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First Palo Alto student tests positive for coronavirus

Original post made on Mar 17, 2020

A Fletcher Middle School student has tested positive for the coronavirus, the Palo Alto school district said on Tuesday.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 11:48 AM

Comments (69)

128 people like this
Posted by Scared
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 17, 2020 at 11:55 am

Here we go, wish the district had closed 2 weeks ago when we parents were begging for it. No knowing how many students were exposed and took it home to their families. We are in the Fletcher zone.


130 people like this
Posted by Sally
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 17, 2020 at 12:42 pm

It is shocking that the district pretends this came out of nowhere. PAUSD had loads of notice, not to mention a petition from THOUSANDS community members BEGGING them to take this seriously WEEKS before this poor boy was infected.

[Portion removed.]

The district and board continue to repeat the falsehood that the county DIRECTED them to stay open. The truth is more subtle and preferable. The county banned gatherings over 1,000, but exempted schools because they understood the nuances of schools (food for poor kids, childcare). The county didn't FORCE closure (at first) to allow for districts to handle the emergency with suitable care and nuance. We didn't. Instead, PAUSD did nothing and prepared for nothing, even as we KNEW we had infected community members lacking proper testing.

Yes, I know this issue is WAY bigger than PAUSD, just like it's bigger even than Trump's mismanagement. But baffling poor leadership needs to be noticed, and acted upon.


36 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 17, 2020 at 12:43 pm

This is no surprise, but sad news nonetheless.

Before we go crazy about saying what should have happened two weeks ago, let's think of all the ways this student could have been infected. It could have been from after school activities, it could have been from from hanging out in a friend's home, it could have been from hanging out at an ice cream shop/coffee shop/library, or any place that kids this age were hanging out a week or two ago.

The fact that one student has been tested positive shows a couple of things. The first is that the student was obviously in a group where they would have been tested. Everyone with a cold or flu is not and has not been tested for Covid 19 and so there could be many others at home with a cold or flu who would be positive if tested but are not in a group where they would have been tested.

The other thing that comes from this is that the reality is that it is in our midst. It has been around for a couple of months and only those who have been tested can be proved as having it. Many of us who had a cold in January or February could have had it. We could have had it without knowing, getting it from any of the many places we have been all the time, supermarket carts, atm/credit card payment screens and pads, door handles, light switches, which shows that handwashing is the best defense.


76 people like this
Posted by Let’s be clear
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 17, 2020 at 1:03 pm

Resident you’re missing the point, yes, this student could have gotten the virus anywhere. Point is if the schools were shut in a timely manner, potential spread via the school could have been avoided. Might have gotten it from another student at school or anywhere else, no clarity on that.


41 people like this
Posted by Jonathan Brown
a resident of Ventura
on Mar 17, 2020 at 1:04 pm

I am personally thankful that we're in day #2 of the school closure period rather than day #16. It seems that the school district did everything they could to follow the best guidance from the public health experts. There's certainly no evidence so far that keeping the schools open caused anyone to get the virus. Even if that changes, we need to judge the district's decision based on the information that was available at the time.


51 people like this
Posted by S_mom
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 17, 2020 at 1:18 pm

I am interested to know why this student was tested. Contact with another known case, or was it based on symptoms -- so much out there says that kids almost always have very mild symptoms, are they testing mild symptoms now or did this child have more severe symptoms?


78 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Mar 17, 2020 at 1:20 pm

Parents calling for closure two weeks ago were accused of being oblivious to their own privilege, and for failing to understand the impact of school closures on lower income families, children of healthcare workers, and anyone not able to work from home.

We were not oblivious, but we understood the deeper damage delayed closure would cause for ALL. The economic impact of having delayed closures will also be fraught with equality, especially regarding access to healthcare.


24 people like this
Posted by Old Palo Alto
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 17, 2020 at 1:23 pm

The decision to close schools due to infectious disease should not rest primarily with the superintendents. Many, if not all, are not qualified to make sure important decisions. This is an extraordinary circumstance, but in the future the decision tree should be modified to include an infectious disease expert.


52 people like this
Posted by fletcher parent
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 17, 2020 at 1:30 pm

My child is a student at Fletcher and I did NOT get a notice from the school or the district about this. I just learned the news from your article...


