As our country grapples with the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the disease continues to infect and kill in communities fighting legacies of pollution at disproportionate rates. The statistics are disturbing, but unsurprising: the latest data shows people living in areas with elevated levels of fine particulate matter are 8% more likely to die from COVID-19. This research should propel policymakers into action, yet the Trump administration continues to turn a blind eye to front-line communities and leave behind those most gravely affected.
When I was elected president of the Virginia Dental Association’s (VDA) board of directors this past fall, I never imagined I would stand beside the governor of Virginia the following spring to announce enhanced safety guidelines for dental offices.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world. It has caused devastating personal losses and created financial burdens. It also has reshaped how we practice dentistry.
I am a native Virginian and grew up in the Richmond area. In my young years, the statues along Monument Avenue, and other Confederate icons, were just a taken-for-granted part of our historical city. I admired the artistry of the statues, but gave little thought as to why they existed. n school, we were taught that the North’s Ulysses S. Grant won the Civil War, then mostly referred to as “The War Between the States,” and that Southern Gen. Robert E. Lee was the epitome of being a good loser.
Election Day is technically still Nov. 3 this year, but that one day now is simply the last chance to cast a vote in person the traditional way at a polling place. Given expanded voting options put in place this year, most Virginians are likely to have already voted before Nov. 3, elections officials say. Election Voting Season, which started Sept. 18 in Virginia (and differs state by state), could more accurately describe the 47-day period in which record numbers of voters are expected to cast ballots, often early and in new ways.
The creation of local citizen panels — with subpoena and binding disciplinary powers — to check city and county police abuses, thereby holding them “accountable,” presumably would require serious legislative work in Richmond. Presumably. Tuesday afternoon’s debate, however, on the state Senate version of this proposal (SB5035) opens to challenge any notion that the controlling Democratic Party is serious at all.
Since April, colleges and universities have cut more than 200 teams from their athletic departments. The vast majority are mid-majors — medium-sized schools that comprise 81% of NCAA Division I teams.
When cutting these teams, athletic directors have used the financial effects of a temporary virus as justification for permanent, draconian measures. The result is an ever-shrinking list of teams in which our youth can participate.
An important conversation about systemic racism’s negative and inequitable impact on communities of color is happening across the country and throughout our region.
It’s long overdue and more is needed.
As we unpack racism’s toll, it is critical we examine the emotional trauma it has inflicted. Racial trauma is hurting communities of color, especially Black families. It also is harmful to all communities.
A hallmark of economic development in the Washington area typically has been competition between localities and states, not collaboration. As we plan for post-pandemic recovery, it’s time for that to change for good. To maximize its economic competitiveness globally, the region must expand collaboration locally. This month marks the first anniversary of a coalition created to support regional prosperity: the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance, made up of 10 jurisdictions working across borders on business recruitment and marketing efforts.