Just days ago, Jacksonville’s mayor, Lenny Curry, refused to lift his executive order mandating the closure of the beaches and public parks. “Opening our city while others continue to suffer would be irresponsible and dangerous,” Curry said. “Anyone not taking social distancing seriously, it’s a mistake.”
Today, however, he announced that the beaches and parks will reopen tomorrow, Friday, April 17, at 5 PM.
What changed? Mayor Curry first tried to reduce the number of people on the beach by exhorting them to practice social distancing. The beach-goers did not pay attention. Out of frustration, the Mayor (in cooperation with the beach town mayors) ordered a closure because too many people would not be responsible and voluntarily follow the practices needed to preserve public health.
What changed? The mayor is reopening the beaches for exercise and dog-walking as long as people follow the necessary social-distancing measures.
Hmm, Grumpy Old Teacher (GOT) won’t repeat that tired cliche about the definition of insanity, but he did read a good riddle on social media today:
What borders on the edge of insanity?
Mexico and Canada.
If people would not follow the guidelines before, what makes the mayor think they will now?
What changed? Ronald Trump-Donald, Clown Prince of America, wants to reopen for business, which is ironic because America never closed for business. It only ordered employees of non-essential businesses to work from home if possible. Any not essential to the living needs of the population, such as clothing stores and bars, were ordered to close their physical locations. But they could offer curb-side service if people ordered over the telephone or internet.
Things are happening behind the scenes and a mayor, once staunch in his conviction that everyone must stay home unless they are absolutely needed in their workplace (think hospitals, grocery stores, and delivery people as well as utility workers, police, and firefighters,) now believes that we can venture out when the peak of the strain on our healthcare system has yet to come. Yes, the spread of the disease is still going up.
And what has this to do with schools? America cannot ‘reopen’ without its public schools ending distance-learning as children, teachers, principals, and staff return to the buildings.
The cost is only a mortality rate of two or three percent of our population. With an estimated population of 330, 607, 633, that means we would only suffer a loss of 6,612,152 persons.
Perhaps Dr. Oz only meant of those who would get sick. How many? We don’t know. There’s not enough testing going on.
One thing we do know: schools are laboratories of contagion. Children easily pass germs to one another and then carry those germs into their neighborhoods and homes to spread disease across cities and counties.
Dr. Oz is not the only one; he is merely the fool du jour mouthing a talking point by those who think profits are not the most important thing, they are the only thing worthwhile in life. (Apologies to Vince Lombardi for torturing his famous quote. But then, these people do equate winning with gathering the most profits.)
The trap is set and the snare will soon tighten. The reopening of schools is promoted as being possible with the proper social-distancing guidelines in place. Already, we are treated to this image:
Foolishness, indeed! Only people who have never set a foot in a public school or have passed too many years since they have done so think that this is possible.
In GOT’s classroom, this is about the amount of space he has. But he has to squeeze up to 30 teenagers into it for any given class period. He has difficulty in placing them the minimum 3 feet apart for state testing! How can anyone expect a 6 foot distance between students? Foolishness!
What happens when the bell rings and the typical 2,000 to 3,000 student population crowds into the hallways? You say staggered dismissal? How? If GOT holds his class for the time, the next class gathers outside the door waiting to enter!
Everyone touches the door knob to open the door to go in or out. How do we keep that sanitized during the school day?
Locks on the lockers–touched by many hands. Pencil sharpeners, soap dispensers (ironic, isn’t it? To sanitize their hands, students must first deposit whatever unsanitary germs are on their hands to pull the lever on the dispenser.) Don’t touch your face!
Leave those boogers alone! They can stay in your nose. (You think I’m kidding? You haven’t been in a school in a long time.)
We can’t sanitize everything. We don’t have the personnel. Open the schools and the virus will gain a new life.
There will be a second wave. It’s happened before–1918 in particular when the relaxation of social distancing set the stage for a more deadly outbreak.
Keep the schools closed.
Or we’ll have fun, fun, fun till the virus takes your loved ones away.
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