Long COVID, Florida-style

Happy Labor Day to all of those who failed to absorb “The Work versus Welfare Trade‐​Off” (CATO, 2013). (Also, Happy Labor Day to those who are smart enough to refrain from labor!)

Part of an email from a teacher in the Palm Beach County Public schools:

… I have tested positive for Covid and was out of the classroom today [Monday]. I hope to be cleared for a return on Wednesday. Not my choice on how to start the school year but I’ll look on the bright side.

I checked in with her on Thursday:

Yes I am back and very happy to see my Fantastic First Graders again!!!

Compare to “1 in 5 Educators Say They’ve Experienced Long COVID” (EducationWeek).

So let’s celebrate those who continue to labor despite union contracts that would allow them to take a substantial amount of time off, at 100 percent pay, after a positive COVID-19 test.

As long as we’re talking COVID-19 and the Palm Beach County Schools… What’s the level of coronapanic as reflected in the Student & Family Handbook? The word “mask” does not appear. The word “COVID” appears only to provide historical context:

During the onset of COVID-19, in the Spring of 2020, the School Board supported the successful transition of instruction to Distance Learning. One of the supports for this transition was the implementation of a one-to-one student device initiative. Because of this, all School District of Palm Beach County students may be issued electronic devices. These devices are for instructional use to support curriculum goals and will be available for students to use at home or in school.

The corresponding document from our old suburb? The “top priority” is “Establish a culture that is built upon the intersectionality of social and emotional learning, Antiracism, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (AIDE), student and adult learning, and fostering strong connections”. However, the word “COVID” appears 20 times. The possibility of masks on buses and in the classrooms is explicitly discussed. Parents must swear a loyalty oath to Saint Fauci and Science:

Back to the topic of Labor Day… here’s a Florida native green anole taking a break from his/her/zir/their labors on our front door.

Let’s hope that this green anole wasn’t pushed out of his/her/zir/their tree. See “Densely packed invasive anoles outcompete natives”:

Invasive brown anoles might outcompete their native cousins in the southeastern U.S. merely by living more densely.

Brown anoles (Anolis sagrei) inadvertently came to Florida in the 1800s by tagging along on cargo shipments. Since then, the invasive species have moved steadily northward in the state, often taking over territories occupied by native green anoles (Anolis carolinensis). Researchers know that over time, the invasive Cuban anoles change the native species’ habits. After moving in, the newcomer species typically occupies the ground and lower parts of plants and trees, while the green anoles occupy an ecological niche higher up on trees and bushes. The native anoles also become less common once the brown anoles have established themselves in the new territory.

Instead, she speculated that brown anoles in the wild might be outcompeting green anoles based on sheer numbers. Brown anoles may lay eggs more often than green anoles. The Cuban newcomers also tolerate much denser living conditions, while green anoles don’t. This allows the invasive species to take over more territory.

In short, anole migrants have a higher birth rate and don’t mind living in squalid conditions that native anoles would consider intolerable…

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Official Lincoln Massachusetts Public School LGBTQ+ Pride Community Celebration

From back in April, part of an email from the superintendent of the Lincoln Massachusetts Public Schools (K-8 only; high school is shared with another town):

The school-sponsored event (in a town-owned house) is happening today, so I hope that readers in Maskachusetts will attend and perhaps report back to us why some members of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community are excluded (it is only for “LGBTQ+”). Here’s a T-shirt to wear:

The same email that reminded us to lump together everyone on the rainbow spectrum into a single category also lumps together all Asians and Pacific Islanders into a common “culture and cuisine” that can be learned about in just over one hour via Zoom:

Happy Pride Month once again!

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An easy way for the FBI to ferret out the Deplorables

From the superintendent of the Lincoln, Maskachusetts public schools:

Subject: Addressing Recent Violation Across Our Country

It saddens me to have to write to acknowledge several more racially motivated shootings that have occurred across our country this weekend. They include a grocery store shooting in Buffalo, New York, the shooting of businesses in Korea Town in Dallas, and the shooting in a Presbyterian church in Laguna Woods, CA. While the motivation for some of these shootings have not yet been confirmed, they appear to be the result of hateful acts against Black and Asian individuals.

