A question of timing

Northam closes schools

Unless the information we have on community spread in Virginia is wrong, I have to question whether it was wise to have people burn through their time off and savings by taking kids out of school before the virus has started to spread.

I am concerned that people will feel they have to get back to work and get their kids into some kind of daycare if schools are still closed right when the virus is widespread.

53 thoughts on “A question of timing

  1. I think you miss the point; the idea is to flatten the infection curve by slowing down the spread.

    While waiting would be more convenient and “save” time, it would be counter productive to the medical facility issues being considered.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. It is unfair of you to call Obama a moron.

          He could not know that by giving the FDA control of testing and taking that authority away from the States, it would result in single sourcing of the tests to one supplier, and that the CDC’s limited manufacturing facility, instead of the multiple suppliers we had before, thus providing backup if one had a quality control problem.

          Oh wait, he could have and should have known, any competent economist would have told him that.


          1. Well, he probably assumed that there would be a group of experts who monitored global health events that would have started the process a couple months earlier and resolved the problem

            Instead we have “no responsibility” boy doing everything to slow walk the process from the get go.

            Last week, no problem/under control. Now; State of Emergency

            Hating Obama is not a thought process.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. @Tabor

            The Obama administration CONSIDERED giving control of testing to the FDA but it was not implemented. You insult us all by stubbornly repeating lies.


            The uglier truth is now coming out. Our poor testing versus other countries was a feature not a bug. Trump made it clear to the government that testing would only make him look bad, so minimize it and they did.



            Liked by 2 people

          3. The WAPO is pay walled so I can’t comment on that one. The other two are just repeats of the same unsubstantiated smear.

            The FDA did not release the private sector to provide testing independent of the CDC until Feb 29.


            CDC Director Robert Redfield, March 4: “[I]n the past, we used to be able to have laboratories that could develop what we call “laboratory developed tests” and then be able to apply them for clinical purposes. And in the previous administration, that became regulated so that, now, for someone to do that, they had to formally file with the FDA. And what the president’s decision did was allow that regulatory relief now and that those university labs and those other labs in this country now can be fully engaged in developing laboratory diagnostics for the clinical arena so the men and women in this nation can get access to — and the doctors — to get to know the extent of [the virus] in the patients that they’re caring for. It’s, really, very important. It’s what’s changed the availability of testing overnight.”


          4. @Paul

            Thanks, I should have checked, and now that I have it really bring our moderator’s credibility into question.

            Not only was it untrue, but it deflected from the fact that it was the trump Administration’s OWN policies that were in the way and were reversed.

            SMFH, is there NO limit to the delusions of the cult?

            Liked by 2 people

          5. @Jimmie

            Sadly, this pattern of spreading KNOWN lies is ingrained with these Trump supporters. They do it all the time. No matter how boldly a “fact” is asserted by one of these people – as in this case – do not accept it without checking for yourself. I have personally challenged this lie with chapter and verse on many occasions and yet here it is again.

            Liked by 2 people

          6. @Tabor

            Sad but true – You are simply not honest. You continue to insult us with your falsehoods.

            Whatever the FDA did or did not do was not because of anything that was done or not done by the Obama administration. THAT is the LIE you stubbornly and dishonestly repeat. Whatever policy on testing kits the FDA followed was not legislated but was under the full control of Donald Trump from January 20, 2017 onward.

            Liked by 1 person

          7. Why don’t you respond to what I wrote instead of what you imagine?

            I wrote that it was wrong to blame Obama. The FDA does what the FDA does, it accumulates power and control.

            When Trump got there, the FDA’s control was in place and no doubt lit looked like it had always been that way. And until it tragically led to failure, there was nothing to point to just how bad an idea it was,

            Top down, single source production by government will never be as bullet proof as a competitive marketplace.

            The lesson to be learned is that markets are better than government for anything that doesn’t require the use of force, but you’ll never learn anything useful if all you want to do is look for a way to blame Trump. It’s like blaming Trump, or Obama, for gravity.

            Bureaucracies accumulate power to our detriment, it’s what they do.


          8. @Tabor

            Quote : “It is unfair of you to call Obama a moron. He could not know that by giving the FDA control of testing and taking that authority away from the State . . .”

            That is what you wrote and it is what I responded to. It is a LIE. Obama did NOT give the FDA control over testing. That is one of Trump’s LIES to be repeated by lying liars. Which you gladly proceeded to do.

