7 Quick Takes: Back to School with COVID-19 Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

First thing: COVID-19 is real. It is very much still a pandemic, and it is spiking everywhere including my county where July has been the worst month on record. There are also, apparently, six “types” of COVID, which explains why some people have a milder case than others.

You can deny all of this as much as you want, but doing so involves ignoring science and sticking your head in the sand. You also come off looking like an utter fool.

Neil Degrasse Tyson on science.

— 2 —

Second thing: SHAME ON ALL OF YOU WHO ARE MAKING CATTY COMMENTS ABOUT TEACHERS BEING LAZY BECAUSE SCHOOL DISTRICTS ARE OVERWHELMINGLY CHOOSING TO START BACK WITH DISTANCE LEARNING IN THE FALL!!! None of the teachers I know are happy that it’s what is having to be done, and all of them miss their kids fiercely. These are already people who are being asked to teach a variety of kids while not being given the resources to do it adequately in addition to being asked to act as human shields in the event of a school shooting. None of them are paid nearly enough to also be put at risk of dying a miserable death from a virus we are still figuring out how to control. (The “novel” in “novel coronavirus” means that is is “new” and that we still know too little about it to control it well.)

— 3 —

I have known since around Memorial Day that it was a very slim chance of Daniel returning to in-person education this fall because of my family’s COVID-19 risk factor. My parents are elderly, my mom is being hit with some health challenges at the moment, and both Daniel and I have some pretty scary underlying health issues that put us at severe risk of complications if we were to contract the virus. My parents and I discussed it at length and tried coming up with some contingency plans in the event that Daniel did return to school with other kids, and there was no good solution. I have prepped everything this summer in what I call the “Schroedinger’s cat model” which was that Daniel was either going to be there in person or he was not going to be there in person, but we were going to plan for both eventualities to exist.

— 4 —

The local school district is offering some in-person options for kids who need it for reasons, but it will be remote learning for almost everybody this fall. What will that look like for Daniel? Hard to say. I will be contacting his new teacher either tomorrow or next week to see if we can have an IEP meeting via Zoom to talk about this. In fact, I predict a lot of IEP Zoom meetings will be happening in the district over this next month as teachers try to figure out how to adapt each student’s IEP goals to the remote education model.

— 5 —

The college where I work just had an all-college meeting today, and I was invited to attend as a staff member. The gist of it is that almost everything will be online for the third quarter in a row. There will probably be some students wetting their pants because they skipped Spring Quarter in hopes that the world would be normal by fall.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha… NO.

— 6 —

What does this mean for me? Well, I’ll have to explain to one of my students who is Internet-phobic that they will not see my beautiful face in person for the foreseeable future… and they will not be happy. (If I’m lucky, they won’t drunk-dial me again for reassurance, and I won’t have to have my kinda-sorta new boss put the fear of Jesus in them. Not that this happened during Spring Break…) My current boss will possibly have more one-on-one hours to give me than I can legally accept, and I might get lent out to the entire campus again or (God willing) embedded with my favorite instructor to teach people how to love Accounting.

— 7 —

The only thing I can predict about this fall is that things will probably stay unpredictable. Woo.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Working My Political Nerves Edition

7 Quick Takes

Comments are turned off because I want to vent my spleen about political stupidity, I cited my sources (and used a variety of them that are known to be local and as neutral as I could get them in these partisan times), and I pay the hosting fees here so none of this is up for debate. πŸ™‚ (Disagree with me? Go vent on a blog for which you pay the hosting fees.)

— 1 —

Trump administration trying to suppress COVID case numbers. The Trump Administration is ordering hospitals to bypass CDC in reporting COVID data. Why would any sane presidential administration order hospitals not to send their data to the agency whose job is to deal with disease control? I mean, the CDC has people who are trained to interpret this data, and who have done this beautifully for decades.

Unless… could he be trying to suppress the number of cases to make it look like he hasn’t completely failed in handling the pandemic? Yeah… sounds about right. Also, it’s scary that I have more science and medical training than most of the people on Trump’s Coronavirus Taskforce. (I was pre-med in college, and parenting Daniel has required as much training as it takes to be a CNA and medical assistant due to his special needs and a lot of the things involved in his hospital discharges. I know this because I’ve had to train nursing students a few times during Daniel’s inpatient stays.)

