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Thread: The COVID-19 Discussion Thread (OTB)

  1. #391
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    The last time we went and ate at a restaurant was when we found out we were getting the house. We haven't even been getting takeout lately, because Graham's worried about the money.
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    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

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  2. #392
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    My biggest beef with the people that are adamant about not wearing masks is not about the masks themselves, but that these people also tend to ignore social distancing and thereby efficiently spread the virus.
    Conversely, hereabouts, we seem to have developed fairly frequent examples of the "Mask of Invulnerability" syndrome, which has started to break out in earnest now that face coverings are required in shops. People are wearing them in the street in the town centre (which is sensible enough if they're going into multiple shops), but I find I have to skip out of the way of many more mask-wearers than non-mask-wearers. There seems to be a real sense among some folk that wearing a mask means they've got a Get Out Of The Pandemic Free card.

    (I was recently having a discussion with some medical ex-colleagues about when and how and where we might get together again for a social evening, and we were amused to discover that all of us experience increased stress levels if we have to go anywhere where members of the public are wearing face coverings. The endless tugging and fiddling and general improper usage just wears on our nerves too much. I spent about three minutes in a bookshop last week, my first time in four months, before I had to flee the premises gibbering.)

    Grant Hutchison

  3. #393
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    Social distancing should preclude the use of cell phones. Nothing is more annoying than finding someone in the grocery store, standing in the middle of the aisle checking a text. Or dead stopping in an aisle to do the same.
    Solfe

  4. #394
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    A little insight into how automated data collection can go wrong: Why no-one can ever recover from COVID-19 in England.

    Grant Hutchison

  5. #395
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    The outbreak in the State of Victoria has continued to worsen. The city of Melbourne and surrounding areas have been locked down to what we call Stage 3 restrictions - no leaving your home except for work, food purchases, exercise in the immediate area or medical appointments. This has now caused it being initially the only state in Australia to recommend the wearing of masks and from next Thursday requiring the compulsory wearing them outside your home or being subjected to a fine. There does seem to be some signs of a plateauing of cases in the last few days. This is when it was hoped that the lockdown would begin to make a difference.

    The outbreak is more marked because it is so different to the rest of Australia. The neighboring state of NSW has had a rise in cases, mainly caused by travellers from Victoria, but it has yet to see more than 20 new cases a day in a population of 7 1/2 million. However, there is serious concern that it could get out of control.The rest of the states and territories, which have maintained at least some border closures have not had any community transmission for around 3 months and most of the internal restrictions have been rolled back. All state borders have now been virtually closed to people coming from or passing through Victoria.

    It appears certain that this outbreak was caused by 'private security guards' at a hotel in Melbourne holding quarantined overseas travellers being grossly negligent in their behavior. They then introduced the disease into the local population. Most other states use police or similar personnel to enforce the quarantine restrictions and have only had one or two small problems which have been quickly resolved.
    Last edited by ozduck; 2020-Jul-19 at 04:03 AM.

  6. #396
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post

    It appears certain that this outbreak was caused by 'private security guards' at a hotel in Melbourne holding quarantined overseas travellers being grossly negligent in their behavior. They then introduced the disease into the local population. Most other states use police or similar personnel to enforce the quarantine restrictions and have only had one or two small problems which have been quickly resolved.
    The term I saw elsewhere for the grossly negligent behavior was "boinking the guests".
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  7. #397
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    The term I saw elsewhere for the grossly negligent behavior was "boinking the guests".
    Yes, that is what was being reported. I was trying to maintain a bit of decorum.
    Last edited by ozduck; 2020-Jul-20 at 01:27 AM.

  8. #398
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    It's weird that we are seeing the uptick in Australia at the same time we are seeing an uptick in Japan as well. It may be that restrictions were lifted and, predictably, that the numbers started to rise, and now we will have to strengthen restrictions again.
    As above, so below

  9. #399
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    It's weird that we are seeing the uptick in Australia at the same time we are seeing an uptick in Japan as well. It may be that restrictions were lifted and, predictably, that the numbers started to rise, and now we will have to strengthen restrictions again.
    I think there is a lot of truth in that and have seen reports about the recent spike in Tokyo.

    It seems that only if the community is 'shielded' from the outside world does the lifting of restrictions proceed well. New Zealand has had little problems since their restrictions were lifted but their borders have remained severely controlled. In Australia the states that kept their borders closed or restricted have had no uptick in cases to date. There is a lot of national debate here about the pros or cons of eradication compared to control. The Federal Government doesn't believe that Covid-19 can be eradicated without severe community consequences and is aiming for a 'controlled' situation. Meanwhile some of the states think that eradication is achievable - if interstate borders remain restricted. It is pretty certain that our international borders will remain closed until well into 2021 at least.

