I remember an old joke about two guys watching a western movie, and about halfway through the one fellow turns to the other and says “Hey, I bet you 5 bucks in a couple minutes this horse falls into a hole and gets hurt.” The other fellow looks at him and says “You’re on” and they shake hands to seal the deal.
Sure enough, in a couple minutes, the horse does in fact fall into a hole and get hurt. The loser of the bet looks at the other fellow and exclaims “How did you know that.”
Grinning, he replies, “I’ve seen this movie before.”
The loser then responds, “Me too, but I thought the horse would learn.”
I think of that joke often as I watch our political responses to the coronavirus. As we speak, omicron is screaming through the nation, shattering infection rates, and our response from many of our leaders has been “OK, how about we do what we did the last time, but with fewer precautions and less enforcement. SURELY THIS TIME IT WILL BE DIFFERENT.”
In NYC, it is a complete and total shitshow right now. Schools are little more than superspreader events:
I’d like to preface this by stating that remote learning was absolutely detrimental to the mental health of myself, my friends, and my peers at school. Despite this, the present conditions within schools necessitates a temporary return to remote learning; if not because of public health, then because of learning loss.
A story of my day:
– I arrived at school and promptly went to Study Hall. I knew that some of my teachers would be absent because they had announced it on Google Classroom earlier in the day. At our school there is a board in front of the auditorium with the list of teachers and seating sections for students within study hall: today there were 14 absent teachers 1st period. There are 11 seatable sections within the auditorium … THREE CLASSES sat on the stage. Study hall has become a super spreader event — I’ll get to this in a moment.
– Second period I had another absent teacher. More of the same from 1st period. It was around this time that 25% of kids, including myself, realized that there were no rules being enforced outside of attendance at the start of the period, and that cutting lass was ridiculously easy. We left — there was functionally no learning occurring within study hall, and health conditions were safer outside of the auditorium. It was well beyond max capacity.
– Third period I had a normal class period. Hooray! First thing the teacher did was pass out COVID tests because we had all been close contacts to a COVID-positive student in our class. 4 more teachers would pass out COVID tests throughout the day, which were to be taken at home. The school started running low on tests, and rules had to be refined to ration.
– “To be taken at home.” Ya … students don’t listen. 90% of the bathrooms were full of students swabbing their noses and taking their tests. I had one kid ask me — with his mask down, by the way — whether a “faint line was positive,” proceeding to show me his positive COVID test. I told him to go the nurse. One student tested positive IN THE AUDITORIUM, and a few students started screaming and ran away from him. There was now a lack of available seats given there was a COVID-positive student within the middle of the auditorium. They’re now planning on having teachers give up their free periods to act as substitute teachers because the auditorium is simply not safe enough.
– Classes that I did attend were quiet and empty. Students are staying home because of risk of COVID without testing positive (as they should) and some of my classes had 10+ students absent. Nearly every class has listed myself and others are close contacts.
– I should note that in study hall and with subs we literally learn nothing. I spent about 3 hours sitting around today doing nothing.
– I tested positive for COVID on December the 14th. At the time there were a total of 6 cases. By the end of break this number was up to 36. By January the 3rd (when we returned from break) the numbers were up to 100 (as listed on the school Google Sheet). Today there are 226. This is around 10% of my school. As of Monday, only 30 of whom were reported to the DOE … which just seems like negligence to me.
– 90% of the conversations spoken by students concern COVID. It has completely taken over any function of daily school life.
– One teacher flat out left his class 5 mins into the lesson and didn’t return because he was developing symptoms and didn’t believe it safe to spread to his class.
I’ve been adamantly opposed to remote learning for a while, and thought that it was overall an unmitigated disaster for the learning and mental health of students. At the present time, however, schools cannot teach and function well enough in person. We must go remote.
Yet the new mayor, Eric “WHAT IF RUDY GIULIANI, BUT BLACK” Adams, has decided to insist schools stay open.
It’s fucking maddening.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
Reposting from below:
From the TPM Live Coverage:
BUT SWAGGER WILL SAVE US ALL HE SAID
Sounds about right.
Out here in WA the schools were super vigilant last spring when they re-opened. Strict seating charts posted to the administration so any positive test they could see all the other students that kid had been close to. Rigidly enforced distancing in the halls and cafeteria and such. Strict contact tracing.
Now it seems like they have basically give up on all of that except for the mask mandates.
What will force the schools back into virtual mode is when they no longer have enough healthy teachers to keep them open. I don’t think anything else wll.
Kay is going to kick your ass.
I just got back from a doctor’s appointment. She has very little hope of an end to this anytime soon. For anyone with health risks, Omicron is no less virulent than any previous variant, other than it’s a whole lot speedier than them.
I swear the only reason we don’t know that it’s everywhere in the schools in our district out on Long Island is that people are not bothering to test. The school handed out free test kits this week but are not requiring them or starting a “test to stay” policy. The school board is adamant we don’t go remote or even 50/50 in person, and the district sent ANOTHER letter to the Governor demanding “LOCAL CONTROL” to try to wriggle out of the mask mandate. Fucking assholes. (Not the teachers and staff who’ve put up with several hellish years, but the fucking admins and 60% of the parents.)
Sometimes there are no good options.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka):
Gorsuch also casually mentioned that flu kills about 140,000 people a year—which is completely false! (It averages somewhere between 12,000 and 52,000.) Good to know he has a command of the facts as he rules on important national issues.
As a librarian in NYC I can confirm, especially with regard to the libraries. Of course, the admins are all working from home while telling us it’s no big deal to be exposed all day to the mask-reluctant public (in my branch we enforce it well, but that’s not true everywhere)
ETA: There are over a dozen branches closed daily in Brooklyn alone, mainly due to staff shortages (which are generally directly or indirectly COVID-related).
Sorry for the O/T, but the McMichaels, père et fils, each got sentences of Life with no possibility of parole + 20 years.
Bryan gets Life with possibility of parole.
Good, good, good.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
One has to also wonder if it was “all about control”, why didn’t they intervene in vaccine mandates in NYC?
Even if it were 140,000, that’s a quarter of the 2021 deaths from COVID-19. Scary that the stupid has spread as far as it has.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka): I wonder about this. Why is it surprising that ideologues are ideologues? They aren’t looking at this in terms of safety, precedent, or danger to others. They’re looking at it through the lens of right-wing fever swamps, because they’re in the fucking swamp.
Why any reporter would be surprised that the nutjobs on the court are acting like nutjobs is beyond me.
My college was adamant that we would be fully in person starting Jan 3. By Jan 4th we were notified not to come back to campus until Feb 1 – probably because of all the employees out for Covid or exposure by the second day. No vax mandate. We are between terms too – so barely any students on campus those days.
my assumption is a bunch of people caught it or were exposed over the holidays and since they have no vax mandate they figured best wait until that blows over. I don’t know why we were there in Jan anyway – we were supposed to come back in Feb when students were settled but someone got wild hair that we must be there first thing!!!
My daughter teaches in a large district in the South Sound area of Western Washington. She told me that her district had 40 bus drivers out and most of those routes were just canceled, including the bus route for one of her kids. Parents are scrambling to transport their kids and many kids are now absent because they have no transportation. So theses kids are not sick but are home and many are home alone with no instruction.
And that doesn’t even touch in the current lack of substitutes for all the teachers out sick.
Old Man Shadow
Schools down here in So. Cal continue in person learning. My son sat across from another student for two periods who tested positive the next day. So far, he’s been fine and none of us is showing symptoms, so he’s allowed to continue in school.
Incidents have been relatively low so far. I wonder if it’s because the district has both a vaccine and a mask mandate or if we’re just lucky so far.
Regardless, I’ve been making my son double up on masks and my daughter wear the only KN95 mask we have at the moment. I’m waiting on a shipment of N95s.
I’d honestly like them to go remote learning through the end of January and the state to advise everyone to stay at home except for essential businesses, but SCOTUS already said, “Fuck you” to any burden we try and put on churches, so I doubt it would work. White Evangelicals are great plague rats these days.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Benw: I’m skeptical of all the talk about home testing because I think even among the people who are willing to take and abide by results, how many are going to perform the tests correctly? add accuracy on top of that.
A cousin of mine had a terrible, two-week head cold early in December and home tested negative at least once. Her sister said later, “It was Covid, she didn’t do the test right”. Certainly possible, I have no idea.
Because if they admit it, then they can’t both-sides the issue, and High Broderism uber alles is far more important than accurate reporting these days, unless something can be blamed on the Democrats.
By chance, I read two different perspectives on this back-to-back today. The first was an article in The Atlantic with a horrid click-baity title that will infuriate valued commenter Baud: “Why I Soured on the Democrats,” subtitled “COVID school policies set me adrift from my tribe.” She recounts her and her children’s struggles with Cleveland’s school closures and writes:
The next piece was a teacher’s clap-back to something Josh Marshall wrote in favor of opening schools:
I don’t know what the answer is, but fairness demands weighing both perspectives, IMO.
PS: I’d exchange Adams for every elected Republican in Florida, obviously, but WTF is up with him? First the crypto nonsense, then the “only cops are allowed to question cops” bullshit and now the “swagger” strategy for fighting COVID? Surely there were better choices…
Yeah. This was my challenge at the start – how to keep the institution focused on the goal of keeping people from getting sick and dying, which they constantly slid off of to focus on PR, budget, ‘what if we get in trouble’, and so on. I had to constantly grab the conversation by the collar and pull it back to the goal – people will die. Preventing that is your first priority. If this was an earthquake or wildfire, what actions would you be willing to take? Would you close the campus? Yeah, then you have to do that. And they did.
I said early on that schools should be the last to close an the first to open, and I stand by that. If the bars are open and you’re debating about closing schools, you’ve failed. It’s that simple. If you can safely keep a bar open, then you need to apply all of those tools to the school. If those are inadequate to keeping the school safe, then the bar shouldn’t be open because the bar also isn’t safe.
We’re in the phase of this where we’ve not given up on the goal, but we’ve failed badly enough at the implementation that our expression of the goal is merely aspirational. Is the goal to keep kids safe? No. But we need to keep saying that it is. The goal is to appease parents, or the public, or the courts now, apparently. Let’s not pretend its anything but that.
Yes, keeping kids out of school for extended periods is bad for their development. Which is why you escalate your efforts to prevent that. Is keeping people out of bars for extended periods bad for their development? No. But they’re still open, they’re still spreading Covid, and they’re creating the problem for the schools. Everyone wants to do this without sacrifice. You can’t. You can to some degree choose the kind of sacrifice, but you have to sacrifice. Why isn’t there vaccine/booster mandates put in place the day they are approved for that age group by the FDA? Why isn’t there a team of nurses in the school the next day with a dose for every kid to make sure they get it? Why aren’t teachers and administrators gearing their operations toward education around Covid? Why aren’t they pulling out all the stops to develop remote learning so that part of the process is as beneficial as possible? I see that on an individual teacher level, but not the institutional level.
This is simply a societal failure. The public demanded the wrong things, and got the wrong things.
Old Man Shadow
@debbie: “Pro-life” people almost entirely view actual human life as cheap, disposable, and worthless.
Life sentence for all 3 convicted Arbery killers.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka):
Am I wrong to think that the US Constitution and laws, in general, and governmenting are about control? Is Gorsuch advocating anarchy? Ayn Rand Libertarianism?
On the bright side, when we can send the children back into the mines, opening schools during deadly pandemics will take a back seat.
Yes, it IS about control. It’s about the control of a virulent epidemic. I wonder if these assholes would care if I followed them home and shit on their bed in the name of freedom.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@SiubhanDuinne: short thread from a reporter on scene
Old Man Shadow
I don’t know what the answer is…
Well, I’d start with a national policy that anyone who can work from home, works from home until the pandemic is abated.
For anyone who can’t work from home, everyone of them must be vaccinated, boosted, and wear masks with a stronger push by the Feds to get KN95 and N95s out to states, workplaces, and schools.
Every school district must require the same.
And while we’re at it, for anyone forced to miss work because they or their child is sick with COVID or their school has gone to remote learning, a monthly or weekly check from the government to help pay for costs.
But absolutely none of that stuff is possible. It will either be struck down by SCOTUS or vetoed by Sinemanchin for rewarding laziness and encouraging parents to buy drugs with gubmint money, doncha know?
In conclusion, we’re fucked. The kids are fucked. The teachers are fucked. Everything is fucked. The End.
Not going to paste the whole thing again but if you missed it this morning, Cyber Ninjas begin racking up fines today.
I don’t think they care if they look non-partisan or not. Maaaaaaybe Roberts.
I don’t think authors are responsible for the titles, so I blame The Atlantic for the click-bait.
However, the idea that “Dems are imperfect and don’t do exactly what I want and so they are the same as the GOP to me” is a fundamentally anti-democratic approach toward politics.
(I can’t speak to the description of McAuliffe’s statements.)
@BretH: Some good news.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: So, home testing serves a different kind of purpose. It’s a signal to the population how to behave around this. ‘if this was so serious they’d send us all a test’ is not an unreasonable argument to make. And there are other benefits to home testing – standing in line at a clinic to get tested is a great way to get covid if you didn’t having it walking in the door. I use the drive-up testing, but outside my car is a team of nurses that could be inside the hospital treating patients. The lack of an at home test just stretches the hospital staff even further.
At home tests aren’t just a good idea on their own, they signal a relationship between the role of government and the role of citizens. We should have been sending everyone N95s ages ago. Governments should have developed tools to help people with contact tracing, and none of that happened. Covid is a test of our rugged individualism, which of course is going to fail given its a collective action problem. At some point government needs to say ‘hey, this doesn’t get solved until everyone does x, y, z – here are the resources to do that’.
And to be extra clear, covid is a test of our ability to address climate change. If we can’t figure this out, we’re fucked on climate change, which will require even more lifestyle changes to achieve.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Baud: the use of “tribe” in a header about somebody from Cleveland made me raise an eyebrow, too
Gorsuch’s mom was a criminal who happened to work in Reagan’s cabinet while criminalling, so I’m not surprised to see her spawn veering off into FakeFactsland.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yes, but I assume that’s The Atlantic.
So I had a meeting with C-suite of my primary client yesterday. (Can’t say their name, but a very large health system here in the mid-Atlantic region). They are projecting that peak infections in the area will occur in the next week and peak hospitalizations the following week. They are indeed reporting that people are not as sick. Many more incidental cases.
Spawn the Younger had an inclement weather day. Which is nice, because I got four COVID alerts from school. In one day. Lots of teachers are out, but they continue to function.
We are damned lucky that the Omicron variant (which I like to think of means “Chronically Everywhere”) appears to be milder in impact than Delta. But infection rates may not be as critical a value as with earlier variants.
And this does make a difference. Hospitalizations are not blowing the roof off. The average hospital stay in some places is 3 days instead of 8 days. More patients are surviving this thing.
But we still have to fight back against the stupid.
@Martin: Some of us were remarking the other day that we hadn’t seen you in a while, and were wondering how you were. Good to see you back.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka):
Neil, you Supreme Court Injustice, you! It’s ok if you put on a few pounds over the holiday season.
It’s not, though. It’s at most several 10s of thousands, excepting rare new-type-influenza pandemics.
It absolutely should make the everyone sharply question all of Neil Gorsuch’s beliefs; since it must be assumed that he is a gullible huffer of right wing antivaxer propaganda, he may be huffing other propaganda and believing other provable falsehoods.
(i.e. if some propagandist says the real influenza death toll is 4x what is reported, well, then, is the real death toll of COVID-19 also 4x what is reported? And if not, what’s the logic?)
Cautiously hopeful, I’ll take it. Our hospitalization and ICU rates do not (yet) mirror the giant case count jump and one prays the combo of vaccinated folks and omicron being less lethal will keep the trend going.
I did not know that. I guess being spawned in the anti-goverment garden had consequences.
In the winter of 2015, we got 100-plus inches of snow in the Boston area. In addition to many snow days, some cities and towns had to close schools for a week to clear their roofs of snow lest the buildings collapse. Everybody recognized this was terrible for teachers, kids and learning. Nobody wanted the school year to go into July. But nobody bitched, either, because what were the towns supposed to do. Why is omicron not treated as a similar event calling for drastic but temporary measures to prevent catastrophe?
Fewer keg stands with Boof, for starters. Or switch the keg over from Coors to Bud Light.
Hardly in the same class but telling anecdatum from last week nonetheless.
Mom in NY had made a reservation to treat step-daughter to a meal at a fancy-schmancy restaurant they both like as a present celebrating the latter’s pending retirement.
Day of the the planned meal the restaurant phoned to say that all reservations were canceled because they had to close due to so many staff being out in consequence of COVID or quarantining.
That goes in the file that also has: Dumb looks are still free.
and Never sniff a gift fish.
@Alison Rose: “I
swaggeredassclowned into town and yelled, ‘Fuck off, COVID-19!”, and it fucked offnow I’m infected.”
@JMG: Because it was somehow turned into a political football I suspect.
Lord knows I hate to invoke his name, but one thing Cuomo did well and consistently during Cuomotime was push back on every “but whaddabout?” question with, “But, it’s better than dying.”
I do not know how that simple dictum does not carry the day with each decision on whether, when and how to “reopen.” If you cannot make it safe, keep doing the old safe thing.
Maybe the covid generation will need grade 13 in school? I just do not know but Canada and a good deal of Europe seem to do well with that.
Mike in NC
There was a long line at the post office today, with almost everybody wearing masks. An exception was a gruff old guy wearing a blue felt jacket with one of those “Thin Blue Line” flags on the sleeve. So yeah, a retired cop.
@trollhattan: Yes. I have a feeling that the situation will be different in as little as two weeks. One thing that is weird about Omicron is that the infection curve seems to drop almost as fast as it rises, which has not been the case in previous waves. So…. hold on. We can do this, y’all.
Don’t leave out his calling essential workers “low education.” Can we be sure he’s not related to that rent-is-too-damn-high guy?
Gorsuch is sounding like he is on team mass murder, or if one prefers, team Constitutional right to kill random people for selfish reasons.
I wonder how he would feel about a stand your ground defense for a person who killed somebody who was unmasked and apparently infected and coughing/sneezing at people, in a pandemic such that they were probably infected with the pandemic pathogen?
Say, a “Respiratory Ebola” pandemic, which would test the No Public Health Measures stance of even staunch Republicans.
I am a masochist and listened to both SCOTUS arguments. Now I am completely depressed. Not only were they beating up on the vaccine or test rules (they were completely ignoring the test alternative), the reactionaries we’re laying the groundwork to tear down much of the regulatory state. So long OSHA, EPA and so on. Alito is a particular troll, veering into “if the worker accepts the risk, so what”. The worst was the chicken shit whining by Alito or Gorsuch (I can’t tell the voices apart enough to always be sure). “I don’t want to be accused of saying vaccines are bad”, while pushing rules that will kill tens or hundreds of thousands. They don’t want to held accountable for the death they create. Reactionary cowards.
@Martin: I agree with everything you wrote, but when 30+ percent of the population denies that there’s even a problem(either denies that the virus exists or it’s just a bad cold…), well…that’s a problem.
The Anne Gorsuch-James Watt reign of environmental terror might have been the worst aspect of the Reagan era, which is really, really saying something.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@debbie: and then there’s this:
I don’t know the specifics of the case, but at the very least Adams doesn’t seem to give much of a fuck about “optics”
My city has replaced most of its schools overthe last fifteen years since many of them were over 100 years old, and newer ones built in the 1960s were pretty subpar. We used our share of the state’s tobacco settlement money and a local income tax increase for the match.
I realize your expertise is more hospitals, but do you think it likely that our new schools are in better ventilation shape than the older schools elsewhere?
When I was a kid in Florida in the 1960s we didn’t have air conditioning, but we did have lots of windows that opened
ETA Meant to reply to Suzanne.
The Moar You Know
And the schools will stay open “for the good of the children”, even as they sicken and die and their teachers sicken and die.
Public education is done. The teachers with a few years left to go until minimum retirement will do those and leave; anyone with longer than five years will just cash out their pension and find something else to do. Who would stay? No sane person, certainly.
@Avalune: Elder son’s uni decided the evening of the 2nd to go remote for a week. After everyone was back in the dorms.