— 2 —

The collective good. I shared the below image on Facebook last week, and a friend (whose family is British) made an interesting point. She said, “they were British and believed in the collective good in a way that clearly Americans don’t, to our shame.”

London blackout

She has a point, and she managed to help me explain why I find the pissiness over having to wear a mask to be so self-centered. I (and so many other people) wear them because we’re trying to protect other people and we believe in doing things for the collective good, even if we have to sacrifice a little bit of comfort. It’s why I and many other Democrats find some Trump supporters to be so odious–the decisions they’re praising are showing that they are in it only for themselves and not for the rest of the country.

— 3 —

Ted Yoho’s verbal assault of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. If any of you think that this was OK or appropriate, please click the “x” on this tab and get off my blog. (For those who are wondering what happened, Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida accosted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when she was going to vote, and told her she was “disgusting” before calling her a “f*cking b*tch”. Rep. Yoho claimed it didn’t happen that way… but PEOPLE WITNESSED IT HAPPENING THAT WAY.)

Seriously, I get that AOC infuriates people, but there is no excuse for Rep. Yoho’s behavior… especially as HE HAS DAUGHTERS HER AGE. I wonder how he’d react if someone did that to one of his daughters. Also, his apology was a non-apology (“I am sorry if you understood me to be saying…” is not an apology) and did not address the things he said, but rather the “abruptness of the conversation”.

/goes to look up Ted Yoho’s opponent so she can donate money to them

— 4 —

The civil rights abuses happening in Portland. From a friend of mine who lives there:

It’s absolutely terrifying, but our community has come together and it really feels like everybody here in Portland is trying to do their part to support the protests. We live downtown, just a few blocks from the Justice Center where everything is happening, so we see, hear and know about everything first hand. I know that there is a narrative being spread that the protestors here in Portland are nothing but violent anarchists, trashing the city and causing chaos, and that we deserve this… that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s a complete and total lie, being spread by people who aren’t even here, and its horrifying. It’s the people of Portland who are down in the streets — moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, teachers, teenagers, and everything in between — everybody is getting involved, chanting, holding signs, linking arms, taking up space, and protecting eachother. Normal people like you and me. The police and the feds are the ones causing violence, and everyone who has actually been down there can see that clear as day. Once the sun goes down, they start marching in lines down the streets shooting indiscriminately into the crowds.

I’m sure nobody has mentioned that Trump legally needs permission to deploy any troops within the borders of the United States. The mayor of Portland got tear-gassed by them a few nights ago, and a federal judge has just issued a restraining order against the troops to keep them from assaulting or arresting journalists and legal observers.

Seriously, these officers had no identification on them and they were using rented vans to take people off the streets. (DHS *FINALLY* confirmed that they were responsible.) The people taken were people who were legally assembling and protesting, not the anarchist idiots (most of whom are white supremacists) who had caused damage. The governor of Oregon, the mayor of Portland, a few House members, and both senators from Oregon have told the troops to leave, but the acting secretary of the DHS has refused. Tom Ridge, the first ever Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, has called him out for his actions, which is saying something. Legislation is currently being drafted to prevent unidentified agents from doing this again, and the US attorney for Oregon is asking for an investigation because this is stuff that happens in third world dictatorships, not a first world country.

Trump is threatening to send troops to Seattle, and I’m pretty sure Mayor Jenny Durkan (former prosecutor for the US Attorney’s office) and Bob Ferguson (attorney general for Washington state, who has yet to lose a battle against the present administration) have the lawsuits written and prepped to file.

Y’all, these weren’t violent protests, and this isn’t “to restore order”. This is Trump flexing his muscles, it’s completely inappropriate, and people aren’t tolerating it.

— 5 —

Campaign propaganda. The image on Trump campaign ad depicting a police officer being attacked by protesters isn’t from the last few months in the United States. It’s from pro-democracy protests in the Ukraine in 2014. This follows the use of a picture of former Washington governor Gary Locke to depict Biden as being soft on China, and the claim that a picture of immigrants jumping over a border in Morocco depicts the US-Mexico border among other misuses of photographs.