    Another problem is that there are still large numbers of Australians overseas who are trying to get back here. This has put strains on the quarantine process and has now led to Australian states to begin to charge for the quarantine accommodation and also place tight restrictions on the number of passengers allowed on each flight. Victoria has not accepted incoming passengers for the last week or so. Anecdotally, a lot of the recent returnees have been resident in India which seemed initially to be travelling well but as that country's numbers have grown rapidly they are now trying to come back. The fact that most of the recent arrivals seem to have been from 'high risk' countries has made the quarantine process even more important. And if that process breaks down, as happened in Victoria, then huge spikes will happen.

  10. #400
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    A little insight into how automated data collection can go wrong: Why no-one can ever recover from COVID-19 in England.

    Grant Hutchison
    So one of the potential fatal outcomes of COVID-19 is being run over by a bus. That would be amusing if it weren't such a serious matter. Just goes to show it pays to have a look where data comes from and how it's used.

    It's a little like what I mentioned earlier in terms of data not representing what you might think it does (or should): the local state health authority here assigns positive cases to the person's place of residence no matter where they are when they are diagnosed. So a crowded tourist town's number will be artificially lowered by the number of out-of-towners who test positive.

  11. #401
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    This short article gives an idea of the process to cross the Western Australian border these days with a quarantine barrier in place. The navy personnel have no particular powers but are used as a highly trained and disciplined group to assist the police and health personnel. Most states use Army members for this function but in W.A we have very few of them and instead have the Australian Submarine base just south of Perth so they have been 'volunteered' by the Federal Government.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-07-...tions/12470984

  12. #402
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    Something that may be of interest and potential reassurance, from the Times (not sure how accessible it will be for others). Mark Woolhouse, an epidemiologist of some repute who serves on the UK's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, reports that:
    One thing we have learnt is that children are certainly, in the five to 15 brackets from school to early years, are minimally involved in the epidemiology of this virus. They are probably less susceptible and vanishingly unlikely to end up in hospital or to die from it. There is increasing evidence that they rarely transmit. For example, it is extremely difficult to find any instance anywhere in the world a single example of a child transmitting to a teacher in school. There may have been one in Australia but it is incredibly rare.
    (My bold)

    Grant Hutchison

  13. #403
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    That’s very interesting. It definitely could have implications about restarting school, a big issue currently. As for the newspaper access: I can see part of the article and that’s it. A subscription is needed. It doesn’t appear they give a few article per month or Covid-19 article allowance like some.

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  14. #404
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    The rest of the article gives Woolhouse's take on how much our understanding has evolved since March, which is when the UK closed schools. Even at that time, I recall the Chief Medical Officer saying that early evidence was that schools were not the hot-beds of Covid transmission we thought they might be, and there was a sense that schools might stay open while we closed offices, shops and universities. But schools closed because anxieties were high and the evidence wasn't robust. And now, of course, we have to deal with the anxieties associated with reopening, given that the original closures waved a big red flag apparently declaring schools "unsafe".

    Grant Hutchison

  15. #405
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    I've gotten the call to come back to the workspace, a school. They gave me the social distancing guidelines we have to follow and it leaves me perplexed. We can open the school, but we have to maintain social distancing, 6 feet for general staff, 12 feet for the teacher while teaching. All students must be at least 6 feet apart. Plus every adult gets PPE. I have 3 students that require hand-over-hand assistance for everything, including toileting and hand washing. I have one student that we are required to have at least one staff member within arms reach at all times in the classroom and holding hands outside of the classroom. I have two brand new students I have never met. We are awaiting further guidance for these situations, because these are directives in the IEPs and 504s which cannot be ignored.

    I'm just trying to find the zen to get through this.
    Solfe

  16. #406
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    Wow, that's a tough situation. It's really unfortunate that the whole school reopening thing has been so politicized. And even more so that the students most harmed by closures are the ones who need the most helped.

    Meanwhile, I learned last night that my cousin in Portland has had an inconclusive Covid test and has to be tested again. I've already had one cousin die of it.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  17. #407
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Wow, that's a tough situation. It's really unfortunate that the whole school reopening thing has been so politicized. And even more so that the students most harmed by closures are the ones who need the most helped.

    Meanwhile, I learned last night that my cousin in Portland has had an inconclusive Covid test and has to be tested again. I've already had one cousin die of it.
    Being that this is a special education situation, we got the go ahead to open about 6 weeks ago. The guidance at that time really didn't support reopening, so we went to online lessons. Now that we have guidance for the general education reopening, we're trying to figure out what will work and what won't. We still have until September to get this moving.

