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U.S. carries out the first federal execution in 17 years
The execution of Daniel Lewis Lee came over the objection of the victims' family.
9 m
cbsnews.com
The Energy 202: More than a dozen states unite to boost electric trucks
The Democratic-controlled states say they will try to have every new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sold within their borders be electric by 2050.
washingtonpost.com
‘Expecting Amy’ Should Be Required Viewing in All Health Classes
The comedian resented that there hadn't been an open and honest look at pregnancy, so she made one herself.
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How the pandemic scrambled Democrats’ campaign to retake statehouses
Angela Beauchamp fills out an absentee ballot in Garden City, Michigan on May 5. | Paul Sancya/AP Viral videos, virtual 5ks, and mask-making: Local candidates have gotten creative to reach voters. When she decided to run for state representative in the 98th District of Michigan, Democrat Sarah Schulz began putting together a traditional campaign infrastructure. She had unsuccessfully run for the same seat — which represents a portion of northeastern Michigan centered on the city of Midland— in 2018, and had a strategy for winning the traditionally conservative district this fall. So she built a list of volunteers and made plans for door-knocking campaigns and in-person events, the cornerstones of “retail politicking.” But everything changed when the coronavirus pandemic hit. “We had a Zoom meeting the Sunday after the schools started closing, and I said, ‘What are we going to do for our community right now?’” Schulz told Vox. Her idea, she said, was to mobilize her small army of volunteers to assist those most at risk of Covid-19. Up first was establishing a delivery service for folks who were homebound, but it wasn’t long before Schulz realized that, as in much of the United States, personal protective equipment (PPE) was a scarce resource in the 98th District. So she and her volunteers started making homemade masks. “I have about 70 or so folks who are in their homes right now, just making masks. And we’ve provided close to 5,000 masks in our community so far,” Schulz told Vox in mid-April. “First of all, it’s a community service. But from a campaign perspective, it’s like, what we’re doing is showing instead of telling. What does it look like when you have a people-centered leader?” Rachel Woolf for the Washington Post via Getty Images Sarah Schulz at a Women’s Convention in Detroit, Michigan, on October 28, 2017. This is just one example of how candidates are looking for creative ways to campaign in a high-stakes election cycle that offers Democrats a chance not just to retake the White House and Senate, but to take control over statehouses as well. Since 2020 is a census year, whichever party controls the statehouse following the elections will control how districting will work for the next decade. Republicans swept into power in 2010, and subsequently used gerrymandering to stay in power in states like Wisconsin and North Carolina — even in elections in which they won a minority of statewide voters. Democrats hope to use new census data to their advantage, and are counting on candidates like Schulz to do so. The pandemic has complicated the party’s plans, however. State-level candidates who depend on retail campaigning — knocking on doors, meeting voters face to face in their community — have been forced to abandon some of the cornerstones of local campaigning and have thrown themselves into more digital campaigning. “Normally the gold standard is face-to-face interaction to build relationships,” said Kelly Dietrich, CEO and founder of the Democratic Training Committee. “Now you can’t do that gold-standard face to face, but the goal is still the same. You still have to build a relationship with people to convince them to vote for you.” According to Dietrich, state and local campaigns have had to adapt by launching texting initiatives and ramping up phone-calling measures in order to reach voters. Some others, like Schulz and her mask-making operation, have found creative ways to campaign and catch the attention of voters without having to go door to door. Republicans have ramped up their digital operations, too. “State Republicans all over the country are adapting to the challenging circumstances evolving around us — we’re proud of their work and we’re here to help however we can,” said RSLC national press secretary Lenze Morris in a statement to Vox. “We have encouraged candidates to use innovative techniques, including videoconferencing, scheduling tele-town halls, and even bolstering their paid digital content to ensure key messages are still reaching intended audiences. These are uncertain times, but the mission remains the same: win.” Literally running for office in North Carolina Sarah Crawford, a Democrat campaigning for state Senate in North Carolina’s District 18 (which covers parts of Raleigh), is, by her own admission, not the greatest runner. Nonetheless, she says she’s found it to be a wonderful outlet for her energy, as well as a way to connect with family. She started running to spend more time with her dad, who is a runner. In 2017, they ran together in the “Dopey Challenge,” a grueling four-day, 46.8-mile set of races at Disney World. When the pandemic hit, Crawford was forced to abandon her traditional in-person campaigning and fundraising. “We typically host house parties with hors d’oeuvres and beverages and with a special guest ... and of course I go out and knock doors,” she told Vox. But “during this pandemic, all of those things are off the table.” While she was thinking through some ideas for digital campaigning, a new one struck her: a virtual 5-kilometer race. “I’m in a lot of different run groups on Facebook, and everybody was talking about all of the races being canceled. The races that I had signed up for myself were being canceled,” she said. “I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, I could host a 5k. How cool would that be?’” The rules of the race, which she named the “Run, Vote, Win 5k,” were simple: There was no set route, you could go at your own pace, and, most importantly, you could do it while socially distancing. “It’s virtual. You can run it, you can walk it, you can do it on the treadmill. My husband says you can even drive it if you want. I kind of think that’s cheating,” she said. While the race helped Crawford advertise her campaign, it also allowed her to get her message out to folks who maybe weren’t yet paying attention to local politics, especially in the middle of a pandemic. In addition to the race, Crawford has also adapted to doing more digital and phone campaigning. And she notes doing so has allowed for conversations she may not have otherwise had, particularly around the issue of child care: “I’m having really rich conversations about what people are going through and what they’re experiencing and how they’re managing working from home and their children,” she said. Should Crawford win her state Senate race, she’d be one of the five pickups Democrats need to retake the chamber. The party would also need to flip six state House seats to retake control of the statehouse. Flipping 11 seats won’t be easy, but Democrats hope to pull it off this fall. “There is certainly optimism among North Carolina Democrats that the party can continue to build on the gains it made in 2018. For starters, the previously used state-legislative map that was drawn to the advantage of Republicans is no more. The newly drawn map offers a few additional opportunities for Democratic gains in 2020,” Peter Francia, director of the Center for Survey Research and professor of political science at East Carolina University, told Vox in an email. And giving some North Carolina Democrats hope is the fact that,besides the redrawn map, national politics are expected to play a role in the state as well. Trump’s approval rating has been below 50 percent there throughout 2020, and many polls show presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden leading in the presidential race. If those polls hold, Democratic candidates like Crawford may see their campaigns boosted by Biden’s popularity. Despite that, Francia still thinks retaking the statehouse is an uphill battle for Democrats. “Democrats could certainly pick up some more seats in both the State House and State Senate. But can they win big enough to capture a majority? It’s not impossible, but probably unlikely,” he said. Michigan politics has become part of a national battle about Covid-19 Michigan Democrats similarly hope to take full control of their state — but the effort has been complicated not just by the pandemic’s effect of campaigning, but the fact that the state has become a microcosm of the pandemic politics playing out at the national level. Detroit was one of the earliest cities in the US to see an outbreak, and as of July 13, more than 6,000 people have died of Covid-19 statewide — with more than 69,000 confirmed cases overall, according to Michigan state data. Rapidly rising case counts in March led Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) to swiftly implement a statewide lockdown. That lockdown — and Whitmer herself — was protested by armed citizens, who were allowed into the statehouse in April demonstrations. President Trump cheered on the protesters from afar, tweeting encouragement to “Liberate Michigan,” along with several other states led by Democratic governors. LIBERATE MICHIGAN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2020 All that may suggest that Democrats — including one who organized a mask-making operation — face an uphill struggle in their efforts to win the state. But according to Michigan pollster Bernie Porn, president of Epic-MRA, that’s not the case. And those anti-lockdown protesters are a decided minority in the state. “The polling that we did [shows Whitmer] in the 60 to 70 percent [range] in her positive job rating, and she’s even higher in terms of her handling of the coronavirus,” Porn told Vox. But that hasn’t stopped Republicans in the state legislature — including Annette Glenn, Schulz’s opponent — from embracing the spirit of those protests. The Republican-held legislature ultimately voted torevoke Whitmer’s emergency declaration on April 30 as protesters looked on. Republican state legislators are now preparing to sue the governor over her shelter-at-home order, despite a state court ruling Wednesday that said the order was constitutional. Michigan Democrats see a stark divide between what Porn’s polling shows the public wants and what its lawmakers are delivering. They also note that the economic resurgence Republican officials touted in their push to reopen nonessential businesses hasn’t materialized — and they see opportunity in both. Democrats in Michigan need just four seats to pick up the majority in the state House, and six on the Senate side. According to Porn, the presidential election factors heavily into which party controls the Michigan statehouse. According to Epic-MRA’s latest poll of 600 likely voters in Michigan, Biden leads Trump by 14 percentage points (the poll has a 4percentage