Laurie Sloan and her husband have always known they wanted to have a big family. The stay-at-home mom, who is now pregnant with her fourth child, didn’t let the pandemic stop their plans. “We were stuck at home and hanging out together and it was kind of fun watching all the kids be close in age and play together,” she said.
Sloan, who is now expecting a son in June, thought being pregnant during the pandemic would allow her to spend more time preparing for his arrival. “I thought by the time the baby was here, life would be back to normal,” she said. “That’s obviously not going to happen.”
For Sloan, pandemic pregnancy has been bittersweet.
Update (3/6/2021): At the March 4 Jail Oversight Board meeting, Warden Orlando Harper reported to the board about restraint chair use. It was a deviation from what he typically shares at these meetings in response to the board asking for more information on how the jail uses the device following the original PublicSource report below. He said the jail used the restraint chair 18 times in February. He promised that, at the April board meeting, he would provide the March count and include the number of times a person with a mental health condition is placed in the chair. Harper also agreed to show board members the restraint chair forms that are completed each time the chair is used. Jail leadership also provided the board the healthcare queues the board requested following a PublicSource investigation about medical treatment at the facility.
Reports from other American cities, counties and states show that Black people are disproportionately contracting and dying from COVID-19. Yet a lack of local data makes it impossible to see how the virus is impacting Black residents in Allegheny County and across Pennsylvania.
Editor’s Note: On behalf of PublicSource, writer Timothy Maddocks spent six days between October 2017 and February 2018 embedded with street medicine teams. He attended the 2017 International Street Medicine Symposium and interviewed more than three dozen street medicine practitioners, from Pittsburgh and beyond. Though the days are still warm as we publish this story, soon people experiencing homelessness will again be subject to severe drops in temperature. This story sheds light on how street medicine practitioners aim to help the population throughout the year and how it plays out at the most critical times.
On a gray January morning, the team from Pittsburgh Mercy's Operation Safety Net follows the hollow sound of a dog barking in the distance to the tent that they’ve been looking for. And there it is, between the Allegheny River and the gravel bike trail: a mismatched collage of older tents and tarps, faded yellow and bright orange.