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At what point would you lock down again?


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3 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

Yep.  Last year we had the hope that we just had to hold out for a vaccine.  Now it seems that still doesn’t solve things so people are done waiting around.

Yep. Now they are vaccinated, they are living normal lives.

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1 hour ago, Not_a_Number said:

Man, what is supposed to happen with 1% of the student body testing positive in 2 weeks?? And that's in masked schools... 

I don't know about every system with mask mandates, but I can say that in my husband's school system there is a mask mandate (which will go away if numbers go under 100/100,000...which isn't actually particularly low), but aside from that they're being less rigorous about precautions than they were last year (and I wasn't thrilled with a lot of stuff they did--or didn't do--then). Most notable is the not quarantining close contacts thing, but there's other stuff, too and also just a general shift in attitude. Last year all staff meetings were online; this year they're in person (and my husband got his very first high risk contact notice of the whole pandemic from a department meeting during pre-planning). He's still very strict about enforcing correct mask wearing but gets the sense that a lot of teachers are sort of over it and sees lots of maskless kids in the hallway, at after school stuff, etc. They're no longer distancing in the cafeteria, either. It's just way different and more lax, at a time when it needs to be the opposite if they want to get through this surge without shutting down.

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40 minutes ago, madteaparty said:

Because the other experiment, the one where we closed schools for a year, didn’t work out well either as far as I can tell. Every country I know has prioritized opening the schools. Which is what we should do, as well. 

I am not arguing that schools should be closed this year, per se. I thought virtual schooling was basically a failure from everything people told me. 

But it seems like people are moving full steam ahead in a way that doesn't take into account the fact that things are now much more contagious and that we're NOT better off. 

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2 minutes ago, kokotg said:

I don't know about every system with mask mandates, but I can say that in my husband's school system there is a mask mandate (which will go away if numbers go under 100/100,000...which isn't actually particularly low), but aside from that they're being less rigorous about precautions than they were last year (and I wasn't thrilled with a lot of stuff they did--or didn't do--then). Most notable is the not quarantining close contacts thing, but there's other stuff, too and also just a general shift in attitude. Last year all staff meetings were online; this year they're in person (and my husband got his very first high risk contact notice of the whole pandemic from a department meeting during pre-planning). He's still very strict about enforcing correct mask wearing but gets the sense that a lot of teachers are sort of over it and sees lots of maskless kids in the hallway, at after school stuff, etc. They're no longer distancing in the cafeteria, either. It's just way different and more lax, at a time when it needs to be the opposite if they want to get through this surge without shutting down.

Exactly. That's the feeling I get, too. That people are tired of being worried and aren't willing to do this last stretch in the optimal way. 

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Even the very cautious people here are done and are sending their kids back to in person school or daycare for the most part. I am sympathetic to people's childcare issues. My DH has been working from home since March 2020 with no end in sight, and that's ONLY feasible because I stay home and can take care of DS5, DS3, and DD1. We could not both work from home and sustain that for any significant length of time. 

I'm allowing outdoor activities for my kids for now and hoping that will be okay. 

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2 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I am not arguing that schools should be closed this year, per se. I thought virtual schooling was basically a failure from everything people told me. 

But it seems like people are moving full steam ahead in a way that doesn't take into account the fact that things are now much more contagious and that we're NOT better off. 

We are still pretty cautious here, and have made very careful choices, but having a vaccine that provides substantial protection to the most vulnerable definitely makes me better off.

I am sending my kids to the safest school I can find, but I am sending  them because of vaccines.  Another year at home would either financially devastate us or mental health devastate us, but I would make that choice if the risk to my loved ones were as high as it was this time last year (not including the risk to DS2).

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Just now, BaseballandHockey said:

We are still pretty cautious here, and have made very careful choices, but having a vaccine that provides substantial protection to the most vulnerable definitely makes me better off.

I am sending my kids to the safest school I can find, but I am sending  them because of vaccines.  Another year at home would either financially devastate us or mental health devastate us, but I would make that choice if the risk to my loved ones were as high as it was this time last year (not including the risk to DS2).

I'm worried about vaccine immunity wearing off, to be honest 😕 . I wish they'd do boosters for older people now. 

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1 minute ago, Not_a_Number said:

I'm worried about vaccine immunity wearing off, to be honest 😕 . I wish they'd do boosters for older people now. 

I do too, I would love a booster for Pop, but it’s coming and the evidence isn’t that it disappears at this point, just that it wanes.

