T. Ryan Gregory predicts the future!

This is my prediction, too. I have no confidence that we’ll make it through the semester without some radical revision in our plans.

I’ll testify to the burnout problem personally — the stress and uncertainty take their toll. Also, the declining confidence in university administrations is real.

Gregory, by the way, has announced that he’s on the market for a new position already, so if you’re at a university that isn’t saddled with an out-of-touch, blithering administration (are there such things) you might be able to snap him up.


  1. robro says

    I was in a video meeting with work colleagues the other day who have school-aged children. They were all predicting the same thing. Two or three weeks, then the schools will close again. I’m sure that parents and children want to get back to school, it’s just infinitely idiotic to push this.

    BTW Texas Gov. Greg Abbot has tested positive. I would wish him ill, but he’s been vaxxed so the odds are he’ll have a mild case.

  2. whheydt says

    Local schools where I live (Vallejo, CA) started up yesterday. My grandson is in 8th grade. They are requiring masks all the time (in line with Calif. rules). Even so, I think it’s just a matter of time before there are quarantines and closures. He did all of last year remotely and I can set up the system he used…again.

  3. dbinmn says

    After deciding to go mask optional in our district, no board member, admin, or other has answered my question about how to handle possible requests from parents, “We want our child to wear a mask at school, but have found he/she is not, can you please make sure he/she is wearing one?” “Your seating chart has my child next to an unmasked student, can you please move him/her?” (seating charts shared with nurse IS part of the return to school plan.)

  4. brucegee1962 says

    Gregory left out the important step where Republican politicians who opposed masks try to blame kid hospitalizations on Democrats who tried to get kids to wear them.

  5. raven says

    Yeah, I’m sure there will be outbreaks in the first few weeks in most schools and universities.
    Some schools have already opened, and that is exactly what has happened to them.

    In my local area, in the spring, there was limited back to school with masks and all the other public health measures. The local health authority published a list of elementary and secondary schools that had Covid-19 cases and/or out breaks. It was all of them at one point or another.
    And, this was before Delta.

  6. raven says

    NYtimes August 17, 2021

    U.S. to Advise Boosters for Most Americans 8 Months After Vaccination
    Nursing home residents and health care workers will most likely be the first to get booster shots, as soon as September, followed by other older people who were vaccinated last winter.
    Sharon LaFraniere Published Aug. 16, 2021 Updated Aug. 17, 2021, 6:50 p.m. ET

    The Biden administration has decided that most Americans should get a coronavirus booster vaccination eight months after they received their second shot, and could begin offering third shots as early as the third week of September, according to administration officials familiar with the discussions.

    Officials are planning to announce the decision on Wednesday at the White House. Their goal is to let Americans who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines know now that they will need additional protection against the Delta variant, which is causing caseloads to surge across much of the nation. But the new policy will depend on the Food and Drug Administration authorizing additional shots.

    To the surprise of no one, we will all be advised to get a booster vaccine shot soon.
    Works for me. There are too many breakthrough infections and too many vaccinated people spreading the virus around.

    My friend who is now working in the Covid-19 virus ICU has already gotten a third booster shot.

    They will also probably end up vaccinating the children under 12, sooner or later. They are a huge source of the unvaccinated population and are also now filling up the hospitals.

  7. says

    @8 raven
    Only issue with vaccinating kids is it reduces the amount of vaccine available to other countries. I’m not saying holding off vaccinating kids is a good thing, I am saying that there are other factors involved. Should we prioritize our own country over the rest of the world? I honestly can’t answer that.

  8. Artor says

    @9 Ray Ceeya
    Put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others. It’s not just a good idea.

  9. raven says

    Only issue with vaccinating kids is it reduces the amount of vaccine available to other countries.

    We can’t even use all the vaccines we have in stock right now or give them away. They are just sitting around, expiring, and getting poured down the sink.

    Vaccinating our own children (a few millions of children) will have a negligible effect on the world’s unvaccinated which number 5 billion.

