Stay Safe Everyone!

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Re: Stay Safe Everyone!

Postby Big Magilla » Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:11 am

Sabin wrote:
Okri wrote
- My mother (70) is immuno-compromised. We have a weird history of lung disease in our family. Her mother was claimed by a mysterious lung ailment when she was younger than my mother is now. She's a prime target for the Coronavirus. These are sad times because she was emotionally recovering from her divorce from my father and wanted to start dating and maybe move out to Los Angeles to be with my sister and me. I'd like to get tested for COVID and go visit her but I'm still afraid I might somehow infect her. So, we Zoom.

Sabin, I'm sure those Zoom calls make your mother's day. Don't even think about a face-to-face visit until things have gotten a lot safer. When you do go, make sure it's by car, not plane.

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Re: Stay Safe Everyone!

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:41 pm

This pandemic is just so bad, and the various things people have posted here point out how widespread the damage is. First and foremost is of course the health crisis. Right now, you can draw a line across a U.S. map from Southern California to North Carolina, and assume that anything from there south is a hot zone. (Except for little New Mexico, which must be wondering how long it can forestall contagion.) I feel so bad for Sabin's family, being right in the thick of it. The only encouragement I can offer is that, not long ago, my family was in that scary place -- I'm in NYC, my parents in CT -- and now we're in maybe the safest part of the country. (Though I still haven't seen my parents since Christmas, and am not sure when I'll be adventurous enough to brave a subway/railroad trip to get up to see them.)

Second is the logistics of trying to somehow go on with life, which is what dws is confronting. A friend of mine is in the Psych department at University of Florida/Gainesville, and he said, as at dws' school, student athletes were brought back on campus, resulting in significant infection spike. It appears far too many younger folk absorbed that early (not entirely true) info that the virus wouldn't be any big deal for the young, so a lot of them have been out partying like the Spring outbreak never happened. I appreciate that schooling, maybe beyond everything else, needs to have as much continuity as possible, that students are being deprived of things they may never get back if this goes on much longer. But the bald fact of how opportunistic this virus is cuts against hopes of clinging to normality.

And then there's the broader economic impact. A small snapshot, but I just heard today from an actor friend that his long-time agent is folding up her business. She's tried to keep things afloat without income, but her rainy day fund has been depleted, and she sees no prospect of any entertainment business being generated in the foreseeable future... so, she's calling it a career. This in turn leaves my friend, and all her other clients, adrift -- as well as her younger employees who aren't in Social Security range but are suddenly without their positions. This sort of thing is happening on a grand scale, in all businesses, and until the virus is under control, it's not going to get better and could, in fact, get considerably worse. As FL/TX/AZ/CA are about to find out.

I could devote a fourth paragraph to the paralyzed leadership around the country, but for once I'll leave that be. (I'm sure I'll get to it again before long.) For right now, just the general awfulness is enough to fill the plate.

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Re: Stay Safe Everyone!

Postby Sabin » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:03 pm

Okri wrote
Arizona is becoming the new Lombardy with who gets health care resources in hospitals.

My whole family lives in Arizona. This is a terrifying new reality for me.

- My grandparents are 100 and 92 in a very posh retirement home. They're not permitted to leave their room and they are slowly driving each other insane. My Grandfather has failing eyesight and hearing while my Grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, is slowly succumbing to pre-Alzheimer's dementia. They've made their peace with the fact that they likely won't see their family in person again. Thank God for Zoom.

- My father (68) is a hospitalist who dresses in a full Outbreak suit every day for work. He had dreams of retiring that are vanishing from view as elective surgery dwindles. He's very healthy man who has taken it in stride that he has a 1.5% chance of dying. He'll probably be fine.

- My mother (70) is immuno-compromised. We have a weird history of lung disease in our family. Her mother was claimed by a mysterious lung ailment when she was younger than my mother is now. She's a prime target for the Coronavirus. These are sad times because she was emotionally recovering from her divorce from my father and wanted to start dating and maybe move out to Los Angeles to be with my sister and me. I'd like to get tested for COVID and go visit her but I'm still afraid I might somehow infect her. So, we Zoom.

This year is terrifying.
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Re: Stay Safe Everyone!

