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I attended a cyber meeting for my local school board the other evening. The current, tentative plan is to reopen next month on a hybrid schedule with smaller classes. It was city-wide for parents and school staff, and they took questions in the chat.

They did not answer my question:

What will a school do if a teacher gets Covid or dies? Will the entire school close for two weeks or only that classroom?

So here this was, a meeting about how they'll cope in pandemic with many fatalities so far, and they can't talk about the D word - death - and what their plan is.

Another ignored question was Will the schools place middle & high school students on online instruction who keep taking off their masks during the day or refuse to wear a mask?

Their silence spoke volumes. They don't know or have decided to plod on no matter what.

Someone else asked, What will they do if a teacher calls in sick?

They said they'll have substitutes.

Well la-dee-dah.

This approach reminds me of war. Soldiers get injured, some heal and go back. Those who die are replaced by new ones until the war is won or lost. This pandemic has been a poorly managed war from a strategic standpoint since the beginning. Some of us are soldiers by choice or necessity, while others are sitting it out, all of waiting a vaccine to nuke Covid out of existence.
 

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There's been a decline in courage in leadership over the last 20 years. I guess this is the result: failure to address hard questions, failure to speak out against the CDC's White House's new guidelines on education and school openings.
 

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This makes me really sad. We have a mask mandate here now which requires all customers must wear masks. If they can't safely wear one for medical reasons, the business must make reasonable accommodations, such as curbside pickup.

These new, very clear rules have certainly improved things here. But some have struggled to keep up with the changing guidelines and will argue with staff based on last month's guidelines. It's exhausting for everyone, and probably a little scary at times.
True...and they have been providing curb-side pick up and window pick up since this all began. We also have the mandate to wear masks . Most people comply without question of the new laws.. ...how easy it is to get people to comply when you put fear into it. Kinda scary...
 

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I think there will always be a virus around, just like the flu...you get a vaccine for the flu and you will get one for the virus. It will work on some strains and not others. We need more to learn to carry on daily life without giving up our freedoms. If wearing a mask does that maybe we should have been wearing them long ago. Part of the problem with school is many families use it as a babysitting service, sure they want they child educated but when you know your child has a temperature or isn't feeling well, keep them home instead of sending them to school to see how they will feel during the day. So many end up getting sent home after they arrive and infected their classmates while some stay because there isn't anyone or they feel they can sit it out till the bell rings.
 

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One of the local school systems that borders the national park opened on Wednesday. They have only 1/5 of their students on campus each day and have them virtual school the other days.

On Friday they announced that someone on campus had tested positive for the virus; they've already done the contact tracing and everyone in contact is out for two weeks.

That must mean that on the first day of school someone came to school with the virus.

It's going to be a difficult school year for everyone.
 

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Our school system will reopen after labor day. Normally it opens in August. Grades k-5 will go 5 days a week, and with the exception of k, thru 2 no masks required but everyone else must be masked. Grades 6-12 will go 2 days a week and every other Friday, remaining classes will be online. This way they can keep classes smaller and fewer on campus each day. I don't know what the Universities are doing yet. My daughter is thinking of taking a few classes and if she can get anything online she will do that as it will also allow her to keep her job.
 

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That's a really good article, written by an American and full of little tidbits that actually made me laugh. If I had read this six months ago I would have sworn Andy Borowitz wrote it as satire. My favorite excerpts:

Remember how people would joke about moving to Canada when things would go terribly, politically? ...Well it turns out we need a new joke. Because Canada isn’t having it anymore. They don’t want us there — at all, no laughing matter. “You need to get the pandemic under control. You need a rational person to take the helm of your country. Until then, all we’re saying to Americans is: Stay away. When you come against our wishes, pardon the expression, it pisses us off.”

Ouch. You know you’re becoming a pariah country when the Canadians go all “pardon the expression” on you.

“We regard the United States right now as the biggest petri dish in the world."

“Hard pass on opening the border — we’re a healthy nation with big plans, and you’re a failed society,” one Canadian replied to the congressional letter on Twitter.

“That border stays CLOSED,” wrote another. “Canadians may be polite but we aren’t CRAZY!”

And another: “There’s no reason to believe Americans will care about the health of Canadians, given that relatively few seem to care about the health of other Americans.”


(Ouch.)