            Whatever control the FDA had or thought it had on January 20, 2017 was entirely subject to Trump’s decisions. That jackass can try to weasel out of his responsibilities and his toadies can back him up, but it is a dog that will not hunt. He cannot tweet himself to safety on this one. And your lying for him is not going to help either.

            Liked by 2 people

          9. Trump is not the Jackass here.

            You want to hold Trump responsible for the consequences of an obscure regulation he had no reason to know about until it caused a problem. There are hundreds of thousands of pages of Federal regulations. Trump has reduced them, but even at the rate he is going it would take way more than 2 terms to get rid of all of the counterproductive ones while sparing the useful ones.

            But you are so eager to assign blame for anything to Trump that you refuse to address the real issue, the destructive nature of central control of the marketplace. Note that the private sector is doing in day s what the FDA and CDC could not do in a month.

            That is what is important here, but jackasses can’t see past their hate to learn anything.


          10. @Tabor

            The issue we are discussing is not your a priori nonsense about the market solving all problems. It is about lying liars spreading lies. Starting with Trump and moving down to you. Doubly ugly dishonesty when lives are being lost through the grotesque incompetence on display.

            Trump is the President. The buck stops on his desk. He cannot blame Obama for doing something that Obama did not do. You cannot repeat his lies and expect a pass. You say that this FDA was a detail out of Trump’s sight but you do not hesitate to accuse Obama of knowing all about it in your alternative facts world.

            Liked by 2 people

          11. No, I accuse Obama of policies that led to centralization of control of far too many things, some of which proved merely counterproductive, and this one that proved tragic. He didn’t specifically introduce this regulation but he most certainly created the trends that led to it.

            And you misunderstand ‘a priori’

            This is not a case of predicting from basic principles that central control failed where the marketplace has shined. It is a concrete example of that principle in which experience has shown us exactly how central control and single sourcing can and did fail.


          12. @Tabor

            So, in your twisted mind it is OK to lie about Obama centralizing control of test kits because in general you do not like his policies and wouldn’t this be proof of your beliefs if it were true.

            You take it as given that FDA regulation of testing is a bad thing. You are wrong. It is needed. That market you love so much is full of criminals and con men and without regulation they would be killing people with tests that are the modern equivalent of snake oil.

            And, finally you want us to forget that whatever may be have been wrong about FDA test policies could have been set right by Trump at any time in the last three years and NOT two months too late to do much good. Why? Because testing would make him look bad.

            Liked by 2 people

          13. You are blinded by your hatred.

            We did just fine with States regulating testing for a long time, The FDA takes over we wind up with a single source of a necessary product with quality control issues at a critical time.

            I’ll take your imagined criminals and con men(who still must find product liability insurance) over the guaranteed incompetence of government any day.

            And expecting Trump to find and fix an obscure regulatory failing before it causes a problem among the thousands of obscure regulations we are buried under is like expecting him to change a tire before it goes flat.

            But when you live and breath hatred, you can convince yourself of a lot.


          14. @Tabor

            Your accusing me of hatred as your only defense against being caught in a bald-faced lie is kind of lame. You are clever at justifying Trump’s lies. Can’t you spin up a defense for yours? Maybe you were “joking” or maybe you “misspoke” or maybe “alternative facts” are just dandy?

            As for blindness it is laughable how you accuse others while you consistently exhibit an inability to see what is right in front of you. Trump’s grotesque incompetence for example.

            You pretend that without the FDA’s meddling the market would be overflowing with safe and accurate tests for the novel coronavirus. No, it would not. There was ZERO market for such a product until about three months ago. There was NOTHING Obama did that stopped Trump’s FDA from calling on anybody they wanted as soon as they wanted to do it. Even Trump’s CDC Director now admits they waited eight weeks too long before they sought for-profit help. And why was that? Because Trump was more concerned about appearances than he was about the health and safety of the American people so he did not push testing as he should have done.

            Liked by 1 person

      1. While it would have been nice to allow local schools to take the lead, the idea that leadership from the top is a bad idea is right in line with what your hero in the oval office does, No responsibility, no remorse, no empathy. Yeah, common man. I want your votes, but I ain’t gonna do dick for you unless it makes me look “beautiful”.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I see your point about flattening the curve now. I still think the timing is off, but if, sooner or later, everyone is going to get exposed, it reduces the strain on medical facilities and our limited supply of ventilators by not having everyone get sick at the same time.

      Valid point.

