Health and Science

Naples faces challenges with re-opening beach

By Samone Blair
Medill Reports

The City of Naples re-opened its beach for the second time Wednesday after an emergency closure due to large crowds of beachgoers, many of whom were presumed to be from other areas of Florida. Naples City Council voted Monday to re-open the beach again but with new restrictions aimed to discourage visitors from Florida’s east coast.

The restrictions include closing the beach from 11 am to 5 pm on weekends and Memorial Day. Coolers and tents are not permitted on the beach at any time. Chairs and umbrellas are allowed on weekdays and chairs can be brought on the beach for weekend evenings to watch the sunset. In terms of parking, any car in the beach lots that doesn’t display appropriate city permits will be fined $200.

Photo at top: Beachgoers walk and swim by the pier on Naples Beach on its first day of being re-opened again. (Samone Blair/MEDILL)

A tale of two cities: How Beaufort, SC, and Evanston, IL, are meeting the threats of climate change

By Anne Snabes
Medill Reports

Laura Norris’ local beach in Evanston is shrinking.

On leap day, the winter-scrubbed sand stood only a few feet wide on some areas of the beach. The lake sparkled under the late winter sun and snow mounded on the shoreline. Norris guessed that Lee Street Beach is about a third of its original size.

“The lakefront is the most important thing in Evanston,” she said, sitting on a bench near the beach and holding her dog with a leash. “It’s already destroyed and I can’t imagine it’s going to get any better.”

Norris predicts that Lee Street Beach will be cramped this summer with the beach space so diminished.

“It’s going to be so crowded,” she said. “I don’t know where people are going to go.”
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Guided through stress: Chicago intervention program mentors youth past poverty-related trauma

By Zack Fishman
Medill Reports

On a sunny afternoon in early March, two graduate students, Elizabeth Sargent and Diana Chaidez, supervise an after-school program for 10 students in the school library at Wentworth Elementary School, located on Chicago’s Southwest Side in Englewood. The sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders sit at round tables, accompanied by a similar number of college undergrads. Sargent calls three students to the front and gives each a water bottle, two with carbonated contents, one flat. She then asks the seated students what stresses them out.

Hands fly up as both the younger and older students provide answers: hard tests, yelling parents, angry friends. With the mention of each stressful experience, the students at the front shake their bottles. “If you have a fight with your family and you’re worried about failing a class, you might feel really stressed inside, like you’re about to explode,” explains Sargent, a psychology Ph.D. student at Loyola University Chicago. Continue reading

Wrigleyville pizzeria starts campaign to help feed healthcare workers

By Michael Thomas
Medill Reports

Owner of Wrigleyville’s Big G’s Pizzeria, Jaimie Gamez, wanted to find a way to keep his doors open while giving back to front line workers at hospitals.

“I know I had to do something,” Gamez said. With the idea of having people donate money to his store in exchange for pizza deliveries to local Chicago hospitals, he took to social media and began a campaign.

After a little more than a month, Big G’s Pizzeria has delivered more than 1,100 pizzas to hospitals in Chicago. Northwestern Memorial Hospital nurse Lindsey Gradone says she’s grateful to receive donated food during such a critical time.

“It means the world to us to know that people are at home and they’re thinking of us,” Gradone said.

Photo at top: Northwestern medical workers celebrating a pizza delivery. (Big G’s Pizza/Instagram)

Virginia teacher creates PPE using 3D printers

By Yousef Nasser
Medill Reports

With Virginia public schools closed down for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year due to COVID-19, learn how Carlos Castro, a technical education teacher at Woodbridge Senior High School, is using his expertise to benefit community members in need of PPE.

Masked medical professionals hold a note that reads, “Thank You Carlos C.” (Courtesy of Carlos Castro)

Local fitness trainer goes virtual amid COVID-19 orders

By Dave Peck
Medill Reports

The first year of a new business can be stressful. The first year of a new business during a pandemic? Now that’s terrifying. But Bill Buscetto of Buscetto Performance Training has made the jump from in-person to online amid Connecticut’s stay at home orders. While online workouts aren’t ideal, Buscetto has stayed proactive, giving his clients plenty of ways to stay in shape.

