Thursday, August 12, 2021

Delta

 Yesterday South Carolina hit a grim milestone: 10,000 people in this small state have lost their lives to Covid-19. It's hard to fathom the true cost in suffering of that number. Not just the physical suffering of the people who died, but the emotional cost to the loved ones left behind. 

It didn't have to be this way. But here we are.

Here's where we also are: the Delta variant is spreading like wildfire in South Carolina and our infection rate, hospitalizations, and death rates are skyrocketing. All while half the population (at least) act like nothing is happening and the pandemic is over. It actually was almost over at the beginning of the summer, but with the variant out there now and such a huge percentage of the population acting like it's their God-given right to go around unvaccinated and unmasked, we're as bad off now as we were back in February. Misinformation about vaccines is rampant here. A local doctor (a guy I went to high school with) said the number one reason his patients give for not getting vaccinated is that they feel it's not "loyal to the GOP". It's maddening that a virus that threatens our very lives has been turned into a political issue.

 Speaking of which, I'm beginning to wonder if governor McMaster (nicknamed, fittingly, "McDisaster") is trying to kill us all off. He's joined other Republican governors in the South in making it illegal to require masking in schools or to offer a virtual option this year. Yes, friends, you read that right. It's illegal and we'll lose our federal funding if we require students and staff to wear masks, and we're not allowed to have a virtual option this year, either. Several school districts in Texas and Florida (two states with governors almost worse than SC) are openly defying these laws and filing lawsuits. All while our schools are a hotbed of Covid transmission.

The students at my school will have been back for two weeks tomorrow. Several students and a couple of staff members have contracted Covid already, and as of early this morning we had over 50 students who have been sent home to quarantine for several days because of close contact with an infected classmate. The number was probably more like 70 by the end of the day. Our school nurse, Lisa, is being run ragged trying to keep up with the tsunami that's her workload this year. She has to document everything, explain the quarantine process to scared parents, finish reports for the county health department, in addition to the normal middle school nurse duties. Normal duties like the little girl that had an accident in gym class and broke her arm this afternoon. It's a giant mess. Pretty soon so many kids are going to be at home quarantining that I'm not sure how we're going to continue to have normal school days. It's that bad.

Needless to say, it's back to masking and being super careful for me. I worry about the kids too young to get vaccinated, and the ones who are eligible but whose parents won't do let them have it. And then there's the teachers and staff: one teacher at our school has Multiple Sclerosis and was taking a type of treatment for it back in the spring that meant she couldn't take the vaccine. She has a choice: come to work,  unvaccinated out of medical necessity, and risk her life with the highly contagious Delta variant that we KNOW is all around us, or stop working to protect herself and lose her career and income. 

What the hell kind of place do I live in to allow such a thing to be possible? 

46 comments:

  1. I believe more than half the country is in the mess because less than half the country addressed the original virus, and now have a mutation virus to deal with. We live in a state's rights nation, and, sadly, half the states are loyal to the GOP. And thus it will stay until minds are changed.

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    1. Everything you said here is spot on, Joanne.

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  2. I have the same problem with my state. Ron DeSantis is a horrible governor. I hope the school districts that are suing because they want mask mandates win their cases. I'm sorry things are so difficult at the school where you work.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Ron DeSantis is insane. I just can't think of any other excuse for his behavior!

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  3. Here in South Carolina, it's not the heat, it's the stupidity. and McDisaster proves that.

    When he said no to mask mandates and said people should use common sense and perisomal responsibility, I almost choked, because if we'd done that at the start of this mess we woudn't be in it today.

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    1. Amen! It didn't have to be this way.

      Stay safe out there, Bob.

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  4. WOW I am sure there are smart people everywhere but this , I am not sure, you may be the only one! shove that dude aside and take his place for the sake of all humanity!

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    1. We have plenty of smart people in SC, even plenty of smart people in leadership positions, but the Republican party has such a firm hold on this state that business interests always trump (trump! ha!) human interests.

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  5. And I heard a top medic saying recently that 'we are still closer to the beginning of the pandemic than we are to the end'. What a frightening thought.

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  6. It is scandalous that people feel they should not get vaccined because it would be "illoyal to the GOP". Sorry, but I have rarely heard such a rubbish argument in connection with a medical issue.
    The situation in your area is truly worrying, and it is good to know that you are not one of those people who walk around as if nothing was the matter. Here, numbers have steadily been rising fast, and we are expecting a fourth wave (I would say it has already begun) to hit us properly by autumn, when all the holiday makers come back and start flocking into their work places, shops and restaurants again. Earlier this week, new regulations have been put in place; masks are (still/once again) mandatory for all public indoor spaces, no matter whether a person is vaccinated or not.

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    1. " Sorry, but I have rarely heard such a rubbish argument in connection with a medical issue." That's because you don't live in the United States. We hear that kind of rubbish and much, much worse DAILY. I'm not sure when half of our population went off the rails. This stuff would have been inconceivable when I was growing up.

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  7. I relate so well to your words here. I wonder what the hell kind of place has our country become? It is beyond me to understand what politics have to do with a virus that is killing people. And these governors that make it illegal to require masks in school are just a nightmare. Missouri has a Republican governor that has from day one refused to require masks even in the worst parts of the pandemic. We are fortunate in our county that we have someone willing to work with the CDC and set a mask mandate for the county. But you should hear all the ridiculous complaining about it! The Delta variant is also running rampant here with hospitals filled to the breaking point. We have also passed the 10,000 mark for deaths here and now there are many children in the hospitals with serious cases of Covid.

