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Mon Jul 6, 2020, 08:05 PM

From a teacher friend....the last paragraph nails it!

I get it. I do. You need schools to open because...holy crap youíre not getting anything done, your kids need to see other kids, you have a job to do, and you just plain need a break. I get it. I do.

Iíve seen the research. Kids are, as much as we can determine barely six months into a pandemic, less likely to get it. Theyíre less likely to suffer from a severe form of the disease, possibly less likely to transmit it. The calls for opening schools with this data make total sense. Are you going to send your kids into a building with no adults? No. So when youíre out there demanding that schools open and all of your arguments are about you, about what you need, about what your kids need, but NEVER ONCE mention the dangers to the staff and faculty who will necessarily need to be in those schools, you can see where Iím a little concerned.

Iíve accepted that I ask my friends two or three times a year to donate food to our ďsnack closetĒ because ending poverty, let alone childhood poverty and all the many things that encompasses it, seems to be beyond us. Iíve accepted that I spend hundreds of dollars of my own money every year to buy things my students need because adequately funding schools seems to be beyond us. Iíve accepted that there might come a time I have to lock my students in the closet in my classroom - and let me tell you how blessed I feel that I have a closet big enough to fit all of my kids - because reasonable gun control seems to be beyond us.

Now youíre asking us to accept going back into classrooms in the middle of a pandemic. Classrooms that are located in buildings that have been neglected for decades (please see: adequate funding), that in some cases have no windows that open, where our support people - occupational therapists, speech therapists are working in closets (please see: adequate funding), and buildings that have sketchy HVAC on a good day.

Youíll forgive us if weíre not quite onboard with this idea yet. You see, if we want hand sanitizer in our classrooms, we have to ask parents to donate it. If we want Lysol wipes for our classrooms, we have to ask our parents to donate it. If we want tissues for snotty noses, we have to ask our parents to donate it. They do. Every year they do and many of them donate these things despite their precarious financial situations. I have no doubt that those parents would make these donations again - despite their much more precarious financial situation - if those things were available for purchase.

Since, for the entire two decades Iíve been teaching, weíve been asking parents to donate basic school supplies because we canít or wonít adequately fund education, you might see where weíre a little hesitant to go back into those classrooms without masks, without face shields, because masks donít work with the littlest kids (though face shields really arenít nearly as effective as masks, butÖ), without any promise of reliable, regular testing with a quick turnaround of results, without any plan for what happens when someone gets sick, without any plan for what staff and faculty do when someone in their family is sick, without any plan on how we help parents who need the childcare, so theyíre forced to give kids Tylenol in order to get through the temperature screening so they donít lose their job, without any promise of additional money to hire more teachers, to lease more space, to scale up what distance learning will or could look like. (Does anyone really think weíre going to make it through flu season without ending up right where we were in March?)

Do you know what schools look like once school starts? We are a snotty, sneezing, sniffly, coughing mess and that's without spike proteins invading our beings.

Iím worried for me. I have parents who are considered elderly (sorry about that, but you are). Parents I have only seen from a distance since early March, except for that super socially-distanced Fatherís Day. Iím worried for teachers who are parents - what will they do with their kids whose school schedules might be wildly different than that of their parents. Iím worried for the teachers who are older (and Iím REALLY sorry Iím considered one of them). But Iím more worried about our custodial staff, bus drivers, our cafeteria workers, our instructional assistants who are far more likely to be BIPOC, people who are far less likely to have the resources needed to survive an extended illness (again, not funding what matters), whose family members are more likely to be considered an essential worker in some other field.I donít see anyone having these conversations.

I donít see ANY consideration for the adults in school buildings in all the articles calling for schools to open. AAP is telling schools to open, but not giving any guidance on how to do so safely for students AND staff alike. That must be nice. You have to open and good luck on figuring out how to make that work. Weíre used to flying by the seat of our pants and making it work. This is a piss-poor solution most of the time and it is a completely untenable one in the middle of a pandemic, one that has been managed in the worst possible way at the federal level.

Iím worried for my kids. I know they need to be back at school. I saw how distance learning went this spring. It wasnít pretty. I know that our kids need teachers who arenít terrified to be at work because thereís nothing in place that would suggest society values teachers as more than cheap childcare, despite the fact that this spring and summer should have sounded that message loud and clear. I know our kids need to be around each other.

Iím worried that people are going to start calling for ďnormalĒ school. Nothing about this is normal. Even if kids are in school full time, nothing about this is going to be normal. Weíre going to be facing kids who are dealing with layer upon layer of trauma, we need to make time and space for that, so stop telling me kids are behind. Theyíre not any further behind than anyone else. Theyíre behind some arbitrary lines we drew in the sand so long ago weíre not sure we remember why we drew them. We need to meet our kids where they are. I don't want to hear one word about testing, unless it involves a nasal or throat swab. Not. One. Word.