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13 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I'm worried about vaccine immunity wearing off, to be honest 😕 . I wish they'd do boosters for older people now. 

 

10 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

I do too, I would love a booster for Pop, but it’s coming and the evidence isn’t that it disappears at this point, just that it wanes.

Yesterday’s news, possibility of shortening to 5 months

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-says-discussing-timeline-covid-booster-shots-2021-08-27/

”WASHINGTON, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Federal health authorities are discussing shortening the timeline for COVID-19 booster shots to allow additional doses sooner than the eight-month window officials have been targeting, President Joe Biden said on Friday.

For now, the planned timeline remains in place for adults to have another dose of the vaccine eight months after the original inoculation, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said at a news briefing later on Friday.

The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday said U.S. regulators could approve a third COVID-19 shot of the two-dose Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) and Pfizer Inc-BioNTech AG (PFE.N)(22UAy.DE) beginning at least six months after full vaccination.

"The question raised is: should it be shorter than eight months, should it be as little as five months? That's being discussed," Biden told reporters at the White House, adding that he had discussed the issue with his chief medical officer, Dr. Anthony Fauci, earlier on Friday.”

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1 minute ago, Arcadia said:

 

Yesterday’s news, possibility of shortening to 5 months

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-says-discussing-timeline-covid-booster-shots-2021-08-27/

”WASHINGTON, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Federal health authorities are discussing shortening the timeline for COVID-19 booster shots to allow additional doses sooner than the eight-month window officials have been targeting, President Joe Biden said on Friday.

For now, the planned timeline remains in place for adults to have another dose of the vaccine eight months after the original inoculation, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said at a news briefing later on Friday.

The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday said U.S. regulators could approve a third COVID-19 shot of the two-dose Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) and Pfizer Inc-BioNTech AG (PFE.N)(22UAy.DE) beginning at least six months after full vaccination.

"The question raised is: should it be shorter than eight months, should it be as little as five months? That's being discussed," Biden told reporters at the White House, adding that he had discussed the issue with his chief medical officer, Dr. Anthony Fauci, earlier on Friday.”

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I've actually felt far better about the instincts of the politicians in this administration than I have about the stuff coming out of the supposedly scientific bodies. It's an odd feeling. 

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1 minute ago, Not_a_Number said:

Exactly. That's the feeling I get, too. That people are tired of being worried and aren't willing to do this last stretch in the optimal way. 

I think a lot of people aren’t convinced this is the “last stretch”. That by the time a vaccine is out for younger kids, there’ll be some other variant that won’t respond to it, or the vaccines will have lost efficacy - that there won’t be any end, just shifted goalposts.

“This was all supposed to be temporary,” they think. “Flatten the curve, then we can go back to normal.” followed by “Wait for a a vaccine, then we can go back to normal.” Things are not going back to normal. 

We don’t have the adrenaline rush of panic over Covid being a complete unknown. Community supports are gone. Many have been out of work, eaten through their savings, & are just getting back on their feet. Loved ones have been lost. Virtual schooling sucked. We’re all exhausted.  Being faced with needing to increase restrictions again, we all know exactly what that looks & feels like. People’s feelings range from disillusioned to indignant to defeated. I don’t agree with the conclusion some are clearly coming to that it’s a lost cause… but I can understand people’s frustration.

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Just now, Shoes+Ships+SealingWax said:

I think a lot of people aren’t convinced this is the “last stretch”. That by the time a vaccine is out for younger kids, there’ll be some other variant that won’t respond to it, or the vaccines will have lost efficacy - that there won’t be any end, just shifted goalposts.

I'm hoping not. But either way, after we get the vaccine for the kids, we're going to make different decisions. 

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1 hour ago, Not_a_Number said:

Exactly. That's the feeling I get, too. That people are tired of being worried and aren't willing to do this last stretch in the optimal way. 

What "last stretch "?

After the past 18 months, the one thing that has become clear is that the finish line is always moving. 2 weeks.... Oh, it will be over by summer... But the fall semester will be ok...but once we have vaccines! Yep, we got four weeks of relaxing out of the latter before we had to dial back everything because of delta.

With most of the world unvaccinated, the next variant is just a matter of time. Nobody knows that we'll have overcome the pandemic next spring.

Yes, I am tired of the whole thing, and I see not much of a chance of being able to abandon my precautions and returning to my normal any time soon. My entire covid risk budget is spent for work.