      I still don’t know what to do about keeping things going while this passes. Perhaps a family stipend from the government so people can stay home, but some people can’t. Maybe a national Chapter 13, no one loses their home or business, for the duration.

      But so long as we’re using the crisis as a political trudgeon we won’t solve the problems.


  2. “Unless the information we have on community spread in Virginia is wrong . . .”

    What information? With extremely limited testing we are flying blind.

    With its slow incubation, its many very mild cases and its high contagiousness the virus is very likely to be widespread already.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is all true of the virus where it is present, but what is timely in VA Beach or NOVA is not timely West of Farmville.

      What does it accomplish to close the schools if people feel they need to work to get by, or to take care of others, and put their kids in day care at their church?


      1. I’d opine that given the daily movement of people in today’s society that the “timely” aspects of a few hundred miles is pretty irrelevant.

        Try to cherry pick based on population density and geography will inevitably fail and short circuit efforts for containment.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. My granddaughter goes to preschool at a local church. Guess what? CLOSED and following the school schedule. My daughter is a public school teacher and will be working from home, except for Monday, as far as we know at this point.

        Your comment proves that the bill the House passed last night is NEEDED to overcome some of what you address. It could have been sent to Trump to sign today, but Magic Mitch disappeared to attend a party with HIS Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and told the rest of the Senate, “See ya Monday.” Talk about caring about the common man. NOT!!!


  3. RE: “I am concerned that people will feel they have to get back to work and get their kids into some kind of daycare if schools are still closed right when the virus is widespread.”

    As a side note, a higher prevalence of traditional families would make society more resilient during a pandemic. You might even speculate that biological evolution produced this very design solution because pandemics have happened before.


        1. White picket fence and 2 car garage?

          The fact you find that “traditional” is charming, out of touch with reality, but charming nonetheless..

          Liked by 2 people

        2. That is commendable. What if your children got jobs in Kansas or anywhere else not close to home?

          Then your “old folk” job would have a heck of a commute.

          The point being that since WW2, we have been a very mobile society. Blacks started earlier with the Great Migration because of intolerable societal conditions. But the rest of the nation started moving around with new found degrees, highways and airlines boosting the trend.

          Then, of course, women started careers other than teaching and nursing.

          The “born, grow up, raise a family near home and die in the same bed” went out with the moon landing. That same phenomenon, however, helped spur an incredible economy.

          We are not different from other modern societies in that respect. We just never got past the “good old days mentality” with laws allowing childcare, medical leave, and other family friendly efforts to back up our worship of “family values”.

          We expect our workers, wage earners and management alike to sacrifice family for the company but somehow conservative values forgot that it is a two way street.

          The Republican opposition to medical leave and other safety net extensions in this last debate is a visible symptom of that curious “ethic”. They are so afraid it might be a permanent thing.

          So better benefits for modern families or family values: are they opposites? Forked tongue stuff here folks.


          Liked by 3 people

          1. I don’t know many Republicans who are opposed to family leave for companies large enough to hold spaces.

            Paid family leave is another thing entirely, requiring employers to assume responsibility for their employees failure to save.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Yeah, those sloths. Luckily for us they are mostly in the rest of the world. And even with those wastrels on the payroll, many of their companies were tough competition for us.

            They must know something.

            Liked by 2 people

    1. It would be nice if families could flourish with single income households. I am afraid those days of union wages, pensions, GI bill educations, inexpensive healthcare are long gone. About 42% of jobs pay $15 or less per hour.

      People are already delaying marriage and children by many years because of costs relative to incomes.

      We talk about family values but our system says otherwise. Childcare and family leave policies are meager compared to our competition in the First World. Not to mention the hours per week we work.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. RE: “I am afraid those days of union wages, pensions, GI bill educations, inexpensive healthcare are long gone. About 42% of jobs pay $15 or less per hour.”

        I’m more inclined to emphasize “Nature knows best” type thinking in this context. All the things you mention are examples of temptations to use government planning to achieve social engineering ends, but big-government social planning may be the real cause of the unnatural environment we have created for ourselves.


  4. It was certainly a surprise with no warning. My child’s school has chromebooks for virtual learning and were in the planning stages for it but voila with no lead time. Certainly an overreaction at this point. Gotta deal with it now.


    1. I believe it is VB schools where they all have Chromebooks.

      It may have been a better idea to do what VB and Norfolk were planning to do. Close on Monday, allowing the teachers to get their plans together for on-line learning during a closure. Bring the kids back on Tuesday to review what they needed to do and close starting Wednesday.