40 people like this
Posted by Sally
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 17, 2020 at 1:31 pm

@ Resident and Jonathan

On Monday the 9th, the county announced a BAN on gatherings over 1000. I explained above why they left schools to act with more nuance.

I will assume you are familiar with our community, and spare you the enrollment numbers of our middle and high schools.

For the following school days, parents were explicitly discouraged from "fear" and keeping kids home.

I agree that we cannot and will not ever be certain where anyone got ill. The giant gathering of children, however, while other large gatherings are on lock-down, might not be a terrible guess.


160 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 17, 2020 at 1:38 pm

Am I the only who thinks Dr. Sara Cody and Superintendent Don Austin were pretty negligent in their jobs? We were one of the highest levels of having coronavirus and we were the school district digging in our heels saying all is safe and risk is low and we won't be closing down the schools.

Who knows how many faculty and students this middle school student came into contact last week (before testing) and infected before schools were closed and how many those people infected, and so on.

[Portion removed.]


52 people like this
Posted by Tony
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 17, 2020 at 1:54 pm

Please stop the blame game. It is what it is. Let’s just focus on what can do to stop the bleeding.


61 people like this
Posted by Fletcher Student Case
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 17, 2020 at 2:04 pm

My question is if the Fletcher student did not go to school on Thursday and Friday, was that when they started exhibiting symptoms and then got tested over the weekend or were they exhibiting symptoms earlier? It would be really helpful to the other Fletcher students and parents to know when the student could have become contagious, what grade the student was and which students had contact with him so they can vigilent about early detection. By withholding this info some elderly family members of other students could (worse case) die.

I'm particularly disappointed with Dr. Sara Cody's lack of transparency. She should be telling us the city and age of every case so we can take actions to reduce the reinfection rate. By hiding as much information as possible, she's made it harder for our county's residents to avoid catching it.


44 people like this
Posted by Former Paly Parent
a resident of another community
on Mar 17, 2020 at 2:32 pm

I've been following this closely from Wuhan since the first week of January.
The virus has most likely been circulating around in our community for a long time.
People were likely carrying it around unknowingly from air travel (domestic and overseas) since December. They only started recently testing for it, so many people in the first few months may have not been tested for their symptoms.

Sadly the schools and everything else should have been closed or postponed long ago.
I have been self isolating since January because I have known about this.

Cancelled several large annual Scientific Meetings, although quite a few younger colleagues from Stanford and the Bay Area attended. All Chinese nationals and other Asian countries had cancelled in January due to inability to travel.

So sorry this went unnoticed for so long. I tried to raise awareness of it in early January - even at our national scientific meeting, but denial was quite strong at that time.

I even notified local media that there would be shortages on supplies, but I was not taken seriously.


37 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 17, 2020 at 2:36 pm

Santa Clara county lead the nation by far in the highest number of positive coronavirus cases. We should have led the nation in shutting things down, but we follow the lead of other cities with less positive cases.

The county also has cruise ships and international airlines full of likely positive coronavirus cases coming in.


43 people like this
Posted by Fletcher Parent Also
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 17, 2020 at 2:52 pm

I also agree they shut down the schools too late. They should have shut down the schools when there were 10 confirmed cases in the county which actually translate to at least 100 people in the county with the virus and cannot or did not get tested due to many hurdles.

I think the economic cost will be greater to everyone the longer the virus spreads. The school district should have at least allow an option for students to stay at home sooner and excuse absents.

Also, now with all the kids at home there is no distance-learning program setup. Even all the private tutors just went to Google Hangout or Zoom which are both free to continue online lessons seamlessly.


60 people like this
Posted by Impeach Donald
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 17, 2020 at 3:09 pm

"All Palo Alto Unified schools closed effective this Monday, March 16, following an order from county public health and education officials."

Don't blame the county PHD. There were so many parents asked school district to close the schools earlier and there was even a partition that went around among the community and over 2000 parents signed the partition more than two weeks ago before county's order! The Superintendent and Board members had enough time to act at an early stage.

The school district and Superintendent Don Austin never listened to the parents and teachers. [Portion removed.]


24 people like this
Posted by This is Crazy!
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 17, 2020 at 3:10 pm

I do agree.....we are in this together and we have to stop playing the blame game.
However, I do have a child at Fletcher and I would have preferred a little more information like what grade and "block" this impacted student is in - to at least narrow down the possibility of contagion to my own child. I guess this is wishful thinking.
Anyhow, I am sending positive thoughts to all students at Fletcher and to those in our community to make the most of this situation. May we all emerge on the other side of this more thankful.


