Victoria Jelinek


Covid-19 August 17, 2020

I read this posted somewhere and think it’s very well said:

Those who flock to beaches, bars, restaurants, and gatherings,

who act as though life hasn’t changed,

who are putting their fellow citizens at risk, are not exercising freedom;

they are displaying, as one commentator has noted, the weakness of a people who lack both the stoicism to endure the pandemic and the fortitude to defeat it.

Kermit



Covid-19, 13 aoĂ»t – RentrĂ©e Ă  l’Ă©cole

Bonjour Monsieur,

J’ai lu (Le Monde et Les Echos) qu’il n’y avait pas de prĂ©cautions de sĂ©curitĂ© Covid-19 pour les enfants des Ă©coles Ă©lĂ©mentaires de moins de onze ans dans toute la France au retour des Ă©coles le mois prochain. Est-ce vrai? Si oui, comment est-ce possible? Il a Ă©tĂ© largement dĂ©menti que les enfants ne peuvent pas attraper le virus (100000 aux États-Unis cette semaine, Reuters), il est largement admis qu’ils peuvent le propager, et l’immunitĂ© collective signifierait 60 Ă  70% de la population testĂ©e positive pour Covid -19.

women revolutionMon enfant de neuf ans comprend certainement le protocole de santĂ©, mais c’est un enfant qui est impuissant face aux autoritĂ©s adultes, et qui ne pourra par la suite pas maintenir des distances de sĂ©curitĂ©, se laver les mains rĂ©guliĂšrement, garder ses effets personnels des autres enfants, ou aĂ©rer le salle de classe dans laquelle il est assis toute la journĂ©e (ou insistez pour que les classes soient Ă  l’extĂ©rieur lorsque cela est possible) s’il n’y a pas de rĂšgles en place que les adultes doivent exĂ©cuter et suivre pour le bien-ĂȘtre de tous. Comme nous l’avons dĂ©jĂ  vu avec le port de masque «obligatoire», de nombreuses personnes ne suivent pas ce protocole, mĂȘme s’il est dĂ©fini par la loi, mais nous devrions essayer de dĂ©finir des paramĂštres.

 

L’Organisation mondiale de la santĂ© et divers syndicats d’enseignants (y compris le mien) conseillent d’Ă©taler les salles de classe pour permettre la distanciation tout en permettant une frĂ©quentation rĂ©guliĂšre en classe et le port obligatoire de masques par les enseignants et les travailleurs pour assurer un retour en toute sĂ©curitĂ©, ainsi que des fenĂȘtres ouvertes, un lavage rĂ©gulier des mains (il n’y a jamais de savon dans les salles de bain de l’Ă©cole de mon fils!), des entrĂ©es / couloirs se dĂ©plaçant dans l’un ou l’autre sens, et une dĂ©sinfection rĂ©guliĂšre des surfaces. Ceci afin de permettre Ă  la fois d’aller Ă  l’Ă©cole mais aussi de ne pas infecter notre population avec Covid-19 peu de temps aprĂšs avec une augmentation des «clusters».

De plus, nous vivons dans un endroit trĂšs touristique, et cet Ă©tĂ© a de nouveau Ă©tĂ© extrĂȘmement occupĂ© par les voyageurs – Ă  la fois ceux qui viennent et ceux qui sont en vacances dans d’autres pays. Je connais plusieurs familles dont les enfants frĂ©quentent l’Ă©cole locale et qui ont voyagĂ© Ă  destination et en provenance de diffĂ©rents pays avec peu ou pas de respect des protocoles de sĂ©curitĂ©. En consĂ©quence, leurs enfants pourraient ĂȘtre asymptotiques, ou malades, et nous ne le verrons pas complĂštement se manifester avant la fin septembre, aprĂšs le retour des enfants pendant deux ou trois semaines.

