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Face-to-face school - anyone else's kids start yet?


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27 minutes ago, WildflowerMom said:

They are, however, keeping football players in the back of the classroom, so god forbid they don't get sick and have to miss a football game.

Wait, what?  The school is seating football players away from other students in the classroom so they are less likely to catch covid and therefore not be able to play football?  

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27 minutes ago, JennyD said:

Wait, what?  The school is seating football players away from other students in the classroom so they are less likely to catch covid and therefore not be able to play football?  

That's what at least one parent is saying, maybe more now, but I haven't checked the thread in a while.    Advisors and teachers both are instructing the players to sit in the back.    

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so the teachers on the county facebook group say that masking is slightly more than 50%, no where near the 94% officially cited. ALL are saying they do not feel comfortable telling kids who do not have a note opting them out to put on a mask, nor do they feel okay telling people to pull the mask up over their nose, etc. 

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1 hour ago, kokotg said:

Anti-maskers stood outside the school board meeting in my county last night (after the space filled and they wouldn't let more people in) banging on the windows and chanting over the people who were trying to speak inside. The county next door with no mask mandate just reported 551 cases the second week of school, up from 185 the week before, mostly in elementary schools (one elementary school reported 46 cases after already sending the whole 5th grade home earlier in the week to go virtual). so, yeah--good times.

It’s really gotten to the point when you just can’t make this stuff up. It’s like watching a horrible movie, but it’s real!

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56 minutes ago, WildflowerMom said:

That's what at least one parent is saying, maybe more now, but I haven't checked the thread in a while.    Advisors and teachers both are instructing the players to sit in the back.    

I'm quoting myself...   

I just checked with the guy who runs the page and talks to teachers (off the record, so they don't get fired).  Rumor is confirmed by school staff.  Football players to the back of the class.  You can't make this shit up. 

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This week, our school district had the highest number of confirmed covid cases since the pandemic began. Meanwhile, schools are letting kids just opt out of wearing masks, just ‘cuz. Humans, you can stick a fork in me. I’m done. I’m done with humans. Done. So done. 

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Oops I posted in the wrong thread. Spoke to Dad and voiced my concerns. He won’t get vaccinated but he knows my thoughts (fear of losing another parent, overwhelming the hospital staff more or not being able to get in, not seeing his grandkids grow up). I showed him a video clip from his hospital interviewing the dr that helped care for my mom at the end of her life. 

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9 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

Oops I posted in the wrong thread. Spoke to Dad and voiced my concerns. He won’t get vaccinated but he knows my thoughts (fear of losing another parent, overwhelming the hospital staff more or not being able to get in, not seeing his grandkids grow up). I showed him a video clip from his hospital interviewing the dr that helped care for my mom at the end of her life. 

I'm so sorry!!!!  It's a horrible feeling.  My mom is gone, we lost both of my in-laws this spring and we just have my dad left.  I'd like him to make it to his only grandkid's graduation in 2 years, but I honestly don't think that will happen -- either because he is no longer here or incapacitated and not able to come.  He got the vaccine, but isn't doing other things to enhance/extend his life.  He is aware and says he doesn't care - this has been on-going for 3 years now.  I have just decided that all my worrying about it and him isn't going to change anything.  So...I've begun, just in the last 3 weeks, to start letting go of the worry.  They aren't going to be here forever and I am only worsening my health (mental and physical) by worrying about something that isn't likely to change.  It's hard though...

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50 minutes ago, mlktwins said:

I'm so sorry!!!!  It's a horrible feeling.  My mom is gone, we lost both of my in-laws this spring and we just have my dad left.  I'd like him to make it to his only grandkid's graduation in 2 years, but I honestly don't think that will happen -- either because he is no longer here or incapacitated and not able to come.  He got the vaccine, but isn't doing other things to enhance/extend his life.  He is aware and says he doesn't care - this has been on-going for 3 years now.  I have just decided that all my worrying about it and him isn't going to change anything.  So...I've begun, just in the last 3 weeks, to start letting go of the worry.  They aren't going to be here forever and I am only worsening my health (mental and physical) by worrying about something that isn't likely to change.  It's hard though...

He’s my main support system right now. I’m going through a divorce and I’m in a custody battle. My sisters live out of state. I have one aunt in MS. But I, too, will have to accept reality that anything could happen. 

I am doing everything in my power to start over and I will continue the course no matter what. 

