Friday, September 11, 2020

De Blasio Suggests Our Lives Don't Matter.

In a summer full of spectacular incompetence and total lack of planning, it's harder and harder for things to stand out, but this suggestion  is really rather startling:

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that there is no real plan to disclose positive tests because students are not back in school yet.

Wow.  We have 16 positive cases we know of, and there was no plan to let us know about them. It's not important. It's not relevant. Think about that.

In Bill de Blasio's plan, 16 positive cases at square one ought not even to be considered moving forward. I can only suppose the mayor would just as soon have us not know about them. Lack of knowledge is power, perhaps.

I'm always put off by the argument of, "Children first, always," that the DOE used to use as a motto. It always suggested, "We don't give a crap about teachers or working people," to me. That was a flawed motto because the very children we place first would, we very much hoped, grow up to be adults. But de Blasio seems to have taken this statement and added steroids or something.

The fact is we are a substantial sample of the school population, and if the students outnumber us by a factor of about ten to one, you could assume ten times as many cases with students in the buildings. You know, they are human and we are human, even though word may not have reached the mayor. This poses a problem in that humans meeting humans in school buildings did not work well last March. 

How sure is the mayor the virus will spread?

"Of course there will be days where you find a case in a classroom and classroom will have to be shut down, sometimes a school will have to be shut down," he said. "But it’s a temporary reality."

From what I can tell, he's absolutely sure. And he appears to have no problem whatsoever with it. I don't know who's advising the mayor, or whether he listens to his advisors, but I get three messages loud and clear here:

1. It doesn't matter who gets COVID before students are in attendance,

2. No one needs to find out about it, and

3. The mayor is okay with its spread once they arrive.

In the mayor's defense, at least he doesn't bother lying about it. This notwithstanding, it doesn't make him precisely the working class hero he'd like us to think he is. Consider this--if we know of 16 cases, how many do we not know about?  I always wonder about these low percentages. I tested negative for COVID a few weeks ago, but the only reason I got tested was because I had a medical procedure and the doctor made me do it.

How many people are walking around asymptomatic and don't get tested? How many of them are our students? How many people just don't like to see doctors? How many people haven't got medical insurance and have a substantial incentive to avoid them?

The problem with the percentages de Blasio and Cuomo like to trot out is we have no real denominator unless we test everyone. It's good that we're moving in with a plan for aggressive testing, and that's the only reason we know what we know. Had we not pushed the mayor, we wouldn't have even that. De Blasio is all in on opening in ten days, but maybe he should listen to himself and reconsider. 

Also, while I'm not a political advisor or anything, maybe he should think twice before opening his mouth. I'm not at all persuaded he can get away with the sort of crap Donald Trump does.

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