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The Liberals Who Can’t Quit Lockdown

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  • The Liberals Who Can’t Quit Lockdown

    Great article. Shows many liberals ignore science when it doesn't fit their political worldview:

    Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/05/liberals-covid-19-science-denial-lockdown/618780/



    Last year, when the pandemic was raging and scientists and public-health officials were still trying to understand how the virus spread, extreme care was warranted. People all over the country made enormous sacrifices—rescheduling weddings, missing funerals, canceling graduations, avoiding the family members they love—to protect others. Some conservatives refused to wear masks or stay home, because of skepticism about the severity of the disease or a refusal to give up their freedoms. But this is a different story, about progressives who stressed the scientific evidence, and then veered away from it.

    For many progressives, extreme vigilance was in part about opposing Donald Trump. Some of this reaction was born of deeply felt frustration with how he handled the pandemic. It could also be knee-jerk. “If he said, ‘Keep schools open,’ then, well, we’re going to do everything in our power to keep schools closed,” Monica Gandhi, a professor of medicine at UC San Francisco, told me. Gandhi describes herself as “left of left,” but has alienated some of her ideological peers because she has advocated for policies such as reopening schools and establishing a clear timeline for the end of mask mandates. “We went the other way, in an extreme way, against Trump’s politicization,” Gandhi said. Geography and personality may have also contributed to progressives’ caution: Some of the most liberal parts of the country are places where the pandemic hit especially hard, and Hetherington found that the very liberal participants in his survey tended to be the most neurotic.

    The spring of 2021 is different from the spring of 2020, though. Scientists know a lot more about how COVID-19 spreads—and how it doesn’t. Public-health advice is shifting. But some progressives have not updated their behavior based on the new information. And in their eagerness to protect themselves and others, they may be underestimating other costs. Being extra careful about COVID-19 is (mostly) harmless when it’s limited to wiping down your groceries with Lysol wipes and wearing a mask in places where you’re unlikely to spread the coronavirus, such as on a hiking trail. But vigilance can have unintended consequences when it imposes on other people’s lives. Even as scientific knowledge of COVID-19 has increased, some progressives have continued to embrace policies and behaviors that aren’t supported by evidence, such as banning access to playgrounds, closing beaches, and refusing to reopen schools for in-person learning.

    “Those who are vaccinated on the left seem to think overcaution now is the way to go, which is making people on the right question the effectiveness of the vaccines,” Gandhi told me. Public figures and policy makers who try to dictate others’ behavior without any scientific justification for doing so erode trust in public health and make people less willing to take useful precautions. The marginal gains of staying shut down might not justify the potential backlash.

    Even as the very effective covid-19 vaccines have become widely accessible, many progressives continue to listen to voices preaching caution over relaxation. Anthony Fauci recently said he wouldn’t travel or eat at restaurants even though he’s fully vaccinated, despite CDC guidance that these activities can be safe for vaccinated people who take precautions. California Governor Gavin Newsom refused in April to guarantee that the state’s schools would fully reopen in the fall, even though studies have demonstrated for months that modified in-person instruction is safe. Leaders in Brookline, Massachusetts, decided this week to keep a local outdoor mask mandate in place, even though the CDC recently relaxed its guidance for outdoor mask use. And scolding is still a popular pastime. “At least in San Francisco, a lot of people are glaring at each other if they don’t wear masks outside,” Gandhi said, even though the risk of outdoor transmission is very low.

    ...

    Progressive politics focuses on fighting against everyday disasters, such as climate change and poverty, struggles that may shape how some people see the pandemic. “If you’re deeply concerned that the real disaster that’s happening here is that the social contract has been broken and the vulnerable in society are once again being kicked while they’re down, then you’re going to be hypersensitive to every detail, to every headline, to every infection rate,” Scott Knowles, a professor at the South Korean university KAIST who studies the history of disasters, told me. Some progressives believe that the pandemic has created an opening for ambitious policy proposals. “Among progressive political leaders around here, there’s a lot of talk around: We’re not going back to normal, because normal wasn’t good enough,” Goldstein said.