I loved what Martin had to say. This is exactly right. Up here on the Ontario-Quebec border, the powers-that-be have just been the worst possible morons. Bars and restaurants (there are too many of them and most of them are crap) were kept open. Shopping in malls. Frigging gyms and lots of other non-essential covid-spreading activities (hockey games, etc). Yes, everyone here wear masks inside (it’s the law!), but it was too little too late to prevent out of control spread. The media is getting very cagey about reporting on it and I resent that the most.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@?BillinGlendaleCA: and from my own informal meatspace reporting, “we’re all gonna get it, we’re vaxxed, it’ll be mild, and I’m sick of this shit, let’s get on with hit”, from a lot of people who have been smart and careful for a long time
ETA: not about schools, most of my meatspace folk’s kids are college or older, and they’re still wearing masks in public, but also going out, gathering in each other’s homes for the holidays, etc
The assholes in the majority of the Board of Education in Cobb county Georgia have decided, as of yesterday, that no contact tracing will happen. We are now without a mask mandate, without contact tracing, and without an in-school testing program. COVID positives without symptoms are allowed to attend school with masks, but who will know if anyone is an asymptomatic COVID positive?
None of the majority have kids in the schools – old white dudes that use their position to spread conspiracy theories. Apocalyptic anger just about covers where I am. I mean, just burying your head in the sand will make it ok, right?
I don’t know how much longer I can continue to be volcanicly angry at these people. It is making me question my basic principles and I find myself thinking of Rev. Desmond Tutu and hoping that I can find that perspective, and failing.
They have recently been running commercials for a temp agency for K-12 substitutes here saying you can be a sub with no college degree required. They aren’t marketing to schools. They’re marketing to the general public to apply.
If I had a kid, they would not be going to school right now. No educational benefit and the danger of acute or chronic illness or death. No thanks.
Thank you for your service.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
I watched that live. It was interminable.
Mai Naem mobile
@Bill Arnold: Gorsuch doesn’t care. He can safely assume he’s not going to be affected because he’s USSC justice. He’s going to get special treatment. He’ll get monoclonal treatment. He’ll get the Pfizer pills. His kids will get extra tutoring etc to catch up on their schooling if need be. Everybody else is expendable.
I don’t even know what this is supposed to mean. Are these assholes re-visiting the idea of science?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
he really doesn’t care about optics
Hope you are having a good birthday!
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I posted a twitter thread at least twice in December but I don’t know where it is now.
Test given by a lab person who knows what the hell they are doing got 4 bars for accuracy.
Same test given by medical person (primary care physician or nurse practitioner or whatever) got 3 bars for accuracy.
Same test taken by regular human at home got 2 bars for accuracy.
@Old Man Shadow:
Oh those Bible-thumping hypocrites have been a plague for longer.
In an unusual moment of candor, Ron DeSatan has announced the reason for FL’s test shortage:
1 million testing units in the state inventory were allowed to expire without being used.
@Brachiator: It means he is just calling balls and strikes. The fact that the results kill lots of people is out of his control. Don’t accuse him of being antivax, even as he hands down an antivax decision.
I’m looking forward to Sotomayor’s snide remark about Gorsuch’s statement in her opinion.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka):
There I go again, forgetting that obesity is a highly contagious airborne disease.
Is he for real?
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Maybe even the spread of an infectious disease threw the population? One would think that such and educated dude as Gorsuch would would have read about how destructive the Antonian Plague was to the Roman Empire.
I am shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that Justice Ice Truck Killer does not understand or care about large scale health care.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: The Adams administration is going to be a case of the voters getting the leader they wanted, good and hard. He’s going to be worse for schools than either Bloomie or Rudee, and that’s quite an accomplishment.
The Pale Scot
Next Friday tops. I’ve been watching the morale of the medical communities, just googling about. The numbers and vehemence of antivaxxers has them in shock now, six months or so from an exodus could start beyond the 20% who have already left. As with teachers, those near retirement or just starting out can bail. It’s the middle cohort that have children and mortgages that will try to stay. Nursing and Education degree programs are withering and cannot keep up with the numbers required.
There is a large supply of nurses and teachers in the UK that are being fucked over by government. Nurses got a 10 pound a month raise for the next two years. Why is no one looking to exploit this reserve of qualified individuals?
There was no clear “good” choice in a primary race with more than a half dozen serious candidates. Adams won with 31% of the 1st rank choices. And New York City is not as liberal as people think – there are a ton of wealthy people here who would be Republicans in another era.
@jimmiraybob: Why even enforce laws then ? Isn’t that about control? Why have cops? This seems like a dumb way to argue anything. Govt’s job is to mandate things for the safety of the public.
When you have a virus/pandemic that is in fact killing people and they die in horrible ways in the hospital.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques:
Maybe he thinks that the plague was only deadly to people named Anthony.
I realize your expertise is more hospitals, but do you think it likely that our new schools are in better ventilation shape than the older schools elsewhere?
When I was a kid in Florida in the 1960s we didn’t have air conditioning, but we did have lots of windows that opened
IN GENERAL, (I’m waving my hands amorphously), newer buildings have more air changes per hour than older ones, and use less power per air change. Also in general, newer buildings have better filtration in the HVAC system. However, many newer buildings are designed to be pressurized, meaning no operable windows, because this makes them more efficient.
The topic of air changes per hour (ACH) is a big one in the building science field, as I’m sure you can guess. The best practice for Covid appears to be shaking out around 6 ACH. Most buildings don’t get anywhere close to that. Most schools certainly don’t. Most office buildings are around 1 ACH.
John, I’m assuming this is from a student in NYC, yes? Might be good to note that — it becomes obvious as one reads further in, but at the beginning, it’s a little confusing.
Poor kid. Poor kids, all of them. I think I’ll go to a stuffy underventilated bar and raise a glass to ’em. [not]
@trollhattan: I’ve had a similar thought that everyone needs an extra year of schooling to compensate. But I don’t think it’s possible.
For one thing, that would be a lot of extra kids to find space for. For instance, in my neighborhood elementary building, a grade has four classes of around 25 kids each. It’s K-4, so about 500 kids total.
Keeping the graduating fourth grade back for an extra year would be a pretty big increase in the size of tne student body. It would require four extra rooms and teachers. Where do those rooms come from? Where does the money for the new staff come from?
Even extending the school year into the summer to make up for lost time would probably be impossible, mainly because again, where would the money come from?
I read regularly, but have never commented here–but @JohnCole, you are out of line with the “WHAT IF GIULIANI, BUT BLACK!” statement. And no, I don’t care what black progressive blue checks are saying about Adams on Twitter. I am a 50 year old black woman, THEE Democratic base and your comment was wrong. Period. Whatever your thoughts about the mayor, one of the rationales for keeping schools open was because many parents including BLACK parents don’t have access to childcare, and many BLACK children come to school to eat or don’t have access to the technology needed for online learning. So, while you sit your “WHITE, BUT NOT A NEW YORKER!” ass in WV opining about what children in NYC “need”, maybe you should check your white male privilege at the damn door.
@Cacti: I’ve got a post on that in the hopper. Unbelievable and all too believable at the same time.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Sigh. That attitude doesn’t bode well.
The Moar You Know
@Mai Naem mobile: point of fact: he’ll get neither, because Regeneron doesn’t work on Omicron and the pills are not in production yet.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I work retail(I’m off today for the first time this year), I had a customer stop me to ask if we enforced masking in the store as she had seen other customers non-masked. I told her that the county(LA) and state(CA) require masking indoors and we encourage mask wearing by customers in the store, but employees cannot enforce it. All employees, excuse me ‘associates’ are required to mask in the store. I’ve been wearing KN95 masks since just before Christmas.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Why does someone from Cleveland care about McAulliffe?
I smell a rat.
Exercise mandate is the new broccoli mandate.
This is not good. It appears as though the conservative Supreme Court justices are getting their information from Fox News and misinformation sites.
Their questions and challenges reek of ignorance of the facts relating to the virus.
@Rusty: we will need to dissolve this court. The more I think about it, the more these reactionaries are ridiculous
Enhanced Voting Techniques
You got to love how the Conseratwits handle this pandemic, they serious think they can do hardball negotiations with a force of nature.
Well you don’t have the ‘rona then.
@Cacti: I blame Biden.
@SiubhanDuinne: Aww thank you! So far so good! Spawn has a snow day and there’s no insurrection, so it’s better than last year!
@Chetan Murthy: Oh, sorry, I didn’t see the quote-box. Nevermind.
@The Moar You Know: Sotrovimab works against Omicron, if you can find it. You know they’re holding onto some for him. The rest of us get to go without.
Seriously, people, I advise everyone to look up where the MAB treatment is being provided near you. It’s not always easy to find and you don’t want to be searching around when you’re stressed out.
There is an extremely on-point Sumerian proverb about swagger:
Guess which PA state-related university decided that, unlike the 3 others, starting the semester two weeks later or starting with 2 weeks of remote learning and then coming back to campus was just too much trouble?
And guess which campus of that university has not had a single person in the upper administrative suite on campus working in the office more than one or two days a week for the last two years? Unlike certain staff peons who must be there every day because “someone needs to be there if students, families or just walk-ins need someone to speak to.”
So sick of this. I really want to retire at this point.
OK, ya’ll know I’m dense so explain this to me. My entire LA family has is an only one is not vaccinated. Many of the parents I know here in Georgia got it from their kids and they are vaccinated. None of these people is particularly sick, what’s up wit that?
@Suzanne: I screwed up quoting because I was responding on my phone. Feh. Everything before the quote box should be in the quote box!
@David Fud: Anger can be power… we just need to start using it. Like let’s all take aim at the reactionary Court… I’m not even calling them Supreme anymore
@geg6: Um, I hear you. Loud and clear. If I could retire, I would.
Fortunately, I am still WFH, but I had to take a different gig to make that happen!
Current vaccines aren’t as effective against catching Omicron. They are very effective against getting really sick from Omicron.
@Baud: Obviously. But don’t forget Critical Race Theory.
I believe you’re talking about breakthrough cases. Omicron sheds like a bitch, much more than earlier variants, so it’s very, very contagious. Apparently, if there are no underlying medical issues, breakthroughs don’t last long and don’t cause longterm problems (that anyone knows about, at this point).
@raven: That appears to be the nature of Omicron. More able to evade the vaccines, but it lives more in the throat than the airway. So it’s more spreadable but less harmful. It is the story I am hearing everywhere right now.
My NYC and Phila colleagues…. probably half of them are positive right now. Everyone is vaccinated, everyone is reporting that it feels like a cold.
@debbie: Well I get that so are we, or are we not, worrying about the un-vaccinated?
Perhaps they think that their immense power will somehow seem weighty and humble them? I think it has been well proven that these extremists see power as an essential tool for enforcing their extremism. Zealots do not “do” humility.
