Opposite of a pig in a python

The image of a pig in the python was/is a term indicating a bulge in numbers or, I suppose, a python’s stomach after a big-pig dinner. The best example we most commonly use is the baby boom following the second world war. The population quickly ‘bulged’ and continued that extra demographic girth for a couple of decades. Officially from 1946 to 1964.

It is interesting to note that, while the official baby boom was almost twenty years, the extra babies themselves then had babies and so the bulge did not just end, it tapered off. In effect, the boom ‘echoed’ and the next generation was often called the echo boom.

It’s a visual concept. A way of understanding an otherwise hard to measure phenomena.

So, imagine this…you see a large python slithering by and, like most snakes, you expect to see a long, rather conventionally snake-shaped body, like a soft tube. There may or may not be a bit of a bulge in the middle depending on the snakes dietary routine. But, lo and behold! This snake slithers by and there, in the middle, where it most definitely should not be, is a narrowing, a snake venturi, so to speak. Our python has a debutante’s waist!

And that is what is happening in some schools today. Maybe most. Fewer kids are attending full time and many of them are staying away in droves. And they have been somewhat AWOL for almost two years now. Many still attend but some are likely being home-schooled, others are pursuing other educational interests, others might just come and go but not attend classes consistently and still others may simply use it as an excuse to practice street hookey. However it shows up, they are just NOT showing up in the normal numbers at the normal times.

Covid, of course, is the main reason. The government dropped the enforcement of attendance mandate for the pandemic (May, 2020) and have not reinstated it (it is kind of nebulous anyway because home schooling counts as attendance if it is registered). As a consequence, a remarkable number of kids are not only NOT attending school, an even larger amount are ‘off sick’ a lot, absent, part-time and, in one local school nearby, some of the kids only go to class one day a week…..presumably to get the next weeks work assignments…but who really knows?

A few teachers I know are suggesting that some of the kids have already fallen so far behind, they have likely lost a whole year and are now working on the second. We may see 14 year olds in elementary school. Kids graduating high school at 20. Covid put a wrinkle in the school-time continuum.

On top of this wrinkle is a Nikiforuk. Andrew Nikiforuk, to be precise. A reporter with the Tyee. Andy is concerned that we have taken our eye off the Covid/Omicron ball and the epidemic is not getting better. It is, in fact, getting worse. Whatever chaos and havoc wreaked by Covid is still happening and, due to increased viral mutations, only going to get worse under the Omicron title.

We got sick. We got vaxxed. We stayed home. We wore masks. And all hell still broke out anyway. 50,000 died in Canada. 1.12M died in the USA. Supply chains broke. China came to a halt. And then along came Omicron and the cavalcade of variants. There are over 700 sub-variants listed today. Despite what everyone official is saying (or NOT saying) the pandemic is not over.

As an image-symbol of the disease, we have the narrow-waisted python picture representing school attendance. We also had the ‘supply chain’ constriction for products, food and other supplies which might resemble similar snake-imagery. And then we had inflation (which interferes with numbers). Inflation ran at 6% last year and is projected to be 7% this year. And, of course, they lie about it all (i.e I cannot find an official statement about school attendance records). And all that in just over two years.

Covid is still at work disrupting things. Andrew posits that it is now a different disease scenario and no one really knows what it is going to look like. One thing is for sure, tho……it is NOT going away. Read Andrew at https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2023/01/30/We-Face-An-Army-Of-COVID

Follow-up Further research yielded:

Legally, all children in B.C. must receive an education. But as a parent, you do have some flexibility about what that looks like. The province encourages you to enroll your children as you would normally, and have them attend classes.

The education ministry says school districts have flexibility to find options that work for families.

However, you can explore online or distributed learning (hybrid learning sources) if you’re concerned about your kids physically attending school. Those are available both within the public and private systems, and you can enroll your child in distributed schools outside your home district. Distributed learning classes are offered at 56 public schools throughout the province, in addition to 16 independent schools.

There’s also the homeschooling option which is basically up to you — no requirements or inspections. But even homeschooled children have to legally be registered with the province by Sept. 30.

Superintendents who receive a report of a child not registered for school of one form or another are legally obligated to investigate.

10 thoughts on “Opposite of a pig in a python

  1. as always, you are right. I have a 15 year old daughter. During the 2 years of Covid, she missed the equivalent of almost 1 full year of education. Schools were closed, and the education was done online. I can assure you, that the quality of the eduction is NOT the same as being in a classroom. This school year, the students are again obliged to go to school fulltime. But this winter, about 50% of the school hours, 1 or more teachers are ill and therefore absent. So the kids are sent home without education. The educational system is again under a lot of stress. There are barely enough teachers when everyone is feeling healthy and present. But s soon as 1 or more teachers get ill, there are no substitute teachers. I think in the last 3 months, she has had only about 50% of the classes.
    Officialy, COVID is no longer causing “existing”. There are no more daily official reorts on number of infected people, number of hopitalised, number of people that died perday as a result of Covid. It is like Covid all of a sudden does not exist anymore. But….a LOT of people are ill and sick at home,with symptoms identical to Covid…but now they are calling it flue. Strange if you ask me. Quarantine, no longer necessary, mask…no sir.
    Min reason according to me: the government simply can not afford any longer to pay all the support they gave during the Covid outbreaks. So now they are calling it the flue, and no support i bing foreseen anymore by the government.
    In the meantime, inflation in Belgium was 12% last year, this year the prediction is between 6 and 8%
    Covid is here to stay for ever if you ask me