Lesson: Campaigns need to google stock images before using them on campaign propaganda.

— 6 —

Seriously, Washington GOP?!?!? Loren Culp, sheriff in a tiny county in eastern Washington and one of the Republican candidates for governor in Washington, is being sued for intimidating a sexual abuse victim, threatening to charge her with making false claims, and failing to report her allegations to child welfare authorities as required by law. Another county investigated the claims the victim was making, and found that she was telling the truth.

Why would we want a law enforcement official who behaves so deplorably as our nextgovernor?!?!? Seriously, the GOP in my state really are showing that they are horrible people (and also a special kind of stupid), given that he’s their current favorite. (I fear that even the state GOP here is getting sick of Tim Eyman, our state’s unofficial parasite.)

— 7 —

Some Facebook humor. Y’all need to start referring to your masks as “face cloaks”.

Fetch me my face cloak!

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Back to Politics Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Where to find cloth masks. In honor of Washington starting to require cloth masks in public a week ago, here are a couple places where you can find them:

Etsy (this shop makes amazing ones)
Old Navy (they are my recommendation for a mainstream store)
Kohl’s
Macy’s
eShakti
Fred Meyer (they’re a Northwest big box store chain)
Target

Just put “masks” in the search bar. You’re welcome.

— 2 —

Yakima, Benton, and Franklin counties. All y’all in those three counties who are refusing to mask up are the source of many of the new COVID-19 cases. It’s the reason Governor Inslee has had to go visit you and make it a gross misdemeanor not to wear a mask in public in just your counties. I know you hate the governor, but your stupid partisan hatred is causing the rest of us to give up ICU and hospital beds to accommodate your patients. So, please grow the [insert word] up, and just wear a damn mask.

Snuggles,

The western half of the state who already pays for all of your services

— 3 —

/facepalms I think the Skagit County Chorale would like to have a word with these choir members who sang at a Pence event about how choirs can be superspreaders.

For anyone who doesn’t know, the Skagit County Chorale are local to me, and the choir’s cases are 10-20% of my county’s COVID-19 cases. The two women who died are connected to me through church friends.

— 4 —

Some beautiful music. “Lift Every Voice and Sing” is our opening hymn for Sunday morning, and I found this beautiful version from the Spelman College Glee Club when I was searching for something to put my church’s Facebook page.

— 5 —

I can’t even with this… If you attempt to explain this away, you are a horrible human being and your voting privileges need to be revoked. Telling black people that they “need to learn about their history or go back to it” is racist as [insert expletive], and it shows that Trump doesn’t understand American history at all. The reason we want to rename places and take statues down is that the people did horrible things, and those things should not be glorified.

Also, if anyone is afraid that not having these statues will cause us to forget our history, I need to introduce you to an amazing thing called a “book”.

— 6 —

Weekend plans. Given the spike we’re having in COVID-19 cases right now in my area (which for us means that we’re up from no new cases for a week to 5+ new cases per day), a family gathering this weekend is OBVIOUSLY not happening. It will just be my household and we’ll have hot dogs for dinner on Saturday night. We’ll also see how much we get shelled by idiots playing with fireworks. (They are unfortunately legal on the 4th in my town during certain hours.) All the parades and events in my area are cancelled because the people in charge actually believe medical experts who are saying it’s a bad idea. (All those states who reopened early and have spikes in infection rates are proof of why the leadership needs to be listening.)

— 7 —

A sign of things to come. This makes two Republican candidates for governor who are having legal issues. (This is the other one.) I’m wondering who the GOP in Washington is going to try next, given that they seem to be attracting idiots.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

Holy Buckets!

I’d laugh at these people who are having meltdowns over a unanimous decision in West Palm Beach, Florida to require masks… except that they’re creating a public health crisis by **NOT** wearing masks and infecting innocent people who **CAN’T** wear them for legit health reasons.

Attention Karens at the meeting:

Masks are not the devil’s law. Masks have been scientifically proven to protect people. Wearing masks are protecting people who are immunocompromised, people taking care of other people who are immunocompromised, or who cannot wear masks because of their own health issues (asthma). Masks do not kill 99.999% of the population.

Get your heads out of your butts and start giving a crap about other people.