(I wasn’t aware of the ones outside of Buffalo. CNN says that a Chinese person shot some Chinese people in Laguna Woods. How is that “racially motivated”? Nobody seems to know who did the shootings in Dallas or why.)

These acts provide me with the motivation to continue our focus on becoming an antiracist school district that works to ensure that every individual in our schools feels safe, feels seen, and can bring all of their identities with them to school each day. Our students and staff of color, our LGBTQ+ community members, and everyone regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender or sexual identity, or religious beliefs has the right to be safe at school, in their home and school communities, and in our country.

Noble intentions, but Dzhokhar Tsarnaev attended a full course of diversity and tolerance education at the high school in Cambridge, MA and that did not deter him from waging jihad on the infidels at the Boston Marathon. Syed Rizwan Farook presumably got a similar indoctrination at his California public high school and then at Cal State. He was not discouraged from waging jihad in San Bernardino just a few years after completing college.

I know that we are not immune in our small district. We have experienced discriminatory attacks written on bathroom walls in our schools this year. Students and staff have been treated inequitably due to their identities and have been hurt by ignorant comments, questions, and actions towards them. Last week I received a few requests from parents asking to be removed from receiving messages about the LGBTQ+ Pride Community Celebration that will take place next month. This feels like a desire to erase the existence of those who are different than you. But none of us can be erased. We are all here and are members of our community. And, we all deserve to be here and to be able to be who we are without fear of discrimination, harassment, or violence.

I question that last one (“we all deserve to be here”). Why does a young person who supports Donald Trump and, therefore, the January 6 insurrection, deserve to be anywhere other than prison?

I am kind of in love with a person who gets paid $250,000+ by the public education industry complaining about “ignorant questions”. Ordinarily, you might imagine that it was the job of the school to turn ignorance into knowledge. Therefore, an “ignorant question” would be more welcome than a non-ignorant question.

The main point of this post, however, is to consider whether the Biden administration’s FBI could make use of an important information source: the names and addresses of the parents who asked not to hear about the official town-sponsored rituals of the state religion (Rainbow Flagism). They’re probably guilty of something, right, if not the actual insurrection per se?

Here’s the poster for the 2SLGBTQQIA+ gathering that haters didn’t want to hear about:

Speaking of haters:

Ms. Blaire White says that her pronouns are “that/bitch”:

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Sitting at home for 18 months results in long COVID (at least for unionized schoolteachers)

Does closing schools for 18 months protect teachers from COVID-19? Apparently not. “1 in 5 Educators Say They’ve Experienced Long COVID” (EducationWeek):

Two years into the pandemic, many Americans are eager to leave COVID behind. But that won’t be so easy for as many as 1 in 5 educators who, according to a recent EdWeek survey, have experienced the emerging, mysterious illness known as long COVID.

In a workforce that tops 6 million people, that percentage suggests hundreds of thousands of people who serve the nation’s K-12 students have suffered long-lasting symptoms after contracting COVID.

Working full-time has been impossible for Kathleen Law, an elementary school teacher in Oregon, since she contracted COVID in August. She’s had foggy thinking ever since, and she gets bone-tired easily.

Chimére Smith, 39, was a middle school teacher for Baltimore City Public Schools—until March 2020, when she contracted a severe case of COVID that has hardly abated since. She experienced everything from sharp spinal pain and migraines to overwhelming exhaustion, memory lapses, gastrointestinal issues, hallucinations, and suicidal ideation.

For months, doctor after doctor told Smith that her symptoms were nothing to worry about. Smith, who is Black, says she encountered racist skepticism at every turn.

What’s the biggest challenge after racism?

