National Academy of Science issues Garbage Report Recommending Schools Reopen in the Fall.

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“This fall, public school districts should prioritize full-time, in-person classes for grades K-5 and for students with special needs.”   So says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.  Many are using this report to endorse opening all education institutions FULL-TIME and even decrying distance learning as a failure.  If you want to read the full report, you can download it in PDF for no cost.  Go to:  Reopening K-12 Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This is one of the worst pieces of research I have ever seen in my life.  It is claimed in the report that “The report includes an updated review of the evidence from around the world and a set of recommendations on mitigation strategies for the corona-virus in school settings.”  In actuality, there is little factual data supporting a reopening strategy but a great deal of conjecture.  Some of the so-called findings would seem to support NOT opening.  For instance:

“there is no definitive evidence about what suite of strategies is most effective for limiting transmission within a school setting when students, teachers, and other staff are present.”

(145 Pages of this report is mostly information you could get online about the effects and history of the Covid Pandemic.)

“The existing guidance documents offer an extensive list of potential strategies but little guidance on how districts and schools can or should prioritize them.”

(Little guidance but they are making their recommendations to open the schools anyway).

“Many of the mitigation strategies currently under consideration (such as limiting classes to small cohorts of students or implementing physical distancing between students and staff) require substantial reconfiguring of space, purchase of additional equipment, adjustments to staffing patterns, and upgrades to school buildings.”

(When and how will this happen?  In the next month? Does this seem realistic?)

“The research community should immediately conduct research that will provide the evidence needed to make informed decisions about school reopening and safe operation. The most urgent areas for inquiry are: • children and transmission of COVID-19, • the role of reopening schools in contributing to the spread of COVID-19 in communities, • the role of airborne transmission of COVID-19, and • the effectiveness of different mitigation strategies.”

(This is a so-called research study but it recommends we make more research to find “evidence” about school reopening that they are already recommending to reopen.”

“Second, the committee determined that, given the short timeline for producing this report, an exhaustive, systematic review of all available guidance documents for schools and districts was not feasible.”

“The committee met virtually five times over a 4-week period.”

(The time spent doing “research” is ridiculous.  It is nothing but a cut and paste job that looks like it came from the White House.”

“If children do transmit the disease efficiently, as they do with influenza, for example, physically reopening schools could accelerate the transmission of COVID-19 in a community.  Data needed to answer this and other important questions are unlikely to be available by the time the decision to reopen will have to be made.”

(The Data will not be likely to be available, but we recommend anyway?”)

“Twenty-eight percent of public school teachers are over 50, putting them in the higher risk age category for serious consequences of COVID-19 (Taie and Goldring, 2020). On a survey of teachers, principals, and district leaders administered by the EdWeek Research Center in June, 2020, 62% reported that they were somewhat or very concerned about returning. Any plans for reopening will need to address these concerns.”

(So how do we protect the teachers? Administrators and Parents?)

There are five major reasons this study offers for reopening the schools, but they give little evidence to support a true analysis of the costs/benefits for reopening.  Nor do they offer any alternatives. They are as follows:

  1. Many families rely on schools for daycare.
  2. Schools provide meals
  3. Schools provide mental health counseling and health care
  4. Schools are a center of social life
  5. Minorities and disadvantaged youth will fall behind wealthy children who have better home access to the internet and distance learning. 

My response to the above issues:

  1. We need national daycare as well as national health care for all.  No question.  But are schools the right place for day care services?  Is reopening going to solve our daycare problem?
  • Many schools have already made arrangements to help provide needed meals.  We do not need to reopen the schools to do this.
  • In Wisconsin there is 1 counselor for about every 470 students in the state.  (See data from “https://www.schoolcounselor.org/asca/media/asca/Publications/ratioreport.pdf)  It does not seem very likely to me that much mental health counseling is actually going on.  This ratio is even worse in many other states.
  • Schools may be a center of social life, but kids will not die from a slightly diminished social life.  I doubt many high school kids suffer much during summer months from a lack of social life.
  • Suddenly, they are concerned with minorities and disadvantaged youth? This is a quite disingenuous argument.  Educators have been asking for years for more funds to help address this issue and suddenly it is given as one of the primary reasons for reopening the schools. The report even notes the pervasive systemic racism in the education system.  Now they want to reopen the schools to address the issue of racism?

