Lockdown: Letting our teachers die

I felt better when I got out of bed Wednesday. Not completely back, but that lack of energy was gone, so I put in a fairly honest day’s work.

I had a phone meeting with my supervisor about the stories I’m working on. One’s going to be pretty easy, assembled from pieces of stuff already published. The other’s going to take a bit of legwork, possibly a phone call or two. So I worked a bit on that, then did some editing to an appeal letter sent by a coworker in a department I don’t get to work with very much, someone I see maybe once a year. It was nice to do a thing for them.

Breakfast was late again — around noon. I did a quick stir-fry of bean sprouts, watercress, and won bok. Set that aside then did a lazy fried rice — just hapa rice, salt, and pepper fried in olive oil, then two eggs cracked over it and scrambled in. It went great with the veggies and was a rather pleasing meal. Reminded me of college.

Lunch at around 6:00 was just a small dish of potato salad. I wasn’t too hungry.

I’m having my dinner now at the laundry — a Big Mac combo.

The news continues to be depressing. The governor of Georgia decreed that any local law mandating the use of face masks in that state was void. So the Atlanta mayor’s own decree requiring masks is invalid now.

I’ve got a very Republican friend who sometimes reads this space. I disagree with him on almost every issue, which is weird because I’m a conservative (libertarian, remember?) and we can’t seem to find a lot of common ground. When Barack Obama was elected president, he said this country would “go to Hell in a handbasket” under his presidency.

I think a lot of conservatives might agree this actually happened, although I think their argument is weak. However, I think it’s difficult to argue against our going to Hell right now in a vessel quite a bit larger than a handbasket. Tens of thousands of people each day are catching this disease because Republican leadership in certain parts of the country, egged on by the president, are spitting in the face of science in the name of personal liberty. And that’s giving them the benefit of the doubt. A less charitable interpretation would be that in order to appease the president and his base, they are willing to let people die.

It just makes me want to scream.

A friend of mine has a friend who teaches in that Orange Country school district in the news this week. She sent me a quote from a letter the school board sent to teachers blatantly refusing to allow social distancing or face masks in classrooms. I wouldn’t publish this because it’s a reliable source (my friend)’s reliable source, so I’m allowing that it might not be totally true. Still, the audacity is infuriating.

Meanwhile Californians continue to die.

As should be obvious, a great number of my friends is in education in Hawaii. One of them who teaches at a prominent independent school says that as of now, with a month to go before classes resume, the plan is to conduct school in person.

My question is how prepared is the school for the preventable death of one of its teachers? I mean, forget students who would be horrible enough to lose to this thing, but one of its employees forced to come to work at a time when this disease isn’t remotely under control and whose numbers continue to climb? That’s negligence at best. It’s malicious apathy at worst.

Another friend who works in an office downtown was recently told to come back into the office for work. Now someone in the office has a housemate who tested positive. The coworker hasn’t yet been tested, and the office hasn’t been closed. She’s opting for working at home, though. Thank goodness.

I recognize and accept that I’m typing this from a position of almost extreme privilege, but come on. This dedicated libertarian (lower-case L) thinks the government exists for a few very specific reasons, but the health and safety of the citizenry is probably the top of the list. Whatever it costs us to keep people safe at home, even if it’s cash handouts and eviction moratoria, it’s a justifiable cost. It’s a freaking mandated cost, mandated by the very nature of democratic (lower-case D) government.

I just took a moment from writing this to see if Netflix has either Gaslight film on DVD. It has the original 1940 version, but not the 1944 version with Ingrid Bergman. Amazon has the 1944 film for rent (cheap) and UH Manoa has it for loan (free because of my employer’s association with the university). I might prefer to spend the $4 to watch it on Prime than to drive to campus during library hours and pick it up.

I actually got myself to bed at 9:00 and to sleep probably within fifteen minutes. Got up at 2:15 and I feel tireder than on most laundry mornings when I get much less sleep. I’m thinking I may not be fully recovered from whatever yuckiness that was on Tuesday. My tiredness may also be related to my really not wanting to come in today to do this. I finally got going because I don’t want to deal with crowds at the beach Friday or during the weekend, but I just realized today’s the last day of the jellyfish influx so dang. There went that plan.

It’s okay. I think I need sleep more, and this will give me a few more hours before work.

Connections were interesting Wednesday. Sylvia sent me a photo of an antique reading chair from the 18th century. It has a swing-arm book stand coming out of one arm and another swing-arm candlestick holder coming out of the other. Brilliant. Chair looks pretty comfy too. The backrest doesn’t abut just the rear side of the chair, like most chairs today. It wraps around the corner, so it abuts two sides, leaving the opposite corner to go between your legs, one leg on each side of the corner. I don’t know why chairs aren’t build like this anyway. I find most chairs horribly uncomfortable, but this looks like it would work. I wonder if it’s to avoid having women sit in what some would consider an indelicate position. Pssh. If I had this thing I’d convert that candlestick holder to a drink holder.

Someone in the engineering group text sent a link to an article about a squirrel testing positive for bubonic plague.

Sharon and I traded more thoughts on Bloody Wednesday and our departed coworkers. Yeah, we’re all still dealing with it.

The writing partner sent me a progress report on her newfound verve in rewriting her novel. I said I would probably have time this morning at the laundry to take a look at it, which I will do as soon as I post this.

Crush Girl and I traded some thoughts on her dinner plans this week. It’s related to our earlier conversation when she asked me if I’d ever dined at a couple of restaurants she named. I had.

Laptop’s about to run out of juice. It was at 100% when I started this an hour or so ago and now it’s down to 38%. I really need to replace the battery.

Let me know (in comments below) if you’re looking to connect. I’m here for texts, DMs, and IMs if you want to reach out.

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