Snuggles,

The rest of the world

7 Quick Takes: Getting Political and Pissing Off My Trolls Edition

7 Quick Takes

It’s been THAT week here. My sweet child decided to pull out his g-tube on Tuesday (necessitating it being changed a month early and causing me a pretty massive adrenaline spike as I had to change it while being half-awake), I’m fighting allergies up the wazoo, and that’s not even getting into all the racial and political things going on in this country. I can’t do much about my kiddo’s g-tube sitch or the allergies, but I figured I would vent out my spleen on the politics and social things.

If you don’t want to deal with reading my anti-Trump/anti-racist/pro-mask ramblings, can I *HIGHLY* recommend heading over to watch some videos at the Wildcat Sanctuary Facebook page? (For those of you who don’t do Facebook, they have a YouTube channel with some of the videos on there.) They are set to appear first on my Facebook feed, and I sponsor one of their bobcats. (Click here to see what made me fall in love with her.)

— 1 —

The rally in Tulsa on Saturday night. Someone convinced Trump’s minions to reschedule the rally in Tulsa to the day after Juneteenth. (I’m truly SHOCKED that they actually listened.) The head of Tulsa’s Department of Health does not want him there because of the massive COVID-19 risk this rally poses, and the Tulsa World newspaper’s editorial board has made this clear as well.

The governor of Oklahoma has invited Trump to visit the neighborhood where the Tulsa Race Massacre took place, and black Tulsans are unnerved by this. They also didn’t include black leaders in the discussion, which is a pretty huge slap in the face when THEY were the ones killed in the massacre.

It might be a good idea to lift up some prayers for everyone in the Tulsa area for safety from the COVID-19 cluster that is probably going to result as well as from any of Trump’s “fine upstanding people” causing shenanigans.

— 2 —

Nothing new under the sun. The Tulsa Race Massacre was not the only one that happened. Why was this never spoken of in U.S. History classes? In the case of the Tulsa massacre, people were terrified into staying silent, and it would not surprise me if the same thing happened with the other massacres.

— 3 —

This is not a coincidence. Black men have been found hanging from trees in New York, California, and most recently in a Texas school parking lot. With everything going on, the timing is pretty suspicious.

— 4 —

#SayHerName The cops who killed Breonna Taylor are still on the job. Their names are Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove. You are invited to make some calls to get them fired and charged in her killing pending the outcome of the various investigations being launched by the state and the Feds.

— 5 —

Commemorating the Emanuel 9. Five years ago, Dylann Roof walked into Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina and shot nine people dead. He did it in order to start a race war, and one of the most vivid memories I have of the day after it happened is one of the family members of the deceased telling Roof that she forgave him because she had to do it as a Christian. He wanted to start a fight, and she effectively blocked him.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, one of my former denominations, held a prayer service to commemorate them on Wednesday.

Another moving song about the occasion:

— 6 —

Hydroxychloroquine. The CDC has pulled emergency authorization for use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine… BECAUSE IT IS UNLIKELY TO BE EFFECTIVE!!!!!!!!!!!! All of us who have been offered it by our rheumatologists for our conditions are rolling our eyes because WE HAVE BEEN TELLING PEOPLE THIS. (Its brand name is Plaquenil, and it has been out for a while.) Among the side effects that turned me off of trying it was liver issues and retinal damage. If it was the only thing that was going to keep me alive, my parents (who have my medical POA) would have permitted it to be given to me, but there was no conclusive evidence that it would do any good–only that it would cause serious cardiac side effects.

The lesson here: Trump should have waited until peer-reviewed/strong> studies came out before talking about it.

— 7 —

One more mask take. I’m just going to say this plainly:

IF YOU ARE REFUSING TO WEAR A MASK* IN PUBLIC AND DON’T HAVE A MEDICAL REASON** FOR DOING SO, YOU ARE A SELFISH HUMAN BEING.***

Yes, your glasses fog up. Guess what? It happens to doctors and nursing staff in hospitals all the time. (I’ve seen probably 50 letters to the editor from doctors and nurses all over the country on this subject.)They have no sympathy for you, and I don’t either. I’ve had to live in a mask, gloves, and gown over my clothes for a week at a time while in the PICU with Daniel. If I can do it for a week or more at a time, you can do it for an hour while grocery-shopping or at Mass. Masking up protects those around you from getting infected with COVID-19 if you have it, and it honestly is a sign that you care about the welfare of other people. Given that states are opening up too fast and seeing a spike in infections, places need to be enforcing it.