Edited by regentrude
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1 hour ago, Not_a_Number said:

I am not arguing that schools should be closed this year, per se. I thought virtual schooling was basically a failure from everything people told me. 

But it seems like people are moving full steam ahead in a way that doesn't take into account the fact that things are now much more contagious and that we're NOT better off. 

With respect to school: having the option to stay home with the kids is a huge privilege most folks don't have.

Even those working from home can't give 100% to their job while doing childcare and schooling.

It's been a nightmare for the parents who have to spend full workdays on the computer while their little kids need to be supervised and schooled. It cannot be done in most jobs. Your level of flexibility is a luxury most working parents don't have.

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34 minutes ago, regentrude said:

With respect to school: having the option to stay home with the kids is a huge privilege most folks don't have.

Even those working from home can't give 100% to their job while doing childcare and schooling.

It's been a nightmare for the parents who have to spend full workdays on the computer while their little kids need to be supervised and schooled. It cannot be done in most jobs. Your level of flexibility is a luxury most working parents don't have.

Just about everything on this wringing of hands “but it’s not SAFE!!” comes from an immense place of privilege. Like when people brag that they’re so safe because their groceries get delivered. Yeah, someone else is doing that work and taking that risk, how nice for you.

I don’t think we know the full extent of the damage of kids staying home, often alone, with parents working. I think it’s been horrific and i say this as a homeschooler. 

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6 minutes ago, madteaparty said:

Just about everything on this wringing of hands “but it’s not SAFE!!” comes from an immense place of privilege. Like when people brag that they’re so safe because their groceries get delivered. Yeah, someone else is doing that work and taking that risk, how nice for you.

I don’t think we know the full extent of the damage of kids staying home, often alone, with parents working. I think it’s been horrific and i say this as a homeschooler. 

I agree with a lot of this, but I think the grocery workers who bring my food (from a grocery store that is a warehouse, no customers go in) are safer than they would be in a store with customers.  

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2 hours ago, Arcadia said:

 

Yesterday’s news, possibility of shortening to 5 months

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-says-discussing-timeline-covid-booster-shots-2021-08-27/

”WASHINGTON, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Federal health authorities are discussing shortening the timeline for COVID-19 booster shots to allow additional doses sooner than the eight-month window officials have been targeting, President Joe Biden said on Friday.

For now, the planned timeline remains in place for adults to have another dose of the vaccine eight months after the original inoculation, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said at a news briefing later on Friday.

The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday said U.S. regulators could approve a third COVID-19 shot of the two-dose Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) and Pfizer Inc-BioNTech AG (PFE.N)(22UAy.DE) beginning at least six months after full vaccination.

"The question raised is: should it be shorter than eight months, should it be as little as five months? That's being discussed," Biden told reporters at the White House, adding that he had discussed the issue with his chief medical officer, Dr. Anthony Fauci, earlier on Friday.”

I am really happy for the US for this but it also makes it unlikely that many parts of the world will get vaccine at all.

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School in my state (TN) started about 2-3 weeks ago and multiple school districts, as well as a number of individual schools, have already had to close because so many staff members are out with covid.  (Loads of students are out, too, but that's not why they're closing.)  

Some districts are sending administrative staff to cover classes and/or drive buses, and I've heard from friends with kids in school that classrooms are being combined when teachers are out.   

The state has prohibited districts from switching to virtual learning, so these schools are just closing completely for a week or two, using "stockpile"  (whatever that is) and/or inclement weather days. There is increasing pressure on the governor to allow some flexibility, but it is not clear how this is all going to shake out. 

 

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, madteaparty said:

Just about everything on this wringing of hands “but it’s not SAFE!!” comes from an immense place of privilege. Like when people brag that they’re so safe because their groceries get delivered. Yeah, someone else is doing that work and taking that risk, how nice for you.

I don’t think we know the full extent of the damage of kids staying home, often alone, with parents working. I think it’s been horrific and i say this as a homeschooler. 

This is why I am soooooo frustrated with people/schools/politicians pushing back against masking. No, masking does not offer perfect protection, but when done (nearly) universally, it is a great, cheap method to lower risk and keep kids in school and parents working.

People do tons of things every day that are not "safe", so I don't see that as a reason to keep all kids out of school when there are major societal reasons families need that service. It is exactly because it is so important to keep kids in schools that I see no reason not to layer as many protections as feasible to help that happen.

