Olympians Diagnosed With COVID-19 Will Reportedly Quarantine in Designated Hotel

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Experts call for travel restrictions as COVID-19 cases surge in India

New Delhi — The coronavirus is spreading much faster in India than in any other country in the world, worrying experts about the threat posed to the rest of the world. 

India has been reporting an average of nearly 150,000 new cases daily over the past week. On Tuesday, the country reported nearly 162,000 new infections — slightly lower than an all-time high of 168,912 fresh cases from a day earlier, raising the total number of cases in the country to nearly 13.6 million. 

Experts believe the surge of infections in India poses a threat to other parts of the world because international travel hasn’t been significantly restricted.

“The high infection rate in India is worrying both because it indicates that in the absence of movement restrictions, and with significant vaccination, the virus continues to pose a serious threat,” Dr. Ramanan Laxminarayan, founder and director of the Washington-based Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy told CBS News.   

“But because of India’s size, it is unlikely that the world would be done with Covid unless we are able to stop the epidemic here.” 

India is now only behind the U.S., which has reported more than 31 million cases. Brazil at number three has 13.4 million cases.  

The U.S. and Brazil have been adding an average of around 70,000 new cases daily for the past week — a number that India now doubles. More than 171,000 people in India have died from the virus, 879 of them on Monday. 

Professor K. Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India, explained that if there are no significant travel restrictions, the virus surge is bound to reach other countries.

“We know how the British, Brazilian and other variants of the virus reached other countries… so international travel is of great concern,” Reddy said. 

Another epidemiologist, Dr. Lalit Kant, the former head of epidemiology at the Indian Council of Medical Research, agreed that the surge of COVID-19 cases in India will have a “ripple” effect globally. 

India has taken several steps to curb the surge of the virus, banning gatherings and imposing fines on violations of precautionary measures such as the use of masks and social distancing. More than half of India’s 29 states have either imposed night curfews or enforced weekend lockdowns in parts or across the state.  

India coronavirus
Passengers outside Lokmanya Tilak Terminus railway complex in Mumbai on April 13, 2021.


India’s western state of Maharashtra, home to the country’s financial capital of Mumbai city — the worst affected state — has indicated the possibility of a complete lockdown. A decision is expected later this week. The state has reported more than 3.4 million cases so far, adding about 50,000 new cases daily. 

New Delhi, like many other cities, has shut schools and colleges, restricted gatherings at weddings and funerals, and reduced the number of people allowed in buses, trains, restaurants and cinemas.

However, there is very little possibility of the entire country or major parts of it going into a complete and strict lockdown like the one imposed a year ago that had a negative impact on the country’s economy and jobs

But there have been reports of hundreds of lockdown-anxious migrant workers already leaving big cities like Mumbai and Delhi for their hometowns — much like last year when millions of cash-strapped casual laborers who lost their jobs walked hundreds of miles to their homes: one of the reasons believed to have contributed to the spread of the virus into the country’s interiors.    

Elections and religious festival during the pandemic

While on the one hand the government is actively pushing for precautions and urging people to get vaccinated, on the other hand, it has allowed massive election rallies in several states and permitted large crowds at a Hindu religious festival — for which it has come under criticism. 

Politicians, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and opposition leader Rahul Gandhi, have led dozens of massive election rallies in the past couple of weeks during campaigning for multi-phase state elections in four big Indian states and one federal territory that started last month. Footage of the rallies shown by local TV news outlets showed a blatant disregard for precautions like wearing masks and social distancing. 

“If at all the government was concerned and cared for people, it wouldn’t have held such massive election rallies… There is a big difference in what this government says and what it does,” said Dr. Vikas Bajpai, an assistant professor at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University.

India Hindu Festival
People participate in the ongoing Kumbh Mela festival, in Haridwar, India, on April 12, 2021.


Bajpai highlighted the shortage of hospital beds, vaccines, oxygen cylinders in top Indian cities like Mumbai and New Delhi to argue that the government has failed to scale up its health infrastructure in the past year.  

“I am not even talking about the rural areas of India… clearly, there is a sense of panic,” he said.

The government is also being criticized for not canceling or failing to enforce a COVID-appropriate behavior at Kumbh Mela, a weeks-long Hindu festival held in the northern Indian city of Haridwar.

At least three million people are gathered on the banks of the River Ganges, which is considered holy by Hindus, bathing in it to cleanse themselves of their sins. More than a hundred devotees have tested positive for coronavirus.

The festival is held once every 12 years in one of the four big cities on the river banks: Haridwar, Allahabad, Nasik and Ujjain.

India is approving more vaccines soon 

Amid the surge in coronavirus cases and reports of vaccine shortage, the Indian government is opening doors to all major vaccines being administered globally. 

On Tuesday, the Drugs Controller General of India approved Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine for emergency use. Limited doses of the vaccine are expected to be available in the country by April end. This will be the third vaccine to be used in India. The other two being Oxford-AstraZeneca (being made in India as Covishield) and indigenously produced Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech. 

More than 100 million doses of two vaccines have been administered so far. The government has set itself a target of 250 million vaccinations by July end. 

The government on Tuesday also said it has fast-tracked emergency approvals for foreign-produced vaccines, making it possible for Pfizer, Moderna, and others to become available in India soon. 

“The first 100 beneficiaries of such foreign vaccines shall be assessed for seven days for safety outcomes before it is rolled out for further immunization programme within the country,” said an Indian Health Ministry handout on Tuesday. 

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Tips on how to land a COVID-19 vaccine appointment in Michigan

Asia Parker and Stephen Stocker were shopping recently at a Meijer in Grand Rapids when a store employee asked if they were interested in getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

The husband and wife filled out paperwork and got their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in less than half an hour, they said.

“We were really lucky,” said Parker, 26, of Grand Rapids. “It worked out perfectly.”

Grand Rapids residents Asia Parker, 26, and Steve Stocker, 28, got lucky when they were offered  COVID-19 vaccines recently while shopping at a Meijer store in Grand Rapids at the end of the workday. Their secret? "Maybe just hang around Meijer around 4:45 p.m.?" said Parker. "That’s a good trick."

Others may need more than luck to get the vaccine now that Michigan has expanded vaccine eligibility to residents age 16 and older and as state health department spokeswoman Lynn Sutfin says demand is expected to outpace supply for weeks.

