Prepare for Seattle to shut its schools

Parents and their employers better be prepared for an indefinite shutdown of the Seattle Public Schools, because that’s what the district is preparing for, one district insider warned me.  And if Seattle shuts its schools, the surrounding districts won’t be far behind.

The quick and sudden closure of Madrona K-8 in response to a single probable case of swine flu should be viewed as a sign that school officials are taking this potential pandemic very seriously.  While officials initially plan to evaluate closures on a school by school basis, preparations are in place to shut the entire district if cases become more widespread, following the lead of Fort Worth TX, which today became the nation’s first major school district to shutter its doors in response to the flu outbreak.

I’m not saying it’s necessarily gonna happen, just that there might not be a lot of warning if it does.

Seattle Public Schools announced this afternoon that Aki Kurose Middle School and Stevens Elementary will be closed through May 7, due to reported cases of swine flu.


  1. 1

    Matty spews:

    Unfortunately, it may not exactly be the rational thing to do. Clearly, if there is a confirmed or probable case of what is still a new pandemic I could understand preemptive closure. We’re increasingly sure it’s not as big and nasty as the Spanish Flue from 1918, but we haven’t quite reconciled the higher death rates of Mexico with our only one death so far. The reality is we’re in for a long haul on this pandemic as it is likely going to bounce around the globe for the next year in waves. And schools that later have large absenteeism (say >10% because of the influenza) should shut down. But, if a school closes down because there’s no cases or only a suspected case…it’s the same irrational fear as Egypt has right now with senselessly killing off pigs…and will do no good.

    It’s so simple even Goldy got it right. Stop the spread: Stay home if you’re sick and keep it covered if you cough!

  2. 2

    Seattle Jew, a true liberal spews:

    I worry that this is a CYA situation where the schools are afraid that if even a few kids get flu, they will be blamed.

  3. 5

    Seattle Jew, a true liberal spews:

    Unfortunately, this sort of thing .. called compliance .. ia ll over our government now. One reason I opposed I 1000 is that it may add huge costs to compliance.

    This is one of those damned issue that arise because of libral-consrvative coalitions. The $$$ the UW spends in avoiding law suitys are huge!

  4. 7

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Quick, look in the mirror.
    Is your nose changing into a snout?
    If so, call Joe Biden.

    Next, drop your drawers and look at your ass.
    Is a curly tail sprouting?
    If so, call Joe “The Alarmist” Biden.
    He will make a folk hero out of you.

  5. 8

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    You have nearly hit the biggest problem in our society today.
    Excessive litigation.
    Lawyers are a huge problem for health care…and pretty much everything.
    Unfortunately, lawyers own the Democratic Party.
    More laws==More lawsuits

  6. 9

    Michael spews:

    Quick, run for your lives!!!

    What non-sense. In the 1918 pandemic they didn’t even know what it was until it was damn near over, didn’t know how the flu spread, didn’t have drugs, didn’t have many telephones around…

    I’m all for keeping sick kids home and maybe setting up hand washing stations (probably a good idea even without the flu), but let’s not get carried away here.

    More on life in 1918 here:

  7. 10


    re 8: That sounds totally hypocritical given your exhuberant backing of Scharansky in his lawsuit against the county and your backing of a purely personal-scourge legal vendetta against Sims and Dean Logan.

  8. 11

    Michael spews:

    President Uses Dubious Statistics on Costs of Malpractice Lawsuits
    January 29, 2004
    Two Congressional agencies dispute findings that caps on damage awards produce big savings in medical costs.

    In a speech in Little Rock, Arkansas on Jan. 26 the President said, “One of the major cost drivers in the delivery of health care are these junk and frivolous lawsuits.” He said rising malpractice insurance premiums and needless medical procedures ordered up out of fear of lawsuits cost federal taxpayers “at least” $28 billion a year in added costs to government medical programs. Bush’s Department of Health and Human Services claims total savings – public and private – of as much as $108 billion a year.