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9 hours ago, wendyroo said:

This is why I am soooooo frustrated with people/schools/politicians pushing back against masking. No, masking does not offer perfect protection, but when done (nearly) universally, it is a great, cheap method to lower risk and keep kids in school and parents working.

People do tons of things every day that are not "safe", so I don't see that as a reason to keep all kids out of school when there are major societal reasons families need that service. It is exactly because it is so important to keep kids in schools that I see no reason not to layer as many protections as feasible to help that happen.

This!

Especially when you figure the families who most need school need it to be undisruoted. The constant opening and closing is really hard for working parents and kids to who already have other risk factors.

Edited by BaseballandHockey
Undisrupted not undisputed
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28 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

I agree with a lot of this, but I think the grocery workers who bring my food (from a grocery store that is a warehouse, no customers go in) are safer than they would be in a store with customers.  

Most likely it depends on your area. In the beginning our grocery stores had mask mandates for employees and customers. Eventually they added regular Covid testing for employees. Now many are vaccinated, masked and still tested regularly. 

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Looks like TN is backing off on not allowing virtual and giving some flexibility. We are in a very anti-mask/anti-vax area and our schools already had to close for two days and use inclement weather days. They closed because they didn’t have the staff. They really wouldn’t close unless there was just no way to open. They aren’t really doing any mitigation or contact tracing and the community is pretty comfortable with just letting it run through.

But just this evening the state put out a statement that they are allowing some flexibility for going virtual. 

Edited by teachermom2834
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2 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Most likely it depends on your area. In the beginning our grocery stores had mask mandates for employees and customers. Eventually they added regular Covid testing for employees. Now many are vaccinated, masked and still tested regularly. 

Our grocery stores have mask mandated and vaccines but I still think that our delivery situation is as safe or safer for employees than working in a regular store.  

I am very cautious about not doing things that just transfer my risk to someone else.  I’d view instacart that way.  But our online store (which is how I shopped prepandemcic) does not make me feel guilty.

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After someone posted in some thread or other the other day asking whether we can now say that covid is about as dangerous as or less dangerous as the flu...I did some quick math and said that, no, it's definitely still way more dangerous than the flu. But it got me thinking about whether it's still more dangerous than the flu for vaccinated people. I almost posted a big long, mathy post about it, but there were just so many variables and it was so necessarily messy that I ended up deleting it all. But, basically, my very messy math convinced me that, yeah--covid is about as dangerous or (more likely) less dangerous than the flu for vaccinated people. 

So...when we talk about last stretches and all that--I don't know when or if the real last stretch shows up, but I do think that, once my youngest kid is vaccinated, I can get back to a version of normal that doesn't look bad to me. 

Re: schools. There's SO MUCH middle ground between "do nothing and let it tear through the schools" and "shut it all down!" I know so much of this is skewed by geography: my experience being married to a teacher who went back to full classrooms (or potentially full classrooms, if a lot of people hadn't opted for virtual at some point during the year) in September 2020 in an area where people have to fight tooth and nail this year for the barest minimum of precautions to stay in place is very different from that of someone who lived somewhere where schools stayed closed all year last year, often in areas with relatively little community spread.

I don't know what the best middle ground looks like this year. It may mean temporary returns to virtual while community numbers are especially high. It DEFINITELY should mean basic precautions like masks and testing and staying outside when possible and improved ventilation. Basically, it's not really about what we WANT; it's about doing the best we can with what we have (or, yes, deciding how many dead kids is too many in exchange for pretending everything's fine. That's just the truth). 

But I also think that once we can get kids vaccinated, and if we're willing to be flexible and nimble as things change, we can get to a much better version of this current reality. 

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6 hours ago, Dmmetler said:

My now college kid has expressed that they sometimes can't believe this fall is real-that they won't wake up and go to class on TEAMS all morning, and spend the evening going around looking for pokemon raids and seeing people only on zoom. Being able to get up, go to the cafeteria and eat with friends, or at least people you know from classes and the dorm, go to class with other people, and just plain have face to face contact feels like a dream. I am praying that a  98+% vaccinated population, masking indoors most of the time, and weekly pooled testing for vaccinated and twice-weekly PCR testing for those who are not yet fully vaccinated is enough to keep the dream alive. 

 

I can understand why parents of too young to be vaccinated kids feel there is no choice. And why parents of vaccinated teens are sending their teens and praying that their teens won't get infected and infect too young to be vaccinated kids. I just don't understand why so many are fighting something as simple as a mask when it might well make the difference. 