point margin of error). The presidential election is expected to boost voter participation, and if Biden is able to boost the vote share of down-ballot Democrats — as polls suggest he could do — Porn said, November 3 will be a very good day for Michigan Democrats. “When there is a wave election, it’s a little bit like watching The Poseidon Adventure at that one point where the swell of water is about to envelop the SS Poseidon,” he said. “That’s probably a little bit like a lot of Republican candidates are starting to feel about the polling that they’re hearing about or seeing in their races.” Texas Democrats hope 2020 will be the year the state finally becomes competitive Like her counterparts in North Carolina and Michigan, Texas Democratic state House candidate Elizabeth Beck found her campaign thrown for a loop by the pandemic. She’s running for state representative in House District 97, which is a suburban district covering the southwest portion of Tarrant County, home to Fort Worth. Like Democratic candidates in other states, she had been preparing a traditional campaign before Covid-19 hit, and subsequently was left scrambling for ways to catch voters’ attention in the aftermath of the pandemic. After doing a little brainstorming, she teamed up with several other Democratic women running for office to produce a video based on the makeup brush video meme that had been popular this spring. But instead of showing the women transforming into beauty queens, they ended up in their campaign gear. “You have this campaign that you thought you knew exactly when and where you were going to do things, and all of that’s been upended,” she told Vox. “That has led to some sleepless nights, and one of those nights, I fell down a bit of a rabbit hole on Twitter watching these videos. ... And I thought, ‘That seems kind of fun.’” Woke up early feeling like I just may run for State Representative!!- @Lizzo... Shoutout to my girls running for the #txlege: @AkilahBacy @NataliforTexas @alisafortexas #FlipTheTexasHouse #RunLikeAGirl #StayAtHome pic.twitter.com/h07RhSI3Jc— Elizabeth Beck (@elizabethforTX) April 8, 2020 The tweet went low-key viral and garnered some much-needed early attention for Beck, whose district has gotten steadily more Democratic over the past decade. Many eyes will be on Texas on Election Day this year. Pundits have watched the deep-red state’s shifting demographics and wondered whether it’s a matter of when, not if, Texas finally goes blue. Former US Rep. Beto O’Rourke came closer than any Democrat in recent memory to winning a statewide race in 2018 when he faced off against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, and Biden has held a lead or run close with Trump in many recent polls. Those polls have caught the attention of local political experts. “We used to say in the spirit of Tip O’Neill, ‘All politics are local,’” Texas Christian University political science professor Jim Riddlesperger told Vox. “The truth is that in 2020, in many ways, all politics have become national.” According to Riddlesperger, it’s unlikely though not impossible for Democrats to win the 13 seats they would need to take over the Texas state House. The state Senate is probably more out of reach for Democrats this year, however. The problem for Democrats in the state is that there are simply more Republican voters. But the fact that Texas is competitive is a political statement on its own. “It’s an exciting time to watch Texas politics because you can’t just simply put a red star over Texas as you’ve been able to do since 1980 and say that Texas is irrelevant in national politics,” said Riddlesperger. And as in North Carolina and Michigan, the pandemic is having a very real effect on those state politics: Covid-19 is a very immediate and personal political issue for folks who have had a loved one die or become seriously sick with it, noting case numbers have risen above 264,000, and more than 3,200Texans have died of the disease as of July 13, according to state data. Voters, Riddlesperger said, can’t just ignore that.A recent CBS News/YouGov poll in the state shows that 43 percent of 1,212 likely voters said Trump is doing a “very bad” job of handling the pandemic. State-level Republicans have seen this and have started to break with Trump on the issue. For instance, Texas’s Republican Gov. Greg Abbott instituted a mask mandate for most counties and suggested they may have to roll back their reopening. It’s this sort of reticence to mandate basic protective measures that has many Texas Democrats optimistic about their electoral chances — Beck said she sees it as dissolving the advantage incumbents normally enjoy. “If an incumbent is doing their job right and being a leader and using the position of their office to help people and to ease this burden for folks, I say it would probably be beneficial for an incumbent,” she said. In her district, “I don’t think that that’s necessarily the case.” Support Vox’s explanatory journalism Every day at Vox, we aim to answer your most important questions and provide you, and our audience around the world, with information that has the power to save lives. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. Vox’s work is reaching more people than ever, but our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources — particularly during a pandemic and an economic downturn. Your financial contribution will not constitute a donation, but it will enable our staff to continue to offer free articles, videos, and podcasts at the quality and volume that this moment requires. Please consider making a contribution to Vox today.