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Yes, he started Sophomore year on Tuesday.  In person mask optional school is extremely crowded.  He has been vaccinated but it isn't required just advised. Most of his friends were vaccinated as I got to hear all their experiences when they were over the other day.  Our area Delta numbers are low but climbing.  Elementary schools have mask mandate as well as the Universities in the area.  Middle schools and High schools not yet.

 

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7 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

He’s my main support system right now. I’m going through a divorce and I’m in a custody battle. My sisters live out of state. I have one aunt in MS. But I, too, will have to accept reality that anything could happen. 

I am doing everything in my power to start over and I will continue the course no matter what. 

Hugs to you!!!

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16 hours ago, WildflowerMom said:

I'm quoting myself...   

I just checked with the guy who runs the page and talks to teachers (off the record, so they don't get fired).  Rumor is confirmed by school staff.  Football players to the back of the class.  You can't make this shit up. 

I am so sick of the sports obsession. So now they are just brazenly prioritizing the health of football players over all other students.

I raise my middle finger to this school district with a resounding Fbomb on their heads! 😠😤😲😠

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The universities and colleges are requiring staff and students to get vaccines and masks are required indoors and outdoors if in large gathering.

I looked on the primary and secondary school websites and no masks are needed at any time except if your student rides the bus because that’s a CDC rule.  No options for online were listed on the websites. School starts - 9-7.

There were vax protestors outside local hospital this week.

our numbers for covid have been rising

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My kids start next Friday. This year, the school is not offering a virtual option. They recommend that unvaccinated students wear masks, but it is completely optional, except on the buses. They must wear masks on buses until the federal mandate for public transportation expires, which is in mid-September. Last year, we got a written notice for any case within one of my kids' classrooms, but this year, they will only notify if there is a certain (unspecified) percentage of students in the class who have gotten sick. If you are vaccinated, you don't need to quarantine if exposed. They are giving up on assigning seats to help with contact tracing, but are advising students to sit at lunch with people that they also are in band or sports (or whatever) with, so that they can more easily contract trace, if needed.

I don't expect it to go well.

However, our county has the highest vaccination rate in the state. And last year went a lot better than I expected it to. So we shall see.

Of my three high school kids, one might wear a mask on his own (he wears one at work even when it was not required); one vehemently declares that she won't do it; and one likes to wear a mask like a beard in a totally ineffective way. So I can't count on my kids to choose to mask. At least they are all vaccinated. But they are not as careful as I want them to be.

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29 minutes ago, history-fan said:

 

There were vax protestors outside local hospital this week.

 

So this makes no sense. What are they protesting, exactly? And why outside a hospital?
 

DH is wondering if someone ought to come up with In case of COVID, Do Not Treat cards similar to the CDC vax cards for those so inclined. Would that make them happy? Is that what they want?

I truly do not understand what their end goal is.

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Letter I just sent to my school board.   This is the 5-6th letter I’ve sent this year on top of attending BOE meetings. The fact that I have to fight this hard for basic safety is… well… frightening. 
 

I am writing to express my disappointment that you are allowing children to opt out of wearing masks in schools without a medical reason. To have a policy, and then refuse to enforce it, is worse than having a purely optional one. What message are we sending children when we tell them they can decide which rules apply to them? What message are we sending staff and teachers about our regard for their safety while doing their jobs? Is it any surprise that the school district has a severe shortage of bus drivers when bus drivers face huge risk to their health by being in a small, enclosed space with large numbers of people, who can apparently disregard local and federal rules? This is especially shocking given the fact that last week the district had the highest number of confirmed covid cases since the pandemic began. We are barreling headlong into a crisis that will force kids back home, which is the opposite of what everyone wants and knows to be in the students’ best interest. 
 
I find the middle school dress code sexist and draconian. But my daughter abides by it because it’s the rule. 
 
There are undoubtedly children who have a legitimate need, medical or otherwise, to not wear a mask. Exceptions exist in the law for people with disabilities. However, these exceptions must be supported by a need and documentation of that need. And other mitigation methods should be put in place for those students.
 
The lawsuit in Homewood should show you that the risk of liability to the school system for having a mask mandate is low to nonexistent. However, it is less clear what the risk of liability is to the school system if the board and superintendent refuse to take reasonable, evidence-based, expert-supported steps to protect students and faculty from a known public health risk. I pray that the board’s negligence does not result in a death, but I fear that is the likely result. 
 