Postby Okri » Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:43 am

Agreed, Heskagon. The second wave is gonna be real and damaging. I don't know how effective track and trace is elsewhere, but I can say I've had employees on isolation who's exposure wouldn't have been obvious. Thankfully, no one has tested positive, but that can't last.

Precious, I hadn't really understood how bad South America was having it, truth be told. Peru, Chile and Brazil (of course) are getting shredded. Based on testing, Brazil is still lagging way behind (Chile and Peru have quadruple the testing of Brazil).

Arizona is becoming the new Lombardy with who gets health care resources in hospitals. And Florida won't stop reopening.

It's gonna be bad.

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Re: Stay Safe Everyone!

Postby Precious Doll » Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:15 am

Okri wrote:I'm gonna challenge you a little, Precious, on this one. I think there are two or three "outbreaks" going on. I look at a country like Australia or New Zealand and think you guys have done a stunning job at keeping this from becoming a disaster. Your seven-day-moving-average is increasing, yes, but you guys kept it below 20 cases per day for two months (that's a little less than 1 per million people per day)! I think that merits praise.

Then you have much of the Western World. We all underestimated it, didn't learn quickly enough from Italy/Spain, but looking at the way the disease spread has slowed down, I don't think you can say it's getting worse every week. Normality is a long way off and will look different then normal previously looked, but I'm not even convinced that's a terrible thing. That said, I also believe that the desire to return to normality could override proper decision making. I’m thankful that in Canada, the provincial and federal governments are largely operating in sympatico. This isn’t to say I’m wildly optimistic about the next 6 months, but I think caution rather than dread is my feeling right now.

Then you have countries like the USA and the UK (I'd group Sweden here as well, but for different reasons) who's handling of the pandemic is nothing less than criminal. Now, the UK seems to have gotten a better grip on it, but what can be said about the USA that hasn't been said by minds far more knowledgeable than mine? I expect them to hit 100K cases per day before their election. Meanwhile, the USA just purchased the world’s next three -month supply of a drug that improves healing, leaving basically nothing for everyone else. Now, the American approach is unsurprising – Trump’s life is strictly zero-sum. And frankly, given the way they’re headed, I think they probably need it more anyway. It inspired a moment of rage (and I genuinely wonder, based on comments I’ve read here and elsewhere, if Americans understand the damage done) but that passed.


Thanks for your post Okri though I probably should have said 'most of the world in getting worse each week'.

The US, the UK, Russia, much of South & Central America, parts of Africa, parts of the Middle East, India are all in a terrible state. I have to hand it to India in that they put up a hell of a fight and they are not giving up or in denial but with a population of over a billion people spells a disaster unfolding.

As Heksagon has stated below Europe to seem to be getting their second wave. The opening up to tourism is extremely worrying. I understand that it is being done for economic reasons and I may be mistaken and somebody please correct me is this assumption is wrong but I believe tourism is one of the most important 'industries' for much or Europe. A country like Greece that did a great job in limiting the spread of virus are inviting trouble. It just takes one person, particularly a 'super spreader' and the flow on effects are dreadful.

Things continue to deteriorate in Melbourne. There were 73 new cases today of which on one was from a returned traveller in enforced hotel quarantine. Sydney has 14 cases today all of which were returned travellers in enforced hotel quarantine. The Melbourne clusters have now been linked back to some (I don't know how many) security guards at two of the hotels in the Melbourne that are quarantining returned travellers. That's how the virus got out into the community. Melbourne case numbers rose by 578 in one month of which just under 100 were from returned travellers in enforced quarantine. On the other hand Sydney had 105 news cases in June with about 100 of them being returned travellers in hotel quarantine. Both cities have and continue to undertake massive testing.

From midnight (pretty much when I actually post this) a number of suburbs in Melbourne which house about 300,000 to 400,000 people are to go into lockdown for 4 weeks. International flights due to fly into Melbourne with primarily returning travellers in the next two weeks are being diverted to other cities. Huge numbers of people are being flown into Melbourne from other states to assist with the lockdown and the Army will also be used. If it is found with further testing that the virus has spread to other parts of Melbourne those suburbs too will be locked down. Basically the plan is to crush the virus out of existence and do whatever it takes to achieve that. The lockdown is probably somewhere between what China have done in Beijing and South Korea in Seoul.

