“Get to Class!”: It’s Time to Return to School This Fall….

I usually wait for a back to school themed post until September, but I thought in light of this current school reopening controversy now is the best time. This COVID-19 nuttiness has led to many unprecedented things from closing businesses, cancelling events, even forbidding freedom of movement and association and now, excuses not to return to school! I’ve covered before the utter hypocrisy of those who claim it’s all for public health, yet banish a multitude of non threatening and easily socially distanced activities while sanctioning events like thousands close together rioting in the streets. Businesses, schools, churches can’t open but protests can. Abortion clinics and liquor stores are open yet the mom and pop shop has to file for bankruptcy. The most vulnerable such as the immunocompromised and elderly are wielded as a catch all excuse for these draconian measures yet COVID-19 positive patients were mandated to be given spots in nursing homes where the vast majority of deaths from covid occur. Hospitals were said to be flooded and overwhelmed, yet cases dwindled lower and lower in ICU’s day by day and places like New York sent back aid such as the USS Comfort. We are told to wait for a vaccine but ignore other treatments that have been shown to work. We can wait in socially distanced lines in stores now, but not to vote? See what I’m getting at here?

Now as to these teachers who are protesting going back to school, I’d argue it resembles the whining of petulant children than educated professionals! You argue that you can’t go back to teach as it’s too risky for you, but unless you are medically fragile and immunocompromised, or you’re about old enough to retire already then most likely you won’t get covid or just have mild symptoms. Young healthy adults are not the target group for the deadly effects. These young kids out of college going to their first teaching jobs are not at the most risk, nor are older teachers who are under 60. If you’re a healthy adult this is not as big an issue anymore than your risk of getting every nasty bug that goes around. You didn’t stop showing up to work every year there was a bad flu season. You didn’t stop showing up to work when that nasty norovirus made its ways through the halls. So why now? We’re not talking about the Spanish Flu, or Ebola here!

As for those who are older and/or medically fragile, you are at risk for any disease to be more severe for you than others. The elderly can die of the common cold or a mild flu whereas a younger person may not be affected much at all. But guess what? Those bugs were circulating around school all the decades you taught. Any illness spreads rapidly in a school environment, not just covid, so overall, you are equally put at risk by any number of germs. So why panic over covid when you could be sent to the hospital for the flu just as much? And yet they don’t close school each fall and winter despite many teachers with subpar health. Immuno-compromised teachers and medically fragile teachers are also more at risk, but they are more at risk for every other disease out there as well. Not to mention, you chose to teach in an environment were there would be illnesses spreading around yet you took that risk by taking the position in a school. If you are genuinely more at risk, then why did you decide to take the risk of working in a school with many pathogens lurking around daily when you know you have a condition that puts you more at risk for dangerous effects? If you knew getting the flu or a stomach virus could land you in the hospital for weeks, and that schools often circulate these quite frequently and they are easily transmissible, then why go into teaching unless you accepted that risk to your health? Those who work with young children know all too well how “sanitary” they are, yet you chose to teach those age groups. Why is this new disease so special when you were just as at risk from plenty of others more than the average person?

Also, if you do need accommodations such as a leave of absence or some type of remote teaching, then why not pursue those avenues for yourself rather than demand every other healthy student and teacher leave with you? I’m not opposed to some compromises, such as what many colleges are doing like hybrid models or some remote classes and others in person for instance. It would be easy to have students have a remote class while in class on chrome books with you teaching from your house then simply go to their in person classes next door afterwards. Why not simply make everyone at school take a covid test and exclude anyone who tested positive until they are cleared so no known positives will be allowed on school grounds? Many colleges are doing such. There are many ways to accommodate the most vulnerable teachers if only we thought outside the box and bureaucratic tape. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing situation.