Despite the preposterous protests of parents at the board meeting otherwise, schools do in fact have a duty to protect the health of students. This resource: 
clearly puts the duty of “adopting policies regarding student…safety and discipline” on the board, not the superintendent. I once again implore the board to do its primary duty, of creating a safe learning environment for the children we entrust to our schools. 
 
Since [super] made clear he appreciates prayers, I will add that I do pray for all of you. I pray for your health and safety and that you would have wisdom in the decisions you make. 
Edited by lauraw4321
Grammar.
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9 minutes ago, lauraw4321 said:

Letter I just sent to my school board.   This is the 5-6th letter I’ve sent this year on top of attending BOE meetings. The fact that I have to fight this hard for basic safety is… we’ll… frightening. 
 

I am writing to express my disappointment that you are allowing children to opt out of wearing masks in schools without a medical reason. To have a policy, and then refuse to enforce it, is worse than having a purely optional one. What message are we sending children when we tell them they can decide which rules apply to them? What message are we sending staff and teachers about our regard for their safety while doing their jobs? Is it any surprise that the school district has a severe shortage of bus drivers when bus drivers face huge risk to their health by being in a small, enclosed space with large numbers of people, who can apparently disregard local and federal rules? This is especially shocking given the fact that last week the district had the highest number of confirmed covid cases since the pandemic began. We are barreling headlong into a crisis that will force kids back home, which is the opposite of what everyone wants and knows to be in the students’ best interest. 
 
I find the middle school dress code sexist and draconian. But my daughter abides by it because it’s the rule. 
 
There are undoubtedly children who have a legitimate need, medical or otherwise, to not wear a mask. Exceptions exist in the law for people with disabilities. However, these exceptions must be supported by a need and documentation of that need. And other mitigation methods should be put in place for those students.
 
The lawsuit in Homewood should show you that the risk of liability to the school system for having a mask mandate is low to nonexistent. However, it is less clear what the risk of liability is to the school system if the board and superintendent refuse to take reasonable, evidence-based, expert-supported steps to protect students and faculty from a known public health risk. I pray that the board’s negligence does not result in a death, but I fear that is the likely result. 
 
Despite the preposterous protests of parents at the board meeting otherwise, schools do in fact have a duty to protect the health of students. This resource: 
clearly puts the duty of “adopting policies regarding student…safety and discipline” on the board, not the superintendent. I once again implore the board to do its primary duty, of creating a safe learning environment for the children we entrust to our schools. 
 
Since [super] made clear he appreciates prayers, I will add that I do pray for all of you. I pray for your health and safety and that you would have wisdom in the decisions you make. 

This is one of those times when I think our Gov has shown real courage by taking the heat so suburban districts like ours could avoid Tennessee- and Florida-style 'unpleasantness'. 

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16 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

This is one of those times when I think our Gov has shown real courage by taking the heat so suburban districts like ours could avoid Tennessee- and Florida-style 'unpleasantness'. 

Completely agree. I've been so thankful for his decisions during this pandemic.

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29 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

This is one of those times when I think our Gov has shown real courage by taking the heat so suburban districts like ours could avoid Tennessee- and Florida-style 'unpleasantness'. 

I agree.

Our district was going masks optional until his announcement.  So grateful.

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51 minutes ago, lauraw4321 said:

Letter I just sent to my school board.   This is the 5-6th letter I’ve sent this year on top of attending BOE meetings. The fact that I have to fight this hard for basic safety is… well… frightening. 
 

I am writing to express my disappointment that you are allowing children to opt out of wearing masks in schools without a medical reason. To have a policy, and then refuse to enforce it, is worse than having a purely optional one. What message are we sending children when we tell them they can decide which rules apply to them? What message are we sending staff and teachers about our regard for their safety while doing their jobs? Is it any surprise that the school district has a severe shortage of bus drivers when bus drivers face huge risk to their health by being in a small, enclosed space with large numbers of people, who can apparently disregard local and federal rules? This is especially shocking given the fact that last week the district had the highest number of confirmed covid cases since the pandemic began. We are barreling headlong into a crisis that will force kids back home, which is the opposite of what everyone wants and knows to be in the students’ best interest. 
 
I find the middle school dress code sexist and draconian. But my daughter abides by it because it’s the rule. 
 
There are undoubtedly children who have a legitimate need, medical or otherwise, to not wear a mask. Exceptions exist in the law for people with disabilities. However, these exceptions must be supported by a need and documentation of that need. And other mitigation methods should be put in place for those students.
 
