We have one head of grandchildren. Like others across the country he has been out of school since sometime in early March. He and millions of other kids across the country have been engaged in some form of ‘school at home’ since what was supposed to be the return to the classroom following Spring Break in March.
That was an experiment that was forced on the country by the circumstances of the moment. There was a pandemic. It was out of control. It was pretty obvious that as in the case of all contagious diseases proximity spreads the contagion. In the case of the coronavirus the contagion was spreading at a simply spectacular rate. The immediate obvious step to slow the rate of contagion was to shut down or limit access to places where people would come into close proximity to others.
So schools were shut down. This prudent step no doubt saved many infections and deaths. The prudent thing to do at this point would be to keep as many places where close confines are inevitable closed or greatly limited. Considering that schools are like little incubators of disease after every vacation period, it would seem that the prudent course would be to keep them closed.
That is not the thinking of those in power who want to pretend that the coronavirus pandemic is some sort of political plot by an unrelenting opposition that will stop at nothing to steal power. That is to say they believe that the pandemic is some sort of TV series that has been hatched to damage the president. Therefore the pandemic has never been treated as if it was real by those who have had the power to mitigate its effects.
110,000 have already lost their lives. Many probably would have been spread had the administration taken the pandemic seriously. We know this by simply looking at other countries who took the pandemic seriously and acted early and forcefully. As we enter summer we see no end in sight to the deaths the virus will claim.
This is about not doing his job, all the while having plenty of time to insult and demean, to eschew empathy for the ill and dead or even sitting with opponents to determine appropriate economic recovery plans.
There is a long string of choices building toward this conclusion:
- Trump has forcefully put the fighting in the hands of governors, taking no responsibility for government missed efforts toward testing, workplace safety, even aid to states
- His daily, repeated remarks
- Refusal to wear a mask
- Refusal to physically distance
- Insistent support for protests to lift state lockdowns
- Effective disbandment of a supervising task force and shelving of workplace guidance from the Centers for Disease Control
These all contribute to an unmistakable conclusion that he is done with disease.
The United States, the world’s leading economy, is unwilling to participate in international anti-virus research efforts. We have been flooded with reports from around the world marveling that Trump has proved ineffective in his own country and in theirs.
Trump is being seen as lazy in a situation calling for alert, effective action.”
Trump sees a reopened and booming economy as integral to his being reelected. Therefore we ignore all science and just reopened. Cases are rising in Iowa and across the country as a result, just as expected. But that won’t serve as any cautionary tale for reopening schools.
As mentioned previously, we all know what great Petri dishes for disease schools are. Maybe some of you, like me, are old enough to remember the polio scare of the 1950s. Sending the kids to school in those days was a scary proposition. Sending kids to school in coronavirus days is much scarier because the coronavirus is much more contagious.
For one thing we know that prolonged exposure to a the virus makes it more likely it will spread. That perfectly describes a classroom.
In a push to “return to normal” it is very likely that the children’s safety will be sacrificed on an altar for the reelection of politicians who want to pretend they have vanquished the foe. This is where spotlights from the media will need to be shone on the reckless decisions by those in office. While the media’s spotlight should be shining on the rising infection and death numbers that have been caused by the reopening, their attention has been diverted to protests around the country.
And now at kitchen tables across the country parents (and grandparents) are awaiting plans from school boards for how schools will be reopened and run. Parents will be making a decision on whether the plan seems reasonably safe for the safety of their children.
Many parents will not have any choice but to send their children to school and hope they do not become sick. School boards will be drastically limited by what they can do because of budgets that have been squeezed beyond the limit in a “any tax is a bad tax” world.
Our best wishes for a good decision for the sake of your children, parents.
Do remember one thing: It did not have to be this way. This is why voting is so important. We need responsible adults who can make responsible decisions. What we have is a child in the body of a man who thinks he is living in a television show.