SL 788

I am seriously enjoying Instagram during this pandemic. Bite-sized visual inspiration. Here’s a cute short video of Jacques Pepin making crepes. Domino magazine is always nice. The online vintage shop, Chairish, features lovely interiors. I’m going to watch a live video today about preserving old books by the curators at the Morgan Library.

What will happen to Manhattan, if the workers stay at home? I think Steve will be here until 2021.

I’m feeling really bad for Jonah. When he finishes his last final in about an hour, instead of exercising his God-given right to drink too much beer with his friends, he’ll be stuck in the house with his parents and weird brother for day 9,999 of this pandemic. I offered to play quarters with him, but, oddly, he didn’t seem that into it.

Brace yourself for a ton of articles about the mental health of teenagers going down the drain by being stuck inside the house with their parents. Even parents who know how to play quarters.

The boyfriend who gets into fights with the chef at the Waffle House.

27 thoughts on “SL 788

  1. “I’m feeling really bad for Jonah. When he finishes his last final in about an hour, instead of exercising his God-given right to drink too much beer with his friends, he’ll be stuck in the house with his parents and weird brother for day 9,999 of this pandemic.”

    As soon as it’s at all prudent, we’re going to invite the senior’s 20 classmates to have a social distancing boba tea on us.

    I’ve been consoling her that at least half of her classmates are going to be going to Hometown U., so they are going to be around, even if not immediately available.

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  2. “What will happen to Manhattan, if the workers stay at home? I think Steve will be here until 2021.”

    Screw Manhattan, what about Arlington???? Priorities, people!

    If there’s a swell vaccine or drug treatment all bets are off, but if not, I expect center cities will have big troubles for years to come.

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  3. My daughter’s having movers come in to her Brooklyn apartment and pack it up for them. They’re going to be renting near her in-laws in Lincoln, NE, after being at an airbnb in Lincoln for the last two months. Working from home until at least Labor Day and probably longer. While she grew up mostly in Minnesota, the last decade has been in LA and NYC, so she’s a bit in shock.

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    1. That reminds me of one of our elementary teachers who has been (as I understand it) teaching from Colorado ever since the school closed.

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  4. I miss beer so much. I can hardly drink any now or my stomach erupts in pain for days. Wine doesn’t cause the same trouble. Wine isn’t bad, but it’s not the same.

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  5. The boyfriend/Waffle House chef story is inspiring some fun fanfic. It’s a whole new kind of AU.

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  6. Thanks for sharing your Instagram chef on crepes. I don’t have or use Instagram but maybe now I will. I get so many emails about vegan recipes and invites to buy cooking magazines it is annoying. I find I usually just go to Food Network and look up the item I have on hand to make and voila – no need for magazine clippings! Both my granddaughters will forego a graduation this year…one from middle to high school and one from high school to college. I hope that they figure out a way to save the rest of us not already stricken with this disease. I do appreciate reading your postings. Thanks so much.

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    1. The strong institutions should totally be doing that, and maybe more. I had a quick look at Princeton (because of another twitter thread), and the university could fund its 2019–20 budget unchanged for an entire decade, even if neither the university nor the endowment took in another penny of income for that whole period.

      Obviously most places aren’t Princeton, and they will have to find a different way, but the institutions that can, should.

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    2. Really most places aren’t Princeton. Only Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, and Yale are Princeton (and, maybe a few others thrown in like MIT, and Caltech with its high endowment/person).

      The other elites have 1/10 the endowments. And all of these institutions want to exist 100 years into the future. Wise management of resources is necessary to meet that goal, which means that they cannot simply rely on maintaining funding without thinking of sustainability and institutional goals and availability. Decisions, say, to not charge full tuition for online-only teaching but to also not cut faculty salaries is not sustainable except in the very short term (and for many institutions, not at all). Most institutions are tuition dependent.

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      1. bj said, “Really most places aren’t Princeton. Only Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, and Yale are Princeton (and, maybe a few others thrown in like MIT, and Caltech with its high endowment/person).”

        And those top-of-the-heap places are already pretty generous to undergraduates…

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  7. Well, this a real fly in the soup for going back to school in the fall:

    https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/05/13/health/coronavirus-cdc-alert-children-symptoms/index.html?__twitter_impression=true

    “The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is preparing to release an alert warning doctors to be on the lookout for a dangerous inflammatory syndrome in children that could be linked to coronavirus infection, a CDC spokesman told CNN Tuesday. The syndrome, marked by persistent fever, inflammation, poor function in one or more organs, and other symptoms similar to shock, was first reported by New York officials. More states began reporting diagnoses of the syndrome this week.”

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31103-X/fulltext

    “In the past month we found a 30-fold increased incidence of Kawasaki-like disease [in the Bergamo area of Italy]. Children diagnosed after the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic began showed evidence of immune response to the virus, were older, had a higher rate of cardiac involvement, and features of MAS. The SARS-CoV-2 epidemic was associated with high incidence of a severe form of Kawasaki disease.”

    As has been the rule with COVID-19, we have to keep revising our understanding of the situation. Maybe it is more dangerous for kids than we thought for the last 3.5 months?

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      1. If this Kawasaki thing holds up (and for other reasons) I think every district in the country should have a home curriculum available for the fall for all families who want it.

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    1. I’d like to see the history of how these issues were approached before the polio vaccine. The New Yorker had an article by a critic who had polio as a child and I’ve talked to a few 70+ year olds who talked about their parents fear of their children catching polio that reminds me of some of what I’m hearing now.

      I think a fair amount of the let’s take the risk, it’s no worse than the flu, . . . rhetoric has been influenced by the idea that the children are safe.