The lawsuit in Homewood should show you that the risk of liability to the school system for having a mask mandate is low to nonexistent. However, it is less clear what the risk of liability is to the school system if the board and superintendent refuse to take reasonable, evidence-based, expert-supported steps to protect students and faculty from a known public health risk. I pray that the board’s negligence does not result in a death, but I fear that is the likely result. 
 
Despite the preposterous protests of parents at the board meeting otherwise, schools do in fact have a duty to protect the health of students. This resource: 
clearly puts the duty of “adopting policies regarding student…safety and discipline” on the board, not the superintendent. I once again implore the board to do its primary duty, of creating a safe learning environment for the children we entrust to our schools. 
 
Since [super] made clear he appreciates prayers, I will add that I do pray for all of you. I pray for your health and safety and that you would have wisdom in the decisions you make. 

Well done!

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1 hour ago, MEmama said:

So this makes no sense. What are they protesting, exactly? And why outside a hospital?

I am not the one that made the comment, but the ones protesting outside our hospitals are protesting that the health systems locally have made vaccination mandatory for employees. The two people I know who are most up in arms about this are not vaccinated, nor are they employees of any healthcare system, and at least one (probably both) are no longer masking.  One of them lost a family member earlier in the pandemic to Covid that was acquired from a healthcare worker that was positive.

It's political, and about FREEDOM to put others in danger. You know, the ultimate freedom we all deserve.

It would be more efficient if they'd just drive the wrong way on the highway to endanger people, but apparently that puts them at a larger risk than what they are willing to take to endanger people. 

Both of these people are acquaintances that I used to have high opinions of. They have "done their research."

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1 hour ago, MEmama said:

So this makes no sense. What are they protesting, exactly? And why outside a hospital?
 

DH is wondering if someone ought to come up with In case of COVID, Do Not Treat cards similar to the CDC vax cards for those so inclined. Would that make them happy? Is that what they want?

I truly do not understand what their end goal is.

Here's one case:

Quote

They were hard to miss on the corner of a busy four-way intersection at the entrance to Winchester Medical Center: a group of about 20 people — many of them nurses, some in scrubs — protesting the hospital’s recent coronavirus vaccine mandate.

 

Some were on a quasi-strike, skipping a day of work to stand on the side of the road in scorching heat, holding signs that demanded, “NO FORCED VACCINATION.”...

The nurses’ employer, Valley Health, the parent company of Winchester Medical Center, had given them an ultimatum: Get the shot or face termination. And those standing on the street corner Tuesday had already made up their minds....

For the majority of Valley Health employees, the policy was not a problem; 75 percent are fully vaccinated, the company said.

But in a region where vaccination rates are lower than they are statewide, Valley Health’s mandate prompted a furious community debate, with numerous protests outside Valley Health’s hospitals in Front Royal and Winchester, and pleas from unvaccinated people demanding intervention from local government to stop the mandate.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/vaccine-mandate-nurses-virginia-covid/2021/08/13/493c906a-fad3-11eb-9c0e-97e29906a970_story.html

I'm not sure if this article is open access, like WaPo's Covid information generally is. It's worth reading. The protesting nurses have the usual mixture of hesitation about a new vaccine, misinformation from Facebook, and encouragement from a particular political corner. They're apparently ready to lose their jobs in order to avoid complying with a vaccine mandate.

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15 minutes ago, kbutton said:

Both of these people are acquaintances that I used to have high opinions of. They have "done their research."

So what in the world is wrong with them?? Did they simply get swallowed by propaganda? Why are people behaving like this?? 

I'm sorry. I feel stressed out and the world is making me angry. 

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49 minutes ago, Innisfree said:

Although, actually, I'm hoping for a general indoor mask mandate again during the present surge, and so far that hasn't happened.

Yeah, I'm wanting one in my state which the gov says he's not going to do because it's not bad enough 'yet'...  um, that's when you do the preventative stuff, #*&$(.  We do have 'significant' to 'high' spread according to the CDC numbers and recs we should all be wearing a mask indoors, but ... no mandate.  Why bother 'recommending' if anyone can just not bother?  This isn't like 'we recommend cancer screenings' but if you don't want to it only affects you, not everyone you've come into contact with... 🤬

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1 hour ago, MEmama said:

So this makes no sense. What are they protesting, exactly? And why outside a hospital?
 

