This week has been quite an experience to say the least. We are getting ready to head back to school in a month and it’s really such a weird place to be. See I live in Florida, one of the hot spots for COVID-19 and a lot of people, including our governor, is not taking this seriously. They are demanding, not asking, that we return to work as normal as possible when our numbers are steadily rising. At the time of me writing this, according to the Florida Dept. of Health (FDOH), 229,367 were tested positive (of course that doesn’t count the people who are waiting on results, people who are asymptomatic, and people who have yet to test positive) in the state. Yesterday we had 8,948 test positive and just a little over 4,000 people have died. Our governor, Ron DeSantis does not want to mandate wearing a mask in the state.
Now, I know that not everyone who catches it dies (I’m not an idiot) but that doesn’t mean that those who test positive for it are all at home just chilling and enjoying themselves. At one time, they said that the elderly and those with diabetes, high blood pressure, and weakened immune systems were mainly at risk, but now? Healthy people, people who are in their 30’s and 20’s are catching it. Even children, a population whom say are least likely to catch it have caught it. In fact, just yesterday (again at then time of me writing this), an 11 year old girl passed away after catching it. Over 7,000 children have tested positive in our state. 7,000! So I ask, do you really think that we are ready to open and operate schools like normal?
One of the models that they’ve offered were for kids to stay at home if the parents aren’t comfortable sending their child to school and I honestly have a problem with that. I saw so many comments on social media of parents saying “well if you don’t like it, don’t send your child to school”. The problem is, a lot of parents can’t afford to not send their child to school because of their jobs. Let me start by saying that I understand that parents need to work. Not everyone is able to stay home with their kids as they do distance learning and my heart goes out to them. Believe me, it does. It’s not fair. Why should they risk going hungry and not having any income so that their child can get an education and stay home? I work at a title one school where all of the students receive free food and the a lot of their parents work more than one job. We have parents who are losing their homes because of a lack of income. So as far as maybe I’ll have less students in the classroom, that highly unlikely. They shouldn’t look to the teachers to basically be day care so that they can go to work to put food on their tables and a roof over their head, they should look to their boss or to the government. The government should be taking care of its people so that they don’t have to make life or death decisions.
How will schools look when they open back in a month? Well according to my old school district, they’ll have normal class size (so 25+ students in a small class) and things will just operate as normal. For upper elementary, middle school and high school students, they can wear a mask and for the younger ones, they wear a shield. If a teacher test positive? They’ll deal with it then (although it wasn’t disclosed what “dealing” with it will look like) and if a student doesn’t want to wear a mask, again they’ll deal with it then. I don’t know about you, but thats not safe. What if there are some trouble makers (which, in what classroom is there not any)? What about passing in the halls? Eating in the cafeterias? Buses? What if a student decides to cough on another student or sneeze as a joke? What if they flat out refuse to wear a mask (because we see how well the “adults” are wearing them)? In normal times, kids carry diseases. Anyone who’s worked in a school or day care can tell you that. Once one student has something you better believe the rest will follow. Since we have 7,000 in our state who has had the disease, who’s to say our student won’t have it? Will they have their own textbook and supplies or will they have to share? What happens when a teacher or student catches covid19? Do we shut down the school or do the teacher stay out for 14 days, causing the students to fall behind? If the teacher gets sick, do we use our sick days or will they allot a certain amount of days for us to recover? Will they supply students with technology so that if they do have to learn from home, they can? How will they fund all of these measures to keep us all safe?
Want to know what the logic was for our governor to send kids back to school like normal? He said “I’m confident, if you can do Home Depot, if you can do Walmart, if you can do these things, we absolutely can do schools”. Those were his actual words. Now I don’t know about you, but when I go to essential business, its a quick run. I’m not there for eight hours a day for five days in a row. Also, at those places, how many people have we seen who absolutely refuses to wear a mask and throw tantrums when people ask them to? They put themselves (and others to be honest) in harms way because they don’t want to be inconvenienced by wearing a mask when as I’ve pointed out earlier, our numbers are steadily rising. We have people who will likely have lasting harmful effects of beating COVID-19. We opened businesses too soon and they’re trying to open schools too soon. How many people (children included) must die in order to keep the economy going? Again, our governor is being a lap dog to that man in the White House. I just wonder if at the end of the day, at the end of that man’s presidency, if all the deaths on his hands will be worth it? Is it worth basically selling your soul to the dictator in chief? Is this what he wants his legacy to be? Is this how he wants to be remembered when he dies? As a spineless governor who’ll put his selfish needs and desires ahead of the people he swore to govern? In my opinion, he’s failed us as a state. And before y’all be like “thats who your state chose”, he won by a very minute margin so I wouldn’t use that as an reason we should just get over it.
That giant orange wanna be dictator in the White House have threatened to take away funding if we don’t open. First of all, they defund education all the time so that threat means nothing to me. Second, how evil are you that you threaten to harm your citizens and put them in harms way? He don’t want to listen to the CDC, which helps keep the nation informed. Like how is it that the CDC’s plan is too expensive but him going golfing every chance that he could isn’t expensive? Also, how is the threat of COVID-19 enough to keep Roger Stone out of prison but its fine for students to go back to school? Sir, what?
Also, that nasty, vile woman Betsy DeVos wants them to go back to school to because it will be good to them and they need to socialize. I don’t know about you but would you rather have your child safe and healthy and learning or would you rather risk their life just because they “need” to socialize with friends? Anyway, the quarantine is not saying stay inside 24/7. Its just saying hey, don’t go out if you don’t need to and if you do, be smart about it. Wear mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing. Which, how do you social distance in a small classroom full of students? Where does that makes sense?
Why am I worried? Well besides the many reasons I mentioned above, this shit has really hit home for me. I now know at least three people who have caught the virus. Hell, one boy I went to school with who recently died (non-rona relate) had his mother recently die from COVID-19 and his father and brother are currently hospitalized fighting this virus. Hell, I went to a workshop at work where they’ve been cleaning diligently. They took our temperature and we had to wear our mask, except of course when we were eating. It was only about 20 people in the room (we were in the cafeteria) and guess what? Someone tested positive and we’ve all been exposed. Do you see how quickly and easily that happened? Do you know how scary and stressful that is? We took the measures we were supposed to make and we were still exposed. I don”t know many teachers who actually like online learning, but trust me. I see the bigger picture. It’s not all about me. It’s about doing what’s safe for other people.
That’s our problem as a nation. Want to know why other countries are handling this COVID-19 situation better than our country is? Because they took action. They chose not to ignore the advice of health officials. They’re more of a collectivist nation instead of individualistic like we are. They understand that what they do and how they proceed affects others. Other countries treat their teachers very well. They’re held to a higher standard. Here? They treat us with little respect (and before people say oh teachers in FL got a raise, that raise is only if your district has the funds, which they state takes numerous of times). We bitch and moan about wearing masks and having minor inconveniences for the greater good. We must do better as a society, as a country. We must treat each other with care and respect. And WE MUST NOT SEE TEACHERS AS BABYSITTERS.The main thing that this whole quarantine situation has shown me, is how selfish we are. We must do better people. Only when we all actually work together can we get this whole COVID-19 thing handled.
I want to leave you with a tweet that I saw the other day. It said “The speed we went from ‘teachers are under appreciated, we should pay them triple’ to ‘get in the classroom and watch the children so we can get back to work, even if it kills you’ is quite breathtaking”. That folks is truly remarkable.
What’s your opinion on sending kids back to school?
Here is a video from Funky Dineva (which includes very strong language) that brings up some very good points. It’s less than 15 min long. Check it out if you want!