Thursday, June 2, 2022

TWF 327 - Freeport's Nautical Mile Festival Is Coming Up, June 4th!

Hey friends!

I hope you're all doing well.  This is just a short notice to remind all of you (who probably already know?) that the Freeport Nautical Mile Festival is coming up, this weekend.  So make sure you wear your sun-block (skin cancer sucks, trust me first-hand on that one), wear a hat that keeps the sun out of your face, bring some water with you, and have a good time!

Oh!  And stay out of trouble!

Jesse Pohlman is an author from Long Island, New York, born and raised in Freeport.  He writes sci-fi/fantasy novels you can check out at his website.

Friday, May 13, 2022

TWF 326 - A Dig Into Claims Of Increased School Violence.

Hello, friends!

Throughout the course of this years' contest for School Board, I've seen numerous parents, residents, and taxpayers express concern about the safety conditions at the Freeport School District degenerating. That's a weird sentence, but I don't know how else to really put it: There's this pervasive idea that the schools are unsafe as they're operated; or, at least significantly less safe than they were.

I mean, hey!  Didn't you hear about that one recent, really bad fightIsn't that something to be worried about?

This article has changed significantly in its second draft thanks to information from village insiders and also just the course of revisions.  Much of it (especially the data dive) will be in its original form, because that was the original point of the article - Background, data-dive, quick thoughts, done.

The more research I did, the more complicated the story got, and the more I had to say about it; so I hope you'll join me for a dive into data, statistics, numbers, and - ultimately - a broader perspective to take on some changes that need to take place to fix what looks like a very real, but intangible problem.

If you want a TL;DR version of this, just scroll down to the last few paragraphs, but suffice to say that the data does not tell a complete picture, the research is sometimes contradictory, and the pursuit of information has been hampered with farce.  I've broken the article down to chapters, with chapter 3 being my conclusions and, as I always endeavor to provide, recommendations on what to do, next.

On The Record About School Safety

Obviously, it goes without saying that student safety is paramount.  As an educator for about eight years, I've always put student safety first.  I've had to test that commitment to their safety bodily (took just a grazing blow, no biggie).

Chapter One:  Sourcing and data.

Getting A Background

I was looking for some exact quotes to pull from the candidates, because the first thing I know about journalism is that it's essential to get people at their word. So imagine my surprise when I ran into a little problem with trying to track down some relevant Facebook groups:

I found it weird that I couldn't see the Facebook group for Butler and Jackson's campaign, when I had been able to do so for my previous article on the election (TWF 324).  So, naturally, I asked if other people could still see it, and their answer was "very clearly, yes." I saw so, myself, on another person's Facebook account, that the group and its posts still existed.

So, that almost certainly meant I was blocked from their Facebook group for asking this very question.

Since it's now the day after this issue, it's only fair to note that it appears I have since been un-blocked, because the group is visible again, but only after public complaint.  I am not the only person who has experienced an inability to see their group; there's more than one person who has reported being being blocked from some groups or pages.

For what it's worth, I've been assured that I never was blocked, but I can't think of any explanation as to why others could see what I couldn't.

This feels like the early days of getting into stupid Facebook arguments as far back as 2010.  Ahh, the old days of Mayor Hardwick trying to influence the School Board.  (Mayor Kennedy has endorsed the Jackson/Butler ticket)  The reason I mention it is because, again, this is a dive into my research practices as much as it is an analysis of background, and when I find something - shall we say - interesting in the research, I always report it.

It's hard to come up with a background record when part of it is obscured, even temporarily.

Moving on:  I was looking for quotes.  Let's see what I find.

What's Readily Available

I do have a very brief, but useful bit of a statement-on-safety from each of the four candidates, courtesy of the Long Island Herald:

Most of this is in the mold of boiler-plate obligations that political leaders have to say.  I get it!  Maria Jordan-Awalom provides a broader context to the problem of a nation-wide rise in school violence, based on her experience with police councils.  This would lend some significant credence to the idea that, yes, there might be an ongoing spike!  We will circle back around to this later.

But the thing I noticed that was particularly unusual was Mr. Ben Jackson's (I almost wrote "Mr. Jackson," but there are two candidates with that last name running, so I have to check myself) interest in increasing the amount of contact between the schools and the police department.  It's couched in the Adopt-A-Cop program, which is certainly an interesting idea!

But, here, I have to think about my own experience in education.

