There have been a few others challenges this spring, too. April and much of May were cooler than usual. In fact, records were set in some parts of Central Pennsylvania for the coldest nighttime temperatures in May. It wasn’t unusual to hear from someone who said they lost plants and flowers to an overnight freeze.
Smart Talk’s COVID-19 coverage has forced our annual spring gardening program back a few weeks.
When Pennsylvania initiated the state-wide, stay-at-home order the impact to the food supply system began immediately.
With restaurants and schools closed, suppliers began to experience a surplus of products that grocery store orders could not help to mitigate. There were even early reports of growers dumping product because of the lack of demand.
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture stepped in during the early phase of the crisis to establish policies and programs to limit food waste and support farmers with surplus agricultural products. Have the efforts paid off?
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding joins us on Smart Talk Wednesday to discuss these programs and how the state is also focusing on Pennsylvanians who are food insecure.
Also, Smart Talk‘s coverage of the 2020 primary election continues. On Wednesday’s program, we’ll discuss issues with Democrat Tom Brier, who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 10th Congressional District. The 10th District includes all of Dauphin County, the northern half of York County and eastern Cumberland County.
Pennsylvania’s June 2 primary election is just over a week away.
Smart Talk‘s Election 2020 coverage begins with conversations with two Congressional candidates. Both are Democrats and face a competitor in the primary. They are running in separate districts. The conversations focus on where the candidates stand on the issues.
Friday is 143 Day in Pennsylvania. Inspired by Pennsylvania native Fred Rogers, Pennsylvanians are encouraged to share acts of kindness and good deeds for each other on 143 Day.
Mr. Rogers used 143 as a special code based on the number of letters to say I Love You.
To commemorate 143 Day, we’ll hear a special encore Smart Talk from Mr. Rogers hometown of Pittsburgh, focusing on his life and accomplishments.
The program was broadcast from the Senator John Heinz History Center. We discussed Fred Rogers’ legacy with several people who knew and worked with him, the history of the TV show and describe an exhibit at the History Center that includes Mr. Rogers’ living room and the Great Oak Tree, where Henrietta Pussycat and X the Owl lived.
Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood was a different kind of TV show for children and it was made that way by Fred Rogers. Fred Rogers was a soft-spoken and gentle man who didn’t speak down to children. While kids were entertained, they also were learning valuable life lessons from Mr. Rogers.
Appearing on Friday’s program are: Deborah Acklin, President & CEO WQED Multimedia; Paul Siefkin-President, Fred Rogers Company; Margaret Whitmer – Director of Video Production and Special Events, Fred Rogers Company & served as producer on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood; Emily Ruby, Curator, Heinz History Center; Dr. Mariruth Leftwich, director of education, Heinz History Center; and David Newell Mr. McFeely himself.
Finally, the coronavirus is affecting each one of us in different ways and has made connecting with friends and neighbors more challenging. Transforming Health’s Keira McGuire has been collecting stories about the impact and produced a program for WITF-TV – TheCoronavirus Diaries. Keira joins Smart Talk to highlight the unique way the program was produced.
Also, last week Gov. Tom Wolf said the state would implement universal COVID-19 testing at Pennsylvania nursing homes; where more than two-thirds of deaths have occurred. An investigation by Spotlight PA found not all residents or staff will be tested and testing won’t be mandatory. Some are calling the plan insufficient and confusing. Spotlight PA reporter Aneri Pattani explains what she found on Wednesday’s Smart Talk.
As the coronavirus pandemic progressed in the US, education programs were impacted along with every other facet of society.
As schools closed and went online, it appeared that the instruction process would slow down in medical schools, too. Medical schools are, after all, part of medical centers that were ramping up for a COVID-19 response.
Community health departments are well-versed in process of contact tracing and may be integral to any state-wide plan. Appearing on Smart Talk to talk about the details of contact tracing is Dr. Matthew Howie, MD, Medical Director, City of York Bureau of Health.
And now that the Pennsylvania Department of Health is looking more closely at coronavirus infections in nursing homes, families and advocates for Alzheimer’s patients urge policymakers to carefully consider this vulnerable group.
Joining Smart Talk to bring attention to nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia are Clay Jacobs, Executive Director Alzheimer’s Association Greater Pennsylvania Chapter, along with Jen Ebersole, the organization’s Director of State Government Affairs.
University of Pennsylvania physician-researcher Dr. David Fajgenbaum, MD, says he has spent his entire adult life seeking answers to difficult questions. He’s earned multiple degrees in the pursuit of knowledge, including two master’s degrees and a Medical Doctorate.
Fajgenbaum went from being a healthy college athlete and undergrad to his death bed while in medical school. It was there he was diagnosed with a rare disorder called Castleman disease, an illness of the lymph nodes and related tissues.