Pourquoi agir de maniĂšre Ă  ne rĂ©pondre qu’Ă  la crise? Pourquoi ne pas anticiper la crise et agir en consĂ©quence? Encore et encore, les professionnels de la santĂ© et les scientifiques disent que NOUS AVONS LE CONTRÔLE avec ce virus si nous avons simplement un leadership clair et la discipline pour adopter des mesures de sĂ©curitĂ©. Quelle excuse avons-nous pour ne pas faire ce que nous pouvons?

Enfin, Ă  part une brĂšve communication en mai du bureau du maire disant que la frĂ©quentation serait obligatoire pour tous les Ă©lĂšves, nous n’avons reçu aucune information de l’Ă©cole ou du bureau du maire local concernant les protocoles de sĂ©curitĂ© pour nos enfants ou les attentes pour nous parents. C’est nĂ©gligeable. Si nous n’avions pas eu l’incroyable professeur de classe que nous avions, nous n’aurions rien su, et de nombreux amis se sont retrouvĂ©s dans cette position, s’appuyant plutĂŽt sur des ouĂŻ-dire (ce qui Ă©quivaut Ă  la dĂ©sinformation et Ă  la panique).

Nous devons faire mieux si nous voulons Ă©viter un autre confinement ou, bien pire, une sociĂ©tĂ© trĂšs malade et contagieuse qui entraĂźne la perte de nombreux ĂȘtres chers.

Merci d’avoir pris en considĂ©ration ce que j’ai Ă©crit ici en tant que parent, professeur, et membre de votre Ă©lectorat trĂšs prĂ©occupĂ©.

Veuillez recevoir, Monsieur, mes salutations distinguées.

 



Covid – 19, July 2, 2020

Courtesy is only a thin veneer on the general selfishness. Honore de Balzac

 

unnamed

Email correspondence with a dear friend in London:

A worker in my mom s retirement community tested positive, so they’re on strict lockdown again. My poor mom has barely left her flat in five months. I know that numbers are climbing again everywhere, but I can’t help but marvel/be stunned at how countries like England, the USA, have botched this so completely, and why folks still refuse to simply follow minor safety precautions. And, liberal countries, semi-socialist countries such as Germany, Italy, France, are the ones that hit down hard when they needed to even as the more right-wing-leaning countries that are supposedly ‘tough’ waffled so much. And even in Western Europe, where folks are generally aware of the danger and governments have been clear and precise, folks refuse to wear masks, etc. Can people truly be so selfish? Or is it that they’re truly stupid? I simply don’t understand…(and, of course, for me, understanding the “Why?” of something is key to some semblance of control).

I’m sorry to hear that. It’s hard on your Mum. As to why Britain and the USA have handled the crisis so badly, I would say that both countries are not being run by governments at the moment but by ‘anti-governments’: populist leaders who repeatedly declare their contempt for experts and civil servants. Long before he started insulting Dr Fauci, Mr Trump was insulting everyone from the FBI to climate scientists whilst Dominic Cummings has a long standing hatred of civil servants and his puppet Mr Johnson was elected to ‘get Brexit done’ rather than to actually govern a complex post-industrial country. Covid-19 caught both these ‘anti-administrations’ on the back foot and neither has ever recovered. Britain just lurches chaotically towards an inevitable second wave – the return to lockdown is already underway – whilst the death count in America is increasing so fast it almost defies belief. On the plus side it surely spells the end of Trump come November, and indeed Mr Johnson will be replaced before the next election (much as Mrs Thatcher was in a previous era). In the meantime we must endure the consequences of their rank stupidity.

Well said. I do hope you’re right about the removal of Boris and Trump, though I am skeptical as the powers-that-be are one-and-the-same (moneyed interests wanting to avoid taxes, unfettered profiteering, Russian collusion…). Add to that, I think that Trump has a following akin to a cult who will ‘walk through fire’ to vote for him in November. The ‘left’ will have to vote en masse to counter the weight of the (archaic) electoral college, propaganda, targeted social media misinformation campaigns, ballot tinkering, and voter repression. Not to mention the ‘left’ is often divided in their beliefs about a candidate’s attention to their ‘pet’ interest and consequently don’t vote…but, I’ll hope I’m very wrong in my prediction.



