The COVID-19 pandemic has both laid bare the disproportionate burdens many women shoulder in caring for children or aging parents and highlighted the vital roles they have long played in America’s labor force.

After COVID-19, the US lost tens to millions of jobs. But as the economy has swiftly rebounded and employers have posted record-high job openings, many women have delayed a return to the workplace, willingly or otherwise.

A new report, “Women in the Workplace,” by the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. illustrates how the pandemic imposed an especially heavy toll on working women. It found that one in three women over the past year had thought about leaving their jobs or “downshifting” their careers. Early in the pandemic, by contrast, the study’s authors said, just one in four women had considered leaving.

40% of women reported feeling burnt out, while 32% said the same in 2020. By contrast, a smaller proportion of men — 35% — felt burnt out this year, compared with 28% in 2020.

Even with children back in school, the influx of women into the job market that most analysts had expected has yet to materialize. In September, the number of women looking for work or working actually decreased from August. The number of men looking for work rose.

In the news also:

►A federal appeals court on Saturday temporarily halted the Biden administration’s vaccine requirement for businesses with 100 or more workers.

►Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers made his first public comments Friday after testing positive for COVID-19, addressing why he told the news media in August that he was “immunized” and why he is not vaccinated.  

► began listing pediatric COVID-19 doses Friday morning, making it easy to find shots for kids anywhere in the nation.

► Attorneys general in 11 states filed lawsuits Friday against the Biden administration over a new federal rule that will require large companies to vaccinate their workforce against COVID-19 or implement rigorous testing regimes

► Hawaii will reopen to international travelers who are fully vaccinated starting Nov. 8. Within three days after entering the U.S., travelers must show evidence of negative COVID testing.

📈The numbers today: The U.S. has recorded 44.4 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 754,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 249.3 million cases and 5 million deaths. More than 193.4 million Americans – 58.3% of the population – are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

📘 This is what we are reading USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour says Aaron Rodgers, the reigning NFL MVP, is “another lost soul deluded by misinformation.”

For the most recent news, keep checking this page. Want more? Sign up for USA TODAY’s Coronavirus Watch newsletter to receive updates directly to your inbox and join our Facebook group.

GOP is concerned by vaccine refusals at intelligence agencies

Thousands of intelligence officers could soon face dismissal for failing to comply with the U.S. government’s vaccine mandate, leading Republican lawmakers to raise concerns about removing employees from agencies critical to national security.

Overall, the percentage of intelligence personnel who have been vaccinated is higher than for the American public — 97% at the CIA, for instance. According to Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), there is a lower proportion in the 18-agency intelligence group of about 100,000 people.

Stewart cited information that Stewart claimed had been given to the House Intelligence Committee, but was not made public. Stewart stated that at least 20 percent of intelligence agency employees were unvaccinated by late October. Stewart claimed that up to 40% of some agencies’ employees are still unvaccinated. Because of the classified information regarding vaccination rates, Stewart did not identify these agencies.

While many people will likely still get vaccinated before the administration’s Nov. 22 deadline for civilian workers, resistance to the mandate could leave major agencies responsible for national security without some personnel.

Giving birth while COVID-positive may have impact on baby

A COVID-19 infection during pregnancy can leave an imprint on the fetus, according to a growing body of research, though it’s unclear whether that effect is long-lasting.

Two studies published last month show that the disease, particularly when it’s severe, can affect the immune activity at the time of birth and that boys may be affected differently than girls. 

Although it’s too early to tell if COVID-19 exposure in pregnancy affects babies differently than those not exposed, Dr. Andrea Edlow at Massachusetts General Hospital who led one of these studies, stated that the study was far from complete. Babies are very rarely born infected with COVID-19 and birth defects have fortunately not been associated with the disease, Edlow said.

“Our intent is not to scare people, just to make them aware that (these children) should be followed over time,” said Dr. Karin Nielsen-Saines, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and senior author on one of the papers. There is strong evidence to suggest that the maternal immune activation during pregnancy may be linked with neurodevelopmental and psychiatric issues later on in life.

– Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY

COVID-19 might help end U of Arizona’s 20-game losing streak

Since Oct. 5, 2019, the University of Arizona has been losing 20 football games in a row. This is the longest losing streak in college football, and the longest in Arizona sports history. With COVID-19’s assistance, could this skid come to an end Saturday?

UC-Berkeley announced on Thursday that “multiple Cal football student athletes are in COVID protocol” and won’t play on Saturday against the Wildcats in Tucson.

The number of players who will play for California is unknown. This could make the Golden Bears extremely shorthanded. Kickoff will take place at 3:00 EST. It will be broadcast by Pac-12 Networks.

Cal released a statement saying all travelers to Tucson will be cleared and tested before they board the plane. According to Cal, 99% of players had been fully vaccinated. However, it could not list any player who is out due to federal and state student privacy laws.

– Jeremy Cluff, Arizona Republic

Contributing to The Associated Press


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