    I feel so sorry for people like your friend that has MS. So many people are walking a tightrope with this virus. I am starting to feel like we are going into a very bad time with this and I wonder if it might be worse than last year because this Delta version is so much more contagious. Please be careful Jennifer, I worry about you working in a school with so much of it going around. I'm sorry you have to deal with it on your job. Sometimes I feel like all this is never going to go away, or not in my lifetime.

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    1. My friend with MS is a wonderful teacher, a good woman, and a real inspiration in how she copes with her disease. It's a slap in the face to her and others like her, how this crisis has been and is being handled. Disgraceful.

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  8. And the worst has yet to come. CDC thinks the fall and winter will be truly awful like we haven't seen yet, especially if a new variant of Delta comes along.

    I will never understand making it illegal to make masking mandatory. If a place makes mask wearing, then that place should be able to kick out non mask wears. If you don't want to wear one fine, then they can go off and meet death then.

    I m heading to Ptown, and my friend has already said every place is mask wearing indoors, and 85% of the places are wanting to see proof of vaccination upon entering, since they just had a huge rise in infection and death. We will for the most part being staying at his house and the beach beyond...more quite.

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    1. I'm truly afraid of a variant worse than Delta that the vaccine isn't effective against. And it's disgraceful that schools are such dangerous places right now.

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  9. I don’t understand what’s going on in the United States. And the masking bans are beyond ignorant.

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    1. The US has been circling the drain for years now. It's crazy as hell here.

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  10. I had to look up GOP! How ridiculous to think not having a vaccine to maybe save your life is being loyal to a political party!
    Here in UK masks are not demanded anymore ( I think...the rules get more and more confusing) but everyone in my local supermarket (and all the shops I have been in recently) still wears one.

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    1. Sorry you had to look up GOP! I forgot that lots of my readers don't live in the US. The doctor who made the comment about his patients being afraid of being disloyal to the Republican party is a Republican himself....and doing his best to encourage vaccination, so good for him.

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    2. I don't mind looking things up from my American friends! It all leads to greater understanding of the differences. I expect you are not always sure of things that we in UK say?

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    3. That's true, Frances! And I love learning about the differences!

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  12. No words aside from protect yourselves as best you can.

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    1. That's all we can do, Andrew.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

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  13. It is not compulsory here any longer but in my local supermarket almost everyone wears one and my Carer (I have poor mobility) who comes to help me shower and dress each morning, still wears full PPE

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    1. I'm glad to hear that your Carer is wearing the full PPE. Please stay safe, Weaver. You are far too beloved in blogland for anything to happen to you!

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  14. Home Depot has us masking again, all over the country. And Republicans really do not care about their own. Until one of them gets sick, it's always someone else's problem, and that means it's not concern of theirs.

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    1. I begin to wonder if Republicans are really so stupid that they're actually killing off their base? If so, talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face!

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  15. I'm shocked by the ignorance. It is as if a significant number of people have lost their minds, their ability to care about their fellow citizens, and their integrity. Or perhaps they never had these things (minds, ability to care, integrity).

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    1. It really is shocking and SO discouraging.

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  16. Same here in Florida, as you know. It is absolutely beyond belief.

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    1. We just heard on the news this morning the number of new Covid cases in Florida each day is over 20,000. Each day! It boggles the mind. And your governor is horrible...not that we have any room to talk. It makes me furious.

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  17. I think that was the US's first mistake. They never should have done away with the mask mandate in the first place.

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    1. We didn't have a national mask mandate, that was left up to individual states, businesses, etc. Our numbers were low enough at the beginning of the summer that taking off masks (if you were vaccinated) was safe. Now we're in trouble again.

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  18. I am sorry to hear this and hope you stay safe and healthy! We have people picketing because we do have a mask mandate in our schools. What is wrong with these people?

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    1. I don't understand it. I thought we had hit a low with the public's lack of compassion and empathy during the Trump years, but this pandemic has really shown peoples' true colors.

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  19. 'Merica! It's so frustrating the way vaccines, masking and Covid in general have been politicized. So counterproductive and pointless. The numbers in the UK have gone down, surprisingly -- because we're pretty much wide-open too -- but we'll see what happens when schools reconvene. Like you, I'm sure I'll be masking again this year.

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    1. 'Merica indeed! We could be putting this pandemic behind us, but the Covidiots are seeing to it that we simply can't.

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  20. Thanks for this clear portrait Jennifer. I shake my head in disbelief that Trump's dumb COVID tough guy philosophy persists. Suppressing the virus should have nothing to do with being a Republican or a Democrat. If people die because of McMaster's crass stupidity then he should face justice in a court of law but of course that will never happen.

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    1. Of course it will never happen. But I agree; McMaster should be held accountable for the way he's handled things. I'm sure some people have died because of him already.

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  21. Sounds like the virus situation in South Carolina is a shambles. Not getting vaccinated shows your loyalty to the GOP? Insane. Thank goodness vaccination hasn't become a political football in the UK.

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  22. I just can't understand their fucking thinking...Abbott De Santis, all the red state govs...they are killing off their voters...besides just the people they are supposed to take care of.

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  23. I don't understand this world at all. My grandmother used to say that all the time, and as a child, I thought, "That's how it is. You get older and more out of touch, and it makes leaving this world easier, because you no longer feel as if you belong to it." I thought of it as a kind thing, really. And here I am. 64 and I don't understand this world at all. It really is breaking my heart lately.

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