I was an educator for about eight years, and five of them were spent in Freeport.  When I later worked for NYC DOE, we frequently had contact with school-based police officers.  The reception was definitely mixed; I'm sure I got a mostly-positive reception as I was a teacher (I even wore "work clothes!"), but I'm pretty sure the kids didn't share those feelings.  Many of them told me they felt like they were labeled "bad kids" and otherwise stigmatized by things like having police in the school and having metal detectors and whatnot.

In other words, I know it did significant mental harm to them.

Now, I know from first-hand experience that there are days Freeport High breaks out the metal detector wands.  Those days *suck,* by the way, but I get it.  They happen!  There's a known threat, or maybe it's just a random day once in a while to check things.  Totally understandable.

But I've also had to be the guy who doesn't just de-escalate students, but de-escalates cops who are thinking of detaining his students instead of just talking through a problem.  That was certainly an unpleasant day, and my fear is that adding police into the schools will create those type of problems when previously they didn't exist.

Could police be further integrated into the schools in an appropriate manner?  Maybe!  It's just very hard to say what will cross the fine line between, "We have a guest in the school today," and, "One more reminder I live my daily school life under surveillance by authorities who don't trust me to be free."  And I haven't seen a stated plan-of-action anywhere, so my gut says, "Not without a clear plan, no."

(I am obliged to note, based on this invocation, that the Freeport Police Benevolent Association has endorsed Mr. Ben Jackson, as well as his running mate Mr. Butler.)

So there's your background - and some of it's mine, when it comes to talking about schools.

Now, let's look at some data starting with 2020-2021

This is mostly stream-of-consciousness, and a look into my research procedure as much as it is into data.

Thanks to a lead from one Scott McInnes (I tip my hat), I've been able to find data on what the school has reported to the state. The website to do this can be found from the NYS Department of Education, whereby first you have to pick a year. Then you download one of two spreadsheets - The choices are “NYC” or “not NYC,” so that's a lot of data to parse.

Thankfully, (Editorial Note:  SOME OF) the spreadsheets are built with filters included.

I also have to note:  2020-2021 was the Pandemic's height. (Case numbers are climbing back up, by the way) Most kids weren't in school for most of the year.  Much of the in-class time involved hybrid learning.  I know - I was working in an elementary school for part of it.

Here's what you get when you look at Freeport for 2020-2021.  It's not 21-22, but that year (which appears to be the entire point of this question!) isn't over.  It'll require two separate images to put all the spreadsheet data out:

So, there you have the 2020-2021 data.  Anyway, what we've got here starts with one - to be clear, this is bad - incidence of physical assault.  I don't know how far a common fight has to get in order to be classified as "physical assault."  It took place at Atkinson, if that's any help.

Moving on in a similar vein:  The next thing that jumps out at me is that we've got a (very hard to parse) bit of data indicating that cyberbullying is a problem.  I don't think that's anything particularly new, but there's also less than ten incidents of it.  Now, yes, that needs to be worked on, but that's about one incident a month.

Then, on to the possession situation:  3 in Dodd, 3 in FHS.  Okay.  Kids shouldn't be doing drugs, should not selling them; we get that.  We'd like those numbers to be better, but, also, as much as kids shouldn't do something, I'm not stupid enough to pretend they don't.  At this point in my analysis, I can only note that number and get ready to look back to previous years for a trend.

There were also four incidents of weapons being brought to school.  Two of these incidents happened in Atkinson, by the way, which I only stress because I've TA'd in an elementary setting and...Just, how does an elementary kid try sneaking a weapon in without their parents finding out?  I guess it's pretty easy, it seems to happen all the time, but, wow.

Looking Back A Few Years Further.

Lemme just pull up the 2019-2020 data...

Yikes!  Okay, so what you're telling me is it ISN'T nearly as accessible as the previous document.  Now, then, here we are, Freeport, in between Roosevelt and Baldwin in this not-alphabetical list.

And here is the data!

I'm going to be honest:  TWF is a free publication, I don't charge for it, so I don't have money to pay a data analyst to break this down.  You've only got me, and your own eyes if you want to take your own look.  The highlighted column is for possession of weapons, so clearly that was more of a problem in 2019-2020 than 2020-2021.  Which only makes sense.

My eye also caught the number 6 and got concerned, but when I scrolled up it didn't even tell me what the column was, so...I'm at a loss, but 6 is bad.