I do think what has happened in Melbourne illustrates just how easy this virus can spread and take-off. By international standards the numbers are very low but the breakout potential is huge and lethal. Further tightening up of procedures and processes for quarantined people is now under urgent review. Interestingly Sydney sought assistance early on for the army forces to be involved but Melbourne choose not to so that make me one of the weak points (armed services personnel tend to be more disciplined then civilian security officers - just an assumption on my part).

On an optimistic note I do think that the virus will be contained in Melbourne. But I'm also acutely aware that it can pop anywhere at any time. From today things have gotten back to as normal as they are going to be for a long time in Sydney. We have been able to dine out and mix with more people for the last 6 weeks and tomorrow cinemas are re-opening. The French Film Festival I was attended when we got placed into lockdown will also resume but a number of country themed film festivals (German, Scandinavian, Spanish) have been postponed until 2021. Don't know how long the dinning out and cinema going will last but hopefully we can learn from the mistakes made but going into lockdown at some point in the future is going to become the new normal.

Oh, and we've been formally told that there will be no international travel (excepts for diplomats, essential business & for compassionate reasons) until sometime in 2021 though the general belief is that is may late as 2023, subject to a safe and reliable vaccine.
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Re: Stay Safe Everyone!

Postby Heksagon » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:53 am

Okri wrote:Then you have much of the Western World. We all underestimated it, didn't learn quickly enough from Italy/Spain, but looking at the way the disease spread has slowed down, I don't think you can say it's getting worse every week.


It's not over yet. Some countries in Europe seem to getting their second waves already.

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Re: Stay Safe Everyone!

Postby dws1982 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:14 pm

Greg, I had a long response, but I got logged out and lost it.

The short answer is, we had to provide hard copy assignments for students who didn't have internet access or whose parents requested it. I gave the same exact assignments for online or for those who had hard copies. Even if they turned in nothing, we couldn't give them anything lower than their third nine weeks grade. If they turned in work, we could give them a higher grade.

When have to go back online (and I think it's a question of when, not if), we will have to have different standards and accountability for student work. I think our district got a grant for devices (laptops, tablets, not sure what) that will be distributed, and will work with Spectrum to help families get internet access. I know they have put in lots of hotspots across the district.

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Re: Stay Safe Everyone!

Postby FilmFan720 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:39 pm

dws1982 wrote:If you follow me on Twitter*, I've been tweeting some today about what's going in my state, and specifically in my part of it: Schools have been allowed to do summer workouts and practices for sports, and there have multiple reports of students testing positive for COVID, which means that the whole workout program has to be shutdown for a couple of weeks. Athletes are supposed to be wearing masks and adhering to social distancing protocols. I doubt that they all do that, certainly not to the degree that they should, but I also know that schools and coaches can get in a lot of trouble if it comes out that they aren't observing those protocols. So I would assume at least some level of awareness and safety, at least at a minor level. And yet, multiple athletic programs are shut down because this thing is still not under control.

Last Friday, the state Superintendent of Education released the plan for returning to school which, other than mentioning that there will be an option for online learning for people who would prefer it, was really vague and not very specific at all. But with this athletic stuff in mind, I think it gives a good picture of how the school year might begin (we start August 7): Students at football workouts are there with just a few other students. (Pretty sure they have limits on the number of athletes allowed at each practice.) We're a small school, about 435 students 6-12, but students will presumably be there with about 435 other students, and there's no mask mandate, and there's no way to social distance. To give everyone appropriate distance from each other in my classroom, I'd have to have 10 or fewer in every class, and that's not doable. If we have a student who turns out to be COVID-positive in my room, we then have to worry not just about everyone in my room the same period, but everyone in my room all day. And we run a seven period schedule, so those students are going to other classrooms, and it becomes a situation where you have to worry about potential exposure for everyone in all of those classrooms all day. Like I said, we're a small school. Last year I had four classes that were 11th and 12th Grade, and two that were 8th and 9th, and several teachers also have students across multiple grade levels. (Next year I think I'll be strictly 11th and 12th.) It's not difficult at all to see how things could quickly move through our school. I'd love more than anything to be able to go back to my job the way it was before March 13th, but I don't see it being possible until there's a vaccine. And yet, we're still scheduled to go back on August 7 like normal. (I suspect this will change, and we'll start at least in some type of blended format; cases in Alabama are seriously spiking right now.)

