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Discarded face masks lying on the ground, symbolizing the end of COVID-19 precautions and the ongoing safety concerns for people with disabilities.

June 12, 2024

As COVID Precautions Vanish, People With Disabilities Struggle With Safety and Isolation

Ask students: Who are the people featured in the story? What is the nationwide death toll for COVID-19? How have COVID precautions changed?


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The pace of COVID fatalities in the U.S. has slowed significantly, with the nation’s death toll standing at more than 1 million people. With precautions like mandatory masking no longer in place, it can seem as if worries about the virus are gone as well. But for many people with disabilities, the threat is still very real. We hear from people in the disability community about their concerns.

View the transcript of the story.

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Discussion Questions

  1. Who are the people featured in the story?
  2. What is the nationwide death toll for COVID-19?
  3. What concerns does Natalie Lampros have about seeing doctors?
  4. How have COVID precautions changed?
  5. Why has the new normal damaged Julie Lam's social life?

Focus Questions

How do you think the U.S. government should regulate COVID precautions, given the health concerns of the disabled community? For example, do you think there should be mandatory masking in some places and around vulnerable people?

Media literacy: Why do you think NewsHour interviewed the disabled community about COVID precautions? Do you think news outlets should share more stories about people's experiences with COVID, or new data and research about COVID?

Extension Activity

Learn about how your local communities have been impacted by the change in nationwide COVID precautions.

As a class, discuss: Do you know a local business or community space that takes precautions against COVID-19? Do you know anyone who has health concerns about the lack of COVID-19 precautions?

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Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom
PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories. The site combines the best of NewsHour's reliable, trustworthy news program with lesson plans developed specifically for... See More

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