11 people like this
Posted by Luke Mullen
a resident of another community
on Mar 17, 2020 at 3:30 pm

Bunch of things:
(0) why didn’t allegedly concerned parents just keep their kids home? Kids safety vs missing school? Easy choice if I had kids.
(1) if a public school closes then it looses the per student per day sweet sweet cash reimbursement from State Dept of Education. Meanwhile private schools (eg Menlo School) closed several weeks ago because they are not addicted to sweet sweet cash from state. This whole episode will hopefully make people realize more government is not the solution. Even ‘better’ government is not the solution because ‘better’ government includes both idiot bureaucrats and brilliant bureaucrats (think bell curve distribution)
(3) if County did _NOT_ issue shelter in place order, but Federal Government publicly begged Santa Clara to shelter in place, then public school districts would remain open due to that sweet sweet cash from State Dept of Education
(4) IANAL, but those salivating at starting lawsuits will likely be very very disappointed. Several months after 9/11 terrorist attacks, the federal government passed a federal law that forced anyone filing a lawsuit about 9/11 to go through a “special master” (legalese for a retired lawyer every lawyer respects). This “special master” will basically disappoint all those filing lawsuits, no matter how legit the lawsuit. The Supreme Court will decline all appeals as they did with respect to 9/11.


12 people like this
Posted by Crowdsource public health decisions to PA Online!
a resident of Meadow Park
on Mar 17, 2020 at 3:34 pm

[Post removed.]


26 people like this
Posted by PA parent
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Mar 17, 2020 at 4:05 pm

It was clear weeks ago when the first cases were confirmed in CS county that it is nearly inevitable that the virus would infect students. So waiting until it actually happened in order to close schools made no sense. The rationale that it was low risk at the time because the infections were few in number and affects young people mildly misses the core risk entirely—that we need to mitigate or slow the acceleration up the current exponential infection curve which inevitably include the most vulnerable. Do our kids not have vulnerable parents and grandparents nearby? Of course it is not an easy decision since closure has negative economic consequences for families. That has to be part of the mitigation plan with our other public office leaders, but health has to be weighed at the top.


8 people like this
Posted by densely
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 17, 2020 at 4:11 pm

"We're just past that point as a county and probably as a nation." is a horrifying statement. He said, basically, "It would be nice to think that we have an effective public health system, but we don't". We should demand better from all our public servants than "Oh, well, it is what it is".


10 people like this
Posted by Crowdsource public health decisions to PA Online!
a resident of Meadow Park
on Mar 17, 2020 at 4:17 pm

[Post removed.]


33 people like this
Posted by Rose
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 17, 2020 at 4:48 pm

I feel guilty for not taking out my kids ahead of time. Stopped sending then just a week ago because I realized I need to take action by myself and not waiting for the "geniuses" from Palo Alto to know better...but now after knowing that there was spreading of the virus in Fletcher (where my sons are going) I feel even worst...had to pull them evenmore before..when this virus just came to Santa Clara...my bad...
Wishing to all of you health and hopefully none of the kids or parents or grandparent will get sick...We will get over this. Stay safe and optimistic!!!


61 people like this
Posted by bike commuter
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 17, 2020 at 4:55 pm

>10 days ago, my kid at Fletcher was already uncomfortable enough. So several of them collectively wrote an email to Austin asking for closing the school. They did not get any useful response. You know what? They should have trusted these kids.


4 people like this
Posted by bike commuter
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 17, 2020 at 5:33 pm

note: uncomfortable with the current situation.


10 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Mar 17, 2020 at 5:37 pm

[Post removed.]


10 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 17, 2020 at 6:24 pm

[Post removed.]


29 people like this
Posted by JR
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 17, 2020 at 6:32 pm

I wish this student and their family a safe and speedy recovery. One piece of good news is that data from the CDC shows that the vast majority of cases among young children are mild and not life-threatening.


64 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 17, 2020 at 6:37 pm

[Post removed; repetitive comment.]


22 people like this
Posted by Donald
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 17, 2020 at 6:59 pm

Imagine that you are the public health officer for a large county. You need to make decisions that affect the health and economic well-being of many people, and you never have complete information before you need to act. Regardless of what you do, you know that you will be second-guessed later by people with 20-20 hindsight who will call for your resignation. It comes with the job.


