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COVID-19 Journal – 6

Wednesday, July 1: Two of 50 US states are showing decreases in COVID cases. The rest are steady or, increasingly, numbers are rising. The open-America chickens are coming home to roost. The southern states which opened early – FL, TX, AZ are showing significant case increases and are putting the brakes on reopening plans. Houston TX hospitals reached 100% capacity yesterday, and are starting to send patients to outlying counties. Locally, our bars and restaurants are full. Young party people are living the bulletproof life, for now. That behavior will only change when someone they know gets really sick, or the state returns to lockdown measures.

Thursday, July 2: No official word on school process for this fall. The state has more or less said they will be leaving it up to local districts. Our district polled parents asking a few simple questions about our comfort level and concerns about in-person schooling. We’ve spent some time looking at independent homeschooling (eligibility, process, requirements, etc). We talked with some coworkers who homeschooled. It’s attractive, and would require some planning and daily work. Continuing with remote work at our local school would, too. We’re still evaluating the pros and cons.

The schools are in a tough spot. Whatever they offer, half the families will hate it. If they require in-person school, COVID-concerned families will flip and pull their kids out. If they require remote learning, families who have to work outside the home and don’t have other support can’t make that work. If they offer both, teachers have to somehow make both in-person and remote education work concurrently.

In my opinion, any in-person schooling creates an unacceptable risk to teachers, staff, and students. Unfortunately, there are so many people demanding a return to school I don’t see how schools can avoid offering at least some version of that. The next few weeks will be interesting.

Tuesday, July 7: Joined a Facebook group of local parents who are not sending their kids back to in-person school this fall. Some good discussion and resource-sharing. COVID cases in the US are setting daily records and we are now as a nation we are worse off than we were in April. Mask wearing in public (with some exceptions) in seven Ohio counties, including ours, starting tomorrow. Basically, any progress made in the last 3 months has been erased. Some additional scientific confirmation from the WHO today that the virus has airborne spread, which is not a surprise to many. Also, official announcement from the US that it is leaving the WHO. (Because, of course we are.)