NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana's oyster farmers, crabbers, shrimpers and anglers are nothing if not adaptable, producing millions of pounds of seafood annually, often in water that was dry land a generation ago. They've fought off a devastating oil spill, floods, changing markets and endless hurricanes just to stay in business. After Hurricane Ida, though, some wonder about their ability to continue in a seemingly endless cycle of recovery and readjustment. The Category 4 hurricane that struck Louisiana late last month fractured some parts of the industry even worse than 2005's Katrina, which cost seafood businesses more than $1 billion. No one yet knows how many boats, docks and processors were lost because of Ida's relentless, 150-mph winds. Vessels that made it to the safest harbors fared the best, yet even some of them were destroyed by the storm's fury.
SAN FRANCISCO — One desperate California school district is sending flyers home in students' lunchboxes, telling parents it's “now hiring." Elsewhere, principals are filling in as crossing guards, teachers are being offered signing bonuses and schools are moving back to online learning. Now that schools have welcomed students back to classrooms, they face a new challenge: a shortage of teachers and staff the likes of which some districts say they have never seen. Public schools have struggled for years with teacher shortages, particularly in math, science, special education and languages. But the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the problem. The stress of teaching in the COVID-19 era has triggered a spike in retirements and resignations. Schools also need to hire staffers like tutors and special aides to make up for learning losses and more teachers to run online school for those not ready to return. Teacher shortages and difficulties filling openings have been reported in Tennessee, New Jersey and South Dakota, where one district started the school year with 120 teacher vacancies. Across Texas, the main districts in Houston, Waco and elsewhere reported hundreds of teaching vacancies at the start of the year. Several schools nationwide have had to shut classrooms because of a lack of teachers.
Experts say there's no strong evidence that the delta variant makes children and teens sicker than earlier versions of the virus, although delta has led to a surge in infections among kids because it's more contagious. Delta's ability to spread more easily makes it more of a risk to children and underscores the need for masks in schools and vaccinations for those who are old enough, said Dr. Juan Dumois, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.