Covid-19, May 4, 2020

“All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.” Blaise Pascal

France decided to open up the schools in phases starting May 11th. The first to go back are elementary school kids. Our son is in the equivalent to third grade.

We received a form from our son’s teacher to fill out on Friday stating whether we’d return our child to school or not so that they could submit it to the Mayor’s office on Monday – today – to begin making plans for the rentrĂ©e. I opted to speak to the teacher about it to see what she thought (she rose exponentially in my estimation since quarantine). She said that not only are spaces limited, the same principles of the confinement remain: the objective is still to keep infection down in order to permit hospitals to tend to those who need help. That there are small children being left at home because they have a single parent who needs to work, or both parents work, or there are children whose parents can’t, or won’t, help the kids with their schoolwork. Reopening the school for little ones is an effort to help these kids and their parents. This sealed the deal for me. Yes, I’m anxious about working with a precocious single child at home. I’m worried about being able to work, and I also need time alone to replenish myself. With a small child at home, who doesn’t seem to be able to be autonomous unless he’s on a screen (watching TV, or a film, or playing an electronic game), which is, perhaps, normal, I don’t know, it’s incredibly disruptive for both my husband and me. We consequently argue about who does what and who has done more. (I often end up working after the boy and the man are in bed, going to bed very late, then waking up early when they wake up – I’m very tired…zzz…).

‘Kvetch’ aside, I feel relieved with our decision to keep our son home for the ‘bigger picture’ (in addition to what seems to be an unnecessary risk for the moment). I think the interesting element to this corona experience – the whole social phenomena’s we’re witnessing will be, I believe, written about sociologically for a long time to come (or until we humans make ourselves extinct), is that at the same time we’re isolated from each other, forced to distance physically from each other, we’re thinking about each other now more than ever. Or MUST think about each other now more than ever. We must work together to ensure the survival of our species, and the way to do that is to distance ourselves from others when possible. It’s not just ourselves and our own interests we’re thinking about for the first time in a long time. We’re being asked to consider everyone when limiting contacts, our potential exposure to the virus (with outings, errands, plans, etc.), washing hands. Even wearing a mask is a sign of consideration, a, “I’m helping YOU keep safe” sort-of-thing. It’s quite lovely, actually, when you think of it this way. It makes one feel less alone, more purposeful, and, arguably, reinforces the argument that humans are worth saving (perhaps).

index

“Toutes les misĂšres des hommes dĂ©rivent de ne pas pouvoir s’asseoir seuls dans une piĂšce calme.” Blaise Pascal

La France a dĂ©cidĂ© d’ouvrir les Ă©coles par phases Ă  partir du 11 mai. Les premiers Ă  y retourner sont les enfants des Ă©coles Ă©lĂ©mentaires. Notre fils est dans l’Ă©quivalent de la troisiĂšme annĂ©e.

Vendredi, nous avons reçu un formulaire de l’enseignant de notre fils indiquant si nous devions retourner notre enfant Ă  l’Ă©cole ou non afin qu’il puisse le soumettre au bureau du maire lundi – aujourd’hui – pour commencer Ă  planifier la rentrĂ©e. J’ai choisi d’en parler au enseignante pour voir ce qu’elle en pensait (elle a augmentĂ© de façon exponentielle Ă  mon avis depuis la confinement). Elle a dit que non seulement les espaces sont limitĂ©s, mais les mĂȘmes principes de confinement demeurent: l’objectif est toujours de limiter l’infection afin de permettre aux hĂŽpitaux de soigner ceux qui ont besoin d’aide. Qu’il y a des petits enfants Ă  la maison parce qu’ils ont un parent seul qui doit travailler, ou les deux parents travaillent, ou qu’il y a des enfants dont les parents ne peuvent pas, oĂč ne vont pas, aider les enfants dans leurs devoirs. La rĂ©ouverture de l’Ă©cole pour les tout-petits est un effort pour aider ces enfants et leurs parents. Cela a scellĂ© l’accord pour moi. Oui, je suis impatient de travailler avec un enfant cĂ©libataire prĂ©coce Ă  la maison. Je suis inquiet de pouvoir travailler et j’ai aussi besoin des temps tout seul pour me reconstituer. Avec un petit enfant Ă  la maison, qui ne semble pas capable d’ĂȘtre autonome Ă  moins d’ĂȘtre sur un Ă©cran (regarder la tĂ©lĂ©vision, un film ou jouer Ă  un jeu Ă©lectronique), ce qui est peut-ĂȘtre normal, je ne sais pas , c’est incroyablement perturbant pour mon mari et moi. Par consĂ©quent, nous discutons de qui fait quoi et qui a fait plus. (Je finis souvent par travailler aprĂšs que le garçon et l’homme soient au lit, se couchant trĂšs tard, puis se rĂ©veillant tĂŽt quand ils se rĂ©veillent – je suis trĂšs fatiguĂ© … zzz …).