Maybe if none are possible, you need to make a hard decision and consider leaving for the year. Many will argue they don’t have the savings to do such a thing, but what would you have done if you were out under normal circumstances due to an illness or medical condition that you are more at risk of having due to your condition or diagnosis? Those with special health concerns need to plan for these events. If you’re prone to getting various cancers and need chemo for months, if you’re diabetic and injure yourself with a chronic injury that won’t heal, if you have osteoporosis and fall and need months of physical therapy, if you have a heart condition and need major open heart surgery in the middle of the school year, if every time you get sick it lands you in the hospital etc… you need a financial plan to get you through a possible health crisis. Of course everyone should have savings for a long term health issue, but especially those more at risk for them than the average person! Why is covid special when you already needed to prepare for a myriad of other health threatening scenarios like other common illnesses or injuries just in case they should happen? This isn’t victim-blaming or “speaking from privilege”, but thinking like a responsible adult.

Speaking of thinking like an adult, much of the whining to cancel in person school sounds like whiny children and teenagers saying “But I don’t want to get up!” I mean really? Do you have to act like martyrs and drama queens, people? For every healthy teacher out there, what’s your excuse to not go back when we know covid doesn’t target healthy adults with the most deadly effects? Honestly, much of it could be construed as somewhat offensive to other people in various other jobs. How? Well think about your store clerk, the supermarket cashier and baggers, those who stock the shelves, those in processing plants, those in every essential business who remained open during the lock downs. One could argue first responders and medical professionals “signed up” for any risk including life threatening ones, but did your grocers? Your cashier? Restaurant workers? The humble janitors who clean all the allegedly infected surfaces? Your mail carriers? The garbage men and women? Did any of these people sign up for catching covid any more than you? And yet we never heard them complaining or mass strikes despite having to work so we could stay home. How are you as teachers any more special than millions of others who didn’t sign up for a global pandemic yet went to their jobs anyways without complaint or even recognition? They had just as much right to say it’s not worth our lives yet bravely did their jobs and supported themselves and their families. What’s so scary about teaching in a socially distanced classroom, or even hybrid courses? Is it any more scary really, than being a store clerk or a janitor? You’re in a building with other people for 6-8 hours? So are they. You’re breathing in potentially contaminated air? So are they. Did they think that would be part of their job any more than you did? Nope. So really, what is your excuse to say you’re more deserving than they are of taking less risk?

And what about your students? What about what you owe to them when you become an educator of young minds? Many argue that this push to get teachers back to their full capacities is rooted in sexism because teaching as associated with women and thus demand they risk their lives for “the sake of the children” whereas other careers aren’t seen as free childcare. Oh, come on!!!! Really? The gender card? What about all the male teachers? Before you cry sexism think of all your male colleagues too, ladies. I fully agree teachers should not be taken for granted, and that they deserve to feel safe at work as much as anyone else. However how safe does “everyone else” really feel in this climate of hysteria? Yet they report for their shifts as argued in the previous paragraph. Not all work can be done remotely and be efficient, and school’s one of them.

I’d strongly argue school IS an “essential” business! A proper education opens doors and breaks cycles of poverty and crime for many communities. School is a safe haven for those who are abused and neglected. Not all families have the option to home school or stay home from work all year either to watch young children at home, nor the same resources a school can give an underprivileged child. What about disparities in learning materials, internet connection etc…? Yes, teaching is a job and teachers deserve fair working conditions. But it also goes beyond just collecting a pay check, if you’re a decent teacher and person at least. It’s about inspiring your students, and going above and beyond for them, even in small ways. And doing the kind of mentorship that makes a great teacher can’t just happen behind a screen. As for fair working conditions, that apparently included being exposed to every other nasty germ out there before this. Ever caught something nasty that made you feel terrible from your students or coworkers that was going around? Probably everyone at some point, yet that wasn’t grounds for resignation or teaching remotely until that nasty stomach flu made its rounds…. If you’re a normal healthy adult, then that’s probably all it will be. What about the school shootings? That is FAR from a safe workplace and no one EVER signs up for being murdered in cold blood. Yet no cries for remote learning happened then… 😦

