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tv   ABC7 News Getting Answers  ABC  April 18, 2022 3:00pm-3:30pm PDT

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>> building a better bay area, moving forward, finding solutions, this is abc 7 news. >> you're watching getting answers, live on abc seven. everyday we get answers for you in real time. education moore's heating up. florida has talked about sel, that is social and emotional learning. what is it exactly? we will talk with an expert from the institute on social and emotional learning. also, just when you think traveling can't get any worse, more delays this weekend, as
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more passengers take to the sky ns airlines continue to struggle with staffing, will there be other chaos this summer? and what are your rights? first, covid resurgence. philadelphia began reinforcing its reinstated indoor mask mandates. there was a lawsuit from businesses and today a federal court in florida strikes down the biden administrations airplane masking rule, saying the cdc's mask extension for two more weeks was done maliciously and without authority. joining us to discuss the latest is epidemiologist dr. george rutherford. always great to see you. dr. rutherford: great to see you. kristen: a lot has changed, but a lot hasn't changed. you think we're at a point in the battle against covid mask mandates where they are still necessary at a time when cases
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are picking up and hospitalizations are not? what do you think? : i think they are pretty unnecessary now in most of california. there are situations in which people would probably want to wear masks. we shouldn't stop them from doing it. but to move from recommendations or strong recommendations, and requirements, is a different ballgame. right now i'm pretty comfortable with masks being strongly recommended, in certain situations we used to require them and not require them that frequently. kristen: it seems like there is still not total agreement on whether we should care about case counts at all, or only about hospitalizations and deaths. where are you on that? why is there no consensus? dr. rutherford: i think there is
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consensus, not to contradict you. kristen: i love it when you contradict me, but i want to hear why. dr. rutherford: i think that the case counts are becoming increasingly distant from reality, because of home testing . and because omicron doesn't cause lots of symptoms and often is asymptomatic. people are asymptomatic and they are seldom diagnosed with infection. people who are mildly symptomatic may test themselves and not report it. case counts are iffy. i think it can follow the trends in case counts, and those give you a pretty good indication. you also look at proportion of tests that are positive as well as all the hospital parameters you mentioned. kristen: test positivity is creeping up, but i guess what
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i'm seeing is, if the actual number is higher, that suggests there are a lot of cases floating out there, yet hospitalizations are kept really low. does that suggest we have now moved into endemic stage? dr. rutherford: that is one possible explanation. hospitalizations lag a couple of weeks behind peak transmissions. i think for right now, there is transmission going on, there are cases out there, there is infection out there. you know what to do, you can wear masks, you can socially distance, you can get your vaccines and boosters. there are lots of things you can do to not acquire this.
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until we know a lot more about long-term covid, long-hauler syndrome, i think it is prudent not to get this, to try and avoid it at all costs. know more about long haul, for example, that makes me wonder, because a lot of people have mild cases now. could those folks get long covid or serious long covid? are you saying we don't have a verdict on that? dr. rutherford: we don't have a verdict on that. so i think the answer needs to be, maybe. kristen: i get it, it's just that in a new survey, 9% of americans say covid is a serious crisis still, 73% say it is a manageable problem. i wonder if you agree with that. dr. rutherford: i agree with that. i think it is a manageable problem.
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we have to remind people how to manage it, which is to get your vaccines, first and foremost. to stay home if you are sick, to get yourself tested if you are sick, and to be prudent about avoiding large, indoor crowds. if there are guarantees that everyone is vaccinating our people are wearing masks or symptom-free before coming in, that's fine. if you are going into some crowded bar to watch the ballgame on tv and nobody has a mask on and you are standing six inches away from everybody around you, that's a very different situation. those are the sorts of things that i think are probably prudent to investigate. kristen: but that is happening
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on a wide basis. proms are happening, i hear local schools that have an at -- an outbreak after the prom. you might go to a professional awards dinner and three hundred people -- 300 people, one person being masked out of the whole audience there. so in fact, people are doing the kind of things that would expose them and make them susceptible to catch it, but if they are vaccinated and boosted, should they feel that that is ok to do right now? dr. rutherford: i think it is fairly safe to do right now. it depends on what the background transmission rates are. i think right now, given where we are, even though it's bouncing up and down, i think we are in enough shape that if you have been vaccinated and boosted, your risk is going to be as low as we can make it without hermetically sealing you off. kristen: i do know a lot of people who are kind of waiting to get their second booster,
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even older folks. what is your thought on that? people got boosted in november or december the first time, with that have waned by now? dr. rutherford: you've been reading my vaccine card. if you are over 50, i think you should get it, or if you are immunocompromised, i think you absolutely should get a second vaccine. the vaccine will give you a boost for a couple of months. for example i'm going to be traveling and later may, june, and july. i'm probably going to wait until early may to get mine. just so i'm having peak protection in the period of peak exposure, when i am out traveling. there are some timing issues. if you are not traveling in your risk isn't going to change over time, i think you probably should get it sooner than later. kristen: i'm going to follow your timeline, dr. rutherford.