* - I think only Sabin and anonymous do of active users. Rain Bard and Zach do, but they haven't been active here for some time. My Twitter handle is the same as my handle here. I am short on creativity.


We just got a survey from my district asking how we feel about going back in the fall, but I'm hearing a lot of the same things (and have a very similar school situation, albeit in Illinois). It's going to be chaos, and I feel that after two weeks we are all going back to remote learning!
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Re: Stay Safe Everyone!

Postby Greg » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:09 pm

dws1982 wrote:Last Friday, the state Superintendent of Education released the plan for returning to school which, other than mentioning that there will be an option for online learning for people who would prefer it, was really vague and not very specific at all.


What about students who don't have Internet access at home? When your school went online a couple of months ago, were they not going to school at all?
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Re: Stay Safe Everyone!

Postby Greg » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:04 pm

"AstraZeneca is aiming to produce 2 billion doses of a coronavirus vaccine — and it could be ready by September":

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/04/astraze ... ccine.html

This article is from a few weeks ago. 400 million doses will be set aside for the U.S. and the U.K. AstraZeneca has been collaborating with the Jenner Institute at Oxford University in London.

This article from today claims that the AstraZeneca vaccine is the first candidate to make it to phase 3 (final) trials:

https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/06/ ... ccine.aspx
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Re: Stay Safe Everyone!

Postby Okri » Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:59 pm

I'm gonna challenge you a little, Precious, on this one. I think there are two or three "outbreaks" going on. I look at a country like Australia or New Zealand and think you guys have done a stunning job at keeping this from becoming a disaster. Your seven-day-moving-average is increasing, yes, but you guys kept it below 20 cases per day for two months (that's a little less than 1 per million people per day)! I think that merits praise.

Then you have much of the Western World. We all underestimated it, didn't learn quickly enough from Italy/Spain, but looking at the way the disease spread has slowed down, I don't think you can say it's getting worse every week. Normality is a long way off and will look different then normal previously looked, but I'm not even convinced that's a terrible thing. That said, I also believe that the desire to return to normality could override proper decision making. I’m thankful that in Canada, the provincial and federal governments are largely operating in sympatico. This isn’t to say I’m wildly optimistic about the next 6 months, but I think caution rather than dread is my feeling right now.

Then you have countries like the USA and the UK (I'd group Sweden here as well, but for different reasons) who's handling of the pandemic is nothing less than criminal. Now, the UK seems to have gotten a better grip on it, but what can be said about the USA that hasn't been said by minds far more knowledgeable than mine? I expect them to hit 100K cases per day before their election. Meanwhile, the USA just purchased the world’s next three -month supply of a drug that improves healing, leaving basically nothing for everyone else. Now, the American approach is unsurprising – Trump’s life is strictly zero-sum. And frankly, given the way they’re headed, I think they probably need it more anyway. It inspired a moment of rage (and I genuinely wonder, based on comments I’ve read here and elsewhere, if Americans understand the damage done) but that passed.

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Re: Stay Safe Everyone!

Postby Precious Doll » Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:40 am

Your post was very disturbing dws.

All of this is predictably getting worse every week and with no end in sight. It's also impossible to foresee how everything is going to play out because it is essentially new to everybody. I get the sense that people, institutions and businesses are trying to plan for the short term because it's in our nature to do so but I don't think that collectively the worlds population has really grasped the severity of the outbreak. The long term implications are too dire to bare thinking about.

Its like something going around us that has forced us to change some of our behaviours but it still doesn't always feel real. I was watching an old Czech film tonight that was made shortly after WW2 and it crossed my mind that we are living in a sort of similar situation in that horrors are going on around the world and sometimes very close to home and it has no known conclusion until that actually plays out and we don't know how it will.
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Re: Stay Safe Everyone!

Postby dws1982 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:02 pm

If you follow me on Twitter*, I've been tweeting some today about what's going in my state, and specifically in my part of it: Schools have been allowed to do summer workouts and practices for sports, and there have multiple reports of students testing positive for COVID, which means that the whole workout program has to be shutdown for a couple of weeks. Athletes are supposed to be wearing masks and adhering to social distancing protocols. I doubt that they all do that, certainly not to the degree that they should, but I also know that schools and coaches can get in a lot of trouble if it comes out that they aren't observing those protocols. So I would assume at least some level of awareness and safety, at least at a minor level. And yet, multiple athletic programs are shut down because this thing is still not under control.

