Ventilator Shortages; 6.6 Million New Unemployment Claims

6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, doubling the record-setting numbers from the week before. The rapid increase has overwhelmed state offices.

Ventilators are a scare resource right now. While they are lifesaving for some, NPR’s Jon Hamilton reports when it comes to COVID-19, they do not guarantee survival.

Plus, how to protect essential workers when ordering delivery and going to the grocery store.


The Indicator’s episode on scarcity in the emergency room on Apple, Spotify and NPR One.

Camila Domonoske’s reporting on grocery store worker safety.

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The Mask Debate; Preventing More New York-Sized Clusters

Officials on the White House coronavirus task force have a goal: to limit the number of U.S. deaths from COVID-19 to 100,000 people. But they say preventing more clusters the size of New York and New Jersey is key.

And with conflicting opinions about who should be wearing masks, NPR’s Allison Aubrey reports new guidance may be coming soon.

Plus, what a 1995 heat wave can teach us about fighting today’s pandemic — and the scientific debate over what could be early symptoms of COVID-19 — a loss of taste and smell.


Short Wave’s episode, ‘Is This Real? Loss of Smell And The Coronavirus’ on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and NPR One.

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Trump And Governors Mix Messages; Managing Your Mortgage Or Rent

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, messages from President Trump and state governors have been mixed. Meanwhile, New York City has over 40,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, making it the epicenter of the pandemic in America. WNYC reporter Gwynne Hogan visits a Brooklyn hospital on the front lines of the pandemic, and the owner of a restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown explains why he closed three weeks ago. Also, tips to help you pay your mortgage or rent if you’ve lost your job.


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Rachel Martin’s conversation with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan

Life Kit’s guide to receiving financial help during the pandemic on Apple, Spotify and NPR One.

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Divorce can be better when you remember these things

Just like every marriage is unique, ending a marriage is a little bit different for everyone. Some people in Texas have to figure out what to do with a family home. Others have to sort out how to divide debt. Though these are two different issues, they are still part of the same process — property division. So, no matter what you might be dealing with during your own divorce, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

For example, it is a good idea to keep emotions out of things. This can be understandably difficult. Marriage and divorce are much more than legal processes, and both illicit strong emotional reactions. It can be easier to keep those emotions in check when you have a better idea of what behavior is actually helpful.

Put everything on the table

You and your ex-spouse accumulated assets over the years, and now neither of you wants to let go of them. One or both of you might be tempted to hide a few marital assets on the side, but this is never a good idea. Not only will it negatively skew property division to one person’s benefit, but it can also land you right back in court months or even years in the future. It is best to fully disclose all assets — including income and debts — when asked.

Having an accurate record of income is important for support payments too. If you earned less than your ex or did not work, you cannot get the full alimony that you deserve unless everyone’s income is on the table. This can also negatively affect child support payments if you have children.

Save big changes for later

Divorce is already a life-altering process, though it is almost always for the better. This actually encourages a lot of people to reconsider other aspects of their lives in which they might be unhappy. While this type of introspection is great, acting on anything significant while going through a divorce is not always a good idea. Accepting a job in another state, moving hours away or even taking a position in another country are all things that should wait for later.

You also cannot just change the terms of your temporary visitation or custody agreement when you feel like it. If you do think the agreement is not meeting your child’s best interests, you can always ask a judge to modify it as needed. However, when you take the matter into your own hands, you are ultimately violating the agreement. This can make it a lot harder to get custody and visitation rights in the future.

Remember to get help

At some point during your marriage, you and your soon-to-be ex might have faced difficult situations together. You already know that having the support of someone who is on your side makes a world of difference. Divorce is no different.

You do not have to wonder whether you are making the right decisions or if you are navigating the process all wrong. Working with an attorney who is experienced with Texas family law can ease those worries, creating an easier path to the end goal — a successful divorce. But since what defines a successful divorce is usually personal, it is a good idea to talk about your goals with your attorney.

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Author: On behalf of Katie L. Lewis of Katie L. Lewis, P.C. Family Law

Don’t be taken by financial surprise in a divorce

In Texas, many soon-to-be ex-spouses either make financial assumptions about a divorce or simply do not know what awaits them. Unfortunately, these individuals often face some unwelcome surprises. It is best to get educated ahead of time to learn how to deal with divorce-related financial issues before they arise.

One common problem is that people are unaware of the full amount of their household debt. Both parties may end up having to assume some of that debt after a divorce. Individuals are often surprised by these circumstances, especially if the other spouse was the one who managed the finances.

The cost of health insurance can also be an unwelcome surprise. If one spouse had been paying premiums for the family, the other partner will have to find insurance on their own. They soon may find that insurance can be prohibitively expensive, especially if they do not have a job that offers health benefits.

Many non-working spouses do not anticipate that a divorce would require that they return to the workplace. They may be factoring in alimony or child support but have overly rosy forecasts for what they would be receiving. This would mean that they need to earn money to make ends meet.

Education ahead of time is the best way to avoid some of these shocks. While it may not change the financial situation, a divorce attorney could at least provide the information necessary so that a client understands what they’ll face. Then, the attorney may help the client negotiate the best possible financial terms during the property division process.

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Author: On behalf of Katie L. Lewis of Katie L. Lewis, P.C. Family Law