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After reading this 145 pages piece of garbage, I may never have any respect again for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

I can only suspect that the White House threatened to cut off their funding if they did not publish something to support Trump’s determination to open the schools. This is clearly part of Trump’s agenda to get the economy to reopen before the elections. The result of his pressure on states to reopen and his lack of support for efforts such as masks to mitigate the spread of this virus are nothing short of criminal. The administration is willing to sacrifice “old people” for the sake of the economy and now they are willing to sacrifice “young people” as well.

Teachers Say Rush to Reopen Schools Without Covid-19 Safety Plan Shows Trump and DeVos ‘Do Not Care About Students’

 

 

 

Questions Amidst a Global Corvid-19 Pandemic – Preguntas en medio de una pandemia mundial de Corvid-19 –  全球Corvid-19大流行中的疑问 – ग्लोबल कॉर्विड -19 महामारी के बीच प्रश्न

Questions Amidst a Global Corvid-19 Pandemic  

Below is a selection of questions, from those that invite levity to others that prompt more serious reflection, that will help you think about things maybe differently during this time of crisis in the world.   I was sent these by a friend online and thought I would share them.  I believe the author of these is Elizabeth Weingarten.  Her email and Twitter addresses follow these questions and she would love for you to contact her.  She also has a website.  Click on her name and you will be taken to her website.  I am going to give you some time to think about your responses and next week, I will post my responses to these questions. 

  1. How are you taking care of yourself today?
  2. What part of your shelter-in-place residence have you come to appreciate the most?
  3. What surprising thing have you been stocking up on (that isn’t toilet paper)?
  4. What’s a story – from a book, a movie, an article, a conversation – that you’ve been gripped by recently? Why did it capture you?
  5. What habit have you started, or broken, during the quarantine?
  6. Which specific place in your neighborhood are you most looking forward to visiting once this is all over?
  7. What’s the easiest part about the quarantine?
  8. What are some things you have realized that you don’t really need?
  9. What’s something you own that feels useful?
  10. What problem—either yours, or something more global —do you wish you could solve?
  11. What’s something that you miss that surprises you? What’s something that you don’t miss that surprises you?
  12. Which member of your family/ friend group have you been thinking about the most during this time? Why?
  13. What’s the most generous act you’ve seen recently?
  14. What’s the last thing you experienced that made you laugh, or cry?
  15. What times of the day or the week are hardest?
  16. What’s giving you hope right now?
  17. What’s the best thing that happened to you today?
  18. How do you want this experience to change you? How do you think it will?
  19. What do you hope we all learn or take away from this experience?
  20. How would you like this experience to change the world?

Reach me on Twitter at @elizabethw723 or email me at eweingarten@ideas42.org, and let me know what other questions you have found inspiring. 

 Preguntas en medio de una pandemia mundial de Corvid-19

A continuación hay una selección de preguntas, desde aquellas que invitan a la ligereza a otras que provocan una reflexión más seria, que lo ayudarán a pensar sobre cosas que pueden ser diferentes durante este momento de crisis en el mundo. Un amigo me envió estos en línea y pensé en compartirlos. Creo que la autora de estos es Elizabeth Weingarten. Aquí las direcciones de correo electrónico y Twitter siguen estas preguntas y le encantaría que la contactaras. Ella también tiene un sitio web. Haga clic en su nombre y será llevado a su sitio web. Voy a darle un poco de tiempo para pensar sobre sus respuestas y la próxima semana, publicaré mis respuestas a estas preguntas.

 

  1. ¿Cómo te cuidas hoy?
  2. ¿Qué parte de tu residencia de refugio en el lugar has llegado a apreciar más?
  3. ¿Qué cosa sorprendente has estado almacenando (que no es papel higiénico)?
  4. ¿Qué es una historia – de un libro, una película, un artículo, una conversación – que te ha cautivado recientemente? ¿Por qué te capturó?
  5. ¿Qué hábito has comenzado o quebrado durante la cuarentena?
  6. ¿Qué lugar específico en su vecindario está deseando visitar una vez que todo esto haya terminado?
  7. ¿Cuál es la parte más fácil de la cuarentena?
  8. ¿Cuáles son algunas cosas que te has dado cuenta de que realmente no necesitas?
  9. ¿Qué es lo que tienes que te resulta útil?
  10. ¿Qué problema, ya sea el suyo o algo más global, le gustaría resolver?
  11. ¿Qué es lo que echas de menos y te sorprende? ¿Qué es algo que no te pierdas y que te sorprenda?
  12. ¿En qué miembro de su familia / grupo de amigos ha estado pensando más durante este tiempo? ¿Por qué?
  13. ¿Cuál es el acto más generoso que has visto recientemente?
  14. ¿Qué fue lo último que experimentaste que te hizo reír o llorar?
  15. ¿Qué horas del día o de la semana son más difíciles?
  16. ¿Qué te da esperanza en este momento?
  17. ¿Qué es lo mejor que te ha pasado hoy?
  18. ¿Cómo quieres que esta experiencia te cambie? ¿Cómo crees que lo hará?
  19. ¿Qué esperas que todos aprendamos o saquemos de esta experiencia?
  20. ¿Cómo le gustaría que esta experiencia cambiara el mundo?