DH is wondering if someone ought to come up with In case of COVID, Do Not Treat cards similar to the CDC vax cards for those so inclined. Would that make them happy? Is that what they want?

I truly do not understand what their end goal is.

Exactly! I don't get it. Apparently their body their choice but also our body their choice because they don't want anyone to have the choice to get vaccinated or receive medical care??? I mean, I seriously don't get it. This has reached a fever pitch of mass hysteria from these folks. What possible point is there to protesting at the damn hospital where the people who save lives, not just from covid, are working their a$$es into the ground? Don't want medical care, stay at home twits!

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We got this update yesterday at the end of our first week of school:

As of this morning, 2.15% of our student population (4,477) are either in isolation due to a positive case or in quarantine due to exposure (Day 3 enrollment = 208,587). This number is inclusive of students who either tested positive or were exposed to a positive case while off campus and have not attended school yet.

 

We also have 289 staff members at schools and district offices (1.22%) in isolation or quarantine (Employee Count= 23,596)

 

We encourage all families to talk to their children about utilizing the same health and safety protocols used in schools while enjoying time out in the community with friends and family.

https://www.smore.com/h5pc6

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24 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

So what in the world is wrong with them?? Did they simply get swallowed by propaganda? Why are people behaving like this?? 

I'm sorry. I feel stressed out and the world is making me angry. 

I have been asking this for over a year. One of these two people has some medical issues that were not caught and addressed by conventional medicine, and she's educated herself on them. But I also have seriously bad experiences with doctors, and it doesn't cause me to think all medical stuff is bad; it just means that for rare stuff or hard to catch stuff, we need to do more work to get the healthcare community on board and/or seek out better specialists. Heck, I was the one that caught my son's rare disorder and found credible information for people in my family affected by similar conditions when they were not getting evidence-based care. But apparently this person is disaffected and is recruiting (the two people I know also know each other and have worked together). 

Around here, there are a few people who are genuinely careful across the board, but even they have to make tough choices about schooling, etc. and mental health. Then there are the people who just don't want to rock the boat--they are truly feeling tossed about by changing recommendations, and they would never call out the militant on either end (I would be considered unhinged on the being careful side even though we're not as strict as some on here), and then there are the people who are willingly spreading lies and disinformation and working to undo all the helpful things that our governor tried to put in place (he's now basically unable to do anything).

I am recovering from the stress, but I am not doing great. I was having a lot of existential angst over the last month. It's really hard to want to do things to improve the quality of our life when we know we're going to emerge from the pandemic with basically almost no local friends left, and we're already not going back to our church, which was a big source of potential connections because it was moderately large but friendly. The remaining friendships will be with people who think they are as stressed as us and probably don't want to hear us talk about what it's like to have one of us working in healthcare while most of the people we know are lying and undermining his safety and his job. They don't want to know about moral injury and don't really want to shoulder that burden. They think our focus is tipped too far or maybe they see why we would feel that way, but they'd rather we not go there.

And from a religious standpoint, we are left completely out in the cold. Our old church is literally acting like the pandemic isn't real. It's the perpetual elephant in the room. The church we're visiting followed guidelines (even when churches were never mandated to), and then many of them got vaccinated, probably at a rate much higher than the surrounding community. So, they are back to normal because they vaxed, and because they trust their non-vaccinated members to mask. But they aren't going back to any precautions for Delta. They've done so much more than most people around here that I think they don't see any room to improve things. 

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5 minutes ago, Terabith said:

At the risk of sounding political, I find myself wondering what would happen if the people who are so strongly against mask wearing in school put as much energy into keeping guns out of schools.  

Shhhhhh, don't talk so smart! 😠

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10 minutes ago, kbutton said:

I have been asking this for over a year. One of these two people has some medical issues that were not caught and addressed by conventional medicine, and she's educated herself on them. But I also have seriously bad experiences with doctors, and it doesn't cause me to think all medical stuff is bad; it just means that for rare stuff or hard to catch stuff, we need to do more work to get the healthcare community on board and/or seek out better specialists. Heck, I was the one that caught my son's rare disorder and found credible information for people in my family affected by similar conditions when they were not getting evidence-based care. But apparently this person is disaffected and is recruiting (the two people I know also know each other and have worked together). 

