Virus ‘Dramatically’ Narrows Teenagers’ Summer Job Prospects

“They give us a picture of them playing a sport, and we crop out what they want, or add stuff,” Mr. Stupka said. A basic edit is $8, and more detailed changes are $15; customers pay via Venmo or other money-transfer apps.

  • Updated June 24, 2020

    • Is it harder to exercise while wearing a mask?

      A commentary published this month on the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine points out that covering your face during exercise “comes with issues of potential breathing restriction and discomfort” and requires “balancing benefits versus possible adverse events.” Masks do alter exercise, says Cedric X. Bryant, the president and chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, a nonprofit organization that funds exercise research and certifies fitness professionals. “In my personal experience,” he says, “heart rates are higher at the same relative intensity when you wear a mask.” Some people also could experience lightheadedness during familiar workouts while masked, says Len Kravitz, a professor of exercise science at the University of New Mexico.

    • I’ve heard about a treatment called dexamethasone. Does it work?

      The steroid, dexamethasone, is the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in severely ill patients, according to scientists in Britain. The drug appears to reduce inflammation caused by the immune system, protecting the tissues. In the study, dexamethasone reduced deaths of patients on ventilators by one-third, and deaths of patients on oxygen by one-fifth.

    • What is pandemic paid leave?

      The coronavirus emergency relief package gives many American workers paid leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. It gives qualified workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are ill, quarantined or seeking diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus, or if they are caring for sick family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus. It is the first time the United States has had widespread federally mandated paid leave, and includes people who don’t typically get such benefits, like part-time and gig economy workers. But the measure excludes at least half of private-sector workers, including those at the country’s largest employers, and gives small employers significant leeway to deny leave.

    • Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?

      So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.

    • What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

      Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

    • How does blood type influence coronavirus?

      A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      The unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May, the Labor Department said on June 5, an unexpected improvement in the nation’s job market as hiring rebounded faster than economists expected. Economists had forecast the unemployment rate to increase to as much as 20 percent, after it hit 14.7 percent in April, which was the highest since the government began keeping official statistics after World War II. But the unemployment rate dipped instead, with employers adding 2.5 million jobs, after more than 20 million jobs were lost in April.

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.

Kamden Wilson, 16, said he considered the photo editing work a supplement to another job, making sandwiches at a Jimmy John’s. “I tried mowing lawns,” he said, “but it didn’t work out.”

Here are some questions and answers about summer employment this year:

My teenager has tried unsuccessfully to find a summer job. Should I pay her?

For families that can afford it, agreeing to compensate teenagers for work around the house can be an option, said Janet Bodnar, a longtime writer about children and money for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine and the author of “Dollars & Sense for Kids.” Parents could agree on a weekly or monthly allowance, then offer opportunities for their children to earn more for special projects — say, clearing brush in the yard or cleaning out the basement.

The pandemic presents opportunities for teenagers to help out in ways that may not have previously been deemed worthy of pay. For instance, they could help supervise or tutor younger siblings while parents work at home, performing a much-needed service, and could perhaps be paid for their efforts. Ms. Bodnar also said that if teenagers couldn’t find a job when searching in May, they might want to try again — if they’re comfortable with safety precautions being taken — as states opened up.

“Don’t be immediately discouraged,” she said. “There may be more opportunities than you think.”

Are city youth job programs an option?

Thousands of teenagers, especially from low-income and minority families, rely on city-based summer job programs to earn workplace skills and supplement family income. This year, many cities are cutting back because of the pandemic. But about 70 percent of programs will continue in some fashion this summer, even if they have to move to virtual offerings because of the pandemic, said Jennifer Steinfeld, director of entrepreneurship and economic development with the National League of Cities.

The Philadelphia Youth Network, for example, will offer its annual WorkReady program, adapted for the pandemic. About 2,000 positions will remain traditional ones, putting young people to work at summer recreational camps. The remainder of the program will be delivered online, covering topics like the building of an online digital identity, financial literacy and career exploration. Participants have the opportunity to earn up to $595 for completing the courses over the summer, said Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, chief executive of the youth network.

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