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albacore

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Poulsbo WA
Home country: United States
Current location: Poulsbo
Member since: Sun Aug 26, 2018, 12:47 PM
Number of posts: 1,230

Journal Archives

Anybody else getting weird script on DU posts?

I read a post just now, and it looked like this...
"My bff�s son, who I�ve written here about a few times..."

Several others, too.

I did nothing to bring this about.

Any help?

I want to be the first to offer my wholehearted approval of Biden's VP pick.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ was my first choice for VP all along.

The other possibilities are great people, too, don't get me wrong.

But....

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ is the best choice.

My guess is that trump is putting the camo dudes into the cities....

...so that one or more of them will be killed.
THEN..he can go full authoritarian.

If you were in the Marines, you know the concept of "live bait".

Mask denial.... it's gonna kill a lot of Americans....

These surfer dudes were handing out free masks in Orange County, CA, and people were NOT having it. Check out the comments from possible recipients.
Orange County school board just announced they will open schools in the Fall with no distancing and no masks.
We are NEVER gonna beat this damn virus!
I swear..if you swapped the brain of some of these people with a jaybird.. the jaybird would fly backwards.
Listen to this shit!

School reopening....

This was posted elsewhere by Cong. Joe Miller. Long read. I dunno if DU can post the whole thing.
This country is nuts if people think we can open schools like we normally do. Or at all like anything approaching normal.
Please don't bother telling me "TL;DR"

"Copied from Fairfax County Public Schools
Written by a SPED Teacher

To our fellow FCPS families, this is it gang, 5 days until the 2 days in school vs. 100% virtual decision. Lets talk it out, in my traditional mammoth TL/DR form.

Like all of you, Ive seen my feed become a flood of anxiety and faux expertise. Youll get no presumption of expertise here. This is how I am looking at and considering this issue and the positions people have taken in my feed and in the hundred or so FCPS discussion groups that have popped up. The lead comments in quotes are taken directly from my feed and those boards. Sometimes I try to rationalize them. Sometimes Im just punching back at the void.

Full disclosure, we initially chose the 2 days option and are now having serious reservations. As I consider the positions and arguments I see in my feed, these are where my mind goes. Of note, when I started working on this piece at 12:19 PM today the COVID death tally in the United States stood at 133,420.

My kids want to go back to school.

I challenge that position. I believe what the kids desire is more abstract. I believe what they want is a return to normalcy. They want their idea of yesterday. And yesterday isnt on the menu.

I want my child in school so they can socialize.

This was the principle reason for our 2 days decision. As I think more on it though, what do we think social will look like? There arent going to be any lunch table groups, any lockers, any recess games, any study halls, any sitting next to friends, any talking to people in the hallway, any dances. All of that is off the menu. So, when we say that we want the kids to benefit from the social experience, what are we deluding ourselves into thinking in-building socialization will actually look like in the Fall?

My kid is going to be left behind.

Left behind who? The entire country is grappling with the same issue, leaving all children in the same quagmire. Who exactly would they be behind? I believe the rhetorical answer to that is Theyll be behind where they should be, to which Ill counter that where they should be is a fictional goal post that we as a society have taken as gospel because it maps to standardized tests which are used to grade schools and counties as they chase funding.

Classrooms are safe.

At the current distancing guidelines from FCPS middle and high schools would have no more than 12 people (teachers + students) in a classroom (I acknowledge this number may change as FCPS considers the Commonwealths 3 ft with a mask vs. 6 ft position, noting that FCPS is all mask regardless of the distance). For the purpose of this discussion well say classes run 45 minutes.

I posed the following question to 40 people today, representing professional and management roles in corporations, government agencies, and military commands: Would your company or command have a 12 person, 45 minute meeting in a conference room?

100% of them said no, they would not. These are some of their answers:

No. Until further notice we are on Zoom.
(Our company) doesnt allow us in (company space).
Oh hell no.
No absolutely not.
Is there a percentage lower than zero?
Something of that size would be virtual.

We do not even consider putting our office employees into the same situation we are contemplating putting our children into. And lets drive this point home: there are instances here when commanding officers will not put soldiers, ACTUAL SOLDIERS, into the kind of indoor environment were contemplating for our children. For me this is as close to a kill shot argument as there is in this entire debate. How do we work from home because buildings with recycled air are not safe, because we dont trust other people to not spread the virus, and then with the same breath send our children into buildings?

Children only die .0016 of the time.

First, conceding were an increasingly morally bankrupt society, but when did we start talking about childrens lives, or anyones lives, like this? This how the villain in movies talks about mortality, usually 10-15 minutes before the good guy kills him.

If youre in this camp, and I acknowledge that many, many people are, Im asking you to consider that number from a slightly different angle.

