Representative Dooley July 27th COVID-19 Update

OMG - it was so hot today that I have been inside for 3 hours and I am still sweating. WOW! Well, it’s 10:30 at night and I am still in session and my lovely bride is still in a Select board meeting - say what you want about us, but you can’t say we aren’t committed to our community. We (the house) are currently in a recess while they tabulate the votes on the latest amendment so I figured I better get started on this or I will be up till 3 in the morning.

There were 7 covid19 related deaths reported today and 182 new cases over all. All of the other numbers look pretty good and the Governor announced that the slight rise in testing is all based on gatherings so he doesn’t feel it results in triggering any resets.

And speaking of party/gathering based infections - I wanted to point out that I wasn’t trying to be judgmental last night in my post. I hope it didn’t come across that way and if it did I apologize. And when I was talking about telling your kids not to do keg stands and ice luges - I was just speaking of random things from my misspent youth that wouldn’t work well in the age of covid. There wasn’t just one event that was solely responsible for our mini spike - it was a combo of unfortunate events as it were. This is new for everyone and we are all trying our best and no matter how good we are being, when it comes to this virus, shit just sometimes happens. The reality is that we are humans and we must balance being safe with still living our lives without going insane.

But as I was thinking about this - I realized that surrounding this disease there is a certain level of stigma and being preachy / having a holier than thou attitude toward others doesn’t help anyone. In actuality - it probably makes the situation worse. It results in people not being honest with the tracers, not letting friends and neighbors know when they might have some symptoms, etc. Now I’m not saying being reckless while going around licking shopping carts and playing spin the bottle - but if mistakes are made, realize that no one is perfect and no one wants to spread this disease - but it happens. And how we react to the situation says a lot about us as a society. As we have heard on every single television commercial ad nauseam - we are all in this together. Let’s try and remember that.

While the agreement hasn’t been signed yet, it appears that school will start a bit later this year. School districts will have an extra 10-day period at the start of the school year to plan their pandemic-era operations, based on a leaked agreement between unions and state education officials. MTA President Merrie Najimy said, "We don't need to just plan for what September and October look like. We need to redesign an entire year of teaching under a pandemic." The MOU the unions and DESE plan to sign will reduce the 180-day student learning time requirement to 170 days, provided that the start of school is no later than September 16th.

While I am a “pro” go back to school as much as possible kind of guy- I do think this is a smart move. No sense racing back only to have to reset sooner rather than later. And I hope the delay will provide us with more information, greater options, and help the schools make the adjustments that they need to to insure that they can provide quality education no matter what the delivery method. I’m assuming we are going to keep our knees flexed throughout this school year - so the more certain the plans, the better we will be able to adjust on the fly.

And tomorrow will be the 2nd day of the economic development bill which, among other things, creates sports betting in Massachusetts. Not that it will be a complete game changer from a revenue standpoint - with our economy taking a hit - every little bit will help. In this bill the owners of the Massachusetts sports teams get a 1% “vig” on bets on their teams as a little present to the billionaires. Given that our towns and schools are going through a historic budget crisis and we are laying off police, fire, teachers, etc - I proposed an amendment for that extra 1% to be shifted back to the cities and towns to help offset our financial struggles. Unfortunately it failed pretty much along party lines - although I always find it amusing watching the progressives vote to give extra money to billionaires as opposed to the people who need it. Funny, they talk a big game but when the Speaker tells them to jump they always fall in line.

Well, its 1:30 and here I am still typing - so I beat my 3am prediction. LOL Have a great day tomorrow and be kind to one another, try to put yourself in their shoes, and lets go back to where we were a few months ago when we all had each other’s backs and understood that our humanity is what will get us through this!

Stay safe.


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