But there are many strategies to getting the vaccine, say those who have landed coveted appointments at retail stores, health systems, health departments and public venues such as the recently opened drive-thru vaccination center at the Lakeside Mall in Sterling Heights.

Secret portals to the ‘lifesaving dose’

Those without access to the internet can dial 2-1-1 for help registering.

Websites like GoodRx are tracking vaccine appointments across the country to help Americans secure doses quickly. Residents can sign up within minutes by inputting their phone number, ZIP code and date of birth to be notified of vaccine appointments near them at pharmacies including CVS.

For an appointment at a Meijer pharmacy, register here. Those who are able to drive to Ford Field in Detroit can sign up here. Vaccinations for people who show up without an appointment are unlikely, said Ford Field spokesman Mike Nowlin. The site is overbooking appointments by 10% to 15% daily to compensate for no-shows rather than relying on walk-ins.

Search through local health departments listed here.

For those unsure of which clinic to attend turn to the Michigan Vaccine Spotter website to find specific brands of vaccine and currently available appointments or enter ZIP codes into VaccineFinder.org and any with an “in stock” checkmark are available to sign up right away.

The Vaccine Angels are a group of internet-savvy volunteers that help Michiganians on their Vaccine Hunters Facebook pages. Three pages cater to Michigan including Detroit Area Vaccine Hunters, West Michigan, and Northern Michigan.

The Angels have made 3,000 appointments for people without internet access or those who were struggling to make an appointment. Request their help here or search through their vaccine resource list by region here. They are mostly focused on residents age 50 and older, but founder Katie Monaghan said, “we will eventually get to everyone on our list.”

Elizabeth Griem, left, of Grosse Pointe with her daughter Aaliyah, 2, and Katie Monaghan of Royal Oak work together on Thursday, March 11, 2021, as they started "vaccine hunters" groups on Facebook and arranged more than 40 "vaccine angels" to serve as satellite volunteers helping seniors acquire expiring doses.

“Michigan is vaccinating people in record numbers and there are still appointments available for those that still need their shot,” Monaghan said. “It’s definitely much easier to secure a COVID-19 vaccine appointment than it was just a short while ago. If anyone over 50 joins our list, we typically call them back later in the day with appointment details.”

The group will be around for as long as it’s needed, Monaghan said, but it is transitioning from helping older residents secure appointments to directing younger, tech-savvy people to resources to make appointments themselves.

Through Save My Shot, residents can sign up for a vaccine appointment at Beaumont, although people have to create a myBeaumont patient chart.

Dr. Jeffrey Fischgrund, chief of Clinical Services at Beaumont Health, said it’s alarming to see its eight hospitals have already surpassed COVID-19 inpatient numbers recorded in November and December, even with the vaccine available to most residents.

There are some people who walk in and “in very rare instances towards the end of the day, we have extra vaccines,” he said. “If you come in the middle of the day all the slots are taken but we’re not going to waste anything we have at the end of the day.”

There are currently 38,000 people on the Beaumont vaccine waitlist, but Fischgrund said he assumes some of them may have already been injected as many people are canceling appointments.

“So if you were to sign up now, you’d probably get a vaccine within a week or two,” Fischgrund said. “It’s much, much better than it was months ago.”

Getting a vaccine is becoming easier as Michigan receives more doses, Fischgrund said, but there are still more people who want the vaccine than there is supply.

“But we will reach a point soon where the hesitancy people are going to be able to get a shot, but choose not to, and that’s a very large concern especially with what’s happening in Michigan currently,” Fischgrund said. “This is our second-biggest surge, we haven’t plateaued yet and the numbers are still going up with over 800 people in our system with COVID.”

Fischgrund’s message for people who don’t yet have an appointment to be vaccinated?  

“Please don’t give up. The vaccine does have a few relatively minor side effects, but the effects of COVID are terrible,” he said. “And as terrible as they are for you, they could be even worse for a family member, so please as soon as possible and as soon as you can, get the vaccine.”

Insight from providers

Choosing the time of day to target an online search is not an exact science. 

“The best advice is to check frequently, check daily and check in the morning,” said Chris Savarese, a spokesman for Rite Aid, which is offering 40,000 doses every week of Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines to customers at 1,900 of its 2,400 stores nationwide. “Ultimately, the morning is the best time. Try as early in the morning as you can and try throughout the day.”

Walmart appointments are available online at Walmart and Sam’s Club websites on a rolling 7-day basis, said spokeswoman Courtney Paulson.

“So, today, you can schedule appointments for Monday through Sunday, April 18. Tomorrow, you’ll be able to schedule appointments for 4/13-4/20, and so on,” she said.

‘Persistence is key’

Persistence is key, say those who have found appointments.

“Like anything in life that is mathematical,” said Dearborn Heights resident Ames Patterson, “the more times you try, the more chances you have for success.”

Patterson and a group of 11 friends decided to devote a full day to getting an appointment to get the vaccine and approached it like a full-time job. They gathered virtually on Facebook at 8 a.m. on a recent morning, coffee in hand, and began looking for appointments.

Some only had a phone to search, others a tablet. But the group was focused as they searched online, made telephone calls and gave each other support with memes throughout the day. By 3 p.m., all had appointments.

“We all increased our odds by working it,” said Patterson, 56. “We worked it like a job, like it really mattered. We decided that we were going to take charge.”

While some sites offer walk-up options, making an appointment improves the chances of getting a shot, said Elizabeth Griem, administrator of Detroit Area Vaccine Hunters group.

“I haven’t heard of much luck just walking up to get a vaccine at a random place,” said Griem. “I have heard of people waiting for hours and at the day and being turned away. I’ve heard of people being accepted, no problem. It’s kind of a crapshoot.”

‘The key is being flexible’

Being flexible is also important, said Clawson resident Liz Parker, who also volunteers with the Detroit Area Vaccine Hunters group.

Parker, 34, said she has helped more than 100 people find appointments. One of her co-workers needed help recently and she found her an appointment in less than an hour at a Kroger store.

“She lives in Oak Park and the appointment is in Grosse Pointe, so that’s not too far,” said Parker. “It’s a little more challenging when people don’t want to travel more than a few miles from their home. Also, a lot of times appointments come up that night or the next day. The key is being flexible.”

