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Member since: Sun May 31, 2020, 09:55 AM
Number of posts: 422

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Some parents want to see remote school option


Posted by MisterNiceKitty | Mon Aug 9, 2021, 01:05 PM (3 replies)

US faces resurgent COVID-19 catastrophe

From the https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/08/06/pers-a06.html:

In recent days, it has become clear just how dangerous the Delta variant of COVID-19 is to children in particular.

On Tuesday, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported that nearly 72,000 children and teens caught COVID-19 last week—five times as many as at the end of June.

“Let this sink in — 1 percent of all #COVID19 confirmed cases in kids lead to hospitalization,” noted epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding. “Is that really an ‘acceptable’ level of kids morbidity that we will allow in society?”

“I am as worried about our children today as I have ever been.” Dr. Mark Kline, physician-in-chief at Children's Hospital New Orleans said at a press conference on Monday. “This virus, the Delta variant of COVID, is every infectious disease specialist’s and epidemiologist’s worst nightmare. I don’t think as Americans in our lifetime we have ever seen an organism that possesses the dual characteristics of the contagiousness that this virus has together with the virulence – its ability to produce disease.”

Children now account for nearly 20 percent of COVID-19 new cases in the state of Louisiana, according to figures from local broadcaster WWL-TV.

Feigl-Ding warned Thursday about the threat of “brain damage and IQ declines” from COVID-19, demanding to know why the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was not raising the alarm. “We epidemiologists have known and highlighted this for 9 months,” he said, noting figures from the UK that show that COVID-19 patients who had been on ventilators had seen a seven-point drop in intelligence quotient.

For the past six months, the US government has focused its efforts on convincing the public that the pandemic was over, dismantling facilities for monitoring breakthrough infections, diverting funding for COVID-19 preparedness to fund the police, and enforcing the return to school.

The CDC discouraged mask wearing and social distancing for vaccinated people before reversing course last week in a backhanded acknowledgment of the incorrectness of its guidance.
Posted by MisterNiceKitty | Mon Aug 9, 2021, 10:56 AM (7 replies)

Employers are waging a war over work from home. WFH is winning.


on the one hand:

"People don't like commuting, but so what?" JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said in May. Remote work, he quipped, "doesn't work for those who want to hustle." The bank had faced internal blowback over its plans — Dimon himself apparently received "a nasty note" from somebody's wife — but the CEO didn't seem too concerned. "That's life," he said. "It's got to work for the clients. It's not about whether it works for me."

On the other:

But almost overnight, employees began quitting their jobs in record numbers. Emboldened by the red-hot job market, Americans felt free to shop for flexible work arrangements that better suited their needs. Threatened by a full-blown exodus, executives suddenly realized they could no longer afford to ignore the uproar over working from home.

Amazon backtracked on its "office-centric" plan, agreeing to give employees two optional days a week to work from home. Google and Uber, which initially said they would mandate at least three days a week in the office, scrambled to offer more flexibility.

Facebook expanded remote-work eligibility to all its employees, including those early in their careers. And just last week, LinkedIn said it was scrapping its requirement for employees to come into the office 50% of the time, making room for more remote roles. It was a remarkable sight: some of the world's largest and most powerful corporations being forced to bow to their employees' work preferences.


"Before the pandemic, there just weren't that many businesses allowing people to work from home. Now, many are. In finance, for all the JPMorgans and Goldman Sachses that are calling their staffs back to the office full time, there are banks like HSBC and Citigroup that have promised hybrid schedules. In tech, which has embraced working from home more than any other industry, hybrid has become the dominant model — usually three days a week in the office and two days at home. Amazon, which appeared to be the lone tech giant that tried to insist on full-time office work, didn't stand a chance: Oracle and Facebook reportedly pounced on Amazon's employees as soon as the company announced its "office-centric" mandate."

Posted by MisterNiceKitty | Mon Aug 9, 2021, 10:49 AM (13 replies)

New York Auto Show Canceled Amid Delta Spike

Didn't see this posted here.

"For the second straight year, organizers are pumping the brakes on the New York International Auto Show.

In an emailed statement Wednesday afternoon, auto show president Michael Schienberg announced that the convention -- set to begin on Aug. 20 -- was canceled, citing spiking COVID-19 caseloads from the hyper-contagious delta variant and state and local safety measures for the cancellation."


