounted for 13 of the 31 confirmed Covid-19 case linked to the facility, and all of the children had mild or no symptoms.

Infected college students shouldn’t be sent home

Colleges across the country have made face masks a requirement hoping to keep Covid-19 cases down. But just weeks into the first semester, campuses from all 50 states have reported infections.
The psychology behind why some college students break Covid-19 rules

The University of Texas at Austin announced this week three confirmed clusters on campus which collectively account for about 100 cases. San Diego State University confirmed almost 400 infections among students, after announcing a halt on in-person instruction.

And more than 1,300 Arizona State University students have tested positive since August 1.

Colleges and universities should try to isolate infected students instead of sending them home, Fauci has said.

“You send them back to their community, you will in essence be reseeding with individuals who are capable of transmitting infection, many communities throughout the country,” he said earlier this week.

“So it’s much, much better to have the capability to put them in a place where they could comfortably recover.”

CNN’s Ben Tinker, Maggie Fox, Haley Brink, Jen Christensen, Amanda Watts, Lauren Mascarenhas and Shelby Lin Erdman contributed to this report.



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Covid-19 school closings linked to increase in depression and suicide, study finds

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When Covid-19 hit China in January, the Ministry of Education postponed the start of spring semester to late April. That closure separated children from their friends and their broader community network, and seems to have had an impact on their mental well-being.

The study, published Friday in JAMA Network Open, compared reports of mental health problems in November — before the pandemic started — to mid-May, two weeks into the new spring semester when schools had re-opened.

Researchers from Anhui Medical University got results back from surveys for 1,241 students who were in grades 4 through 8, and in junior high. The kids lived in Chizhou, Anhui Province, an area that did not have a large number of Covid-19 cases.

Nearly 25% of the students reported depressive symptoms in May, when only about 19% did in November. Suicide attempts more than doubled — at 6.4% in May compared to the 3% who made suicide attempts in November. There were no similar increases seen in reports of children who reported feeling an increase anxiety.

Researchers hope school leaders will use this research to prepare the necessary mental health services to help children as they return to school following the lockdowns.

This study is consistent with others that have found that enforced social isolation can cause mental health challenges for children.

Benefits of in-person school outweigh virus risks

As states grappled with how to safely reopen schools earlier this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics led a push for students to be physically present in classrooms rather than continue in remote learning for the sake of their well-being.

The group, which represents and guides pediatricians across the country, updated its back-to-school recommendations in June to say evidence shows the academic, mental and physical benefits of in-person learning outweigh the risks from the coronavirus.
Here's what happened when students went to school during the 1918 pandemic
“The AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school,” the group said on its website.

“”The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020. Lengthy time away from school and associated interruption of supportive services often results in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits as well as child and adolescent physical or sexual abuse, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation,” the group said.

What it looked like when schools reopened

This overhaul of the traditional school day become reality in August, as schools in Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Indiana opened their doors for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic abruptly shuttered classrooms across the United States — all while the virus remained largely uncontrolled.

More students and teachers tested positive for Covid-19, some schools were forced to suddenly change plans, while others opted to delay the start of the school year giving educators more time to prepare for in-person classes.

The return to remote learning this fall came with system outages, cyberattacks and other problems

“What we do know is children have a harder time social distancing. And we can’t put a whole bunch of them in a classroom with a teacher right now,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said in an August briefing announcing a delay.

“Other states that have tried to open this new school year are now having to close. We don’t want to start and stop. That may be more difficult on our children,” he said.

Now, many have embraced virtual learning, which has posed its own set of challenges.

Schools across the country have reported system outages, cyberattacks and other issues that prompted some districts to postpone the first day of class.

If you’re experiencing a suicidal crisis, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text line by texting HOME to 741741 to get help.

CNN’s Nicole Chavez, Christina Maxouris and Alicia Lee contributed to this story.



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