Some people are staying up late and checking websites for new appointments at retailers such as Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Rite Aid, Meijer, KrogerWalmart and Snyder Drugs (for Upper Peninsula residents). Others say they are checking in the middle of the night, or throughout the day and constantly hitting refresh. 

Janine Sadaj’s chat with a neighbor walking her dog helped her clinch an appointment. She had signed up at local retailers and health systems but hadn’t had success. Her neighbor asked if she had gotten an appointment and told her she knew the trick: Signing up online for an appointment around midnight at Rite Aid.

Sadaj, 52, was about to retire later that evening when she remembered the tip. She logged on and snatched up one of three future appointments she found shortly after midnight at a store three minutes away from her Rochester Hills home.

“It was so convenient,” said Sadaj. “But I also felt a little guilty because it was that easy. There are so many people around the country having a hard time.”

At the same time, she said she felt relieved while knowing “COVID is still prevalent

Some residents are traveling around the state or making a trek to Ohio to get a vaccine.

Farmington Hills resident Tracey Liphardt drove just under two hours round trip to get the Moderna vaccine last month at a Rite Aid store in Toledo after a co-worker mentioned how easy it was to get an appointment.

Liphardt, 50, said she wasn’t rushing to get the shot because she felt others needed it before she did.

But when she logged on and found an appointment for the next day in Toledo, she grabbed it.

“When you get an opportunity you need, you take it,” Liphardt said.

Taylor resident Steve Kinney wanted to be sure to get his 86-year-old dad, Tom Kinney, vaccinated. He found him an appointment about a month ago at a Rite Aid store in Flint. He picked up his dad in Brighton and drove him to the retailer. 

When Kinney arrived, the pharmacist told him someone had canceled and asked if he also would like to get the vaccine.  

“I said, ‘Yes let’s do it,'” said Kinney, 54, who added that the round trip took just under three hours.

His wife, Tracy Kinney, got vaccinated at a Beaumont hospital and will soon get her second vaccine.

Kinney and his dad went back to Flint on Thursday to get their second shots.

“I just want this pandemic to go away,” said Kinney. “I hope that this will help it. The world is crazy like this.”


Twitter: @kimberkoz

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Bermuda issues stay-at-home order to curb COVID-19 surge

Bermuda issues stay-at-home order to curb COVID-19 surge

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How to Have Pleasurable Safer Sex During COVID-19: 14 Tips

After 12+ months of mumbling “I’m my safest sex partner!” while rubbing one out, you’re probably wondering when you can start having in-person partnered or multi-partnered sex again.

The answer: potentially sooner than you think!

Scroll on to learn more about safer romping in the age of ‘rona.

Before we talk about how to have safer sex during the coronavirus pandemic, we need to talk about what safer sex is.

Typically, safer sex is defined as sex — that’s any meaningful experience of pleasure — that helps reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Common ways of reducing the risk of STI transmission include:

  • using an external condom, internal condom, dental dam, or other barrier method
  • getting regularly tested for STIs
  • exchanging your STI status with your partner(s)
  • taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) if you’re at risk of contracting HIV

The reason it’s known as safer (with the r), and not safe sex, is because no transmission inhibitor is 100 percent effective.

External condoms, for example, aren’t foolproof. Some data shows that, when taking human error into consideration, they’re only 85 percent effective.

Even being screened for STIs isn’t 100 percent effective. This isn’t because the tests are inaccurate — they are accurate — but because most doctors don’t screen for all STIs or don’t screen for all STIs in all possible infection locations.

Many doctors, for example, won’t test for the herpes simplex virus unless you’re currently experiencing an outbreak. In fact, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) actually recommends against it.

Similarly, most doctors don’t ask people if they’ve engaged in oral or anal sex, and they may fail to test for oral or anal STIs.

Gone are the days when safer sex spoke only to the risk of STI transmission.

In the midst of a global pandemic centered around a virus that can be spread through a variety of bodily fluids — respiratory droplets, mucus, semen, fecal matter, and blood — the definition of safer sex has expanded.

These days, safer sex is defined as sex where those involved proactively work to reduce the risk of potential STI and COVID-19 transmission.

Here are some additional precautions to take during the pandemic to reduce your risk of COVID-19 transmission:

  • Get regularly tested for COVID-19.
  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine, and continue to physically distance until you’re considered fully vaccinated.
  • Wear a mask (or two).
  • Stay 6 (or more) feet apart from those outside of your household or pod.
  • Disinfect surfaces that are going to be shared by multiple people.
  • Wash your hands before and after sexual activity.
  • Disinfect any shared sex toys after use.
  • Avoid sexual activities that have a higher risk of infection.

To be very clear: Although STIs and COVID-19 can both be spread during sex, COVID-19 is not classified as an STI.

This means that, even if you get screened for every single STI, you aren’t also getting screened for COVID-19.

The only way to know if you’ve contracted COVID-19 is to take a COVID-19 test.

Part one of safer sex during the COVID-19 pandemic is understanding how the two types of infections work.

How COVID-19 is transmitted

COVID-19 is primarily spread upon contact with respiratory droplets — like sneeze shmutz, cough gook, and spit — from a person with COVID-19 coughing, sneezing, or talking near you.

COVID-19 can also be spread through airborne transmission.

Learn more about how COVID-19 is transmitted by visiting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC websites.

How STIs are transmitted

STIs are primarily transmitted through bodily fluids or direct genital skin-to-skin contact.

Learn more about STI transmission below:

Do you know your current STI or COVID-19 status? Find out before boning.

Find out your COVID-19 status

The only way to know your COVID-19 status is to get tested, eliminate as many potential risks for transmission between the test and results, and receive your results.

Throughout the pandemic, recommendations around whether people who aren’t experiencing symptoms should get tested have varied.

To find if you qualify for a test, and where you can get tested:

  • Google search “COVID-19 testing near me.”
  • Call your local clinic, doctor, or other healthcare professional.
  • Ask your local urgent care, CVS, or Walgreens if they’re currently performing COVID-19 tests.

To learn more about COVID-19 testing, check out the FDA’s Coronavirus Disease Testing Basics or read the below Healthline articles:

Find out your STI status

Knowing your true STI status means getting tested for all STIs.