    In practice, though, progressives don’t always agree on what prudent policy looks like. Consider the experience of Somerville, Massachusetts, the kind of community where residents proudly display rainbow yard signs declaring in this house … we believe science is real. In the 2016 Democratic primary, 57 percent of voters there supported Bernie Sanders, and this year the Democratic Socialists of America have a shot at taking over the city council. As towns around Somerville began going back to in-person school in the fall, Mayor Joseph Curtatone and other Somerville leaders delayed a return to in-person learning. A group of moms—including scientists, pediatricians, and doctors treating COVID-19 patients—began to feel frustrated that Somerville schools weren’t welcoming back students. They considered themselves progressive and believed that they understood teachers’ worries about getting sick. But they saw the city’s proposed safety measures as nonsensical and unscientific—a sort of hygiene theater that prioritized the appearance of protection over getting kids back to their classrooms.

    With Somerville kids still at home, contractors conducted in-depth assessments of the city’s school buildings, leading to proposals that included extensive HVAC-system overhauls and the installation of UV-sterilization units and even automatic toilet flushers—renovations with a proposed budget of $7.5 million. The mayor told me that supply-chain delays and protracted negotiations with the local teachers’ union slowed the reopening process. “No one wanted to get kids back to school more than me … It’s people needing to feel safe,” he said. “We want to make sure that we’re eliminating any risk of transmission from person to person in schools and carrying that risk over to the community.”

    Months slipped by, and evidence mounted that schools could reopen safely. In Somerville, a local leader appeared to describe parents who wanted a faster return to in-person instruction as “f***ing white parents” in a virtual public meeting; a community member accused the group of mothers advocating for schools to reopen of being motivated by white supremacy. “I spent four years fighting Trump because he was so anti-science,” Daniele Lantagne, a Somerville mom and engineering professor who works to promote equitable access to clean water and sanitation during disease outbreaks, told me. “I spent the last year fighting people who I normally would agree with … desperately trying to inject science into school reopening, and completely failed.”

    In March, Erika Uyterhoeven, the democratic-socialist state representative for Somerville, compared the plight of teachers to that of Amazon workers and meatpackers, and described the return to in-person classes as part of a “push in a neoliberal society to ensure, over and above the well-being of educators, that our kids are getting a competitive education compared to other suburban schools.” (She later asked the socialist blog that ran her comments to remove that quote, because so many parents found her statements offensive.) In Somerville, “everyone wants to be actively anti-racist. Everyone believes Black lives matter. Everyone wants the Green New Deal,” Elizabeth Pinsky, a child psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital, told me. “No one wants to talk about … how to actually get kindergartners onto the carpet of their teachers.” Most elementary and middle schoolers in Somerville finally started back in person this spring, with some of the proposed building renovations in place. Somerville hasn’t yet announced when high schoolers will go back full-time, and Curtatone wouldn’t guarantee that schools will be open for in-person instruction in the fall.

    © Copyright Original Source


  • #2
    COVID is still claiming about 700 people per day in the US - the same as in last October, just before the start of the resurgence that led to deaths of 3,000 per day. The vaccination program isn't complete. Caution seems merited.
    Jorge: Functional Complex Information is INFORMATION that is complex and functional.

    mikewhitney: What if the speed of light changed when light is passing through water? ... I have 3 semesters of college Physics.

    Mountain Man: First of all, the Bible is a fixed document.
    Mountain Man on covid-19: We're talking about an illness with a better than 99.9% rate of survival.

    Sparko: Even the deists like Jefferson believed in the Christian God, ...

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Roy View Post
      COVID is still claiming about 700 people per day in the US - the same as in last October, just before the start of the resurgence that led to deaths of 3,000 per day. The vaccination program isn't complete. Caution seems merited.
      We know more now than we did then. Shouldn't we follow the science on things like re-opening schools?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

        We know more now than we did then. Shouldn't we follow the science on things like re-opening schools?
        No - caution is merited --- therefore, a full blown lockdown and everybody stay home!
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Roy View Post
          COVID is still claiming about 700 people per day in the US - the same as in last October, just before the start of the resurgence that led to deaths of 3,000 per day. The vaccination program isn't complete. Caution seems merited.
          Children still carry it and are thus vulnerable and continue to provide vectors for mutation and spread, and we don't know exactly how long till they can get vaccinated. Breakthrough cases happen ( poeple still get sick even fully vaccinated, people still die even fully vaccinated - its just 1/10,000 instead of 1 or 2 in 100). 30% of eligable Americans are reluctant to get the vaccine, making herd immunity a goal we likely can't reach without forcing people to get vaccinated, which means the virus will still circulate, kill 1 to 2% of those unvaccinated poeple and continuing to have a capacity to mutate.