Same, same, same on everything in this post. 

5 hours ago, cintinative said:

Not sure where to put this. In related news the USDA's NVSL website is down.

https://www.wlwt.com/article/white-tailed-deer-in-ohio-first-to-first-to-test-positive-for-covid-worldwide/37418518#

Wild white-tailed deer in Ohio have tested positive for COVID-19 and they're the first deer confirmed with the virus worldwide, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories.

The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine collected samples from deer between January and March 2021.


Samples from the deer tested presumptive positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, at the College of Veterinary Medicine and the cases were confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories.

I was initially confused why this was new news, because I saw a couple weeks ago that 40% of the deer they tested in the country this year had Covid antibodies, but I guess this is the first time they’ve caught it while in the active state and not just the antibodies.  The 40% number is pretty stunning. https://wildlife.org/wild-deer-contract-coronavirus

 

3 hours ago, madteaparty said:

Because the other experiment, the one where we closed schools for a year, didn’t work out well either as far as I can tell. Every country I know has prioritized opening the schools. Which is what we should do, as well. 

I agree. The problem has been all along that we haven’t prioritized opening schools but have prioritized everything else, which has made opening schools all the harder to do. Now they’re opening and people aren’t doing what they need to do to keep them open. 

2 hours ago, TexasProud said:

Yep. Now they are vaccinated, they are living normal lives.

And the ones who aren’t vaccinated are living normal lives as well,  which is why the hospitals are full. If the people who aren’t vaccinated would take precautions accordingly so that they would drastically reduce their chances of getting sick, we might be able to get through this without mayhem. (The people who are vaccinated need to be taking all the precautions as well, It’s just that they’re not the ones pushing hospitals over capacity.)

7 minutes ago, JennyD said:

School in my state (TN) started about 2-3 weeks ago and multiple school districts, as well as a number of individual schools, have already had to close because so many staff members are out with covid.  (Loads of students are out, too, but that's not why they're closing.)  

Some districts are sending administrative staff to cover classes and/or drive buses, and I've heard from friends with kids in school that classrooms are being combined when teachers are out.   

The state has prohibited districts from switching to virtual learning, so these schools are just closing completely for a week or two, using "stockpile"  (whatever that is) and/or inclement weather days. There is increasing pressure on the governor to allow some flexibility, but it is not clear how this is all going to shake out. 

 

 

 

 

This is another reason why vaccine mandates in schools make sense. It’s not only to reduce transmission, but because they can’t keep running if all of their teachers and staff are out sick.

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2 hours ago, Arcadia said:

 

Yesterday’s news, possibility of shortening to 5 months

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-says-discussing-timeline-covid-booster-shots-2021-08-27/

”WASHINGTON, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Federal health authorities are discussing shortening the timeline for COVID-19 booster shots to allow additional doses sooner than the eight-month window officials have been targeting, President Joe Biden said on Friday.

For now, the planned timeline remains in place for adults to have another dose of the vaccine eight months after the original inoculation, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said at a news briefing later on Friday.

The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday said U.S. regulators could approve a third COVID-19 shot of the two-dose Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) and Pfizer Inc-BioNTech AG (PFE.N)(22UAy.DE) beginning at least six months after full vaccination.

"The question raised is: should it be shorter than eight months, should it be as little as five months? That's being discussed," Biden told reporters at the White House, adding that he had discussed the issue with his chief medical officer, Dr. Anthony Fauci, earlier on Friday.”

If they shorten to 5 months, what are the plans for supply and distribution?!?! How could they possibly vaccinate everyone who is 5 months out and wants a booster? Will we all spend many hours a week looking for slots? Start with boosters for the health care workers - we'll need every single one of them.

Also, what about the kids?? 

I am incredibly worried. My state is at basically at late Oct/early Nov levels in terms of hospitalizations - and we are not one of the states in the news for being overrun with covid. Yet we haven't even started school, and college students are just starting to return. I simply don't see how this can not end up in disaster. Yet everyone is just ... so indifferent.  I am stunned that our local and national government has no plan other than booster shots (and then, at some point after half the young kids have been infected, shots for them). Everything is full speed ahead with no mask mandates (except for schools and some colleges), even though hospitals are warning that they are strained and field hospitals are opening back up as precaution. 