Maybe 2018-2019 will be more parseable?

Good news:  It is.  This is how a spreadsheet should look for accessibility.

Bad news:  Just a first glance reveals some alarms.

And the second glance puts us into the double-digits:

I don't need to tell you that those numbers look worse.

They look worse.

How about 2017-2018?  Garbled mess again:

I wonder if the data scientists who compile these reports finish them up in alternating years?  Every other year the data makes sense and is well presented; every other year, it's virtually useless.

So we go between Roosevelt and Baldwin again...

Without much by way of context, these numbers seem to be less numerous than 18-19.  Of course, those are kind of random data points.

So What Does The Data Show?

First: Most obviously, the 2020-2021 data is less than helpful as a baseline because of the Pandemic closures and hybrid learning modalities.

Second:  Any numbers mean someone's had a really bad day, right?  Whether it's possession of narcotics or something far worse, every incident means something broke down along the way.  But what matters is how we react to it.

Third:  This data isn't the complete picture.

What do I mean?

Chapter Two:  Data can be incomplete, and is only ever part of the puzzle.

Two Rabbits.

Here's where we take the broader context into consideration.  I've got two rabbits and can only chase one at a time, but I'm about to cover both Jordan-Awalom's point about a nationwide increase in violence, and then I'm going to cover what's 'being said,' what I believe and know to be accurate about some stuff, and then finally offer a solution to at least one of the problems this data has raised.

First, to the idea of a nation-wide violence spike.  Well, in November 2021, the publication Education Week put out an article detailing that there had been an increase in school violence.  It gets a bit weirder; the same kind of thing was claimed in 2018 by USA Today (Interestingly, the 2018-2019 data looked particularly bad, earlier).  But, also, in late February 2022, NBC 6 in South Florida reported on yet another ongoing increase in violence.

Let's take this reporting for what it is:  The claim that school violence is increasing nationwide is grounded in evidence, but that evidence dates back to both before the Pandemic and after the Pandemic.  So does that mean violence is on a continually increasing scale?  Possibly!  Or, could it mean there are tiny spikes at various times?  Also possibly!

It's enough that we can't rule out that Freeport is simply seeing splash-over from a national trend.

But, let's now circle back to the claims, themselves.

What's really being said, and what does 'increase' even mean?

Well, first off, there's the general complaint, itself.  "Violence is on the rise!"  Well, I've seen those kind of claims before.  I've seen it here, and I've seen it in other schools.  It is a very easy political tool to use against incumbents, whether it's got a factual backing or not.  But some of the stories I've heard from parents have really had an impact upon me, and I also have no reason to immediately assume they are false.

What I have is knowledge that there is a substantial amount of trouble, both inside the schools and taking place outside of, but nearby.  Again, I have no reason to doubt what I've seen, regardless of where it came from.  Apropos of everything, yes, it is concerning.

What I haven't seen (yet, anyway?) is evidence that this is an actual increase in unacceptable behavior.  We know it's bad!  We're told by some it's worse than ever, and just as we lack data to prove it is, we also lack data to prove it isn't.  Certainly something needs to change, but what?

And does the problem have a Freeport-specific origin, or is it part of a nationwide trend that requires nationwide efforts to stop?

Let's make some suggestions!

Chapter Three:  Conclusions And Recommendations.

What New York State Can Do ASAP:

We need to change the way school violence numbers are reported.  Yearly simply doesn't cut it.  Schools are supposed to take some degree of guidance from parents, but parents can't provide that guidance if they don't have data on what's going on right now.

I remember during the Coronavirus pandemic (which is still ongoing; I'm talking about the earlier days), that schools were mandated to publish real-time statistics on how many kids and staff contracted CoVID.

There is no reason this cannot be done with school violence statistics, except perhaps for having to shift workloads around or hire a new staff member to take care of it.  This type of mandate must be coupled with funding to increase staff specifically for this purpose, but also for others so long as the data is compiled daily.

Ideally, this data would be published on the school's website, but it could be a state-maintained database that they link to.

That may require new laws to be passed.  Discuss with your relevant NYS Assemblyfolk/Senators.

What Freeport Can Probably (?) Do Right Now

What would be most helpful, right now, would be if Freeport could disclose what violence numbers they would be reporting to the state as of the year-to-date.  This would be imminently helpful to settling this arguable idea of a "spike in violence," as well as providing evidence for any rapid responses needed to counteract them.  There might be some state statute which prohibits this, there might not.  I'm not an education lawyer.