The first challenge for long COVID sufferers: recognizing you’re one of them

Sarah Bilotti, superintendent of the North Warren schools in New Jersey, said numerous students and several staff members in her district have disclosed that they have long COVID—or they’ve confessed that they have concerning symptoms that won’t go away, without knowing why.

“I think people are so unaccustomed to that diagnosis and this language that people aren’t sure what’s going on,” she said.

The federal government last summer officially designated long COVID as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. That means school employees are entitled to accommodations from their employer if they can offer documentation of their condition.

If you gave me unlimited paid sick leave and union job protection so that I could go back to work whenever I wished to, I am confident that I could develop long COVID!

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Anti-hate reeducation at a Maskachusetts public school

I won’t put this one in quote style because the italics will make it harder to read…

Prior to the April break I wrote to let you know that I was concerned about hateful language that had been found in a bathroom and that we would be following up with an outside speaker. Today Mr. Mark Liddell came to talk with our students. Mr. Liddell is the High School Coordinator for the METCO program [busing children, based on skin color, from City of Boston schools to suburban districts, thus relieving the foreign owners of downtown real estate from having to pay for these kids’ education] in the Wayland Public Schools. Mr. Liddell has done at least six presentations with our parent groups through the generosity of the Lincoln METCO Parent Board who has brought him as a speaker over the last two years around many topics of race and history.

We spent an hour together first with 5th and 6th grade and then with 7th and 8th grade talking about language, historical context, and how we should respond when we hear hate speech. As Mr. Liddell is a high school teacher, there were pieces of his talk that might have felt difficult for some students to understand. There were other parts that were uncomfortable to sit through as they showed unfortunate pieces of our history. Students were given the opportunity to stay with Mr. Liddell and teachers at school to continue to talk and ask questions after the assembly.

This afternoon the faculty will further conversations on how to talk with our students as issues continue to surface. Mr. Liddell ended his time with our students sharing the following pledge:

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Maskachusetts trying to ferret out the young people using essential and healing marijuana

Recent email from a school in the Land of Closed Schools and Open Marijuana Shops…. (not in quote style for superior readability)

Massachusetts law mandates school districts to screen students for possible substance use. To address this mandate we will be conducting a screening program to take place for all 7th grade students attending the Lincoln Public Schools (for more information about the law, please visit http://www.masbirt.org/schools). The screening will take place during the day on March 15, 2022 at the Hanscom Middle School and the Lincoln 5-8 School. The goal of this program is to let students know that we are available to support healthy decisions and to assist them in obtaining support if needed for substance use related problems.

In order to help prevent students from starting to use substances, or to intervene with early use, the Lincoln Public School nurses and the middle school counselors will be providing an interview-based screening for all 7th grade students regarding the use of alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs. This screening utilizes the most commonly used substance use screening tool for adolescents in Massachusetts, the CRAFFT II. Student screening sessions will be brief (approximately 5 minutes). These screenings are conducted confidentially and in private, one-on-one sessions conducted by our school nurses and social workers.

Students who are not using substances will have their healthy choices reinforced by the screener. The screener will provide brief feedback to any student who reports using substances, or is at risk for future substance use. If needed, we will refer students to our counselors for further evaluation. Results of the screening will not be included in your child’s school record, nor will results be shared with any staff other than the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Team. The SBIRT Team is composed of the school nurse and middle school counselors. All students will receive some educational material and a resource list at the time of the screening.


The governor says that marijuana is “essential” and people in Maskachusetts generally agree that marijuana can heal most medical problems (which is why, even before there was a profitable legal recreational marijuana industry, there was a thriving “medical marijuana” industry). Yet a separate collection of state bureaucrats wants to tell 12- and 13-year-olds that marijuana is somehow bad. (Same argument on alcohol, which was “essential”.)