 

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31 minutes ago, KSera said:

This is another reason why vaccine mandates in schools make sense. It’s not only to reduce transmission, but because they can’t keep running if all of their teachers and staff are out sick.

Yeah. That's the exact same reason we've had all those other vax mandates for schools for at least the last century or so.  

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4 hours ago, madteaparty said:

Because the other experiment, the one where we closed schools for a year, didn’t work out well either as far as I can tell. Every country I know has prioritized opening the schools. Which is what we should do, as well. 

How many American children were actually out of school for a year? Schools were not closed for a year here. They shut down in March of 2020 and stayed close for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year (about a month and a half out of school). Then in-person school began about a month into the 2020-2021 school year. There were no other closures after that. 

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7 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

How many American children were actually out of school for a year? Schools were not closed for a year here. They shut down in March of 2020 and stayed close for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year (about a month and a half out of school). Then in-person school began about a month into the 2020-2021 school year. There were no other closures after that. 

Our local public school district with 161K was closed until March for all but small numbers of kids with disabilities, then hybrid.  The other similarly sized districts around us did more or less the same.  

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9 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

How many American children were actually out of school for a year? Schools were not closed for a year here. They shut down in March of 2020 and stayed close for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year (about a month and a half out of school). Then in-person school began about a month into the 2020-2021 school year. There were no other closures after that. 

I don't know the national numbers.  But just in my county, we had some large schools (full of high risk students) who never went back at all in the 2020-21 school year.  My suburban district had all virtual for about half a year, then hybrid for some months, and finally the last 6 weeks or so were in person every day (of which one of my kids missed about 15 days between quarantine and test make-ups).  But another suburban district a half hour from us was in person daily nearly all year.  I think most if not all nearby parochial schools were in person after a brief delay in the fall of 2020.

My impression is that the richer the school population, the more in-person school they got.  The poorest kids got the least.  Some may think that favors the poorer kids because in-person is bad, but I couldn't disagree more.

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3 hours ago, madteaparty said:

Just about everything on this wringing of hands “but it’s not SAFE!!” comes from an immense place of privilege. Like when people brag that they’re so safe because their groceries get delivered. Yeah, someone else is doing that work and taking that risk, how nice for you.

I don’t think we know the full extent of the damage of kids staying home, often alone, with parents working. I think it’s been horrific and i say this as a homeschooler. 

Look, everyone I’m talking about is privileged. I’m not actually in any way judgmental of people who have hard choices to make.

Also, as someone who moved to Canada at 11 with a single mother, it’s not like I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth… 🙄

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4 hours ago, regentrude said:

What "last stretch "?

After the past 18 months, the one thing that has become clear is that the finish line is always moving. 2 weeks.... Oh, it will be over by summer... But the fall semester will be ok...but once we have vaccines! Yep, we got four weeks of relaxing out of the latter before we had to dial back everything because of delta.

With most of the world unvaccinated, the next variant is just a matter of time. Nobody knows that we'll have overcome the pandemic next spring.

Yes, I am tired of the whole thing, and I see not much of a chance of being able to abandon my precautions and returning to my normal any time soon. My entire covid risk budget is spent for work.

I’m going to feel pretty different when the kids are vaccinated. 

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4 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Look, everyone I’m talking about is privileged. I’m not actually in any way judgmental of people who have hard choices to make.

Also, as someone who moved to Canada at 11 with a single mother, it’s not like I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth… 🙄

Very few on this board aren't privileged in some way. 

And as someone else said, it isn't a zero sum game.  I can be safe without putting others in (at least the greatest) danger.  Policies can keep those who do work outside the home - whether they are in lower income jobs or higher ones - safer.  And honestly, as I've said before, states and counties like mine that have had good mask mandates and compliance to go with it, have good vaccination rates and policies that protect people in the private sector as well as the public sector, have done a good job protecting people in a cross-section of socio-economic levels.  Are things worse in lower socio-economic areas even here?  Yes (though what is worse here is super good still compared to other states) but the biggest predictor of things being worse is the lower vaccination rate in those neighborhoods - not whether they are bagging groceries for people. 

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8 hours ago, BaseballandHockey said:

I feel like we all need to figure out what we can live with long term and make those choices, because this isn’t a short term thing.  

I agree with this 100%. My church has gone to outdoor services, and they told us that we can expect outdoor services to continue until it gets too cold in the winter. It usually doesn't get super cold here until December. 