    Those claims rest mainly on a single 1996 study by two Stanford economists who said caps on damage awards could hold down overall medical costs by 5% to 9%. They studied heart patients who were hospitalized, compared costs in states with and without limits on malpractice lawsuits, and then projected their findings to the entire health-care system.

    But both the GAO and the CBO now question their sweeping conclusion. When the CBO attempted to duplicate the Stanford economists’ methods for other types of ailments they found found “no evidence that restrictions on tort liability reduce medical spending.”

    “In short, the evidence available to date does not make a strong case that restricting malpractice liability would have a significant effect, either positive or negative, on economic efficiency, ” the CBO said.

  9. 12

    Michael spews:

    Have the Republican’s started claiming that dirt causes the flu yet?
    In the nineteenth century, most physicians and public health experts believed that disease was caused not by microorganisms but rather by dirt itself.

    Sanitarians, as these people were called, argued that cleaning dirt-infested cities and building better sewage systems would both prevent and end many epidemics. At their urging, cities and towns across the United States built better sewage systems and provided citizens with access to clean water. By 1918, these improved water and sewage systems had greatly contributed to a decline in gastrointestinal infections and a significant reduction in mortality rates among infants, children and young adults.

    But because diseases are caused by microorganisms, not dirt, these tactics were not completely effective in ending all epidemics.

  10. 13

    Michael spews:

    Great post up over at Orcinus. I should probably warn the trolls and byebyegop that it’s a long post and there are big words…

    The Far Right’s First 100 Days: Shifting Into Overdrive
    Thursday, April 30, 2009
    — by Sara

    Somewhere back in February, about three weeks into the Obama Administration, everybody on the left suddenly noticed that there was something different going on with the conservatives. The outrageous screeds and paranoid delusions sounded pretty much as they always had — but there was a new fury behind them, a strident urgency that hadn’t been there before, and a very audible shift of the gears in right-wing behavior and rhetoric. None of this came as a surprise to veteran right-wing watchers — we’d been predicting a bad backlash since the 2006 election — but three months into the new administration, it’s increasingly hard to ignore the fact that this ominous new trend is taking on a momentum of its own.

  11. 14

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    10. Stan spews:
    re 8: That sounds totally hypocritical given your exhuberant backing of Scharansky in his lawsuit against the county

    Why is your name linked to headless lucy’s blog? Are you headless lucy using yet another sockpuppet?
    Not hypocritical. The difference being ron sims intentionally violated the laws to prevent the truth of the stolen election to be made public.
    Of all people, I thought you would be against ron sims, considering he’s black.

  12. 15

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    10. Stan spews:
    re 8: That sounds totally hypocritical given your exhuberant backing of Scharansky in his lawsuit against the county and your backing of a purely personal-scourge legal vendetta against Sims and Dean Logan.

    Just as hypocritical as democrats wanting bush to be on trial for what the left has perceived as crimes.
    The reps impeached clinton. Stefan sued ron sims and his band of law violators and was given a settlement to avoid a trial.
    Why didn’t the dems impeach bush? Is it because to impeach bush would result in the words of all those democrats that lied us into war being placed in the record. And that’s the last thing democrats want, is it to become public knowledge that the democrats also lied us into war.
    So bush goes un-impeached and uncharged with any crimes because the democrats are also complicit.
    hillary’s opinion on saddam-
    “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members…
    Four years of intelligence? That would mean for over 3 years before bush took office, president clinton knew what saddam was doing, including giving aid, comfort and sanctuary to terrorists, including al qaeda.
    I have to admit, this is one of the better quotes by the man that the liberal media insisted didn’t cheat on his cancer stricken wife-

    “As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I firmly believe that the issue of Iraq is not about politics. It’s about national security. We know that for at least 20 years, Saddam Hussein has obsessively sought weapons of mass destruction through every means available. We know that he has chemical and biological weapons today.

    Before bush was president, john edwards was on the senate intelligence committee and he knows that saddam had chemical and biological weapons.
    This is why bush will NEVER face charges. Too many democrats complicit in the lie.