the reign of terror

Here in Seattle, the Covid reign of terror continues.  The girls’ school theoretically lifted their mask mandate a few weeks ago but with a caveat – if anyone in the class tests positive, everyone has to wear a mask for ten days.  If anyone who has contact with multiple classes tests positive (like a teacher or aide), the entire school has to wear a mask for ten days.  What this boils down to is that the girls have had like three days of mask free school.  It just makes me so furious I want to break things.  Effectively, the school still has a mask mandate.

They are also still requiring PCR tests to return to school after illness (of any kind) which means a mandatory two to three day stay home if you keep your kid out for a cold.  Furthermore, they continue insane levels of surveillance testing – anywhere between one and three tests a week, depending on I don’t know what.  Isla will take at least five Covid tests this week alone since she was at home sick and had to take a couple extra tests.  (In addition to the PCR to return, an immediate lateral flow is required so they know whether to impose masks on everyone else at school.)  Isla has taken well over a hundred Covid tests.  Are we approaching two hundred for her?  I don’t know.  What a waste of resources!  My Dad has taken less than five, all but one mandatory before medical procedures / surgeries.  What kind of madness is it to test healthy low risk kids dozens or hundreds of times for a disease that poses little or no risk to them while high risk elderly adults almost never test?

Remember L’s field trip to Mt. Rainier that I had to get the extra PCR for (despite the daily rapid testing planned)?  Well, that was canceled because someone at the Mt. Rainier Ins.titute apparently got Covid.  I don’t know if the school canceled it or the institute did.  Either way, L didn’t get to go.

Meanwhile, outside of school, half the kids, including the ones we choose to hang out with, don’t wear masks and socialize freely and do sports and dance and have sleepovers and pass illnesses back and forth at will.  Everyone in our family has the same cold I’m sure that L’s best friend’s family are also struck down with.  (Ironically it originated with one of the little siblings; I’m pretty sure B has a crush on the boy from that family in her class.)  The Covid theater at school just becomes increasingly absurd.

And yes, I blame the Democrats for encouraging this nonsense.  Much as the overturning of Roe v Wade infuriates, alarms and honestly even frightens me, the Democrats nonsense is affecting our family negatively every single day.  To avoid Covid lunacy, we’ve changed so many aspects of our daily lives – changed the pool we go to (so I could get in the pool and be in the same lane as my non-swimming daughter), pulled L from the ballet school she was attending (to avoid virtual classes), applied to different schools (didn’t get in sadly), childcare decisions and on and on.  (Childcare here for the under 5s is completely and wildly unreliable due to covid closures.  I have a friend – a nurse! – who went to weekend part-time work because it became too difficult to manage canceling shifts due to daycare Covid closures.  Our governor also put out guidance advising eliminating all drop-in childcare – since you can’t have cohorts, and thus have different groups of kids mixing, which makes backup childcare even harder.)

12 thoughts on “the reign of terror

  1. Karen

    Well, I do indeed feel your pain. I just took a trip (the first time since October) and sure enough, I caught COVID and brought it back to my family. I tested positive on Sunday (symptoms started on Saturday), and Brian tested positive today. Both kids have been testing negative (yesterday & today). Today we sent the little one back to school with a mask on. The larger one symptoms started with mine, he’s sneezing, coughing, and stuffed up. And today was field day for him, so we let him stay home… We are going to go through an enormous number of antigen tests because in my mind as long as my kids keep testing negative they can go too school…

  2. Christina

    I agree with Karen in if the antigen is negative, go to school with a mask! Thankfully our schools here agree.

    imo Covid is unavoidable at this point. But this is what the goal was – to make it until there was wide spread vaccines and treatments. This variant is very transmissible and I don’t think any of the current precautions will prevent people from getting it – many of them knowing simply because we are test crazy and not because they have any symptoms. This variant also seems very mild based on the current data and so I hope there is some Bayesian updating all around.

  3. admin Post author

    I have no problem testing her when she’s symptomatic. To me that’s a no-brainer. It’s all the surveillance testing, up to 3x per week in addition to symptomatic testing and any PCRs needed for field trips and whatnot that I think is insane. I also think it’s a huge waste of resources to get a PCR for kids with a cold. AND PCRs for healthy kids to go on a field trip is nuts.

    I’m sorry to hear you got Covid Karen. At least you are all vaccinated. But I hope it’s very mild and ups your immunity to the “super” level.

    Christina – you know data is somewhat mixed about whether Omicron (the original) is actually milder than Delta and Alpha. I read an article in the NYT suggesting that’s it not. Instead, the population just has immunity from a mix of vaccination and infection. I’ve also read that Delta wasn’t more severe than Alpha – just more contagious. I guess over the next two or three years we will rapidly reach a point where no one over 60 is not either vaccinated or immune through infection, which would cut down hospitalization and death.

    I’m not afraid of catching it like I would have been 18 months ago. However, I figure given immunity from vaccine or infections lasts only two to four months, probably closer to two, we’re probably all going to get it about once a year. Which is just annoying to think about – catching Covid annually until we die.

