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There you have it folks. What has changed from a medical standpoint with regards to masking efficacy from the beginning of the school term until now? Absolutely fucking nothing from an epidemiological standpoint.

What has changed is that we have anti-vax lunatics closing border crossings and disrupting traffic in Alberta cities. These foolish ignorant people make up a significant part of the UCP’s ‘base’. And thus, despite what the science indicates or even what the precautionary principle suggests we’re just gonna do the opposite because it is politically expedient.

Gonna take this week off of teaching and let the COVID party take place in the schools without me.

This is what happens when you let the dipshits dictate public health policy.

Tim Minchin’s classic Christmas tune. Enjoy your time with your family and friends while you can.

My dear readers and commentators thank you for staying with me and sharing your thoughts and opinions. You are really quite a swell bunch. :) Happy Holidays to you all and my best wishes in the coming New Year. Treasure and be grateful for what you have.

Sincerely,

The Arbourist.

 

I haven’t been blogging these last couple of weeks because Fran, my mother, had to go to the hospital. She had an persistent UTI, which upon further investigation at the University of Alberta Hospital also coincided with a pneumonia. Fran was already suffering from the damage of two previous heart attacks along with atrial fibrillation and diabetes.

On Friday March 5th Fran had just come out of ICU she had stabilized and was in the regular care rooms, my visits on that Friday and Saturday were hopeful as she seemed to have stabilized and was beginning the road to recovery.

Late Sunday night the situation drastically changed. All of her vitals plunged and she was rushed back to ICU. I was not called until early Monday morning. My girlfriend Tara and myself rushed to the ICU where Fran’s doctors outlined the situation and then had the ‘you need to sit-down’ talk.

Fran was barely responding to the highest levels of medicine to keep her blood pressure up and antibiotics to quell the pneumonia and now septic infection that was ravaging her body. Everything that could be done, had been done. Her body was simply overwhelmed and a systemic cascade of organ failure had begun.

Fran was disconnected from life support at 2:55pm, Monday March 8th. She was not conscious or lucid (I don’t think), but I spoke with her, held her hand and told her that she was loved and her pets were safe.

Fran’s vital ceased at 3:00pm. She passed calmly with dignity and in the presence of her family.
——

Today I awoke and went to the living room.  I sat on the couch and looked out the window.  That’s Fran’s car behind our still winter slept tree.

 

 

I could think of nothing to do.  So I put on Mozart’s Requiem in D minor and listened and remembered all I could about my Mom’s life and started to grieve over her passing. Please honour her passing as I did with the last movement, the Communio from the Requiem.  It begins at 41:46 in the video.

Communio – Lux aeterna

Lux aeterna luceat eis, Domine,
cum sanctis mis in aeternum,
quia pius es.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis,
cum sanetis tuis in aeternum,
quia plus es.

May eternal light shine on them, O Lord.
with Thy saints for ever, because
Thou art merciful.
Grant the dead eternal rest, O Lord,
and may perpetual light shine on them,
with Thy saints for ever,
because Thou are merciful.

 

Her cat Angel came and sat with me for the entire requiem.  She knew.

 

  I am lost without words.

 

(Thus, I am taking a bit of break from blogging.  Know that I have my Tara and my family supporting me through this time.  Thank you all for commemorating with me Fran’s life, it’s the best one can hope for in these Covid times.)

We Survived.  Let us celebrate our perseverance and fortitude in dealing with 2020’s challenges.

 

Thank you to my friends and followers who read and comment on my blog.  I’m glad we can come together to share our arguments, thoughts, and opinions.

Take care friends, all the best to you and yours in the New Year.

 

Arbourist

Mystro

Bleatmop

 

In Alberta our current government is off the rails.  They are enacting austerity programs that are targeting the public sectors of our society during a pandemic.  The quarrel with Alberta doctors over their working conditions during this exceptional time exemplifies the negligence of this UCP government.

This same radical right United Conservative government laid off thousands of Educational Assistants and support staff during the pandemic as well.  The pattern is clear.  The UCP are starving each of the public sectors of our society of the funds and people necessary for them to function efficiently.  The next round of bullshit will be point out how these same gutted public sectors are not doing a good job and therefore must be replaced with private, more efficient, systems of delivery.

The UCP of Alberta are taking plays from the very first page Disaster Capitalism’s playbook.  They are pushing through reactionary anti-education, anti-worker, anti-public health, reforms in the legislator at a marathon rate with essentially no debate.  Albertan’s will be waking up to a very different set of ground rules in society, and most of said rules will be making their lives marginally worse.

Speaking of marginally worse, the contract for Alberta Teachers is up on August 30th.  There will be no joy at the negotiating table this year, let me assure you.  Austerity will be the only option – while we generously fund pipelines to nowhere – for Alberta Teachers.

Plastic shields for students? Netherlands is doing it.  Alberta is not.

Concomitantly, Teachers will be asked to perform their duties under conditions that are directly hazardous to not only their students’ health, but theirs and their families as well.  No additional funding for pandemic measures is on the table for the opening of the school year.  No PPE, no classroom caps of 15, no additional cleaning personal or cleaning routines will be available.  Teachers will be expected to take up the pandemic slack, as do ‘the best they can’ with the dangerous circumstances mandated by the UCP government.

This is unacceptable.  Teachers should not have to unreasonably risk their lives and the lives of their families working in unsafe conditions.  Is it just to expect teachers to be responsible for the death of their aging parents, or young children because of the government’s mandated unsafe working conditions in the schools?

Alberta teachers will not get, as in the previous agreements, another cent more in wages.  Cost of living be damned.  We expect that, especially with this government that is so completely beholden to private sector; especially Oil and Gas.  The continued existence of the white elephant Energy War Room more than proves this egregious bias, the fact that it continues to exist during the pandemic will be one of the darker stains on this government’s legacy.

Wages aside, it is not reasonable for Alberta Teachers to risk their lives (and their families) to perform their duties.  We are being set up to be the at the very nexus of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.  The situation, as currently mandated, is a untenable situation.

We must seriously consider a strike because our government seems unwilling or unable to adequately protect the students and teachers of this province.  We should also consider coordinating with healthcare professionals because this government is serious about dismantling our public systems, and we need to present a united front that is too big to fail and cannot be punitively,and in piecemeal, legislated back to work (which will happen).

We let this happen at the ballot box, and now the grave consequences of voting in a American style government with a unhealthy privatization fetish, are here.  We cannot sit back throw up our hands and somehow think that students and teachers dying at school because of the malfeasance of the government is in anyway okay.  We are better than that as a teachers and as Albertans.

 

Signed,

 

A very concerned Alberta School Teacher.

 

@albertateachers

@rachelnotley

@albertandp

@ucp

@edmontonjournal

@adrianalagrange

Thank you Shadow, for your years with us. Mahler’s Adagietto says so much more than words ever could.  You shall ever be missed, and ever remembered.

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