Omicron may require shorter hospital stays, but if the infection rate is sky high it could still lead to overwhelmed systems. As the saying attributed to Stalin (and others) goes, quantity has a quality all of its own.
@raven: I’m worried about unvaccinated kids.
@Old Man Shadow:
A bit blunt, but then that does not make this in any way untrue.
It is every human for themselves. And humanity doesn’t work that way.
@raven: Speaking for myself, only the innocent un-vaccinated. I couldn’t care less about the willfully un-vaccinated except for the resources they use up.
Ah, Ohio, the pinnacle of irony.
@Mai Naem mobile:
He cannot assume this. There are 330+ million people in this country. Millions who own or could easily buy a sniper elk rifle and know how to use it, and some who might use it to assassinate people they think are evil at 500 or even 1000+ meters. And many of them loath Republicans.
If he guts public health and workplace safety rules, he will be guilty in the eyes of millions of deliberate stochastic mass murder. Doesn’t matter much whether it’s forbidden by actual law.
We do not want to go down these very very dark paths as a country. But gutting public health measures is pretty evil.
I’m done worrying about them. (ETA: except little kids)
I was told that generally Omicron isn’t as severe as Delta providing you have no underlying medical risks (like asthma, etc.). If you do have risks, then the disease is just as severe as before.
@RandomMonster: Many more of the infections are incidental, as in people are showing up at the hospital for some non-Covid reason, and then they are tested while there and are positive. There is not currently good data showing this rate. But any patient with Covid is reported as such. Anecdotally, my client says it is “a lot”.
@Steeplejack: Wonder where he got those “facts.” Appellate courts are supposed to get their facts from the trial record, not NewsMax. The SC has become a bunch of old farts in the TV room at the senior center, randomly opining on shit they know nothing about.
The other thing that I’m not hearing discussed is nosocomial infections, which are infections contracted while in the healthcare setting. Health systems have been strongly financially penalized for these in recent years (part of the ACA that doesn’t get a lot of attention). If a significant number of patients are able to demonstrate that they contracted Covid at the hospital, that is going to stress the systems even more.
[Waves the Betty C flag] Did you see this amazing Miami Herald article on the Sufside Apartments failure? 1. They did a fantastic job lining up experts, then presenting their findings with the graphic presentation. B. The troubles started with some Canadians (as per usual :-P) then every step of the way, things were done to ensure the collapse was inevitable. iii. The underdesign is obvious and appalling, even to non-engineer/architect types, and the maintenance and repairs were incredibly shabby. » Complicity of/lack of oversight by local authorities meant shenanigans along the way would never be caught.
Just wow. If I lived along that strand I’d have moved out by now. Who could you trust?
You’re right. We’re all tired of it all, but jesus christ.
On a related note, at my part-time cashier’s job (Fred Meyer/Kroger), of our 25 front-end workers, eight are out with covid right now. We’re open 6 am til 11 pm, and everyone’s run ragged.
Had a couple with their 8-9 year old daughter in last night, in self-checkout; none of them wearing a mask, the girl obviously not well. As I’m helping them (oh, a foot or so away) the kid starts coughing, turns out she’s positive for covid, they had to pick up meds & decided to drag a sick contagious kid through a crowded store rather than ONE OF THEM STAYING HOME WITH HER.
These fucking people. I never realized I could hate strangers so much.
DeBlasio was terrible, in 2020, in getting to remote/hybrid learning. He really dragged his feet. NYC schools went remote 2 weeks after the NJ schools, where I live.
I think NYC has been on some kind of autopilot for several years. Bloomberg lost the plot during his third term, and DeBlasio was bad.
I am personally not wasting any energy worrying about the unvaccinated, but they are still at high risk, because Delta is still out there, regardless of how “mild” Omicron is.
You are asking an awful lot of the right wingers. Logic? What in the hell is logic? Do you expect them to find out in any timeframe less than 2 centuries? Do you expect them to understand the concept ever? Hell they don’t know the meaning of about 75% of the words they use regularly, they are going to understand logic?
@Suzanne: Understood. They’re “Covid patients” by virtue of testing positive, regardless of whether they went to the hospital for Covid or something else altogether. I’m just saying that low virulence/high-contagiousness has the potential to overwhelm. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Isn’t that the delicious dish with beef and sour cream, served on noodles?
BC in Illinois
St Louis Art Museum, today:
Closed for three weeks.
@cckids: We’ve a lot of folk out as well, whole departments in the store are unstaffed. I’m not sure if it’s the ‘rona or the ‘vax or test’ mandate that took effect on Tuesday.
@Old Man Shadow: Not to mention endlessly subject to forced replication, which is why it can be considered so cheap.
RE: And this does make a difference. Hospitalizations are not blowing the roof off. The average hospital stay in some places is 3 days instead of 8 days. More patients are surviving this thing.
Not necessarily. We need to take a closer look both at infections and hospitalizations.
In one study, it was discovered that 67 percent of the Omicron hospitalizations were incidental to another ailment. People were admitted to the hospital for some problem, and subsequent tests revealed that they also had an Omicron infection.
This does not say that Omicron infections are trivial, but only that how we react to this variant may require a new perspective.
Snow day up heah in the People’s Republic. Which is good, because:
There are 2 cases of COVID from WarriorTeen’s class. One was a breakthrough case, exposed over XMas vacation, asymptomatic, back next week. Their parents kept both kids home Tuesday because they knew they’d been (inadvertently) exposed, and had them PCR tested Monday morning. The results came in Tuesday afternoon, so out and they’ll be retested before they come back.
The other case was part of the classroom pool test Tuesday morning; the pools for K, 2, 4, 6 and 8 were positive, so the school did antigen tests each morning before releasing kids to classrooms — note, that’s half the school. All cross-grade activities were cancelled (Science Olympiad, MS Advisory, Flextime, etc.). The other case had shown positive on an antigen test at home Tuesday morning, and didn’t come to school. Of course, that’s the kid whose idiot, divorced parents couldn’t agree to get their kid vaccinated. There’s a whole drama involved there, including travel to a red state with antivaxxer relatives, so this was fucking inevitable.
Fortunately, WarriorTeen’s booster is scheduled for next Friday. When there’d better not be another snowstorm.
@Old Man Shadow: I work at a UC. In late December, just before the holidays, they announced that we’d be going remote for the first week of the quarter in order to allow students, staff, and faculty to get tested, with a negative test required to return to campus.
As I was coming home from getting tested yesterday, I saw an email from the Chancellor saying they’ve extended the remote operations through all of January. The number of positive tests means they need to keep people at home.
I’m honestly relieved. My test came back negative, but I was stressing about teaching my class in person. I know fully remote isn’t optimal. I just can’t afford to get sick, and I’m at very high risk, even though I’m vaxxed.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Fuck optics when you have swagger!
@Brachiator: The potentially scary issue with this variant and the sky-high infection rate is the amount of healthcare staff that are out sick at any given point. There is very little redundancy in the system in this country. A combination of fewer workers (not even that many) and more patients (not even that many) is already problematic. Many hospitals are increasing staffing ratios and turning patients away and canceling surgeries, not to mention nosocomial spread.
@Baud: That struck me too.
I think I found yet more evidence of which side she’s on…
It spreads to everyone quickly, so within a couple of weeks everyone’s had it and there are no new cases.
Which is almost an argument for going out and kissing strangers to help spread it, except the next variant might not be as (relatively) benign as this one.
@Brachiator: It’s blowing the roof off in MD and a number of other states
The problem, as I see it, is what are those Black children getting from being in school if the school is a petri dish of Omicron that they can bring home to their entire family and there are no teachers there to watch over them, let alone educate them? Considering the high rates of infection, hospitalization and death and lower rates of vaccination among the Black population, how is this helping the kids? And really, aren’t many of those teachers whose health and families no one seems to give a shit about Black?
Perhaps I’m wrong and none of that is true. But that is how it is being reported and has been for over a year now. I just don’t know how kids being in school during a surge like this is good for anyone.
@Another Scott: Is that the author of the article? If she ever was a member of the “tribe,” she’s clearly fallen down the black hole of anti-wokeness.
I attest to this. My entire family is sick with presumed covid now – 1 confirmed by PCH. All vaxed, none boosted in time. We’re recovering at home in isolation in 3-5 days. Fever already gone.
And we were all good about masking in public, but got it regardless. At this point, it feels inevitable everybody will get the big O
Right. Emphasis on the word could.
Is that still true? I thought the numbers were now more comparable, at least nationally. Don’t know about NYC.
@Ken: The disease process also appears to resolve more quickly.
@Baud: Unfortunately, kids get in the crosshairs of who’s innocent.
As of 1/5, estimates are 25% of kids 5-11 and 63% 12-17 have received at least one dose.
The 5-11 group only became eligible in early November so there’s a lag in the double dose, if that’s even effective vs Omicron. The 12-17 group is about 50% for two doses.
A lot of this is staff who have been exposed to the virus, who may not necessarily be sick or symptomatic. This is in part why the quarantine days have been reduced.
The spread of the Omicron variant has been so fast, and it has spread so widely that, again, we may have to re-examine how we deal with it.
Also, we still have to look at how the variant is affecting people who have been hospitalized and people who are at higher risk.
Also, and this is far beyond my limited understanding, but I keep wondering the best, most efficient and cheapest ways of improving ventilation and other methods of mitigation.
I keep hearing right wing government asswipes scream about getting the kids back into school and getting back to normal, but it bugs the hell out of me that some of these dopes insist that getting back to normal means ignoring the virus. This is just stupid.
@Baud: The Twitter bio matches the Atlantic bio closely. I assume, but cannot prove, that it’s her.
She may make some decent points in her piece – I haven’t read it – but the way she frames more than a few of her tweets is very RWNJ-ish.
@Kent: last spring the kids did alternating days,-at least at the high school level. So some kids did MW while others were remote, and then they switched for T/Th. On Friday they had assignments to turn in but no classes. This enabled more social distancing with fewer people in the building on any given day.
Our local Children’s Hospital is completely full. The temporary ward they opened up for Omicron filled up in a matter of a couple of days and they just opened another. My 1 yo grand-nephew has some issues for which he often requires short-term hospital stays. His doctor told my niece that she better pray he doesn’t need it until the end of January because there will be no room for him.
This idea that the kids will be just fine is bullshit.