As for medically fragile students, another argument against reopening schools, similar arguments apply as with medically vulnerable teachers. Their vulnerability is to everything, covid is not special. An immunocompromised student undergoing chemo for one example, is just as in danger with the flu going around, that nasty norovirus, pneumonia, the common cold etc… Which are of an equal risk if not more of contracting in school as COVID-19. A student who can’t get vaccinated is in danger if unvaccinated students go to school too. A student with respiratory issues is at risk by any respiratory ailment. These issues were present before this pandemic. Covid is just one more risk in a sea of hundreds for vulnerable students. If a student is so medically vulnerable that covid is life threatening, then so is catching the flu, the common cold, a fever, a stomach virus, pneumonia, and every other pathogen that circulates in school. In that case, it’s not safe for them to attend in person school around others, which was true before this pandemic hit and will be after it’s passed. So why then, does the vast majority, like almost 99% of students not at risk of death or serious harm from covid have to miss in person school too?

Overall, there’s really no excuses not to reopen school this fall. With some reasonable precautions, like every other business that reopened has done there’s little reason why some compromise can’t be made.

Colleges and universities are reopening under modified circumstances so why can’t schools?

Thousands of protesters were allowed to be in the streets packed tightly by our leaders so why can’t schools hold classrooms of 20-30 kids?

Millions of essential employees worked in person under risks they never “signed up for” either without complaint so why can’t teachers?

Most states are allowing reopening and have been through several phases of their plans to reopen even more so why can’t schools?

If you can keep in person schools open despite numerous tragedies of cold blooded murder by gunmen that NO ONE EVER signed up to have as a risk then why not now?

Last but not least, what example does it send to our kids when teachers try every excuse in the book to get out of returning to school? What does it teach every teen who whines to sleep in and skip class that day? How can we tell our youth school is a priority when the very people who will educate them don’t want to come in themselves? Leaders lead from the front, and never ask those below them to do what they will not. So maybe the real question is, do we have any right to ask kids to prioritize attending school when the adults around them make excuse after excuse not to? What happens when the kids come up with an excuse of their own not to go back after the dust settles again now they’ve witnessed such behavior?

Back To School Cartoons and Comics - funny pictures from CartoonStock

Don’t #BlackOut the Facts…

The unjust death of George Floyd as many now know, has sparked intense protests and many violent riots. Sadly, while the nation has come together to collectively condemn the officer who abused his power and is now charged with murder, many have taken the opportunity to exploit this injustice by using it as an excuse to create mayhem and loot  even black businesses! For those who support the more violent rioting, what does taking a flat screen TV out of Target or an expensive purse have to do with honoring George Floyd? What does destroying whole communities including black ones do for the black community? And not to mention the double standard as usual for the Left, why does one black life matter but not another, such as the murder of retired officer David Dorn whose killing was live streamed as he lay dying on a sidewalk. Has anyone in the midst of their call for the blood of police ever think about all the black officers who are putting their lives on the line for our protection? We can all come together to demand accountability for the death of George Floyd and others, but to exploit tragedies by rioting, calling for violence and death against police officers, and cherry picking whose life matters enough to talk about only hurts the cause. What is supposed to be about unity, accountability and basic rights for all has been made into yet another partisan agenda.