Around here, there are a few people who are genuinely careful across the board, but even they have to make tough choices about schooling, etc. and mental health. Then there are the people who just don't want to rock the boat--they are truly feeling tossed about by changing recommendations, and they would never call out the militant on either end (I would be considered unhinged on the being careful side even though we're not as strict as some on here), and then there are the people who are willingly spreading lies and disinformation and working to undo all the helpful things that our governor tried to put in place (he's now basically unable to do anything).

I am recovering from the stress, but I am not doing great. I was having a lot of existential angst over the last month. It's really hard to want to do things to improve the quality of our life when we know we're going to emerge from the pandemic with basically almost no local friends left, and we're already not going back to our church, which was a big source of potential connections because it was moderately large but friendly. The remaining friendships will be with people who think they are as stressed as us and probably don't want to hear us talk about what it's like to have one of us working in healthcare while most of the people we know are lying and undermining his safety and his job. They don't want to know about moral injury and don't really want to shoulder that burden. They think our focus is tipped too far or maybe they see why we would feel that way, but they'd rather we not go there.

And from a religious standpoint, we are left completely out in the cold. Our old church is literally acting like the pandemic isn't real. It's the perpetual elephant in the room. The church we're visiting followed guidelines (even when churches were never mandated to), and then many of them got vaccinated, probably at a rate much higher than the surrounding community. So, they are back to normal because they vaxed, and because they trust their non-vaccinated members to mask. But they aren't going back to any precautions for Delta. They've done so much more than most people around here that I think they don't see any room to improve things. 

I wonder if this is going to lead to more migration in line with the "big sort." I was born and raised in Oklahoma but I can't imagine returning there now. Arizona can be crazy but there are people like us here. 

Will educated people like healthcare workers and teachers start leaving these communities? Or maybe they stay but they encourage their children to leave? That's been happening in rural America for a long time but this could make it worse. 

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16 minutes ago, kbutton said:

 

And from a religious standpoint, we are left completely out in the cold. Our old church is literally acting like the pandemic isn't real. It's the perpetual elephant in the room. The church we're visiting followed guidelines (even when churches were never mandated to), and then many of them got vaccinated, probably at a rate much higher than the surrounding community. So, they are back to normal because they vaxed, and because they trust their non-vaccinated members to mask. But they aren't going back to any precautions for Delta. They've done so much more than most people around here that I think they don't see any room to improve things. 

I'm on our church's re-opening task force, and we're meeting again next Tuesday to decide if we need to tighten precautions or put triggers in place to tighten precautions.  And I think we're going to run into the bolded.  We were online only until the end of June, we've had people in the pews for less than two months, leadership masked except when standing in the pulpit or lectern, front several pews roped off, everyone else asked to mask if unvaccinated or if singing. Starting last week we asked everyone to mask regardless of vaccination status or singing.  One family walked out, everyone else put on their mask.  We don't have a lot of room to tighten up without going fully online again, and I know that would be very upsetting to a lot of people.  

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10 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I wonder if this is going to lead to more migration in line with the "big sort." I was born and raised in Oklahoma but I can't imagine returning there now. Arizona can be crazy but there are people like us here. 

Will educated people like healthcare workers and teachers start leaving these communities? Or maybe they stay but they encourage their children to leave? That's been happening in rural America for a long time but this could make it worse. 

Where I live, most people go to college and have degrees. It's far more educated and diverse than where I am from, which is rural and mostly white (but diversifying by leaps and bounds), and my hometown has more mask compliance (vaccines are probably similar, but I think 60+ is still vaccinating readily). A lot of people moved to rural areas due to the pandemic as well, so I think the big sort is going to suddenly look way more complicated than it was. 

I don't really want to move locally as we like our home and have put a ton of work into it (and live in one of the few places without an HOA), but I also don't want to make a big move and just be out of the frying pan and into the fire. It's frustrating. 

Also, teachers are leading the charge around here for not vaccinating. Maybe not all, but a lot of militant people here are also teachers. Some seem to have followed guidelines while they were mandated, but I am not sure if they are now. Or they are split--following guidelines while also spreading conspiracy theories of all kinds. 

It's definitely NOT and education issue here, and that survey that showed the five different dimensions of vaccine holdouts showed that education wasn't the whole story. It truly reflected my area to a T.

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4 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I wonder if this is going to lead to more migration in line with the "big sort." I was born and raised in Oklahoma but I can't imagine returning there now. Arizona can be crazy but there are people like us here. 