31 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 17, 2020 at 7:08 pm

Donald:

That's why they pay the big salary. To be a leader making hard decisions. Frankly, it wasn't so hard because States with less cases than Santa Clara County were closing down schools.

Counties with less cases than Santa Clara County were closing down schools.

Donald, maybe you can explain why Superintendent Don chose not to go online or provide it when parents were asking weeks ago? Is that virus related? What's incomplete information about preparing for a shut down?


24 people like this
Posted by Independent
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Mar 17, 2020 at 7:08 pm

[Post removed.]


58 people like this
Posted by Parents of two PAUSD Students
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Mar 17, 2020 at 7:09 pm

Thankful we pulled our two children out of PAUSD schools over two weeks ago, including one of our children who was then attending Fletcher Middle School. We are SO grateful we acted early to avoid one of our children vectoring the virus from school into our home inadvertently exposing older at-risk age group member of our household. We do NOT judge parents who reluctantly kept kids in school right up to school closure; after all, there was SO MUCH pressure from PAUSD upon the parents to keep kids attending school (PAUSD ignoring weeks-ago clear evidence of COVID-19 community transmission). Our kids' respective PAUSD teachers were both threatening for last two weeks to put permanent absent mark on our kids' school record for "unjustified absence without doctor’s note.” What insanity ! One cannot but view suspiciously the sequence of events. The PAUSD’s staunchly-defended position is suddenly reversed on Friday. Only a couple business days later, an independent news source confirms a PAUSD student has been discovered infected with COVID-19. At time of this writing, still nary a word is seen on PAUSD’s website about this infection confirmed within PAUSD school.


9 people like this
Posted by Greener
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 17, 2020 at 7:18 pm

Schools, kids, events, closures? Our homeless and unhoused - How are the needs here being addressed? Today outside of a coffee shop in the neighborhood – which was closed except for take out – a woman sat with her belongings, waving to slow moving cars that The cafe was indeed open, but only for takeout. It was cold, she sat on a distant bench. Another elderly gentleman exited with a walker, sharing the news that somebody had given him a $20 bill. The woman asked him what for and he said it was because he was quoting from the Bible. The woman mentioned some thing about the King James Version, And I put in my two cents with some verses from the old testament. The elderly gentleman, with bare feet in Birkenstocks, gestured and said “she seems to know what she’s talking about,” pointing to me. At which point I shared that I was a Talmudic scholar. The old gentleman walked away slowly with his walker to ponder that and I was left sitting on the bench to ponder what that meant as well. I mentioned to the woman that the café should pay her for her services in related news that it was open. She scoffed at that; While another woman came and sat next to her on the distant bench and said you should put out a can tips. Apparently the shelters close at seven or eight in the morning and then don’t open until seven or eight at night, somewhere. I hobbled away with my cane to my designated driver, and remain stunned. Maybe that’s not the right word? I remain a grateful renter, yet I wonder how long I can maintain. I remain. grateful. I remain stunned. I remember Saigon.


28 people like this
Posted by Dan
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 17, 2020 at 7:27 pm

It’s scary how many public health experts are commenting on this forum. If you were panicked about the virus you could have practiced social isolation starting in early January. Crazy accusations of negligence in following county health department’s advice aren’t helping anyone.


16 people like this
Posted by Independent
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Mar 17, 2020 at 7:32 pm

[Post removed.]


16 people like this
Posted by Independent
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Mar 17, 2020 at 7:35 pm

[Post removed.]


51 people like this
Posted by Entitlement Detector
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 17, 2020 at 8:42 pm

To the prescient MENSA members in this post who are throwing local public officials under the school bus, I will ask this: what event in our lifetimes has prepared our society for the impeccably swift and perfectly measured response you as an entitled mob demand? Swine flu? Nope. AIDS? Nope. We don’t remember the deadly polio days of the 1940’s, so stop acting like we have a vivid analog after which to model our response.
So if you are all so well informed and forward looking, did you reallocate 100% of your option-fueled portfolios to fixed income and stock up on hand sanitizer in January? I did not and doubt you did either. So get over yourselves, own up to your own shortcomings and support those who support your kids and community so we may best weather this storm and warm our faces in the sun together once this too has passed.