Eight-pound weights in backyard. (Dave Peck/MEDILL)

COVID-19: Stories from across America

By Allegra Zamore
Medill Reports

In this April 19-25 special report, COVID-19: Stories from across America, Medill Reports looks at how the global pandemic is affecting Americans across the country in politics, mental health, and the NFL draft.

From Phoenix to Detroit, New England to Virginia, and everywhere in between, find out how the coronavirus is changing the way we live.

Photo at top: Social distancing sticker displayed at a Target in Waterford, CT. (Allegra Zamore/MEDILL)

Egg quality: It’s no yolk

By Hannah Farrow
Medill Reports

Cartons of eggs range from $1.79 to $7.99 at grocery stores, and they vary from cage-free to organic, brown to white. What do buzzwords like “vegetable-fed” or “free-range” really mean? And what’s worth the extra money?

Learn what you’re getting for the price you’re paying.
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Environmental racism and the fight against it

By Briana Garrett
Medill Reports

Environmental justice and food justice may seem mutually exclusive. But the two go hand in hand.

In Cook County, one in seven people are food insecure. That means nearly 750,000 children and adults in the county go hungry during parts of the year and often lack access to nutritious foods, according to the Hunger in America reports for the City of Chicago. In Chicago, the reports show that the most food insecure areas are concentrated in predominantly black and Latino neighborhoods where environmental problems add to hazards of hunger.

While access to food is a human right, these rights are often violated and linked to a  long legacy of segregationist practices in the Chicago. “Environmental racism” is a term used to describe issues of environmental inequity that marginalizes certain groups of people.

Chicago is seeing a renaissance of farming in the urban sector, and many areas plagued with food insecurity offer a home for urban farms that grow and harvest local produce, transforming vacant lots into lush gardens.

There are also new technologies that create resource-efficient ways to grow food, and many of people involved view their work as a necessary site for activism.

Listen to this podcast for an exploration of the racism involving food access and how it ties into environmentalism.

Photo at top: Food insecurity and lack of access to food are concentrated in black and Latino neighborhoods in Chicago, according to the Hunger in America reports. (Feeding America)

NFL teams are tackling injuries with acupuncture and cupping

By Emine Yücel
Medill Reports

Ifeadi Odenigbo, a defensive end for the Minnesota Vikings, limps into the treatment room following a Sunday night game against the Chicago Bears. He just pulled his hamstring, but he needs to be out on the field, ready to go in less than 48 hours. “You’re just always trying to get on the field as soon as possible,” he said. “So, you’re in an ‘I’m doing whatever I can to feel better’ state of mind.”

Hilary Patzer, the sports acupuncturist for the Vikings, asks Odenigbo to lie down on the padded treatment table. After finding out he hurt his hamstring in the game, Patzer starts inserting 10, two-inch-long, thin needles into the injured area. Odenigbo lies facedown with needles sticking out of his hamstring.

Then, she takes a cotton ball soaked in alcohol and sets it on fire with a match. She inserts the fire ball into a glass cup, takes it out and quickly places the cup onto Odenigbo’s hamstring. This creates a vacuum. Immediately, the skin is sucked upward, into the cup. Patzer continues to cup different spots on Odenigbo’s leg. She leaves them in place, occasionally sliding them on his skin without releasing the suction. After 10 minutes, she removes all the cups, leaving perfectly circular, red and purple marks on his hamstring. About half an hour later, Patzer also removes the needles.

“I go to my session, and she works her magic,” Odenigbo said. “Now, I’m feeling looser and less sore. I’ll be ready to go.” What Odenigbo describes as “magic” is Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Eastern medicine practice, which includes cupping, acupuncture, electroacupuncture, manual therapy, dietary therapy and stretching, techniques Patzer often uses in combinations.

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