I would love to meet the 7th grader with the temerity to point out to the screeners that nearly every billboard on the Mass Pike promotes marijuana use and wondering how it is possible that something that is great for adults is terrible for 13-year-olds. Also that adults couldn’t wait to stick 13-year-olds with a vaccine designed for older people.

Separately, it is interesting how Colorado and Maskachusetts set up their respective marijuana industries. In Colorado, there are numerous marijuana shops, each fairly small. As far as I observed, none of them has become rich enough to outbid Apple, Verizon, McDonald’s, et al. for billboard space. In Maskachusetts, by contrast, the number of cronies authorized by the government to sell marijuana is much smaller and, therefore, the profits are apparently staggering.

Here’s a photo from January 2022 of Mountain Medicinals, a “family-owned dispensary” in Idaho Springs, Colorado (contrary to the name, this is recreational and they can sell even to those who do not need to be healed):

As you can see, there are only three cars in the parking lot and the sign is modest. (In MA, the marijuana shops are so busy that they need to pay off-duty police officers to direct traffic.) Also, speaking of maximizing health, note the masked pedestrian in the crisp mountain air (it was below freezing outside and he and I were the only people outside within a 500′ radius).

Related:

  • Department of Blessings of Lockdown…. “Marijuana Sales Increased In Multiple States During COVID, Study Finds” (Marijuana Moment, 8/9/2021): Legal marijuana sales in multiple states reached record highs in mid-2020 as coronavirus spread across the nation, according a new study. To date, sales in the four states examined in the analysis—Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington—”have increased more during the COVID-19 pandemic than in the previous two years.” (Tough to understand how labor force participation rate has fallen so much when so many more Americans are starting each day with a motivational bong hit)
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Justin Trudeau’s old school in Newton, Maskachusetts makes the news

I hope that everyone (except, perhaps, that notorious reprobate Toucan Sam) has been celebrating Black History Month.

Some news from Newton, Massachusetts… “… Blackface classroom activity was used to ‘celebrate’ Black History Month” (MassLive):

When Nadirah Pierce picked up her children from IC Kids Montessori earlier this week, she noticed they were covered in black paint. They said it was for a Black History Month project.

Pierce didn’t think much of it until the school posted photos from the activity for parents online on Wednesday. That’s when she saw the children had painted faces on paper plates using the black paint and were holding them up to their faces.

IC Kids Montessori in Newton issued an apology for the Blackface incident but removed the post about an hour later and subsequently removed the school’s Facebook account entirely.

“To all who are offended, we sincerely apologize for what happened with one of our classroom activities: black face,” the school originally wrote on Facebook. “Our intention was to celebrate Black History Month. Unfortunately we didn’t do enough research on black history and carried out a wrong activity. We are sorry about it and we mean it!”

The photos also included children planking in rows. This and the popular 2011 trend by the same name mirror the way slaves were often transported on slave ships.

“Planking was a way to transport slaves on ships during the slave trade, its [sic] not funny,” Xzibit tweeted, according to the Washington Post. “Educate yourselves.”

But the National Museum of African American History and Culture told CNN that’s not an excuse.

“Minstrelsy, comedic performances of ‘blackness’ by whites in exaggerated costumes and makeup, cannot be separated fully from the racial derision and stereotyping at its core,” it said.

“I hope this is a lesson for all daycare centers,” she said. “Do your research. Ask people in your community, reach out to the parents.”

From the BBC, a successful graduate of this Montessori school:

Speaking of following Science, the current personification of Science is from Newton, MA: Rochelle Walensky.

Related:

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Plural versus possessive at Harvard

In Teaching Information Security there was a discussion of the fact that young people at a Florida state system university rejected the distinction between plural and possessive. A friend sent me the following:

Trying to wrap my head around my MBB offer

My first two years at Harvard, I was really focused on getting a good offer once I graduated. I think Harvard really acculturated me to the idea that one of those offers is one of the big goals of undergrad.

This summer, I got a full time offer from one of the big three consulting firms, for way more money than I thought, around $140k in total comp.

