Weekly Writers Round-Up: What COVID-19 Means for Vaping, Education, and Antisemitism
Each week, we’ll be featuring opinion pieces from the alumni and current participants of AFF’s Writing Fellows Program. A few highlights from the past week are below. Do you dream of having bylines like these? Learn more about how the Writing Fellows Program can help boost your writing career.
Why Policymakers Are Wrong to Use the Coronavirus Crisis to Ban Vaping by Jacob James Rich (Fall 2018) in The National Interest
With the U.S. devastated by more than 80,000 coronavirus deaths as of May 11, tobacco controllers are making sure not to let a crisis go to waste. Despite absolutely no scientific evidence suggesting that e-cigarettes increase one’s susceptibility of contracting coronavirus, government officials in states like New York have used the pandemic to justify banning all flavored vaping products. It’s a sad development, because flavored vaping products are the most promising devices to reduce the millions of deaths caused by cigarette smoking.
Although the coronavirus has been characterized as a once-in-a-century pandemic, cigarette smoking will likely still contribute to many more deaths than coronavirus this year and many years to come. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that cigarette smoking kills nearly 500,000 Americans every year, which is more than twice the White House’s worst-case fatality projection (made at the end of March) of 240,000 deaths from coronavirus…
With Kids Learning at Home, Families Need Schools to Be More Flexible by Jude Schwalbach (Fall 2018) in the Daily Signal
The COVID-19 pandemic brought the problems of the modern education system home to families—literally.
Traditional brick-and-mortar school buildings were abruptly emptied, and parents found themselves adjusting to a return to home education, in which children learned from Mom and Dad around the kitchen table…
Jews threatened by rampant coronavirus-fueled anti-Semitism by Beth Bailey (Fall 2018) in Forbes
The Anti-Defamation League’s annual audit found that 2,107 incidents of anti-Semitism occurred in the United States in 2019, marking the highest number of incidents since the group began to track anti-Jewish hate in 1979. Coming on the heels of this record year of prejudice, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt warned that the coronavirus pandemic has ushered in “new manifestations of anti-Semitism.” Speaking to the press on Tuesday, Greenblatt explained numerous groups are “trying to exploit this moment … to seed hate into the atmosphere.”
When I first wrote of rising pandemic-related anti-Semitism in early April, the nation had witnessed acts of vandalism, online anti-Semitic harassment of both Jewish and non-Jewish groups, efforts by white supremacists and neo-Nazis to spread COVID-19 to the Jewish community, and numerous groups seeking to blame Jews and Israel for the spread of COVID-19…