      However, decisive leadership is NOT a bad thing and that is what Northam did.

      I also wonder if there were an (R) after the governor’s name, would the naysayers here have an issue with it?


      1. Depends on at what point decisive morphs into overbearing.

        The better question would be whether a governor with an (R) would have presumed to tell school districts without a case of COVID within 100 miles when to close.

        A better approach would have been to have a teleconference for the district leaders to inform them of what to look for, and give them latitude on the mandatory attendance days so they could make their own decisions locally.

        For some districts, now is the time, for others it may come months down the road, Some may need a couple of weeks, some may be done for the year.

        But local flexibility, and not top-down central control, is what to expect from a Republican governor.


        1. You STILL don’t get it, and it has nothing to do with the “D” or “R” (not everything is about politics).

          By the time the “district leaders” see ANYTHING it is too late.

          I know a DDS skips the Med School thingy, but come on….

          Liked by 2 people

        2. But if that Republican governor made the same decision, you would cheer it.

          You accuse those who disagree with your opinions as politicizing things, when it is YOU who is just as guilty. A mirror before posting might prevent that.


          1. The idea is stopping community spread before it starts. You seem to have a problem with being proactive vice reactive.

            And the only time you gave McDonnell crap was if he worked WITH Democrats to achieve goals for the state.


          2. Not really, I criticized Bob, to his face,. over the Marriage Amendment.

            And no, I don’t have a problem with being proactive, the problem is with being premature. When people’s reserves run out they will go back to work or send their kids to daycare.

            Getting ahead of the curve is good, but the curve doesn’t start at the same time everywhere in the state.


          3. And based on your statement alone, you should realize that the prudent thing was to close the schools now BEFORE any one could join the curve.

            And when it comes to reserves, the House passed the bill on Friday to help that out. But McConnell thought it was more important to give the Senate the weekend off, and he headed out to some event to stand side-by-side with HIS Supreme Court Justice, Brent Kavanaugh. Why didn’t the Senate meet on Friday night or Saturday, when he KNEW the House was going to pass the relief package (on a truly bipartisan basis, by the way)? A national emergency was declared by Trump, and McConnell left town to try and work on his campaign. The epitome of GOP leadership in 2020.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Wow, you just have to make everything partisan.

            The weekend will make no difference in implementing the package, but the package may not be all that effective.

            We need something like a time-out on non-essential transactions. Almost like a national Chapter 13.


          5. Partisan? I would have criticized a Democratic leader for doing the same thing in this instance. (Can YOU say the same?) The kicker is Trump said he would support the bill, even if it didn’t pass with only 40 Republicans voting against it.

            Your accusation of partisanship on my part is a very hypocritical thing to say when you back the majority of all things Trump.

            And your pessimism is noted.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. @Tabor

            For someone who is constantly claiming a superior grasp of science you seem to be letting your political ‘druthers “Trump” your intellect.

            The combination of a slow incubation process and being very highly contagious means that we have no idea which part of the state or the country is at greatest risk from this virus. And with almost no tests available no way we can find out. Unless we want our medical facilities overrun as they were in Italy we have to flatten the curve EVERYWHERE.

            Liked by 1 person

          7. The grasp you don’t seem to have is on reality.

            Unless we can find a way to support the whole population staying home for 8 to 12 weeks, at some point people are going to start going back to work and sending their children back to school or to some form of daycare.

            So, if there are NO cases west of Farmville, but we burn through those people’s reserves anyway, they will be going back to public contact right when the virus gets there.

            The concept of flattening the curve is valid, but the presumption that the time to start burning through people’s limited time home is the same everywhere is not.


          8. Most daycares are closing down as well. Including the YMCA here. So there will be EXTREMELY limited availability for child care, and there fore, the relief package passed last week WILL help. And may have to be extended as well.

            Liked by 1 person

          9. @Tabor

            We do not know that there are no cases west of Farmville. THAT is the point. But, for the reasons stated there very likely ARE such cases and they will explode if people do not get serious about “social distancing.”

            Of course, “social distancing” entails economic hardship but the “reality” is that it will be worse if action is not taken when there is still a chance to minimize the spread. You, yourself, compare this to Pearl Harbor and you are not wrong. In war it is necessary for the “collective” to “spread the wealth” to help everyone get through it.

            Liked by 1 person

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