I wholeheartedly condemn GOP members who refused to wear masks in a closed room for hours. Many Dem colleagues are now Covid + as a result. BUT CAN WE TALK ABOUT WHAT THAT MEANS FOR TEACHERS? A thread. /1
For hours, masked Dem MOCs were in an enclosed space with unmasked GOP members. Repeat. Dems had masks on. Shoulda been fine, right? Wrong. Let’s talk about aerosols and saturation. Covid is airborne and can linger in the air. /2
Conditions at the Capitol were similar to everyday school environments - especially high school. Crowding, shouting, sporadic adherence to mask wearing. Even in some schools doing a better job at compliance, we’re still talking about closed indoor spaces. /3
But what about the magic of new ventilation systems? Well, they help, but let’s discuss asymptomatic spread and high levels of community infection: when community levels are high, it is safe to assume asymptomatic cases are as well. /4
So, you have potentially many undiagnosed cases moving around your school. Closed spaces, with some ventilation which should help. But, at this point, it’s about *saturation.* Your standard ventilation system cannot scrub so many Covid aerosols from the air./5
Students moving from room to room in this Covid soup may be fine. But, guess who won’t be? Your teachers and staff, who have to stay in the same room all day. They may take every precaution: they may be masked like the Dem MOCs, but the air saturation is too great./6
At this point, acquiring Covid becomes a game of statistics, not due caution. Move your mask out of the way for a second? Wear anything less than an N95? Potentially get larger droplets in your eyes? You have Covid./7
I live in a school district that is seeing greater than 30% test positivity in the community with more than 1000 per 100,000 cases. Hospitals are overwhelmed. And yet...they’ve decided to scrap their original closure plan for “targeted closures.”/8
Targeted school closures seem like a smart idea, but there is one fatal flaw: you aren’t actually testing enough people to know where your asymptomatic spread is happening. Generally, though there are exceptions, most people here are only testing if they have symptoms./9
And so we have a Capitol siege scenario. Teachers, like the Dem MOCs, despite masks, have become ill in air with high concentrations of Covid aerosols. Our district is now offering a $500 bonus for subs, which is clearly the wrong path forward./11
But there is a more than valid concern about people who have to make a living needing the structure of a school day and being unable to shift to remote work. When faced with starvation or risk of disease, I would 100% choose to feed my family every. Single. Time./11
This is why the plurality of wealthy nations have provided survival checks EVERY MONTH to their citizens and have engaged in targeted community shutdowns either nationwide, by province, or by town. We know that in times of uncontrolled community spread, this is the solution./12
I hope in their zeal to reopen schools, the @Transition46 team takes a close look at the Capitol situation and carefully considers the implications. In order to do this safely, schools need to close during high transmission, and folks need regular survival checks, not crumbs./13
Dear @RepBonnie and @RepJayapal, I wish you a speedy recovery. Hopefully, you’ll be back in full form soon. And when that happens, please vote for monthly #survivalchecks and strict guidelines as to when schools *must* close. America needs more compassion, clarity, and cash./fin

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More from @TheChalis

5 Jun 20
So, I didn’t get around to requesting an absentee ballot and I went to early vote today instead. I was also curious as to how the Barrow County BOE was going to live up to the promises the GA SoS made with regards to new machines. TLDR; right to secret ballot = denied. /1
I walked in, encouraged by social distancing stickers and hand sanitizer. Then I approached the election official. No mask. We’ll come back to this issue in a minute.

Then a second poll worker (also no mask) instructed me to pick a machine. Here is where the fun begins.. /2
As I look into the room ahead, there are perhaps 8 machines in a room that looked to be 15’x20’. Machines had cute blue dividers of the sort intended to keep kids from cheating on tests. Cute, I say, in the sense that they were laughable, and as effective as cling wrap pants. /3
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