@Betty Cracker: “If I lived in Virginia, I admit I probably would have had to sit out the recent gubernatorial election” says the author.
Is The Atlantic trying to corner the market on these fecking ninnies?
My 12-year-old’s best friend, along with whole family (kids and parents) tested positive over the winter break and according to the mom their illness consisted of a sore throat for two days, then gone, and, interestingly, rapid tests immediately back to negative within the week. All the messaging from our school district has been “we’re going to stay open and power through this,” and they are testing once a week, implementing stricter rules/discipline about masks. But the teachers are starting to send emails like “so many kids are absent that I’m sending the week’s worksheets home,” etc.
My younger kid is having some behavioral issues now that I can trace back to our year of isolation, and the truth is I actually am torn about whether it’s better for him to go to school and risk getting the virus, versus being at home, inevitably on a screen, and feeling lonely/scared/isolated/angry. I just don’t fucking know.
I’m a full time sub in Burlington VT and it’s a shitshow here. The entire Winooski district shut down yesterday til this coming Monday because there were 30 positives, of who 20 were in the building interacting with people while infected. Wednesday, I was farmed out to a middle school in dire need. I was only supposed to do two AM classes, then filled in as a lunch monitor because they were down a few. Then I closed the day subbing for someone who went home with Covid. I wound up subbing in for her on Thursday as well. The kids are hanging on by a thread, and barely so. Staff I spoke to were openly demoralized and disgruntled. My own high school has teachers and support staff out, and attendance is waaaaaaay down.
Because we’ve become so ungovernable we’d lose WW2 if it was fought today, there’s no mandate, so admin is forced to suggest blandly that people “consider getting vaccinated,” and I know that must make my principal want to tear her hair out every time she writes it. It’s like saying “please consider not driving your monster truck at full speed through a playground full of children” or “consider not spraying the day care with your AR-15.”
Speaking of considering vaccination, I learned a guy I know from pickin’ bluegrass was transported from Tennessee to Philadelphia, and is now on the ECMO machine. He thought he had “natural immunity,” now his family is praying for his survival—which is probably a tall order, and even if he makes it his life is probably destroyed. I don’t think he’s even 40.
So yeah—“consider getting vaccinated.”
@Sure Lurkalot: All kids are innocent IHMO.
@Suzanne: Every big hospital system in NE Ohio has cancelled all elective procedures.
They are together running PSA ads on tv and full page in the local newspapers begging for people to help by getting vaxxed, wearing masks and social distancing.
39 of 40 school districts with the highest covid rates are in the NE corner of the state. My city is 16th, in spite of a mask mandate and a vax mandate. We were all distance learning last year, but they felt this year it was costing the kids too much
ETA The schools at the top of the list are the suburban schools with no mask mandate.
@geg6: Not to mention that the school issue is nowhere near being the only thing wrong with Adams, and it’s a stretch to assume Cole was only thinking of that when he made the Rudy reference. Adams is fervently pro-cop and doesn’t seem to give a crap about corruption. Those, and the general authoritarian attitude (for shit’s sake, he’s not just saying schools should reopen, he’s saying businesses in general should require all of their workers to work in person!!), are extremely Rudyesque.
If you can wait in line for a covid test, you can wait in line to vote.
Also, “Masks are dumb”
Because the GQP desperately needs to kneecap Biden/rally their base, that’s why.
@Brachiator: The reason you’re not hearing about cheap ways to improve ventilation is because there aren’t really any. Commercial and institutional buildings are totally different in this regard from residential buildings, which are mostly ventilated by opening windows. HVAC upgrade projects are very disruptive and expensive and laborious, and they are custom designed for each building or campus.
This piece in Wired is about a year old, but it goes over these issues in a normie-friendly way. The industry literature is more detailed but is dense.
I for one no longer tolerate RW framing as a valid means of making “decent points.” If the author doesn’t know how to express himself or hersel without resorting to wingnut memes and canards about Dems, the piece isn’t worth my time.
Yep. It is serious business. Hopefully, hospital stays will be shorter. But it is bad, and clearly hitting children as well. From a recent story.:
We, and the entire world, have to get smarter in dealing with this thing.
@Baud: Well, we discussed McAuliffe, the election and how education issues affected the outcome a lot around here, and we’re not ALL rats. Maybe the author is a cloaked wingnut — I don’t know. But she’s not the only parent who’s pissed off at local Dems about school closures. They’re probably not all secret Republicans. We can inspect their countertops, but it might also be worth knowing both perspectives on school closures — teacher safety and the crunch on kids and parents. That’s why I thought it was worth mentioning.
@ThresherK: Cornering the market would be hard, there are so many of them. But the Atlantic has had a severe case of “balance requires us to treat conservative idiots seriously and give them a platform” for quite a while now, and I think it’s likely that some parts of the management are actively wingnut-sympathetic.
I don’t recall us comparing McAulliff to Trump, much less saying that would be a reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
My wife just got back from a short visit to a small grocery store in our town.
She tells me she stood in line behind an unmasked guy who made a point of coughing loudly in front of the cashier.
“Let me guess,” I asked my wife. “He was an older white guy, right?”
She replied in the affirmative.
@Brachiator: We are still approaching record icu levels.
Eta: Suzanne is right but we can do filtration- see corsi-rosenthal boxes
Etta: sorry for terse cmmentary, have broken wrist
@mrmoshpotato: Adams reminds me far too much of The Smiler from the Transmetropolitan graphic novel series.
I agree with all of this except the “we’ve” part at the start…it’s “they“…the Republicans…”they’ve become so ungovernable (when a Democrat is President) that yes, we would indeed have lost WWII if it was being fought today”
‘rule or ruin’, like so many here have said previously (and President Biden said just yesterday)
@Betty Cracker: Here’s the thing though. Say I’m an editor who wants to fairly represent different points of view on the question “is fluoridated water good for public dental health?” And on one side, there are writers who may state the pros and cons in somewhat different ways but are all pro-fluoridation. And then the piece I decide to run for the other side contains a couple of reasonable pros and cons, but also makes it clear that the author is a conspiracist nut whose pretense of having given serious thought to this issue is undermined by all the other stuff they’re saying.
If that’s the one that I chose to print, wouldn’t that imply that either 1. I deliberately chose to promote tinfoil-hat viewpoints when I could’ve instead picked someone whose mind wasn’t clearly made up from the start… or 2. it’s hard to find someone like that, because most of the opposition is really not that reasonable?
I mean, we know for sure that there are plenty of wingnuts out there who are smart enough to dress up their position with phrases like “I was liberal until the Democrats went too far.” They should not be presented as honest representatives of any point of view. If it’s a real point of view that deserves consideration, then you should be able to find someone else who has it.
I’m in Spectrum hell, my internet has been out due to our rain, this has happened before and I’m about ready to jerk the modem out and take it the two plus blocks to their store and tell them to fuck off. I’m teathered via my cell phone right now.
@Cacti: I’m pretty sure he only did that because Nikki Fried already called him out on it.
@Gbbalto: The problem is that “getting serious” about ventilation and filtration is a series of capital improvements that would make the military budget looks small and take a few decades and probably replace half of the commercial buildings in any given city because they would cost more to upgrade than to replace.
Thanks for the link to the wired article.
One of the public radio stations here in Southern California has an excellent daily podcast about the pandemic. One doctor noted a restaurant which had outdoor dining, with presumably good ventilation. But then they put up a plastic wall when it got cold and rainy, which of course, eliminated most of the value of being outside.
@Baud: If anyone here said sitting out that election would be a good idea, I’ll eat my hat.
@Suzanne: The hospital I can see from my front windows upgraded their HVAC in the older wings a couple of months ago. I was in twice in the past year (non-covid) and was in the older wings so I assume the new parts were where they were sticking the covid cases.
I only figured out what they were doing because of your comments about covid and the need of HVAC upgrades in older facilities. Major mega-crane blocking a 4-lane street near my place to lower the old units and lift the new ones up. The kind of crane it takes a bunch of semi trucks to bring in. Not cheap but timely, as it the hospital is now full up.
@Gbbalto: Dude, the Corsi-Rosenthal boxes are a potential stopgap if you can open a door or a window to the outside. That eliminates probably 90% of non-residential built square footage in this country. probably 75% of the elementary schools built in the last 20 years in this country don’t have windows at all. They are cool and might work for one’s individual circumstances but they are by no means a thing we can scale upward significantly.
@Baud: idk about NYC specifically, but per the CDC Covid Data Tracker, (under Demographic Trends/ Trends in Cases and Deaths by Age, Race/Ethnicity, and Sex) black people lead the way on infections, and are approximately double the next group (Hispanics). Slide #4 of 7 shows that info. Does that mean they have a lower vax rate? Not sure.
James E Powell
@Hob: Isn’t their editor kimd of right wing ( although not RWNJ)?
I think I have it, but thank Dog not in a life-threatening form so far. I started coughing Christmas Eve and still passed a home test Christmas morning. I decided to stay home anyway and my friends brought me dinner and we talked about five minutes in the driveway at a distance.
Have been coughing and sleeping ever since. Not happy about any of this, but my three Moderna shots have performed as promised.
@CarolPW: Yep. Cranes to lift air handlers in place, structural work to design the pads and supports for these things, to say nothing of the design and procurement and shipping of new air handlers.
I worked in one hospital where they didn’t even have metal ducts. There used to be this disgusting product called “ductboard”, which was basically drywall held together with duct tape. As you can guess, after a few years of service, it was wet, moldy, full of disgustingness. And totally uncleanable. Health department made them replace it. To do so, they had to rip out every ceiling in the unit, hang new ductwork, and rebuild every ceiling. Added many months and millions to the project scope. This shit is hard, y’all.
Learning Curves Are For Assholes
I cackled. Mandatory new tagline.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka): They have a 6-3 right wing supermajority. Only thing that held the pre-Barrett nutbar wing in check was Roberts. Now with Barbie Jesus having joined the circus, they don’t need Roberts vote anymore and are free to basically make a mockery of the law.
@Another Scott: She is a traffic planning expert and very pro-pedestrian. She lives in Cleveland. I seriously doubt that she is a RWNJ. And unlike most women writers in the Atlantic she seems to have actual knowledge and a career outside of magazine writing.
My guess is she is just what she says she is politically, and also a very frustrated parent.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: Yes, we’ve had to close the deli because so many people either had it or their spouse/kids had it. The management tells us nothing, it’s all informed gossip.
