WTF: August 19, 2020

bak 2 skül or nah?

As parents across the country grapple with the very real concerns about sending their warring little assholes precious children back to school, even the most well read and smartest among us don't have a clear sense of what is the right thing to do. As we struggle to decide, I imagine many of us look wistfully at the certainty afforded by belligerent ignorance. Alas, we are not so lucky. Those among us who were looking at college reopening plans in horror are largely vindicated right now as the University of North Carolina (30,000 students), Notre Dame (12,600) and Michigan State University (50,000) have all had to reverse course within weeks or days of reopening. Why is this? Well as a Google epidemiologist, former college student, and general person, I can tell you that I don't believe the classes were ever going to be the root problem. The problem exists in the dorms, the cafeterias, the bars and the blind pigs. I have always counseled my recalictrant cohabiting ingrates lovely darlings that the world is a buffet and they should try a number of dishes before loading their plates with just one -- which is usually solid advice heading off to college, a Mecca of red solo cups, indiscriminate snogging and, oh yeah, some classes too. So many of these college reopening plans were destined to fail from the start, I am starting to question the wisdom of those running our vaunted higher education system. How could they not have seen this coming? Are we really cool with killing a few students just to cash their tuition checks?

Daily Tarheel: Editorial: We all saw this coming

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The Daily Tar Heel isn't holding back this morning. pic.twitter.com/BZmuhAvMQD

The Nation: There Are Literally No Good Options For Educating Our Kids This Fall

We are now embroiled in a critical debate about sending our kids back to school, and we have left ourselves nothing but bad options. If we send them to school, they might get sick or might get others sick. If we keep them home, we won’t be able to go to work and we might stunt their educational growth. If we do a “blended learning” approach and send them to school some days but keep them home other days, our children might get sick and they might be stunted. Besides, there aren’t many parents who can hold down a full-time job that they show up for only two-and-a-half days a week.

It didn’t have to be this way. If we had successfully done the work of stopping the spread of the virus, as has been done in other countries, we wouldn’t have to pick which poison to expose our kids to. If we had committed to testing so as to track the spread of the virus, instead of not testing so as to manage Donald Trump’s asinine fear that testing causes cases, we might know which school districts could safely reopen. If we had leaders who cared about the health of our people nearly as much as they care about the health of their stock portfolios, we would be able to protect teachers instead of asking them to risk their lives.

The Atlantic: Colleges Are Getting Ready to Blame Their Students

Students will get infected, and universities will rebuke them for it; campuses will close, and students will be blamed for it. Relying on the self-control of young adults, rather than deploying the public-health infrastructure needed to control a disease that spreads easily among people who live, eat, study, and socialize together, is not a safe reopening strategy—and yelling at students for their dangerous behavior won’t help either...

The increasing number of coronavirus cases among young adults, with outbreaks tied to bars and house parties, has shaped what has become a common narrative about the coronavirus pandemic: Careless 20-somethings are ruining life for the rest of us. Deborah Birx, the government’s coronavirus-response coordinator, said earlier this month that officials were surprised by the increase in infections among people ages 18 to 35 after they had been “so good and so disciplined through March and April.” According to Birx, when young people saw photos on social media of their friends having a good time, “they all went out and about.” As the federal government spectacularly fails to contain the virus, young partygoers have become the latest scapegoat for America’s pandemic woes.

Emphasis mine. Let us not forget why we are in the situation we are in: an incompetent administration immune to reality, full of enablers, grifters, racists and liars. And also of the party that insisted upon abstinence only sex education, which, it should be noted, doesn't work.

Journal of Adolescent Health: Abstinence Only Until Marriage

In many U.S. communities, there have been declines in the provision of formal sex education (i.e., delivered by schools, churches, and other trusted social institutions) in the last decade, leaving young people without the critical health information they need. Increased funding for AOUM or sexual risk avoidance approaches would further restrict young people's access to the education they need to stay safe and healthy. In both domestic and global contexts, AOUM has not resulted in delays in sexual intercourse or the adoption of more protective sexual behaviors. The emphasis on AOUM approaches has harmed other public health efforts, such as family planning programs and HIV prevention efforts, domestically and globally. Governments in the United States and elsewhere should support medically accurate, evidence-based, and scientifically justified approaches to sexuality education for young people. AOUM as a basis for health policy and programs should be abandoned.

Maybe the 80s -- moralizing millionaire Evangelists demanding puritan behavior from all but themselves and the glorification of the fictional Gordon Gecko and the myth of "The Donald" -- set us up for the massive public health failure we are witnessing in the American response to covid-19. But hey, the slock rocket stock market is hitting records, so I guess everything is just fine.

So go ahead and send them kids back to school. Apparently the Republicans want college sports, so you know, we'll have to sacrifice some students, just probably not theirs.

What else we're reading...

The Atlantic: What We've Stolen from our Kids

School, for some kids, is a basic, important place: It is their source of food, or where no adult hits them, or where they find reliable heat in the winter.

But even for children whose needs are less physical, school is often their entire external world. It is a place where their relationships are not dependent on their parents, where they try and fail and then try and succeed. School is where they make friends and mortal enemies and friends again. School is where my children are not my daughter or son; they are themselves, figuring out who that is every day.

'We've got to do better than this': College students raise alarm by packing bars, avoiding masks

Music blared outside a row of off-campus houses on Saturday near the University of North Georgia as hundreds of students packed the streets and front yards. Virtually no one wore a mask.

"This is exactly what we've been warning about": Why some school reopenings have backfired

Many schools across the US gambled on offering in-person classes in early August, even as their states were still battling uncontrolled spread of Covid-19. In some of those schools, it hasn't gone well. In Georgia's Cherokee County School District, for example, there have been at least 80 positive cases since August 3, and more than 1,100 students, teachers, and staff have had to quarantine.

COVID-19 will hit colleges when students arrive for fall semester. So why open at all? Money is a factor.

Colleges that are reopening campuses this fall know they're bringing a higher risk of coronavirus to their community. The questions aren't really about if or when, but about how bad outbreaks could be - and whether having an in-person experience for students is worth the cost.

Heartbreak, confusion, anger: The harsh reality for many college football players

5:31 PM ET Andrea AdelsonESPN Senior Writer Close ACC reporter. Joined ESPN.com in 2010. Graduate of the University of Florida. The days run together now, one bleeding into the next and into the next, making it impossible to remember much of anything. The important details, those stick.

Listen to Jemele Hill.

COVID-19 exposes cracks in college football system Hill says

The coronavirus pandemic is forcing college football administrators to address player treatment, as the debate rages over whether college athletes should play during the pandemic, and whether these unpaid student athletes are being treated more like employees in some cases. Sports journalist Jemele Hill joins Tiffany Cross to discuss.

1 in 4 young people are reporting suicidal thoughts. Here's how to help

Large numbers of young people, particularly Black or Hispanic, are reporting suicidal ideation, depression and anxiety during the pandemic. Psychologists urge them to seek counseling or to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

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