«Kvetch» ​​mis Ă  part, je me sens soulagĂ© de notre dĂ©cision de garder notre fils Ă  la maison pour la «vue d’ensemble» (en plus de ce qui semble ĂȘtre un risque inutile pour le moment). Je pense que l’Ă©lĂ©ment intĂ©ressant de cette expĂ©rience corona – l’ensemble des phĂ©nomĂšnes sociaux auxquels nous assistons sera, je crois, Ă©crit sur le plan sociologique pendant longtemps Ă  venir (ou jusqu’Ă  ce que nous, les humains, nous nous Ă©teignions), c’est qu’en mĂȘme temps nous ‘nous sommes isolĂ©s les uns des autres, forcĂ©s de s’Ă©loigner physiquement les uns des autres, nous pensons plus que jamais les uns aux autres. Ou DOIT penser les uns aux autres maintenant plus que jamais. Nous devons travailler ensemble pour assurer la survie de notre espĂšce, et la façon de le faire est de nous Ă©loigner des autres lorsque cela est possible. Ce n’est pas seulement nous-mĂȘmes et nos propres intĂ©rĂȘts auxquels nous pensons pour la premiĂšre fois depuis longtemps. On nous demande de tenir compte de tout le monde lors de la limitation des contacts, de notre exposition potentielle au virus (avec sorties, courses, projets, etc.), du lavage des mains. MĂȘme le port d’un masque est un signe de considĂ©ration, une sorte de chose «je t’aide Ă  rester en sĂ©curité». C’est plutĂŽt joli, en fait, quand on y pense de cette façon. Cela fait que l’on se sent moins seul, plus rĂ©solu et, sans doute, renforce l’argument selon lequel les humains valent la peine d’ĂȘtre sauvĂ©s (peut-ĂȘtre).

 



British Writer Pens The Best Description Of Trump I’ve Read

This post was published by Michael Stevenson*, aka Dai Bando, Johnny Foreigner, Monsieur Pas De Merde, a blogger of French and British culture. It was some time ago, but I feel that as Trump becomes increasingly dangerous and cruel, and the world – a veritable mess – longs for (reasonable) American leadership, it’s worth looking at this piece again in order to both appreciate great writing as well as to consider, yet again, how fundamentally distasteful Trump is as a human being.

 

British Writer Pens The Best Description Of Trump I’ve Read

 

Someone on Quora asked “Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?” Nate White, an articulate and witty writer from England wrote the following response:

A few things spring to mind.   Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem. For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed. So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.

Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing – not once, ever. I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility – for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.

But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is – his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.

Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.   And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults – he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.

There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.   Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront. Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.   And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist. Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that. He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.   He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.


And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully. That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.   There are unspoken rules to this stuff – the Queensberry rules of basic decency – and he breaks them all. He punches downwards – which a gentleman should, would, could never do – and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless – and he kicks them when they are down.

So the fact that a significant minority – perhaps a third – of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think ‘Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
‱ Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
‱ You don’t need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.

This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss. After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum. God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.   He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart. In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws – he would make a Trump.