          India is completely out of control, with a population of over 1 billion, that is a sizable breeding ground for vaccine savvy mutants.

          I agree, there is indeed still ample reason for continued caution, even with the significant progress being made.

          Mockery is the argument of the mentally and/or emotionally challenged.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post

            Children still carry it and are thus vulnerable and continue to provide vectors for mutation and spread, and we don't know exactly how long till they can get vaccinated. Breakthrough cases happen ( poeple still get sick even fully vaccinated, people still die even fully vaccinated - its just 1/10,000 instead of 1 or 2 in 100). 30% of eligable Americans are reluctant to get the vaccine, making herd immunity a goal we likely can't reach without forcing people to get vaccinated, which means the virus will still circulate, kill 1 to 2% of those unvaccinated poeple and continuing to have a capacity to mutate.

            India is completely out of control, with a population of over 1 billion, that is a sizable breeding ground for vaccine savvy mutants.

            I agree, there is indeed still ample reason for continued caution, even with the significant progress being made.
            What about the fact that the science says it's safe to re-open schools?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

              We know more now than we did then. Shouldn't we follow the science on things like re-opening schools?
              As far as I can tell, people are following the science. Opening the schools will be a lot easier once we know the vaccines are safe for children. How safe schools are depends a lot on the schools ability to meet the 'safe' guidelines and the infection rate in whatever area they are in. My guess is we'll see most schools open in the fall - the teachers should all be vaccinated, even the teenagers perhaps, which just leaves the young ones. And if we give the right incintives (like - hey - you want your kid back in school this fall ???) maybe we can get some non-insignificant portion of the adults that are still reluctant to get the shot to change their minds.
              Mockery is the argument of the mentally and/or emotionally challenged.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post

                As far as I can tell, people are following the science. Opening the schools will be a lot easier once we know the vaccines are safe for children. How safe schools are depends a lot on the schools ability to meet the 'safe' guidelines and the infection rate in whatever area they are in. My guess is we'll see most schools open in the fall - the teachers should all be vaccinated, even the teenagers perhaps, which just leaves the young ones. And if we give the right incintives (like - hey - you want your kid back in school this fall ???) maybe we can get some non-insignificant portion of the adults that are still reluctant to get the shot to change their minds.
                Actually you are not. Science says it is safe to re-open schools. Not "It will be safe later"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                  What about the fact that the science says it's safe to re-open schools?
                  ?? what about it. You talking today or in the fall. In the fall - sure. Today, still too many people not vaccinated. If ALL teachers in a district are 2 shots in, and protocols are followed, those schools could reopen before the end of the school year (it is May already though)
                  Mockery is the argument of the mentally and/or emotionally challenged.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                    Actually you are not. Science says it is safe to re-open schools. Not "It will be safe later"
                    It is not "IT is safe", it is "it is safe IF ...".

                    https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/2021...-but-will-they

                    Source: above

                    The 35-page document makes clear the Biden administration’s position: “It is critical for schools to open as safely and as soon as possible, and remain open, to achieve the benefits of in-person learning and key support services,” the document’s executive summary says.

                    The agency says that it’s been shown that schools can reopen safely if they follow strict mitigation strategies,” whether or not teachers and staff have received the COVID-19 vaccine. But, the agency also urges states and local communities to prioritize educators for vaccines as soon as supplies allow it.

                    © Copyright Original Source




                    And it will be safer later: More people with two shots, even teenagers with two shots. Kids aren't normally hurt by covid, but they still get it and spread it. The situation is one that needs to be evaluated area by area. If the area is Low vaccination/high spread - not yet. If it's High vaccination/low spread - sure. Though at this point there are logistical issues to opening the doors when many school years will end within 2 - 3 weeks.

                    This is another risk/benefit scenario. And as Cuomo knows, you get that wrong, it can be a disaster.
                    Last edited by oxmixmudd; 05-07-2021, 01:22 PM.
                    Mockery is the argument of the mentally and/or emotionally challenged.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post

                      ?? what about it. You talking today or in the fall. In the fall - sure. Today, still too many people not vaccinated. If ALL teachers in a district are 2 shots in, and protocols are followed, those schools could reopen before the end of the school year (it is May already though)
                      https://www.chalkbeat.org/2021/2/12/...e-open-schools
                      Highly anticipated new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says schools don’t need to wait for staff to be vaccinated to reopen. Students should return full-time where spread is low or moderate, and with regular testing, the CDC says schools can open for some in-person instruction even when community spread is high.

