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Thread: The COVID-19 Discussion Thread (OTB)

  1. #661
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    Ah, that well-known communist regime, nineteenth-century Japan.

    Grant Hutchison

  2. #662
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I know my son and his classmates are pretty well unanimous in wishing they could be in school in person. I think he'd be learning more in school, because perversely I think it would be easier for him to get more specialized education. The work involved in letting the more advanced kids do work to their level is actually more complicated in a distance learning scenario, because you can't just put them in one corner of the room to do the difficult stuff while the other kids are learning the stuff my son and a few others clearly already know.
    One of my co-worker's fiancť is an accountant. He has taken on tutoring her son, which included building him a workstation cubical. That kid is doing very well but he is burning, burning! to get back in the classroom and away from that nut. It honestly makes me chuckle when I see something like that happen. I have another pair of friends who teamed up to help their younger children at remote learning. They have it better, but they don't like it at all. What works on mom or dad doesn't work on a boyfirend or girlfriend who are each educators. This one really amuses me because I can see a remote wedding in the near future.

    My kids are older. There is an element of being driven at high school age. My son has it, my daughter has it except for math. She's rocking a 65 in that class. For the life of me, I cannot figure out where she is going wrong. The homework is fine, the class attendance is great and the teacher is very understanding. I think she's bad at testing. As a teacher myself, I could sit there and watch what is going on, but know that it is invasive, rude, nearly cheating and not helpful to coach her to be careful in her answers. She has to learn this on her own, she has all the tools and support.

    For younger students all of this is very hard. You have all of the chaos of being at home, plus a home routine that is either disrupted or not in sync with the schools. Add in a working parent, at home or otherwise, plus the need for technical support in addition to learning support and it's a mess. I feel that my students are hampered by all of this. I have to say that it is very weird to be satisfied with my own children's education in this circus.
    Solfe

  3. #663
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    One thing I will miss from all of this is, the last minute facetime/zoom pep talks my co-workers give their kids before their work day starts. I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "Hey, is that Mr. Phil? Hi, Mr. Phil." It makes my day, every time.
    Solfe

  4. #664
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I'd say assembling eighty-odd people in celebratory mood under one roof for several hours was where it went off the rails, masks or no masks. As you say, why do that, under the present circumstances?

    Grant Hutchison
    As you've written here before (and I've taken to repeating to anyone who'll listen):
    People
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    Failure on all points.

  5. #665
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    This Saturday they are putting a curfew of sorts in place for most counties in California from 10PM to 5AM. You can still drive or otherwise travel to and use “essential services” during this time: grocery stores, drug stores, drive though or take out food, buy gas, go to a hospital, etc. I’m curious what it will really limit. Since the pandemic a lot of places have cut their hours so even most “essential” businesses close by 10pm (for a while a lot of them were closing at 9 or even earlier). I’m not sure what non-essential businesses where people gather would still be open under current conditions. Maybe it will discourage late parties at home? But if someone is fool enough to have a large gathering at home under these conditions, does a curfew actually matter?

    There is also the issue that law enforcement in some jurisdictions have said they aren’t going to enforce it or will make it a low priority, sometimes citing resources.

    I’ll be curious to see if we get a better idea of the point of this. Maybe psychological? Meant to to suggest it’s more serious now? In any case, it sounds like it will have no effect on me.
    Ohio is doing the same and I also don't understand it. Frankly, I think it is political theatre, to look like they are doing something without putting any real restrictions on businesses. I don't know how packing a pub at 9:45 p.m. is medically OK, but its bad at 10:15; the virus doesn't care about what time it is.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  6. #666
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    Science Media Centre again: Expert reaction to pubs and restaurants closing early.

    Grant Hutchison

  7. #667
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Science Media Centre again: Expert reaction to pubs and restaurants closing early.

    Grant Hutchison
    That was interesting, though I didn't see a consensus.

    My plan - I am continuing to avoid restaurants, pubs, and other group activities, as I've done seen March.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  8. #668
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    That was interesting, though I didn't see a consensus.
    Like all these interventions, I don't think we'll see a consensus unless there are good epidemiological data in the aftermath. And most of the time these societal modifications are applied as part of a package of measures, so it'll be difficult to tease out the effectiveness (or otherwise) of one component.
    Here in the UK, there's a definite sense that the 10pm pub curfew feels like a committee decision, born of a tension between those who want to shut down hospitality entirely, and those who want to limit the economic damage to that sector.