However, moments like these also give opportunities for a discussion on important topics like race. Believe it or not, there is one aspect of the protests that I was inspired by: Not in that I personally agreed with the content of what they were saying, but I’ve noticed some on social media are using a “blackout” protest to not simply put up a black square in their social media profiles, but give resources to learn more deeply about the issues (as they see them, of course) and highlight black voices (from their side exclusively). While I don’t agree with the messages they’re spreading through who and what they cite as learning tools, I thought why not do a conservative version of their far left leaning one? They want to highlight black far left voices? Why not highlight black conservative voices too? They want to spread more incendiary articles on how whites are the supreme oppressors? Why not highlight resources that debunk many of the Left’s myths on race and society? So I present to you my own list of things to educate yourself on in the midst of this chaos:

People to Know

Burgess Owens

Candace Owens

Robert Woodson

Thomas Sowell

Walter Williams

Read

Being a Racist is Easy Today by Walter Williams

Blackout: How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantation by Candace Owens

Black Rednecks and White Liberals by Thomas Sowell

Demonizing White Men by Walter Williams

Discrimination and Disparities by Thomas Sowell

The Myth of Systemic Police Racism

The New Racism by Walter Williams

The Shameful Blackout of Thomas, Sowell and Williams

Rotten Education isn’t Preordained by Walter Williams

Unpacking Peggy McIntosh’s Knapsack

 Follow

@RealCandaceO

@DiamondandSilk

@thecjpearson

@w_terrence

@ThomasSowell

Watch

The Candace Owens Show

PragerU

Learn About

The 1776 Project Founded by Robert Woodson

Unbiased statistics on white on black shootings by police:

Police Violence against Black Men Is Rare

Don’t Blame Police Racism for America’s Violence Epidemic

Oh, and one more thing: Whatever happened to that oh so deadly virus which warranted months of shutdowns huddled in our homes and destroying the economy? 😉

NEW BEN GARRISON COMIC! "The Thought Police" : Libertarian

What other resources would you recommend? Comment below!

A PSA by A Lady of Reason: Fear is a More Dangerous Thing to Spread…

By now much of the world had heard of the recent coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe. What started off in Wuhan, China has now spread across many countries, including Italy, Iran, and South Korea as some of the hardest hit. Now with Italy on lock down, many events cancelled, people quarantined, it seems like the whole world is coming to a standstill! Of course, it is better to take proactive steps to control the rapid spread and contain it before it escalates further. It is also important to know just how virulent this particular virus is and who is most at risk. We can’t down play the severity of the situation at hand here or abroad. In this globalized world we have shown it’s only one flight away from an international issue.

However, what may be even more dangerous is the high risk of fear mongering and misinformation that comes with this situation. Just because something is a problem, we can’t feasibly just put the world on hold. Yes, we should make reasonable adjustments that the evidence shows has a significant decrease in risk and strong justification. People who have symptoms should get tested and the sick self-quarantined. Some moderate social distancing for those who have been exposed to somewhere or someone with the virus is reasonable.

The trouble begins when we go overboard. “An abundance of caution” can go too far as well… Shutting down places where there are populations with low risk to contract the virus, younger and healthy individuals is not as needed as of now. The news cycle constantly playing up hysteria and panic to get their ratings does nothing except exploit Image result for coronavirus mortalitya novel situation. The CDC says right now the virus affects the elderly and those with preexisting health problems and respiratory issues the most, and others are most likely to get more mainstream cold or flu symptoms, but not the more deadly version. In essence, for most of the young healthy population, this is not too different from the seasonal flus that have gone around or the common cold. Data from the CDC also indicates that the vast majority of fatalities are in elderly people which of course is worrisome to many who are elderly and care about an elderly loved one, but for those out and about the most, it’s not like the black death! Not to mention, we weathered other storms of this kind; SARS, H1N1 flu, etc…. and the country survived and didn’t go into doomsday mode or have all of the country dead or dying. Nor is this COVID-19 virus all that novel:

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoVSARS-CoV, and now with this new virus (named SARS-CoV-2). (CDC.gov)

This is just a newer strain coming out that we need to build up an immunity to. Also as of now, the CDC gives a clearer picture of the risk for the average American.

Current risk assessment:

  • For the majority of people, the immediate risk of being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low. There is not widespread circulation in most communities in the United States.
  • People in places where ongoing community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated risk of exposure, with increase in risk dependent on the location.
  • Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure, with increase in risk dependent on location.