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there is a new study i read that alarms me a little bit. unvaccinated people are unlikely to develop immunity that will protect against other variants. is that true, because if so, that is kind of worrisome, we kind of depend on that immunity from infection as a society. dr. rutherford: i think what they're talking about his prior variants. you can't put the virus in reverse and drive backwards. clearly, the earlier omicron strains protect against the current ba.2 train. what is coming next? we don't know. if we continue to evolve the omicron variant, for instance ba three is floating around, that is ok. if it turns out to be something completely different, like delta or omicron where they are completely different, then how much natural immunity protects,
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how much the vaccine protects, those are variable questions. kristen: dr. george rutherford, always great talking with you. thanks so much for your time today. coming up next, there's another political battle in the classroom, this one over math
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kristen: in the latest political war over education, florida has banned some 15 math textbooks. governor ron desantis said they introduce dangerous and divisive ideas, including critical race theory and sel, that is short for social and emotional learning. critical race theory has been widely reported on, but sel has not gotten much attention, until today.
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yet it is the framework that many area schools have embraced in the last few years. joining us is the executive director and cofounder of the bay area group. telus, what is social and emotional learning? >> it is a great question, and i think the misunderstanding is probably at the root of some of these discussions today. from our perspective at the institute, sel is an approach for teaching and learning that says that we care deeply for our students well-being, for their sense of connection and belonging. as we designed school and do school, we have to put that belief at the heart of all that we do. because we know that unless we get that right, unless we've got our kids showing up to school feeling empowered, feeling a strong sense of themselves, they are not going to do their best in everything they try and learn
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during their days at school. so it's really that belief at the core of things. goes beyond that even further to say that there are skills that we can teach kids, there are very practical, easy to implement skills and practices and tools that kids can learn, just as they do in math or science or other subjects. those are the skills and the tools to empower them to be successful in their learning, but also into their life beyond school. kristen: that's what i want to dive into a little deeper. i know your school and institute help schools around the world adopt the sel framework. give us an example, how does it work when a school does incorporate sel? let's say if the kids are involved in a conflict or situation they cannot resolve, how does it translate into a tool at that moment? >> a great question.
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you can think of this as both proactive and responsive work with kids. we like to make sure that all the schools that we work with our teaching kids the skills of social and emotional learning upfront, productively. so that might be helping them understand and manage their emotions, the big feelings they might have. for example, let's say frustration or anger. those feelings are totally normal and natural for us to have as humans. but let's give tools some kid -- give kids some tools to manage those. if we can help kids understand their feelings, that's halfway to helping them understand. kristen: give me something to do, let's say you hurt my feelings, nick. help me get the words to get my emotions out there to resolve this. nick: absolutely. in the younger grades, first, second, third grade, we are helping kids with their language and the "i" message.
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sharing something like i feel frustrated, or i feel upset when whatever happened. what i need or what i want to be different is this. kristen: and then i would not say like, i want you to go away, or i want you to shut up, i would say what? nick: kids may well say that, because we don't always get that right. often when kids learn this, they will hear that language and it will give them a chance to pause, to reflect, and to acknowledge perhaps what they said might have hurt that person or upset them in some way. if you take it into the older grades, it's really interesting. we will teach the older grades kind of the same skills, we take it to the language of assertive communication that meant -- maybe you and i and many others who are listing will have been trained in. there's a story of a parent who
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came home from work and was telling kids over the dinner table about a course at had been on that day at work about communication and conflict resolution, and mentioning that she had been trained in this assertive communication. her hurt -- her daughter and six grade said mom, we learned that in third grade. it's kind of skills and lifelong success we can teach. kristen: is there data that suggest that this could help in academics or personal success? nick: there is. it's pretty widespread research that's been happening for the last 15 or 20 years. that if you invest in social and emotional learning at schools, kids will do better in their tests, they will be more engaged in their learning and will enjoy learning much more, they will ask better questions. but it goes beyond just academics. he goes into helping with kids mental health. this pandemic has really been
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intense for our young people's mental health. helping kids with their emotional vocabulary and some of these techniques, getting ahead of some of those issues. an improving life satisfaction, a wide range of outcomes that regardless of our views on the world, we can get behind being involved for our kids. kristen: i don't want to dive too deeply into it, but you mentioned the misconception out there as florida is kind of tying sel to critical race theory, the idea that our history of racism here continues to inflict an impact american society in different ways. i guess they're not seeing the connection, are they pointing to some of the issues that have come up with regard to privilege , or perhaps it is gender identification? is it that type of thing? nick: there are a lot of
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questions that maybe don't quite add up when you look at the reality of what sel is and how it is being taught in school. i would say there is a range of what sel is. it's not just one program or approach. there are many different types of sel. our belief it is about empowering kids to understand themselves, understand each other, and in that making good decisions for the world around them. part of that is understanding their identity, but deepening that experience and understanding each other's identities and different perspectives that people might have on topics. but it stays pretty far away from, from my perspective, anything that is pushing a particular agenda. kristen: if you look at some of the viral videos out there these days, it seems like everybody, including adults who are out of school, could use a little more social and emotional learning
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training. nick, thank you so much for explaininge will turn to your institute as a resource to learn more. thank you so much. coming up next, the friendly skies, or unfriendly skies, if you will. numerous flight cancellations, we will dig into what's
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kristen: travel feels like it's back, with passenger levels reaching pre-pandemic levels for the holiday weekend, but flying the friendly skies has never been less friendly, with airline delays or canceling many flights, most recently it was jet blue who went through a travel nightmare. travel analyst joins us. henry, great to have you back. let's start with mask. there was a court ruling out of florida frederick court today that struck down the cdc, the biden administration mandate for public transit.
