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Princess Diana’s humble little 1981 Ford Escort is up for auction An engagement gift from Prince Charles, the car is being sold by a Princess Di “superfan” Speaking to Driving during a media event, Kleint recalled the twin-engined Golf wasn’t as difficult to drive as it might sound as long as the engines remained in sync. Keeping the front end pointed in the right direction became considerably more demanding if the engines spun at different revolutions, which sometimes happened if one end lost traction. He knew how to handle it, though. He had plenty of experience from extensive testing and two official runs up the Peak, and he was confident in his ability to power the beast of a hatchback through the turns. 1987 could have been Volkswagen’s year.At first, everything went according to plan. Kleint reached the halfway point faster than any of his rivals. He looked set to win the race until he unexpectedly came to a stop less than half a kilometre away from the finish line. One of the car’s suspension ball joints had failed, forcing Kleint to abandon the race.Walter Röhrl won the 1987 Pikes Peak hill climb by logging a time of 10 minutes and 47 seconds behind the wheel of an Audi Sport Quattro. Volkswagen quit trying to conquer the peak after the defeat. It’s making a comeback this year with an all-electric prototype named I.D.R. Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2 1987 Volkswagen Golf Pikes Peak racer Motorsport built two examples of the twin-engined Golf. The Polo-powered example used during the 1985 and 1986 runs now resides in a private collection in Ingolstadt, Germany. The GTI-powered car from 1987 joined the firm’s collection after its unsuccessful attempt. It recently benefited from a six-month-long mechanical restoration and runs as well as it did in the 1980s. RELATED TAGSGolfVolkswagenClassic CarsClassic Cars & TrucksNew Vehicles See More Videos Trending in Canada Motorsport retained some of the Golf’s sheet metal, notably the doors, but it made the front and rear sections out of composites to keep weight in check. It also widened the body by 20 centimetres. All told, the race car and its volume-produced sibling shared an unmistakable family resemblance but no major components. The team building the car only sourced the lights and minor bits and pieces like the door handles from the production parts bin. Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.21987 Volkswagen Golf Pikes Peak racerRonan Glon, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.21987 Volkswagen Golf Pikes Peak racerRonan Glon, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.21987 Volkswagen Golf Pikes Peak racerRonan Glon, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.21987 Volkswagen Golf Pikes Peak racerRonan Glon, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.21987 Volkswagen Golf Pikes Peak racerRonan Glon, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.21987 Volkswagen Golf Pikes Peak racerRonan Glon, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.21987 Volkswagen Golf Pikes Peak racerRonan Glon, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.21987 Volkswagen Golf Pikes Peak racerRonan Glon, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.21987 Volkswagen Golf Pikes Peak racerRonan Glon, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.21987 Volkswagen Golf Pikes Peak racerRonan Glon, Driving Volkswagen fitted the first prototype with a 1.3-litre four-cylinder engine borrowed from the humble Polo, a sub-Golf model never sold in Canada. It sat longitudinally and sent its power to the front wheels. But building a front-wheel drive car to win Pikes Peak would have meant taking absolutely no account of reality; the competition included Audi’s fabulously quick Sport Quattro, which took a short break from belching flames out of its exhaust during Group B races to participate in the event. Instead of using the Syncro system, which they began experimenting with in the early 1980s, Volkswagen engineers simply dropped a second, identical engine right over the rear wheels.Though outwardly complicated, the twin-engine layout was relatively straight-forward and well-suited to a demanding course like Pikes Peak. The Golf benefited from a through-the-road all-wheel drive system in normal driving conditions. One gear lever shifted both transmissions simultaneously. Alternatively, the driver could select front- or rear-wheel drive if needed.Volkswagen tested the twin-engined Golf in Europe before shipping it to the Rocky Mountains. The pressure on race day was immense. The team only had one shot at the peak; there were no do-overs. Breaking down or making a mistake meant months of preparation immediately got thrown out the window. German pilot Jochi Kleint drove the Golf to a third-place finish in 1985, an admirable performance for its first race. The duo took fourth place the following year.Volkswagen returned to Colorado with a vengeance in 1987. Determined to beat its Audi division, which had won every edition of the race since 1985, it built a new Golf that ditched its predecessor’s Polo engines and adopted a pair of turbocharged, 1.8-liter four-cylinders sourced from the GTI. Motorsport tweaked both 16-valve units to give the hatchback a total output of approximately 650 horsepower. For stability reasons, the rear engine made slightly more power than the front one. Both continued to shift through a manual transmission. Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.21987 Volkswagen Golf Pikes Peak racerRonan Glon, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.21987 Volkswagen Golf Pikes Peak racerRonan Glon, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.21987 Volkswagen Golf Pikes Peak racerRonan Glon, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.21987 Volkswagen Golf Pikes Peak racerRonan Glon, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.21987 Volkswagen Golf Pikes Peak racerRonan Glon, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.21987 Volkswagen Golf Pikes Peak racerRonan Glon, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.21987 Volkswagen Golf Pikes Peak racerRonan Glon, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.21987 Volkswagen Golf Pikes Peak racerRonan Glon, Driving Racing in the annual Pikes Peak hill climb, which first started in 1916 and continues this weekend, demands a colossal amount of effort and innovation.The 20-kilometre-long, 156-turn course begins at 2,861 metres above sea level and ends at roughly 4,300 metres. Some sections of it remained unpaved until 2011, which significantly complicated the task of finishing the race – let alone winning it. Capturing first place required building a car with an immense amount of power, tremendous traction, and the ability to blast through corners at a neck-snapping pace. In the early 1980s, Volkswagen looked at the design brief and said “challenge accepted!”There was a not-insignificant catch: the instructions sent down from Wolfsburg also asked for a car that, for the sake of marketing, looked like a second-generation Golf. The firm’s Motorsport division couldn’t turn a standard Golf into a Pikes Peak-conquering machine so it enlisted the help of Vienna-based Kaimann Racing and started from scratch. COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS advertisement We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. ‹ Previous Next ›
Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Recommended Denyse O’LearyDenyse O’Leary is a freelance journalist based in Victoria, Canada. Specializing in faith and science issues, she has published two books on the topic: [email protected] and By Design or by Chance? She has written for publications such as The Toronto Star, The Globe & Mail, and Canadian Living. She is co-author, with neuroscientist Mario Beauregard, of The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul. She received her degree in honors English language and literature.Follow DenyseTwitter Share Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Neuroscience & Mind Post-Modern Science: The Illusion of Consciousness Sees Through Itself Denyse O’LearySeptember 28, 2017, 1:52 AM Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos We have always struggled with the limits to how human language can express our thoughts about reality. But post-modern science dismisses the struggle as futile: We did not evolve to perceive reality. That conviction is changing cosmology dramatically.We know almost nothing about the human consciousness but naturalism must treat it as evolved from unconscious elements. Much confusion is avoided by recognizing that that is a core assumption, not a discovery.Naturalist theories of consciousness currently proliferate with abandon because there is no basis for deciding among them. They are tossed, like hats, into a ring. For example, neuroscientist Steven Novella explains:Essentially you have a positive feedback loop with language, culture, social interaction, and intellectual sophistication. The result was that our proto-human ancestors dramatically increased the size of their brains in a few million years. The evolutionary pressures for greater intelligence were apparently massive, once those factors all came into play.Novella’s assertions do not offer any demonstrable cause. But then they don’t need to, either. They add to knowledge by affirming the core assumption.Neuroscientist Michael Graziano similarly claims that “A New Theory Explains How Consciousness Evolved” (Atlantic, 2016):The brain evolved increasingly sophisticated mechanisms for deeply processing a few select signals at the expense of others, and in the AST [Attention Schema Theory], consciousness is the ultimate result of that evolutionary sequence. If the theory is right — and that has yet to be