The CDC recommends it as do the Mayo Clinic, this study from the National Institutes of Health, this other study from the National Institutes of Health, this study in The Lancet, the Cleveland Clinic, this study from the National Academy of Sciences, and many other studies.

Yes, Trump doesn’t wear one, but he’s also a fundamentally selfish human being who requires those around him to wear masks instead because he cares about them not infecting him, but not about him infecting them. Don’t be like Trump. Mask up.

(And to my main troll: the office of your Congressional representative thinks it’s hysterically funny that someone in Washington state is donating to her campaign because one of her constituents is being an Internet troll.)

*Bandanas and neck gaiters count here as well.
**Autism is included in medical reasons.
***If you haven’t been able to acquire one and/or need instructions on how to make one, leave me a comment and I’ll get you information on how to do that.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Getting A Few Things Straight Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Who Antifa is. Just a head’s up:

Cadet Bonespurs is an idiot.

— 2 —

On defunding the police. This is what it means. This is what it can look like.

By the way, this is who a lot of the looters are.

— 3 —

Let’s get something straight. Breonna’s killers have yet to be brought to justice.

Say her name.

— 4 —

On dealing with racism. Aside from being completely on target, this gentleman’s penmanship is exquisite.

Dang...

— 5 —

Worthy. Beloved. Needed. He is right. “Matter” is the minimum.

The truth.

— 6 —

There’s work still to do. This is not an overnight process. We’ve got 400 years of horrible history to rectify.

We are only just beginning.

— 7 —

And because it still needs to be said… Y’all still need to wear a freaking mask.

Do you believe me now???

— Bonus—

One of my most recent facepalms. Apparently, nobody in Trump’s administration knows why it is racist to hold a rally in Tulsa on June 19th. Or… they just really don’t care.

(Tl;dr of the links is that there was a race massacre in Tulsa in the early 20th century that annihilated black-owned businesses, and Juneteenth is a day celebrating the enforcement of the end of slavery.)

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

On Mask-Wearing…

A friend of mine shared this on Facebook, and it was too good not to share here.

From the Saints at Holy Comforter, Charlotte.
A reading from 1 Covidians 12:1-11

Now concerning the wearing of masks, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that in the time before Covid, we were enticed and led astray thinking that we were not responsible for one another’s health. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the spirit of love ever says ‘masks be cursed!’; and no one can say ‘masks are a really good idea for everybody!’ except through a spirit of love.

Now there are varieties of masks, but the same spirit of wearing them; and there are varieties of mask wearers, but the same virus; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same precautions that must be shown to everyone.

To each is given a manifestation of a mask for the common good. To one a mask is given through our mask makers, and to another a purchased one online, or in a store according to the same spirit of protection. Some fashion one after watching a video on YouTube, to another… they already had some. The knowledge of needing to wear one according to the same spirit, to another faith that the same spirit will improve health and save lives.

Another receives the gifts of healing by this generous spirit, to another this seems no less than the working of a miracle, another prophesies that we’ll get through all of this sooner by observing these loving precautions, to another the discernment of figuring out how all can get one, to another the knowledge that a mask hides all kinds of mouths and tongues, to another the understanding that those mouths and tongues are still there, behind those masks.

All these are activated by one and the same spirit, and we hope to allot to each one individually just as they choose.

In other words, wear a mask!…

Because loving our neighbor as ourselves is the crux of it. When we wear a mask we are saying that we love and care for ourselves, and that we love and care for our neighbors. If our neighbor is sick (and perhaps doesn’t even know it yet) our masks help protect US. If WE are sick (and perhaps don’t even know it yet) our masks help protect OUR NEIGHBOR…

… it is a tangible and visible manifestation and practice of our LOVE.

Thanks to the Rev. Greg and the Rev. Gene, Deacon of Holy Comforter Episcopal Church Charlotte, NC

–Rob Voyle