Our city’s school districts used hybrid scheduling for the past four months, quarantining thousands of kids due to potential cases of this deadly virus. Covid tracked down my husband and me anyway. As of two weeks ago, our school districts decided on total remote learning. We still got sick. I haven’t seen my grandchildren but a handful of times in 10 months. It did not stop us from catching the virus. Corporate worship in church was removed. Yet this pandemic found its way into our home. I’ve eaten in a restaurant perhaps ten times in the past 10 months. Yes, you get it. We got sick.
The first question the health department asked me was where did I contract Covid-19? I have no idea. With so much of our population being asymptomatic, the spread of this virus is surging without the ability to trace the origins. Mask shaming, ineffectual contact tracing and shutting down schools IS NOT WORKING!
I not only survived this pandemic but was never hospitalized, which according to the fear mongering press, is nothing less than a miracle since I am in the high risk age category. Before the reader becomes distraught that I possess no understanding of how serious Covid is, I lived it for 14 days. I read about my ensuing death in the local print media. I heard about my agonizing final days on this earth from the non-stop coverage on national television. Every night of those two weeks, I slept alone and prayed for Jesus’ healing, truly believing I was living my final days. So why is it important that a retired teacher survived this virus? It isn’t. However this is:
In an August 23, 2020 blog, I wrote the following:
1. This virus is not going away by itself any time soon. Breakouts in the schools will happen.
2. If you close down to mitigate Covid, you will lesson the spread but the virus will still be present when you open back up. The cycle continues: close down, wait and see, open up and experience surges.
3. Virtual learning is destroying the lives of special needs children, non-traditional learners and children whose parents are unable to provide direction and stability.
4. Learning online has inadvertently created a “class system” of haves and have nots. Those families who are able to monitor their children, possess multiple devices and abundant bandwidth for Wi-Fi will survive. Those without will fail.
5. Waiting for a vaccine alludes to two misperceptions: the vaccine will have 100% success and the majority of people will opt to receive it.
“A child miseducated is a child lost.”—John F. Kennedy. The class system created by educating children online, even if inadvertent, is not only miseducating our children but will continue to have a negative impact on this generation for years to come.
Three days ago, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the esteemed infectious disease expert, stated clearly: Close the bars and keep schools open. Yet most schools in our state are completely online. Listen to the science? Yes, that would be my advice as a retired teacher who survived Covid-19. Open up the schools TOMORROW!
Paula Baack is a retired teacher of 46 years. Her book “Rescue the Teacher, Save the Child!” is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Ms. Baack is available for parents and educators Zoom workshops. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.