Tag Archives: covid-19

Homeschooling and the babysitting function of public education

One of the biggest effects of our response to the covid-19 virus is to turn us into a nation of involuntary homeschoolers. There’s always been a suspect coincidence between the educational and the babysitting functions of compulsory public education. Kids need to get educated as basic preparation for life and citizenship in a democracy. And […]

Getting sophisticated about living with risk

  Is there a five second rule for covid-19? Remember the rule that said if you drop a piece of food on the floor you have five (or is it 10?) seconds to retrieve it before the cooties climb on board? It was always a joke—but not only. It did feel–does feel–safer to eat the […]

Imagining the New Normal.

My wife is annoyed at the phrase “new normal.” She sees it as an unnecessary concession to the virus. She’s taking it one day at a time, she says, and hasn’t given up hope that the Old Normal (which is just plain normal if you don’t allow New Normal in your vocabulary) will come back […]

Covid-19: re-learning risk tolerance

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Does FDR’s famous Depression Era pep talk apply to our present situation? Well not entirely of course. We have the virus itself to fear. The curve may have peaked in some places, but the numbers of cases and of deaths are still rising. It still feels like […]

Life vs. quality of life and other considerations

Like everybody else I know I have for several days been doing what we’ve been told to do : social distancing, washing our hands, doing our bit to “flatten the curve,” as we’ve learned to think of it. Every surface you come in contact with (of which it turns out the world has a lot) […]

The coronavirus vs. flu-as-usual

 [Note: this was written on Sunday, March 8th, four days before it appeared in the paper. It was of course–the tone and substance–immediately out-of-date.] If the world has had a hard time getting sufficiently exercised about imminent climate disaster to do much of anything about it, not so about coronavirus. As I write, panic seems […]