BOSTON – Virtual instruction. Mandated masks. Physical distancing. The start of school will look very different this year because of the coronavirus – and that's OK with the vast majority of Americans.
Only about 1 in 10 Americans think daycare centers, preschools or K-12 schools should open this fall without restrictions, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs. Most think mask requirements and other safety measures are necessary to restart in-person instruction, and roughly 3 in 10 say teaching kids in classrooms shouldn't happen at all.
The poll finds only 8% of Americans say K-12 schools should open for normal in-person instruction. Just 14% think they can reopen with minor adjustments, while 46% think major adjustments are needed. Another 31% think instruction should not be in person this fall. It's little different among the parents of school-age children. The poll also shows Americans feel the same about colleges and universities reopening this fall.
US makes deal for Pfizer's vaccine
The Trump administration will pay Pfizer nearly $2 billion for a December delivery of 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine the pharmaceutical company is developing, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced Wednesday.
The U.S. could buy another 500 million doses under the agreement, Azar said.
“Now those would, of course, have to be safe and effective” and approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Azar said during an appearance on Fox News.
Hundreds died in homes in Bolivia
Police in Bolivia's major cities have recovered the bodies of hundreds of suspected victims of the coronavirus from homes, vehicles and, in some instances, the streets. Hospitals are full of COVID-19 patients and short of staff, keeping their gates closed and hanging out signs that say: “There is no space.”
And the Bolivian government says the peak of the outbreak is not expected until August. Some funeral homes have hired extra people to cope with the influx of the dead.
Milder cases may affect lung health
The head of emergencies at the World Health Organization says many people who develop moderate illness from COVID-19 face long-term health issues.
Dr. Michael Ryan says an inflammatory process in air sacs and small blood vessels during coronavirus infection can cause the lungs to take a long time to regain normal function, along with the cardiovascular system.
Fatigue, lower exercise tolerance and lower lung function, including in otherwise healthy young people, can result and take months to fully recover.