Posted by MisterNiceKitty | Mon Aug 9, 2021, 10:20 AM (3 replies)

Guardian: America shouldn't be sending unvaccinated kids back to school

"A published report of Scottish data noted that the Delta variant doubles the risk of Covid-19 hospitalization, regardless of age. The number of US children in the hospital due to Covid-19 doubled between 30 June and 31 July. On Thursday, US hospitals reported 249 pediatric admissions due to Covid-19, which is four admissions shy of the all-time single-day record (253). On a population-adjusted basis, the weekly average of US children admitted to hospitals with Covid-19 is rising faster than any other age group (as of Wednesday)."

some additional info:

"There is growing evidence to show that even mild or asymptomatic cases of Covid-19 among children can evolve into chronic (“long”) Covid. Newly published research suggests that at least one in 25 children with Covid-19 experience symptoms lasting more than four weeks. A separate UK government report estimates that at least one in eight children still have symptoms five weeks after their initial infection. Emerging data also suggests that up to one in 50 asymptomatic Covid-19 cases among children will evolve into chronic Covid."
Posted by MisterNiceKitty | Sun Aug 8, 2021, 05:10 PM (9 replies)

New York's Central Park Concert Isn't Ready for the Delta Variant

"Over the weekend, Lollapalooza made its sweaty, crowded, and almost completely unmasked return to Chicago’s Grant Park. With over 100,000 people attending each of the four days — proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test in hand — the scene looked like a pre-pandemic flashback, complete with mosh pits, crowd surfing, and other decidedly non–socially distanced activities. Even a couple of weeks ago, this might not have been alarming, but we’re in the Delta variant’s firm grip now."

Probably the best recommendations for those determined to attend:

"Attendees will be required to show that they have received at least one vaccine shot. But Danielle Ompad, an epidemiologist and associate professor at New York University’s School of Global Public Health, says full vaccination is safest. Additionally, everyone should wear masks to reduce risks, and organizers should make sure concertgoers have plenty of space to spread out, according to Hilary Babcock, an infectious disease specialist and the past president of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and co-chair of the CDC’s Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee. There is a lot of room on the 13-acre Great Lawn, but there is no requirement for social distancing. Attendees will not be required to wear masks either."

Posted by MisterNiceKitty | Sun Aug 8, 2021, 11:31 AM (4 replies)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces a criminal complaint. But he's still unlikely to be charged.


"Even though this sounds like the conduct described in the report, at James’ news conference Tuesday, she indicated that her office — a law enforcement agency — would not be bringing criminal charges. If the AG had no doubt that crimes were committed, in addition to violations of civil rights law, she probably would have said so, or at least signaled she might be bringing those charges herself. But she’s not."
Posted by MisterNiceKitty | Sun Aug 8, 2021, 10:01 AM (3 replies)

Covid Outbreaks Tied to Music Festivals Raise Outdoor Transmission Concerns

Note that in NYC the Mayor has "homecoming" music festivals scheduled for August 16-21

“These events are the warning shot across the bow,” says Dr. Emily Landon, executive medical director for infection prevention and control at the University of Chicago Medical Center. She also points to the numerous cases reportedly tied to July’s Verknipt Festival in the Netherlands, which was also held outdoors. “I think we’re finding it does matter what you do outdoors,” Landon adds. “And even though people are vaccinated, it looks like we may need to be more careful with super-crowded events.”
Posted by MisterNiceKitty | Sun Aug 8, 2021, 09:58 AM (16 replies)

Chicago Tribune: If you went to Lollapalooza, get a COVID-19 test this week,

Champaign-Urbana health department urges local residents:

"The public health authority included information on Champaign County’s COVID-19 testing availability and asked attendees of the music festival, about 385,000 over the course of the four days, to get tested Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.

“This will help us shut down any local outbreaks before they get started,” said the post, which made no distinction between festival attendees who are vaccinated and those who aren’t."


"Festivalgoers were required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the previous three days, and city officials said more than 90% of attendees were vaccinated, though there were some reports of people being waved without a thorough document check.

A mask rule was issued during the festival but only for indoor spaces. Masks were handed out at some locations.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot faced some criticism for going forward with the Lollapalooza as the delta variant brings new cases and new concerns about whether even outdoor festivals can be superspreader events. Gov. J.B. Pritzker planned to attend and then backed out, citing the spread of the variant."

Posted by MisterNiceKitty | Sun Aug 8, 2021, 09:56 AM (13 replies)

It's time to reimagine where and how work will get done

PwC’s US Remote Work Survey - January 12, 20:

"Remote work has been an overwhelming success for both employees and employers. The shift in positive attitudes toward remote work is evident: 83% of employers now say the shift to remote work has been successful for their company, compared to 73% in our June 2020 survey."

And also:

"Real estate portfolios are in transition. Most (87%) executives expect to make changes to their real estate strategy over the next 12 months. These plans include consolidating office space in premier locations and/or opening more satellite locations. Over the next three years, while some executives expect to reduce office space, 56% expect to need more. These mixed findings show that some companies are planning to reinvest the remote work dividend in new ways in order to create a special experience in the office."

Posted by MisterNiceKitty | Mon Jul 26, 2021, 03:11 PM (13 replies)
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