FCPS has 189,000 children. .0016 of that is 302. 302 dead children are the Calvary Hill youre erecting your argument on. So, lets agree to do this: stop presenting this as a data point. If this is your argument, I challenge you to have courage equal to your conviction. Go ahead, plant a flag on the internet and say, Only 302 children will die. No one will. Thats the kind action on social media that gets you fired from your job. And I trust our social media enclave isnt so careless and irresponsible with life that it would even, for even a millisecond, enter any of your minds to make such an argument.

Considered another way: Youre presented with a bag with 189,000 $1 bills. Youre told that in the bag are 302 random bills, they look and feel just like all the others, but each one of those bills will kill you. Do you take the money out of the bag?

Same argument, applied to the 12,487 teachers in FCPS (per Wikipedia), using the childrens multiplier of .0016 (all of us understanding the adult mortality rate is higher). Thats 20 teachers. Thats the number youre talking about. Its very easy to sit behind a keyboard and diminish and dismiss the risk youre advocating other people assume. Take a breath and think about that.

If you want to advocate for 2 days a week, look, Im looking for someone to convince me. But please, for the love of God, drop things like this from your argument. Because the people I know whove said things like this, I know theyre better people than this. Theyre good people under incredible stress who let things slip out as their frustration boils over. So, please do the right thing and move on from this, because one potential outcome is that one day, youre going to have to stand in front of St. Peter and answer for this, and thats not going to be conversation you enjoy.

Hardly any kids get COVID.

(Deep sigh) Yes, that is statistically true as of this writing. But it is a cherry-picked argument because youre leaving out an important piece.

One can reasonably argue that, due to the school closures in March, children have had the least EXPOSURE to COVID. In other words, closing schools was the one pandemic mitigation action we took that worked. There can be no discussion of the rate of diagnosis within children without also acknowledging they were among our fastest and most quarantined people. Put another way, you cannot cite the effect without acknowledging the cause.

The flu kills more people every year.

(Deep sigh). First of all, no, it doesnt. Per the CDC, United States flu deaths average 20,000 annually. COVID, when I start writing here today, has killed 133,420 in six months.

And when you mention the flu, do you mean the disease that, if youre suspected of having it, everyone, literally everyone in the country tells you stay the f- away from other people? You mean the one where parents are pretty sure their kids have it but send them to school anyway because they have a meeting that day, the one that every year causes massive f-ing outbreaks in schools because schools are petri dishes and it causes kids to miss weeks of school and leaves them out of sports and band for a month? That one? Because youre right - the flu kills people every year. It does, but youre ignoring the why. Its because there are people who are a--holes who dont care about infecting other people. In that regard its a perfect comparison to COVID.

Almost everyone recovers.

Youre confusing release from the hospital and no longer infected with recovered. Im fortunate to only know two people who have had COVID. One my age and one my dads age. The one my age described it as absolute hell and although no longer infected cannot breathe right. The one my dads age was in the hospital for 13 weeks, had to have a trach ring put in because she could no longer be on a ventilator, and upon finally getting home and being faced with incalculable time in rehab told my mother, I wish I had died.

While Im making every effort to reach objectivity, on this particular point, you dont know what the f- youre talking about.

If people get sick, they get sick.

First, you mistyped. What you intended to say was If OTHER people get sick, they get sick. And shame on you.

Im not going to live my life in fear.

You already live your life in fear. For your health, your familys health, your job, your retirement, terrorists, extremists, one political party or the other being in power, the new neighbors, an unexpected home repair, the next sunrise. What you meant to say was, Im not prepared to add ANOTHER fear, and Ive got news for you: that ship has sailed. Its too late. There are two kinds of people, and only two: those that admit theyre afraid, and those that are lying to themselves about it.

As to the fear argument, fear is the reason you wait up when your kids stay out late, its the reason you tell your kids not to dive in the shallow water, to look both ways before crossing the road. Fear is the respect for the wide world that we teach our children. Except in this instance, for reasons no one has been able to explain to me yet.

FCPS leadership sucks.

I will summarize my view of the School Board thusly: if the 12 of you arent getting into a room together because it represents a risk, dont tell me its OK for our kids. I understand your arguments, that we need the 2 days option for parents who cant work from home, kids who dont have internet or computer access, kids who needs meals from the school system, kids who need extra support to learn, and most tragically for kids who are at greater risk of abuse by being home. All very serious, all very real issues, all heartbreaking. No argument.

But you must first lead by example. Because youre failing when it comes to optics. All your meetings are online. What our children see is all of you on a Zoom telling them its OK for them to be exactly where you arent. I understand youre not PR people, but you really should think about hiring some.