Comuníquese conmigo en Twitter en @ elizabethw723 o envíeme un correo electrónico a eweingarten@ideas42.org, y hágame saber qué otras preguntas ha encontrado inspiradoras.

 全球Corvid-19大流行中的疑

以下是一些问题的选择,这些问题引起人们的重视,而其他问题促使人们进行更认真的思考,这些问题将帮助您在世界危机时期考虑不同的事物。我是由一个朋友在线发送给我的,并认为我会与他们分享。我相信这些文章的作者是伊丽莎白·温加顿。在这里,电子邮件和Twitter地址会遵循这些问题,她很希望您与她联系。她也有一个网站。单击她的名字,您将被带到她的网站。我将给您一些时间来考虑您的回答,下周,我将发布对这些问题的回答。Elizabeth Weingarten

 

1.您今天如何照顾自己?

2.您最喜欢就地庇护所的哪个部分?

3.储存了什么令人惊讶的东西(不是卫生纸)?

4.最近被您牢牢抓住的是一个故事书,电影,文章,谈话中?为什么它抓住了你?

5.在隔离期间您开始或习惯了什么习惯?

6.结束后,您最希望在您附近的哪个地方参观?

7.隔离最简单的部分是什么?

8.您已经意识到自己真正不需要的一些东西?

9.拥有什么有用的东西?

10.您希望解决什么问题(无论是您的问题,还是更全球化的问题)?

11.您想念的是什么让您感到惊讶?您不会错过什么让您感到惊讶的东西?

12.这段时间里,您最想念的是家人/朋友小组中的哪个成员?为什么?

13.您最近看到的最慷慨的举动是什么?

14.您最后经历过什么使您发笑或哭泣?

15.一天或一周中什么时候最难?

16.什么给了您现在希望?

17.今天发生的最好的事情是什么?

18.您希望这种经历如何改变您?您如何看待?

19.您希望我们大家从这次经历中学到什么或从中学到什么?

20.您希望这种经历改变世界吗?

Twitter上通@ elizabethw723与我联系,或通过eweingarten@ideas42.org向我发送电子邮件,让我知道您发现其他启发性的问题。

 ग्लोबल कॉर्विड -19 महामारी के बीच प्रश्न

 नीचे प्रश्नों का एक चयन है, उन लोगों से जो दूसरों के लिए उत्कटता को आमंत्रित करते हैं जो अधिक गंभीर प्रतिबिंब का संकेत देते हैं, जो आपको दुनिया में संकट के इस समय के दौरान शायद अलगअलग चीजों के बारे में सोचने में मदद करेगा। मुझे ये एक दोस्त ने ऑनलाइन भेजा था और सोचा था कि मैं उन्हें साझा करूंगा। मेरा मानना ​​है कि इनमें से लेखक एलिजाबेथ वेनगार्टन हैं। यहां ईमेल और ट्विटर पते इन सवालों का पालन करते हैं और वह आपसे संपर्क करना पसंद करेंगे। उसकी एक वेबसाइट भी है। उसके नाम पर क्लिक करें और आपको उसकी वेबसाइट पर ले जाया जाएगा। मैं आपको अपनी प्रतिक्रियाओं के बारे में सोचने के लिए कुछ समय देने जा रहा हूं और अगले हफ्ते, मैं इन सवालों पर अपनी प्रतिक्रियाएं दूंगा।  Elizabeth Weingarten

 

