Catching Up with Readers: A Correction and an Explanation

Voting at polling places may be a thing of the past in Los Angeles County.

EVERYBODY VOTE BY MAIL? A CORRECTION:

In my May 4 Musings, I wrote: L.A. County Supervisors voted unanimously on May 5 to send vote-by-mail ballots to every person registered for the November general election (six months away), citing concerns about Covid-19 and social distancing. The board also directed L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan to take the necessary measures to offer in-person voting options.

According to a May 3 story in the L.A. Daily News, ‘Logan has previously warned that such a move will be expensive. No price tag was included in the motion, which directs the county CEO to work with Logan to identify funding. The board also agreed to send letters to federal and state legislative advocates seeking money for the effort.’”

One reader correctly questioned whether I was clairvoyant. No, but obviously I don’t know how to read a calendar. The Board of Supervisors passed this motion on Tuesday, April 28.

One must admire the board’s optimism. They don’t know where they’re going to get the money to pay for mail-in ballots, but they passed the motion anyway.

 

SCHOOL CHILDREN SHOULD NOT RETURN TO THEIR CAMPUSES:

In another May 3 Musing, I alerted readers that they could submit Covid-19 questions to State Senator Ben Allen for his virtual Town Hall meeting (with Congressman Ted Liu and L.A. Councilmember Mike Bonin) on Wednesday, May 6, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

I asked:  As of May 2, there have been no Covid-19 deaths for kids under the age of 17 in Los Angeles County. For those in the 18-49 age range there have been 131 deaths.

 Given that 2,171 people have died of Covid-19 in the County, and none have been children under the age of 17–why can’t school resume? Or at least elementary school? Or will the governor and legislature bow to the teacher’s union?

I received two letters. Both questioned my research and  one stated, “Kids could carry Covid-19 to school, spread the virus to their teachers and classmates, who would then carry it home and perhaps kill a grandparent or three, also possibly some parents and/or older siblings, not to mention possibly knocking off members of some teacher’s families, and potentially making a lot of people sicker than they have ever been — possibly impacting their future health.

“Very enlightened of you. I’m sure elementary school teachers everywhere, for whom you apparently have not one ounce of consideration, will appreciate your suggestion.”

CIRCLING THE NEWS EXPLANATION:

There have still been no Covid-19 deaths among those under 18 years old in Los Angeles County.

According to the CDC, as of May 1, there had been nine deaths in the United State in the under-14 age category and 42 deaths between the ages of 15 to 24. (This is out of a total listed 37,308 deaths.)

Simply put: Up to age 24, there were 51 deaths out of 37,308 deaths nationwide. The majority of the deaths were among those 65 and older (8,001), 75-84 years old (10,196) and the 85-and-over group (11,458).

As of May 1, of the 37,308 deaths reported by the CDC nationwide, 29,655 (almost 80 percent) were people 65 and over. We need to acknowledge the stats and work to keep our seniors safe.

The Guardian reported on May 1 (“European Schools Get Ready to Reopen Despite Concern about Pupils Spreading Covid-19”) that schools and nurseries in Denmark and Norway had reopened, and that France and the Netherlands would reopen on May 11, with Germany  reopening schools next week. Sweden never closed. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/01/children-as-likely-to-spread-coronavirus-as-adults-says-scientist)

If a child lives in a multigenerational home, I believe that child, according to CDC statistics, should continue online learning. Children can be asymptomatic and it is the elderly that are dying.

Cora Larson, this editor’s grandmother, taught elementary school at He Dog in Todd County S.D.

As far as teachers:

My grandmother returned to school at age 56 after her husband was killed by a Fourth of July fireworks shell in 1950. She taught at He Dog School on the reservation, retiring at age 74. My father taught high school and my mother was a seventh-grade math teacher on the Rosebud Reservation, a Title I school. I support education and a child’s right to receive an education – and a good education from an excellent teacher.

As a child of teachers, I understand the issues – the lack of pay, dealing with the administration, youth who do not want to be in a classroom and are disruptive and parents, who are either totally disinterested or overly interested.

But to be clear, the teacher’s union is good at what it does, which is to protect teachers: it doesn’t always address what’s best in education.

 

 

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