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Cairycat

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Gender: Female
Current location: Iowa
Member since: Sat Jan 22, 2005, 08:08 PM
Number of posts: 1,384

Journal Archives

What is your school district doing?

I work in Food Service for the Cedar Falls schools. I am feeling very anxious about returning to work there, since I have a number of risk factors.
Here is what Cedar Falls is planning: in-person school, 5 days a week, unless a parent opts out I guess. Parents are to screen if their kid is sick. Mask wearing is required. More vigorous cleaning is required. As to food service particularly, no buffet-style salad bar; instead prepackaged fruits, vegetables, and salads. A staggered schedule for secondary lunch; buildings "may" add additional lunch periods; more cleaning between lines.

I'm all in favor of additional cleaning, but the person who would be doing that is going to another school, so I think I will be stuck with it, in addition to my other duties, which I barely have time for now.

I have another job and I could train to do additional work there. I make more at school but disliked the environment before.

Anyway, what's going on in the schools in your town? Or schools where students or staff you care about are attending/working?

Iowa House Democrats advised to get COVID-19 tests after session

https://www.bleedingheartland.com/2020/06/19/iowa-house-democrats-advised-to-get-covid-19-tests-after-session/

It seems that a Republican House member from Storm Lake (a hot spot for the virus) missed the last nine days of the session, but Iowa House majority leaders said there was no problem. Here is an exchange on the last night of the session that just ended. Whitver is Senate Majority Leader, R-Polk County.

Whitver replied, “I don’t know of anybody in the building that has exposure to coronavirus. There may be, but nobody has brought that to my attention over the last eleven days we’ve been here. So, any guidance from the Department of Public Health is if no one here has had it, there’s nothing to report.”

Mathis followed up: “Do you feel that leadership should find out for us?”

“Certainly, if there’s something to share with the body, we would share it, yeah,” Whitver said..

In the last exchange on the Senate floor before lawmakers went home for the year, Democratic State Senator Liz Mathis had some questions for the majority leader. “There has been a rumor about a House member leaving due to a family member having COVID,” Mathis said. (Multiple sources brought the same rumor to my attention last week.)

Mathis wondered whether Whitver could provide any information “that we should be hearing about someone in the building maybe having exposure.”


When the legislature came back into session, Republican House and Senate leaders issued protocols, including limiting the number of people on the floor and recommending wearing masks. Democratic leaders wanted stricter protocols. The Republicans flouted the less-strict protocols they had issued in many ways, most publicly by few wearing masks, whereas the Democrats wore them.

The article is well worth the read. Never let it be said that Republicans in the Iowa Legislature carry out their work honorably. Disgusting!

Newly sworn in Waterloo police chief at protest hours later

https://kwwl.com/2020/06/02/waterloo-police-chiefs-first-night-on-the-job-spent-at-protest-focuses-on-accountability/?fbclid=IwAR3bF1UVvQmoe5Lx11cLCerxTr-sjpDzggyWRxEBSggGXF6liHWhiOOMGCEW

The crowd often seemed receptive to his being there, many of them saying that no cop had ever interacted with them like this. Being the city's first African American to lead its police force, Fitzgerald tried to connect with those who said they'd been hurt by police.

It was an interesting night, though ...

At one point, a truck flying a white supremacist flag drove by the park, inciting protesters before speeding away. Fitzgerald was asked how he planned to deal with those kinds of issues.

Organizers informed the crowd that police had stopped the driver of that truck a few blocks away. While feelings and sentiments aren't something police can enforce, Fitzgerald noted that the driving of the driver was enforceable.


It wasn't a perfect night in Waterloo, but I think this bodes well for Waterloo and the Cedar Valley as a whole.

Mesdames, messieurs, les jeux sont faites, les jeux sont faites

(a line from Casablanca, when the dealer declares an end to the placing of bets before spinning the roulette wheel)

ttps://www.thegazette.com/subject/opinion/staff-columnist/all-iowans-are-gamblers-in-kims-covid-casino-20200514?fbclid=IwAR0-Wyx46sUoxywMOa3v_wBznfvKwrtbZGv_GOAcwjRap0Y4qF3JQygaiK8

All of us, whether we like it or not, are gamblers in Kim Reynold's covid casino. Maybe like me, you feel you have a lot to lose, so you bet conservatively, or not at all. Maybe you feel more confident ... maybe all of us could have used better leadership, and now, better information ....

Sure, without more testing and tracing, we’re flying in fog, perhaps on a casino owner’s borrowed jet. But, oh, what a rush. How will it all turn out? The suspense is killing us.

Standing the economy back up is necessary. But there will be no real, sustained recovery if Iowans are unconvinced we’ve handled the pandemic. Picking the economy over public health is a false bet. Solving the public health problem is key to economic recovery and restoring confidence.

There’s certainly an economic risk to sticking with protective measures longer and resisting more reopening for a couple more weeks. But consider the consequences of pulling that big reopening slot machine arm too soon. A second spike and a return to restrictions would be even more devastating. Instead of bouncing back, Iowa’s health and economic problems would intensify, while more Iowans fall ill or become lagging indicators.

Betting the lives of our most vulnerable on the “personal responsibility” of others before we know more about the pandemic’s grip here is a reckless wager, leaving thousands of Iowans and their loved ones in fearful limbo. They can’t simply adjust and move on.

How will a post-COVID 19 world deal with meat packing?