“Prior to any sexual encounter, it’s recommended that all partners be screened for HIV, hepatitis B, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and herpes,” says Kecia Gaither, MD, a double board certified physician in OB-GYN and maternal fetal medicine and the director of perinatal services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln.

It also means getting screened in all potential areas at risk of being infected. In other words, get tested for oral or anal STIs if you have oral or anal sex.

If you aren’t sure where to go, check out our roundup of STI testing locations available in each state and online.

Your STI status isn’t the only one you need to know before you have partnered or multi-partnered sex.

You also need to know the status of the people you’re bedding.

To introduce the STI conversation, share your status first, recommends Lisa Finn, a sex educator and sexpert with sex toy boutique Babeland.

“Sharing your status and testing protocols will make other people feel more comfortable sharing their status,” she says.

You might say:

  • “Before you come over, I’d love to talk about our STI status. I’ll start: I got tested for gonorrhea, HIV, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis 2 weeks ago and received negative results for everything. HBU?”
  • “Before we meet up, I want to find out my current STI status. I’m going to make an appointment at my local Planned Parenthood or walk-in clinic this week. When were you last tested? Would you be open to doing the same?”
  • “I’m really excited to see you. I want you to know that I’m herpes positive, I’m on antiretrovirals, and I haven’t had an outbreak in 6 months. Let me know if you have any questions.”

Before agreeing to meet up with someone, Gaither says, “You want to find out when their last negative (or positive) COVID-19 test was, if they’re fully vaccinated, if and when they’re planning to get vaccinated, what their safety protocols are, and if they’ve had any recent exposures.”

Gigi Engle, a certified sex coach and the author of “All The F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life,” notes that you might also ask how many people they’re currently dating.

“This is a very serious virus, and it deserves to be treated with seriousness,” she says.

“It’s not unchill to ask someone to help you assess whether they’re going to give you a potentially life threatening infection.” Fair!

Having different COVID-19 protocols may be a dealbreaker, and that’s OK!

“It may be a red flag if someone follows different COVID-19 protocols than you and refuses to adjust to the precautions you’ve requested in order to feel safe,” Engle says.

“It certainly indicates that this person isn’t being safe with their own health, which puts you at even greater risk.”

Ultimately, if you each aren’t fully vaccinated, having in-person sex in the middle of the pandemic with someone outside your household is risky.

But, according to the NYC Health Department, certain acts are safer than others.

According to the NYC Health Department, the safest sex acts during the pandemic include:

  • mutual masturbation
  • glory hole sex
  • masked sex
  • oral sex with a dental dam or external condom
  • anal sex with an external condom or other barrier method

Swapping spit is on the riskier side. Rimming is considered risky, too.

That doesn’t mean you can only do the acts the NYC Health Department approves of.

It just means you should approach other acts with an understanding of the risks.

Over a year into the pandemic, you’re probably a little sick (pun intended) of reading articles that sing the praises of sexting, phone sex, and video banging.

But, as Engle says, “Virtual sex really can be fun and intimate!”

App-controlled sex toys, mood lighting, good WiFi connections, and unlimited messaging can all help.

“We’ll all be vaccinated soon, and life can go back to normal in the near future,” she says. “Right now, [you] need to play it safe, even if you’d prefer to have sex in person.”

It is possible to have in-person (!) partnered and multi-partnered sex in the middle of the pandemic.

It just requires a lot of communication ahead of time about certain things, like COVID-19 protocols, current STI status, boundaries, and more.

Gabrielle Kassel is a New York-based sex and wellness writer and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. She’s become a morning person, tested over 200 vibrators, and eaten, drunk, and brushed with charcoal — all in the name of journalism. In her free time, she can be found reading self-help books and romance novels, bench-pressing, or pole dancing. Follow her on Instagram.

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Covid-19 Global News: Live Updates on Regeneron, Vaccines and Variants

People crowding for outdoor dining at a restaurant in Ann Arbor, Mich., last week.
Credit…Emily Elconin/Reuters

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday that Michigan needed to enact shutdown measures in response to its worst-in-the-nation surge of coronavirus infections, rebuffing efforts by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to secure an extra supply of vaccine doses.

“The answer is not necessarily to give vaccine,” the director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said at a White House news conference. “The answer to that is to really close things down, to go back to our basics, to go back to where we were last spring, last summer, and to shut things down, to flatten the curve, to decrease contact with one another, to test to the extent that we have available to contact trace.”

The comments put the Biden administration in direct contradiction with the governor, a strong ally of the president, who has recently resisted ordering more restrictive measures in her state after facing intense political blowback over previous moves to shut down businesses and schools. Last week, Ms. Whitmer asked residents of the state to take more “personal responsibility” to slow the outbreak, a position that satisfied Republicans in the state who had been fierce critics of her handling of the pandemic.

“Policy change alone won’t change the tide,” Ms. Whitmer said on Friday, as she asked — but did not order — that the public take a two-week break from indoor dining, in-person high school and youth sports. “We need everyone to step up.”

During previous surges in Michigan, Ms. Whitmer shut down businesses and schools as she saw fit, drawing intense protest from Republicans in the state, who viewed her as an avatar of government overreach. The state still has a mask mandate in place and strict capacity limits on a number of activities.

Dr. Walensky said on Monday that because it takes weeks for full protection for vaccines to kick in, the effects of sending extra vaccines to the state would take time and not be the most practical approach to containing spread. Someone is not considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after the second dose of the vaccines made by Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, or the single-dose shot made by Johnson & Johnson.

“I think if we tried to vaccinate our way out of what is happening in Michigan we would be disappointed that it took so long for the vaccine to work, to actually have the impact,” she said. “Similarly, we need that vaccine in other places. If we vaccinate today, we will have, you know, impact in six weeks, and we don’t know where the next place is going to be that is going to surge.”

Ms. Whitmer has pleaded with the White House to send extra doses, even as her state has used just 78 percent of those delivered so far, according data reported by the C.D.C. She said on the CBS program “Face the Nation” on Sunday that the White House should reconsider its refusal to alter its distribution plan — currently based on population — so that localities that face flare-ups could get extra doses.

“I made the case for a surge strategy. At this point that’s not being deployed, but I am not giving up,” Ms. Whitmer said last week, describing a Thursday evening call with the president. “Today it’s Michigan and the Midwest. Tomorrow it could be another section of our country.”

