Editorial: Economic train wreck: In Maryland and elsewhere, record jobless numbers show why stimulus is needed

With an unprecedented 3.3 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits last week, including 41,882 in Maryland, an historic drop, any argument that the nation’s economy isn’t facing a perilous challenge can be dismissed. From Hawaii to Maine and from Western Maryland to Ocean City, the federal jobless numbers simply confirm what most everyone knew: the coronavirus-related layoffs, forced closings, travel restrictions and related actions have caused a massive upheaval — or perhaps more accurately, a sudden but widespread loss of productivity — that has no parallel in our lifetimes. (Balt Sun)

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Lublin: Vote by mail works for Elijah Cummings’ old seat, but needs more planning for wider use

Maryland’s decision to hold the general election for the 7th Congressional District by mail makes sense for this election. But holding further all vote-by-mail elections without instituting proper protections risks the integrity of Maryland’s elections. Even as we squarely face coronavirus, we must act to protect our democracy. States that conduct elections by mail have put a lot of effort into getting it right. (Balt Sun)

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Editorial: Coronavirus prompts special health insurance enrollment period. If you don’t have coverage, now is the time to get it

If you don’t have health insurance, now is the time to get it. As the coronavirus pandemic rages, a special enrollment period has been set aside for Marylanders to sign up for health plans. People have until Apr. 15 to get coverage through a private plan. Low income residents can sign up for Medicaid at any time. (Balt. Sun)

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Thomas: Dan Quayle says Trump is doing a fine job handling coronavirus

He was the 44th vice president of the United States in the George H.W. Bush administration, but for the last 20 years, Dan Quayle has stayed mostly away from the unfriendly glare of political life. I called him to get his thoughts on the coronavirus and the current political scene. On the virus and the approach to it by the Trump administration, Mr. Quayle said, “I think they’re doing a very good job. They know what they’re doing.”  (Balt Sun)

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Editorial: For Maryland schools, coronavirus calls for creative solutions

State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon’s announcement Wednesday morning that Maryland’s K-12 public schools won’t be reopening on March 30, as hoped, but instead will remain closed four more weeks, through at least April 24, leaves systems scrambling to find ways to educate students. It is no easy task. None were prepared for a pandemic. And what’s emerged so far from school systems does not inspire confidence. (Balt Sun)

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Jan: Conservatives gutted the social safety net. Now, in a crisis, they’re embracing it.

Throughout his term, President Trump has chipped away at the social safety net, proposing budgets that gutted housing assistance, food stamps and health insurance for the poorest Americans. When Congress rejected those cuts, the Trump administration enacted rules to make it harder to access federal benefits, such as requiring recipients to work. Now, with businesses shuttered, workers laid off, and scores more worrying about buying groceries, being evicted and getting sick, the swelling need for federal assistance has forced even conservative lawmakers to embrace government protections in sweeping stimulus bills. (Wash Post)

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Negi: Children with autism spectrum disorder facing challenges dealing with social distancing

We are currently in the midst of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.  Befittingly, health experts and government officials are stressing the importance of social distancing to prevent the spread of this novel coronavirus (nCoV).  Most of us have the cognitive and physical abilities to adapt to social distancing, but imagine what happens to those who lack this skill set. (Md. Reporter)

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Daniels, Rothman & Sowers: Coronavirus plea from Johns Hopkins: please take social distancing seriously to save lives

Over the past few weeks, the coronavirus pandemic has transformed life for all of us. As a country, we have taken a series of steps that would have been unimaginable a few weeks ago. Millions of Americans are working from home. Colleges, schools, churches, gyms, libraries, stores and other public places have all suspended operations or gone virtual. (Balt Sun)

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