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      1. bj said, “I’d like to see the history of how these issues were approached before the polio vaccine. The New Yorker had an article by a critic who had polio as a child and I’ve talked to a few 70+ year olds who talked about their parents fear of their children catching polio that reminds me of some of what I’m hearing now.”

        https://www.discovermagazine.com/health/the-deadly-polio-epidemic-and-why-it-matters-for-coronavirus

        It sounds like polio made summer terrible for kids during much of the first half of the 20th century, with a lot of closures of amenities during polio “season” (which was apparently a thing). I don’t recall any polio stories from my older relatives (born in the 1920s), but they grew up rural.

        At least in one survey done in India in the 1970s, urban areas had nearly twice the prevalence of polio:

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2129770/

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  8. My parents always enjoyed a cocktail before dinner (just one – I never saw either drunk). My dad died a few years ago, and my mom doesn’t want to drink alone, so now she has a cocktail rarely, and she misses it. During the lockdown, I call her every evening and we both make the same cocktail and drink it while talking on the phone. Because I am easily bored with a routine of Manhattans, old fashioneds, martinis and whiskey sours, I went looking for more vintage cocktails. I found this https://www.midcenturymenu.com/blog/. We’ve had fun trying some of them. If anyone wants to up their cocktail game, look there.

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    1. What is it about moms and Manhattans? I call them Momhattans because it’s what my mom likes to drink.

      Tonight my husband and I had a Negroni (me) and a Gypsy (him).

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  9. People are having kittens over this, but it’s not stupid:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/gabrielsherman/status/1261052779059183617

    “Already hearing that wealthy New Yorkers are talking about forming “trust circles” with their friends and hiring private tutors to teach their kids in the fall instead of sending them to schools.”

    Meanwhile, Denmark has already brought back lower elementary kids:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/education-52550470

    “Primary school children have returned first in Denmark, and a system is in place to keep children in small groups and with as little contact with others as possible. They spend their school day in a kind of virtual cocoon, with no cross-over with others. These micro-groups of pupils arrive at a separate time, eat their lunch separately, stay in their own zones in the playground and are taught by one teacher. There are about a dozen pupils in these groups.”

    A dozen seems a bit high (and not like a “micro-group” at all in my opinion), but there are some good ideas there, especially the way that the group is kept isolated from other groups.

    It has occurred to me that (if schools are not reopening in the fall), that it might be a good idea to provide micro-schools in homes. Cap it at 6-8 kids and make sure that they get supervision, help with school work, tech support and pizza (or whatever) for lunch. A lot of people would be willing to do that for $500 a head per month.

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    1. Here’s an even lower-risk ideas to make the situation less miserable for kids and families:

      Families can pair up and homeschool together. That could be every day or it could be some days or the same age kids could be at the same house or you can rotate houses. I won’t say that the possibilities are endless, but they kind of are compared to a single nuclear family at home every day.

      I would also suggest that schools need to be open to the idea of some families meeting their school deadlines on a weekly basis (as opposed to daily basis), because parental supervision isn’t necessarily going to be available on the school’s schedule.

      If homeschool and strict restrictions on school and childcare continue into the fall, there needs to be a financial offset to cover the impact on family finances. And (if this is at all possible given contracts, etc.) teachers and other employees who aren’t really busy doing online work can be put to work doing other stuff: calling kids, delivering stuff, tech support, essential home visits, “subbing” for homeschool during family emergencies, etc. If kids are AWOL, families need to be contacted and asked, “What can we do to make this work for you?”

      You could also bring kids in half a dozen at a time to do labs at school and bring in high-need special needs kids in small groups.

      None of this is 0% risk, but it could be a lot lower risk than putting 500-1,000 kids plus staff in the same building all day every day (and I’m still hopeful that at least 2-day school will be possible in most of the US).

      We’ve had our 9th grade boy playing tennis through nearly the entire shutdown. The college tennis courts stayed open. What we wound up doing was to invite the same three boys or just one of the boys to come play socially distanced tennis, alternating between inviting three boys and one boy, with no doubles. (My husband goes and supervises, being very strict with the kids about distancing because at least one of them spends time with grandparents.) Again, this isn’t 0% risk, but it has kept our very social 9th grader sane. I hadn’t realized this pre-pandemic, but one of the boys lives walking distance away, so it’s been very easy to set up tennis dates.

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  10. I wasn’t able to read this because of the paywall, but this looks interesting:

    It’s about three neighborhood families doing lockdown together.

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  11. https://news.nd.edu/news/notre-dame-to-begin-fall-semester-on-campus-the-week-of-aug-10/

    “The University of Notre Dame will welcome students back to campus for the 2020-21 fall semester the week of Aug. 10, two weeks earlier than originally scheduled, and will forgo fall break in October and end the semester before Thanksgiving, the University’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., announced today in letters to the campus community.”

    Eliminating the breaks is a really good idea, in terms of decreasing opportunities for infectious people to move around.

    Locally, three of our first cases involved Hometown U. employees coming back from spring break travels.

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  12. https://www.thestar.com/news/world/europe/2020/05/18/70-cases-of-covid-19-at-french-schools-days-after-re-opening.html

    “Just one week after a third of French schoolchildren went back to school in an easing of the coronavirus lockdown, there has been a worrying flareup of about 70 COVID-19 cases linked to schools, the government said Monday.

    “Some lower grades in schools were opened last week and a further 150,000 junior high students went back to the classroom Monday as further restrictions were loosened by the government.”

    “But French Education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer sounded the alarm Monday, telling French radio RTL that the return has put some children in new danger of infection. He said the affected schools are being closed immediately. French media reported that seven schools in northern France were closed.”

    BOO!

    “France reopened about 40,000 preschools and primary schools last week, with classes capped at 15 students. About 30% of children went back to school, Blanquer said. The government has allowed parents to keep children at home.”

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