Ms. Whitmer has emphasized demand for Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine, which will be extremely limited until federal regulators approve production at a Baltimore manufacturing plant that recently contaminated up to 15 million doses in a factory mixup.

Andy Slavitt, a White House pandemic adviser, said on Monday that instead of playing “whack-a-mole” with vaccines, the federal government was working to help Michigan more efficiently administer the doses it has now and “rebalance” its supply.

“We know there are appointments available in various parts of the state, and so that means that we have excess vaccine in some parts of the state,” he said.

Mr. Slavitt said that the federal administration had also offered to send Michigan extra supplies of monoclonal antibody treatments and testing, and that there was a team from the C.D.C. in the state, in addition to 140 new vaccinators from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Elizabeth Hertel, the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said last week that she was optimistic that the continued rollout of vaccines and the governor’s new recommendations would help bring case numbers down. But if that did not happen, she said, more restrictions were possible.

Scientists working at a Regeneron facility in New York State in 2020.
Credit…Regeneron, via Associated Press

A monoclonal antibody cocktail developed by the drug maker Regeneron offered strong protection against Covid-19 when given to people living with someone infected with the coronavirus, according to clinical trial results announced on Monday. The drug, if authorized, could offer another line of defense against the disease for people who are not protected by vaccination.

The findings are the latest evidence that such lab-made drugs not only prevent the worst outcomes of the disease when given early enough, but also help prevent people from getting sick in the first place.

Using the cumbersome drugs preventively on a large scale won’t be necessary: Vaccines are sufficient for the vast majority of people and are increasingly available.

Still, antibody drugs like Regeneron’s could give doctors a new way to protect high-risk people who haven’t been inoculated or who may not respond well to vaccination, such as those taking drugs that weaken their immune system. That could be an important tool as rising coronavirus cases and dangerous virus variants threaten to outpace vaccinations.

Regeneron said in a news release that it would ask the Food and Drug Administration to expand the drug’s emergency authorization — currently for high-risk people who already have Covid but are not hospitalized — to allow it to be given for preventive purposes in “appropriate populations.”

There’s “a very substantial number of people” in the United States and globally who could be a good fit to receive these drugs for preventive purposes, said Dr. Myron Cohen, a University of North Carolina researcher who leads monoclonal antibody efforts for the Covid Prevention Network, a National Institutes of Health-sponsored initiative that helped to oversee the trial.

“Not everyone’s going to take a vaccine, no matter what we do, and not everyone’s going to respond to a vaccine,” Dr. Cohen said.

Regeneron’s new data come from a clinical trial that enrolled more than 1,500 people who lived in the same household as someone who had tested positive for the virus within four days. Those who got an injection of Regeneron’s drug were 81 percent less likely to get sick with Covid compared to volunteers who got a placebo.

Dr. Rajesh Gandhi, an infectious diseases physician at Massachusetts General Hospital who was an investigator for the study, said the data were “promising” for people who have not yet been vaccinated. (An earlier version of this item incorrectly said that Dr. Gandhi was not involved in the study.)

Even so, he said, the study did not enroll the type of patients that would be needed to assess whether the drug should be used preventively for immunocompromised patients. “I would say we don’t yet know that,” Dr. Gandhi said.

Regeneron’s cocktail, a combination of two drugs designed to mimic the antibodies generated naturally when the immune system fends off the virus, got a publicity boost last fall when it was given to President Donald J. Trump after he got sick with Covid.

The treatment received emergency authorization in November. Doctors are using it, as well as another antibody cocktail from Eli Lilly, for high-risk Covid patients.

But use of the antibody drugs has been slowed not by a shortage of doses, but by other challenges, though access has improved in recent months. Many patients don’t know to ask for the drugs or where to find them.

Many hospitals and clinics have not made the treatments a priority because they have been time-consuming and difficult to administer, in large part because they must be given via intravenous infusion. Regeneron plans to ask the F.D.A. to allow its drug to be given via an injection, as it was administered in the results of the study announced on Monday, which would allow it to be given more quickly and easily.

Students lining up to enter Clara Barton High School in Crown Heights last month.
Credit…Anna Watts for The New York Times

Starting later this month, about 51,000 New York City public school students who have been learning remotely for the past year will be able to return to classrooms, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday, including middle and high school students.

The announcement marks one of the most significant changes prompted by last month’s guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that schools could reduce social distancing between students in classrooms to three feet from six. For now, only elementary schools will switch to three feet.

Students in all grades who signed up for in-person classes over the last several weeks will be able to return starting April 26, Mr. de Blasio said. Previously, the city had committed only to bringing back elementary school students who wanted to switch to in-person classes.

Though a large number of families are eager for their children to return to classrooms, the families of about 650,000 of the city’s roughly 1 million students have decided to have them continue learning from home through the end of the school year in June. The families have made that choice even though the city schools have had very low transmission, and tens of thousands of educators are fully vaccinated. Last week, the city also eased a school closure rule that had led to frequent temporary closures, which frustrated many parents.

It is difficult to generalize why hundreds of thousands of families have chosen to keep their children home. Some parents may prefer a remote schedule for the next few months for the sake of consistency. Other families have expressed concern about stubbornly high test positivity rates in New York City. Some parents of high school students in particular are concerned that their students would be learning from their laptops even in classrooms.

Mr. de Blasio has said he expects most schools to offer full-time instruction for all or most students for the final months of the school year, though some children will still be able to attend in person only for a few days a week. The mayor said the school system would be operating at full capacity come September, with all students able to attend school full-time.

John F. Kennedy Airport in New York in January.
Credit…Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York will no longer require international travelers arriving in the state to quarantine though it continues to recommend they do so, according to new guidance released by the Health Department.

The change was intended to bring the state in line with travel recommendations issued earlier this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In that guidance for international and domestic travel, the C.D.C. said that people fully vaccinated against the coronavirus could travel safely “at low risk to themselves” but should still follow health precautions in public such as wearing masks. Federal health officials also said that they preferred all people avoid travel while the threat of the virus remained so high in the United States. The C.D.C. also cited a lack of vaccine coverage in other countries, and concern about the potential introduction and spread of new variants of the virus that are more prevalent overseas.