For all I know, it's as easy as publishing a spreadsheet file.

For all I know, it's legally prohibited!

And As For The Community...

Freeport simply has a hotly contested election on its hands.  The claims are huge, and the publicly-available data to check them is slim.  The possible solutions are many, but so is the possible blow-back.  It's a fine line to walk.  Your vote matters.  You should vote.

Your subjective experience may vary!  Maybe you've got family who goes to the school and has primary-source information that's got you thinking things are worse than ever.  Maybe you've got some old memories of a time when things were pretty bad at the schools, yourself.  (I'm lookin' back at you, 1990's, especially 97)  Maybe you have seen a video on the internet that's got you shaken.  Maybe you haven't experienced any problems, whatsoever.

It's up to you to vote based on what you believe.

As always, The Weekly Freeporter is not making any endorsements.  I'm just providing you with one internet stranger's (or maybe pal's?) exploration into an issue that hits home.  I hope it's been helpful.

Jesse Pohlman is a 'recovering teacher' and author born and raised in Freeport, New York.  Thank you for reading, I hope it made you think.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

TWF 325: School Board Candidate Forum, May 3rd, 2022, at Dodd Middle School!

 Hello, friends!

A short and simple one, today, to celebrate 325 posts on TWF:  The four candidates for School Board will be part of a "Meet The Candidates" forum.  If you have any questions, they may be able to provide answers!  Feel free to ask whatever you'd like.

Thanks for reading!  Jesse Pohlman is a Sci-Fi/Fantasy author born and raised in Freeport, New York, currently living in another LI town, with a website available at this link!

Thursday, April 7, 2022

TWF 324: Upcoming School Board Vote, Tuesday May 17th, 2022!

 Hello, friends!

It's been a bit, and there's not too much for me to say at this time, but I did want to put what tiny extra light I can on an upcoming Board Of Education and School Budget vote on May 17th, plus provide a short editorial about school board elections in general, nationwide, and not specific to Freeport.

There are, as far as I am aware, two "slates" of candidates that are being voted for.  As always, The Weekly Freeporter is a non-partisan endeavor and we will not be publishing any endorsements on the subject.  I will link to their respective Facebook pages so you may read more about their perspectives and qualifications.

First up is the tag-team of BoE incumbent Maria Jordan-Awalom, who is running for (what I believe to be) her second term, and first-time candidate Shuron Jackson, himself an educator.

Next up, we've got the team of Ben Jackson (no relation to Shuron, I'm sure), President of the Freeport Chamber of Commerce, and Jacques Butler, Vice-President of Freeport PAL.

Voter turnout in school board elections is typically low.  For example, it's hard to pin down exactly how many people voted in the 2019-2020 elections, since votes are permitted for any two candidates they choose, but the winning candidates had 659 and 714 votes, respectively.  Freeport is a Village with over 40,000 residents, but it took the collective votes of less than 1/40th of that to win the election.  The budget vote is rarely close, but I remember back when I was in elementary school that wasn't the case and the district went on an austerity budget that was impactful enough on my education that I remember it.

I highly encourage you to get out and vote in your School Board election, wherever you live.

Now for a brief editorial you may, or may not, want to read.

A Note On Creeping Fascism In School Board Elections

As I've stressed, school board elections are important.  Right now, they are a significant "culture war" battleground. While The Weekly Freeporter is non-partisan, it is very Anti-Fascist.  Let me stress up front that to my knowledge, none of the candidates running for election have tripped any of the red flags I'm about to point out, but I have seen some shameful Facebook comments that have helped inspire this commentary.

To that end, please be wary any time commentators (and especially candidates!) start talking about things like, for example, "We shouldn't be teaching students CRT" and "We shouldn't be teaching little kids about sexuality."

Those lines of "inquiry" are substantial red flags that the person in question is aligned with Fascist ideology, and they should immediately be challenged to explain what they are talking about, with evidence.  These are dog-whistles (more like megaphones) for racism, homophobia, transphobia, and other bigotries of-that-like

There is no chance that these are things which are being taught in the way Fascists portray.

If you would like more education on these topics, or just if you've got about an hour to kill (Maybe you have some commuting to do, and you could use something to listen to?), I would recommend starting with Some More News' take on the so-called "CRT issue."  Yes, it's halfway to being a comedy show, and halfway to being a tragedy as it covers real-life events quite accurately.