determined — then consciousness evolved gradually over the past half billion years and is present in a range of vertebrate species.Notice, his theory’s correctness has yet to be determined, yet it “explains” how consciousness evolved. Yes, because to “explain” in this instance is to conform to naturalism, not to provide a correct account.Going one better, cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman deftly turns a plausible claim into a proved theorem:The mathematical physicist Chetan Prakash proved a theorem that I devised that says: According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness. Never.Similarly, the influential MIND group of philosophers argues that we are “simulacrums of reality,” always hallucinating. Then why isn’t naturalist evolution itself just another illusion? Because it is the core assumption. It renders all other assumptions illusions.A review of naturalist philosopher Daniel Dennett’s newest book, From Bacteria to Bach and Back, in The New Yorker captures the mood nicely: “In the course of forty years, and more than a dozen books, Dennett has endeavored to explain how a soulless world could have given rise to a soulful one.” Decades of failure are not and cannot be an argument for reevaluating his thesis that consciousness is an outcome of Darwinian evolution. There can be no such arguments.Evolutionary cognitive science makes short work of traditional notions of ethics as well. As summarized by Steven Pinker: “Our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. Sometimes truth is adaptive, but sometimes it is not.” Our consciousness is a user illusion evolved to pass on our genes. Artificial intelligence expert Eric Baum goes further, citing self-deception as a real advantage:… we have been evolved to consciously believe as fact things that are not only untrue but which are known to be untrue at some level of mind, simply for the purpose of better lying to others. It is quite plausible that we have likewise evolved other counterfactual beliefs: there is some evidence for an evolved module for religious faith, which might well exist whether or not there is in actuality an anthropomorphic god. Evolution has, in many ways, selected precisely for nonobjectivity: our beliefs reflect what is good for us or our kin, not necessarily objective truth…. (What is Thought?, 2004, pp. 226-27.)Once again, “it’s quite plausible” is treated as equivalent to evidence, eliding the question of how exactly we come to “consciously believe” anything.The hero of such tales is the mythic not-quite-conscious hunter-gatherer. Ajit Varki and Danny Brower, authors of Denial: Self-Deception, False Beliefs, and the Origins of the Human Mind (2013), offer a new theory of mind:The authors argue that as humans contemplated the intentions of those around them, they began reflecting more deeply on the meaning of life itself, and this examination led to the frightening awareness of their mortality. To assuage such fears, humans evolved the unique ability to deny reality. The authors reason that religion and philosophy represent some of our best efforts to do so. (Scientific American, 2013)Why no other life form experienced this flash of insight is not on the discussion list, nor is the fact that, in general, denying reality is a well-known route to personal extinction. The Scientific American reviewer notes, “The authors acknowledge that much of their proposal is untestable, and readers seeking conclusive answers will be disappointed. ” But, as the reviewer doubtless realizes, if the authors are correct, there cannot be conclusive answers, only more and possibly better deceptions, possibly theirs. Naturalist philosopher Patricia Churchland puts the proposition most starkly: Evolution selects for survival and “Truth, whatever that is, definitely takes the hindmost.”“Truth, whatever that is”? One sees into the soul of post-modern science here. And facts are so last-century (Scientific American).The post-modern approach to the human mind sheds considerable light on current cosmology’s discomfort with the traditional science decision-making tools that provide no support for the longed-for multiverse. Happily, those decision-making tools, it turns out, are not all they’re cracked up to be anyway. As double helix discoverer Francis Crick (1916–2004) famously announced in The Astonishing Hypothesis, (1995, p. 262), “Our highly developed brains, after all, were not evolved under the pressure of discovering scientific truths but only to enable us to be clever enough to survive.” It sounds so cool, so right.In an interview with John Horgan at Scientific American, Richard Dawkins offers an unexpectedly pessimistic view of the pursuit of the origins of consciousness along these lines, suggesting that maybe the “hard problem” of consciousness is forever beyond us, just as calculus is forever beyond the mentality of a chimpanzee.Seen from the outside, the theory of mind