I was having a solitaire drought, eight games in a row without a win. This was causing serious mental anguish, as winning solitaire has become my main source of dopamine in the last two months. Sure I have been exercising (not enough) and the kids are home and school ends next week and things seem to be opening up but the unknown is literally killing me (all right, that’s too dramatic, how about making me feel really poopie).


I popped into Lucky’s for white wine and Kale (don’t judge me) and when I got back to the car I looked around at the empty lot where usually on a Tuesday afternoon it is packed with Parkpoint and Sonoma Fun Center cars. I pulled down my bandanna and drove home with that all too familiar feeling of “When will this end…”


Are you feeling it? The days of waiting to make dinner because it’s the only activity of the day. Having short, uncomfortable conversations with your family and friends about how little you did today. The Zoom meetings with students who seem to be living in dark rooms doing little, living on screens. The online staff meetings with colleagues where you end early because there’s nothing else to talk about. When the heck did I become so boring?



Let the Virus be your teacher



Somebody wrote that on a little sign in Bolinas and I think about it often. I wonder what we will take away from this period in history. Will it lead to evolution? Fixing past mistakes and using this as a lesson. Or are we slowly heading back into the sewer kinda like four years ago when America was just starting to ramp up its polarization before electing that guy who has now given us complete separation brain. This election is 100% about separation vs. unity, please vote accordingly.


Remember four years ago? I started this blog then, writing about visiting San Quentin:  http://valleytalking.blogs.sonomanews.com/2016/06/14/day-san-quentin/, keeping kids off drugs:


and turning the SDC into a help center: (http://valleytalking.blogs.sonomanews.com/2016/06/18/bad-teacher-seeks-200-million-dollars/. Real stories about real things, but now there’s only one real story and one real thing.


I also used to do a lot of linking to past stories, which I have given up mostly because it’s a very ADD way to read something and most of you don’t have the same superpower I do.


But let’s get back to Bolinas. It holds the answer to the question of how do we get out of this mess. Test all residents, for both the virus and the antibodies; establish a baseline for the population (All negative for the virus, antibodies test results coming soon). Keep the community quarantined and make decisions based on scientific evidence.


Compare that to the US or California or even Sonoma County’s response and you begin to see why we are in a state of confusion. When I was at Lucky’s there were two guys in the produce area without masks, are they the enemy? I went golfing the other day in another county, am I the enemy? A friend had a small gathering for Memorial Day, is he the enemy?


You can see where I’m going with this.


Now Bolinasizing the US would cost roughly 66 billion dollars (Bolinas tested 1800 people at a cost of about $400,000. To test the 331 million people in the US gets us into Bezos numbers). Not a great option but not impossible when you understand we just gave 500 billion of the 2.2 trillion stimulus to bail out corporations.


So where is the system breaking down? Leadership of course.  Look at South Korea where a spike in cases this week led to an immediate two-week shutdown. Germany, Austria and Hong Kong have some good results, Italy, France not so much and Sweden is the strange uncle who refuses to play by the same rules as the rest of us (Results are mixed).


But the US is like an old quilt where some squares of fabric are doing fine (California) and some not so much (New York). And if you don’t think there will be a second spike in the next couple of weeks as we open up then you are not paying attention to science.


So, what to do? Great question, on my mind every day and should be on yours unless you are happy with the madness.


First, prepare as best as possible. Read and understand and make plans and get tested. Register online with LHI for the free virus test and, while there are many antibody tests available, none are recommended by the CDC!?! But soon, hopefully, maybe, one will emerge.


Second, continue what you are doing. Gavin trusts science and you should too, go out but continue to be safe. Don’t hug even though it’s the one thing we really need right now. Find your Coronacrew (a few other people who take the pandemic seriously but can come over for socially distanced dinner provided they are symptom free). Wear masks, find new hobbies, you’ve heard it all before.


And finally, be optimistic. Maybe not pathologically optimistic like me but optimistic enough to know that this is an ugly period in history which will end when a vaccine is created and distributed. Trump says within 6 months, Fauchi says 12-18, Gates 9-18 but no one really knows because this is all uncharted territory.


And there it is, no one really knows. Like my wise principal said in this week’s staff meeting, “This is not a sprint but a marathon and no one has trained for it.”


Now, back to solitaire.








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