Friday, January 28, 2022

TWF 323: Big Winter Storm Approaching, Jan 28, 2022

 Hello, friends,

The below image is courtesy of the National Weather Service.

I mean, that says enough, doesn't it?  Well, Accuweather says this:

That's...Honestly twice as bad as the 6-12 we were predicted to get as of a couple days ago, which is why I decided it deserved an article.  That means it's time to review some of our usual winter weather tips!  If you've got one you'd like to share, leave it in the comments and I'll credit you and add it to the list.

(Yes, this list seems to repeat year to year for a reason, but it's been tweaked here and there)

Try to stock up on anything you need before the snow gets heavy.  It goes without saying that if you can't drive safely, if you can't move well, then you are at risk of getting injured while walking around, or crashing your car if you risk driving.  I know it's kind of an old motif, but get your "bread and milk" now.
 - Keep your pets and beloved animals inside!!!  They won't be able to move through two feet of snow any better than you will, and if the temperature is cold out, they can get sick or even freeze to death.  Have some compassion.  If you can, put out a large styrofoam box/cooler/something, stuffed with straw, for local stray cats/animals to take shelter in; in these days, compassion is a must.  If you've got some spare pet food, put that out - staying warm burns calories.
 - Help your neighbors clear the snow from their sidewalks if you can.  If possible - and I mean unless you absolutely cannot - clear out a 3-feet circle around your nearby fire hydrants.  (via TJ Johnson.)  Make sure to dress warmly, wear sturdy and stable boots, and take your time shoveling!
 - If the power goes out, be careful with candles! Nobody needs a fire!
 Keep a cell phone handy; a battery-powered radio is a good idea, too.  If you need to report a non-life-threatening emergency, call the Nassau County line at 1-888-684-4274.  For medical emergencies ONLY, use 911.  Charge it up as much as you can as early as you can.
 - Get your car off the road!  Park your cars in your driveway, if you can. (Via FFD member Robert Volpe).  Village lots are typically available for public parking if you can't.
 - Try to have cash available!  In the event that there is no electricity to run credit cards or operate ATMs, you'll want to have money around if you need to pay for anything.
 - Once the storm is over, call your friends and family and see if they're alright!

Thursday, January 27, 2022

TWF 322 - Poetry Month & Contest At Long Island Arts Council.

 Hello, friends.

April is Poetry Month for Long Island Arts Council at Freeport.  I wish I had a direct link to a page specifically dedicated to the poetry contest they're running, but that's not available at present.  What is available is information and registration for the seventh annual high school-oriented poetry contest!

I would strongly encourage any and all interested youths to apply (with parental permission, of course).  Sharing poetry is often very personal, and while it might not seem like a huge stepping stone, but I promise you that if you're poetically inclined, earlier publication credits are a positive step for your portfolio down the path.

I know, lots of alliteration, there.  If you noticed, you oughta consider entering the contest!

As for me:  I'm presently kicking back in CoVID-Positive quarantine; I'm feeling about 97% healthy, a fact which I'm crediting to my vaccination.  If you haven't already gotten yours, please do.

Jesse Pohlman is an author from Long Island, New York; born and raised in Freeport.  Well, maybe not "born" in Freeport - Freeport Hospital wasn't doing delivery in 1984.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

TWF 321: Hospital Update, A Story, And A Call To Action (CoVID Update #15)

Editorial note:  Opinions ahead.

 Hello, friends,

This is like the cliche freshman college essay:  I want to start with giving credit to News 12 on the germ of this article, which some beta-readers have identified as a bit of a rant, but there are serious problems afoot in Long Island, and it's due to our old pal the Coronavirus.  I'm opening with some data, I'm following that up with a personal story, and - at the end of this - I am calling upon Governor Hochul to take significant action to combat the Coronavirus pandemic.

Hospital overcrowding and overload has reached highs that honestly haven't really been seen, at least since the beginning of the pandemic.  With the Omicron variant in town, U.S. Case Positivity rates have skyrocketed.  NBC News reports that on January 3rd, over one million tests returned positive.  Just think about that:  1/330 people in the country came down with CoVID.  Child hospitalizations are at climbing rapidly, as reported by ReutersSeems like Freeport Schools going remote for at least this week was a good idea, now, doesn't it?

Oh:  And here's Nassau County's caseload.

Notice how it's kind of just going almost straight up?