The C.D.C. currently requires all international travelers arriving in the United States to show proof of a recent negative test result before boarding their flights. When fully vaccinated Americans travel abroad, they only need to get a coronavirus test or quarantine if the country they are going to requires it. However, the guidance says they must have a negative coronavirus test before boarding a flight back to the United States, and they should get tested again three to five days after their return.

New York health officials said in their guidance, released Saturday, that they still recommend all international travelers get tested three to five days after arriving in the state.

They also suggested that unvaccinated travelers should self-quarantine for as many as 10 days and avoid people at risk of serious illness from the virus for two weeks.

The new international guidance came after the state also ended its requirement that domestic travelers to New York quarantine upon arrival. At the time, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo traced the decision to the pace of vaccinations and a decline in virus figures across the state, though the state was adding new cases at a higher rate than the country as a whole.

As of Sunday, the state’s average daily positive test rate over the previous week was at 3.27 percent. Virus-related hospitalizations were at 4,083, their lowest number since Dec. 2, according to Mr. Cuomo’s office.

According to a New York Times database, New York State is adding new virus cases at the fifth-highest rate in the country. As of Sunday, the state was reporting an average of 37 new virus cases a day for every 100,000 residents over the last week. The nation as a whole was averaging 21 new cases per 100,000 people.

Decorating the exterior of an Italian restaurant in London on Sunday. Pubs and restaurants were permitted to reopen outdoor spaces on Monday.
Credit…Andrew Testa for The New York Times

Britain reopened large parts of its economy on Monday, allowing people in England back in shops, hair salons and outdoor areas of pubs and restaurants, a long-awaited milestone after three months of lockdown, and a day after the country recorded its lowest daily coronavirus death toll since September.

Under the second stage of the government’s gradual reopening, libraries, community centers and some outdoor attractions like zoos will also return, though outdoor gatherings remain limited to six people or two households.

For many in England, the return was a hopeful — if not definitive — sign that the worst of the pandemic was behind them, after a new variant of the virus detected last year in the country’s southeast spun out of control around Christmas, overwhelming hospitals and causing tens of thousands of deaths.

At its winter peak, Britain reported as many as 60,000 daily cases a day and 1,820 daily deaths, according to a New York Times database. But after months of restrictions and an aggressive vaccination program that has offered a dose to about half of Britain’s population, those figures declined to 1,730 daily cases and seven deaths reported on Sunday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has so far gone ahead with the gradual easing of measures that he had announced, reopening schools on March 8, reducing restrictions on outdoor gatherings on March 29, and allowing large parts of the economy to reopen on Monday.

Mr. Johnson said on Monday that the reopening was “a major step forward in our road map to freedom.” Still, he urged caution.

“I urge everyone to continue to behave responsibly and remember ‘hands, face, space and fresh air’ to suppress Covid,” he said.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, where devolved governments are responsible for coronavirus restrictions, have laid out similar plans to reopen their economies.

The apparent success represents a turnaround for Mr. Johnson’s government, which struggled to stem cases earlier in the pandemic and at one point reported the greatest rate of excess deaths in Europe.

But now E.U. countries — hampered by a vaccine rollout slower than Britain’s and a scare over a possible links between the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots — are facing a third wave of coronavirus infections. France, Italy and other countries have recently imposed new lockdown measures.

In England, business owners reopened on Monday with hope — and some anxiety that the numbers of infections could go up again. Still, “we’re looking confident we won’t be seeing anything like that again,” said Nicholas Hair, the owner of The Kentish Belle, a London pub that opened its doors to patrons one minute after midnight.

Global Roundup

Devotees in the Ganges River during Kumbh Mela, or pitcher festival, one of the most sacred pilgrimages in Hinduism, in Haridwar, northern state of Uttarakhand, India, on Monday.
Credit…Karma Sonam/Associated Press

Even as India hit a record for daily coronavirus infections, and its total caseload rose to second in the world behind the United States, the images that dominated Indian news media on Monday were of a crowded religious festival along the banks of the Ganges River.

The dissonance was a clear manifestation of the confusing messages sent by the authorities just as India’s coronavirus epidemic is spiraling, with a daily high of 168,000 cases and 900 deaths reported on Monday.

Yet millions of devotees have thronged the holy city of Haridwar for the monthlong Kumbh Mela, or pitcher festival, when Hindu pilgrims seek absolution by bathing in the Ganges. Officials have said that about one million people will participate every day, and as many as five million during the most auspicious days, all crowded into a narrow stretch along the river and searching for the holiest spot to take a dip.

Already, fears are running high that one of the most sacred pilgrimages in Hinduism could turn into a superspreading event.

Dr. S. K. Jha, a local health officer, said that an average of about 250 new cases had been registered each day recently. Experts have warned that many more infections are going unrecorded, and that devotees could unwittingly carry the virus with them as they return to their homes across the country.

India is in the grip of the world’s fastest growing outbreak, with more and more jurisdictions going back into varying stages of lockdown. Infections are spreading particularly fast in Mumbai, the country’s financial hub, and the surrounding state of Maharashtra, where the government has announced a partial weekday lockdown and near-total closure over the weekends.

The situation is also worsening in the capital, New Delhi, which reported more than 10,000 new cases on Sunday, surpassing the previous daily high of nearly 8,500. The state government has imposed a curfew and ordered restaurants and public transport systems to run at half capacity. Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi’s top official, has said more restrictions may follow.

Hospitals in several states are reporting shortages of oxygen, ventilators and coronavirus testing kits, and some are also running low on remdesivir, a drug used in serious Covid-19 cases. India has halted the export of remdesivir until the situation improves.

India is also trying to ramp up its vaccination drive, with about three million people being inoculated daily and 104 million doses administered so far. But with many vaccination centers nationwide expressing concern over possible shortages, India’s large pharmaceutical industry has sharply reduced its exports of the AstraZeneca vaccine in order to keep more doses at home, creating serious challenges for other countries that had been relying on those shipments.

On Monday, Indian experts recommended the use of Russia’s Sputnik-V coronavirus vaccine, which would become the third available in the country if approved by the authorities.

After months of lower-than-expected infections and deaths from the virus, critics say Indian officials have sent dissonant messages about the seriousness of the crisis. Police officers are enforcing curfew and mask rules, sometimes resorting to beatings captured on videos shared across social media. But senior political leaders, including the prime minister, Narendra Modi, have been holding large rallies for local elections.

