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Posts published in “Day: August 24, 2020”

It ain’t over


So, we’re living with COVID-19.

We’ve had to adjust our lives to it. Learn to live with it. Take precautions we never thought about before. And, no one is even predicting a time when it’ll all be over. Truth be told, it may be with us permanently. In one form or another.

Researchers have already found new strains and new ways Coronavirus causes permanent damage to the human body. Like nearly all viruses, it grows, morphs and takes on new characteristics. Just like the flu bug. Each year, scientists make a best guess to formulate the vaccines most of us get. Maybe they identify two dozen strains from which they have to pick the right combination for our shots. Best guess.

So, if we agree this killer virus will be here long term and, if we agree the virus keeps changing and, if we agree there does not now exist a viable vaccine to deal with it - then why the Hell are we putting kids and teachers and teacher’s aides back into classrooms? How many kids and teachers have to die before some school board of health care amateurs can say “Well now, guess that wasn’t such a good idea after all?”

Every day, we read of some university or college being hit with coronavirus outbreaks after students have returned to campus. University of North Carolina and Duke were especially bad. Presidents of both had to say a big “OOPS” and close campuses, forcing the unaffected to online learning.

People in authority from local school boards to DC politicians are calling the shots. Politically. Yes, politically! They should NOT be. Health professionals of all stripes have been raising red flags all over the place. “Not yet,” they’re saying. “Not yet! Let’s get an effective vaccine first.”

In so many places, the warnings are being overridden by local elected types. Moms, bankers, store clerks and part-time politicians. People, whose only experience with viruses may be that annual flu shot, are committing children and teachers to the confines of a classroom where effective protection is just plain damned impossible. Not to mention office staffs, custodians, food service personnel and anyone who has to visit or do business with schools.

Hospitals, nursing homes and other resident care venues have infection control people working full time. They’re constantly spraying, dusting, mopping, wiping and disinfecting the premises. Full time! Got one or two like that in your elementary or high school buildings? Somebody disinfecting the lavatories every few hours? No. No you don’t.

Coronavirus ain’t over. Idaho has been attempting to reach a lower level on the COVID scale so more businesses can open. And it’s failed. For weeks.

Europe, riding high on several weeks of improved COVID news, is having to revert to closures and making people stay home. It’s BACK! India can’t seem to make progress toward normalcy. Countries in South America saw reductions in reported cases and opened up. Now, they’re closing. More people dead.

Why can’t we learn? Why are politicians and amateurs making healthcare decisions and not the professionals - doctors- researchers - who know what the evidence is? Just because the school calender shows an opening date - a date picked far ahead of the arrival of Coronavirus - why is engraved in stone? Why can’t we learn from the tragic mistakes of others, rather than repeatedly running headlong into “the wall?”

Every nation in the world right now is in flux - working day-to-day on ever-changing information - adjusting and readjusting to the ebb and flow of the latest COVID-19 news. Waiting for that “magic vaccine.”

But, we Americans seem not to learn. The early August higher-ed openings have produced more victims of the disease and they’re shutting down. We’re seeing new reports of many COVID cases coming out of that Harley-Davidson rally in South Dakota. All over the country! Beach parties have sent hundreds to hospitals in California and Florida. Nut cases who thought themselves “invincible” and “It can’t happen to me!” Well, they weren’t. And it did.

If I had a school-age child right now, he/she would NOT be going to a classroom with 20-30 other kids. Putting a mask on an elementary child is one thing. Keeping it on - for a day or many days of classes - is quite another. Restrooms, cafeterias, crowded hallways, sweaty gyms, busses packed with 40-50 kids. Those kids? You’re expecting masks being properly worn? Really?

Next time I’ve got a serious health concern, I’ll check in with my doctor. And not someone on the school board. Mr./ Mrs. so-and-so. Not an unqualified someone who made a decision that killed a dozen kids.

Reopening American schools now is a rush to sacrifice children. And teachers. How many will get sick with life-long health problems? How many will die? In your district?

It ain’t over!