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Thursday, September 2, 2021

If I needed any reminding, the severity of the Delta variant of Covid-19 was brought home to me again this week. The school system I retired from was ordered by the county department of health to close for two weeks because of a serious Coronavirus outbreak. Then a neighbor who lives "around the corner" (in country terms) from us died from the virus last week. He was a relatively young man still in the prime of his life.

Our family has been impacted by the virus as well. Our youngest son and much of his family had the virus early on before there were any vaccinations available. They all recovered, but his father-in-law was hospitalized with the virus for a week. After said son's family all were vaccinated, he recently had a mild breakthrough infection, although his wife and daughters did not contract the disease.

When I go out shopping, I find that I'm among the few old geezers still wearing a mask. That's despite our State Health Commissioner, Dr. Kris Box, "calling this late summer surge the 'darkest time in the pandemic'" this week.

I stirred up a hornet's nest a week or so ago on Facebook by sharing a link to Paul Krugman's excellent opinion piece on the New York Times, The Quiet Rage of the Responsible. He wrote:

That the return to more or less normal life and its pleasures many expected Covid vaccines to deliver could have happened in the United States. The reason it hasn’t — the reason we are instead still living in fear, with hospitals in much of the South nearing breaking point — is that not enough people have been vaccinated and not enough people are wearing masks. [my emphasis]

I'm going to stick with the comment I attached to the posting even if it irritates my friends, family, and readers.

Mask up, and get vaccinated if you haven't already.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I first saw this posting today on Mrs. Chili's non-education blog, The Blue Door. It appears to have originated on the Occupy Democrats Facebook page.

We seem to be engulfed in repeated acts of senseless violence in our country. There's nothing I can do about the horror in Boston yesterday, and I think many feel the impotent rage I feel at events such as the bombing at the Boston Marathon and the slaughter of innocent children in Newtown. But I can repost this image and the names of the cowardly, bought and paid for senators who opposed universal background checks for gun buyers today.

Shameless Senators

Alexander (R-TN) Enzi (R-WY) Murkowski (R-AK)
Ayotte (R-NH) Fischer (R-NE) Paul (R-KY)
Barrasso (R-WY) Flake (R-AZ) Portman (R-OH)
Baucus (D-MT) Graham (R-SC) Pryor (D-AR)
Begich (D-AK) Grassley (R-IA) Reid (D-NV) - changed vote from yes to no for procedural reasons only so he can file motion to reconsider
Blunt (R-MO) Hatch (R-UT)
Boozman (R-AR) Heitkamp (D-ND)
Burr (R-NC) Heller (R-NV) Risch (R-ID)
Chambliss (R-GA) Hoeven (R-ND) Roberts (R-KS)
Coats (R-IN) Inhofe (R-OK) Rubio (R-FL)
Coburn (R-OK) Isakson (R-GA) Scott (R-SC)
Cochran (R-MS) Johanns (R-NE) Sessions (R-AL)
Corker (R-TN) Johnson (R-WI) Shelby (R-AL)
Cornyn (R-TX) Lee (R-UT) Thune (R-SD)
Crapo (R-ID) McConnell (R-KY) Vitter (R-LA)
Cruz (R-TX) Moran (R-KS) Wicker (R-MS)

I wrote our Senator Coats about this issue some months ago. He declined to even respond.

Shameless.

Friday, December 14, 2012

As an educator and even more as a parent and grandparent, I grieve this evening for the families ravaged by evil today at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Parents who sent their children to school this morning for them never to return home, grandparents, siblings, friends, classmates, teachers and other staff members, first responders and government officials who witnessed the aftermath are enduring a horror tonight beyond belief and comprehension. For those closest to the victims, the horror at some level will probably continue for a lifetime.

Understanding for now escapes us. Thankfully, our President, speaking on national TV, led by example in openly grieving what is a loss for our whole nation as tears stung his eyes and emotion choked his words.

How could this happen and why? Why, God, why? Such events shake us to the core of our being and beliefs.

When I used to supervise student teachers, I always found myself telling them sometime during their student teaching experience that our first and most important job was to return our students safely home to their parents each day. How we failed in that task today!

For those still in the classroom, Valerie Strauss reran her excellent posting from a year ago, How to talk to children about violence against children.

For those of us now out of the classroom and far away from the scene of the tragedy, we can only continue to support those touched by the horror in our continued prayers.


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©2013 Steven L. Wood