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Biden airs first general election ad in Texas
Joe Biden’s presidential campaign launched its first general election ad in Texas on Tuesday, signaling that the campaign views the traditionally red state as competitive for the former vice president come November.
foxnews.com
Daniel Lewis Lee executed for torturing, killing Arkansas family in 1996, first federal execution 17 years
A white supremacist who tortured and killed an Arkansas family-- including an 8-year-old girl-- was executed early Tuesday morning in Indiana.
foxnews.com
Ghislaine Maxwell set to appear in Manhattan federal court today
Ghislaine Maxwell is set to be arraigned Tuesday on charges she conspired with Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse girls more than two decades ago — and will also learn whether she’ll be sprung from jail pending the outcome of her trial. Manhattan federal court Judge Alison Nathan will decide whether to set bail for the...
nypost.com
Tom Bergeron Leaves ‘Dancing with the Stars’ After 15 Years
Longtime co-host Erin Andrews is also leaving as DWTS prepares to "embark on a new creative direction."
nypost.com
Jets need $6.5 million Breshad Perriman gamble to pay off
As the Jets get close to training camp, I am examining the roster and giving you my top 25 players. Each weekday, we will reveal another person on the list, leading right into camp. I am not including rookies on this list because I do not feel it is possible to fully evaluate them before...
nypost.com
White Castle to test out Flippy kitchen robot to cut down on human contact with food
The idea is to reduce human contact with food during the cooking process and comes after many restaurants were crippled due to the pandemic.      
usatoday.com
Future NFL fans will wonder why this name change was so controversial
No more 'Redskins' feels like a big deal now, but soon we'll wonder why it took so long.
washingtonpost.com
Andrew McCarthy: Roger Stone commutation — in political move, judge in case makes this demand of Trump
It wouldn’t be the Trump era if a federal judge simply accepted a lawful presidential action that Trump critics found upsetting.
foxnews.com
The beginning of the end for ever-rising Pentagon budgets
In the long run, the Defense Department is not likely to escape the growing imperative of change.
washingtonpost.com
Radio host loses show after harassing Spanish-speaking workers
Dianna Ploss, who had a show on WSMN in New Hampshire, livestreamed the racist incident on Facebook.
edition.cnn.com
Naya Rivera's body found in Lake Piru, where she was last pictured boating with her 4-year-old son
After several days, 33-year-old actress Naya Rivera's body was found Monday, according to the Ventura County sheriff. The former "Glee" actress is believed to have saved her son before disappearing into the water. Carter Evans reports.
cbsnews.com
U.S. Small-Business Optimism Jumps Higher Than Expected on Strong Sales Outlook
Small business owners are feeling much more optimistic. The Small Business Optimism Index increased 6.2 points in June to 100.6, the National Federation of Independent Business said Tuesday. That beat expectations of 96.7 and was above even the high end
breitbart.com
Half of Hong Kong's new cases can't be traced
edition.cnn.com
Possible breakthrough in Arizona COVID-19 testing efficiency could turn the tide
Testing wait times have hampered Arizona's battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. But a new, easier and faster method may allow the state to test enough people to mitigate and suppress the virus. Mola Lenghi reports.
cbsnews.com
Trump downplays surge in COVID-19 cases, says he "personally" likes Dr. Fauci amid rift
President Trump on Monday claimed that increases in testing were behind the recent surge in coronavirus cases across the country, despite evidence that some states are struggling with testing shortages and delays. He also said he "personally" liked Dr. Anthony Fauci, despite his administration's recent push to discredit the nation's top infectious disease doctor. Weijia Jiang reports.
cbsnews.com
UK bans Huawei from its 5G network in rapid about-face
The United Kingdom has banned Huawei from its 5G telecom network, reversing a January decision to allow the embattled Chinese tech company a limited role in building the country's super-fast wireless infrastructure.
edition.cnn.com
Time for the Ocado Robots to Deliver the Goods
With favorable trading conditions at home and opportunities abroad, Ocado has still its work cut out to meet soaring expectations.
washingtonpost.com
New PAC aims to elect candidates who will focus on policy to end daily gun violence
Our Everyday launched last month with the aim to elect candidates who will work to end daily gun violence.
edition.cnn.com
How problematic is Trump’s Roger Stone commutation? Just ask Barr.
