From people who have lost those they love most in the world to COVID-19 to health care workers once hailed as heroes and now being spit on by patients angry over mask requirements and those known as “essential workers” who made poverty wages while having to endanger their own well-being to work in-person when others were isolating during the stay-home orders, people have dealt with a lot over the past two years.

This week, 211 pre-kindergarten-12 schools are reporting new or ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks. Only halfway through the month, 24 Michigan public schools have closed temporarily or put in place remote learning plans in January due to COVID-19 disruptions, including Ann Arbor Public Schools, Detroit Public School Community District and Flint City School District, according to Burbio, a data service that aggregates calendars nationwide.

Regulators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday granted emergency authorization to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds, a step that means kid-sized doses can begin shipping to health care providers across the country. The Centers for Disease Control’s panel of vaccine experts is scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss guidelines for the vaccine’s use in the younger age group.

State Rep. Padma Kuppa (D-Troy) writes, “For decades, top-down movements have been sowing the seeds of disinformation, which has created a world where everyday Americans cannot trust facts presented to them. This environment divides us and those who fuel disinformation intend to confuse Americans and pit us against each other. Our democracy is stronger when we work together. Those hellbent on power and control know this well — and use disinformation to push us apart. When we are too busy fighting each other, we fail to notice when bad actors chip away at our freedoms, our rights and our collective power.”

As all Michigan schools have begun 2021-22 classes, the state is reporting school- and sports-related COVID-19 outbreaks on a weekly basis. As of Monday, 413 pre-kindergarten-12 schools and seven universities — Alma College, Central Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Saginaw Valley State University, University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University and Concordia University — are reporting new or ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks.