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CDC Mask Guidance, ‘Of Women And Salt,’ And Rescuing A Baby Bird The Right Way

Winston, a grackle whose parents were killed by a predator in Miami Springs, was rehabilitated and eventually released in April 2021.
David Ovalle
Miami Herald
Winston, a grackle whose parents were killed by a predator in Miami Springs, was rehabilitated and eventually released in April 2021.

On this Tuesday, May 18, episode of Sundial,

CDC Mask Guidance

Fully vaccinated people can now take their masks off both indoors and outdoors, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But there are some exceptions like public transit, airplanes, nursing homes and shelters for people experiencing homelessness.

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"We really were not expecting this guidance so soon," said Dr. Aileen Marty, infectious disease expert at Florida International University and a leader on Miami-Dade County's COVID-19 task force.

CDC Acting Director Rochelle Walensky pointed to the U.S. rapid pace of vaccination and new research indicating the vaccine’s efficacy against COVID variants. But critics point to the millions of people that remain unvaccinated and argue the new mask guidance has come too soon.

"We have to make vaccinations as easy and accessible as possible," Marty said, adding that access is most important in populations who are falling behind on vaccination rates.

If you need help making a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, you can check out this link here.

CDC Mask Guidance

‘Of Women And Salt’

“Of Women and Salt” is the debut novel by Miami-native Gabriela Garcia, narrated by nine women over numerous generations. It’s also the Sundial Book Club Pick for the month of May.

Although she wrote this story mostly about Miami, she's brought into it her experiences working for human rights in immigration detention centers in Texas.

“I think I was struck by the ways we sort of envision immigration and we talk about the border as if the story sort of starts there. But it really is, you know, it starts long before that. I brought in a lot of my experience talking to these women and the kind of things that they shared with me about why they were migrating and what the conditions were like in those family detention centers,” Garcia said.

You can join our Sundial Book Club here.

‘Of Women And Salt’
Book cover for Of Women And Salt by Gabriela Garcia. The bottom half of the book is a photo of the ocean, the top half is a light pink background with the fuchsia flower.

Rescuing A Baby Bird The Right Way

Spring is the nesting season for most birds in South Florida. Mockingbirds, grackles, blue jays — chances are you might come across a few nests if you look closely. You might see one or two baby birds fledging — that’s when they leave the nest for the first time. They haven’t mastered flying yet, so they’re awkwardly almost jumping around, making them easy to catch.

Miami Herald crime and courts reporter David Ovalle and his girlfriend, Mary Lezcano, recently took in one of these baby birds and named it Winston.

“She happened to be driving just outside Miami Springs and noticed this little tiny, fluffy, fluffy ball of bird just nearby on the road,” Ovalle said.

They brought the bird home — but they did just about everything after that wrong.

“It's going to have a dependency on the person who's taking care of the birds, not developing properly in the sense of learning how to survive on its own with available food out in the wild,” said Ron Magill, a wildlife expert and the communications director at Zoo Miami.

Winston was getting too attached to them and their environment. He demanded to be fed directly into his beak and was getting too comfortable with Ovalle’s pet cats and dog.

They brought him to a local wildlife rehabilitation facility, hoping it wasn’t too late.

“He was able to go and fly free. So it was sort of bittersweet, but it was also a learning lesson,” Ovalle said.

Read the full story here.

Rescuing A Baby Bird The Right Way
The author with Winston the grackle, who was rehabilitated and released into the wild in South Florida in April 2021.

Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.
Suria is Sundial's fall 2020 high school intern and a production assistant.