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Honoring pandemic heroes with a parade

Medical workers, first responders honored in NYC parade

Sandra Lindsay, of Port Washington, a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and the first person in the United States to receive an approved COVID-19 vaccine, served as grand marshal and waved to the thousands of spectators at the event.

"I'm humbled and honored to serve in this capacity," she said.

Among the crowd was North Shore University Hospital surgical ICU nurse Samantha Paez of Huntington.

"After this crazy year that we had … I’m so grateful that we’re all alive, we’re healthy, and we get to celebrate health care workers, teachers, union workers, police officers, firefighters — everybody had a hand to get to where we’re at now," Paez said.

The parade started at 11 a.m. at Battery Park, headed up Broadway and ended at City Hall. Due to the forecast heat, the event was scaled back from the initial plan.

See more photos and read more from this story by Newsday's Matthew Chayes.

The number of new positives reported today: 37 in Nassau, 31 in Suffolk, 313 in New York City and 486 statewide.

This chart shows the trend of seven-day average positivity rates in Nassau and Suffolk on recent days.

Search a map of new cases and view charts showing the latest local trends in vaccinations, testing, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

115,000 meals to 1,200 children at 35 LI sites

School wasn't in session when Jennifer Burgess drove into the parking lot of Eagle Avenue Elementary School in Medford on Thursday with her four children in the back seat of the SUV. The reason: They needed food.

"My husband wasn't making as much [money] as in previous years because of the pandemic," Burgess, of Patchogue, whose children range in age from 5 to 11, told Newsday's Olivia Winslow. The free food, which Island Harvest Food Bank was distributing in partnership with the Patchogue-Medford School District, "helps keep the costs down," she added.

Island Harvest expects to provide 115,000 meals to about 1,200 children at 35 sites on Long Island during its Summer Food Service Program, which began last week, officials said. Long Island Cares, another regional food bank, is also participating, with 28 distribution sites across the Island. Officials have said they've seen the need increase, especially since the pandemic.

Is Thursday the new Monday? Flexible working in flux

Last year, companies around the U.S. scrambled to figure out how to shut down offices and set up employees for remote work. Now, they're scrambling to figure out how to bring them back.

Most companies are proceeding cautiously, trying to navigate declining infections against a potential backlash by workers who aren't ready to return. Tensions have spilled into the public at a few companies, where some staff have organized petitions or even walkouts to protest being recalled to the office.

"Thursday is the new Monday," according to Salesforce, a San Francisco-based technology firm, which found Thursday was the most popular day for employees to report to the office when the company reopened its Sydney offices in August.

See what some offices and companies across the country are doing in this Associated Press story.

More to know

President Joe Biden on Tuesday made his latest appeal to those unvaccinated, warning the delta variant is "potentially more dangerous" than other strains and has led to an uptick in cases — particularly in communities with low vaccination rates.

High school-age kids are filling jobs that older workers can’t — or won’t — around the nation, as the economy comes back from the pandemic and customer demand intensifies.

"Waitress" will return once Broadway reopens for a limited run starting Sept. 2, with Sara Bareilles again as its star.

A wardrobe purge is on as more people get vaccinated, restrictions lift and offices reopen or plan to, benefiting resale sites online and brick-and-mortar donation spots and continuing a trend that's been building for the last few years.

News for you

For teens on LI this summer. It's all about making up for activities they missed out on last year — for those seeking adventure and socialization. There's WildPlay at Jones Beach with zip lines and obstacles to the Adventure Park at Long Island, a "Ninja Warrior"-style course. Here are some details about programs for teens and more.

Bringing Tropic Con outdoors. The Long Island Tropic Con: Outdoor Summer Market in Massapequa is expected to bring video game, animé, cosplay, comic book, sci-fi and pop culture enthusiasts to Sunrise Mall for four weekends in July and August. It launched indoors in 2019, was canceled in 2020 and will be outdoors this year for added safety, organizers say. Here's what to expect from the event.

Find the works of Shakespeare around LI. Theater is recovering from the pandemic, and there are several local troupes that will present the Long Island version of Shakespeare in the Park at outdoor venues in Port Washington to the Fire Island Lighthouse. Find out more.

Plus: When should you sell your house and retire? The seller's market is good for seniors who want to sell, experts say — but you have to be ready to move quickly. Read more.

Commentary

When misinformation can do harm. Cathy Young, a contributing editor at Reason magazine, writes for Newsday Opinion: While a vigorous COVID-19 vaccination campaign has curbed the pandemic in the United States, we are not out of the woods yet, with herd immunity probably not reached and new variants of the virus threatening another surge. In this situation, the question of how a free society should handle dubious — and potentially harmful — information on key medical issues becomes especially complicated and urgent.

Last month, a social media controversy erupted over YouTube’s decision to demonetize the channels of Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying, evolutionary biologists and outspoken dissenters from mainstream opinion on COVID-19. The husband-and-wife duo argues that the COVID-19 vaccines have been approved without sufficient testing and that ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug, is a cheap and effective cure that could beat the disease without vaccines.

For critics of "Big Tech," YouTube’s move to deny them ad revenue is a frightening example of censorship at work. Weinstein has said that his and Heying’s income has been halved by YouTube’s decision (though a stream of crowdfunding donations has offset the losses).

To be sure, Weinstein and Heying don't have a constitutional right to make money via YouTube advertising. However, given YouTube's dominance as a media platform, it can severely restrict an independent journalist’s or commentator’s access to a mass audience. Such power in the hands of a corporation that can legally refuse to air facts or viewpoints it doesn’t like is certainly troubling. But should we also be troubled when social media’s unprecedented reach allows people to spread potentially deadly misinformation on a scale unimaginable with older means of communication? Keep reading.

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