73 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 17, 2020 at 9:11 pm

Superintendent Don Austin should resign


44 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 17, 2020 at 9:17 pm

to the Parents of Two PAUSD Students:

I applaud your resolve. PAUSD always treats parents like criminals if you don't fall into line.


47 people like this
Posted by upset parent
a resident of Terman Middle School
on Mar 17, 2020 at 9:23 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


15 people like this
Posted by ferdinand
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 17, 2020 at 9:34 pm

There may a need for SCC to balance the release of some information (I guess), but any information which informs us on changes to publicized modes of infection should be shared. This could include a map of each city with the number of infections (not streets/addresses), the ages of those infected, the suspected source if known (eg, travel to Italy, France, or China), and any other relevant information.

PAUSD should notify parents of students who were in class with this Fletcher student. That is considerate and prudent. Despite Austin's comment, we can still do things to prevent or slow down infections.


25 people like this
Posted by Outrageous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 17, 2020 at 9:43 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


11 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 17, 2020 at 9:50 pm

Just today I heard from someone who works in San Mateo county that she has just discovered that a coworker has been tested positive. They have been working from home for a week and was tested in the middle of last week.

Today I also heard from someone else who works in Santa Clara county that he was working with a contact who has been tested positive.

Both these people, neither of whom have anything to do with PAUSD, have been in contact with positive cases. Both of them have been taking all precautions but still have been in contact with postitive cases.

It has been here for weeks. Most people who have had flu like systems have not been tested. Many of them are now better and have been out and about since they recovered.

We have all probably been in contact with this virus over the past 2 months at least. We should all stop panicking now. We are probably all carriers. Sorry but that is the way I see it.


4 people like this
Posted by C
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 17, 2020 at 10:12 pm

> So if you are all so well informed and forward looking, did you reallocate 100% of your option-fueled portfolios to fixed income and stock up on hand sanitizer in January?

Well, I'm Asian, so it's practically given that we're prepared. (: I mean, SARS happened in 2003 (a few years after the Y2K scare), we had the avian flu back in 2017 (35 deaths in China) and we had a swine flu in 2019 (no transmission to humans, but wholesale slaughter of pigs in China). There's even a *new* outbreak of avian flu at the site of the Coronavirus and now Philipines.

As for my portfoilio, I thought the market was overvalued years ago and would deflate with a correction. I follow Ken Fisher, who says that we're in the late stages of a bull market, and that crashes (like now) will happen. We also have a source of income in our retirement, so I haven't been more conservative. I also watch Chris Covacco's technical analysis videos on YouTube, and he's just done a video on volatility. IMO, Pretty much all the behavior we've seen since the end of the Chinese Lunar Holiday can be explained -- in hindsight -- as a so-called "flight to safety" (aka. dump everything and buy what the herd of traders thinks is safe for the next 24 hours). First, when it was only China, it was China's stocks being dumped for Asian and US stocks. Then, when it spread to Singapore et al., it was Asian stocks for US stocks. Then, when it hit USA and EU, it was US stocks for bonds and gold. Next, when China reported fewer deaths, it was back to China. Now, with the government doing some sort of federal jiggery-pokery it's back to US stocks -- and steel as a commodity, since some traders think China is recovering so will have good demand for steel. I'm just gonna wait again for the volatility to die down and download Justin Law's Dividend Champions and Contenders list.


15 people like this
Posted by Science Deniers
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 17, 2020 at 10:14 pm

Science deniers come in all stripes.

How many of those who say "ignore the Public Health Officer, listen to X" (where X is some doctor, a talking head on TV, "the kids," your neighbor, the people who signed a petition, "your gut") roll their eyes at "climate change deniers" or "anti-vaxers" or "intelligent design" proponents as ignorant no-nothings? Either you listen to competent authority on complex scientific topics or you don't.

Some countries have STILL not closed their schools (see Sweden, Singapore), and the CDC's modeling shows that school closure is a secondary or tertiary measure, with gigantic societal disruption.

But go ahead - who needs science or evidence to make up your mind? Fear and a good graph from the internet should be plenty.