Will educated people like healthcare workers and teachers start leaving these communities? Or maybe they stay but they encourage their children to leave? That's been happening in rural America for a long time but this could make it worse. 

I wonder about that too. The county commissioners here winge about the brain drain, the kids leaving and never coming back. And then turn right around and vote against anything that would make things better for young families, bring jobs to the area, etc. Most of these kids are fleeing, mine included, and we have one foot out the door as well. My mom made a least of all the last eight years of high school graduates she knows from her church which used to have a big youth group. Of the 73 of them, only five live in the area post high school/trade school/college. Among her nine grandchildren, two live still live rural and one of those is simply living at home and commuting still to college, but will be leaving after graduation. Mine all have/had grad school or job offers except dd who was a paramedic and is now a childbirth educator, and she is in our Mountain House in Alabama, but she and her husband work in Rocket City. So when my niece leaves after college graduation - she has an offer of employment in Bismarck, that leaves one.

The alumni association for the local school district disbanded. No one comes to their events, and very, very, very few live anywhere close. 

I can totally see this being yet another event that causes an even bigger rural desert in professional positions. I also see trades drying up because as the population becomes increasingly more elderly, and most of them are on fixed incomes and not remodeling, building, etc.commercial jobs dry up, the trades people flock to city centers where work is fairly plentiful.

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21 minutes ago, kbutton said:

Where I live, most people go to college and have degrees. It's far more educated and diverse than where I am from, which is rural and mostly white (but diversifying by leaps and bounds), and my hometown has more mask compliance (vaccines are probably similar, but I think 60+ is still vaccinating readily). A lot of people moved to rural areas due to the pandemic as well, so I think the big sort is going to suddenly look way more complicated than it was. 

I don't really want to move locally as we like our home and have put a ton of work into it (and live in one of the few places without an HOA), but I also don't want to make a big move and just be out of the frying pan and into the fire. It's frustrating. 

Also, teachers are leading the charge around here for not vaccinating. Maybe not all, but a lot of militant people here are also teachers. Some seem to have followed guidelines while they were mandated, but I am not sure if they are now. Or they are split--following guidelines while also spreading conspiracy theories of all kinds. 

It's definitely NOT and education issue here, and that survey that showed the five different dimensions of vaccine holdouts showed that education wasn't the whole story. It truly reflected my area to a T.

RE the bolded, this is what we get from underfunding education for such a long time. Teaching is not an attractive career. We don't pay our teachers enough to expect them to be better caliber than they are. 

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9 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

RE the bolded, this is what we get from underfunding education for such a long time. Teaching is not an attractive career. We don't pay our teachers enough to expect them to be better caliber than they are. 

This! Starting salary with a bachelor's degree and a requirement to have a master's within five years is under $30,000 in the local districts. That is an awful lot of responsibility, grief, and suffering for that level of education and training! No one wants it. Plenty of things to do with far less hanging over your head for way more money. Parents and administrators do not respect teachers at all. The people who are lauded are the football and basketball coaches. 🙄

 

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28 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

RE the bolded, this is what we get from underfunding education for such a long time. Teaching is not an attractive career. We don't pay our teachers enough to expect them to be better caliber than they are. 

Most of the teachers I know around here (except private school teachers) are doing very well for themselves. This varies a lot by state and region (teaching is one of the highest paid professions where I grew up also). I think they also get serious benefits here compared to the rest of us (at a lesser price or free), and that's not always factored into the whole picture. Most can afford to retire well before others in the community, and many go back to "double dip" as it's called here--they are accessing retirement while working again, and I think they are often getting a premium wage to do so. If it were such a bad profession, I don't think you'd have multi-generational families of teachers, which is not uncommon here, or couples where both spouses are teachers (super common). 

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/unvaccinated-america-in-5-charts/?ex_cid=story-facebook&fbclid=IwAR1ImQ-3nrm5Q_sdale39U0jbTDYL3VOjGIOTyAI8WB9NHwnnLddSbJHUzc

Again, 40+% of the holdouts have a degree of some kind, and 19% have a college degree. Didn't someone post a link about PhD's having a lot of vaccine resistance as well? (Horseshoe theory again?)

One teacher acquaintance that I am no longer in contact with is an excellent teacher (teaches calculus and such), and she doesn't believe in flu shots. I don't know where she is on Covid, because we lost touch pre-Covid, but it's certainly only a tiny push to be anti-masking and anti-vaccine, but I would expect her to mask if mandated because she is a rule follower. 