Barr said in his confirmation hearing in the past year that a president couldn't give a pardon in exchange for someone promising not to incriminate them.
washingtonpost.com
UK bans Huawei from its 5G network in rapid about-face
edition.cnn.com
Why the Ghislaine Maxwell case is so shocking to so many
Ghislaine Maxwell, accused of helping Jeffrey Epstein recruit, groom and sexually abuse girls, defies our stereotypes of a perpetrator, experts say.       
usatoday.com
Netflix changed media forever. Can this streamer bring the revolution to Latino audiences?
VIX, a free Spanish language streaming service with ads, has seen significant growth during the pandemic.
latimes.com
COVID-19 shutdown widens NBA title pool beyond the Lakers, Clippers and Bucks
The Lakers, Clippers and Bucks were the clear favorites to win the NBA title in March. One expert says as many as nine teams are now in the title discussion.
latimes.com
Column: A Laurel Canyon property for $39,000? Beware of unsolicited home offers
Some real estate investors specialize in combing public records for homes in desirable areas and making lowball offers for "off-market" purchases.
latimes.com
Views on race relations in state worsen as more whites recognize reality of discrimination, survey shows
White Californians are much more likely than before to say Blacks, Latinos and Asians are discriminated against, and a majority of survey respondents view California race relations as fair or poor.
latimes.com
Despite criticism, LAPD Chief Michel Moore maintains support in political circles
Los Angeles officials have repeatedly ignored a central demand of the activists and protesters who inspired their broader turn away from the status quo in policing: the termination of Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore.
latimes.com
Free produce and less waste: Hundreds fill their bags in a 'Fruit-Share'
Four friends produce a countywide fruit and vegetable exchange. Anyone could donate, and anyone could pick up produce for free.
latimes.com
Latino activists push for solidarity with Black community as they confront racism
Many Latino activists have sought to rally support for Black Lives Matter by emphasizing systemic inequities faced by both Latino and Black communities and recognizing anti-Black attitudes within Latino culture.
latimes.com
Arlington students need a full-time option
Unclear references to teacher and student physical and mental health are not a sufficient explanation.
washingtonpost.com
'It's really devastating': Students feel rites of passage denied as schools stay closed into the fall
For many students, the decision on Monday to postpone the opening of LAUSD schools landed with a dull thud of disappointment.
latimes.com
Column: Protests slow to a crawl, but The Alliance hopes to continue progress
The leaders from the 11 Southern California professional teams are forming The Alliance to merge their considerable resources in an effort to aid underserved Black and Latino children through sports.
latimes.com
Masks offer much more protection against coronavirus than many think
Mask-wearing in public has become an increasingly pressing and politicized issue as the economy reopens and cases surge across the nation.
latimes.com
On July 14 in sports: Ramon Martinez throws no-hitter for Dodgers in 1995
Memorable games and outstanding sports performances on July 14, including Ramon Martinez's no-hitter for the Dodgers in 1995.
latimes.com
Daniel Silva's new book 'The Order' -- Read the first chapter
The new thriller by Daniel Silva features art restorer and legendary spy Gabriel Allon
foxnews.com
How To Build Your Own Backyard Movie Theater For Summer 2020
Check out our recommendations for the best outdoor movie screens, outdoor movie projectors, and inflatable movie screens.
nypost.com
Study: To get enough exercise, try engaging in three different activities a week
Recent research concludes that switching it up leads to more total activity and better overall health.
