Lockdowns hit the vulnerable the hardest

My wife’s doctor’s sister is a public school teacher in a town where the school system was failing so badly that the state took it over. The town has a 30% poverty rate, and a hispanic population (mostly Puerto Rican) of 44%.

Her students who need help the most have logged on once and then disappear. She describes their homes that she saw when they did log in as ‘chaotic’.

Compare this to my grandson whose parents are on his case to make sure he’s attentive when logged in and that he does his homework.

If you wanted to set up a system for disparate impact on minorities, school lockdown couldn’t be beat.

In some circles, disparate impact is prima facie evidence of systemic racism. So is my son a racist? My grandson is certainly going to get ahead of these kids.

Strikingly, the people most likely to use the term systemic racism, are the same ones pushing for lockdowns. It’s clear that the pandemic is of little risk to grade school kids. One can argue that locking them down prevents the spread of the virus, but that the evidence that they do so is weak.

This is basically a blog about matters scientific, not social issues. But like everything else important social issues have impinged on every aspect of our lives (and this blog) like it or not.

Due to writing about not touching your mask (2), Biden’s subarachnoid hemorrhage, the New York Times as America’s Pravda, the good stuff has been pushed to the side.

Here’s what you can look forward to if things quiet down

l. How the brain controls blood flow so active neurons get what they need

2. How studies of the transition state, show that actually calculating potential energy surfaces is a myth

3. How insulin is a protein in which folding to the proper form is very close to not happening.

4. How receptor tyrosine kinases activate G Protein Coupled Receptors — a paper by Nobelist Kobilka

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Comments

  • Ishan  On December 10, 2020 at 12:14 am

    any references for (2) by any chance?

    • luysii  On December 10, 2020 at 10:05 pm

      Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. vol. 117 pp. 27116 – 27123 ’20

  • Peter Shenkin  On December 10, 2020 at 10:35 am

    “In some circles, disparate impact is prima facie evidence of systemic racism.”

    Indeed that is said in some circles. But I don’t think they’re demonizing the students who manage to succeed, like your grandson, but rather the people who set up the system.

    It’s terribly sad, however, regardless. Blame is tempting when you have no solution. You indicated how disparate the outcome is even in the absence of lockdown. It might or might not have been obvious that the disparity would get worse with lockdown, and even if it was, the attempt to save lives deserved to take precedence.

    Of course, I don’t have a solution either.

    • Anon  On December 11, 2020 at 11:43 am

      In summary: the poor always suffers the most. Ancient times, modern times. It’s always the same unfortunately.

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