The coronavirus on Smart Talk Tuesday: The air we breathe and Teacher Appreciation Week

The saying that every cloud has a silver lining might in fact ring true during the coronavirus pandemic. There is plenty of bad news, to be sure, but every so often there is good news, too.

Since the nation and Pennsylvania went under stay-at-home orders in March there is a noticeable improvement in air quality. Major cities like Los Angeles and New York are experiencing some of their best air quality in decades; reports that are echoed in big cities around the world.

In central Pennsylvania, the Clean Air Board tracks air quality in the state and reports that air quality has improved markedly throughout the region, with no “alert” days since March 1.

But can it last? As 24 counties in Pennsylvania begin a phased reopening on May 8, will air quality suffer?

Appearing on Smart Talk Tuesday are Thomas Au, President of the Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania, along with American Lung Association Director of Environmental Health Kevin Stewart. The ALA recently released the State of the Air 2020 report and they join the program to discuss this and the impact of air quality on lung health, and observations at the Department of Environmental Protection air quality monitoring sites during the pandemic shutdown.

This is National Teacher Appreciation Week and to mark the occasion the National Education Association commissioned a parent’s poll to gauge their support for teachers during the coronavirus crisis.

Rich Askey is the President of the Pennsylvania State Education Association and he joins Smart Talk to share the poll results.

Smart Talk will also talk to three area educators about how they are tackling teaching from a distance. Joining Smart Talk are Susan Sneath, Ed.D., Chief Academic Officer with the Harrisburg School District, Kassandra Shute a first-grade teacher and Traci Moyer, 8th-grade English as a second language teacher.

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