3 people like this
Posted by C
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 17, 2020 at 10:39 pm

> hand sanitizer

BTW, All the preparation done for CoVid protects you against earthquakes and wildfires, two natural disasters Californians experienced firsthand. While we should still have water and electricity during CoVid, this isn't as much of a guarantee in case of an earthquake. Furthermore, earthquakes rupture gas and water lines, increasing the chance of a fire, and decrease the chance of putting it out. While toilet paper won't save you from a fire, masks, goggles, and gloves will help protect you from smoke inhalation, smoke particulates, and dangerous surfaces. Northern California had major wildfires in 2017, and Southern California in 2003, and the Loma Prieta Earthquake was in 1989. In the next natural disaster, you may not have access to water. So, yeah, that hand sanitizer will come in handy.


21 people like this
Posted by Irrational Fear
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 18, 2020 at 12:00 am

You all need to stop freaking out. Viruses spread like the wind. At some point in time everyone will have come in contact with Covid-19. As many as 50 million people got the flu this year, but another 100 million plus were exposed to those 50 million people who had the flu and yet those 100 million did not acquire the bug at all.

Their immune systems repelled it instantly. Those who got the flu either suffered very mild symptoms if their immune systems and health were good to very severe for those whose immune systems are not very good and or have significant health issues.

The novel Covid-19 is no different than the common flue with the exception that its death rate for those whose immune systems are not working and in bad health is a tad bit higher than the common flue.

Life happens. And this is a part of life. Stop freaking out.



12 people like this
Posted by Old Palo Alto
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 18, 2020 at 12:55 am

@Irrational Fear

It never pays to panic. However, you may want to reassess your estimate on the death rate of Covid-19 versus the seasonal flu.


12 people like this
Posted by Alvin
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 18, 2020 at 1:55 am

@Irrational Fear. You're absolutely right about evolutionary theory and natural selection. I would go further and say Covid-19 will not even come close to seasonal flu and top off at less than a thousand deaths in U.S. Very similar or even milder to HlNI, swine flu, SARS, Zika, etc. but we didn't flip out with those earlier diseases.

The media hysteria is unreal. People, get a grip. Car accidents, cancer, and seasonal flu claim many more lives by orders of magnitude. This is only a concern for elderly people with chronic problems who already have at least 6% mortality rate with no flu. It's not worth crashing our economy and locking us in.

@Old Palo Alto. You're going to want to reassess the death rate as infection rates increase, level off, and then fall, and death rates decrease rapidly over that span. Look at Germany, Austria, and Norway - death rate at less than 1% and falling...but the media will not mention those cases.

This so-called epidemic will end soon. My main concern is this will set a precedent for greater government control of our lives at the next panic and, worse, lead to "free" paid leave and "free" health care - but there is no free lunch.


20 people like this
Posted by GoneOnTooLong
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 18, 2020 at 6:23 am

It’s interesting how these long posts start showing up under new and unfamiliar user names. I suggest these are planted posts by people outside our community and with questionable intent. Those of us who’ve posted over the past 10 or so years know familiar community usernames and the familiar posters’ tone. Id definitely ignore posts like the one above (“Alvin”) I don’t recognize the username or poster tone and question their motivation for posting here and now. Clearly, Palo Alto community safety and well-being is not their goal.

GoneOnTooLong
formerly of Barron Park but supporting my old neighborhood


12 people like this
Posted by Trump fired the national pandemic team
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 18, 2020 at 7:00 am

> I would go further and say Covid-19 will not even come close to seasonal flu and top off at less than a thousand deaths in U.S.

Can you find anyone in the CDC or WHO who thinks your fantasy is correct? They all say these actions are to prevent exactly that.

A single epidemiologist?

One?


I hear Moscow is also shut down. Apparently, bot-farms can tele-commute. Who knew?


4 people like this
Posted by Disgusted at PAUSD
a resident of Terman Middle School
on Mar 18, 2020 at 8:26 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


13 people like this
Posted by Never forget Terman
a resident of Mayfield
on Mar 18, 2020 at 8:53 am

It will always be Terman Middle School!


5 people like this
Posted by Alvin
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 18, 2020 at 10:11 am

@Trump fired the national pandemic team. The models assume no behavioral responses. These I think are key. the collective responses are weaker because they are less tailored.

the professional journals have been bad. They don't know or care about evolutionary theory. The same stuff they did with AIDS nearly 40 years ago.

Also, look at the other provinces in China. And Wuhan in Hubei province is reporting almost no new cases in past two days. A small number are dying, the rest are recovering.