The other scary part is if/when Omicron and Delta meet up & party and we get O’s infectiousness + Delta’s ferocity. Winning?
Having been a part of multiple HVAC improvement projects, allow me to submit that they are all great, and important, etc etc etc…. but they are every one of them complicated, expensive, disruptive, lengthy, and “spiral-y”. There are not that many mechanical engineers and contractors in any given city or region that are capable of the work, and most projects also require an architect, a structural engineer, electrical, etc etc etc. It would make my job super-secure if we did lots of these!
@Suzanne: Exactly. Its not like people who do this professionally for a living don’t know what they are doing. Its that for the building typologies where HVAC retrofits are needed (commercial/office, institutional, civic) – HVAC retrofits are complicated, time-consuming and – most critically – EXPENSIVE. And often when embarking on an HVAC retrofit, you are also wanting to time it with other major capital improvements b/c if you are going to totally disrupt a building in which commercial/civic/institutional business needs will be totally disrupted, you want to maximize the downtime by doing other disruptive CapEx at the same time.
@Suzanne: You might have more success trying to increase the use of outdoor classrooms. My wife takes her 6th grade science classes outdoors as often as she can, but that’s only on her own initiative and her school hasn’t made any effort to provide infrastructure to support it. It won’t work everywhere due to things like weather and space limitations, but there are a lot of places (the southern US from CA to NC) have relatively mild winter weather and ample outdoor grounds. My wife notes that even in-person instruction under COVID has been negatively affecting engagement, as movement is restricted and the kids tend to get restless and/or zone out. She thinks being outside mitigates that to some degree (anecdotal, of course). IIRC that Germany has several schools that operate outdoors even in pretty inclement winter weather.
@Ksmiami: Try Extreme Court, or XCOTUS, pronounced “Execute us.”
According to this, blacks are at 51% and whites at 58% nationally. (It is also broken down by state. In NY state as a whole, the gap is 6 poits).
ETA: Only 42 states reporting
ETA2: As of early December.
@Suzanne: School systems don’t have the funds for any of that, they can’t even maintain the buildings they have. That’s not even getting into the inevitable increase in energy use that might come from increased outdoor air exchanges. Our schools are constantly limiting heat and A/C to save money.
@brendancalling: God, that sounds insane. I’m sorry and, well, thank you. Our school district here in CA has both mask and vaccine requirement—other than those under 5, something like 95% of the population of our city is vaccinated. And it all still feels weird and insecure. I can’t freaking imagine being a teacher in a district where students (and other teachers) are not required to vaccinate and mask.
@Leto: On one of the morning covid updates I think I recall reading that the gap between black and white vaccination rates had pretty much closed, but that there was now a gap in booster rates.
@GoBlueInOak: I would be willing to bet that feasibility studies would indicate that many buildings just aren’t worth saving at all for the cost of the HVAC improvement. Mr. Suzanne used to work in a school district that did a district-wide feasibility study for all major facilities for all building compliance. They found that one third of the buildings should be totally replaced, as improvement exceeded the cost of replacement.
I can assure you that one third of their buildings have not been replaced.
@Hoodie: Yes, I think moving more work and school outdoors is the best we can expect right now.
@Suzanne: Yep. The elementary school my younger one goes to was built a century ago, and in 2016 went through a two-year structural rehabilitation. HVAC was not included.
@Suzanne: The last building I worked at in downtown Denver (pre-COVID) had gone through the LEED process at the platinum level. The floor I worked on had the management office but was very sparsely occupied otherwise most times. Colds and flu ran through like wildfire. It was the sickest building I’ve ever worked in.
At least it taught me the lessons of constant handwashing, opening doors with elbows and pressing elevator buttons with a stylus.
Think the kid was in grade school when she learned to roll her Rs and afterward loved randomly saying “beef str-r-r-oganoff.” Came in handy later, for German.
@sab: If she can say with a straight face that she would have sat out the Virginia gubernatorial election if she’d lived in that state… then either she is being disingenuous about her politics and is one of the “Democrats left ME!” crowd, or else she’s extremely stupid and/or simply doesn’t pay attention to current events that she’s opining on, which is not a good argument for publishing her.
@Sure Lurkalot: LEED certification doesn’t mean anything regarding air changes per hour. They get LEED points for reducing energy demand. More ACH = more energy demand. I am not surprised to hear any of what you just said.
Most buildings, even nice ones, are built right to the code requirement and not a gnat’s ass over.
Our new HQ was under construction when covid hit. As it had been designed around packed open-plan and LEED Platinum, their timing seems suspect. My bunch isn’t “lucky” enough to be assigned there, so make do with some dreary ’80s concrete monstrosity, but at least the cube “walls” are 60″. They did move us out of the Asbestos Palace, so there’s that.
@Hob: Good point.
@Baud: Sad when you’re an innocent victim of your own parents.
My nephew has 3 kids, 8 to 11, the oldest very needle adverse. The middle one kept pressing her parents about vaccination and they kept deferring to placate the oldest. They did finally get their 1st shots but who knows about #2. They are very lax on any other mitigation so it’s concerning.
Another nephew has toddlers who can’t be vaxxed. Returned home from a trip via airplane and asked my 68 year old sister (with a blood disorder) to baby sit the next day.
Anyone want to watch some CFD videos of Covid spreading around an open-plan office?
Times like this remind me how much I love what I do and make me think that I should have my own blog about built environment stuff.
@Steeplejack (phone): Fuck these people. I’m so out of sympathy for people wanting this virus to run free (still).
@Suzanne: It was a lovely building with a beautiful plaza. Just best not to spend too much time inside in the winter time. Didn’t help that the people I worked for apparently felt it was a badge of honor to come in sick as dogs.
@Suzanne: Seems like maybe the way we go about reducing energy consumption in building in the US is to insulate and seal the hell out of everything to minimize loss to the outside. I used to visit a major corporate campus in Korea quite frequently and they had a somewhat different approach. They heated or cooled the minimum amount of space they could get away with, leaving common spaces like hallways, atriums and entry foyers relatively open to ambient outside air. Even the bathrooms were relatively cold.
FYI, stuff like this is why I get really tired of the “they just don’t build stuff like they used to!” trope. While there is certainly great work from the past that endures, and some of that skill is in far less demand today…. we have also gotten significantly better at a lot of elements of building cities and spaces than we used to be.
@Suzanne: I dislike false nostalgia too. Across a range of areas.
Fight for dumbest senator is on.
The school systems and healthcare systems on a collision course to finally collapse after 2+ years of weakening (95% due to GOP misrule) is one of those “slowly, then suddenly” societal catastrophes I’ve really been looking forward to.
@Hoodie: Building envelope upgrades are also really complicated. (Very good and important, but equally difficult and complicated and time-consuming.) Again, it’s much more complex than just slapping up some polyiso. Different climates need insulation on different sides of the weather barrier, and many older buildings don’t have a weather barrier at all. Oh, do I have stories on this front. So many stories.
The idea of not conditioning circulation spaces is a difficult issue. Most commercial buildings use their corridors as part of the means of egress, and the corridors sometimes have to be fire-rated. The air to the spaces feeds from the corridors. There’s also a big movement away from exterior circulation in this country (especially in schools, as we’ve been talking about) due to shooters, kidnappings, etc.
@Omnes Omnibus: More beatable than a new person?
@Suzanne: You could start by being a guest poster here, if you haven’t already (do I remember you’ve done this before?) I find your comments in this post to be fascinating. I had intentions of being an architect when I was younger; ended up as an engineer. Architecture as you describe it is nothing like what I would have expected. Project management sounds exactly as difficult as what I experienced, doing water resources work for State and County agencies
@Suzanne: Yes! You should. It’s crazy how mysterious this stuff is to those of us who aren’t involved in building it.
Yeah. I kind of knew that the “Omicron is mild” reporting was going to come back to bite us. All these mild cases filling up the hospitals. Looks like for the unvaxxed your say is shorter. Your hospital bills though…
At the same time, if they are going to close the schools for Omicron in the city, they need to be very specific about when they are going to reopen. Keeping them open right now is crazy, but no one is going to trust that they won’t just write off the rest of the school year.
If this is going to be the seasonal normal, we might want to consider changing the school year from March to December.
And that’s why I’m not going to go back into my open plan workplace. Horrifying how that cloud grew and grew!
ETA: So much for HVAC doing any good, too.
All the money we throw to the military has, as Ike predicted, societal costs. Trillions of dollars spent on destructive weaponry and we’re just getting around to replacing lead pipes. Our billionaires scream about being barely taxed and their “noble” pursuits are shooting themselves into the troposphere that they call “space”.
@frosty: Most people have no idea what we do! I remember bringing home some work one night and having SuzMom help me with a task, and she asked me totally incredulously, “Is this what you do all day?!”.
A lot of people will say “why don’t they just…” about a complex topic area they know little about. Often including people who know a lot about a complex topic referring to something outside their area of expertise. I think it is because many people confuse ignorance and intelligence.
@debbie: Yep! Send that link to the HR department!
And in response:
@debbie: Hercules would be ashamed if he knew who was playing him on TV.
@Hob: One of many reasons I was hoping that Glenn Youngkin would lose that Governor’s race was all the bad takes that I knew would follow if he won.
Oh well. We’re just gonna have to crush the Republicans in 2023, even if no one outside Virginia notices.
@frosty: When I was building online courses someone had the great idea to use “project management software”. The problem was that we were working with faculty who did not work in any kind of a linear fashion and the whole idea was a bust.
@Suzanne: I imagine with a full time job and kiddos, a blog would be a stretch but you so should!
My spouse is an architect, retired but still contracting with the last firm he worked for to do plan reviews. Freaking tedious and complex! But it was a good transition as before he retired (right when COVID started), he was most often on site and in-person meetings. No thanks.
I had some sort of ridiculous virus for a few months just before the pandemic started. So much coughing. I coughed into my elbow every time, but I’d hate to think I could have affected people sitting many rows over.
@mrmoshpotato: The heavy rain caused problems with the line on the pole, this is not the first time this has happened. I walked over to the Spectrum store in the local mall, if they call it’ll be $50 charge for the tech to come out, so back to phone tree hell.
@Baud: Steve Reeves!
Well, it really wasn’t TV but it was shown ON tv!
@geg6: Maybe think seriously about the consulting side of things? With your knowledge and experience, surely you would be in demand.
edit: Nothing gets your attention like realizing that you are considered expendable, and therefore lesser, by the people you work for. Safety for me but not for thee. Fuck that shit.
