Across the globe, the world has witnessed a few upsides to the current pandemic:  air quality has greatly increased, seismologists have noticed a significant drop in the vibrations/movements of the earth’s surface, Miami has gone seven weeks without a murder for the first time since 1957, and families appear to be using parks and outdoor fitness areas with greater frequency.  Even with some current possible silver linings to the pandemic, there are some important question to answer moving forward, such as “What will the new norm be after the pandemic?  Will society return to its previous ways, or will this event cause permanent changes?”.  From a local perspective, here are some thoughts on what Southern Boone and Ashland might look like at this time next year.  


Maria Litvinova, a researcher at the Institute for Scientific Interchange in Turin, Italy, has modeled how school closures reduce the spread of illness. She argues that without treatments or a vaccine, “there is no such thing as ‘safe’ reopening.”  Still, in an attempt to balance safety with the impact on families and the economy, she also recommends reducing social contact by putting children in the smallest groups possible. Here are nine key ideas — drawn from interviews with public health experts, education officials and educators around the country — for what reopening K-12 schools might look like.

~ Read the rest in today’s Journal ~

By Ernie Wren