    • Yeah…Belgium, too, eh? Man, oh man. Our unverified, undocumented, anecdotal evidence NOT being officially reported in the media suggests either the news cycle is just bored with the story, the institutions are ‘covering up’ and the government has given up or else something even more nefarious. I suspect it is the tragedy of a short attention span and a concern about money that has the govt. refocused on the cost of addressing it. And that does not bode well for the next few years.
      15 year olds are easily distracted at the best of times and, for parents, usually there are not too many ‘bests of times’ (it gets better after 25). I hope you and she can find good places for her energies and focus. Sports is always good. Enroll her in long distance running, triathlons, swimming and anything you can think of that exhausts her every day….you might have a chance. We’ll pray for you.


  2. Gee,
    Schol attendance numbers are hard to find….?
    The Teachers Union and or the “Education Industrial Complex” wouldn’t want taxpayers to know their money isnt being spent wisely now would they?


    • I hate to be such a cynic but that is what I am thinking….they fought hard to get as large a budget as they could and now find that there is a huge drop-off in teachers and students attendance. If they tell THAT story, then their budget gets cut. I mean that is the way of all government departments. I once had a grant back in 1975 of $750,000. Thirty seven staff. At the end of the fiscal year, I had $750.00 left over and so sent a cheque back to the ministry. Fastest return call I ever got from government – “Hey! What’s this cheque for?” I told them in the letter but I said it again, “We spent the grant doing the work and this is what was left. It was unspent. It’s yours.”
      “Dave, we have no mechanism for receiving money. All revenues go to General Revenue and our ministry is not a source. Ya gotta keep it!” “Keep it?” “Yeah, have a Xmas party or something. Never send us money again!” For the record, we had 11 street nurses that prowled the Skid Row neighbourhoods attending to junkies, drunks and victims. They all got Xmas bonuses.


  3. Andrew is a moron in my opinion! He’s a scaremonger and likes to freak people out. He reminds me of one of my mother’s favorite sayings: “don’t worry about things you have no control over!”


    • Well, that’s a good response. But my own observations about the kids preceded his warnings about Covid. The blog was about what Covid already did – restricted the system/pythons metabolism and cut into school attendance. I hope he has it wrong and you are right but I tend to think the chaos ain’t over. Hell, BCF is still trying to find staff for the ferry!


        • Kids don’t wanna work anymore?
          Especially in any govt “politically correct” viper pit?
          Maybe a recession will change their mind…..
          IF we even have a recession.


          • NonCon, I am surprised. Usually you are pretty clear, definitive and decisive. ‘IF’ we have a recession? You ain’t sure? Where is the DC I know? Kids don’t wanna work ……punctuated with a question mark when you would usually put an exclamation mark? Are there any government PC viper pits that Millenials would say NO to? Why is there any doubt at all being expressed….?
            A recession is already underway…..by way of inflation, higher interest rates and other economic forces, personal wealth has already been eroded. The Canadian retirement plan (their home) is worth 10% less already and it will go down a bit more. We have all collectively lost equity, buying power and opportunity over the last two/three years. Kids wanna work. All kids wanna work. But they wanna work at what they want to work at – video games, getting laid and bling. But society has made all that weirder and different. Drone flyers find jobs but the rest of the talented thumb-set are finding it hard to apply their skills. Too many gender options all over the damn place to try and get laid. And ‘bling’….what is that anymore? Cars? Unh, unh. Maybe a Tesla….probably not….what kind of social candy drives a Millennial?
            Oooh….you are good at this….making me rant….


  4. My “Recession” doubts are merely echoing the latest employment stats from the US and Canada.
    Massive job creation ( 500,000 US, 100,000 Canukda) doesn’t foretell a recession.
    I’m hoping this is a dead cat bounce and inflation will come roaring back with China’s economy cranking up after 3 years of Covid lockdowns.

    Wage and price inflation seems to be raising its ugly head as govt workers demand huge pay increases.

    Lets see what the Spring housing sales market brings….
    Bidding wars may be back.
    And watch the cost of fuel this Summer as China sucks up 2 million extra barrels a day. $1.75.9/liter for gas in Vancouver in Feb is a harbinger for $3.00.9 liter gas by August.

    Inflation will crush the optimism in the “experts” that crow “no recession” from the Media rooftops……..

    As for winding up your “rant meter”…. thats an added bonus in my otherwise boring day.



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