field doesn’t look promising. The study of the not-yet-human being is a discipline without a subject. Neuroscientist Hendrik Jörntell tells us at The Conversation that “a radical rethink” is needed. But he certainly doesn’t include challenging core assumptions. He opts for Big Data on networks of neurons. But why should we consider the outcome to be more than another current illusion created by the neurons? Have we somehow escaped evolution at last? Similarly, when molecular cancer biologist Ahmed Alkhateeb tells us at Aeon that science has outgrown human consciousness and we must turn to artificial intelligence, how will the user illusion know that Big Data is not just another illusion?Now and then, we hear a sharp remonstrance, as from Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry at The Week:To someone schooled in the great historical philosophical traditions — which have been largely dismissed following the adoption of post-modernism in the academy — this debate is immensely frustrating. In fact, much of the ongoing conversation about consciousness is self-evidently absurd.Gobry seems not to grasp that absurdity is no longer an issue. We are animals and animals are never absurd; they live and then they die.Similarly, literary critic Leon Wieseltier writes, “If reason is a product of natural selection, then how much confidence can we have in a rational argument for natural selection? … Evolutionary biology cannot invoke the power of reason even as it destroys it.” Yes, it can. The power invoked is not reason but the rhetoric of reason, a weapon for those who do not believe in the concept against those who do.Reason, like all measures, must lie outside what it measures, but naturalists deny that there is any outside. They confuse traditional thinkers when they use terms derived from the older view as if they still had meaning. For example, in The Big Picture (2016), astrophysicist Sean Carroll opines, “Illusions can be pleasant, but the rewards of truth are enormously better,” as if truth were even possible when “As we understand the world better, the idea that it has a transcendent purpose seems increasingly untenable.”One thing that remains very tenable is power, and naturalists are well aware of the need to hang onto it. Not for nothing do we read in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy that “For better or worse, ‘naturalism’ is widely viewed as a positive term in philosophical circles — few active philosophers nowadays are happy to announce themselves as ‘non-naturalists,’” even though there are powerful arguments for non-naturalism.But whether he wins or loses control of the academy, the naturalist lacks not-quite-humans to study. One response is to forget human evolution for now and go back into deep time, into what made human evolution possible. Two possibilities arise there: Consciousness is physical and/or everything is conscious.Consciousness is physical (physicalism). Hunting for consciousness has become fashionable among physicists. What if consciousness were a fourth state of matter, as cosmologist Max Tegmark, who coined the term perceptronium, argues? It could be made of atoms (Nautilus). Or it could be the product of “carefully balanced chaos” (Science). Consciousness is tied to entropy, we are told (PhysicsWorld), but then what isn’t? We were also told in 2016 that Harvard researchers believe that they have discovered a physical seat of human awareness, though nothing has been heard of the matter since.Borrowing from information theory, Joel Frohlich tells us, citing neuroscientist Giulio Tonioni, that consciousness provides “a reduction in uncertainty” (Psychology Today). Frohlich is confident of the theory: “IIT [Integrated Information Theory] seems to explain how the brain generates consciousness, though some might object that it does not explain why this mysterious phenomenon happens. But do we ever really know why? Why does mass have inertia? Why do opposite charges attract?” Frohlich seems to think that his analogy to information theory ranks with fundamental facts of nature. Say what you want about physicalists, they have confidence in their illusions.Yes, physicalism has come to this. But it is all the more powerful within the post-modern academy precisely because it thrives without any serious reckoning with evidence. It shades imperceptibly into another evidence-free stream of thought, that all matter is conscious.Everything is conscious (panpsychism). AI philosopher John Searle asks (58:25), “How do you know that you don’t have chemical processes that will turn this [holding up comb] into a conscious comb?” How, indeed? A surprisingly popular solution among naturalists today is that chemistry research is needless.