COVID-19, Day 119

The first couple of months of quarantine went by really fast. The third month was slower. This last month, though, felt like trying to walk in molasses. I hope next month isn't even slower still.

Internal CDC documents warn full reopening of schools is ‘highest risk,’ New York Times reports – CNNPolitics

Veronica Stracqualursi:

The 69-page document obtained by the Times marked “For Internal Use Only” was among materials for federal public health response teams deployed to coronavirus hotspots to help local public health officials handle the outbreak, the [New York Times] reported.

The report goes on to say that it’s unclear if Trump read the documents.

That motherfucker doesn’t read anything. He’s using children’s lives as political pawns in a game to get re-elected. Meanwhile, nearly 130,000 people have died and he doesn’t care. More will die. He won’t care.

Has it occurred to anyone that they don’t have to listen to what the president says? That they don’t have to do what he tells them to do?

COVID-19, Day 116

The debate over sending kids back to school continues. Trump is demanding schools reopen in the fall even though the US just hit 3 million cases (a mere 28 days after reaching 2 million cases).

He’s threatening to remove federal funding for schools that don’t. How that actually works is anyone’s guess, but he’s made stupid and dangerous threats in the past and managed to follow through with them, so I can’t doubt the likelihood that this will be a thing that happens.

I watched an interview featuring Noel Candelaria, the head of the Texas State Teacher’s Association, and Eliot Haspel, the author of a book on America’s childcare crisis. The two sides were basically, “We need so reopen cautiously in areas where it’s viable, and we need to provide appropriate PPE and cleaning and staff and backup teachers in case anyone gets sick,” vs. “Yeah, those criteria are not realistic.”

This Twitter thread by a teacher asks a lot of questions that no one in the Trump regime seems to have thought of, which means they don’t have any answers. This tweet in particular is one that I’ve been asking myself a lot lately:

Meanwhile, a summer camp in southern Missouri reopened and now dozens of staff and kids are sick. Kids: the people who magically don’t get sick and don’t transmit the virus. That’s what Trump claims, anyway. Let’s go to the fact check:

It’s true kids get sick less often than adults and tend to be less ill when they do get sick. But [Trump’s] statements overlook severe COVID-19 illnesses and deaths of children. And they gloss over the fact that kids can spread disease without showing symptoms themselves.

To be clear: to Trump, kids are now “acceptable losses” to keep the economy open. I refuse to let my kids end up in a spreadsheet of “acceptable losses.”

Nicolle Wallace summed up my feelings pretty succinctly: “I, for one, am not leaving [Trump] in charge of whether my kid goes back to school.”

COVID-19, Day 115

Our city passed an ordinance requiring masks in public places and the response has been 100% predictable and 100% depressing.

Leaving Twitter, Reddit, and Mastodon

I started re-engaging with social media when the pandemic began as a way to stay on top of the news. At this point, 115 days in, these sites have lost their value.

The reason is stagnation. Everything has stagnated: news about the virus, changes in recommendations for how to avoid the disease, and our government’s response to COVID. There’s nothing to learn each day except how many newly infected people were tallied the previous day (which in itself is a kind of stagnation because we all know how exponential growth works).

Everything boils down to this:

  • The US has abdicated its duty to its people
  • Spread will continue unabated here until there is a vaccine, which might happen by the end of the year
  • The numbers are going to get worse every day until that vaccine arrives
  • Stay at home
  • If you have to go out: wear a mask, maintain distance from others, and wash your hands frequently

All I’m getting from reading Twitter and Reddit is anger, anxiety, and sadness, and that’s unhealthy. This is not how I want to–or should–spend my time.1

I’ll continue to post here and on, but that’ll be it for social engagement (except for a couple of private Slack teams). This site has an RSS feed, so feel free to subscribe.

Stay safe, everyone. ✌️

  1. Mastodon is okay, but engagement there has dropped off and I don’t see a reason to keep hanging out in an empty room. 

COVID-19, Day 114

Thinking really hard about detaching myself from social media and the news for good and investing the time I would have spent doomscrolling into reading books. Lots of books. Sure as hell would beat being angry and anxious all the damned time.