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A Spike In Kids With COVID-19, The Return Of Cruises, And The CryptoPunks NFT

Carnival Corporation will be resuming voyages in the U.S. this summer for three of its brands: Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line.
Miami Herald
Carnival Corporation will be resuming voyages in the U.S. this summer for three of its brands: Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line.

Health experts say they are seeing more young people, especially children, in emergency care with the coronavirus. A reporter shares her story aboard a cruise where multiple passengers contracted COVID. Plus, we dive into the world of digital art at a Miami museum, one of the first museums to purchase an NFT.

On this, Tuesday, Aug. 3, episode of Sundial.

A Spike In Kids With COVID

Florida leads the nation in new coronavirus cases and in the number of children hospitalized for the virus.

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According to CDC data released last week, 32 children on average were admitted to Florida hospitals daily. That’s above the peak of last year’s surge.

“We definitely are seeing many more kids in the emergency department. The reason that is because last summer with isolation and quarantining, there weren't as many of the other types of infections that we typically see, the more common ones being RSV [respiratory syncytial virus] and influenza,” said Dr. Marcos Mestre, chief medical officer at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami.

Children under 12 are still not eligible to receive a COVID vaccine. With school set to start again in the coming weeks, pediatricians are concerned the problem could get even worse.

“I want to create awareness for parents but also not panic. Only about 1% of children that are infected require hospitalization,” said Mestre. “We're just seeing more of the infections and the denominator, therefore, is larger and hence we're seeing a little bit more hospitalizations at this time.”

A Spike In Kids With COVID
Florida has at least 7 kids with multi-system inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, linked to coronavirus (COVID-19). Nicklaus Children’s Hospital near South Miami has created a specialized ICU unit to treat the disorder.

Cruises Comeback

Cruises are back sailing from U.S. ports — after more than a year of being shut down because of the pandemic.

Last year, cruise lines were making headlines for COVID-19 outbreaks. Now, they’re hoping to make a comeback with precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

Still, the pandemic is not over and more contagious variants of COVID are spreading at an alarming rate.

Just last week, six passengers tested positive aboard Royal Caribbean International's Adventure of the Seas — which departed from Nassau, Bahamas.

“They were medically evacuated and taken door to door from the ship to their homes via private transport on a private plane. And that transportation came at no cost to the passengers," said Morgan Hines, a travel and consumer news reporter for USA Today.

Hines was sailing on that same cruise on assignment and was the first to report the news.

Four of the six passengers who tested positive had been vaccinated. The other two were unvaccinated minors.

All passengers 16 and older were required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to board the cruise ship. Children under 16 needed to test negative for the virus before boarding.

All of the crew members were vaccinated.

Cruises Comeback
Port Canaveral announced they now do not expect commercial cruise lines to restart until at least July. Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.

CryptoPunks NFT

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have become increasingly popular in the arts, business and entertainment worlds.

The Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami became one of the first major art museums to acquire an NFT.

“Artists are still asking themselves how to present that work. So if you have a digital file, you have any number of options, you could project it. You could turn it into a drawing, you could turn it into a giant sculpture,” said Alex Gartenfeld, artistic director of ICA Miami.

It comes as the museum is expanding its digital art offerings with the coronavirus pandemic changing how museums operate.

CryptoPunks NFT
CryptoPunk 5293 is one of 10,000 unique 24-by-24-pixel icons, created in 2017 by the collective Larva Labs, as one of the earliest series of NFTs ever offered for exchange on the Ethereum blockchain.

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Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the lead producer behind WLRN's daily magazine program, Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also works on visual and digital storytelling.