I talked it over with my kids.
Lets put aside for a moment the concept of adults effectively deferring this decision to children, the same children who will continue to stuff things into a full trash can rather than change it out. Yes, those hygienic children.

Listen, my 15 year old daughter wants a sport car, which shes not getting next year because it would be dangerous to her and to others. Those kinds of decisions are our job. We step in and decide as parents, we dont let them expose themselves to risks because their still developing and screen addicted brains narrow their understanding of cause and effect.

We as parents and adults serve to make difficult decisions. Sometimes those are in the form of lessons, where we try to steer kids towards the right answer and are willing to let them make a mistake in the hopes of teaching better decision making the next time around. This is not one of those moments. The stakes are too high for that. This is a the adults are talking moment. Kids are not mature enough for this moment. That is not an attack on your child. It is a broad statement about all children. It is true of your children and it was true when we were children. We need to be doing that thinking here, and Johnny wants to see Bobby at school cannot be the prevailing element in the equation.

The teachers need to do their job.
How is it that the same society which abruptly shifted to virtual students only three months ago, and offered glowing endorsements of teachers stating, we finally understand how difficult your job is, has now shifted to screw you, do your job. There are myriad problems with that position but for the purposes of this piece lets simply go with, Youre not looking for a teacher, youre looking for the babysitter you feel your property tax payment entitles you to.

Teachers have a greater chance to being killed by a car than they do of dying from COVID.

(Eye roll) Per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the U.S. see approximately 36,000 auto fatalities a year. Again, there have been 133,420 COVID deaths in the United States through 12:09 July 10, 2020. So no, they do not have a great chance of being killed in a car accident.

And, if you want to take the actual environment into consideration, the odds of a teacher being killed in a car accident in their classroom, you know, the environment were actually talking about, thats right around 0%.

If the grocery store workers can be onsite what are the teachers afraid of?

(Deep breath) A grocery store worker, who absolutely risks exposure, has either six feet of space or a plexiglass shield between them and individual adult customers who can grasp their own mortality whose transactions can be completed in moments, in a 40,000 SF space.

A teacher is with 11 customers who have not an inkling what mortality is, for 45 minutes, in a 675 SF space, six times a day.

Just stop.

Teachers are choosing remote because they dont want to work.

(Deep breaths) Many teachers are opting to be remote. That is not a vacation. Theyre requesting to do their job at a safer site. Just like many, many people who work in buildings with recycled air have done. And likely the building youre not going into has a newer and better serviced air system than our schools.

Of greater interest to me is the number of teachers choosing the 100% virtual option for their children. The people who spend the most time in the buildings are the same ones electing not to send their children into those buildings. Thats something I pay attention to.

I wasnt prepared to be a parent 24/7 and I just need a break.

I truly, deeply respect that honesty. Truth be told, both arguments have crossed my mind. Pre COVID, I routinely worked from home 1 2 days a week. The solace was nice. When I was in the office, I had an actual office, a room with a door I could close, where I could focus. During the quarantine that hasnt always been the case. Ive been frustrated, Ive been short, Ive gone to just take a drive and get the hell away for a moment and been disgusted when one of the kids sees me and asks me to come for a ride, robbing me of those minutes of silence. You want to hear silence. I get it. I really, really do.

Heres another version of that, admittedly extreme. What if one of our kids becomes one of the 302? Whats that silence going to sound like? What if you have one of those matted frames where you add the kids school picture every year? What if you dont get to finish the pictures?

What does your gut tell you to do?

Shawn and I have talked ad infinitum about all of these and other points. Two days ago, at mid-discussion I said, Stop, right now, gut answer, what is it, and we both said, virtual.

A lot of the arguments I hear people making for the 2 days sound like were trying to talk ourselves into ignoring our instincts, they are almost exclusively, Were doing 2 days, but. Theres a fantastic book by Gavin de Becker, The Gift of Fear, which Ill minimize for you thusly: your gut instinct is a hardwired part of your brain and you should listen to it. In the introduction he talks about elevators, and how, of all living things, humans are the only ones that would voluntarily get into a soundproof steel box with a potential predator just so they could skip a flight of stairs.

I keep thinking that the 2 days option is the soundproof steel box. I welcome, damn, beg, anyone to convince me otherwise.

At the time I started writing at 12:09 PM, 133,420 Americans had died from COVID. Upon completing this draft at 7:04 PM, that number rose to 133,940.

520 Americans died of COVID while I was working on this. In seven hours.

The length of a school day. #302"

Sending kids back to school...

Big problem... good arguments on both sides.

But. If you've ever taught, you know the classrooms are petrie dishes.

One of my former students made this observation to me on FB:

"If the schools can't control lice in a school... how can they control Covid?"

Good point.
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