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I found reading Monday’s (August 3) Wall Street Journal depressing. The parent companies of Lord & Taylor and of Men’s Wearhouse and Joseph A. Bank filing for bankruptcy, adding to the recent bankruptcies of J.C. Penney, Brooks Brothers, Ann Taylor, Neiman-Marcus, J. Crew, and probably others I’m forgetting. Oil companies as well, because of the sudden evaporation of demand for gasoline, aviation fuel, and diesel. Maybe some or all of these companies were destined for trouble because of changes to the underlying business activities, but absent the Wuhan virus that trouble would have been spread over years, allowing time to adjust, not all concentrated in a few weeks.
Then I turned to the article on how Detroit’s experience with in-person summer school might be a glimpse into other in-person schools in the fall (article might be behind the paywall). I was horrified by what I read. Although everybody was saying positive words, the actions being taken in the name of mitigating the risk posed by the Wuhan virus struck me as almost certain to instill in children an attitude of perpetual fear, a feeling that contact with other people is nothing but a risk-laden experience. The (non-verbal) messages being conveyed to students: “Stay away from everyone.” “Cover-up.” “Hide.” “Isolate yourself from everyone.”