Privatizing U.S. Postal Service ‘unlikely’ despite Trump’s repeated attacks, says WVU law expert

The deck was stacked against the U.S. Postal Service a decade before President Trump took office, according to Matthew Titolo, professor at the West Virginia University College of Law , also an expert on American public-private contracts and the outsourcing of core public functions to the private sector. The USPS has faced continuous financial shortfalls since 2006, but even a presidential push to privatize the service that delivers roughly 150 billion pieces of mail annually is unlikely without broad congressional and public support, Titolo said.

WVU education experts discuss complexities of reopening public schools during COVID-19 pandemic

Stephanie Lorenze and Melissa Sherfinski, faculty members in the West Virginia University College of Education and Human Services, discuss some of the complexities of planning for—and carrying out—in-person instruction in public schools during a pandemic, including non-traditional schedules, airflow and mindfulness activities. Whatever the officials decide, teachers, custodians and other school employees will have to comply with measures that keep COVID-19 from spreading among students. And that’s no simple task.

Pride Month should incorporate racial justice and honor LGBTQ+ leaders of color

This year, the annual celebration of Pride Month in June comes on the heels of both a pandemic and wide-ranging protests demanding racial justice and an end to police brutality. Two West Virginia University experts in LGBTQ+ rights say this year presents a “window of opportunity” for both higher education policies and Pride events.

Step away from the screen: Short work breaks improve performance, mind

Zoom fatigue. Eye strain. Body aches. Working remotely can create challenges for your body and mind. Finding time to take breaks throughout the day can help alleviate stress, improve your mood and boost work performance. Lauren Weatherford, West Virginia University Extension Service Families and Health agent in Fayette and Nicholas counties, provides some tips on how to take effective breaks to improve focus and productivity.

Law enforcement violence in black communities will continue despite criminal justice system action in Minneapolis case

A West Virginia University expert on neighborhood dynamics and police procedures says that law enforcement actions in black communities will continue to be violent even if the officers involved in the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis are convicted and given a death sentence. Jim Nolan, professor and chair of the Sociology Department and former police officer, said police officers liken themselves to warriors who are focused on battle and are seeking an enemy.

WVU Extension provides general workplace safety guidance as businesses begin to reopen

As West Virginia moves forward with reopening plans, it is critical for businesses of all types to prepare their workplaces and employees for controlling and reducing the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus in the workplace. West Virginia University Extension Service Safety and Health Extension Professor Mark Fullen provides some general workplace safety guidelines for businesses as the state continues the reopening process. Recommendations and guidelines are being revised often, so it is important to check resources frequently as new information is learned.

Behind the mask with a WVU doctor: What to wear and whether face coverings should be mandated

“To mask or to not mask” is no longer the primary question dominating the COVID-19 public discourse. As states reopen amid the pandemic, the question now is, “Should face coverings be required in public?” Dr. Robert Gerbo, director of Occupational Medicine at West Virginia University, addressed that debate and unmasked his expertise on when and how to cover up.

Billions of people could be invisible in COVID-19 contract tracing efforts utilizing smartphone apps

A West Virginia University consumer law expert says recent announcements by Apple and Google that they’re developing a system to enable widespread contact tracing in an effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic raises significant questions beyond whether such a plan might even be effective. Jonathan Marshall, director of The Center for Consumer Law and Education, believes concerns over privacy and data security can be addressed but a potentially larger issue exists related to these smartphone technologies.

It's time to kill the murder hornet headlines

As most attention in the United States focuses on public health and the economy, entomologists have their eyes on the Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) recently discovered in the state of Washington. Brian Lovett, entomologist and post-doctoral fellow in the West Virginia University Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, describes the species, why its arrival is concerning and how it became known as the “murder hornet.”