    Grant Hutchison

  9. #669
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    If I understand the arguments, they are considering people spending less time in bars/pubs so there will be fewer impaired people making bad decisions that can lead to more infectious, and a psychological impact so people will take the situation more seriously (like I was wondering about in my prior post).

    In California I thought bars were closed in counties with the heavier infection rate, but I don’t really keep track what happens with bars. I know for sure there was a general closure some months back, but I don’t know what they are doing now. I haven’t been in a bar in years, so I have little personal interest.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." ó Abraham Lincoln

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  10. #670
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    I think the fundamental problem is that transmission risk comes on a spectrum, but interventions are binary. I've lost count of the number of times I've heard "Ah-ha!" questions of the form, "Why is x safe but y not safe?"
    "Why is it safe to open my restaurant before 6pm, but not after?"
    "Why is it safe to play a golf match in a town two miles away across the Local Authority border, but not here?"
    "Why is it safe to meet five adults and one 11-year-old outdoors, but not five adults and one 13-year-old?"

    It's a false dichotomy, born of misguided use of reassuring language by people responsible for communicating with the public. If I ran the show, no-one in a position of authority or responsibility for public health interventions would be permitted to use the word "safe" in reference to any activity that involved people meeting each other.

    Grant Hutchison

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    There were some very annoying/interesting goings on in the State of South Australia this week. Like most Australian States/Territories they have had no cases of Covid in the community for months. Then, as happened in Victoria, someone working at a 'Quarantine Hotel' became infected by mishap and passed it onto their large family. Within a couple of days 20 or so family members were infected. One person claimed to have had Pizza delivered from a shop that a member of the family worked at and became infected. This infection after such little contact worried the local health authorities as they thought that it might be due to this particular strain being a new even more infectious variety. So they immediately put the whole state into a strict lockdown.

    The problem was that after further investigation it turned out that the person who claimed to have become infected after getting pizza delivered had lied to the 'Contact and Trace' team. He had actually worked at that Pizza Shop for several days. The lockdown will now be phased out after three days and the Health Dept has said that if they had been told the truth in the first place no lockdown, and the chaos it caused, would have been necessary. There have only been about 32 cases so far and they are all either family members or close contacts who have been quarantined since the first cases were diagnosed. No wider community spread has come to light yet after large scale testing has been done. The person who lied is a Spanish Citizen in Australia on a 'Graduate Visa' allowing further study here. There has been no explanation to date as to why he lied but people are assuming he was trying to hide income or something along that lines. It is not actually an "offence" to lie to the health teams in that state but the police are trying to establish if there are other grounds to charge him. At the very least, I imagine his visa will be cancelled and he will be deported.

    The other interesting point is that this outbreak was luckily picked up very early due to a Doctor in a Hospital Emergency Clinic who was dealing with an 80 year old woman who had none of the normal Covid-19 symptoms. However she suddenly coughed once or twice and the Doctor immediately did a swab which turned out to be positive. This meant that the outbreak appears to have been caught before it spread into the larger community.

  12. #672
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    Worldometer now saying over 204,000 new cases yesterday. It's frightening. I'm thinking of playing with my spreadsheet where I log Worldometer data and calculate the ratio of deaths to new cases from two or three weeks earlier. But I'm too busy today: We're having my niece and her husband up for early Thanksgiving dinner. That'll be lovely, but it makes me a bit nervous.

    Meanwhile, NYC has re-closed the schools but left the bars and restaurants open. Lots of commenters saying they've got that backward.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  13. #673
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    Simon's class has, I'm not sure how, earned a movie day in class next week, and this feels like an utterly pointless reward right now. Also, I'm seriously thinking about talking to his teacher about how frustrating Simon finds the constant writing assignment "what are you doing this weekend?/what did you do this weekend?" Our weekends are boring, and they're going to stay that way for a while.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

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  14. #674
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Worldometer now saying over 204,000 new cases yesterday. It's frightening. I'm thinking of playing with my spreadsheet where I log Worldometer data and calculate the ratio of deaths to new cases from two or three weeks earlier.
    Please just be careful not to get too locked into tracking numbers which make you anxious but over which you have no control. People have run into significant mental health problems after tumbling down that rabbit hole this year.

    Grant Hutchison

  15. #675
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    CNN: At least 193,079 people in the United States tested positive for coronavirus on Friday, the highest number of new cases in a single day since the pandemic began. That "highest number" qualifier just seems to be everywhere now.

