Kids and COVID, Chinese mystery seeds and other things we learned this week

kids raising hands in class

It’s time for another rundown of facts, figures and tidbits behind this week’s headlines. Below are some items we learned about this week that most Georgians were unaware of before they surfaced in news stories.

The kids aren’t alright (part 1)

Toward the end of the week we were bombarded with headlines about children and their susceptibility to COVID-19. The news wasn’t that great for parents and especially parents who are about to send their kids to school next week.

First, a CDC report revealed that coronavirus spread like wildfire through a North Georgia summer camp, infecting 260 people, including many of the children attending the camp.

According to the report, about 75% of those at the camp were infected. The CDC said the incident “adds to the body of evidence demonstrating that children of all ages are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and, contrary to early reports might play an important role in transmission.”

Another study released last week showed that children under age 5 who were infected by COVID-19 carried 10 to 100 times more of the genetic material from coronavirus in their noses than older patients.

The kids aren’t alright (part 2)

Moving on to older kids, a recent survey commissioned by the National 4‑H Council and conducted by the Harris Poll found that 70% of teens are struggling with their mental health in the wake of COVID-19. More than half of the teens surveyed indicated that the pandemic has increased their feelings of loneliness.


Coronavirus isn’t just a big city problem

Rural Georgia was hit hard by coronavirus this week, overwhelming hospitals and resulting in some Georgians being transferred to far away hospitals in other states.

In an interview with Georgia Health News, health officials cited people coming to rural areas from Atlanta and Florida as possible causes of the increased infections in rural Georgia.

Noncompliance with mask-wearing and social distancing was also cited as a reason for Georgia’s rural surge.

Georgia is turning purple

Moving on to more divisive topics, as the November Election draws near it is becoming evident that Georgia — once thought of as an unshakeable red state — is now a battleground state.

Recent polling data shows Trump and Biden are tied in the peach state at 47% each. 3% of voters are going to vote Libertarian and 3% are undecided.

News of Trump’s declining poll numbers comes as the president is actively questioning the validity of mail-in ballots and whether or not the election should be postponed.

Here are some other interesting numbers from the polling:

  • Biden has a 58% to 38% lead over Trump in 14 swing counties in Georgia. These include suburban Atlanta counties like Cobb and Gwinnett which have gone blue in recent elections.
  • Biden is polling at 53% among independents in Georgia, while Trump is polling at 21%,

The Vice President of the Confederacy was from Georgia

This obviously isn’t new information, and if you paid attention in Georgia history, you know — or knew at one time — that Alexander Hamilton Stephens, of Georgia, was the vice president of the Confederacy.

What you probably didn’t know is that there is a statue of Stephens in the Hall of Statues at the U.S. Capitol. Each state gets to put two statues in the hall.

Stephens was born in Taliaferro County in 1812 and served as the vice-president of the Confederacy. After the Civil War, he was elected to the House of Representatives and served as Governor of Georgia.

Several of Georgia’s members of Congress are lobbying to have Stephens’ statue replaced with a statue of Civil Rights icon John Lewis.

Mystery seeds are coming to the U.S. from China

The Georgia Department of Agriculture is warning residents and farmers not to plant unsolicited seeds they receive in the mail from China.

The warning comes as several states have issued similar warnings about a rash of unsolicited seeds being mailed to the U.S. from China.

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