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AC: Life After COVID

Uncovering dramatic effects of the pandemic

In this INN collaboration, member newsrooms reveal how the pandemic affected policies and practices related to a range of issues, and examined what more needs to be done.

Read stories in the collaboration below.


Largest INN collaboration to date uncovers dramatic effects of COVID

AC: Life After COVID was INN’s most ambitious editorial collaboration to date. The series ran from June 28 through July 9, 2021, and included 21 stories.

Suburban high school district confronts Catch-22 — stress, F’s and more stress
Growing Community Media July 9, 2021

As the pandemic raised student stress levels, the percent of Black and Brown students getting F’s increased and may have added more stress.

Two Suburban School Districts Addressed COVID-19’s Social/Emotional Impact on Students
Evanston RoundTable July 9, 2021

High school districts in Evanston and Oak Park balanced physical safety and social-emotional well-being when looking to re-open schools.

Advocates say pandemic proves lower jail populations possible
Wausau Pilot & Review and Madison 365 July 9, 2021

The pandemic prompted jail administrators to push for changes to limit the number of incarcerated people. The result is a major…

Jail as a last resort: Evidence-based decision making takes a front seat amid COVID-19 pandemic
Wausau Pilot & Review and Madison 365 July 8, 2021

The pandemic caused officials in Marathon County, Wisconsin, to take a serious look at overcrowding in jails.

Vaccine Disparity Grows in Chicago’s South Suburbs
South Side Weekly and Cicero Independiente July 7, 2021

Black and Latinx communities on the South Side of Chicago face systematic barriers to accessing pandemic resources.

Cook County’s Sizable Vaccination Disparity Remains in Black and Brown Suburbs
South Side Weekly and Cicero Independiente July 7, 2021

Despite allocation of federal funding, vaccines are still hard to get for many in this Illinois county.

Community Leaders in Cicero Step Up to Address Vaccination Disparities
Cicero Independiente and South Side Weekly July 7, 2021

Although vaccination rates have improved, Cicero still lags behind the Cook County averages for fully and partially vaccinated individuals.

Incarceration after COVID: how the pandemic could permanently change jails and prisons
Wausau Pilot & Review and Madison 365 July 7, 2021

When the pandemic hit, it spurred as a long-range plan to find answers to the jail overcrowding problem.

Even When Kansas Citians Find Housing, Dangerous Building Conditions Make Them Sick
The Kansas City Beacon and KCUR July 6, 2021

Experts advised people to stay home during the pandemic, but hundreds of families in Kansas City live in unhealthy and dangerous places.

A Child Mental Health Fix Takes Early Action, More Help. Here Are 7 Ideas
Bridge Magazine and Side Effects Public Media July 2, 2021

These ideas and legislative plans could help more young people in the Midwest access critical mental health resources.

Emergency rooms confront ‘tidal wave of sadness’ among young patients
Bridge Magazine and Side Effects Public Media July 1, 2021

A shortage of child psychiatrists and inpatient beds mean ER nurses and doctors find themselves doubling as guardians and care coordinators.

While Waiting for Mental Health Care, Children Suffer
Bridge Magazine and Side Effects Public Media July 1, 2021

Families seeking treatment for a child with mental illness can quickly become overwhelmed in a maze of insurance and government bureaucracy.

As More Kansas Citians Lose Housing, People Struggle To Stay Healthy Without Safe Shelter
The Kansas City Beacon and KCUR July 1, 2021

Many people without homes in Kansas City go without checkups, medicines and even bandages. The pandemic made things worse.

Filling Our Plates: Detroit food security innovations
Detour Detroit, Planet Detroit and Tostada Magazine June 30, 2021

Organizers, volunteers and programs that tackled food insecurity and helped Detroiters survive the pandemic.

With no stove, no car, no money for rent, a single mom found a neighborhood lifeline
Detour Detroit, Planet Detroit and Tostada Magazine June 30, 2021

Mutual aid projects large and small have launched online all over the United States to help fill in systemic gaps.

Why pandemic-induced anxiety over food security sent many Detroiters back to the land
Detour Detroit, Planet Detroit and Tostada Magazine June 30, 2021

Detroiters joined a national surge in home gardening in 2020 — to soothe anxiety over food supply issues is just one reason.

She lost her job while on maternity leave. A free online grocery store kept her family fed
Detour Detroit, Planet Detroit and Tostada Magazine June 30, 2021

An innovative Detroit emergency food distribution model empowered recipients through choice.

This retired hospital worker started a free food fair on her block — with food that would have gone into a landfill
Detour Detroit, Planet Detroit and Tostada Magazine June 30, 2021

A Detroit nonprofit is using an Uber-like app to connect businesses and feed neighbors in need.

Mental health crisis: Children at breaking point during COVID
Bridge Michigan and Side Effects Public Media June 30, 2021

The Upper Peninsula has no child psychiatrists. This lack is the norm across the Midwest. For these families, the strain can seem unbearable.

Kansas City’s Housing Crisis Forced This Couple Into An Extended Stay Hotel. And It’s Only Getting Worse
The Kansas City Beacon and KCUR June 29, 2021

A shortage of affordable housing in Kansas City is not a new problem. But the pandemic made it worse, and exposed the region’s failure to act.

Too much work or not enough: Latinos in Minnesota describe one pandemic but two very different economies
Sahan Journal and MinnPost June 28, 2021

Latinos, more than any other racial or ethnic group, remained in the state workforce. But many found themselves on divergent paths.

The collaboration participants are INN members The Beacon/KCUR; Bridge Michigan/Side Effects Public Media; Cicero Independiente/South Side Weekly; Detour Detroit/Planet Detroit/Tostada Magazine; Evanston RoundTable/Growing Community Media; Madison 365/Wausau Pilot & Review and MinnPost/Sahan Journal.

This project was made possible by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; INN’s Amplify News Project, whose funders include the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and the Joyce Foundation; and the Solutions Journalism Network.

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