  1. आज आप अपनी देखभाल कैसे कर रहे हैं?
  2. आपके आश्रयस्थान के किस स्थान पर आप सबसे अधिक सराहना करने आए हैं?
  3. आप किस आश्चर्य की बात पर स्टॉक कर रहे हैं (वह टॉयलेट पेपर नहीं है)?
  4. क्या कहानी हैएक पुस्तक, एक फिल्म, एक लेख, एक वार्तालाप सेजिसे आपने हाल ही में पकड़ लिया है? इसने आप पर कब्जा क्यों किया?
  5. संगरोध के दौरान आपने कौन सी आदत शुरू की है, या टूट गई है?
  6. आपके पड़ोस में कौन सी विशिष्ट जगह है जहाँ आप एक बार यह सब देख सकते हैं?
  7. संगरोध के बारे में क्या सबसे आसान हिस्सा है?
  8. ऐसी कौन सी चीजें हैं जिन्हें आपने महसूस किया है कि आपको वास्तव में जरूरत नहीं है?
  9. ऐसा क्या है जो आपके लिए उपयोगी है?
  10. क्या समस्या हैया तो आपकी, या कुछ और वैश्विकजो आप चाहते हैं कि आप हल कर सकें?
  11. ऐसी कौन सी चीज है जो आपको याद आती है जो आपको चौंका देती है? ऐसी कौन सी चीज है जो आपको याद नहीं है जो आपको आश्चर्यचकित करती है?
  12. इस समय के दौरान आपके परिवार / मित्र समूह के कौन से सदस्य के बारे में आप सबसे अधिक सोच रहे हैं? क्यों?
  13. हाल ही में आपने क्या सबसे उदार कार्य देखा है?
  14. आपने जो आखिरी चीज़ का अनुभव किया है, उससे आपको हंसी आती है या रोना आता है?
  15. दिन या सप्ताह में से कौन सा समय सबसे कठिन है?
  16. आप अभी क्या उम्मीद कर रहे हैं?
  17. आज आपके लिए सबसे अच्छी बात क्या है?
  18. आप इस अनुभव को कैसे बदलना चाहते हैं? आपको क्या लगता है यह कैसे होगा?
  19. आप क्या उम्मीद करते हैं कि हम सभी इस अनुभव से सीखेंगे या निकालेंगे?
  20. आप दुनिया को बदलने के लिए इस अनुभव को कैसे पसंद करेंगे?

 ट्विटर पर @ elizabethw723 पर पहुंचें या मुझे eweingarten@ideas42.org पर ईमेल करें, और मुझे बताएं कि आपको अन्य कौन से प्रश्न प्रेरक लगे हैं।

 

 

Reflections on the Corvid 19 Virus by a Prime Target

corona virus

Someday I am sure we will look back on this time with wonder and amazement.  Each of us no doubt has strong feelings about what is happening now and how it is happening.  For some it is fear and dread while for others it is a time for retreat and reflection.  Millions buy out every roll of toilet paper, face masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, white flour, bottled water and handy wipes.  Scalpers take advantage of a dire situation and a dearth of moral inhibitions to make a profit while health care officials try to “flatten the curve” so that the worst cases can get the medical treatment they need.

The media and other “experts” regale us alternately with paradoxical entreaties.  “Don’t panic, it won’t be that bad!”  “It will be the worst epidemic in history since the Spanish Flu or maybe even the Black Plague.”  “The death rate is 20 or thirty times that of a regular flu.”  “We don’t really know much about this flu.”  “It may take years to develop an effective vaccine.”  “We may have a vaccine very soon.”

the corona virus

Wash your hands!  Wash your hands!  Wash your hands! 

I have many conflicting feelings myself.  I am seventy-three years of age and have lived a good life.  I can hear John the Baptist saying “Repent, Repent.  The end is near.”  Am I ready for the end?  Is my immortal soul as important as my physical body?  I see people hoarding food and I think people are more afraid of starving to death than dying of the flu.  Everything seems to be closing.  Schools, churches, sporting events, concerts, libraries, meetings and much more.  We are exhorted to continue spending but to keep going to work by politicians worried about the economy crashing while health care officials tell us to practice “social distancing” and stay home.  We are repeatedly told that we must flatten the curve.  The unknown is what this will mean for each of us personally in terms of combating this hidden menace.  Who will get the virus in a flatter curve and who will die in a flatter curve are unanswered questions.

