Tuesday, July 7, 2020

OC: the big surge

As of July 7
(Voice of OC)
Michelle Steel

     Orange County coronavirus hospitalizations are now rising faster than at any other point in the pandemic, with patient counts jumping closer to levels where hospitals could go further into “crisis care” surge measures like converting waiting areas and tents into treatment rooms, according to county health officials.
     As of Sunday, OC hospitals reported having 634 [latest count: 659] current patients with coronavirus, more than double the 292 people hospitalized as of June 1. ... If hospitalization counts keep rising at the current rate, by early next week there would be over 750 coronavirus patients in local hospitals, which is one of several key sets of numbers county officials and hospitals are monitoring for activating hospital surge plans called “crisis care strategies.”
     Those strategies include steps like converting normal hospital rooms into intensive care units; expanding beds by adding them to surge tents, conference rooms and waiting areas that would be converted to treatment areas; adding staffing by switching to longer shifts; canceling elective procedures; and further rationing of personal protective equipment.
     The 750-patient guideline “is one of several important factors to monitor, and it is a consideration that numbers are getting to a point that stresses the system,” said Dr. Gagandeep Grewal, associate medical director of emergency medical services at the OC Health Care Agency, in an emailed response to Voice of OC’s questions last week....
     ...“[I]f in two weeks our hospitalized cases go up by a factor of 1.8, to a level of 740, we will still consider that to be very concerning and would not wait until the doubling time worsens or the [daily number of coronavirus patients] tops 750,” Grewal said in a July 2 written answer to questions.
     “It’s very worrisome,” said Dr. Paul Yost, chairman of CalOptima, Orange County’s public health insurance plan for people with low or no incomes, regarding patient counts rising now more quickly.
. . .
     Hospital leaders are urging the public to wear face coverings, stay away from large gatherings, and to keep physical distancing as much as possible.
. . .
     …[F]or weeks, Orange County’s top elected official, supervisors’ Chairwoman Michelle Steel, started the county’s weekly coronavirus news conferences by painting a rosy picture of OC’s coronavirus data, falsely saying it’s better than all of the surrounding counties.
     In fact, the county’s own data showed hospitalization and death rates in Orange County were worsening and outpacing neighboring counties in recent weeks.
     The day after Voice of OC published an article last Wednesday about her misrepresentations of the rates, Steel acknowledged the higher coronavirus rates in her weekly update last Thursday, noting a recent meeting she had with hospital executives.
     And on Monday, Steel called on the public to wear face coverings and practice physical distancing….
Younger people hit hard as Orange County sets coronavirus record -- For the first time, Orange County residents reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day, with young people accounting for the bulk of new infections. Sara Cardine, Colleen Shalby, Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/7/20

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8-14: do you regret all the lying?

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Goals and Values and Twaddle

blather: long-winded talk with no real substance*
The whole concept of MSLOs [measurable student learning outcomes] as the latest fad in education is somewhat akin to the now discredited fad of the '90's, Total Quality Management, or TQM. Essentially, the ACCJC adopted MSLOs as the overarching basis for accrediting community colleges based on their faith in the theoretical treatises of a movement.... After repeated requests for research showing that such use of MSLOs is effective, none has been forthcoming from the ACCJC [accreditors]. Prior to large scale imposition of such a requirement at all institutions, research should be provided to establish that continuous monitoring of MSLOs has resulted in measurable improvements in student success at a given institution. No such research is forthcoming because there is none….
The Accountability Game…., Leon F. Marzillier (Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, October, 2002)
In the summer of ’13, I offered a critique of the awkward verbiage by which the district and colleges explain their values, goals, and objectives —aka SOCCCD'S G&V (goals and values) blather.
I wrote a post each for the district, Saddleback College, and Irvine Valley College efforts. (See the links below.)
This verbiage—stated in terms of “values,” “missions,” “goals,” “visions,” and whatnot—is often badly written. It is sometimes embarrassingly trite.
It occasionally communicates something worthwhile.
No doubt you are familiar with the usual objections to jargon. Higher education, too, has its jargon—an irony, given typical college-level instruction in writing, which urges jargon eschewery.
Sure enough, SOCCCD G&V blather is riddled with jargon and with terms misused and abused. For instance, in the case of the district’s dubious blather, the so-called “vision” is actually a purpose. Why didn't they just call it that?
As one slogs through this prattle, one finds that "visions" tend to be awfully similar to “missions,” with which they are distinguished. The latter in turn are awfully similar to “goals,” which must be distinguished from “objectives.” But aren't goals and objectives pretty much the same thing?
These perverse word games will surely perplex or annoy anyone armed with a command of the English language. In fact, readers will be perplexed to the degree that they are thus armed. Illiterates, of course, will be untroubled.
Here's a simple point: the district and colleges’ G&V blather tends to eschew good, plain English in favor of technical terms and trendy words and phrases (i.e., it tends to be bullshitty and vague). Thus, one encounters such trendy terminological turds as “dynamic,” “diversity,” “student success,” and “student-centered.” Even meretricious neologisms such as ISLOs and “persistence rates” pop up, unexplained, undefended.
Does anyone see a transparency problem with all of this? Shouldn't the public, or at least the well educated public, be able to comprehend statements of the colleges' goals and values?
In the case of the district, to its credit, all it really seems to want to say is that it wants to teach well and it wants students to succeed. Admirable!
So why all the ugly, common-sense defying, buzzword-encrusted claptrap?

Districtular poppycock: our “vision” and our “mission” and our tolerance of twaddle - July 31, 2013

THEY BUZZ: Saddleback College's "Mission, Vision, and Values" - August 4, 2013

IVC’s vision, mission, and goals: nonsense on stilts - August 5, 2013

THE IRVINE VALLEY CHRONICLES: no ideas, just clichés & buzzwords - Sep 30, 2013

*From my Apple laptop's dictionary