washingtonpost.com
Money Talks: The couple navigating child care in the pandemic
Christina Animashaun/Getty Images Evan and Sarah are attempting to balance work, child care, and public health concerns as they stare down a long summer. Welcome to Money Talks, a series in which we interview people about their relationship with money, their relationship with each other, and how those relationships inform one another. Evan is a 33-year-old blogger and parenting writer at Dad Fixes Everything. His wife, Sarah, is 31 and is the director of customer strategy and success at a software company. They live in Atlanta, and their annual household income is around $200,000. Evan and Sarah have a 5-year-old daughter and a new baby due in August. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, their daughter went to day care and spent some afternoons with her grandparents. Now Evan and Sarah are trying to balance work, child care, and public health concerns as they navigate an unpredictable summer. As coronavirus cases rise in Georgia, Evan and Sarah have to decide whether they should still send their daughter to day camp next week — and whether they’re going to let her attend kindergarten when schools reopen this fall. Sarah: Georgia is great because it has a state-funded pre-K program, so [prior to the pandemic] our daughter was in pre-K day care from 8 am to 2:15 pm every day. Then we did a combination of after-school activities, Evan doing some afternoon care because his job is flexible, and the grandmas each taking one afternoon. Evan: The state pre-K was free but held at the same private day care we used when our daughter was younger. We paid about $200 per month for her meals, snacks, and other costs there while in pre-K. Sarah: Then her school suddenly closed — it was that Friday [March 13] when everything started happening — and at that point, we went from school plus grandparents and flexible things to just the two of us working from home and taking care of her full time. Evan: It was going to be an unusual summer for us anyway, because our daughter was transitioning out of day care. We had signed her up for some day camps and some week-long camps, hoping to get a little bit of coverage while we were both trying to work over the summer, and the coronavirus lockdown threw a lot of that into uncertainty. Sarah: Georgia’s schools get out really early, so most of the summer camps started at the end of May. Some of the ones that we had signed her up for didn’t go through, like this art camp she was going to be in. She did attend one week-long camp back in the beginning of June; it was a swim camp where they had swim lessons twice a day. She wasn’t swimming yet, so we were like “Do we weigh water safety versus exposure to the virus?” We did end up sending her, and they followed all of the state regulations. Frequent cleaning, no sharing food — Evan: Temperature checks at the door, all of that kind of stuff. Sarah: That went really well, so that gave us a little more confidence. Then, of course, cases started rising, so we’re starting to get a little more uneasy. Next week she is supposed to attend her second camp, and we are currently still thinking — pending what happens over the next week in the state, with some of the cases — we’re still planning on sending her, right now. Evan: We’re always reevaluating, depending on what’s happening, and the camps are doing that too. They won’t really say anything until a couple weeks before things are scheduled to start, and then they’ll make the best call they can. You’re never really quite sure what’s going to happen. Sarah: We’re constantly weighing the risks of exposure and all of that — and I’m pregnant, so that’s a whole other complexity in there. But you can tell, when our daughter hasn’t done something for a while, you can see her mood changing. Leading up to the swim camp, we had a pretty rough week. Then we went to swim camp, and then we had a week where we went to the beach and rented a condo and were isolated there, and it was a change of pace. The two weeks after that were great, and now you can see her starting to get really bored of us again. Evan: Even though the camps are expensive and they make us a little nervous, it’s nice to see our daughter get excited about something. Without camps, we’d be stuck continuing to “trade off” parenting duty throughout the day so each of us could work. It’s tough because Sarah has easily 40-plus hours of work to get done each week and only a handful of productive hours each day to do it. I run my own business and have a lot of flexibility, but it’s been a real struggle to continue growing it without much time to spend. Sarah: Most of the camps she’s in are about $250 to $350 a week, depending on the camp. They were all prepaid, but anything that we paid could be put toward a camp next year [if we decided not to attend]. One swim camp would have let you put the money toward swimming lessons, and the other one said you could put it toward next year’s tuition. Evan: We initially signed up for over $1,000 in summer camp costs. These are camps where we drop her off and we’re trusting she’s in the care of the camp for the whole day, and then we get to go home and try to focus on our work for a few hours. Sarah: Actually, because of Covid, the policies have been stricter. We can’t even walk her in or anything. Someone comes and gets her from our car, does the temperature check, and takes her in. Evan: Pulling up the first day, dropping her off with people we’d never met, not going in and getting her settled — that’s the way they’re doing it now. I just worry that we’re surging ahead with opening