It's 100% political here. The politics convince them it's a trap, and then they find the "facts" to back it up. 

It's socially rewarding here to be perceived as being smart for refusing to go along with the sheeple because you'll get little pushback, and most of it will be super gentle.

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Sometimes emails work. The board sent this email reversing the “opt out” mask policy. I had a lot of emails with school board members, and I for once feel like it made a difference. quoted below:
 

If you believe that your student should be exempt from these procedures due to medical, health, or ability concerns, please provide documentation of the grounds supporting your exemption to your school principal.  The school will work with the MCS administration to evaluate each such request.  MCS will consult materials available to it from the ADPH and the AAP to evaluate each request.  

Again, I want to emphasize that in-person learning is our main focus this year, but, in order to ensure safety, we must adhere to our MCS policies. Since the start of this school year, our staff has tried to accommodate and work with parents concerning the mask requirement. However, beginning tomorrow, the only students allowed in a regular class setting will be those that are masked or have been given an exemption via an IEP or 504 plan.

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The school just sent an email begging parents to "consider" allowing their kids to wear masks next week. I'm curious how many kids will wear masks tomorrow. It's not enough but I suspect they are starting to panic. The numbers are not good here. 

One school district emailed parents today warning them about sending kids to school sick. They also revised their quarantine policy and it's more lenient for masked and vaccinated children. That's a good strategy. A little bit of the carrot and the stick. 

Another school district sent an email informing parents that masking is the only way that they can ensure in-person learning this year. 

 

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On 8/14/2021 at 3:37 PM, kbutton said:

It's 100% political here. The politics convince them it's a trap, and then they find the "facts" to back it up. 

That's definitely my experience of how people mostly function. First, they go with the social pressure, then they find reasons 😕 . It's very unpleasant to go against the flow. 

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On 8/14/2021 at 12:15 PM, lauraw4321 said:

Letter I just sent to my school board.   This is the 5-6th letter I’ve sent this year on top of attending BOE meetings. The fact that I have to fight this hard for basic safety is… well… frightening. 
 

I am writing to express my disappointment that you are allowing children to opt out of wearing masks in schools without a medical reason. To have a policy, and then refuse to enforce it, is worse than having a purely optional one. What message are we sending children when we tell them they can decide which rules apply to them? What message are we sending staff and teachers about our regard for their safety while doing their jobs? Is it any surprise that the school district has a severe shortage of bus drivers when bus drivers face huge risk to their health by being in a small, enclosed space with large numbers of people, who can apparently disregard local and federal rules? This is especially shocking given the fact that last week the district had the highest number of confirmed covid cases since the pandemic began. We are barreling headlong into a crisis that will force kids back home, which is the opposite of what everyone wants and knows to be in the students’ best interest. 
 
I find the middle school dress code sexist and draconian. But my daughter abides by it because it’s the rule. 
 
There are undoubtedly children who have a legitimate need, medical or otherwise, to not wear a mask. Exceptions exist in the law for people with disabilities. However, these exceptions must be supported by a need and documentation of that need. And other mitigation methods should be put in place for those students.
 
The lawsuit in Homewood should show you that the risk of liability to the school system for having a mask mandate is low to nonexistent. However, it is less clear what the risk of liability is to the school system if the board and superintendent refuse to take reasonable, evidence-based, expert-supported steps to protect students and faculty from a known public health risk. I pray that the board’s negligence does not result in a death, but I fear that is the likely result. 
 
Despite the preposterous protests of parents at the board meeting otherwise, schools do in fact have a duty to protect the health of students. This resource: 
clearly puts the duty of “adopting policies regarding student…safety and discipline” on the board, not the superintendent. I once again implore the board to do its primary duty, of creating a safe learning environment for the children we entrust to our schools. 
 
Since [super] made clear he appreciates prayers, I will add that I do pray for all of you. I pray for your health and safety and that you would have wisdom in the decisions you make. 

Nice! Very well-written!

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School starts later this week. We just got an updated document from the school that notifies us that our county health department recommends masks in indoor settings for all vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

However, the school does not say that they will change their "masks optional" policy as a result.

It includes a flowchart of what happens for quarantining, depending on whether someone was masked, vaccinated, socially distanced, etc.

But still, masks won't be required. Last year, our school made a point of saying that they would defer to our county health department's guidance. Guess they've given up on that idea.

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