Mr. Modi’s Hindu nationalist government has also allowed the religious festival to proceed — in contrast to what happened last spring, at the start of the pandemic, when India’s health ministry blamed an Islamic seminary for fanning a far smaller outbreak. Critics say rhetoric from members of Mr. Modi’s party contributed to a spate of attacks against Muslims, a minority of about 200 million people in a Hindu-dominated country of 1.3 billion.

In other news around the world:

  • Bangladesh has announced a weeklong lockdown, closing offices, factories and transport services starting Wednesday, and banning domestic and international flights. The country is facing its severest coronavirus outbreak so far, averaging nearly 7,000 daily new infections, according to a New York Times database, as the virus sweeps across South Asia.

  • In France, all people over 55 are eligible to receive the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines starting Monday, as the authorities try to ramp up their vaccination campaign after a sluggish start. Health Minister Olivier Véran said on Sunday that France would also extend the period between the first and second shots of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to six weeks from four, echoing Britain’s strategy. Over 14 million people have received a first injection.

  • High schools reopened in Greece on Monday after five months closed. The reopening only applies to senior high-school classes, and pupils and teachers will have to take a virus test twice a week before returning to classrooms. Thousands did so at home on Sunday, with just 613 positives out of some 380,000, a rate of 0.16 percent, according to state television. Stores in the country reopened last week.

  • The world’s wealthy nations should commit $30 billion to a global mass vaccination campaign, Gordon Brown, a former prime minister of Britain, said on Monday. Lower-income countries’ inoculation efforts are trailing far behind richer nations’ and the divide has led to allegations of a “vaccine apartheid,” Mr. Brown warned in an op-ed for The Guardian. “The costs may still be in billions, but the benefit will be in trillions,” he wrote.

Anna Schaverien, Constant Méheut and Niki Kitsantonis contributed reporting.

A QR code in a London cafe, for use with the British government’s contact tracing app.
Credit…Neil Hall/EPA, via Shutterstock

An update to the contact tracing app used in England and Wales has been blocked from release by Apple and Google because of privacy concerns, renewing a feud between the British government and the two tech giants about how smartphones can be used to track Covid-19 cases.

In an attempt to trace possible infections, the update to the app would have allowed a person who tests positive for the virus to upload a list of restaurants, shops and other venues they recently visited, data that would be used by health officials for contact tracing. But collecting such location information violates the terms of service that Google and Apple forced governments to agree to in exchange for making contact tracing apps available on their app stores.

The dispute, first reported by the BBC, highlights the supernational role that Apple and Google have played responding to the virus. The companies, which control the software of nearly every smartphone in the world, have forced governments to design contact tracing apps to their privacy specifications, or risk not having the tracking apps made available to the public. The gatekeeper role has frustrated policymakers in Britain, France and elsewhere, who have argued those public health decisions are for governments, not private companies to make.

The release of the app update was to coincide with England’s relaxation of lockdown rules. On Monday, the country began loosening months of Covid-related restrictions, allowing nonessential shops to reopen, and pubs and restaurants to serve customers outdoors.

An older version of the contact tracing app continues to work, but the data is stored on a person’s device, rather than being kept in a centralized database.

To use the app, visitors to a store or restaurant take a photo of a poster with a QR code displayed in the business, and the software keeps a record of the visit in case someone at the same location later tests positive.

Apple and Google are blocking the update that would let people upload the history of the locations they have checked into directly to health authorities.

The Department of Health and Social Care said it is in discussions with Apple and Google to “provide beneficial updates to the app which protect the public.”

Apple and Google declined to comment.

The positivity rate for Covid tests in Gaza has been running very high, a sign of rapid community spread. A health worker collected a nasal swab sample from a man in Gaza City on Monday.
Credit…Mohammed Abed/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Severe and critical cases of Covid-19 have hit record highs this week in the blockaded Gaza Strip, a development that health experts attributed to the proliferation of the highly transmissible coronavirus variant first identified in Britain.

Medical officials in the Hamas-run Health Ministry estimated that the variant now accounts for four out of five new cases in Gaza. They detected it in the densely populated territory for the first time in late March.

“We are in a dangerous place,” said Dr. Majdi Dhair, the director of the ministry’s preventive medicine department. “We expect more people to become infected and more people to enter hospitals. We ask God to pull us out of this situation.”

Over the past three weeks, severe cases — typically when a patient’s oxygen level falls to 94 percent or less — have risen to 219 from 58, according to ministry data. Critical cases, which can involve respiratory failure, septic shock or multiple organ dysfunction, jumped to 58 from 17.

On top of that, the ministry said on Monday that about 38 percent of the 4,700 virus test results it had received over the preceding 24 hours were positive — one of the highest rates in the past month.

Dr. Dhair said he believed that hospitals in Gaza were prepared to handle more severe and critical cases, but that they would probably have to postpone some surgical procedures to free up intensive care beds.

Devastated by years of conflict, Gaza’s hospitals were already dealing with challenging circumstances before the first cases of community transmission of the virus were discovered in the territory in August.

Gaza’s population is overwhelmingly young, and less than 1 percent of residents have been vaccinated so far.

The sharp rise in severe and critical cases has come just before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins on Tuesday. Traditionally during Ramadan, many Palestinians in Gaza would gather for large meals after sunset, pack streets in popular commercial districts and crowd into mosques for special evening prayers. But a number of those traditions will be prohibited this year because of the pandemic, the authorities said.

A vaccination center at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, Australia, last month.
Credit…James Ross/EPA, via Shutterstock

Australia has given up on the goal of vaccinating its entire population against Covid-19 by the end of the year, following updated advice from health officials that younger people should not receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, as well as delays in the delivery of doses.

The Australian government said last week that it had accepted a recommendation by a panel of health experts that people under 50 receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine instead of the one developed by AstraZeneca, which had been the centerpiece of Australia’s vaccination program. The change in guidance came after European regulators found links between the AstraZeneca vaccine and rare blood clots, prompting several countries to restrict use of the shot.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday that the government had ordered another 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, doubling what it had already purchased. But they are not expected to be available until the fourth quarter of this year, dealing a blow to the government’s previously stated goal of inoculating all of its 25 million people by then.

Mr. Morrison appeared to acknowledge the change in timeline in a Facebook post on Sunday.