                      Masks and other safety measures remain critical, the CDC and the U.S. Department of Education said Friday. But it’s important to get schools open wherever possible to limit the effects of the pandemic on students whose educations have been disrupted, officials said.

                      “This pandemic has led to increased absences, fewer learning opportunities for students, more kids going hungry and more social isolation,” said Donna Harris-Aikens, an education department official. “For these reasons and more, we need to get kids back in the classroom.”

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post

                        It is not "IT is safe", it is "it is safe IF ...".

                        https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/2021...-but-will-they

                        Source: above

                        The 35-page document makes clear the Biden administration’s position: “It is critical for schools to open as safely and as soon as possible, and remain open, to achieve the benefits of in-person learning and key support services,” the document’s executive summary says.

                        The agency says that it’s been shown that schools can reopen safely if they follow strict mitigation strategies,” whether or not teachers and staff have received the COVID-19 vaccine. But, the agency also urges states and local communities to prioritize educators for vaccines as soon as supplies allow it.

                        © Copyright Original Source




                        And it will be safer later: More people with two shots, even teenagers with two shots. Kids aren't normally hurt by covid, but they still get it and spread it. The situation is one that needs to be evaluated area by area. If the area is Low vaccination/high spread - not yet. If it's High vaccination/low spread - sure. Though at this point there are logistical issues to opening the doors when many school years will end within 2 - 3 weeks.
                        Besides. The article I posted (that obviously you haven't read) gives explicit examples of liberals ignoring science.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                          Besides. The article I posted (that obviously you haven't read) gives explicit examples of liberals ignoring science.
                          And how is it 'obvious I have not read it'? Because I don't necessarily buy into every opinion expressed within it? Because I don't think your interpretation of the CDC guidance on reopening schools is balancing the entire text of its recommendation? And what does 'explicit examples of liberals ignoring science' mean. I can give you examples of nearly any group you want to name ignoring science.
                          Last edited by oxmixmudd; 05-07-2021, 01:30 PM.
                          Mockery is the argument of the mentally and/or emotionally challenged.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post

                            And how is it 'obvious I have not read it'? Because I don't necessarily buy into every opinion expressed within it? Because I don't think your interpretation of the CDC guidance on reopening schools is balancing the entire text of its recommendation? And what does 'explicit examples of liberals ignoring science' mean. I can give you examples of nearly any group you want to name ignoring science.
                            Source: https://time.com/5954077/reopen-schools-blue-states/



                            More than a year into the pandemic, the majority of K-12 students in blue states are still not attending school in person full-time. The failure to resume the normal rhythm of schooling in historically progressive states amounts to the most significant failure of public policy in a generation.

                            What began as needed and understandable caution with the onset of COVID-19 has long since veered into the irresponsible. Democratic governors, leaders of the largest teachers’ unions and many local Democratic elected officials — a cadre that regales in the blood sport of attacking Trumpism for being anti-science — have consistently disregarded the overwhelming scientific evidence that opening full-time is doable and safe for most schools. For many left-leaning and moderate voters, such as myself — particularly those with school-age children — this has proven to be an unforgivable mistake considering the downside risks associated with closures.

                            We’ve witnessed lost instructional time, widening education disparities and the deterioration of students’ mental health. Less often discussed in this context is a record surge of gun violence nationwide, with youth violence afflicting cities like Philadelphia and St. Louis. The victims are predominantly young men of color. And while we can’t draw a direct line to closures, it is entirely likely that lost connections to institutions of community life have influenced a rise in violence throughout the country.

                            There are many reasons we’ve landed here, including a decentralized system of government and decision-making. But our Achilles’ heel has once again been a knee-jerk retrenchment to ideological and political fault lines, allowing public-health and education decisions to be sucked into the all-consuming vortex of partisan politics.

                            Safely reopening schools became a debate about Trumpism itself when it should have been about meeting in the messy middle to discuss solutions and their related trade-offs. When President Trump came out in favor of opening schools in July with his usual ham-handed, irresponsible rhetoric, the left adopted a simple heuristic: if Trump is for it, then we must be against it. And we never recovered: Even after Trump left office, progressive leaders nationwide continued to engage in tribalism and political combat rather than doing a clear-eyed analysis of their options. Despite an emerging body of scientific evidence, school boards and union leaders largely dug in on their positions, and with few exceptions, seemed to be fighting to win without any objective other than winning itself.