News 12 is reporting that Nassau University Medical Center is overwhelmed.  That's no surprise.  60% of the hospital's population is there specifically for CoVID, and - if I'm reading the first link in this post right - the other 40% was positive?  That's, like, 100%.  I think they could have been clearer with their reporting, there, honestly.

At any rate, other hospitals are increasing their requirements for in-patient emergency admission.  Virtually anything that can be managed outpatient is being called upon to be handled outpatient, even if that's not exactly ideal for the patient.  Then there's the case of the Florida hospital turning away pregnant people because they're overwhelmed with CoVID.  You know, because that's a thing.

What's this all mean?

Well, dammit Jim, I'm not a doctor.  I'm just a part-time journalist trying to interpret data.  What it screams to me is that everyone is catching CoVID at this point, even though vaccinations are definitely keeping serious illness at bay for those of us who have paid attention to the science.  (If you've got a problem with that sentiment, just leave now, because we're going deep.)

As to the concrete effects of this new wave of hospitalpolicy changes, I'm just not sure.  They might mean that hospitals aren't going to accept non-life-threatening injuries, such as from moderate-to-severe car accidents.  "Oh,  your arm might be broken?  Too bad, get it treated outpatient."  It might not!  I know people who have had serious surgeries postponed, and while they were non-specific with their reasoning, I'm betting they didn't need to be clear about it.

And the more I write, the more concretely an idea forms in my mind.

I have a story I'm ready to tell:

I know that, due to CoVID, hospitals have put in place a policy in place where, generally speaking, you can't have guests in an emergency room.  There are limited exceptions, and this is where we get personal.  When my dad was in his last month of life, we decided to take him to the emergency room to see if there was anything that could be done to help him.  At that point, he was an immunocompromised cancer patient with suspected internal bleeding fresh off a first-time infusion of Cyramza, so he got in pretty quick - only, I wasn't allowed to go in with him.  I stressed that I was his healthcare proxy and power of attorney, that he could not advocate for himself in any effective manner, and they still wouldn't budge.  I was told to wait in the car.

Of course, being completely sick and disoriented, he was totally unable to provide a medical history for himself.  Totally.  I was called back within 10 minutes and sheepishly told they needed someone to help out with him.  It was only a short period of torment for a dying man, but it was terrible nonetheless.  I'm sure I'm not alone in this exemption regard, but I cannot imagine going to an ER when you're sick and being Goddess-damned alone.  It's a horrifying thought, to imagine going through that - and infuriating to imagine my wife going through it.  But people have to go through it, nonetheless?

And, in large part, people are going through that because other people are making selfish choices which damn them entirely?!


No More.

A Call For Action From The Governor

The U.S. Supreme Court decided in the 1905 Jacobson Vs Massachusetts that states have the power to compel citizen vaccination in the face of a public health crisis.  The relevant overview is down below:

I am calling upon New York Governor Kathy Hochul to implement mandatory vaccination, either directly through executive order mandates, legislative mandates, and vaccine passports; or - at least - through existing requirements for school admission and any other mechanisms like mandates for all state workers to be vaccinated.  I am calling on all candidates for Governor, including Jumanne Williams and Tom Suozzi, to make this a part of their platform.  I am furthermore calling on all legislators to back specific laws being written to compel vaccination.

Yes, we are at that point.

No, I don't care about your self-assigned "Freedoms" in this case, because by refusing to get vaccinated all you are doing is hurting the sick and defenseless out of pure, unbridled selfishness.  Vaccines are safe, they will almost certainly not hurt you.  The science is well tested and established since the 1990's.  The disease is bad enough to warrant it, with one million cases in a day and overwhelmed hospitals.  The legal authority was established over a century ago by the highest court in the country.  I'm sorry, but you are not - and,  unless you are 115 years or so old, have never even plausibly been - "Free" to kill, cripple, and traumatize innocent people by turning yourself into a vector for disease.  You do, in fact, have a fundamental responsibility to protect your fellow Human being.

If you have a problem with this?  Don't bother arguing, here.  Give me an angry reaction and I'll tell you to kiss off.  This was and is something of a factual review of our situation, something of a rant, and definitely a sad story.

And I've seen enough suffering.

I'm done.

Jesse Pohlman is an author and recovering teacher from Long Island, New York, born and raised in Freeport.  He's currently furious at the state of affairs and the harm it's caused, both directly and indirectly.