  4. Karen

    @Jen — I’m doing fine. It is like a bad head cold + sweats (which is odd). But I also agree that I anticipate coming down with this every year or so well into the future. I also think that I’m very lucky that I made it this long. I’ve had 3 doses of a vaccine, have/had access to rapid at-home test, as well as anti-virals specific to this virus. I am somewhat jealous that I know what I’ve got, and wish that with all colds I contract I could swab my nose and figure out what the particular bug that’s bothering me was/is. Or even better swabbing my kids noses and figuring out what they have.

  5. admin Post author

    What antiviral did you take? Sweats sound annoying.
    I am all about getting my parents access if they catch it but I guess even if we get it, it makes sense.

    What’s funny is that I swear I 100% have Covid symptoms right now – bad cough, low grade fever, runny / stuffy nose, fatigue. As do my kids. But we have all been tested repeatedly (including PCR for the kids) and the family I’m sure we got it from also were tested repeatedly. So just a preview I guess.

  6. becca

    I think this is far past blaming the democrats, and starting to blame the crazy people who run your private school. I’ve never heard anyone who has dealt with these rules like this, red or blue or purple states. Its nuts!

  7. admin Post author

    Becca – no doubt. But if we lived in Florida or even Virginia – and many / most Republican states – they wouldn’t be legally allowed to mandate masking. Not sure about testing but if I were governor I’d ban surveillance testing of healthy kids in the absence of an outbreak / close contacts.

  8. becca

    Do Florida and Virginia ban mask mandates in private schools? I don’t think any of the private schools here or the day cares full of unvaccinated kids – even in more liberally run DC or Maryland – have the combination of restrictions you are describing. I think a lot of private day cares are still using masks, but none have that kind of testing regime (I think they are requiring tests to return to school after exhibiting actual symptoms that could be covid).

    I answered my own question… google tells me in Virginia executive order requires parents be given an opt out for private school mask mandates; Florida allows masks mandates in private schools. Seems to me its not a Republican value to be forcing state requirements on private schools.

  9. becca

    Now I am googling other Republican states. Texas also allows private schools to have a mask mandate (public schools may not).

  10. admin Post author

    Interesting on the private schools. Sounds like Virginia is the place to be! Youngkin for president!

    Seriously, though, I don’t think mask mandates should be decided at the school level. The current situation in WA is that either the state OR the county OR the school (district) can impose a mask mandate. So you have to have all three of them leaving you in peace.

    The extreme policies both at our local school and in greater Seattle (remember that kids here well over a year of school and wore masks and until late March – and masks are still “strongly encouraged” in Seattle schools) has turned me off to any and all Covid measures. I think if they were more reasonable, I wouldn’t be so extreme.

  11. becca

    I mean, I guess the question you should ask yourself do I want my child to wear masks, read great literature, and learn about history. Or do I want my child mask free, only reading sanitized christian books, and learning about the war of northern aggression in history. Youngkin is going to do a 4 year number on Virginia school curriculums, and the kids will have long since forgotten about masks or how long the mask mandate lasted, but they are going to have to live with him re-writing history and banning books not to mention the intrusions on their reproductive health care they will have to grapple with their whole lives. This one issue is not a reason to celebrate Youngkin. Frankly I do blame the schools for Youngkin’s rise though — I don’t think it was anger at masks that did it though, it was the public school closures lasting an entire full school 2020-2021 school year. That was entirely unreasonable and a disservice to the students, unacceptable, and out of sync with the entire world.

    As for school policies – I know you disagree with CDC guidance, but I agree schools have no business (or real expertise) making these decisions themselves. My super liberal northern VA school district dropped masks when CDC guidance changed, and I think that’s the approach most of the surrounding DC region took – we will wear masks if the CDC tells us to. I think that’s an eminently reasonable approach for a school district to take.

  12. admin Post author

    Youngkin is going to ban fine literature like Democrats are trying to convince straight kids they’re gay / transgender. Neither is happening. Both is the boogie man of the opposite party based on a shred of truth.

    The Republicans’ assault on reproductive freedom on the other hand is very real and the best reason to vote Democrat.

    It’s been more than 2 years of continuous mask mandates over here and counting, so I’d like to believe you that it’ll be a bad memory in 4 years, but I’m having trouble. Hoping but having trouble.

    I think the CDC is very conservative, but I could deal if the school followed CDC guidance. It’s the going above and beyond that makes me crazy. Like seriously crazy.

    But I honestly believe that the CDC might have continued to recommend masks through the end of the school year in schools if Youngkin and one brave Democratic Virginia state assembly politician hadn’t started the ball rolling to end mask mandates. And my understanding is that the CDC STILL recommends mask mandates for kids 2-4 (preschools and daycare) since they can’t be vaccinated, even though vaccination has no impact on infection and fairly small impact on hospitalization for kids 5-11. But I digress.

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