A recent poll of Canadians showed 89% want to keep the border with the U.S. closed through 2020, with the pollster saying they regard America’s mishandling of the virus as “a cautionary tale.”

...seeing the willful denial in America about the coronavirus, a known contagion, has Canadians wondering if their neighbors have lost any capacity to reason.



And this:

Canada, he said, is averaging fewer than 500 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths per day, in the entire country — yet is scrambling to tamp that down with contact tracing, calling it a “surge.”

“You had 71,000 new cases and more than a thousand deaths today,” he said. “American tourists are normally the most welcome, but we look at all this and we just shake our heads.”
 

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Unfortunately there is a lack of leadership
The pendulum swings
It's an honor system, to do what is right.
Even in hard hit New York, We have our fair share of idiots, the non mask wearers.
Rights they say

I have the right not to die just because they are idiots.

A vaccine

That's the answer
Yeah well it took FDR and the start of March of Dimes, that funded the research into a vaccine against Polio, the American people funded the cure and years of research and human trials.
It took 2 years for the Spanish Flu of 1918 to run its course.
There is legislation on the books since 1905 here in the U.S. that basically has national health safety outweigh personal liberty.

There are a lot of people who want to be large and in charge but it is hard to lead by example shouldn't be but it is
 

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Why does being an American have to hurt so much?
There is some interesting reading on honor culture vs dignity culture, which I think goes a long way to explaining why America is so weird right now. Honor culture is distinguished by people being very conscious of and protective of their reputations. Dignity culture values self control.

Honor culture tends to exist when you can't count on an authority to sort out problems. Basically, people need to establish a badass reputation and defend that reputation to ensure other people won't mess with them. It's survival. People with an honor culture mindset tend to react vigorously to minor slights, because letting things slide can be seen as weakness.

In contrast, dignity culture tends to exist when tolerance is more beneficial than conflict, and where people mostly trust an authority to help sort out problems.

Honor culture in America would include many inner cities (the police are too corrupt or racist to be trustworthy), some rural areas (the police are too far away to be useful in an emergency), and many areas with corrupt or ineffective politicians and judicial systems.

New England is pretty much a dignity culture, as is much of Canada and much of Europe. People mostly try to sort out conflicts peacefully. When a conflict can't be resolved, they are comfortable letting authority deal with it.

I think the different mindset in New England is why Boston went along with shutting down the entire city and surrounding suburbs after the Marathon bombing a few years back. It's also why Boston has been remarkably cooperative about Covid related mask and business regulations.
 

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Because I don't trust headlines completely, I've been using this site for backup.
Coronavirus Update (Live): 16,308,712 Cases and 650,157 Deaths from COVID-19 Virus Pandemic - Worldometer

Despite all the howling about California being an out of control hotspot, it's not! Not by the numbers anyway.
California has the same population as Canada. (Or near enough.) It also has near enough to the same number of deaths from COVID-19. So I'd be concerned with headlines that condemned CA and lauded Canada.

But in comparison with our figures, the US as a whole should have about 85,000 deaths.... not 150,000.
 

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More alarming news from the White House. The WaPo is reporting that a top aide to Alex Azar - Health and Human Services Secretary (i.e. responsible for the US response to Covid) - was a labradoodle breeder!!!! It goes without saying that the political appointee was poorly vetted (ahem; the authors gets their own pun in at the end of the article).

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EARLY ON in the coronavirus pandemic, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar assigned a top aide to run the day-to-day U.S. response. The aide’s occupation before his ascension to his prominent post? Labradoodle breeder.

That is only one of the absurd and alarming examples of unqualified or otherwise dangerous political appointees carrying out critical duties in the Trump administration — and the worst part is, the public isn’t even aware of many of them. The United States government employs some 4,000 political appointees, more than any other industrialized democracy. Approximately 1,200 must be confirmed by the Senate, yet thousands remain who can be installed in their positions in the shadows. The only widely available catalogue of who they are and what they do comes in the Office of Personnel Management’s “Plum Book.” This encyclopedia is released only every four years, rendering it almost irrelevant for a one-term administration.