4 people like this
Posted by Alvin
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 18, 2020 at 10:28 am

@GoneOnTooLong. That's a very bad argument. Who cares how long I've been here in Palo Alto (since 2015). I respond to the facts or arguments presented without taking into account the person, source, or motive. I don't care who you are or where you come from. That's irrelevant.


5 people like this
Posted by Green Gables
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 18, 2020 at 10:36 am

Just think if the Chinese government had not sanctioned those 3 physicians, we would not be in this mess. That government could care less about their own people much less the rest of the world.


6 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 18, 2020 at 10:49 am

@Alvin, @Irrational Fear,

You both might want to read the extended series of articles in the New York Times and Atlantic Magazine. Try to understand why the death rate among people over 60 will be lower if the peak infection rate is flattened. For those of us over 60, it is important that you understand that it isn't all about you younger people and your likely personal outcome.

Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 18, 2020 at 10:53 am

@Trump fired the national pandemic team.

I see you've fallen for the political talking points again. You really should be more discerning about what you read and believe.

Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 18, 2020 at 11:23 am

@Me 2

In the meantime, would you care to understand why your guy went from "relax" to "crisis" in less than 48 hours?

Read this: Web Link

It is frightening, to say the least, that Fox News is favored over the NSC as an information source. Not just Fox News, but, a talk show host (!). I never thought I would say this, but, thank goodness that Tucker Carlson still feels that he has "a moral obligation to try and be helpful ". Now, if Tucker Carlson would just apply that to everything that your guy says and does...


5 people like this
Posted by Gnar
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 18, 2020 at 11:23 am

"Trump fired the national pandemic team."
"I see you've fallen for the political talking points again. You really should be more discerning about what you read and believe."

@Me 2, you're being disingenuous. Trump had Bolton force them out, and then did not replace them.

Web Link

Criminally negligent incompetence. Total, abject failure of leadership, even now as he spent 2 months golfing and denying the pandemic was even a problem.


2 people like this
Posted by What Will They Do Next
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 18, 2020 at 11:46 am

@ Gnar....I don't seem to recall President Trump being away playing golf for 2 months recently. Can you cite your source?


1 person likes this
Posted by Mid-town resident
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 18, 2020 at 11:52 am

Back to "anything we do before will seem like overreacting to anything we do afterwards will seem inadequate."
We cannot expect local administrators to have a crystal ball and take unilateral action. They take their cues from state and national leaders... our national leaders (let's just generalize for the sake of argument) minimized this until it was too late. I'm in the school that says that blaming now doesn't help... but remember in November, and when the history of this is all written, who the real culprits are.


11 people like this
Posted by Te name of the affected student doesn't matter.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 18, 2020 at 11:55 am

Every family should be implementing stay in place precautions in full.

Whether or not your child was in contact with this particular student is irrelevant. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US should be religiously washing hands, keeping hands off our faces, keeping 6' social distance, minimizing social contact. We have all been moving about interacting with potentially infected people for months--in our shops, work places, schools, parties, everywhere we go.

Let's stop looking backward and pointing fingers and start asking, "What positive action can I take now? How can I help?"

This will get us where we need to be. We are all in this together. Take care of each other, friends! Be well.


3 people like this
Posted by Helen
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 18, 2020 at 12:30 pm

@Alvin and @Irrational fear,

What school do you fellows go to and what grade are you in ?
The school districts are just trying to look out for you, there is no need for you to get so angry and post extreme over reactions here. Take a deep breath. It will take time, before t this will work out. Maybe sit down with your parents and tell them about what is upsetting you, and they can help you work through your fears in a healthy and constructive way. There is also counseling available to you for free from the County here:
Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Mar 18, 2020 at 12:31 pm

Ok to look back at school officials when deciding if they will act in the best interest of students in the future.


2 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 18, 2020 at 12:36 pm

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Mar 18, 2020 at 12:51 pm



Homework is optional . They can not call it something else in 3 weeks and expect kids to do all the optional work. We had teachers all assign hours or work after school was closed due Friday on sat am Sunday pm and Monday at noonthese teachers suck because my kids lost sleep when they needed to just rest relax. These teachers want to give low grades and test kids . Now us not the time. These ego static oldies need to think about their students. Your amazing rigorous program is not the important thing today . Kids mental and physical health is . Seniors just lost activities they looked forward to for years. Can’t you think of them and not yourselves !! So sad for them to see how little some of these teachers regard their students.


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