525px-Covid-19-curves-graphic-social-v3

Stay home!  Stay home!  Stay Home!  Stay Home!  Stay Home!

Yet, I cannot help but think how amazing viruses are!  Can you imagine something that is barely visible under a microscope and that has no brain or ability to reproduce on its own, but it can reduce a human being to death and dust.  The pain and misery that this little thing can create is beyond belief.  The greatest science fiction writers in history could not come up with anything as insidious and menacing to the human race as a virus.  The movies are full of superheroes defeating the likes of mega villains like:  Galactus, Thanos, Ultron and the Dark Phoenix.  Yet, we have yet to come up with a superhero who can destroy a single lowly virus.  What is more exciting, watching Spider Man beat the Green Goblin or watching a nerdy scientist working in a laboratory trying to find a vaccine that will paralyze a virus?

Virus:  An infective agent that typically consists of a nucleic acid molecule in a protein coat that is too small to be seen by light microscopy and is able to multiply only within the living cells of a host.

Corona-deaths-March-9_170bdd867f4_original-ratio

On the political scene, everyone is trying to blame everyone else for the state of affairs that exists.  Paranoia seems to reign in Congress particularly with an election fast approaching.  The Commander in Chief of the largest most powerful military force in the world is powerless to stop the Corvid 19 virus from spreading.  Yet he has the temerity or stupidity to suggest that his “Border Wall” might help staunch the spread of Corvid 19.  His stooge in waiting Mitch McConnell can block every bill in the Senate, but he can’t block the virus.  Other Trumpists like Representative Gaetz of Florida vote against a bill to provide paid sick leave but then take paid sick leave himself.  It has been noted by the opposition that President Trump did not do much to help our medical research capabilities during his reign of horror:

“President Trump’s third budget request, released Monday, again seeks cuts to a number of scientific and medical research enterprises, including a 13% cut to the National Science Foundation, a 12% cut at the National Institutes of Health and the termination of an Energy Department program that funds speculative technologies deemed too risky for private investors.” — March 12, 2019 – Washington Post

A friend of mine likes to remind me that we catch more flies with sugar than vinegar.  People want to hear positive things during a time of crisis.  We need to have hope and inspiration.  Yet to put out shmaltzy homilies when the reality does not support such optimism may simply be a case of too rosy colored glasses.  I wonder if I am an optimist or a pessimist?  I like to think that I am a realist.  Whether the glass is half empty or half full depends to me on whether the glass is filling up or going down.

Total-Death-Toll-Over-Time-of-COVID-19-12

I look at some statistics that say perhaps 40 to 70 percent of Americans will get this virus.  The statistics are based on estimates from the Center for Disease Control.  Their estimates are based on some modeling methods.  For instance,  if the population of the US is approximately 330 million people and the death rate of this virus is estimated at 2 percent it will mean that between 200,000 and 1.7 million people will die from this virus.  Calculations based on the C.D.C.’s scenarios suggest an additional 2.4 million to 21 million people in the United States could require hospitalization, potentially crushing the nation’s medical system, which has only about 925,000 staffed hospital beds.

On the other hand, current data from China shows the rate of viral infection declining in China and the total number of deaths to be 3,199.  This suggests a death rate per capita that is considerably lower than estimates given by many experts.  If you figure that there are 1.4 billion people in China and that there were 3,200 deaths to date, this is a death rate of 1 per 438,000 people.  Extrapolating to the USA, this would mean a total of 750 deaths.  This is a death rate that is considerably lower than most pundits are predicting.  Keep in mind that China is where the disease started and where it took some time to identify the virus.  On the other hand, China also reacted very rapidly to containing and isolating cases of the virus.

1024px-Illustration_of_SARS-COV-2_Case_Fatality_Rate_200228_01-1

The figures I present are incredible.  The range of deaths vary between 750 and 1.7 million.  Who is right?  Why are the ranges so great?  Are we seeing a battle between optimists and pessimists or is it simply another case of the media hyping worst case scenarios to sell advertising?  Very large gaps between 1. 7 million deaths and 750 deaths suggest a lack of accurate facts and evidence.  Which will prove to be true?  What should the average citizen do?  As a wise person once said, “Pray to the lord but row for the shore.”  This means that we should hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

Say your prayers for others and wash your hands as frequently as you can.  I think this is the best than anyone can do.  I wish I had better advice.

 

 

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