Open Thread for Wednesday, July 15, 2020


I got up at 6:30 this morning to get a head start so I could go all the way to Lexington and get my real ID. I should probably do a post about that. Anyway, despite getting a head start on the day (hard for me these days), I didn’t get done nearly what I wanted to today.

But here’s an Open Thread:

  1. Did you get a Real ID yet? — More to the point, have you done it during COVID? It was interesting. On the one hand, they really had it organized. My wife and I got in and got the job done in record time. And all the members of the public had on masks. However… not quite all of the DMV workers did. I mean ON. Some had their noses uncovered, and one lady we had to deal with for several minutes, passing papers back and forth, had her mask draped under her chin. So there was that. Oh, and I got my Real ID picture done with my Santa Claus beard. Not sure that’s going to help me much when getting on an airplane after this is over and I start shaving again. Guess I should keep using the passport. Anyway, I don’t suppose I need to do a separate post on this now.
  2. ‘Irresponsible and dangerous.’ SC teachers push back on governor’s plan to reopen schools — Hey, don’t look at me. I tried hard to get y’all to elect somebody else. But seriously, folks, this looks more like a mess each day.
  3. Trump replaces campaign manager — Well, that took several minutes longer than we thought it would. Or maybe several minutes less. I don’t know. I just mean it’s no surprise with a guy who is loyal to no one. Somebody else be snarky about it… You know, once they start coming after the Brads, you could be next…
  4. Walmart Will Require Shoppers To Wear Masks — For months now, I’ve had to go to Walmart and I see the signs that say something about requesting people wear masks, or suggesting it, or whatever, and I’ve bristled at the wussiness of it. I mean, y’all are Walmart! TELL THEM. And now they have.
  5. Twitter accounts of prominent figures, including Biden, Musk and Obama, compromised — We’ve got a LONG way to go in figuring out how to live with so much of our lives being virtual. It’s so convenient. And there are so many jackasses out there trying to take advantage of us.

That’s enough for now. I need to go take a shower…

An unused station at the DMV.

An unused station at the DMV this morning.

15 thoughts on “Open Thread for Wednesday, July 15, 2020

  1. jim catoe

    My wife and I got our Real ID’s in 2019. Despite the DMV being packed, we were in and out in 30 minutes. The only glitch was my birth certificate. I was born at an Overseas Replacement Depot Hospital in the waning months of WW 11 and my birth certificate aroused some suspicion from the staff at DMV. Common sense prevailed and I was deemed a non-threat by an understanding supervisor who noticed that the certificate had a North Carolina Department of Health stamp on the obverse side.

  2. bud

    I had to get a birth certificate from DHEC but otherwise the process went smoothly.

    My brother on the other hand ran into major problems when his name on his birth certificate didn’t match his SSN. My dad change his name from III to Jr. Likewise my brother went from IV to III. It was a mess. Took him months and a court visit to straighten it out.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Interesting. I’ll bet that WAS complicated.

      I don’t mean to pry, but why did they opt to make that change?

      I ask because there’s something about numbers after names that keeps confusing me on the family tree, and I haven’t really figured it out yet.

      For instance, I have a 3rd cousin (once removed) who calls himself III, and his son IV. But he’s the fourth man in that branch of the family to have the name — first, middle and last all the same — and his son is the fifth.

      At first I thought he did that because, not being a genealogy geek like me, he didn’t know about the original guy (his great-great grandfather, and my great-grandmother’s brother-in-law). Then I heard that people don’t count it if the name skips a generation. But I think if you skip a generation — if someone is named for a grandfather or an uncle and not his father — you just go by II instead of Jr., and the numbers proceed normally after that.

      That’s the case here. This guy is named the same as his father and grandfather. His great-grandfather had a different name, but HIS father had that same name as all the recent generations — they were named for him.

      It’s confusing.

      So I was wondering if your Dad changed his name because of a skip like that…

      1. bud

        Not really sure why dad did the name change. It was pretty common back then. When his famous dad Alan Hale died Alan Jr dropped the Jr. The skipper was never fully accepts as Alan Hale Sr. It was just too confusing.

    2. Scout

      I had a slightly similar confusion but luckily I didn’t have to go to those lengths. I go by my middle name. When I got married and had to change all my documents at that time, it was very annoying. They would not let me drop my first name, even though nobody knows me by that, but only three names will fit so I had to choose between including my middle name which everybody knows or my maiden name – which seemed important to reference back to every other important document in my previous life.

      Somehow I ended up with my drivers license having ‘first – middle – married’ and my SS card having ‘first- maiden – married’. I thought I had arranged it with the SS people for it to be the same but when it came that is what it was and I never did anything about it. So they don’t match.

      When I went to get my real ID they were slightly put off by the not matching. But I did have my birth certificate and marriage license to prove that I belong to all those names. There was much to doing and people from other cubicles and and then someone from the back had to be consulted. I had resigned myself to having to give up having my middle name on the real ID – I thought they were gonna say they had to make it match my SSN.

      But in the end, they said they couldn’t do that either. They said they had to keep it the same as what was in the computer on my previous license – like they didn’t know how to change that. which seems a little odd.

      But anyway, they gave me a Real ID and my names still don’t match. Hopefully this does not put me on a terrorist watch list anywhere. Luckily I hardly ever fly.

