By Eric W. Schoen
When you woke up on Monday morning, the question of the day in New York State was do students have to wear masks indoors and outdoors for the remainder of the school year. When you woke up Tuesday morning and tried to log on to the New York Times or News 12 websites and could not, you learned that clouds were more than those puffy things in the sky and controlled our ability to access information.
Lots to discuss this week! Let’s start out with masks. No one wants to see students in classrooms or outdoors at recess wearing masks or any face coverings. Particularly with warm weather upon us. But statistics show that the wearing of masks is crucial to stopping the spread of COVID-19. We only have several more weeks of schools left. So why the heck change things now?
On Friday the Governor makes an announcement that masks were no longer required inside school buildings or outside during recess or other activities. School Boards throughout the state were holding emergency meetings over the weekend to discuss the issue. Some school districts apparently went all remote on Monday until the mask issue was clarified. According to the Journal News one district even used a snow day in June because of the mask uncertainty.
Every time our government does something like this it puts people who are already on edge over the whole Covid-19 situation even more confused and upset. The Governor wanted to independently verify everything that came out of the Trump administration on Covid-19. Now that we have a new sheriff in the White House is his policy the same. I’m confused.
Let’s hope we get some guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on the need for wearing masks in school before September. Poor kids sit in plexiglass in classrooms if they are learning in person. I couldn’t do it if I was in grade school. Better yet roll up your sleeve and get vaccinated. That’s the way to put an end to what we are going through!
Speaking of vaccinations, I was invited to see an Off Broadway show over the weekend. In order to see the show I would have to fill out a Covid Screening Questionnaire. The document had to be filled out before I could attend the show, signed and either emailed or brought with me before I could enter the theater. It asked all those questions you are asked before they allow you to enter a medical building. On the one hand I thought it was a good idea to keep everyone safe. But on the other hand I am hoping that people get vaccinated so that these questionnaires are not necessary.
I’ll be honest. I have no problem with people being asked if they want to attend a Bruce Springsteen concert or a Broadway show or go to work to prove that they have been vaccinated. I think there are a lot of people who are not resuming their normal lives because they are afraid they may come in contact with someone who is unvaccinated. They say once you are fully vaccinated you can’t get Covid-19 but then we hear of isolated cases where vaccinated people have come down with the virus.
A Cloud Service Company. Be honest, before Tuesday morning did you know what that term meant? As you do every morning you turned on your computer, went to your favorite website whether it be the New York Times or the Journal news or maybe you needed some sequins for a dress you are making from Amazon and what did you get? In the case of the Times yesterday’s news if you like me had downloaded it the night before. Or an ERROR 503 service unavailable message that I received on the WCBS 880, radio.com and when I attempted to refresh the New York Times website. Fortunately for viewers of yonkerstimes.com because we have the best in the business and are state of the art you were not blocked from our website and fresh content was provided!
So why did this happen. The problem appeared to be related to an outage at Fastly (FSLY), a cloud service provider. The company said on its service status website (which was working) Tuesday morning it had identified the problem and fixed the issue — but many sites were still unavailable for some users at 7 a.m. ET.
What prey tell is Fastly? Fastly helps improve load times (the time it takes for you to click on yonkerstimes.com and for it to appear on your screen) for websites and provides other services to internet sites, apps and platforms including a large global server network.
Fastly supports news sites and apps like CNN, the Guardian, the New York Times and many others. It also provides content delivery for Twitch, Pinterest, HBO Max (allowing you to see the movie In The Heights this Thursday) , Hulu, Reddit, Spotify and other services.Other major internet platforms and sites including Amazon, Target, and the UK government website — Gov.uk — were affected.
Heavens the poor Target Bullseye Dog was affected. I hope the poor dog got fed! Combined with Amazon that’s a severe crisis for you shoppers out there. What did you do for the hour or so the outage lasted? Go shopping In a brick and mortar real store like the good old days?
All this goes to show you that whether it be Fastly or other computer systems like the Colonial Pipeline (is gas so expensive because hackers got into it?) or the nations largest meat supplier, JBS, systems have to be in place to protect interruption when they go down or are hacked. I’m no computer czar but these big billion dollars companies as well as you and I with our $500 or less computers have to have backups in place and download software, often available for free to prevent any interruption in our computing. Look into it now before it hits home!
If what the former New Rochelle Schools Medical Doctor (also parent of a child in the district) says is true encouraging the district to close down schools because people were getting sick was ignored by the then Superintendent of Schools, it is not only disgraceful but my guess will result in many other lawsuits. We have to rely on the best medical advice in these situations and that advice cannot be second guessed by bureaucrats with no medical knowledge!
Swimming season is upon us. Rockland man dies swimming in a lake. That beginning of the season reminder that you should not go swimming in water if you do not know how to swim. And the most important thing a parent can do is get swimming lessons for their children. So many opportunities are available out there, many free. I learned to swim at Tibbetts Pool with free classes offered by Westchester County.
Speaking of water, the Metro District in Southern California got the award for best water in the nation? Was Yonkers water in the competition? Having been to California numerous times I can tell you that our Yonkers water far beats any California water I have tasted. It still comes out ice cold, ready to drink from the faucet.
Conventions are back in Las Vegas. The first one? The World of Concrete. Come on guys, with all respect to concrete couldn’t you bring back conventions with something a little more exciting.
In closing, thank you to the many readers who read and responded to my column last week about being stuck on the Major Deegan for 5 hours. I’m fine, but many of you didn’t realize if you get stuck on the Deegan AAA can’t tow you or fix your flat and you end up with a minimum $140 bill that doesn’t even include changing your tire or putting on the donut. Hopefully one of the agencies that awards this insane towing contract and our legislators will do something to end, no pun intended ‘highway robbery!’
Reach Eric Schoen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ericyonkers. Listen to Eric Schoen on the Westchester Rising Radio Show Thursday’s from 10-11 a.m., on WVOX 1460 AM, go to WVOX.com to listen for free.