    It does feel like it's it's raging out of control. About my only consistent outdoor activity anymore is going for a walk while wearing a mask. The local school track used to be pretty deserted, but with so many people working from home it's become quite popular as a place to escape the confines of the house and stretch your legs.

  16. #676
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Simon's class has, I'm not sure how, earned a movie day in class next week, and this feels like an utterly pointless reward right now. Also, I'm seriously thinking about talking to his teacher about how frustrating Simon finds the constant writing assignment "what are you doing this weekend?/what did you do this weekend?" Our weekends are boring, and they're going to stay that way for a while.
    Still better than using the Acellus Learning Accelerator. I saw a thing about Hawaii phasing it out and went down a rabbit hole reading about it. When the pandemic started a lot of schools looked at well known home schooling tools to assist their remote learning efforts, and this was one of the better known ones. Apparently some didn’t look too carefully initially as they were having staffing issues and a time crunch, just seeing if they seemed to have the right approvals, before buying. Turns out when they did look, there was religious proselytizing, racism, sexism, bigotry and just poorly written material (grammar errors, factual mistakes, etc.). It is produced by a religious group, and due to that I won’t go into much detail about them, but if you’re interested, see:

    https://onezero.medium.com/a-major-o...s-cec99e7adcaf

    and

    https://onezero.medium.com/hawaii-se...r-fec5940a81a4

    Unfortunately, a lot of schools are still using it, but the word is getting around.
    Last edited by Van Rijn; 2020-Nov-22 at 01:39 AM.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." ó Abraham Lincoln

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  17. #677
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Please just be careful not to get too locked into tracking numbers which make you anxious but over which you have no control. People have run into significant mental health problems after tumbling down that rabbit hole this year.

    Grant Hutchison
    Thank you, Grant. I have indeed been having some difficulties wih depression this year but I find the numbers interesting and will try not to let them get me down!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  18. #678
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Thank you, Grant. I have indeed been having some difficulties wih depression this year but I find the numbers interesting and will try not to let them get me down!
    Yes, thank you Grant, for injecting some wisdom along with your knowledge into this discussion.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  19. #679
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Unfortunately, a lot of schools are still using it, but the word is getting around.
    Oh, if Simon's school were using it, I would be letting them have it.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  20. #680
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Oh, if Simon's school were using it, I would be letting them have it.
    We have a packaged curriculum suite (very different from this, but still a purchased package) that is giving me fits. As a sub, I only have my own lesson plans when someone is out for an extended duration. For a brief absence, I would do the teacher's lesson plans as they prepared them. We are fully staffed and the 5 teachers. They have selected their lessons from the planned curriculum suite to supplement what they they are doing online. Since I want to provide relief and support, I have to come up with something other than the items the other teachers selected, without going too far off the beaten path and not repeating lessons.

    I'm doing 30 minutes of social interaction for each classroom. We'll read current news stories and answer questions on them. That will be followed by a weather report. My lesson can only take up 30 minutes, max and I might do it as many as 5 times a day, with each one adapted to the age/grade band I am working within that time slot. I don't get to pick the time slots, the teachers will advise me when I am needed for their students. I will also have to coordinate with other non-teaching staff as guests in my lesson, which is reassuring to our students. Socialization is a much needed activity for this demographic. They often wonder where the aides and teaching assistants are during their lessons online. Now, we can say, "Look, they are right here!"

    It's more about our student's and teacher's need for support than a lesson goal. I will also be working directly with them at other times, so the transition from the classroom teacher to me is smooth. It's chaotic and cool at the same time.
    Solfe

  21. #681
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    I imagine it would cut down in bullying as well. I have always been sickened by how much money is spent on athletics as opposed to the scholarís bowl. Maybe this will help in reversing that trend.

    Isolation may also have the effect of keeping children free from coarse culture.
    In K-12 institutions, the high school kids would watch things like Porkyís, and the next thing you know, you have little kids cursing like sailors with the lingo passed down and all.

    A greater focus on learning might be one of the few ways COVID lockdowns actually bettered quality of life.