And yet everywhere is shutting down and cancelling out of fear as if this were a higher risk and more deadly. I don’t remember the Ebola epidemic a few years back shutting down the country. It was mostly contained in Africa, however there were people suspected to carry it or have it come to the US. Believe me, those viruses have far higher mortality rates! Again, I don’t deny there is a need for enhanced cautionary measures. It’s all about a response proportional to the facts, not mainstream news hysteria and “what if” panic. America right now is a lower risk for most people, so most people should be able to still live their lives and not be panicked into going into plastic bubbles! Wash your hands thoroughly, be careful what you touch, keep clear of those who appear sick, be aware of your personal risk (ex. travel, age, health etc.) and such. But don’t stop living your life out of fear. We’re nowhere near that yet. We never have been in our history. This is not Ebola, or the bubonic plague we’re talking about here! This is a variation of a common type of virus we encounter every year. We also must look at some of the countries hit harder. Places like Korea, China, Iran and such have less than stellar medical care and living standards. Of course any disease will be more severe with less resources, technology and ways to stop it like in underdeveloped countries. Even in Europe, their public “free” healthcare system wasn’t great to start with before this! Our resources may be stretched, but theirs I’m sure is beyond the breaking point. That factor cannot be overlooked too in judging the true threat this disease poses to us here in the US.

Overall, the enhanced fear mongering does nothing to do actual help, and only creates unnecessary hurdles in our lives. Yes, this is a new virus, but new does not mean more deadly or harmful than many we encounter far more frequently and take for granted. Think of the flu that comes out as a new strain each season. Compared to COVID-19, the flu kills far more people globally than this has. And as far as risk goes, theImage result for coronavirus mortality vs flu flu also targets the elderly and infirm more than healthy young individuals. Yet people take the flu for granted and downplay its threat to our health. Why? Why isn’t there a huge campaign each year to shut down everything due to a new flu strain every flu season? My guess is it’s simply not new anymore, thus we habituated to the idea of it. We fear what is new, what is novel. However we have been in similar predicaments in previous years and made it out. Ironically, the fear over this has spread far more prolifically than the actual disease!

Could it get worse? Anything is possible and I don’t have a crystal ball nor some magical guarantee, but until it actually does, let’s just live our lives like we always have. My elderly grandmother who of course I’m concerned about, is living her life as usual and has the perspective that she must do the things she loves while she still can. Someday she won’t be able to but for now she can, so she does. We all can learn from that attitude. This may get worse. We may have to have more restrictions on our lives because of this. But for now, let’s do what we can, until we can’t. Go to work, go to class, go out to dinner, go shopping, go run errands, go have fun… We as a country have weathered two world wars, a depression, terror attacks, other pandemics and such in our history and have always pulled through as a nation. Who says we can’t weather this storm too? This won’t last forever!

One last major point to add that has to be mentioned: The politicization over this virus has reached an all new low of unethical agendas! Leftists going so far as to wish coronavirus on Trump supporters by deliberately infecting a Trump rally is beyond disgusting! I can only hope more sane Liberals can be big enough to condemn that too, however much they dislike Trump. Also, blaming Trump for the virus, calling for him to take action and when he does, condemn him for it only blocks his efforts to stop the spread. Quarantining those cruise ships then recommending that diseased people not be let into the ports is harsh, but wise. Why should we risk thousands of lives onshore until we can properly control their reentry? A few severe cases and fatalities are tragic, but it’s the lesser of the two evils compared to hundreds or thousands more. I must say too any fear mongering by the Right also is wrong, but I haven’t seen it like how Leftist sources are playing up the hysteria. Funny coincidence this is around election time too 😉 This needs to be a bipartisan issue, as the virus does not vote red or blue. Using Coronavirus as a political propaganda tool is beyond unethical! It’s time we call out the mass hysteria, panic and propaganda!

Image result for coronavirus ben garrison

Resources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html