When I read the offer letter, I felt deeply ambivalent. Obviously I am stoked, and really want to work at the firm. However, it feels weird to make many times more my friends who are graduating from great non-ivy’s and more than my parents, who both make six figures.

For those of you who have received similar offers, how do you feel about salary? And for those who have already graduated, how has your thinking evolved?

(For those who are more familiar with honest labor, “MBB” is for McKinsey, BCG, and Bain. Separately, doesn’t he/she/ze/they realize that $140k will soon be the price of a Diet Coke?)

Note the highlighted section above, in which the fresh Harvard graduate struggles to write “Ivies”.

From Hussain Altamimi, a young person bright enough to work as a legislative assistant for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic Party’s primary thought-leader (Fox):

Israel is a racist European ethnostate built on stolen land from it’s indigenous population!

(Can anyone think of a country besides Israel that was built on land stolen by Europeans from an indigenous population? Are the people in the country that you’re thinking of doing anything to restore the land to the rightful indigenous owners?)

Is it time for Joe Biden to outlaw the apostrophe and save us from ourselves?

Related:

  • “California Prison Academy: Better Than a Harvard Degree” (WSJ, 2011): Harvard grads can expect to earn $49,897 fresh out of college and $124,759 after 20 years. … As a California prison guard, you can make six figures in overtime and bonuses alone. … Over 120,000 people apply every year, according to the state Legislative Analyst’s Office, but the academy only enrolls about 900. That’s an acceptance rate of less than 1%. Harvard’s is 6.2%.
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School administrators comfort the afflicted

Everyone and his/her/zir/their brother/sister/binary-resister in fully-masked fully-vaccinated Massachusetts is testing positive for a deadly virus (but this in no way diminishes our faith in masks and vaccines). The exponential spread of the mask-blocked vaccine-neutralized plague in the masked-and-vaccinated school population leads to a rash of emails from schools informing parents that a child has been tarred with the “close contact” brush. Here’s an example from a middle school in Maskachusetts:

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

I am writing to inform you that we learned today that a student in 7th grade tested positive for Covid. Your child is considered a close contact. The date of the last exposure was January 12, 2022.

Close contacts will participate in the Test and Stay program with a daily test through Tuesday of next week. You will only be notified if your child tests positive during Test & Stay. As a reminder, students who are identified as close contacts who are participating in the district COVID Testing Program may stay in school as long as they are asymptomatic.

Close contacts are not permitted to attend after school activities. Please limit exposure outside of the home and monitor for symptoms.

A close contact at school is defined as someone who has been within 3 feet of distance of the positive individual while indoors, while wearing a mask, for at least fifteen minutes, within a 24 hour period.

We cannot provide specific information about the person who tested positive. School personnel are working with the family as they navigate this stressful experience.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me.

Respectfully,

[*** name elided ***]

Lincoln School, 5-8 Principal

The highlighted content is what fascinates me. Suppose that the family comprises typical Massachusetts residents, a.k.a., Followers of Science. In that case, they believe that they have been exposed to a virus that often has crippling and/or fatal consequences within households containing middle school-age kids. Who will comfort them as they shop for coffins and grave sites? “School personnel.”

My Facebook feed was packed with parents proud of youngsters who are refusing to attend in-person school. See “Students don’t want to learn in a ‘COVID petri dish.’ They’re walking out to prove their point.” (USA Today, 1/14):

Despite surging COVID-19 cases across the country, fueled by the highly-contagious omicron variant, Quinlan said many Boston schools have started to take precautions less seriously, often not enforcing masking or social distancing.

“We are the ones who have been in this environment every day. It’s our bodies that we’re putting at risk,” said Kayla Quinlan, a 16-year-old student activist at Boston Day and Evening Academy. “Students should have a say in what their learning environment looks like, but our voices are always left out.”

“It feels like a breeding ground for COVID, like a COVID petri dish,” she said. “How are you supposed to feel safe?”