@Sure Lurkalot: I left my previous firm during this shitshow because they wanted us on site and in the office and the job sites were a fucking disaster. Three Covid outbreaks in a row on the project team I was on because the subs refused to mask and the general contractor wouldn’t enforce. I was administrating a large project in a Level 1 trauma center and they still wouldn’t mask!
Now I’m fulltime on the planning side, so I can stay away from that bullshit.
ETA: I want to note that every Covid outbreak required a full shutdown of the job site for three weeks. You would have thought they would have pulled their heads out of their asses after the first one!
@Suzanne: I’ve heard stories of fairly large organizations having 75 year plans to upgrade/replace buildings in their physical plant (involving lots of musical chairs – empty one building, renovate it, move a group that needs new space into it, empty their old space, go to step 2). That was in the Before Times.
I’m sure that such timelines are much longer now, with increased costs and no proportionally increased funding.
As you say, this stuff is hard and complex.
It’s the old saw again: Fast, Cheap, Good – pick 2.
This thread is not doing anything good for my resting rage level.
Probably not. Incumbents are hard to beat, but much more satisfying to beat.
@debbie: Unless one is vaccinated. See CDC report from yesterday.
@Suzanne: Guess the subs wanted to really be in the level one trauma center.
@Baud: IMO, yes.
@debbie: Well….yeah…..actually, I think most medicines are ineffective on people who don’t take them.
Gin & Tonic
@Baud: I miss real nostalgia.
@Another Scott: That’s not uncommon. A lot of what architects and engineers and estimators do is master planning and feasibility study, in which we help organizations figure all that shit out.
I just want to bring some clarity to this whole building ventilation issue. What it will take to make any sort of meaningful improvement starts with regulation. Building codes are adopted in most jurisdictions on a three-year cycle. But they are not retroactive. New work and major improvements are subject to whatever code is in place at the time of submittal, but only with a few exceptions are building owners forced to bring old building elements up to code. And so far, there has not been much appetite or pressure to make major regulatory improvements. That is because it is expected that all of this Rona pandemic will pass and that, quite frankly, the increased cost of building would be too high. And honestly, they are probably right. The overwhelming pressure has been to reduce cost to the healthcare and education systems. And the kind of improvements we’re talking about would be extremely significant chunks of capital.
Gin & Tonic
@raven: Look at the muscles on that dude; he’s got muscles in his ears.
We need to go back to being nomands and living on tents.
Some cold or other gave me a sinus infection that Would Not Clear Up. It was finally diagnosed by an ENT specialist I was seeing for allergies, who bombed it with antibiotics and steroids. Once it was gone, had to wonder just how long I’d been fighting the damn thing and just how common are they, anyway?
Nobody would have wanted to be anywhere near me during covid, that’s for sure. “Aw, it’s nothing.” After, found I got a lot fewer colds–the allergy shots don’t hurt with that, either.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: It was maddening. Absolutely infuriating. They were refusing to mask IN THE HOSPITAL, the BIG HOSPITAL WITH HEAPS OF DEAD PEOPLE. And the general contractor just let them do it! I documented it with photographs and reports and…. I would go out there week after week, and still the same shit. The superintendent nearly died of this shit and they still refused to enforce, because it would anger the subs and they didn’t want them walking off the job. Just the most blatant prioritization of money over lives that I have ever seen, AND IT WAS IN A HOSPITAL.
I almost threw my hard hat at them.
I wonder if “owning the libs” is listed as a separate expense on their balance sheet.
@Gin & Tonic:
Nostalgia isn’t What it Used to Be.
Gin & Tonic
Gin & Tonic
In moderation for too many links, I think.
Nomands = nomads.
@germy: Jesus Christ. I laughed out loud at that and then immediately was appalled that I had done that. Then immediately decided “nah!”
What the hell have I become?
I used to be disgusted, but now I try to be amused … highly recommend y’all read sorryantivaxxers.com. It’s quite relaxing.
@Suzanne: I know I always appreciate what you have to say about built environments, particularly the HVAC stuff.
@Gin & Tonic: You missed it by one!
@debbie: WTF does that even mean, Kevvie baby?
@Baud: LOL – so true!
@Old School: It was taken a few months ago, but a Marquette University poll published last August showed Ron Johnson polling at 35% approval, 42% disapproval, 25% no opinion. This was down from their last poll that showed about 38%-38% approval disapproval. By contrast, that same August poll showed Joe Biden at 49% approval and 46% disapproval.
I’ve been hoping Johnson would run again. Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher of Green Bay looked to be a tougher candidate: an articulate, young veteran with a fairly blank slate. He wouldn’t have lacked money to fill that slate in for Wisconsin voters. But, I’m 700 miles away and it’s going to be Johnson anyway
Johnson looks like a worn out, corrupt hack, which is pretty much what he is.
@Spanky: I read the article – fuck the NY Post – and nothing about them not being able to get the vaccine. Both needlessly dead, and took up hospital beds for days. Fuck ’em.
@Suzanne: Next I want to see them do an airplane.
@WaterGirl: HAHAHA the average age of US aircraft is over 30 years.
@Suzanne:I think those sims are more cool than depressing. The depressing part is sending tens of millions back to work in enclosed spaces *without* looking at studies like that. Thanks for the pointer!
? Me, after looking at the Calif Covid daily case counts, Dec 1 to 30: 5,410 – 49,974
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Aye, nostalgia ain’t what it used to be
@trollhattan: dammit, in the old days I would’ve been faster
Gin & Tonic
@WaterGirl: Thanks for fishing it out. I just embedded a Tweet without counting.
@Fair Economist: CFD (computational fluid dynamics) models are so cool. I’ve only gotten to be on a project where they did them a couple of times. It is really interesting to see how air moves (much more like water swirling around) because it’s not a thing we can see typically.
The implications are depressing, though. Six feet was never enough. Dumb plexiglass dividers don’t do shit.
Seeing this stuff over a year ago is part of why I have been more resigned to getting this than others here, and why I have been freaking out about getting kids vaccinated. I really don’t think our society is willing to do what it takes to quash it.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
IC what you did dere. :-)
@Suzanne: Corsi-Rosenthal boxes are an air filter. Why would they need windows?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I was in the car listening to MSNBC and they played audio from the USSC hearings today. Did anyone catch which Justice it was trying to make the gov’t attorneys say there were significant adverse health risks from the vaccines?
@trollhattan: It’ll be worse if you look at the end of this week. LA County has shot up like a rocket.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
I don’t know but my guess would be Alito.
@Geminid: Let’s hope so. Maybe I’m just jaded by Senate incumbents who won in 2020 that I thought should lose handily.
In any case, it’ll definitely be more satisfying to defeat Ron Johnson than Mike Gallagher.
@debbie: Is anyone who has taken the medicine (vax) complaining about its imeffectiveness? I thought most of us vaccinated think it is almost a miracle. The complaimers are the ones who haven’t taken it.
Poor Kevin Sorbo really isn’t bright. I am amazed he could learn his lines
@Suzanne: One thing that video didn’t consider is the protection afforded by the masks being worn. If everybody is wearing a N95 or similar, then the hazards of transient exposure to 50% infection air go down considerably. I think it’s manageable if people will just commit to manage it.
Well, Spectrum is sending a tech out on Monday morning, so I will limp around teathered until then.
I am officially done with listening to what introverts have to say about COVID. I don’t even care if they’re completely right, I’m just done listening to them.
“You know I always wanted to pretend to be an architect”.
(Bet you get that all the time…)
I plan to defeat Covid with a steely gaze.
ETA: and an AK.
@Suzanne: My dad was a pathologist and he would go ballistic when nurses and interns would wear their scrubs out in public after work, grocery shopping and such.
@Fair Economist: Because without somewhere to push that air, small indoor fans basically make a small little circuit sucking in the air immediately around them, cleaning it, and then pushing it out. They keep recirculating the same air. In commercial buildings, the goal of the design is to get the air to move in a line, maybe a wavy line, from supply to return, and they use pressure relationships to make that happen. The Corsi-Rosenthal boxes can’t do that alone, you need a fan to push and then a place to flow out (window, door, opening, whatever) to create the linear current. Otherwise the line is a circle. So you’d have very clean air close to the device and then part of the room wouldn’t get turned over at all.
@Anyway: The other one that I get is, “Do you use a computer?”.
@Baud: I can almost see McNaughton’s painting of you.
@Suzanne: I bet you do it all with a slide rule.
@Suzanne: I really appreciate your comments here. Would love to read more. If you don’t have time to blog somewhere maybe consider doing posts here from time to time. You’re so knowledgeable on this subject. I also appreciate how you take the time to respond to people on these issues.
If you are living on a tent, you may be doing it wrong.
Especially if you are a nomand.
@Suzanne: They are better than nothing and why do you need an opening window? You are absolutely right about the difficulty and cost of upgrading hvac systems. (10 years as an me and 22 as an industrial hygienist – not a random dude)
@Baud: I thought swagger was going to be what defeated Covid. Or is that only in NYC?
My phone keyboard hates me.
@Old School: Johnson is an idiot with a strong track record of idiocy to run against.
Toxic masculinity is toxic to covid, apparently
@gbbalto: I’m glad you did that and not me. //
@QuietStorm: What you say goes against the new conventional wisdom here, but people need to hear it. I hope you comment more.
Nope. My doctor’s got patients who’ve died while vaccinated. They had medical risks like heart conditions, etc.
@Brachiator: But the hospitals are still slammed because so many of the staff are out sick with COVID, even if it’s the sniffles.
Still, nothing like the nightmare we were seeing in spring 2020.
@gbbalto: Because if your fan doesn’t have anywhere to exhaust, you keep recirculating and cleaning the same air. In a small little room, that might be okay, but in a typical classroom, you’ll get some of the air many times and some of the air no times.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Probably Gorsuch. He also wasn’t wearing a mask and pulled the 140,000 annual flu deaths figure out of his
The vaccines have never been 100%, especially for people with underlying conditions.
Too soon, I guess, to figure out long-term effects of omicron. Had planned on ditching my mask in March; now think June at the earliest. Dunno if it will help, but will go back to hitting the neti pot 2-3 times a week.
Yes. My 7 year old granddaughter is blossoming at school this year. Covid put her two years behind and her single mother is really really struggling to make ends meet doing DoorDash for a living because the hours are flexible.
