Some morning headlines on the virus front:
Tyson Foods is now requiring vaccinations for its entire U.S. workforce. The company said 56,000, or about half, of its workforce, had been vaccinated and “coronavirus infection rates among team members remain low.” The news release details incentives the company is offering to get vaccinations accomplished, including compensation for time spent to get a shot outside of normal work hours.
McDonald’s restaurants are now again requiring all workers and customers to wear masks inside, vaccinated or not.
Fox 16 reporting shows some hospitals are doing a better job than others in getting workers vaccinated, as highlighted in this tweet:
Interesting vax rates at Arkansas hospitals (none with mandate fully in place): pic.twitter.com/Jg9XynHkpz
— ArkieMiasma (@roarkka) August 3, 2021
Suggestion: Let’s stop using the phrase vaccine “hesitancy” and call it vaccine “resistance.”
Also: Anguish builds among front-line health workers who ARE vaccinated. This thread is powerful with people NOW talking about raising pay.
We told you this would happen. The mass exodus of nursing staff came in waves, month after month. Now this sudden, debilitating, exponential growth of sick people needing care in our communities, & they have no one. YOU didn’t listen, YOU thought travel rates would “normalize.”
— Sarah, RN (@shesinscrubs) July 30, 2021
Also: A letter from a University of Arkansas staff member about preparations on campus for fall, with preventive hands tied by the legislature. An excerpt referring to a campus meeting:
I can sum it up in 6 letters. 1) NO PLAN and 2) for faculty members : WING IT. They don’t even have a plan for when they might pivot. Maybe they are waiting for the state or region to move to Allocation of Care (aka, incorrectly called Death Panels in the past) situations at the local hospitals.
It was absurd to watch all the participants (administrators) talk to each other face to face before it began online without masks. Then they virtue signaled, put on their masks, and sat six feet apart.
There have been numerous faculty who have sent emails up the food chain asking specific questions about our reopening that are getting ignored completely. It is not clear why we must be 100% open if that is a fear from the legislature or the U of A Board. Yes, all of us would love to be back to normal, but that is not the current state of the covid situation now. And yes, I wish everyone would get the vaccine. It is almost like we are playing the Hunger Games at the U of A by saying that you should just get vaccinated if you don’t like what is happening.
Many instructors are concerned as they have members of family under the age of 12. They don’t want to infect their children.
While I continue to pray that our students are more vaccinated than the state average and that nearly all of them will follow CDC guidance, I have to say that I bet we have at least 10 to 15+ classrooms around campus with more than 50 students absolutely jammed in shoulder to shoulder. There are two such classrooms in Hillside Auditorium (the largest), two in Chemistry, one in Gearhart (formerly Ozark), several in Science and Engineering, and probably several in Bell Engineering as well although I don’t think those rooms are as tight. There are also some in JB Hunt, perhaps Kimpel as well.
At some point, the question becomes, when will BOBBITT act? Are his hands tied for making safety decisions? These kids are going to spread Covid among themselves in this huge classes and then take it back to their families. Surely people are going to die from this decision to act like it is 2019 at the U of A.
So many faculty are perplexed. The instructors feel like they cannot ask questions or even comment as they fear for their jobs. It is a weird thing to ask about getting faculty N95 masks and have those emails outright ignored.
No need to pass any of this along to the Arkansas legislature. They have their sheep dip.