Thursday, February 25, 2021 - The Christian Science Monitor Daily
welcome to monitor daily podcasts. It's thursday february twenty fifth. Thanks for joining us. I'm noah robertson. Reading four stephen humphreys and i'm samantha laney 'perfect last year north carolina native. Michelle fishburne packed her belongings into an rv for ten thousand mile cross country trip. Her mission research a book about how the pandemic changed ordinary americans. If i had to sum up what. I've seen in the two hundred fifty to three hundred interviews i've done. It's pluck says miss fishburn who's met homeless people medical workers teachers judges hairdressers and even a performing clown. Pluck is defined as spirited and determined courage. That is what. I've been seeing in person after person. She says during a stop in columbia missouri. Miss fishburne a twenty one year old. Student who exemplifies quality. India gregory recounted how she decided to do something impactful during lockdown so she launched an e commerce retailing business the motto for her company. The repertoire is embraced the uncomfortable and walk with purpose. The majority of misfits burns new acquaintances. Feel more connected to other people than before the pandemic gifted their heads up from their previously busy lives and they are thinking about and seeing and caring about other people says the self employed storyteller that extends beyond family and friends. Americans are concerned about the well being of others. They've never met including those across party lines. I have heard those five little words. I think about those people over and over again. She says today's stories our first story. When can we drop our masks and swap smiles with strangers in public again as cases and deaths plummet some see signs for cautious. Optimism amid continuing vigilance nearly one year. After much of the nation abruptly shut down due to a little understood virus. Something new emerging in america a sense of cautious optimism. Not everyone is sure. The country has reached a covid nineteen inflection. Point case counts have died before only to rise again. New variants are a possible danger. The us recently passed the grim milestone of over five hundred thousand deaths but health experts. Say a number of factors are combining to dampen the spread from widespread social distancing to increasing immunity from vaccines or past exposure to the turn of seasons for sprain. The us is much closer to control of the pandemic than it was even a few months ago. They say control is not the same thing as elimination. However many experts warn that vigilance will still be necessary. As the virus recedes from acute threat to chronic concern. Kenneth bernard an epidemiologist who ran the office on global health threats. In the clinton and second bush white house's says i think we are at the beginning of the end but not the end that everybody's hoping for this story was reported by peter greer francine keefer patrick johnson noah robertson and nick role for the monitor like many americans. Steven hasn't used the subway in almost a year. The anticipated post pandemic rise of public transportation is encouraging new thinking about how to invest in sustainable urban commuting precipitous drops in ridership during the covid nineteen pandemic have ushered in a famine year for american public transit withered funding and reduce services have experts fearing diminished capacity for years to come even a potential car pockets of congested roads. Looming ahead john gabe. Our staff researcher at the university of california los angeles institute of transportation studies says the global transit ridership trend. Last year was bad across the globe but in the us it was a free fall. According to mr gabe hours research average ridership decreased by fifty eight percent nationally between march and august of twenty twani. The road or perhaps rail to recovery will require federal investment and getting the pandemic under control though infrastructure. Spending isn't cheap. Experts say and may be prudent long-term robust public transit can make cities more equitable and sustainable. The more options residents have when travelling the more resilient and efficient american transportation will be so far industry experts voiced hope based on biden administration proposals that include an additional thirty billion dollars for transportation earmarked in its pandemic relief. Bill secretary of transportation pete. Buddha judge had high marks on his transit report card while mayor of south bend indiana with corona virus cases. Now well below this winter surge. America's trains and buses may be on track to keep running on time. The story was reported by noah robertson for the monitor alexa. Turn the lights back on and restore power. Hello alexa as the internet of things controls more household devices. Some say it's time to shift away from centralized hubs. Joe brown's moment of clarity came in the dark a father and a tech enthusiasts he figured that linking his wifi enabled lightbulbs to his google home speaker but allow him to adjust the lights with his voice all his hands were busy and it did most of the time until last december when google outage rendered the lights useless a month earlier an outage at amazon disabled doorbells vacuums and thermostats up and down the east coast that also crash. Newspapers and ecommerce sites disrupted ride hailing and food delivery apps and blocked people from accessing. Their bank accounts primavera. Day phillipi a faculty associate at the harvard. University's berkman klein center for internet and society. Says some services have become the central hub of most