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Public Health

Totally Under Control

Noted documentarian Alex Gibney’s Totally Under Control recounts the course of the coronavirus pandemic in America. The film is available @ Hulu (where I saw it) and on demand. There’s a way of thinking about the pandemic in which those who discount its effects condescendingly accuse others of being fearful. I’ll not answer for all…

How America Bungled the Plague

A year ago, the United States was regarded as the country best prepared for a pandemic. Our government had spent nearly two decades strategizing for a doomsday scenario. So what went wrong? How is it that America, which wrote the global playbook for pandemic response, accounts for just 4 percent of the world’s population yet…

Frontline: America’s Medical Supply Crisis (Full Film)

When the coronavirus hit, why were countless Americans left unprotected amid a desperate shortage of PPE and other critical medical equipment? FRONTLINE, The Associated Press and the Global Reporting Centre investigate. In the wake of President Donald Trump’s COVID-positive diagnosis, and as cases spike in parts of the country, “America’s Medical Supply Crisis” examines why…

Indifference to Others

For every famous political figure exposed at these events, there’s going to be a non-famous staffer who never makes the news, who doesn’t have the same access to rapid testing and treatment, and who had no say in the choice to eschew basic safety measures for symbolic reasons. — Julian Sanchez (@normative) October 3, 2020…

Whitewater School Board Meeting, 9.23.20: 5 Points

The particular path of the pandemic – involving in Whitewater countless thousands of daily interactions between people – is understandably difficult to predict. Nine days after deciding unanimously to resume face-to-face instruction beginning 9.28.20, Whitewater’s school board decided to begin face-to-face instruction on 9.28.20 only for elementary school students, with a hybrid model of instruction…

September Arrives: Consequences Will Settle Claims

Posted originally on 9.1.20 —  A reminder that, for a thousand discussions, predictions, warnings, or assurances — “what has been predicted about the pandemic & economy will prove true or false as against daily events and their consequences.” Original post follows —  September arrives. Small-town Whitewater, like all America, wrestles with a pandemic and a…

Whitewater School Board Meeting, 9.14.20: 5 Points

Updated 9.16.20 with meeting video. At last night’s meeting of the Whitewater Unified School District’s board, the board voted unanimously to offer a choice of either face-to-face or virtual instruction beginning September 28th and continuing through the semester (absent any alterations in the event of significant COVID-19 infections). Parents received, last night, an email requesting…

Whitewater’s Local Government: Always Literally, Not as Often Seriously

It was the Trump apologist Salena Zito who, by way of defending Trump, suggested that his words should be taken ‘seriously, not literally.’ (She offered this defense in a deceitful effort to absolve Trump from the plain meaning of what he said, at any moment. Instead of considering his statements, one was supposed to take…

Whitewater Common Council Meeting, 9.1.20: Culture & Prohibitions

At last night’s meeting of the Whitewater Common Council, the council discussed and gave direction to the city attorney to draft an ordinance regulating large gatherings of people on private property during the pandemic. (Updated with video. A revised agenda is available here.) The council plans to meet again on 9.9.20, where they will consider a…

Whitewater School Board Meeting, 8.24.20: 5 Points

At last night’s meeting of the Whitewater Unified School District’s board, the board heard, among other items, a report on summer school, a report on the district’s use of seclusion and restraint, approved unanimously a new metric the district will use to determine its next instructional plan beginning September 28th, and held a budget hearing.…

Whitewater School Board Meeting, 8.17.20: 5 Points

At last night’s meeting of the Whitewater Unified School District’s board, the board heard (and approved on a 6-0 vote) the online platform for students choosing the virtual instruction and required staffing. (Video, 43:50.)  Some students have chosen a purely virtual format, and much of the board discussion was about an all-virtual provider. The district…

Whitewater School Board Meeting, 8.10.20: 9 Points

At last night’s meeting of the Whitewater Unified School District’s board, the board heard presentations from a consulting epidemiologist and also a former Jefferson County school administrator who now works with Jefferson County. After comment & discussion, the board voted 6-1 to extend the September 1-11 teaching format through 9.25, with the present expectation of…

Whitewater Common Council Meeting, 8.4.20: 6 Points

At last night’s meeting of the Whitewater Common Council, among other items — the council slightly modified its mask ordinance, discussed (but took no action on) a racial justice initiative that would create an Equal Opportunities Committee, voted unanimously to extend the lake drawdown project for approximately another year, and voted to continue virtual public…