“Is the universe itself alive?” asks physicist Ethan Siegel at Forbes. “‘Panpsychism’ Takes Hold in Science,” Live Science tells us. Some change is surely afoot when mainstream science writers are seriously discussing these notions.The change started in the academy. For example, a new volume of papers from Oxford University Press (2016) revives primeval panpsychism, the idea that everything is conscious:The virtue of panpsychism, compared to physicalism — the view that consciousness is ultimately explainable in terms of, or constituted by, physical properties — is that it takes consciousness, or at least some forms of it, to be a primitive that cannot be fully explained in terms of even more primitive elements. Consciousness may be a force akin to electromagnetism or gravity that exists in some form on the fundamental level of reality.Actually, it’s hard to distinguish this form of panpsychism from Tegmark and perceptronium (physicalism) but that will hardly be seen as a weakness.Norwegian philosopher Hedda Hassel Mørch offers a workaround:To critics, it’s just too implausible that fundamental particles are conscious. And indeed this idea takes some getting used to. But consider the alternatives. Dualism looks implausible on scientific grounds. Physicalism takes the objective, scientifically accessible aspect of reality to be the only reality, which arguably implies that the subjective aspect of consciousness is an illusion. Maybe so — but shouldn’t we be more confident that we are conscious, in the full subjective sense, than that particles are not?But why isn’t our confidence a user illusion? That’s the core assumption of the naturalism Mørch seeks to protect.Possibly at the other end of the spectrum (but it’s not clear), Roger Penrose muses that “Somehow, our consciousness is the reason the universe is here.” As naturalism transitions to its post-modern phase, perhaps there is room for that too, as long as no special status for humans is implied.All these assertions intertwine seamlessly with each other, but none of them can offer evidence or reason to rally the troops. Possibly that is one reason why so many scientists today rally around consensus instead, even though great science thinkers were not noted for consensus-building.Quite apart from the fact that naturalist interpretations of consciousness are proposed with little or no evidence, a moment’s thought shows that none of them can be right. We don’t know how consciousness comes to exist at all, so Occam’s razor trims the elaboration that it somehow evolved from mud via natural selection in order to deceive us. And whatever consciousness is, it is not physical, like matter or energy, but immaterial, like information. As Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics (2017) asks, what does the information on a full CD weigh, compared with an empty one?The third proposal, that everything is conscious, is the subtlest: If everything is conscious, nothing is. If rocks have minds, humans, for all practical purposes, do not. We are back to the first proposal, that consciousness is an evolved illusion, having learned nothing. There is an irony here: Naturalists have learned nothing for tens of millennia. Stone Age naturalists definitely held that inanimate objects are or can be conscious. That belief was the core assumption underlying many superstitions.Like cosmology, consciousness studies treats evidence as a problem, not a solution. Yet we keep hearing odd stories from the literature, such as that of the patient whose brain persisted in firing off delta signals ten minutes after heart stoppage or patients who function with substantial portions of the brain missing. Those not committed to the core assumption of naturalism will want to revisit the idea of evidence.Photo credit: Nasalune, via Pixabay. TagsAmit VarkicosmologyDaniel DennettDanny BrowerDonald HoffmanevidenceFrancis CrickGiulio TonioniHedda Hassel MørchJohn SearleLeon WieseltierMax TegmarkMichael GrazianomindneurosciencepanpsychismPascal-Emmanuel GobryPatricia Churchlandpost-modernRoger PenrosescienceSean CarrollSteven Novella,Trending
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Joey Logano reaffirmed his mastery of the road course at Watkins Glen International, but it took a three-wide restart late in Saturday’s Zippo 200 for the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford to get the job done.After winning his fourth straight NASCAR Xfinity Series pole at the 2.45-mile track, Logano took teammate Brad Keselowski and Joe Gibbs Racing driver Ryan Preece three-wide into Turn 1 after a restart on lap 75 of 82.RELATED: Results | Standings | Stage 1 results | Stage 2 resultsLogano’s move forced Keselowski wide and Logano cleared his teammate before the entry to Turn 2. But Keselowski wasn’t finished. He hounded Logano relentlessly until spinning in Turn 1 with two laps left.That gave Logano a comfortable margin, and he cruised to the finish line 3.362 seconds ahead of charging AJ Allmendinger, as Keselowski fell to 10th at the end. Allmendinger passed third-place finisher Justin Allgaier in the final corner to secure the runner-up spot.