of the internet traffic. Can these single points of failure be avoided. A number of efforts are underway to help restore the decentralized network. Envisioned in nineteen eighty. Nine by tim burners lee when he created the world wide web these include using mesh networking having multiple services to us as backups. And an idea. Promoted by mr burners lee himself creating pods were users can store their personal data and control who sees it. The story was reported by neck role for the monitor. No-one can handedly solve. The nation's environmental challenges listening to citizens are commentator. Argues will be critical to success. Michael regan president joe. Biden's nominee for the environmental protection agency administrator has leadership model. That suggests he wants to hear from the people in his current capacity is secretary of the north carolina department of environmental quality. He founded the environmental justice and equity advisory board to elevate the voices of the underserved and underrepresented as we work to protect the public's health and natural resources yet while his concern for community has been applauded. His response to business interests has been criticized including his recent decision to issue a five year permit for swine operations without requiring significant adjustments to their management of hogwash. If selected mr regan would be the first black man to head. The epa that distinction combined with his degree from a historically black university means he will be looked upon to lead with a conscience. That is mindful of the history of environmental racism yet. Even with mr. Biden's backing mr regan won't be able to succeed alone. Communities have a role to play as well in steering the country toward more just environmental policies and practices that kind of unified approach might change more than the environmental condition of our country. It might signal a change in political climate as well. This commentary was written by ken making for the monitor and this story stephen and his co author talked with americans who've embarked upon new activities and occupations in their golden years for example ninety one year old sylvia anthony runs a homeless shelter their shrugging off societal limitations and finding joyful purpose a handful of years ago victoria and david marshall started third act magazine to chronicle how older americans are blooming it was born out of the marshalls own experience after retiring early. Ms marshall especially found. She needed a sense of purpose. She says i've learned so much by getting to meet and work with people who really get aging right. They don't live lives of leisure. They're really focused on lifelong learning growing expanding retirement and even the years preceding. It are often considered fallow a winding down the twilight but older adults are seeing an opportunity. For what more are calling as the marshals. Do a third act. Well that can mean embracing a new pastime. Some are embarking upon more ambitious undertakings starting new businesses entering new occupations or devoting themselves to philanthropic endeavors and the process. They're becoming exemplars for the more than fifty four million americans. It's sixty five. And above larry samuel founder of age friendly consulting says if the first act of life is mostly about education and youthful exuberance and the second act mostly about career and family. The third act of life is about the pursuit of wisdom self actualization and leaving some kind of legacy. The story was reported by stephen humphreys and ryan baloney for the monitor. Now commentary from the monitor's editorial board. On india and pakistan and the digital universe the young netizens in india and pakistan have no problem sharing across a tense border between the two rival states. The latest example is an instagram video of pakistani teenager. Suggesting people need to party. It went viral in india. Sparking joyous. spinoffs this neighborly. Culture is just one of many backdrops that help explain why india and pakistan have restored two thousand three truce in disputed kashmir more importantly the agreed to address each other's core issues perhaps the biggest backdrop to the agreement is that the two countries can no longer afford military conflict. They fought three wars since they each gained independence from britain in one thousand nine hundred eighty seven pakistan's economy is now on the ropes requiring massive foreign loans. Well india has its hands full with a dangerous dispute with china over. Himalayan territory and a domestic revolt by farmers a peace dialogue makes the show quickly that diplomacy can produce results faster than continued violence around kashmir many young people on both sides or already digitally linked. They see more. What's in common than what is not. That would be worth celebrating. That's a wrap for the news. You can find the full length versions of these stories in today's issue or azzi s monitor dot com slash daily. Thanks for spending time with our stories de tomorrow's package includes a look at what's motivating calls for the us to boycott the two thousand twenty two winter olympics china. Today's christian science spiritual perspective columnists thinks that no matter what the world throws people god's unlimited goodness and love are here quell anxiety and inspire healing and solutions. You can find the column. Today's issue or at cs monitor dot com slash daily. We wanna give a quick things for staff concluding today's audio production team ebrahim on echo shing fung and jeff turton. This podcast is produced by the christian. Science monitor copyright. Twenty twenty one.