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and nbc news reported that tsa is no longer going to enforce the mandate. what should we prepare for if i'm jumping on a plane tomorrow? henry: if you're traveling this afternoon, tomorrow, or the next few days, you probably will not need to wear a mask, but my advice is, bring one and be prepared to put it on in case this information changes. there has been seesawing going back and forth since a federal judge in florida issued the ruling. just a few minutes ago, the tsa said they will no longer, for the time being, enforce this mask wearing requirement. so if you're flying, or taking a bus, a train, no masks are required right now. kristen: can individual transit
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system still impose it anyway? henry: that's good question. it is possible for a transit system or an airline, an airport, a bus company, amtrak, to make their own decisions. remember, before we had the biden administration ruling on this, where the tsa said masks must be worn, individual airlines had their own policies about wearing masks. it is pbl se airlines may choose to do this, but to be very honest, and talking with airlines, i don't think they are going to enforce it if the tsa isn't. kristen: i'm just a little afraid that choose your own adventures pat could lead to more battles. i don't want anymore of those viral clips of people yelling at each other on the plane. henry: the good news is, if masks are not required, it becomes a matter of personal choice. if you want to wear a mask, you
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may. however, people who don't want to wear a mask, at least for the time being, will not be forced to do so, and you can't tell them they have to, as another passenger. kristen: thank you for clarifying that, henry. another issue that is plaguing passengers, we've seen so many delays and cancellations, times of them. ontaffing in t pandemic, what i want to know from you is, now what? is this going to get fixed quickly, or is it going to last all summer? henry: the answer to that is yes, and yes. yes, i think things will get better, but yes, we still should expect that things will get better during the summer. you have thunderstorms and hurricanes and all sorts of things that are disruptive to
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air travel. you cannot get around that. but several airlines, including jetblue, american, southwest, and others, are scaling back the flights a plan for the summer. the canceling flights on less popular routes and times so they can have more pilots, more flight attendants, and more airplanes on standby. they want to do that so they can recover faster. kristen: so given the situation, what do you advise people who are planning their summer travel? i'm starting to think of crazy ideas like i should book a supercheap hotel in case i don't get there, maybe i just want to choose the airline that has multiple flights a day going to that destination. henry: one of your ideas is really good, take a look at who has the most flights to your destination, even if it is not an airline you normally fly. because if something goes wrong,
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they have the best ability to help you get where you are going. it may not be nonstop, it could be a connection, but at least they can get you there. if you're traveling for a wedding or christening or bar mitzvah or a cruise, get to your destination at least one day ahead of the event, if not two. i respect everybody's budget and time, but you don't want to miss that event, especially a cruise. once the ship sails, it's really hard to get on it. you have to fly to the connecting port. kristen: we have more ideas to discuss on facebook live. we have to take a break.
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mask mandate. the biden administration's response just in tonight, saying masks no longer required on planes and public transit. also developing tonight, this nor'easter moving in, slamming mhe coming hours. dangerous winds, rain, flooding, in some places, up to a foot of snow. first tonight, that florida judge striking down the mask mandate. the decision comes just days after the cdc extended the mask mandate by two more weeks, given the spike in new covid cases across the country, in at least 34 states. but tonight, despite that spike, the white house statement just in, saying masks no longer required on planes. eva pilgrim


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