IL 2020
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Editor's Corner/Over a Cup of Tea
                                              World War III?
Heidi M. Pascual
Publisher & Editor
2006 Journalist of the year
for the State of Wisconsin
COVID-19, the enemy that we don’t see, is killing humanity

My late mother used to tell me that my generation, the Baby Boomers, is a very lucky generation, because it didn’t
experience the horrible destruction to life and property and the beyond-the-ordinary fear of all people, during
World War II. According to Wikipedia, WWII (1939-1945) was the deadliest military conflict in history, involving
more than 30 countries, and killing about 70 million people (or 4% of the world’s population). In school, I learned
some more from my World History teachers, including the Holocaust in Europe (perpetrated by Adolf Hitler) and the raping of Asian countries by
the Japanese Army (a member of the Axis Group--Germany, Italy, Japan). These countries had their expansionist interests in the 1930s leading to
their military alliance that occupied much of Europe, Northern Africa and South East Asia. Undoubtedly, that war created a kind of fear that
humankind doesn’t want to again ever experience in life.

Today, however, several generations are experiencing a new kind of War all over the world, and it is so frightening because no weapon is now
available to combat the enemy--a viral disease called COVID-19 that has been spreading so fast and claiming thousands of lives in many
countries, regardless of location or economic situation. It started in China’s Wuhan Province according to reports, and quickly spread to other
parts of the globe. As of this writing, Italy has become the epicenter of COVID-19, forcing the country to totally lock down its borders, to try to stop
the further spread of the disease.

Imagine a worldwide war with everybody on the planet on one side, and an invisible enemy on the other side that is so vicious and evil who came
without warning and left all of mankind unprepared for its invasion! There is yet no cure nor vaccine to fight the enemy, and the elderly are the
ones first to perish, because their weak immune systems and existing preconditions make them ideal candidates for inclusion in the statistics for
“soldiers” who lost the battle.

I wish I could tell my late mother today how unlucky my generation is, as well as those who were born after me, because of this World War
launched by an unseen but powerful enemy. It is a war that instills fear to humanity, regardless of where they are located in, which economic
strata they belong to, or which age, gender, faith, political affiliation, and race, they identify themselves with. In so many ways, this present crisis
makes every human being equal.

It is interesting to note that the COVID-19 crisis is happening during this year’s Lenten Season, and to believers like me, this is telling us that we
ought to now talk to our Creator sincerely and ask Him why are we experiencing something like this, something that is unimaginable in our
lifetime, an experience that makes us shudder in fear, not just for ourselves, but for our loved ones. Bombs, guns and knives are not weapons of
choice nowadays. Neither are police powers and military strategies even thought of to ward off the enemy of every state and every household, in
Women's Bureau 100 Meeting in a Box
State and Local Governments Must Take Much More
Aggressive Action Immediately To Slow Spread of the
Senator Baldwin, a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), has helped to
introduce an historic legislative package to address the United States’ urgent maternal health crisis.

The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020, led by Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Representatives Lauren
Underwood (IL-14) and Alma Adams (NC-12), will build on existing maternal health legislation by filling gaps through nine
new bills to comprehensively address every dimension of the Black maternal health crisis. The Black Maternal Health
Momnibus  makes investments in social determinants of health, community-based organizations, the growth and
diversification of the perinatal workforce, data collection and quality measure improvements, digital tools like telehealth,
and innovative payment models. In addition to direct efforts to improve Black maternal health outcomes, the Momnibus
focuses on high-risk populations, including women veterans, incarcerated women, and Native Americans.
“Maternal and infant mortality rates are tragically high in Wisconsin, and they are even higher in the Black community. We
need to do more to make sure women and families have access to quality, affordable health care,” said Senator Baldwin.
“We know that healthier pregnancies lead to healthier babies. That’s why I’m working with my colleagues to provide more
resources to expecting moms and address the challenges in our maternal health system so mothers and pregnant women
can get the care they need."

The United States has the worst maternal death rates in the developed world, and the only rate that is rising. The maternal
mortality rate is significantly higher among black women, who are three to four times more likely than white women to die
from pregnancy-related complications. Black women also experience higher rates of maternal complications and infant
mortality. They are twice as likely to lose an infant to premature death, and these disparities have not improved for more
than 30 years. --
By Zeke Emanuel, Topher Spiro, Maura Calsyn, Thomas Waldrop, Nicole
Rapfogel, and Jerry Parshall
This column was last updated on March 14, 2020. Since then, the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention has made new recommendations on gatherings,
and multiple states and cities have taken many of the steps outlined in this piece.
In the absence of action from the federal government, states and cities must
continue to take the lead.

The United States is at a tipping point: If transmission of COVID-19 is not slowed
within the next week, the hospital system will be overwhelmed. The response of
governments over the next week is critical. Since the federal government’s
response has been woefully slow and inadequate, and public communication has
been confusing and often inaccurate, it is up to state and local governments to lead
in this time of crisis. --
The U.S. Department of Labor's Women's Bureau is continuously
evaluating ways to help American women enter and grow within the
workforce. Today, we find ourselves presented with a moment of
significant opportunity for all American workers. This is especially
true for women, who are experiencing the lowest unemployment rate
in 67 years. The nation would not be experiencing the successes of
today without women’s participation in our economy. To maintain this
path of success, the Women’s Bureau continues working to grow
and expand opportunities for women.

To help you better communicate on this important issue, we have
created this Meeting in a Box. --

Listen… God is whispering
He wanted us to feel from our hearts…
Reminding us that He’s there in our lives
Always waiting for us…
Where have we gone that we can be wherever but never with Him?
We have done so many things for ourselves but not for Him?
We have succeeded in many ways but forgotten all about Him
With failures and sadness … tears in our eyes we always see

Going back to where we began,
Our lives are full of blessings
Wonderful things from Above
Filling us with unending happiness

Time moves so fast…
We have forgotten to look back…
Where  He was standing,  waving, and calling our name…
Never bothered asking what it was He was telling us…

Until we are all awaken with fear and doubts
That we return and remember…
Our lives He’s still holding…
Healing, saving and most of all
By Sherry Anne M. Pascual
How K-12 Schools Should Prepare for
The new coronavirus is spreading rapidly, forcing school leaders to
consider and prepare for school closures as the virus spreads and
infection counts increase. District and school leaders, along with
public health officials, will have to make tough decisions with
imperfect information on just how widespread infections are in their
area and balance that against the multitude of effects that closures
would have on families and communities. In addition to their
educational mission, schools are a critical provider of nutrition for
nearly 30 million children; provide important services for 7 million
students with disabilities; and are a source of child care for the tens
of millions of parents who work outside of the home.

According to Education Week, as of March 11, 2020, there are more
than 1,500 schools closed or scheduled to close out of the more than
130,000 public and private schools nationwide. These closures and
pending closures affect more than 1 million students—or nearly 2
percent of the more than 55 million school-age children nationwide—
and could increase substantially in coming days. --
Don’ts and Dos on Coronavirus
by Jane M. Orient, M.D.

Some of the views expressed here are controversial. So, do
ask your doctor. I hope you have one—not just the HMO or
retail clinic “provider.” --
Black Maternal Health Omnibus Act of 2020