Last Friday, the state Superintendent of Education released the plan for returning to school which, other than mentioning that there will be an option for online learning for people who would prefer it, was really vague and not very specific at all. But with this athletic stuff in mind, I think it gives a good picture of how the school year might begin (we start August 7): Students at football workouts are there with just a few other students. (Pretty sure they have limits on the number of athletes allowed at each practice.) We're a small school, about 435 students 6-12, but students will presumably be there with about 435 other students, and there's no mask mandate, and there's no way to social distance. To give everyone appropriate distance from each other in my classroom, I'd have to have 10 or fewer in every class, and that's not doable. If we have a student who turns out to be COVID-positive in my room, we then have to worry not just about everyone in my room the same period, but everyone in my room all day. And we run a seven period schedule, so those students are going to other classrooms, and it becomes a situation where you have to worry about potential exposure for everyone in all of those classrooms all day. Like I said, we're a small school. Last year I had four classes that were 11th and 12th Grade, and two that were 8th and 9th, and several teachers also have students across multiple grade levels. (Next year I think I'll be strictly 11th and 12th.) It's not difficult at all to see how things could quickly move through our school. I'd love more than anything to be able to go back to my job the way it was before March 13th, but I don't see it being possible until there's a vaccine. And yet, we're still scheduled to go back on August 7 like normal. (I suspect this will change, and we'll start at least in some type of blended format; cases in Alabama are seriously spiking right now.)

* - I think only Sabin and anonymous do of active users. Rain Bard and Zach do, but they haven't been active here for some time. My Twitter handle is the same as my handle here. I am short on creativity.

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Re: Stay Safe Everyone!

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:04 am

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Re: Stay Safe Everyone!

Postby Precious Doll » Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:57 am

Sonic Youth wrote:
Precious Doll wrote:The Australian Government has recommended against the wearing of masks. Their reasoning is that masks create a false sense of secuirty. Whilst I believe there is some truth in that statement I believe the major reason is that we have a massive shortage of masks and the Government wants to keep what stocks they have for medical personnel.


I was really struck by this, that Australia discourages mask wearing. If there was a good argument against masks, Australia would be it. I just found on Wikipedia that your country has only 7,700 recent cases. That's about how many DEATHS the state I live in has, and you have 3.5 times more people.


We lucked out - the virus never really got a foot hold. Most of our cases (60.3%) were acquired from people returning from overseas (including cruise ships). 28% of cases were acquired from a locally known source or cluster. 10.5% were locally acquired from an unknown local source. 1.3% are currently under investigation. All cases acquired from an unknown local source remain 'open' as some are later linked known sources. Also, these figures wary from state and the figures that I quoted are national not state based.

Australia also started testing very early, placed returned overseas travellers into 14 days enforced quarantine in hotels in the middle of March and the public were updated from late January by the Government and health officials on a daily basis. The Government declared COVID-19 a pandemic about 2 weeks before the WHO did. Most states and terrorties closed their borders months ago and all our island communities are off limits.

Whilst masks can be purchased overwhelmingly people do not wear them and are not encouraged to. On my daily walks I tend to see a small handful of people wearing masks, most of them are young Asian students.

However, given the surge of cases in a handful of suburbs in Melbourne (most of the cases are linked to known cases) one of the measures that may come into place in addition to a lockdown or in itself is the wearing of masks. These measures will only apply to Melbourne or 'hotspot' suburbs. There is a lot of public discussion around the issue of masks and certainly if one is not living in Melbourne there is little point or benefit wearing a mask at this point in time.For example Sydney has only had 4 cases of transmission without a known source in the last 3 to 4 weeks which for a city of 5.5 million and a high testing rate is very reassuring, at least for today. Goodness knows what tomorrow's figures will reveal.

If anybody is interested this is the sort of information we are provided with. The Federal, State and Territory Governments all have their own individual data and from that our national funded broadcaster the ABC provide this daily update the tracking of the virus, including testing, etc.

Aside from giving the overall country data it also gives individual State and Territory figures: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-17/ ... 60704?nw=0

You'll note from the data that Victoria's locally acquired cases are trending upwards - that is the State where Melbourne is located.
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