I think of my friend, who worked at Tyson in Waterloo and died from his exposure there, and the thousands of others who earn their living at what are, in the best of circumstances, grueling jobs ... I think of how so many Midwestern communities depend on agriculture related jobs like this, how dependent communities are on people willing to work so hard and risk so much for so little ... I wonder if we cannot possibly envision and work for a more equitable future ... I wonder if my friend's funeral, to be held at some undetermined date will make his death more real, or if my husband and I will always half expect to hear his knock at our door, hearing, "Greetings!" as he always said ....

https://apnews.com/6de2477c31301e779ea13d43ef0f2262?fbclid=IwAR2Xso6hBzww1J-cfbjDHaJGcdhFPWfgS5VvtHn0GK3xe-9FoEfXRpfyNvU

Waterloo Tyson plant closing for indefinite period

https://wcfcourier.com/business/local/tyson-closing-waterloo-plant/article_8c725b49-ed43-5f48-ae06-9a03d2f6e3cc.html#tracking-source=home-just-in


The Waterloo facility, which is the company’s largest pork plant, had been running reduced production because of worker absenteeism, officials said.

Officials said Wednesday they will “stop production mid-week until further notice.”

The company said its 2,800 employees will be invited to come to the plant later in the week for COVID-19 testing.

Workers will continue to be compensated while the plant is closed, officials said. Reopening will depend on the outcome of testing and other factors, officials said.


Also in today's Courier is an article about my friend who worked at Tyson who died Sunday. Coincidence -?

New testing initiative in Iowa

https://wcfcourier.com/news/local/482-new-iowa-cases-reported-gov-announces-new-testing-initiative/article_d44ce898-a0f3-5912-a75f-f4207911b3e5.html#tracking-source=home-top-story

All Iowans were asked to take an online assessment at TestIowa.com, which mandates users provide their full name and address, date of birth, height in inches, weight, an email address and a cell phone number.

The questionnaire then asks people if they have symptoms of coronavirus, if they've been around someone who tested positive or have had respiratory symptoms in the last two weeks, if they have any underlying medical conditions, how many people of what ages live in their home, if they've been practicing social distancing and in what industry they work.

Those who qualify to be tested will then be emailed a QR code they can take to a mobile testing site, which Reynolds said will be set up around the state as needed in the coming weeks.

Black Hawk County health director Dr. Nafissa Cisse Egbuonye said Tuesday the questionnaire and process leaves out a lot of low-income individuals who may not have an email address or even the internet at home.


It seems to me that the process is specifically designed to bypass the most vulnerable Iowans, the most likely to test positive. That would give a false picture of the extent of the pandemic, and give Kimmy an excuse to open things up too soon ... more out-of-touch dumbassery from the Rs ....

Spare some good thoughts for my husband's and my friend

He works at the Tyson plant that the county officials have asked to close. We've know our friend for 40 years, since we were in college. Wednesday night he emailed saying he'd be out of pocket since he felt lousy, very tired. His doctor told him not to go to work. He entered the hospital Friday, has taken a bad turn, has coded a couple times and been revived, and is presumptively diagnosed with COVID-19. (We are lucky to be able to hear this from his brother)

Yes Tyson is evil

Yes this really, really sucks

Officials ask Tyson in Waterloo to close; plant staying open for now

https://kwwl.com/2020/04/17/black-hawk-county-elected-officials-ask-waterloo-tyson-foods-to-voluntarily-cease-operations/

WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) -- Black Hawk County elected officials are asking the Tyson Foods plant in Waterloo to "voluntarily cease operations on a temporary basis."

A letter was sent to Tyson yesterday afternoon, and Schwarz said they acknowledged they received it. Friday, before the letter was announced to the public, Tyson officials told a KWWL reporter that the plant would remain open as of now.

Governor Reynolds announced today that the state of Iowa is sending 2,700 tests to the Tyson Plant in Waterloo. They are working on testing all workers at the Tyson Foods plants in Columbus Junction and Waterloo, as well as contact tracing.


The text of the letter is in the article. It was signed by some members of the County Board of Supervisors, some members of the Waterloo City Council, mayors of towns in the county and members of our statehouse delagation.

Thursday last week

While you DU Cooks & Bakers were enjoying your 4th of July specialities, it was an ordinary Thursday for Germans, and to us, my husband's birthday. Most of the time we were in Berlin he didn't feel well, because the chest cold I'd caught the week before presented in him as fevers and fatigue. But there was a weekly singing to go to (he's a shape note singer) so that perked him up. I'd seen a Basque tapas place online that fortunately happened to be on the way to the singing, so off we went.

My husband had venison meatballs in a mushroom sauce, garnished with a sweet potatoe puree, I had garlicky shrimp on spinach risotto, our son had a mixed green salad with smoked trout and basil aioli, and we shared bok choy with romesco sauce. All tasty, the bok choy and romesco was an unusual and yet good combination, though it was very difficult to cut in small enough pieces so one did not look like a ruminant animal eating it My son and husband had Apfelschorle, which is a not terribly sweet apple spritzer. I tried a Campari and soda with orange. I understand why it's a popular summer drink, but it's quite bitter. (But now I've had a chance to try it!)

Here's the website of the restaurant: https://txokoa.de/ You can change the language to read it in English or Spanish as well as German.

It was great not to have to hear fireworks going off all day, and the newspapers and tv I saw made no mention of Trump's idiotic parade for himself, which must have been super annoying in the US.
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