“That was all I had,” said Logano, who came to the green for the final restart with six-lap fresher tires than Keselowski. “He was definitely faster. I thought the tires would have been enough to be faster than him.RELATED: Logano celebrates 50th national series win “I had a good restart and got in front of him, and he dogged me. These Xfinity cars draft quite a bit down these straightaways, and it’s hard to pull away. It felt good to race each other really hard, so it’s cool to see Penske cars doing that.”The victory was Logano’s third in four races at WGI, his second in four starts this season and the 30th of his career, breaking a tie with Matt Kenseth for seventh on the all-time list.Preece came home fourth, his fifth top 10 and fourth top five in six 2018 starts. Aric Almirola completed the top five.RELATED: Cars race in the rainLogano won the race’s first stage before a rainstorm forced a change to rain tires. Allmendinger showed his road racing superiority by pulling away to win the second stage before the sun came out and dried the track.Allmendinger drew a one-lap penalty for sliding too far and pitting outside his stall during a fuel-only green-flag stop on Lap 52, but he fought back to finish second after two late cautions bunched the field.“Just a dumb mistake on my part,” Allmendinger said. “I was coming in for fuel there, and it was still a little bit damp on pit road… I rolled in and slid a little more than I expected and got the nose over the line, and they’d already started to refuel.“I just knew that, once we got the yellow, I was going to have to start roughing people up an driving up through there as hard as I could.”Christopher Bell fell short in his attempt to match Sam Ard’s series record of four straight victories. Bell recovered from a pass-through penalty (for crewmen over the wall too soon on a Lap 16 stop) and finished ninth.But Bell holds the series lead by 22 points over Cole Custer, who finished sixth on Saturday. Daniel Hemric (16th) is third, 23 points back, and fourth-place Elliott Sadler trials by 26 points.
Categories: News, Opinion, Schenectady CountyHong Kong was a COVID-19 success story.The city appeared to have the virus under control, with just 100 cases at the beginning of March, and life there was returning to normal. People were going out again — back to their offices, to the gym. Residents stuck overseas began returning home.Then the number of COVID-19 cases jumped, prompting Hong Kong to impose new restrictions. The city shut down movie theaters, gyms and other social spots, and barred people from gathering in groups of more than four.GAZETTE COVID-19 COVERAGEThe Daily Gazette is committed to keeping our community safe and informed and is offering our COVID-19 coverage to you free.Our subscribers help us bring this information to you. Please consider a subscription at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe to help support these efforts.Thank YouOn Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined together with governors from throughout the region to announce plans to develop a strategy for reopening the regional economy.With the U.S. unemployment rate now above 10 percent, I’m all for discussing what needs to be done to reopen the economy, and I think a regional approach makes sense. Increased testing capacity will enable public health officials to identify possible outbreaks quickly, by identifying those who are carrying the virus and contacting everyone they’ve come in contact with — a labor intensive process known as contact tracing.The countries with the most successful responses to COVID-19 all have rigorous contact tracing programs; Wuhan, China, where the virus was first detected, had 1,800 teams of at least five epidemiologists working to trace tens of thousands of contacts each day. Blood tests, to determine who might be immune to the virus, are also a necessity.Is the U.S. anywhere close to being able to test 750,000 people a week for COVID-19, as some experts believe is necessary?Not that I’ve seen.Right now, we’re struggling to test 100,000 people a week.The sad reality is that it will be a long time before life can fully return to normal.Reopening businesses and schools on a case by case basis doesn’t mean everything can go back to the way it was. Until a vaccine is developed crowded restaurants, packed movie theaters and busy sports events might be a thing of the past.Most of the concerts I was planning to go to this year have already been canceled. The summer vacation I was planning to take to the Midwest is on hold. I’m sure other disappointments are in store.Our coronavirus recovery is going to have successes and setbacks.We’re going to be able to go out and do things again, but it won’t be exactly like before.At least, not for a while.Reach Sara Foss at [email protected] Opinions expressed here are her own and not necessarily the newspaper’s.GAZETTE COVID-19 COVERAGEThe