It began with the need to “flatten the curve,” so our hospitals would not be overwhelmed and utterly fall apart. After about two weeks, the curve was flattened. In many states, the known Covid-19 infection rate was small, the death rate smaller still, and confined almost entirely to the elderly with preexisting conditions that weakened their immune systems, making them susceptible to any kind of infection. The young—children—seldom contracted the illness, and if they did, survived.
But that wasn’t enough. Field hospitals were built, “elective” medical procedures banned, billions spent on masks, ventilators and other equipment, and it was all unnecessary. Timorous politicians, and medical “experts” enjoying their time in the spotlight, couldn’t give up. Having convinced the nation death stalked every man women and child, they confined people to their homes, shuttered schools and businesses, and in the finest tradition of communism, told the proles what was essential and non-essential.
“Social Distancing” became the rule, masks the salvation. Stay six feet apart and all were safe, cross the magic six-foot barrier, everyone dies. Oh, and masks really aren’t effective, but wear them anyway because politicians, who listen to science, say so. So the curve flattened and hospitals were never in danger of being overwhelmed, but that wasn’t enough. We couldn’t venture outside or open “non-essential” businesses because it was too soon, and if we did, there would be a resurgence of the virus that would cost—well, lots and lots of lives. Yes, I know more than two million were supposed to die and that was ridiculously overblown due to bad computer models—garbage in/garbage out—but we had to listen to the experts!
Now, we can’t open our society until there is a vaccine. The British have actually admitted they have so few cases of the disease they may not have a sufficient population to actual test a vaccine, but pay no attention to that scientist behind the curtain. Or we can’t open up until there is a cure, and whatever Trump said about a treatment or a cure is wrong even if it’s right. In much of the nation, the death rate is far below that of the seasonal flu. In other places, it’s about the same or a bit higher.
We now know there may never be a completely effective vaccine. We also know there may never be a universal cure.
So we’ve badly damaged our economy, destroyed innumerable businesses and lives, badly damaged the profitability of hospitals, all in response to a virus that will likely always be with us in one way or another. We’ve plunged the nation even more deeply into debt, and many politicians would be delighted to see every American under their tender control through November and beyond, but this is not about politics, no sir! This is about public health, and if we can save one life, we have to destroy everyone and everything. Just ask the relatives of the elderly who died in nursing homes around the nations when governors forced them to take in and keep people infected with the virus.
What of our children? The children that did not contract the virus, and won’t in the future? They lost a substantial portion of their educational opportunity. We can’t easily quantify it. Kids lost about half a semester, 1/4 of a school year. As I’ve so often written, a teacher’s most important resource is time. We cannot just make up a quarter of a year. Kids don’t learn that way, and teaching doesn’t work that way.
Schooling is not about cramming data onto a biologic hard drive for later retrieval. Surely, memorization is part of it, but it’s mostly about building bigger, better brains, one experience building on another, making neural connections that make the brain more flexible and fluent. And no, the “distance learning,” or “online Learning” hastily concocted to salvage that lost ¼ year did not do the trick. Most human beings need human contact and the social dynamics of classroom instruction to learn most effectively.
Of course some people are self-motivated and will do what is necessary to learn regardless of the circumstances, but they are few, and most need supervision, caring and encouragement. Some will learn little or nothing regardless of the circumstances, and we do school as we do school not just because it’s the way we’ve always done it, but because it works best for most people. Don’t forget schools serves many functions beyond general education.
We cannot “make up” lost time and instruction. Trying to teach portions of the previous year would only mire schools, forever after, in the past. Students in 10th grade have to learn the 10th grade curriculum. Of course, there will be accommodations, but we have to move forward. But perhaps one thing we can learn is just how precious class time is, and perhaps educrats might keep this in mind when considering yet another slashing of class time for this program or that brilliant new scheme. Maybe keeping kids in class is important after all?
When we left for Spring Break, we had no idea we’d not see our kids again this school year. It was particularly heart breaking for Mrs. Manor and me, because we retired at the end of the school year. Unlike our colleagues that remain, we’ll never see our kids again. I’m angry, but not at a virus. I’m angry at weak kneed politicians that participated—some with good intentions—in this scam.
Will school open in the Fall? There seems no reason not to open schools. Kids are the least likely to contract this particular illness. Will we shutter the schools, our society, whenever a new contagion pops up? Whenever a known virus mutates? Some politicians would love it, because it was never about public safety; it was always about control and giving them more and more power.
If we open schools, what about social distancing? What about wearing masks? I’m sure, gentle readers, you’ve had the delightful experience of trying to communicate with mask-wearing clerks in stores and other businesses. Did you learn how much communication is transmitted through reading lips, facial expressions and body language? Were you reminded how poorly many people enunciate, that kids enunciate worst of all? And have you noticed how many people, forced by their jobs, to wear masks, have indulged in human nature and simply quit wearing them, or hung them below their noses? Trying to speak through masks will rapidly wear out teacher’s voices, leading to chronic illness, even permanent damage.
Schools were not built for social distancing. There is not enough room in classrooms, which has some educrats thinking about running school in shifts, so only half the student body will be in school buildings at any given time. They can’t force teachers and other staff to work 16 hours days, so that inevitably means kids having half the learning opportunity they otherwise would. Instead of 12 years of schooling, welcome to 24!
We could not force high school kids to consistently wear ID cards. The likelihood they’ll wear uncomfortable, annoying masks is less than nil. Oh, but if they don’t millions will die! Right. What about sports? Do kids shower wearing masks? What about choir or band? Will all school drama forever after be confined to hospital stories so every character can be masked? If masks are salvation, what about lunch? How do we separate the kids, and how do they eat through masks? All liquid diet imbibed with straws through a tiny cut in a mask? Can’t germs get through that little slit?
We can riot at will, but can’t go to school?
It’s past time to fully open America. Life involves risk, and the risk of kids contracting this particular virus is low indeed. Unless schooling is no more essential than hair salons, restaurants, and innumerable other businesses, school must begin again, without restrictions we know don’t work, in the fall.
It’s time to be Americans again.