  10. says

    Wow, I am totally shocked that the people who spent decades eliminating full-time tenure-track positions in favor of insufficiently-paid benefit-free short-term ones would make bad and short-sighted decisions about how to run their schools. This is a complete surprise which I say was entirely beyond the ability of anybody to foresee. Other things which have given me similar shocks today are the US losing in Afghanistan, the defendants getting eviscerated in Dominion’s defamation suit, the sun setting in the west, and water being wet.

  11. raven says

    A red county in California, of course.
    More violence. A teacher was attacked in California by an antimasker.


    An elementary school teacher was beaten on the first day of the new semester by a father angry about a mask mandate

    Sophia Ankel August 14, 2021,
    A teacher in California was punched by a parent who was angry about the school’s mask mandate.
    The teacher was sent to the hospital after suffering lacerations to the face, officials said Friday.

    The parent has been banned from showing up at the elementary school.

    A teacher had to be hospitalized after he was attacked by a parent who was angry about a mask mandate at an elementary school in Amador County, California, on Wednesday, NBC reported.

    The incident occurred when the parent, who was picking up his daughter from Sutter Creek Elementary School, saw her wearing a face covering, in line with the school district’s COVID-19 policy.

    The father proceeded to get into a heated argument with the school principal over the matter, in which he allegedly called the situation a “conspiracy” and claimed children “are being treated like animals,” according to CNN.

    A male teacher tried to step in during the argument to calm the father down, but a fight still ensued.

    Sutter Creek Police officers did not arrest the student’s father but said they are still investigating the incident.

    According to Amador County Unified School District Superintendent Torie Gibson, the teacher suffered “lacerations on his face, some bruising on his a face and a pretty good knot on the back of his head,” NBC reported. He was treated at the hospital but was released on the same day.

    It was unclear if the parent sustained any injuries, but he was banned from being on campus.

    “Sutter Creek Police officers did not arrest the student’s father but said they are still investigating the incident.” Where have we seen that before. Oh right, in LA the same day.
    This was a serious assault resulting in injury to a teacher requiring hospitalization. And the police are still trying to figure out if a crime was committed.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if the Sutter Creek police are full of right wingnut thugs.

  12. snarkrates says

    As Ray Ceeya says above, the strategy of giving a “booster” to Americans is that it may be counterproductive long term. In many countries, the vaccine is still not widely available. Every person who is unvaccinated is a petri dish in which viral loads can multiply and mutate, eventually producing a more virulent and vaccine resistant strain. We’ve seen what has happened with delta–which is more virulent, although still fairly susceptible to the vaccine.
    There are still countries with sane populations who desperately want to get vaccinated. Not only are these countries more deserving (because more willing), vaccinating them to herd immunity is also a better use of available vaccines and probably provides more benefit, ultimately to everyone, including Americans.

  13. anat says

    Also, getting more unvaccinated people vaccinated does more to improve the protection of the population than somewhat improving the protection of someone who was already vaccinated, as long as the vaccinated person retained any protection. So boosters for immune-compromised people and other vulnerable people are OK, but I doubt it is a priority for the rest. However, if vaccines are expiring with nobody to take them, then might as well give boosters to all comers.

  14. jenorafeuer says

    Ahhh, Guelph. I’m familiar with the University of Guelph (I went to the University of Waterloo, which is only about 30km/20mi away) and considering it’s one of the major agricultural schools in Canada, I’m unsurprised to see good biology there.

    This is in Ontario, so no Republicans, but the Conservative Premier Doug Ford here is in the category of ‘trying to appeal to Trump’s sort of base but too smart to actually go all in’. (And yes, this is the brother of the infamous crack-smoking mayor of Toronto Rob Ford from a few years back.) He’s been waffling back and forth on the pandemic all along because he’s trying to appeal to the right wingnuts but he also realizes that the pandemic turning into a disaster would hurt his re-election chances. On the positive side, he referred to anti-maskers as ‘a bunch of Yahoos’ last year. On the negative side, he keeps trying to re-open things and get back to normal early.

  15. jenorafeuer says

    Actually, there almost certainly are ‘republicans’ in Ontario, but in the British anti-monarchy sense, not in the American political party sense.

  16. raven says

    This was the first headline in my news feed.