And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish: ‘My God
 what
 have
 I
 created? If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set.

 

* https://pasdemerde.com/2019/10/18/british-writer-pens-the-best-description-of-trump-ive-read/



RentrĂ©e scolaire…

Une lettre a un ami concernant l’ouverture d’ecoles en France dans quelque semaines…

unnamedMerci pour le «heads up» de Facebook sur le retour des enfants Ă  l’Ă©cole (dates, groupes annuels, etc.). Je dois dire que je suis d’accord avec mon mari ici (quelle surprise!): nous allons attendre les notes officielles et voir quels sont leurs plans concrets et quelles mesures tangibles pour protĂ©ger les enfants contre le virus seront dĂšs le premier jour, et faire un dĂ©cision Ă©clairĂ©e Ă  ce stade.

Pour moi, me sentir bien Ă  l’idĂ©e de retourner mon tout-petit Ă  l’Ă©cole, un plan pour dĂ©placer les enfants Ă  l’extĂ©rieur – Ă  la “Forest School” et au danois – comme le note le mari, serait un trĂšs bon dĂ©but pour amĂ©liorer mon niveau de confort.

Et / ou il y a des tests pour chaque enfant, enseignant et membre du personnel de l’Ă©cole pour vĂ©rifier s’ils sont infectĂ©s (pas uniquement  lorsqu’ils prĂ©sentent des symptĂŽmes et / ou se rendent Ă  l’hĂŽpital pour obtenir de l’aide, comme l’a dit Macron dans son discours – et , aussi, pour l’instant, les tests sont dĂ©fectueux). OU, peut-etre, quelqu’un prend la tempĂ©rature de chaque enfant et membre du personnel tous les jours quand ils entrent dans les portes (comme le fait l’Asie du Sud-Est pour entrer dans les lieux publics), puis les interdire de l’Ă©cole, appliquer cela serait essentiel, mettre en quarantaine ceux qui sont malades et retrouver leurs contacts — il peut s’agir d’une application facultative, comme le font les Allemands, les Autrichiens et les Suisses, par opposition Ă  obligatoire, comme les CorĂ©ens et les Singapouriens pour protĂ©ger les idĂ©aux de la libertĂ© civile. (Cependant, je ne vois pas cela se produire parce que je connais parents qui envoient rĂ©guliĂšrement leurs enfants Ă  l’Ă©cole et qui soulĂšveraient l’enfer sacrĂ© s’ils perdaient leur droit de faire ce qui leur convient le mieux).

Et, comme le dit le chef du syndicat des enseignants en France, en alliance avec le chef des services de santĂ© et des services mĂ©dicaux en France, ALORS ils doivent embaucher des personnes supplĂ©mentaires pour surveiller les enfants dans leurs petits groupes (Ă©loignement social, apprentissage du matĂ©riel, lavage des mains – etc. et afin d’aider les enseignants respectifs). Encore une fois, je ne vois pas cela se produire parce que c’est trop cher et que dieu sait que l’Ă©ducation publique connaĂźt des difficultĂ©s exponentielles. (Les gens – in general – ne rĂ©alisent pas que c’est un investissement collectif dans la sociĂ©tĂ© de l’avenir et une assurance pour la survie de la dĂ©mocratie). ET, enfin, ils doivent distribuer des masques Ă  chaque personne (puis imposer le port de ceux-ci).

À l’exception de ces mesures de sĂ©curitĂ©, que je pense que ce serait un miracle de voir se produire dans ce dĂ©lai, SI du tout, j’aimerais qu’il y ait quelques mois au cours desquels le taux d’infections se soit stabilisĂ©, du moins pas augmentĂ©. En l’Ă©tat, il y a encore beaucoup de nouvelles infections chaque jour en France (ainsi qu’une nouvelle rĂ©surgence Ă  Singapour et en Chine, et les dieux savent que le Royaume-Uni et les États-Unis n’ont pas encore atteint leur “crest”) et cela malgrĂ© un confinement strict.