  22. #682
    There is now a new spike in cases, total of 39 over the weekend. There is a color coded system here we have been in the yellow level, where they rules are little less strict but now we are in the orange level. Most of the cases have been in the cities of Saint John and Moncton. We have 6 zones in the province and this places us in the same zone as Saint John but I don't think there have been any cases around here. Plus I am also worried about work, the auction company I work for is based in Saint John and they have a store in a mall there, so they might have an auction this weekend but I still trying to realign my sleep schedule just case they need me this weekend. Most of the customers are older and probably not good for them to be there. If 2020 was an animal on a farm they would of taking behind the barn and shot it already.
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  23. #683
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selenite View Post
    It does feel like it's it's raging out of control. About my only consistent outdoor activity anymore is going for a walk while wearing a mask. The local school track used to be pretty deserted, but with so many people working from home it's become quite popular as a place to escape the confines of the house and stretch your legs.
    That's how it feels to me. I can't say my wife and I have particularly restricted what we are doing, because we never really relaxed. Other than going to essential stores and such (grocery, pet food, medical) in masks, we have no in-person contact with anyone. My work has gone back to very strict restrictions; I've only gone to work in person about once in the last three weeks, and that was on a Sunday, so I wouldn't come in contact with anyone.

    I hear all these stores about people traveling and getting together for Thanksgiving and it seems rather suicidal to me.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  24. #684
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    Same here. We're retired, so work isn't an issue. I wind up going to the store a couple of times a week whether I want to or not. My wife does get her hair done but everyone wears masks and the hairdresser is very careful. We did have my niece and her husband up on Saturday for early Thanksgiving, but they are teachers who do so remotely and are otherwise seeing nobody. Big traditional Thanksgiving gatherings seem like lunacy.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  25. #685
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I hear all these stores about people traveling and getting together for Thanksgiving and it seems rather suicidal to me.
    Suicidal is fine by me. It's the negligent homicide aspect I find depressing.

    Grant Hutchison

  26. #686
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Suicidal is fine by me. It's the negligent homicide aspect I find depressing.

    Grant Hutchison
    Yes (with the added bit that the suicidal/self-injury types are straining the medical system and providers).
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  27. #687
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    I finally e-mailed Simon's teacher to say that I have a real problem with the fact that, twice a week, his morning journal is about weekend activities. Every Monday, he's supposed to write about what he did over the weekend. Every Friday (or whatever the last day of school for the week is), he's supposed to write about what he's going to do over the weekend. At the best of times, I would think that silly and repetitive. Currently, I have a fight with Simon twice a week because what our weekend plans entail do not change. For the most part have not changed. For the most part will not change until there's a vaccine. I know adults who are constantly complaining that all the days are running together; surely it can't be good for these kids to have that reminder twice a week. Especially as some of the kids' parents are clearly taking the whole thing more seriously than others, based on what some of the kids do.

    Frustratingly, the teacher told me that this would continue to be the assignment, because "some of the kids like to share." I've written to Simon's IEP coordinator and informed her that we're perfectly fine with a different writing assignment, but Simon will no longer be doing this one.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  28. #688
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    ...Especially as some of the kids' parents are clearly taking the whole thing more seriously than others, based on what some of the kids do.
    Thatís just great. Remind kids they are stuck at home while other kids get to go out and have fun because their parents donít care about following COVID restrictions.

    Maybe you should have him submit the exact same essay every time.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  29. #689
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I finally e-mailed Simon's teacher to say that I have a real problem with the fact that, twice a week, his morning journal is about weekend activities. Every Monday, he's supposed to write about what he did over the weekend. Every Friday (or whatever the last day of school for the week is), he's supposed to write about what he's going to do over the weekend. At the best of times, I would think that silly and repetitive. Currently, I have a fight with Simon twice a week because what our weekend plans entail do not change. For the most part have not changed. For the most part will not change until there's a vaccine. I know adults who are constantly complaining that all the days are running together; surely it can't be good for these kids to have that reminder twice a week. Especially as some of the kids' parents are clearly taking the whole thing more seriously than others, based on what some of the kids do.

    Frustratingly, the teacher told me that this would continue to be the assignment, because "some of the kids like to share." I've written to Simon's IEP coordinator and informed her that we're perfectly fine with a different writing assignment, but Simon will no longer be doing this one.
    Might I suggest a Saturday morning cartoon recap for Monday? Teachers love Spongebob Squarepants.

    In the 80's, I had a friend who would deadpan scenarios from Leave It to Beaver when asked what they did on the weekends. Not a big sharer. It probably helped that this kid's older brother's was really named Walter and the teacher had him as a student in the past. I recall that he did not like to be called "Wally".
    Solfe

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    Surely, even in the days before Covid-19, there were many children whose weekend plans were pretty much exactly the same for months on end?
    Back in my day we used to be set these distressingly insensitive little essay projects intermittently ("Where did you go for your summer holidays?" "Well, we stayed at home."). But having it happen every weekend seems a little excessive, especially in this allegedly enlightened and sensitive age.

    Grant Hutchison

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