Daily Gazette is committed to keeping our community safe and informed and is offering our COVID-19 coverage to you free.Our subscribers help us bring this information to you. Please consider a subscription at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe to help support these efforts.Thank YouMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady police reform sessions pivot to onlineEverything new from The Daily Gazette Sunday, Oct. 11EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusCapital Region COVID-19 Tracker for Monday, Oct. 12, by countyToys for Tots announces drive-thru collections But experiences like that of Hong Kong’s make it clear that there are risks to letting your guard down. Reopening the economy might lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases, illnesses and deaths.Done right, reopening the economy will be a gradual process, with different approaches for different places and a readiness to shut things down again when new outbreaks flare up.During his Monday press briefing, Cuomo hinted at this, even going so far as to suggest that upstate New York might reopen sooner than downstate areas more gravely impacted by COVID-19.“Could I see a distinction in places that have different caseloads? Yes,” Cuomo said, when asked whether upstate might reopen sooner than downstate. “How do you calibrate that in a reopening plan? That’s what we have to think through.”It’s been clear for some time that the New York City area has been much harder hit by COVID-19 than upstate New York. But that doesn’t mean there’s no risk to lifting upstate restrictions. One frightening possibility is that we see a second wave of infections that’s worse than the first.Nobody wants that, which is why rushing to reopen the economy would be a huge mistake.We need to ramp up our testing for COVID-19 before we can even think about reopening schools and businesses.
Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, is urging school administrators to submit early the projection of furniture and other resources they will require for the reopening of school, in order to facilitate timely procurement and delivery. He noted that several schools experiencing shortfalls in furniture stock have waited until a few weeks before the start of the academic year to indicate their need. He said that ideally, notice should be given in December of the previous year. Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, is urging school administrators to submit early the projection of furniture and other resources they will require for the reopening of school, in order to facilitate timely procurement and delivery.He noted that several schools experiencing shortfalls in furniture stock have waited until a few weeks before the start of the academic year to indicate their need. He said that ideally, notice should be given in December of the previous year.“It means that whatever (you) need for the new school year… (you) should be in a position to be articulating to the Ministry by the end of December each year and not wait until the last minute,” he pointed out.Senator Reid was speaking at the Ministry’s Region Two town hall meeting held on Wednesday (September 20) at St. Theresa’s Roman Catholic Church in Annotto Bay, St. Mary.He is also encouraging administrators to serve sufficient notice where they propose to increase student enrolment and need additional furniture to accommodate them.He explained that the early notification is necessary to prevent disruptions in the procurement process and delays in the delivery of items by the manufacturers.“We don’t want a situation where you have increased the population of the school and then say you are waiting on the Ministry for furniture… because we would have to redo the whole process to reorder, and it’s going to take some time for the manufacturer to deliver. So, let’s work together and make sure that whatever the needs are (you) get the information to the Ministry in good time,” he stressed.Meanwhile, Senator Reid advised that the Ministry plans to establish a furniture-maintenance programme in schools.He said the Ministry will be working closely with its regional offices each term to track and identify desks and chairs that can be fixed.“We want to make sure that you always have adequate furniture and that you get them long before school reopens in September,” Senator Reid said.The meeting culminated Senator Reid’s visit to several schools in St. Mary comprising the Ministry’s Region Two as part of his tour of institutions to mark the start of the 2017/18 academic year.Among these were Devon Pen Primary School, St. Mary Technical High School; Annotto Bay High School, and Enfield Primary School. “It means that whatever (you) need for the new school year… (you) should be in a position to be articulating to the Ministry by the end of December each year and not wait until the last minute,” he pointed out. Story Highlights