Wednesday, July 29, 2020

So, What's the Plan?

From what I'm reading it seems the kiddies will be heading back to school (or as I thought of it, 'the gulag') this fall. I'm not sure that's a great idea. Let's say, I have reservations.

It's not the schools. It's definitely not the teachers that concern me. It's this damned virus, its transmissibility, how around the world we're seeing that it ebbs and flows, returning to so many places that briefly thought the worst was safely behind them.

It's also the kids. I'm concerned about what awaits our kids.

Even Trump's farcical education secretary, Betsy "Amway" DeVos, says some of the kids returning to America's schools will carry/contract/transmit the Covid-19 virus and some, a very small percentage hardly worth worry about, will succumb to it. Fair enough. Betsy is from the land of "collateral damage." Someone, even kids, always has to take one for the team. That's progress.

Intellectually, it's best of you can stop the thought process at this point. If you keep going it may get very, very dark.

I don't know what they're naming kids these days (although I'm sure Betsy isn't high on the list).  I just looked it up. Big mistake. For girls, the "in" names are Luna, Maeve, Aurora, Olivia and Isla. For boys, Milo, Asher, Atticus, Oliver and Levi.

Let's say it's a grade 3 class just full of little Lunas and Maeves, Milos, Ashers and just one Levi. One day the kids notice someone is missing. It's Levi. There's no Levi but, instead, a bunch of strangers in hazmat suits wanting to shove extra-long Q-tips up all the kids' noses.  A couple of days go by and a couple of the Lunas, both Milos and an Asher are sent home into quarantine. Then teacher tells the rest that Levi, well he won't be coming back. Levi got the plague, went to hospital and, sadly, he didn't make it.

So now, even at a grade 3 level, you look around and wonder what in Hell you got yourself into? Are the other kids coming back? Who'll be next? Why did your mom and dad let this happen to you?

Here's another scenario, Levi gets Covid but, like most kids, bounces back only his mom and grandpa weren't so lucky. They got it from Levi. Mom's on a ventilator in ICU. Grandpa is pushing up daisies. Levi knows all too well that he brought the virus into their home. He passed it along to mother and grandfather. He might have some guilt issues, the deep-seated, embedded kind that no grade 3 kid should ever have to deal with.  Guilt feelings that few adults could handle.

So, before we herd our kids back into these classrooms, what's the plan? What do we do for Levi? Do we call in Mr. Johnson, the in-house grief counsellor/supply teacher? Do we move Levi to another school so he won't be an unwanted reminder to his former classmates? What do we do for Levi's former classmates? Do we send them to Mr. Johnson for a quick cheer-up? Do we send them home for the remainder of the term?  Do we redecorate the classroom - paint it a brighter, happier colour maybe, a few new lights?

There must be a plan. What is it?


Anonymous said...

We could start by looking at what works. Taiwan closed its schools only briefly following the coronavirus outbreak. Masks are mandatory in schools at all times except when eating. When eating, students and staff erect plastic shields around their desks. Temperature checks are done twice a day. If a student has a fever, the class is sent home.

Masks are distributed free of charge. Early on in the pandemic, the state took over the manufacture of masks, banned exports and used soldiers to man production lines to ensure sufficient supply.

Taiwan is about the size of Vancouver Island with a population of 24 million, about 2/3rds of Canada's population. As of July 10, Taiwan had 449 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 7 deaths. Canada, on the other hand, had 107,114 confirmed cases and 8,759 deaths by that date.

I'd say go with what works and model what they've done.


The Disaffected Lib said...

We have seen across Asia a collective willingness to accept precautions such as masks, distancing, washing, etc. I've not heard one instance of people aggrieved of the intrusion on their rights protesting or flauting such measures.

We're not Asians. Would that we were.

Anonymous said...

Here's the kids return to school plan in Nova Scotia. It's a 36 page .pdf, but for those who can't be bothered to read all that detail, and want to claim they did, a 6 page executive summary is also available.


The Disaffected Lib said...

I read it, BM, and the other.pdf materials the ministry has issued. My sense of it is that the prospect of a Covid-outbreak in school or in class is something they'll discuss when it happens. There's no plan that I could discern in these publications beyond isolating kids who start coughing, develop fevers or GI ailments until their parents can arrive to take them home. BTW, those who drafted these masterpieces make them incredibly jargon-heavy to the point it undermines their coherence.

If I was a parent of that grade 3 kid and I read "the plan" my confidence in these authorities would not be great.

Anonymous said...

We could also take a good look at what South Korea has done and continues to do. Anyong