See also “Students, seeing lax coronavirus protocols, walk out and call in sick to protest in-person classes” (Washington Post):

Thai Jones, a lecturer at Columbia University who studies radical social movements, said the rise of student activism amid the omicron threat reminds him of the youth movement for gun safety that sprang up after the 2018 mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school and of ongoing teen-led advocacy around climate change.

“What ties those movements together is these are all times when grown-ups have failed young people, where the politics of adults have really let down teenagers,” Jones said. “And so young people have decided to take matters into their own hands.”

(Old people have failed young people by not locking them down for another few years in order to protect old people from a virus that kills old people?)

Circling back to Facebook, each post celebrating the walkout was heavily “liked” and attracted supportive comments.

What’s happening in the Florida Free State, by contrast? We went to the Stuart Boat Show yesterday and found a fellow refugee from New England. Her summary of Massachusetts-based relatives’ current concerns: “Omicron is an anagram for ‘moronic’.”

Lest you think that everyone in Florida is ignorant regarding #Science-based methods of fighting a virus that attacks the obese, here’s a fully-masked Follower of Fauci ordering fried Oreos and a funnel cake:

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Transgender Awareness Week in our public schools

Today is the last day of Transgender Awareness Week: “a one-week celebration leading up to the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), which memorializes victims of transphobic violence.”

A friend’s kids attend public school in a high-income North Shore Boston suburb. They’ve been receiving daily instruction regarding Transgender Awareness in their respective elementary and middle schools. One of the assignments is a take-home project. The middle school student is supposed to watch three school-selected videos with a parent or a sibling and then return to the (math) teacher with a report on his/her/zir/their reactions to the videos. The teacher can thus build up a file on how parents reacted to the following officially-chosen videos:

What about here in Florida? The Palm Beach County Public Schools:

2SLGBTQQIA+ has nothing to do with either religion or sex:

(Separately, in a defeat for #Science and despite having hired Elizabeth Holmes’s former law firm (David Boies was on her board and, according to Bad Blood, he and the firm were principal enablers of keeping the fraud quiet), Palm Beach County lost its legal dispute with the #Science-hating governor. Students are mask-free as of November 8 (but the library still requires masks).)

Readers: How did you celebrate?

Young Fiona can now breathe at school! Here she is talking to the Palm Beach County Covidcrats:

Related:

  • Regarding the Palm Beach County Schools asserting that tolerance/celebration of 2SLGBTQQIA+ is “not in conflict with any religious beliefs” (maybe they meant that it is not in conflict with their own religious beliefs, e.g., in Rainbow Flagism?)… “Can Islam Accommodate Homosexual Acts? Meditations on the Past Two Years” (Maydan): … nor has anyone argued that the canonical texts of Islam support anything other than specifically delineated sexual relationships that are all necessarily male-female. … Affirming the Quran as divine speech while concurrently accepting its alleged erroneousness on a subject so vital to the human experience in the modern world presents an untenable proposition for revisionist actors. In order to resolve tensions arising from these incompatible affirmations, it is the Quranic message that is overwritten in the name of sexual liberty. A Faustian bargain of epic proportions, the logical outcome of such a negotiation is a minimalist faith with no reference to the Quran as God’s inerrant word or the prophetic practice as representing the archetype of how to faithfully live that word. … It would seem we now have a workable sexual ethic that can be brought into conversation with Islamic sexual norms to then assert the licitness of same-sex relationships. However, the ethical and moral program upheld by Islam (which is, of course, the subject at hand) has never viewed consent as the sole criteria for sexual acts, and much that can be enacted consensually is indisputably prohibited. Zinā (fornication and adultery), for instance, is prohibited explicitly in the Quran irrespective of consent. Likewise with physical intimacy short of intercourse and seclusion between two marriageable persons (khalwa). Indeed, the elective agreement of two participating parties hardly counts when determining what is lawful and unlawful sexually in the Sharīʿa.
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