De plus, pour qu’une «immunitĂ© collective» se produise, il faudrait laisser beaucoup plus de gens tomber malades (ce qui est peut-ĂȘtre POURQUOI ils veulent envoyer nos enfants en premier – des cobayes au nom du plus grand bien) et puis testez l’hypothĂšse que cela fonctionnera pour crĂ©er une sorte d’immunitĂ©, comme nous l’espĂ©rons / comme il l’a fait avec d’autres virus …il y a un certain sens a cela. Et, nous devons sortire a un moment donne…

Hmmm.

Mon fils me dĂ©range, nous sommes en hĂ©morragie d’argent (la saison de mon mari a Ă©tĂ© perdue, je n’ai pas travaillĂ© l’annĂ©e derniĂšre, donc je ne peux pas rĂ©clamer d’aide malgrĂ© les annĂ©es de taxes payĂ©es) et j’ai une tonne de travail pour me prĂ©parer Ă  entrer dans le Ă  nouveau Ă  plein temps en septembre (pour essayer de «keeping the wolves at bay»). MAIS, je ne veux pas prendre un “risque inutile” (comme l’a dit le chef de l’association mĂ©dicale France) en ce moment. (Mais, c’est encore dans quelques semaines…).

Je comprends les raisons de l’ouverture des Ă©coles. Lancez l’Ă©conomie. Cela va ĂȘtre une sacrĂ©e rĂ©cession telle qu’elle est (en particulier si les gens continuent de rĂ©sister Ă  une augmentation de l’ñge de la retraite pour aider Ă  payer les avantages que beaucoup reçoivent!). Et beaucoup – y compris nous, comme mentionnĂ© – sont hĂ©morragiques et n’ont pas d’épargne, je comprends donc le dĂ©sir de continuer. Je lĂšve mon chapeau Ă  ceux qui envoient leurs petits courageux (ou inconscients) Ă  l’Ă©cole, malgrĂ© les risques. And, maybe, we will also send our beloved junior to school shortly…

(Je suppose que cela doit ĂȘtre similaire Ă  la façon dont les parents se sentent envoyer leurs enfants Ă  l’Ă©cole aux États-Unis? Mon enfant ou mes enfants iront probablement bien. Les statistiques soutiennent que tel est le cas. Cependant, avec la prolifĂ©ration des armes Ă  feu et la violence armĂ©e dans les Ă©coles et les espaces publics, il y a toujours une chance qu’ils soient blessĂ©s…).

De plus, des articles paraissent soudainement dans les journaux français et anglais sur un enfant de neuf ans (peut-ĂȘtre le mĂȘme enfant) qui a eu Covid-19, de nombreux contacts et n’a infectĂ© personne. L’hypothĂšse est qu’ils ne «shed» pas beaucoup de virus et sont moins susceptibles d’ĂȘtre infectĂ©s or to infect.

Cependant, je soupçonne qu’il y a des machinations en place (publicite, propaganda?) pour nous mettre Ă  l’aise d’envoyer nos juniors Ă  l’Ă©cole, parce que ce que j’ai lu dans une variĂ©tĂ© de journaux – viables aussi – est qu’il est “probable” que les enfants iront bien, et le taux d’infection augmentera, mais il sera «gĂ©rable» pour les hĂŽpitaux, etc. Les mots clĂ©s Ă©tant «probable» et «gĂ©rable». (Mais, imaginez si tous les enseignants et educateurs tombent malades! J’ai aimĂ© chacun des professeurs de mon fils des ans, et j’apprĂ©cie excessivement son professeur actuel! Perdre l’un d’eux serait une vraie perte.).

Donc, nous allons attendre et voir ce que les fonctionnaires proposent sous peu, et prendre alors une decision eclairee…

 



Covid-19, April 14, 2020

The following came to me, a teacher, from my mother, who is a retired teacher, and she received it from another teacher. It’s not written very well, but the concept is wonderful!