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6 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

How many American children were actually out of school for a year? Schools were not closed for a year here. They shut down in March of 2020 and stayed close for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year (about a month and a half out of school). Then in-person school began about a month into the 2020-2021 school year. There were no other closures after that. 

I know my nieces and nephew went to school 2 days a week starting... in June IIRC. Philly public. I know my neighbors never sent their DD back but schools opened partially in late spring, NY. 

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8 hours ago, madteaparty said:

Just about everything on this wringing of hands “but it’s not SAFE!!” comes from an immense place of privilege. Like when people brag that they’re so safe because their groceries get delivered. Yeah, someone else is doing that work and taking that risk, how nice for you.

I don’t think we know the full extent of the damage of kids staying home, often alone, with parents working. I think it’s been horrific and i say this as a homeschooler. 

I agree. And yet this opening with no mitigation isn’t the answer. So many school districts are having to close for at least a week because in the week and a half some were opened either too many staff got it to stay open or infections quadrupled. 

 

There has to be a way to do this more safely.  But no one here is willing to try. No everyone staying home won’t work, but some efforts should be implemented. It should not be all or nothing.

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One thing that I think is missed by the "let's reopen schools without worrying about COVID, since kids rarely get sick" is how many kids are terrified, not of getting sick themselves, but of infecting others. I saw that a lot last year, especially in the tween/teen age groups. They weren't scared of getting sick-but the idea that younger people often got it without symptoms at all and could then spread it to older adults-which, to a teen, is basically everyone over age 30-who were more vulnerable was terrifying. When they were eligible for vaccination, I saw that fear lift. Now, I'm seeing it come back, where kids want to be in school, to go to music lessons, to go to dance class, but are terrified about the prospect of infection-not for them, but for others in their lives. Except that now the fear is focused less on grandma and more on baby brother. So, I'm outlining the protections we're taking, all the while hoping that it's enough. I don't think those calling for parents to be able to choose whether or not to mask kids realize that there are kids who are having to fight emotionally to go to school because of that fear that someone unmasked who coughs on them might cause them to lose a family member-and that if everyone is masked, or even better, if they KNOW people around them are vaccinated (as is the case for my college student) it reduces that fear so much.  

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16 hours ago, KSera said:

I only know one young kid who had it, because most people I know have teens or college age.  The little one was sick but came out of it okay, and her parents were fairly miserable doing okay now. Like every breakthrough case that I know personally, it starts from an unvaccinated kid and then the parents catch it.  That matches some of the other data I’ve seen, showing that among vaccinated people, most don’t transmit it to people outside of their house, but they do transmit it to people inside their house. There’s just so much load being shared when you’re in that close of contact day in and day out.

I think the lunchtime thing is what is so very risky. It really doesn’t make sense to have everyone packed into one room together and then have them all take off their masks. Would be an improvement if at least they ate in their classrooms so there were fewer people to be exposed, but then I don’t know who supervises them. Teachers need a break too. Outside for lunch would be ideal. It’s a hard one, because kids need to eat, obviously. I saw the proposal of a four hour school day so that kids could be sent home to eat. I don’t know though, my kids can’t go four hours without eating 😳

It's the same for adults in school. My teacher workshop days are tomorrow and Tuesday, and there's no specific plan to eat outside as much as possible. I went to a district event last week, and people sat in the conference room with masks on, then took them off to eat in the same room (UGH!) then put masks back on after eating. I was like.... err.... does nobody but me see a problem here? It was really stressful. I sat outside to eat, but had to come back IN to the room people just ate in. 

I am shocked that simple safety measures that are a) effective and b) easy are just not being implemented. And this with adults, who can follow directions and presumably execute "covid safety moves" with ease. 

Apparently they can't though 😕  It's like, the social pressure of "what is always done" is in play or something. People "always" have coffee and pastries before a big day of presentations, so that "has" to happen now, too, despite Covid. So, people end up taking masks off and eating, then sitting in the same space. 

Oh, and the thing that really bugged me: Every speaker started off masked, then TOOK OFF their mask to address the crowd. No thought of doing something different to address Covid safety. Instead of getting a microphone so the person could be heard through the mask, the mask came off. Then, the mask went back on when they sat down. Like.... huh???? And these are smart people, so what gives? 

The majority were probably vaccinated. But not all. And with Delta, is it worth the risk to cram all your educators in a room and then let people take masks off? It would serve them right if there was an outbreak before school even started so they'd be short staffed on the first day. 