everything up, regardless of whether it’s safe. We’re doing the temperature checks and the hand sanitizing, but I worry that it’s not enough. Sarah: Kids and masks, how much can they really enforce kids wearing them? I feel like we have to knowingly take the risk without counting on that protection. Evan: Our daughter actually kind of likes her mask. She thinks it’s exciting. We got her a special one with a unicorn on it, and she wants to wear it. She’s not dreading that she has to put it on every day. Sarah: That’s definitely true. Evan: [Visiting the grandparents]… well, it’s complicated. Sarah: That’s the understatement of the century. Evan: My mom, it’s safe to say, is in the compromised population. She has some health problems, and we don’t really want to expose her. She’s really locked down, so I’m really cautious to bring anything her way. Sarah’s mom works in a health care setting and has been working with Covid patients, so we’re worried about being exposed to what she might be bringing home. We’ve had a lot of conversations about the level of risk that we’re comfortable with, so we can see our family. Sarah: During the first 10 weeks, we were like, “They can come to the driveway and have a socially distanced chat, and that’s it.” Then, like a lot of other people, we’ve gotten worn down somewhat — so we started to reintroduce seeing them. With my mom, she works two nights a week and they’re back to back, so we’ll see her after she’s had a few days of not being at work. She’s a hospice nurse, and they have had a handful of Covid patients. With Evan’s mom, she’s been fine with seeing our daughter right now, but when our daughter goes back to school, we’re going to worry about that as well. Evan: We live in a neighborhood where there are a lot of kids, and the kids run around outside all day together, climb trees, do whatever they want to do without supervision. Sarah and I are not really comfortable with our daughter being outside with other kids, unsupervised and sharing germs, but we go back and forth sometimes. She misses her friends, and she looks out the window and sees them playing — we’ve had some disagreements about it, and we’ve had to weigh the pros and cons a lot. The emotional health of our child versus keeping her safe. Sarah: I think, like with seeing my mom at first, we were on opposite sides of it, but then we talked it through and got to a good conclusion together. Evan: Here’s what we’re in the middle of right now. Our school district decided to punt the decision to parents: “We’re going to start on time. You can keep your kids at home for the semester, or you can send them.” Sarah: Georgia schools start a little earlier than the rest of the country, so August 3 is her first day, if we decide to send her. Two weeks before my due date. Evan: We have to decide within the next week, honestly, whether we’d like to send her to school and expose ourselves to whatever that may bring, before we’re about to go into delivery, or whether we want to keep her home for the semester and deal with a new baby at home while doing virtual learning. We’re really struggling with this decision at this point. Sarah: I have 12 weeks of paid maternity leave, so I’ll be off until the middle of November. Evan works for himself, so he has flexibility — but he still has to run his business. Our daughter hasn’t had any virtual learning yet, so that’s another thing. Evan: I would say she doesn’t love video chat. It’s hard for her to sit down and watch a screen and have a normal, structured conversation. When we visit the grandparents on video, she runs around the house and puts on the silly filters and shows them everything in the house. Sarah: The only time she has a tablet is if we’re going on a long car ride or plane ride. She usually watches something then. She hasn’t done a lot of computer games or online activities or anything like that, so I don’t know how that would go. Evan: I don’t know where the tipping point is. It feels like the cases are going to go up, but they aren’t going to explode to the point where it will be obvious that we shouldn’t send her. Sarah: I don’t know — they are going up quite a bit! Evan: It doesn’t feel like they’re going to go down and we’re going to be able to say, “Everything’s safe now.” Sarah: She’s a super-bright little girl and we really want her to be in a school setting, so I feel like our comfort level with sending her to school will happen a lot sooner, just because of the pros of it, versus some of the other things, like large gatherings or anything like that. I don’t know when I would feel comfortable with a large group gathering. Probably a long time from now. If you have a compelling story about how money comes into play in one of your relationships — whether with a partner, a friend, a sibling, a coworker — we want to hear about it! Email alanna.okun@vox.com and karen.turner@vox.com with a little about yourself. Support Vox’s explanatory journalism Every day at Vox, we aim to answer your most important questions and provide you, and our audience around the world, with information that has the power to save lives. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. Vox’s work is reaching more people than ever, but our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources — particularly during a pandemic and an economic downturn. Your financial contribution will not constitute a donation, but it will enable our staff to continue to offer free articles, videos, and podcasts at the quality and volume that this moment requires. Please consider making a contribution to Vox today.
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