    Texas couple who declined to get covid vaccine die, leaving 4 children orphans. …https://www.washingtonpost.com › nation › 2021/08/18

    23 minutes ago — A mom of 4 who died of covid days after her husband makes one final wish: ‘Make sure my kids get vaccinated’.

    Nothing unusual about it.
    Today 500 people in the USA will die from the Covid-19 virus.
    95% of them will be antivaxxers and Covid-19 virus deniers.

  17. sophiab says

    Yeah, people in rich countries getting boosters while poor countries have barely started vaccinations is not the worst-case scenario, but it’s a bad scenario. I realize it sucks, but rich countries do have options that are not available to the poor (many working from home, for instance). One thing that would be easy, and seemingly would help would be some temporary patent waivers to let a bunch of countries ramp up production. I don’t even care if we throw away a bunch of money to the companies to compensate.

    Especially targeting immuno suppressed folks in all countries first should be a priority as they can become chronically infected with corona (different from long covid, virus lingers alive for months) as those a variant-factories. I keep seeing people declare this over, and it makes me want to yell. I hope its over, but I in no way feel we’re out of the woods yet.

  18. Paul K says

    Reginald Selkirk @ 13: From the article you linked to. ‘No charges were filed in the altercation, district officials said.’ Before that, in the statement from the superintendent: ‘This type of behavior will not be tolerated in Eanes ISD.’ Obviously, it will be, if we go by the first quote. WHY were no charges filed? Because of the fear of a backlash, possibly (let’s not hold people responsible for their bad actions; that will surely get others with a similar mindset to behave better). Or possibly, as Raven has said when posting about similar incidents, because the police are sympathetic to the criminal assaulters. Either way, we’re in big trouble. On so many fronts, the wrong-headed aggressors just keep getting away with the things they do, and they just keep escalating. We’re all frogs in a pot, with the temperature rising.

    If anyone joined us out of a time machine from even five years ago, they would have a hell of a time being able to take in just how bad things have gotten, so quickly. I know I’m preaching to a choir here, but some days are getting really hard to take (I’m on my local school board), and those days are becoming more common.

  19. brucej says

    Here in Arizonastan the governor is stubbornly demanding that schools open up no masks, vax requirements, nothing. He is promising to withhold federal aid granted to schools to deal with the pandemic to any that persist in requiring masks and jail city or county officials who mandate vaccinations for their employees.

    We are literally being ruled by monsters, just flat out monsters.

  20. raven says

    He is promising to withhold federal aid granted to schools to deal with the pandemic to any that persist in requiring masks and jail city or county officials who mandate vaccinations for their employees.

    Does he even have that sort of legal power? I doubt in most states if the governor can actually do that. For one thing state law can’t overrule federal law.

    Virus outbreaks temporarily close 4 Texas school districts AP NEWS
    By JUAN A. LOZANO August 17, 2021

    HOUSTON (AP) — As the new school year begins for Texas students and mask mandates are debated in various state courts, at least four school districts have already closed campuses due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

    This has been happening everywhere. I’m sure the Arizona schools will have Covid-19 outbreaks within weeks after they start the Fall quarter.

    We are literally being ruled by monsters, just flat out monsters.

    No better way to say it.

    Ironically, the people and governors killing their own citizens by the tens of thousands always call themselves “pro-life”. They aren’t pro-life, they are anti-human.

  21. raven says

    Delta Variant Is Sending More Children to the Hospital https://www.nytimes.com › coronavirus-children-delta
    Aug 10, 2021 — Hospitals in coronavirus hot spots have been particularly hard hit. On a single day last week, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, in Little Rock, had …

    We don’t quite yet have the data to say that the Delta variant hits children harder than the previous Covid-19 virus. (And why not? Looks like the CDC is dropping the ball here.)

    OTOH, the people actually working in the hospitals and pediatric ICUs are seeing a whole lot more children who are a whole lot sicker. In fact, most pediatric ICU’s are full. If you ask the health care workers on the front lines, they will tell you that what they see is another level of pathogenesis towards both adults and children. The Delta virus is much different than the old variants.

    This is not going to be a good school year for children.

  22. birgerjohansson says

    So, governors and mayors model their conduct on the idiot in charge of the facility in “Alien 3”?