Just maybe this could happen because of our crisis…

Education and the worldWHAT IF

If they cancel the rest of the school year, students would miss 2.5 months of education. Many people are concerned about students falling behind because of this. Yes, they may fall behind when it comes to classroom education…

But what if…

What if instead of falling “behind,” this group of kids are AHEAD because of this? 

What if they have more empathy, perspective, enjoy family connection, can be more creative and entertain themselves, love to read, love to express themselves in writing? 

What if they enjoy the simple things, like their own backyard and sitting near a window in the quiet?

What if they notice the birds and the different flowers emerge, and the calming renewal of a gentle rain shower? 

What if this generation is the one to learn to cook, organize their space, do their laundry, and keep a well-run home? 

What if they learn to stretch a dollar and to live with less? 

What if they learn the value of eating together as a family and finding the good to share in the small delights of the everyday? 

What if they are the ones to place great value on our teachers and educational professionals, librarians, public servants and the previously invisible essential support workers like truck drivers, grocers, cashiers, custodians, logistics, and health care workers and their supporting staff, just to name a few of the millions taking care of us right now while we are sheltered in place? 

What if among these children, a great leader emerges who had the benefit of a slower pace and a simpler life to truly learn what really matters in this life?

What if they are…”AHEAD?”

*image courtesy of UNICAF.ORG


Covid-19, April 12, 2020
April 12, 2020, 10:38 am
Filed under: Corona 2020 | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Because it’s Easter, a holiday associated with life, light, nature, and possibility –
And because “Hope,” here, is symbolized as a bird –
And, because, it’s Emily Dickinson –
I offer up this poem to remember…

“Hope” is the thing with feathers

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

 

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.


Covid 19, April 9, 2020

Humorous, from a friend in Wales (Believe “Wankspangles” and
“clunge puffins” will be my new favorite words):

THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE LIFTING RESTRICTIONS IN PARKS AND BEACHES DURING THE EASTER BREAK.

The Government has announced today that, for the Easter break only, certain groups will be allowed to go to parks and beaches and invite friends round for BBQ’s.

IMPORTANT- PLEASE READ

While the majority of the population will remain in lock down the following groups will be allowed to gather together at parks and beaches throughout the Country.

Imbeciles
Half wits
Morons
Troglodytes
Ignorami
Simpletons
Illiterates
Idiots
Dickheads
Twats
Fuckwits
Wankspangles
Clunge puffins

Anyone not in those groups must follow the guidelines set out by the Governments regarding social distancing.

Thank you.



Covid-19 7 April 2020

I think I could turn and live with animals, they’re so placid and self-contain’d,

I stand and look at them long and long,

They do not sweat and whine about their condition,

They do not like awake in the dark and weep for their sins,

They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,

Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,

Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,

Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.

Walt Whitman

At this time (medical professionals goes without saying) it’s the low paid workers – street sweepers, refuse collectors, supermarket workers, delivery drivers, and farmers that are keeping the country going, not big businesses, over paid footballers, you tubers, etc.

I would love to believe people will change their perspective a little when this is over, but I doubt it. Given the conversations I have with adolescents I teach and know, and from what I see from those around me who have huge houses and fancy cars they work all of the time to pay for, I think most people still see “success” as material, and most adolescents want to be big corporate executives or celebrities of some sort (sports, you tubers, those new online “change makers” or “it” folks). With little effort to boot.

Such a shame. There is great integrity in those listed above, and those who can do a trade (carpenters, plumbers, electricians, hairdressers, teachers, artists, sowers, farmers). The world needs people who are educated, absolutely, but who are also modest. Kindness, usefulness, collectivism should be promoted by our societies, not individualism, competition, and avarice. My guess is that if these alternative ideas were promoted, you would find that the grave numbers of loneliness, depression, and suicide would be vastly reduced. Purposefulness and a sense of “other” are reasons to be and give one self confidence.

Bertrand Russell wrote in his book “The Conquest of Happiness,” that the most direct path to true contentment is altruism.

Individualism_VS_Collectivism-530x300

(image courtesy of The Borgen Project)