Episode 167: Luck of the Draw

33 minutes

2/3/21-- Steve, Jennifer, and Stephanie are back in the virtual bunker, each with a different opinion on this week's snowfall.

Vaccine rollout rolls on throughout the country, but unfortunately, Massachusetts doesn’t rank too highly in terms of distribution. Steve points to a comparison conducted by NPR which finds the Bay State ranking 37th for efficiency (proportion of doses administered to doses received) and 39th for percent of overall population that’s gotten at least one dose. There are also big disparities in terms of who’s getting the vaccine.

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley called the distribution so far “vaccine redlining,” according to the Boston Herald, which pulled a statistic from the state Department of Public Health last week that found "Black people account for less than 3% of those who have received at least one vaccine dose in Massachusetts, while Hispanics were at 3.3%”

Steve also relays reporting from the Boston Globe that found many of the people who showed up and were first in line at a vaccination site in a Roxbury were white. Roxbury is a predominantly Black neighborhood. This is happening across the country, Steve points out. “The share of people who are getting vaccinations does not correspond with the racial makeup of that area’s population.”

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Later, state Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz and Beth Huang of the Massachusetts Voter Table stop by to discuss this year's redistricting effort. Beth is a member of the Drawing Democracy Coalition which has asked the Massachusetts Senate President and House Speaker to appoint a Joint Committee on Redistricting that is racially and geographically representative.

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A new poll out from Gallup asked Massachusetts high schoolers about their experience learning during the pandemic. Unsurprisingly to Steve, who has conducted surveys on Massachusetts parents of K-12 students, remote and hybrid learning has had the worst impacts on students. Kids partaking in these models of learning are far less likely to say they learn a lot every day, as compared to kids learning in person full time. Social and emotional health has also declined among students learning at least part-time remote.

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