    On the positive side, my school has polled the staff to find out what we need. One of my suggestions allowed us to get to this point, which is nice to see. Being special edu, we have a strong aversion to putting cameras anywhere. I suggested that we set up a couple of work spaces as "TV studios" so staff can teach "remotely" from the school. This allows us to get the rooms ready in tiny groups, while teachers pop-out to do lessons online.

    I hope everything turns out ok with that test.
    Solfe

  18. #408
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    I had been planning to enter a test-tube eating contest while setting off fireworks on a scooter racing through a hospital, but maybe that's not the best idea.
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  19. #409
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    Of course, even if the kids can't easily transmit the disease to adults--or each other, which I'd also be worried about--there's the other adults in the school. You get one person in that school who doesn't believe the disease is real, and it can run through every faculty member in the place. I desperately want the schools to open if it's safe, but I don't want my kids' teacher to die--or my kids, if their teacher spreads it to them. Even if they can't spread it to me from that point. "Kids probably can't spread it to adults" only solves part of the transmission problem in a school, after all.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  20. #410
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    Well, this is not a COVID problem from my perspective. It more a case of having multiple systems in place that may or may not work well together.

    I have a student that has an aversion to other people covering their faces. Glasses, toy masks, even covering your face with your hands sets her off. Peek-a-boo can turn in to a rather violent game of slapping, biting and hair pulling. It a curious quirk that we have learned to avoid provoking. We honestly don't know what the root cause of this reaction is. Could be fear, could be a game. We don't really know.

    How does PPE fit into this? Not sure. At that point, COVID is not the main issue. I have the feeling this is going to involve a lot of paperwork, even from a positive behavioral data collection point of view. Lots and lots of paperwork.
    Last edited by Solfe; 2020-Jul-24 at 05:03 PM.
    Solfe

  21. #411
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    Transparent visors? Back in the day when I was involved in special-needs dentistry, they got our patients through a couple of similar problems.

    Grant Hutchison

  22. #412
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Of course, even if the kids can't easily transmit the disease to adults--or each other, which I'd also be worried about--there's the other adults in the school. You get one person in that school who doesn't believe the disease is real, and it can run through every faculty member in the place. I desperately want the schools to open if it's safe, but I don't want my kids' teacher to die--or my kids, if their teacher spreads it to them. Even if they can't spread it to me from that point. "Kids probably can't spread it to adults" only solves part of the transmission problem in a school, after all.
    Sure. Adult behaviour is an issue, and not unique to the school setting. There's also the potential for transmission among parents assembling at the school gates.
    But school children are known to be a real driving force in the spread of some epidemic respiratory diseases--for instance, influenza. So there was a real fear that putting children back in school would massively increase Covid transmission, just because of children being close together. The fact that children appear not to transmit Covid in the way they transmit influenza is actually a piece of extremely good news.

    Grant Hutchison

  23. #413
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Transparent visors? Back in the day when I was involved in special-needs dentistry, they got our patients through a couple of similar problems.

    Grant Hutchison
    Than is a "hard no". It's not a lack of materials, it just that we know what happens with those when introduced.

    I am thinking of making a daily activity where we make paper plate masks. Turn it into a game, avoid the discomfort and conflict. Name and date on the inside, a themed decoration on the outside. It's educational and fun while supporting the idea that other people's faces are not for touching.

    (Edit - for clarification, the paper plate mask activity has nothing to do with PPE, other than it is a fanciful way of changing your appearance. How students react to sudden changes in appearance is important. We have so many issues at Halloween time...)
    Last edited by Solfe; 2020-Jul-24 at 08:00 PM.
    Solfe

  24. #414
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Than is a "hard no". It's not a lack of materials, it just that we know what happens with those when introduced.
    You intrigue me.

    Grant Hutchison

  25. #415
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    You intrigue me.

    Grant Hutchison
    Speaking in the generic, not about any one of my students, we have several procedures which we can use to defuse violent situations. Virtually all violence steams from some sort of need not being met, a communication breakdown being first and foremost.

    Some of these incidents requires protective gear in response, such as bite guards, face shields for spitting, hats to prevent hair pulling and other things. We do have other methods. These are the staff physically restraining a student under a specific set of rules (not guidelines, if we deviate, we stop and file a incident report). When a student sees some of this stuff come out, they believe that violence is eminent and they react accordingly. If someone puts on bite guards, they get bit. If you put on a face shield, you get spit on.

    Obviously, you can't run a school like this on a daily basis, all of these procedures and gear are for the worst of the worst situations, which become less and less common as the student's comfort level rises. Sometimes, they don't happen at all. Once the student realizes that you would rather sit on the floor with them and wait for a behavior to end, rather than have some crazy intervention, they stop doing whatever it is. However, they remember. Grabbing the gear is provocation.