 

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8 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

How many American children were actually out of school for a year? Schools were not closed for a year here. They shut down in March of 2020 and stayed close for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year (about a month and a half out of school). Then in-person school began about a month into the 2020-2021 school year. There were no other closures after that. 

In my Midwestern state there were many, many kids in the larger districts that were out for a year (on the calendar). I live in a smallish city, and our high schoolers were distance learning from mid-March 2020 until right after Easter 2021.  The younger kids did get to go back hybrid a couple times during the year, but got pulled back to distance learning when numbers went up.  Since kids in larger city schools seemed to stay with distance learning longer than small town kids, I feel like it adds up to quite a few kids who were out for all or much of the year. 

 

Eta: they recently released state testing scores from last year, and they plummeted - both our district specifically and the state as a whole. Not sure how much of that is because fewer kids took it, and how much was that learning was just that poor in the past year. 

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9 minutes ago, kirstenhill said:

In my Midwestern state there were many, many kids in the larger districts that were out for a year (on the calendar). I live in a smallish city, and our high schoolers were distance learning from mid-March 2020 until right after Easter 2021.  The younger kids did get to go back hybrid a couple times during the year, but got pulled back to distance learning when numbers went up.  Since kids in larger city schools seemed to stay with distance learning longer than small town kids, I feel like it adds up to quite a few kids who were out for all or much of the year. 

 

Eta: they recently released state testing scores from last year, and they plummeted - both our district specifically and the state as a whole. Not sure how much of that is because fewer kids took it, and how much was that learning was just that poor in the past year. 

My local big district was out from March 2020 to April 2021, and only a small percentage of kids went back in person even then (the governor forced the issue, but parents were allowed to elect to choose virtual). FWIW, test scores plummeted state-wide. It didn't seem to make much difference whether the district was fully virtual, hybrid, or trying to be in in person last year. 

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https://www.tn.gov/education/news/2021/8/2/tennessee-releases-2020-21-spring-tcap-state-level-results-.html

https://www.wreg.com/news/school-districts-across-shelby-county-grapple-with-tcap-results/

 

Realistically, Arlington is always at or near the top, so I'm not sure that it had much to do with only 16% of their students electing virtual, and SCS, as a high poverty district, is often near or at the bottom, regardless of whether they are virtual or in person. The other thing that wasn't mentioned is that SCS didn't start school last year until almost a month after other districts to give teachers a chance to prepare for virtual instruction, to set up contracts with FLVS for specific materials and classes, to set up learning sites for parents who needed child care, and to get tech out to the kids.   So, their students were taking the TCAP with a month less of the 2020-2021 school year than the rest of the state, but also went a month later. I'll be interested in seeing what happens next year, since summer break was significantly shorter for that district vs the rest of the state. 

In some ways, I wish I were still teaching in the city of Memphis this year because there is so much interesting comparative data analysis that could be done, if I only had direct access to the data. For example, how did students in those remote pods of 10, supervised by a teaching assistant/para pro do compared to similar students who were virtual at home? How did students in different SES bands compare to similar students in other districts that were in person? How did hybrid students fare compared to 100% virtual or 100% in person. There is just so much we could potentially glean from this. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

In some ways, I wish I were still teaching in the city of Memphis this year because there is so much interesting comparative data analysis that could be done, if I only had direct access to the data. For example, how did students in those remote pods of 10, supervised by a teaching assistant/para pro do compared to similar students who were virtual at home? How did students in different SES bands compare to similar students in other districts that were in person? How did hybrid students fare compared to 100% virtual or 100% in person. There is just so much we could potentially glean from this. 

I'd love to have all this data myself. It's too bad you don't! 

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1 hour ago, Not_a_Number said:

Kids were definitely out of school in lots of places. 

Does anyone have data on whether virtual students did worse than others?

I don't know that there's much question that virtual school (at least as it happened in the US last year) was worse for most kids (though there are stories that pop up about how it was actually a great thing for some kids and they're not interested in going back F2F). But we didn't do virtual school because we thought it was better. It's better not to grow up during a worldwide pandemic that's killing millions of people, too, of course. But, yeah, I don't know that there's much of anyone arguing just no more in person school until the pandemic's over is there? It's pretty much a straw man at this point. I think a lot of people are very frustrated because we could be opening schools pretty safely this fall if we had done/were doing a lot of things differently: if more safety measures were in place, if more people would get vaccinated, etc. etc. 

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