                            In Brookline and Somerville in Massachusetts, for example, it’s been well-chronicled how the goal posts have continuously moved, vividly illustrating that the forces opposing school reopening are ideological, lacking a solutions-oriented agenda. Plan A turns into Plan B; rinse and repeat. Parents, many of whom identify as liberals, are left befuddled and angry. Some, like those in New Jersey, have taken their frustrations to court. In Fairfax, Va., even after all willing teachers were vaccinated, the school board and union leadership have not yet committed to a fall reopening, at one point suggesting that reopening must be contingent upon all students being vaccinated (of course, no vaccine has been approved for children under 16).

                            A further significant roadblock to reopen schools can be tied to the public losing sight of the CDC and NIH’s role in the overall ecosystem of policy-making: federal agencies with a critical but narrow set of priorities that must be weighed against many others. Instead, we’ve assumed they speak the gospel. For instance, in late March, the CDC finally reduced the guidance of physical distancing between students from six feet, which essentially made reopening impossible for most schools, to three. Many argue this change came far too late, as evidence mounted for months in support of safely reopening at three feet. In fact, at the time of the CDC’s announcement, over 40% of schools across the country, mostly in red states, had been safely open since the fall.

                            In a sane and thriving society, sober leadership and informed citizens would use values-based judgment to weigh the recommendations of the CDC against the devastating social, emotional, academic and economic costs of closure. Public policy is about trade-offs, and federal, state and local political leaders have a responsibility to determine an optimal balance of complicated benefits and drawbacks in our decision-making. Instead, it’s become a manifestation of negative partisanship driven by a desire to deny a political win to our opponents. Both sides bask in their righteousness, holding steadfastly to an absolute position, whatever the downstream effect.

                            Our children — their mental health, their right to an education and their overall well-being — have been merely the cost of doing business. Collateral damage. A problem we’ll get back to later. Those of us who have seen children suffer know this is unacceptable. And countless educators, psychologists and pediatricians understand the mental-health impact to students, particularly lower-income students, will be long-lasting.

                            It didn’t have to be this way.

                            © Copyright Original Source

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ignorant Roy View Post
                              COVID is still claiming about 700 people per day in the US - the same as in last October, just before the start of the resurgence that led to deaths of 3,000 per day. The vaccination program isn't complete. Caution seems merited.
                              To put things in context, during the mildest flu season in the last eight years, there were 24 million cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and approximately 447,000 daily cases during its peak week. By comparison, we’re averaging 49,641 daily COVID cases. That same mild flu season resulted in 280,000 hospitalizations. By comparison, current COVID hospitalizations as of May 1 are 34,905.

                              Let me be clear: COVID is not the flu, and we should not downplay the risk among susceptible people. But for the millions of Americans who are immune and live where the cases are low, the public-health threat is now defanged and below seasonal-flu levels. Given the harm of social isolation, we need to abandon the goal of absolute risk elimination at all cost.

                              The case-fatality risk of COVID is also plummeting. That’s because a remarkable 83 percent of US seniors are now vaccinated and the virus has moved to younger, healthier people. For Americans under age 55, the case-fatality rate last month was approximately 6.5 per 10,000. Since we are now capturing as many as 1 in 4.5 infections with testing, the real-world case-fatality rate is 1 to 1.4 per 10,000, similar to influenza (1.3 per 10,000 in people under 50). And vaccines will likely provide at least some immunity against variants.

                              With far fewer susceptible people and a younger cohort, we’re dealing with a different risk level than even just a few months ago.

                              Despite this good news, Americans are being told variants and hesitancy will prevent “herd immunity.” Yet noticeably absent from their calculations is the contribution of natural immunity from prior infection or exposure. Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Rochelle Walensky simply don’t talk about the percent of Americans they estimate have natural immunity. That omission creates a perception that the race to 70 to 85 percent immunity is more desperate, resulting in a prolonged timeline, talk of vaccine mandates and an imperative that young kids get the shot.

                              https://nypost.com/2021/05/04/dont-b...eat-is-ending/
                              Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                              But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                              Than a fool in the eyes of God


                              From "Fools Gold" by Petra

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