    In some cases, this can work to our advantage. We have giant blocking shields to prevent students from hitting us. They are ever present. If things are going in a direction where we might need one, we can pick one up and try to hand it to the student. Now they don't have their hands free to hit because they are holding a giant shield. Being hit with a shield doesn't do anything, they are padded. Theoretically, the staff should hold them, but if the student holding one stops something bad from happening, it's better. Sometimes the student will sit on the shield to prevent staff from picking them up. Since we don't want it back, it solves the immediate problem of hitting. Sometimes they lay down on them and pretend to sleep. Any of these activities are better than someone throwing a punch. It doesn't get work done, but it allows us to backup and talk through the situation. Usually, it was a communication issue.

    The faceshields are a notorious for provoking students to spit. It's gross, it's easy to do at a moment's notice. And it's memorable. Putting a faceshield on for one student will often cause another, well meaning, well behaved student to spit years after they have mastered a coping mechanism that is an alternative to spitting. The faceshield's purpose almost always draws the action, because it really does have only one purpose. To keep liquid off your face. They're just bad.

    To put some this in terms of the COVID situation, we are afraid of provoking our students with actions that have become common in society. Masks, gloves, faceshields, etc. could all be frightening to a student and could provoke something nasty. With "nasty" being defined as anything doesn't result in a child having a completely ordinary school experience. Virtually all COVID scenarios are a deviation of the "ordinary school experience", so I don't know where all of this is going.
    Solfe

  26. #416
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    You know what's "special" about "special ed"? You guys out there on the front lines doing the work to help those students live as normal a life as possible. Thank you for your service!

    Meanwhile, last night I dreamed that I had Covid, or was suspected of having it, or something; and was being cared for by my late mother despite her being extremely vulnerable to it. Not a fun dream.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  27. #417
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    I have this amazing staff member in my room that high lights some of the issues that COVID presents to special education situations. She correctly diagnosed that a student was using our techniques against us. This student would engage in self-injurious behavior to get staff to grab him in a hold. And then he would be fine for the rest of the day. One day, he got all fired up so she told him: "Come here and get a hug." He yelled out, "No!" but stopped what he was doing. He then spent the rest of the day walking up on staff and requesting a hug, which of course we did. After that, no more problems. Super simple.

    No one has provided guidance for these situations. Neither for physically restraining someone nor giving hugs. It's very stressful to have the overseeing agency tell us we have to have this training for physical restrains, while some other agency is telling us we have to socially distance ourselves. Ok... pick one, please. This directive should have been a higher priority over "reopen the school". I have a feeling all of this is going to be used against us at some point: "You didn't follow the contradictory instructions!"
    Solfe

  28. #418
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    The faceshields are a notorious for provoking students to spit. It's gross, it's easy to do at a moment's notice. And it's memorable. Putting a faceshield on for one student will often cause another, well meaning, well behaved student to spit years after they have mastered a coping mechanism that is an alternative to spitting. The faceshield's purpose almost always draws the action, because it really does have only one purpose. To keep liquid off your face. They're just bad.
    Well, not as bad as having someone spit in your eye while hosting unpleasant viruses (and I speak from personal experience).
    But it sounds like you have some significant managed change ahead of you, and not much guidance. Good luck.

    Grant Hutchison

  29. #419
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Well, not as bad as having someone spit in your eye while hosting unpleasant viruses (and I speak from personal experience).
    But it sounds like you have some significant managed change ahead of you, and not much guidance. Good luck.

    Grant Hutchison
    I think the difference between what you expect is different from what teachers expect. You are entering an area that is supposed to be clean and stay clean while we are just trying to read a book or eat lunch. By the time you get up, walk to the storage unit, put on the shield and return, the damage is done. If we started with the faceshield, it would be a disruption to the learning process and a possible vehicle for future problems. Plus it scares the staff and students when you dress up like an extra from a Mad Max movie.

    We are reviewing some updated materials today. We are dispensing with all fabrics unless they are dedicated to a single student. That seems ok, but now we can't have "center areas" defined by carpets, tent or such. That's kind of a pain because we were using colors and themes to symbolize activities and we can't do that now. We also can't have stuffed animals because we can't wash them everyday. One of the other things we didn't anticipate was the communication binders. There is no good way to sanitize them, so our alternative is to get series of webpages for the parents. That's very nice and should have been done a long time ago. We can still send one way communication notes home, such as a letter in an envelope.
    Solfe

  30. #420
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    The COVID-19 Discussion Thread (OTB)

    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    We are reviewing some updated materials today. We are dispensing with all fabrics unless they are dedicated to a single student. That seems ok, but now we can't have "center areas" defined by carpets, tent or such.
    I donít know if they would work for your purposes or budget but perhaps:

    Norsk Interlocking Floor Mat Tiles
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