Congress’s Periodically Listing Updates to Management, or PLUM, Act, approved by a Senate committee last week, aims to replace the “Plum Book” with something more relevant: a directory updated every two years instead of every four, and that exists on a website rather than in printed form or a clunky PDF. This is a step forward, though not a step far enough. Better would be data added in real time on who’s in and who’s out, so the public, press and lawmakers can scrutinize power players for experience and conflicts of interest. The matter is of particular concern as an election approaches and presents the possibility of an outgoing administration slipping its political appointees into career roles so that they can stick around unnoticed, a trick known as “burrowing.”

Generally, OPM has done a decent job guarding against burrowing, but the agency’s inspector general announced recently that officials there are slow-rolling his investigation into whether the administration is already sneaking political appointees into what are traditionally career roles. Pair this with the troubling anecdotes about non-confirmed appointees we are aware of, and there’s particular reason for concern.

The man responsible for overseeing the child separation policy at the border, for instance, had never spent any time resettling refugees before he was put in charge of refugee resettlement. He was, however, an antiabortion advocate, which perhaps explains why he sparked scandal by trying to stop detained minors from getting abortions. Currently, the White House is urging the hiring to a key Pentagon position of Rich Higgins, a conspiracy theorist fired from the National Security Council after propounding the theory that a “deep state” composed of the media, Black Lives Matter, Islamists, the United Nations and more was working together to undermine the president. The myth has stuck.

Americans learn of these people poised to have significant influence over the country’s course only by a mixture of chance and circumstance. We ought to be aware of them by rule, the better to ensure that no essential function of government goes to the dogs — or the Labradoodles.
 

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I had seen the labradoodle part of this story some weeks ago, But as with many things from that corner of the world, I once again am left scratching my head wondering if these really are the best people to be found. I guess if you are only fair to middling yourself you can really hire the best people lest you be outshown by them. In other words, yes Tony Fauci is one of the best people, but not hired by this POTUS of course and on the outs because he was too bright for his own (and our) good.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,137
...honor culture vs dignity culture...
That was very interesting, Cowpony. I had never seen cultures described this way.

I'm not sure which category Japan would fit in, but my brother visited there a few years ago and said it was cleanest country he'd ever been in. No litter on the streets whatsoever. If a citizen did see a piece of trash or bottle, they'd pick it up and place it in a trashcan. I asked why he thought they do this.

"National pride," he answered.

I remember when Americans took more pride in the way we dress in public. I distinctly remember the '70s or maybe it was the early '80s when wearing gym clothes became the rage. People used to dress up a bit to go to the store; my parents did until their deaths in 2002 and 2004. Gradually you'd see people wearing sneakers, jeans and tee shirts to the malls and to middle of the road restaurants where formerly they spiffied up to look nice. Many still do, but not nearly as much as they used to. I've been guilty of it myself going to the grocery store and hoping to run into a coworker.

Maybe the changes have a lot to do with cities getting so large you can go for days and weeks without running into anyone who knows you. I can't think of the sociological word now for the sense of alienation or isolation that exists in large cities, leading to many to not feeling they're part of a community and not acting their best, resulting in not caring so much about others. Much has been written about that, i.e. it causes increases in crime, mental health and drug problems, etc.
 

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Vita I remember my mom buying new nice outfits for me and my brother the first time we took a trip by plane (in the 60s). The last time I took a plane trip half the people were wearing what looked like worn out pjs. Working from home since March of course could be done in pjs for me, but I still get dressed everyday. I may well be wearing jeans, but I often wore jeans to campus (like on days where I knew students might spill stuff in lab that I wouldn't have wanted to have on good clothes.

And yes the conversation about honor culture vs. dignity culture made a meaningful impression on me too. cowpony thank you for posting that.
 

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Vita I remember my mom buying new nice outfits for me and my brother the first time we took a trip by plane (in the 60s). The last time I took a plane trip half the people were wearing what looked like worn out pjs...
Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! I haven't been on a plane in years, but that's hilarious.
 

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Vita I remember my mom buying new nice outfits for me and my brother the first time we took a trip by plane (in the 60s). The last time I took a plane trip half the people were wearing what looked like worn out pjs.
The girls sprinting for their gates while wearing flip-flops and dragging a rolling suitcase really make me shake my head. At least when I'm being a slob I wear Keen sandals that have some toe protection and stay on my feet.

I remember when my mother used to wear a suit and gloves to go to the grocery. She looked like she'd raided Jackie O's closet.
 
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