My daughter bemoaned on a call last week. She has one child. He is back in school now, full time. He is too young to be vaccinated, yet he and millions of other children are back in crowded settings daily. It is as if their lives were not nearly as important as having the schools reopen.
Yesterday there were stories circulating at his school that there were corona virus cases. It turned out to be a false rumor. I would bet this will happen more than once during the last 6 or 7 weeks of school. Kids are on edge – and parents are on edge. In his school every one is at least masked.
While there currently are no outbreaks either in his school, nor in his area there will still be a risk. There have been outbreaks in schools in Michigan and Illinois that I have heard of so far.
What is so infuriating about having our children facing a treacherous situation in returning to school is that we as a country have had a year to prepare schools and society for a safe reopening. Reopening had to happen at some point, so we should have started preparing from day 1. Yet preparing for a safe reopening was the furthest thought from Republican leaders as they sought to do the very least they could in response to the pandemic.
The actions of most of America’s Republican governors was pathetic. It was little short of criminal. Reopening of restaurants and bars, keeping meat packing plants running full speed, stopping mask mandates and other actions contributed to the soaring death rate. Among the worst governors of that period was Iowa’s own Kim Reynolds.
At any point when Reynolds had a choice that would help control the virus versus a choice that would cause the pandemic to spread, Reynolds would opt for the latter.
Leaders often have to make decisions that are not popular, but are necessary for the good of the whole. Reynolds’ decisions were neither. Instead they were focused only on their effect on the business community. Had Reynolds made a few decisions that would have noticeably slowed the spread of the virus in Iowa our schools would be in better shape today. But Reynolds was playing partisan politics, not playing for the good of the whole.
We have seen this in state after state across the country from Ron DeSantis in Florida who pours gas on the fire of the pandemic daily, to Greg Abbot in Texas to Reynolds compadres in the upper midwest in Nebraska, and North and South Dakota.
While these governors played partisan politics, parents across the country reap what was sowed by those governors as they worry daily about their children being exposed to a deadly virus or catching an infection which may have lifetime implications.
Republican led states hold down 12 of the top 13 spots in corona virus cases per capita with North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa coming in at positions 1, 2 and 4 respectively.
One of the most important aspects every one should look for when they cast their vote for a leader is to look for someone who will be making decisions for the best of the whole population. In the last election, Fred Hubbell was clearly that candidate in Iowa, based on his business and civic experience. Kim Reynolds stood out as being very weak and partisan in this area.
Reynolds was elected and the worst possible scenario unfolded. Iowa needed someone who could make decisions for the best of the state. Instead we got a governor who decisions were fully partisan, almost as if they were directed by the White House.
Iowa better learn a lesson. Reynolds will not make a huge turnaround by 2022. As a matter of fact we will most likely still be fighting corona virus problems created by Reynolds poor leadership. Reynolds had a chance and she blew bog time. Learn your lesson Iowa, Reynolds won’t.