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Caution: Handle Cargo with Care

Hot Topics | April 9th, 2021

Every so often shipping giants UPS and FedEx will make headlines for shipping outlandish cargo such as whales or panda bears. However, these stories almost seem pedestrian when you consider the U.S. Postal Service once allowed people to mail…other people. In 1913 at the inception of the parcel post, there was no USPS policy banning the practice. According to Smithsonian Magazine, “an Ohio couple named Jesse and Mathilda Beagle ‘mailed’ their 8-month-old son James to his grandmother, who lived just a few miles away in Batavia.” Being the doting parents they were, the Beagles insured young James for $50.

Children who were sent via post were treated with more care than the average parcel. Far from being stuffed in a box or a mail sack, children were generally chaperoned on their voyage by a USPS employee.

The last documented account of a child mailed via USPS comes from 1915, and by 1920 the Postmaster General had outlawed the practice. Our sincerest apologies to all the parents out there who thought this sounded like a pretty sweet alternative to a 5:30 AM flight out of Dulles with a fussy toddler in tow.

Your guide to the latest CDC guidance

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated two important pieces of COVID-19 guidance in the past week:
    • People who are fully vaccinated can travel “at low risk to themselves” as long as they continue to wear masks, wash their hands, avoid crowds and social distance. According to CDC guidelines, Americans are fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their last recommended dose of vaccine. (CDC)
    • In a move many experts called overdue, the CDC issued updated guidance confirming the risk of contracting COVID-19 through contact with contaminated surfaces is “generally considered to be low.” (The Hill, CDC)

Vaccine rollout accelerates again

  • On Tuesday, President Biden announced he was pushing states to expand universal COVID-19 vaccine eligibility even earlier. He is now directing states to offer COVID-19 vaccines to any American 16 years of age or older by April 19, two weeks earlier than his original universal eligibility date of May 1. (The Hill)

Trump-era policy rollbacks continue

  • This week the Biden administration announced it was rescinding Medicaid work requirements in Michigan and Wisconsin authorized by former President Trump. The move came after similar authorizations were rescinded in Arkansas and New Hampshire. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), most Medicaid recipients either work or are exempt from work due to illness or disability. (The Hill)

Racism: not just a sociopolitical issue

  • In a move that garnered support from the American Medical Association, the CDC declared racism to be a “serious public health threat.” In a statement published on the CDC’s website, the agency noted, “A growing body of research shows that centuries of racism in this country has had a profound and negative impact on communities of color.” The declaration is part of an agency-wide initiative dubbed “Racism and Health” which is a hub for a push to achieve health equity. (The Hill)

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