“The government has also not set, nor has any plans to set any new targets for completing first doses,” Mr. Morrison said. “While we would like to see these doses completed before the end of the year, it is not possible to set such targets given the many uncertainties involved.”

Public health experts have criticized Mr. Morrison’s government for relying too heavily on the AstraZeneca vaccine, a relatively cheap and easy-to-use shot but one whose troubles have jeopardized inoculation efforts in multiple countries. They said the setback to Australia’s vaccination program risked undermining the country’s success in containing the spread of the coronavirus since recording its first case in January 2020.

“We’re in a position a year later where that hard-won success is jeopardized by a completely incompetent approach to a vaccine rollout,” said Bill Bowtell, a public health policy expert and adjunct professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

Australia has made four separate agreements for the supply of Covid-19 vaccines that would give it a total of 170 million doses, enough to inoculate its population more than three times over. Plans to manufacture almost all of its 54 million AstraZeneca doses domestically were approved last month.

But the Australian government has been under fire for weeks over the sluggish pace of its vaccination rollout, which began in late February. By the end of March, when the government had aimed to vaccinate four million people, only about 600,000 had actually been inoculated. As of Sunday, Australia had administered fewer than 1.2 million doses.

Australian officials have attributed the slow rollout to delays in the delivery of millions of vaccine doses manufactured in the European Union, which has curbed exports amid its own supply shortages. The export restrictions mainly affect the AstraZeneca vaccine.

After enduring strict lockdowns for much of the past year, Australians are now enjoying relatively normal life in a country that has all but stamped out the virus. But public health experts warn that until more of the population is vaccinated, those freedoms are precarious.

“Having eliminated Covid, they thought a mass vaccination campaign would lock that in,” Mr. Bowtell said of the Australian public. “Now they are being deeply disillusioned.”

Covid-19 vaccinations at a monastery in Bangkok this month.
Credit…Adam Dean for The New York Times

Thailand is facing its worst coronavirus outbreak just as millions of people head to their home provinces during the country’s biggest travel holiday.

The latest wave of infections, which has sent at least eight cabinet members into isolation, is centered in a Bangkok nightlife district said to be popular with government officials and wealthy partygoers. The country, which until now has largely kept the virus under control, set a record Monday for new daily cases with 985.

One top health official warned that Thailand could soon face as many as 28,000 new cases a day in the worst-case scenario. The government announced it would set up field hospitals as Covid-19 wards at existing facilities begin to fill up.

Officials ordered the closure of hundreds of bars and nightclubs, but critics say the government has been inconsistent in its efforts to bring the outbreak under control. The prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, stopped short of banning travel between provinces for the Songkran holiday, which begins on Tuesday and marks the beginning of the Thai New Year.

“Whatever will be, will be,” he said last week in explaining his decision. “The reason is it’s a matter that involves a huge number of people. The government will have to try to cope with that later.”

Dozens of provinces have imposed their own restrictions on travelers coming from Bangkok and other affected areas, prompting many Thais to cancel their trips. But many others set off over the weekend.

During earlier outbreaks, the government often acted quickly to require face masks, ban foreign tourists, impose quarantine restrictions and lock down hard-hit areas. It has reported fewer than 34,000 cases — mostly from a January surge traced to a seafood market near Bangkok — and just 97 deaths.

But it has been lax in testing and slow to vaccinate. So far, it has procured about 2.2 million doses and given at least one to about 500,000 people. Thailand’s population is 70 million.

Vaccine production is not expected to begin in earnest until June, when a manufacturer in Thailand is scheduled to begin producing 10 million doses a month of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Health officials were alarmed by the recent discovery of dozens of cases of the highly infectious coronavirus variant first identified in Britain. The finding highlighted the inadequacy of Thailand’s virus testing and suggested that its quarantine procedures have not been as effective as officials believed.

Tourism operators have been especially angered by the government’s lackadaisical approach to obtaining vaccine supplies. The tourism industry, which normally accounts for about 20 percent of the nation’s economy, is highly dependent on foreign visitors and has been calling for widespread vaccinations to speed its recovery.

The outbreak in Bangkok has also prompted questions about the activities of some top officials and their aides.

The transportation minister, Saksayam Chidchob, who was hospitalized with Covid-19, was criticized for not being forthcoming about his whereabouts during times when he may have been exposed to the virus. He denied visiting the gentlemen’s club at the center of the outbreak and said he believed he had contracted the virus from an aide.

Eyan Gallegos, 11, a middle schooler in Washington, completing his homework in his room.
Credit…Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

Parents with school-age children have struggled to combine their usual work and family responsibilities this past year with at least some degree of home-schooling.

But mothers and fathers of middle-schoolers — the parenting cohort long known to researchers as the most angst-ridden and unhappy — are connecting now in a specific sort of common misery: the pressing fear that their children, at a vital point in their academic and social lives, have tripped over some key developmental milestones and may never quite find their footing.

Experts say some of their worries are justified — up to a point. The pandemic has taken a major toll on many adolescents’ emotional well-being.

Yet as the nation begins to pivot from trauma to recovery, many mental-health experts and educators are trying to spread the message that parents, too, need a reset. If adults want to guide their children toward resilience, these experts say, then they need to get their own minds out of crisis mode.

Early adolescence is considered a critical period, a time of brain changes so rapid and far-reaching that they rival the plasticity and growth that take place in the newborn to 3-year-old phase.

These changes make children more capable of higher-level thinking and reasoning. They also make them crave social contact, attention and approval.

Remote learning and social distancing are in many ways the opposite of what children in this age group want and need.

It’s been hardest on middle schoolers,” said Phyllis Fagell, a therapist and school counselor who wrote the 2019 book “Middle School Matters.” “It is their job to pull away from parents, to use these years to really focus on figuring out where they are in the pecking order. And all of that hard work that has to happen in these years was just put on hold.”

Yet Ms. Fagell and many other experts in adolescent development were adamant that parents should not panic — and that the spread of the “lost year” narrative needed to stop.

Getting a full picture of what’s going on with middle schoolers, they agreed, requires holding two seemingly contradictory ideas simultaneously in mind: The past year has been terrible. And most middle schoolers will be fine.

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Are you making travel plans for this summer despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic? – Bowling Green Daily News

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I took 5 COVID-19 tests to go to Hawaii, and it was worth it

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