      Moral of this story is please don’t call your girl children by their middle name. It just complicates life.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        That’s interesting. I need to check and see how my wife’s worked out. She doesn’t use her first given name, but I don’t think there was any complication…

        My only problem is that sometimes I think people are looking at me funny when they want a signature and I say, “Which name do you want me to use?” (I’ll get this look that seems to say, How many aliases do you HAVE?)

        Because I don’t use my first name, but often I have to sign that way. That’s my father’s name. This is further complicated because he is on file at some of the places I deal with, such as our pharmacy. And yet sometimes I’ll have prescriptions that insist on calling ME “Donald.” (I especially love it when I’m dealing with someone who doesn’t know me at all and tries to get chummy by calling me “Don”…) So I’m always having to double-check birth dates and such to make sure I’m getting the right stuff…

        1. Scout

          I believe my situation was complicated by the fact that I got married in 2004. Things like dropping your first name at times like this apparently became much harder after 9/11. I’ve talked to people in this situation before 9/11 who just changed their documents to ‘middle maiden married’, which would have been fine by me, but it wasn’t allowed in 2004. Maybe that is what your wife was able to do?

      2. Kathleen

        You were lucky. One of my daughters with a similar problem was rejected . I’m hoping they’ll accept
        my passport because my birth certificate has an error nobody noticed for over half a century. At any rate I will keep my passport current just in case…

  3. Norm Ivey

    I’m glad I don’t have to come up with a plan for the schools. There’s no good answer. Giving parents a choice sounds good. Parents want what’s best for their children, but districts have to make decisions that will have an impact on other people’s kids. Spearman’s absence from the press conference spoke volumes.

    If our original intent in shutting things down was to slow the spread so that hospitals don’t get overwhelmed, and if that remains our intent, then throwing wide the school doors and returning to SOP seems like a very bad idea. A typical middle school classroom has 25 or more students. Elementary schools may have 20. Even with 3-foot spacing, there’s no way to fit that many kids in a room and also observe physical distancing guidelines. You essentially must have enough room to walk completely around every student’s desk.

    Most plans I’ve seen floated will not require students to wear masks. Even if they did, it would be impossible to force them to wear them correctly at all times. What do you do about who kids who refuse to wear them, and what do you tell a parent whose child becomes ill when she learns that the kid sitting next to her baby wouldn’t keep his mask on and was coughing in class?

    If a child tests positive, what does that mean for the rest of the students in that class? When a teacher tests positive (and many of them will) who then teaches the class for 14+ days while the teacher is out? And do the kids need to quarantine as well?

    Your linked article mentions it briefly, but there are many teachers in our schools who have underlying health issues. McMaster’s 5-day, face-to-face plan will put those teachers at significant risk. In many professions, at-risk employees can find a way to mitigate that risk. When you’re dealing with children, you can’t. There WILL be kids in every classroom who will not practice personal hygiene in a manner to protect at-risk teachers, staff, and students.

    McMaster also committed to providing the resources needed to open schools safely, which I assume means PPE, soap and sanitizer, cleaning supplies and the labor force necessary to meet the demand. Teachers would love to have someone in the classroom with them to wipe down surfaces like the guy who wiped down the lectern between speakers during the press conference. Where’s that money coming from? It’s like he’s not even from around here.

    The worst thing that was said yesterday was that teachers had failed at elearning last spring. (First, I want to know what data he used to come to that conclusion…) We asked teachers to adapt to an entirely new approach to teaching in a matter of days. Most had never had any experience or training in teaching virtually, so yes, there is room for improvement. Every midlands district has taken steps this summer to provide training to their teachers in case we must open virtually.

    I give the gov’nuh and the legislature a D for effort and an F for leadeship.

    1. Scout

      I concur with everything you say here. There truly are no good answers. Young children and especially children with disabilities really do need face to face hands on instruction and therapies. And the inequity of virtual learning for disadvantaged kids and vulnerable kids stuck at home in bad situations are both very very real. But we are third in the world right now in level of disease in the community and teachers and children will get sick and some will die and teachers’ families will also be placed at risk. This just doesn’t seem prudent with this level of spread in the community. I’ve read the research that says kids don’t spread it very well. My take is this is encouraging but very limited. The truth is there is a great deal we don’t know. They base it on contact tracing data based on chronology of symptom onset for kids in household settings and conclude for about 90% of identified cases in kids, chronology of symptom onset of infected household members suggests they got it from adults and did not pass it further. These are reasonable assumptions, but still assumptions. Suppose kids have a longer pre-symptomatic period than adults – things like this would affect the conclusions. And we just don’t know these details. What we don’t have any idea about is the prevalence of asymptomatic infections in children and transmission behavior in children in a school setting. This seems like a big risk to take given the number of vulnerable teachers and students, the level of disease currently in our community, and the potential to exacerbate any spread that does occur. This is why CDC and DHEC do not recommend any in person learning for our level of infection.

      I am 50 years old. I don’t have alot of other risk factors but some completely healthy young people get very sick. It is concerning.

      I am concerned for the vulnerable children, but I think just keeping children and teachers alive is the priority now – so that we are around to get caught up once we hopefully have a vaccine or a more managable level of infection.

  4. Ken

    Yes, the “don’t know” factor here is large. That’s because there haven’t been a sufficient number of populations of children in the right settings available for study. During extended lockdown periods around the world, they have been out of not in school. They were at home. So the dynamic we need to know about — child-to-child and child-to-adult spread in classrooms — has not been present.


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