I will note that even in operating rooms, which are designed to 20 ACH with laminar flow (to create a high-to-low air current) and exhaust all of the air…. CFD has shown that some of the air changes a lot (more like 60 ACH) and some changes only like one time. It’s an average.
@Suzanne: Absolutely agree that there should be good fresh air changes if possible. But if that isnt happening and wont happen because of $ what else is there to do?
To an easy and speedy recovery! ?
@Baud: I refreshed the page and this was the first comment I saw, and I started thinking up possible things it could be a reply to.
“Who took a bite out of every donut in the box?”
“Who turned the thermostat down to 60 degrees?”
“Who left all these pamphlets in the break room suggesting the text of the Second Amendment should replace the Pledge of Allegiance?”
Exactly. I had hoped the “milder” Omicron would reduce risk, but no. Even a breakthrough can turn into full disease if it makes it to the lungs.
@Suzanne: It sounds like here in Florida the push should be for outdoor classes whenever and wherever possible. Maybe that should be the way schools proceed indefinitely for the future – only have indoor classes when you absolutely have to, and then break out the temporary fixes (Corsi boxes or whatever).
@germy: I think they did a story about them on CNN too. How they were each other’s true love and died within days of each other like a romantic Hallmark movie. And neither was vaxxed and both had serious co-morbidities. Drove me nuts!
My twin grandkids and their teacher mom came home from school today after girl twin tested positive for covid and became very symptomatic before she got home. The twins both had two vax doses and the adults are vaxed and boosted. I guess we’ll see how well the vaxing works for cancer patient/ chemotherapy recipient me.
@Baud: A true Baudian strategy–living ON the tents!
Safe at last, and his buddies are just as happy:
@gbbalto: Vaccinate all kids stat? I support a mandate. Mandatory masks, go outside if possible. I think everyone who can work from home should until this is over.
Also should point out, if it’s not obvious:
@Omnes Omnibus: No argument there.
I thought that the 6 feet thing came from prior experience with other diseases, from flu to measles, etc. Don’t know where the plexiglass divider thing came from.
Again, I am ignorant of all this, but I wonder if health authorities sought input from architects and others?
We are social animals and we are trying to deal with a virus that hits us in various social spaces we inhabit. I followed some of the early terrible impact of the pandemic in elderly care facilities, and could see that you had to devise methods of protecting patients, staff and visitors. I could understand how you had to deal with other spaces where people were confined, naval vessels and cruise ships, prisons.
But the recommendations for restaurants and other public spaces seems to have been haphazard, not just in the US but in other countries as well.
@Steeplejack (phone): Squi’s Buddy should go to work with plague rats.
@Ruviana: Baud like to think out of the
I support mask and vaccine mandates. I also think a lot more could be done to make the air safer in schools. It’s kind of surprising to me how little discussion there seems to be about how Covid is airborne and how clean air is key to keeping everyone safe. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a media piece on it. Certainly no soft piece on something like the Today Show where they show people how to make a Corsi/Rosenthal box or talk about HEPA filters. There’s only beginning to be a discussion about higher quality masks. There’s a lot more that could be done to make people aware of the air issue.
It’s true that a CR box isn’t the full answer. Nor are masks. Or even vaccines. Doing one thing like that is good. Doing more than one is better. So a CR box in a classroom isn’t going to solve the whole problem. Maybe have two. Or add a fan to circulate the air. Maybe the teacher brings in a HEPA filter too. If all the kids are masked and the air is being cleaned, risk will go way down.
I think kids and parents would jump on making CR boxes if they knew it would help keep the kids in school. They’re not terribly expensive and they’re easy to put together. Get businesses to donate HEPA filters or have fundraisers. There are way to help make air in school safer so that kids can stay in school. I just don’t see much discussion about it at all. It’s all hand washing and fighting over masks. People are woefully educated on how Covid is spread so they’re terrible at reducing risk.
@Baud: Nah Covid doesn’t care… nom nom…
Who is this ‘we’?
@Baud: Every one in the show could out act him.
@debbie: He’s pathetic.
The death rates here in NE Massachusetts are frustratingly higher than they are in most places that are being slammed with Omicron, which suggests to me that we’ve still got a lot of Delta around too.
@Darkrose: I work at Stanford, current quarter started Monday. Mid-December they announced that all classes would be remote until the 18th, so the majority of the students have yet to return. Today they announced over 500 positives among the students tested to this point and that they are running out of isolation housing. In-person undergraduate classes have been pushed off to the 28th, graduate classes are still on for the 18th. I plan on staying away from campus whenever I can this month.
They can even make it worse because they reduce air circulation. I was at Costco today and witnessed a plexiglass Covid tunnel. The checkout lanes are close together and have these huge plexiglass walls protecting the checkers. The lanes are structured so that customers from two adjacent lanes must both go through the checkout in the same area – so they both go through this narrow Covid tunnel where the air is trapped by these plexiglass walls. I stood waiting to unload my cart watching this mess, as four or five people just stood there with their masks hanging off their ears or not wearing them at all. All the air would clearly be trapped in this narrow plexiglass Covid tunnel, along with whatever virus they might have.
When it was my turn I unloaded my cart and then told the person checking me out that I wasn’t going to stand there. I walked to the other end, she turned the credit card machine for me so I could just reach across the conveyer belt to use it. The air was moving on that side but the “customer side” (the Covid tunnel) was just stagnant air. Super disappointed in Costco for this set up.
@Yarrow: I asked my kid’s principal to get some CR boxes if possible. They’re better than nothing. But her classroom has big operable windows, so it would be more effective. Her classroom in AZ didn’t have any windows. They are definitely a Bandaid, not a solution.
@Brachiator: Nomand is an aisle end…
@sab: @QuietStorm: @Geminid:
Yes, thank you for this perspective. It is not a simple issue, and people who are not the parents of school-age children right now aren’t best situated to be making definitive statements about the “right” thing to do.
RE: We are social animals
All of us human beings. Even the introverts and asocial folk. The virus is kicking us around so effectively because of who we are.
ETA: The virus also gets to us because so of us are stupid morons who don’t mask, get vaccines and do other easy shit that would increase our odds of survival.
@David Fud: I live in a different state. Basically, they expect the amount of Omicron to overwhelm the contact tracing capabilities. So it may not only be that your old dudes are horrible people, it may also be that there will be so much COVID that it cannot be done.
I am sure you are correct; however, they got more than $100MM for various programs to address COVID, including testing programs. They spent all of the money on boondoggles and hand sanitizer. So… they have the Fed’s money to do the right thing (testing) and none of the belief in science to do the right thing.
My children spend many hours a day in a Petri dish.
That New York Post story sounds like complete bullshit:
I’m sure the no doubt harried, overworked ICU staff knew exactly when to move the cumbersome beds and related equipment next to each other so the couple could die holding hands. ? This had to be totally staged.
@David Fud: I sent my kid back with a KN-95 mask this week. He had been wearing a cloth one I made at the beginning of the pandemic before that. I am so thankful that he was able to get two COVID-19 shots.
@Steeplejack (phone): Well at least this maudlin story bumped those uncanny looking French twins off the human interest news.
I would send him. I say that knowing how hard it is to figure it out, and knowing what a mess it is. He might be happier with others who are in the same boat. But obviously you’ll make the decision.
When the high school let out today there were a huge group of student “walkers”. Some of them walk, but not many. This was 10x as many.
They don’t have enough bus drivers so they put the smaller kids on the busses and told the older kids who live in town to walk or get a ride home. This is happening to them. We should try to get them together so they can lean on each other.
@QuietStorm: I’m with you. I didn’t rank Adams in my top 5 in the primary, but I’m glad he’s holding firm on this issue. In my opinion, there doesn’t seem to be enough consideration of what is lost by closing schools.
My girls were both in school this week with no issue. And my good friends who are teachers here are doing everything they can to avoid going remote – they hate the situation they’re in with staff shortages and everything but they hated Zoom school even more. It’s just not as clear cut as certain blogmasters seem to think.
Things are bad here – it’s a pandemic, after all – but I think we’re generally handling it pretty well.
J R in WV
I have to express my dissatisfaction with this analogy. People volunteer to go to a bar. Kids HAVE to go to school. it’s not voluntary at all. So we owe the kids a safe environment at school.
If there’s black mold, or asbestos, or a highly transmissible potentially fatal virus, we have to address that danger before we require the kids to attend school in person. If we can’t afford to put in HVAC that filters out the Covid virus, etc, we can’t afford to require kids to be in that building.
@Monala: The problem with alternating days, at least as proposed in my niece’s school in 2020-21, is the teacher would be common the classroom. The common teacher could transmit any illness from MW to TTh.
J R in WV
Yes, indeed. I seem to recall early in this pandemic the Turkish government was sending every citizen 7 new masks each week.
Now, those may not have been ( probably were not ) N95 quality masks, but they were better than the bandanas I saw people wearing at Kroger’s my last trip to town.
Yes, it’s not like Omicron tagged in and Delta went away.
@Martin: I’m sure I’m not the only one who remembers this: NY1 (from September 2020):
Shudder. “No, we totally have not had cosmetic surgery; why do you ask?” Also unvaxed.
@Suzanne: i would follow your BLOG.
Mingobat (f/k/a Karen in GA)
Oh, lord. At this rate, America won’t be free of COVID until after Biden’s successor leaves office.
If you’re not panicking or at least extremely concerned, you’re not paying attention. And if you’re not taking appropriate action, you’re… something I really can’t say in polite company.
@Steeplejack (phone): There was a lot of speculation that Omicron might “push Delta out” and bring a relatively benign end to the pandemic, but if Omicron is different enough that prior Delta infection doesn’t protect very well against it, why should prior Omicron infection protect well against Delta? South Africa’s Delta wave was well over, but ours here in New England definitely isn’t. Even if there is some such effect, it sure doesn’t seem like Delta is going away.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: rapid home test have a 15% false negative rate. Even if done correctly.
@Kay: Yes, I think just being around peers who are also experiencing this bizarre childhood (preoccupied parents, not knowing what the next day/week will bring) is calming to him.
@mrmoshpotato: Admittedly stolen from “Rumpole of the Bailey,” but Mr Injustice Gorsuch is how I think of the little weasel.
@Suzanne: And then there are schools that do have windows but they must remain closed and locked because some RWNJ has bought their kid a gun and he can get in and slaughter the other kids.