The worst part about this is the completely cavalier attitude I see from far too many about doing what needs to be done if you have even half a prayer of opening schools this fall. Wear a mask. Stay home. No, you donít need to eat in that restaurant. No, you donít need to go visit your parents or friends 5 states away. No, you donít need to go hang out with your friends because youíll really stay 6 feet away - let me assure you that the pictures youíve posted show me that is almost never true. Yes. You need to wear a mask. Yes. You need to stay home unless itís really important. If you canít do any of those things, but want me to go back to school in August with a smile on my face, youíre asking me to make far bigger sacrifices than the ones youíve been willing to make so far.

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Arrow 54 replies Author Time Post
Reply From a teacher friend....the last paragraph nails it! (Original post)
Heartstrings Jul 6 OP
Karadeniz Jul 6 #1
GeorgeGist Jul 6 #2
Mr.Bill Jul 6 #9
Dem2theMax Jul 6 #10
certainot Jul 7 #50
Phoenix61 Jul 6 #3
LEW Jul 6 #4
Laelth Jul 6 #5
WVreaper Jul 6 #6
Arkansas Granny Jul 6 #7
Alliepoo Jul 6 #8
aggiesal Jul 6 #11
BigmanPigman Jul 6 #18
aggiesal Jul 6 #29
Sienna86 Jul 6 #12
Heartstrings Jul 6 #19
Sentath Jul 7 #51
CRK7376 Jul 6 #13
smirkymonkey Jul 6 #14
NightWatcher Jul 6 #15
Heartstrings Jul 6 #21
BigmanPigman Jul 6 #16
UpInArms Jul 6 #17
calimary Jul 6 #31
mgardener Jul 6 #20
marlakay Jul 6 #22
grantcart Jul 6 #23
radical noodle Jul 6 #24
tavernier Jul 6 #25
Hstch05 Jul 6 #26
Mosby Jul 6 #27
KY_EnviroGuy Jul 6 #28
Mosby Jul 6 #32
PandoraAwakened Jul 7 #34
Mosby Jul 7 #46
PandoraAwakened Jul 11 #54
whistler162 Jul 7 #35
gademocrat7 Jul 6 #30
AwakeAtLast Jul 7 #33
Pacifist Patriot Jul 7 #36
FakeNoose Jul 7 #37
Heartstrings Jul 7 #44
niyad Jul 7 #38
Sucha NastyWoman Jul 7 #39
denbot Jul 7 #40
Marthe48 Jul 7 #41
Raastan Jul 7 #42
EleanorR Jul 7 #43
Dustlawyer Jul 7 #45
cab67 Jul 7 #47
hunter Jul 7 #48
Ferrets are Cool Jul 7 #49
HockeyMom Jul 7 #52
mdelaguna Jul 7 #53

Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 08:10 PM

1. That covers it

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 08:12 PM

2. America is very sick.

Thanks, Rich People.

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #2)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 08:56 PM

9. In more ways than one. n/t

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #2)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 08:59 PM

10. That's exactly what I was thinking the entire time I was reading it.

Heartbreaking.

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 7, 2020, 03:17 PM

50. thank your local republican radio stations for selling the deregulation and

monopolization that made the rich richer, that sold public school privatization, trashed teachers and unions, that not only called COVID a hoax for 2 months bus is still downplaying it and calling for back to work, denying global warming, etc

they don't have to pay for that because advertisers do. at $1000/hr x 15 hrs x 1200 stations thats about $90MIL/week or almost $5BIL/yr creating made-to-order constituencies to work and vote for rich people/corporations, mostly all based on bullshit that works because the 'left' and dems never call them on their bullshit until way after the repetition when it's too late and we get shit like trump.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 08:15 PM

3. That nails it. nt

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 08:17 PM

4. Thank you! I read all of your post

and am also sickened by saying school will restart in the Fall. What are people thinking? Spare me the disbelief in the virus. They can start their own school for children of the nonbelievers....

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 08:19 PM

5. Brilliant. k&r for visibility. n/t



-Laelth

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 08:40 PM

6. All it would take would be a plan.

Trump has no plan.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 08:49 PM

7. Wonderful. K & R.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 08:50 PM

8. I want to copy and send this to our idiot school board.

They say business as usual this fall. Teachers will be masked. Hand washing (Supposedly. How does a teacher oversee a class of kids wash hands multiple times a day?) Hand sanitizer. K-2 no masks. 3-12 masks strongly advised but not required. Busses loaded back to front unloaded front to back to keep kids from passing in the aisles. Never mind the closed up busses with a bunch of kids. Never mind the closed up classrooms with a bunch of kids. Virtual classes only for immunocompromised kids. Donít like it? Home school or send your kids to private schools. This is gonna be a big clusterF•Äk.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 09:08 PM

11. San Diego has announced they will open schools on Aug 1. ...

I advised a friend who has 3 kids, NOT to send her kids to school.
1) Just because their kids and won't get the virus, they become carriers and WILL bring it home to their parents.
2) Exactly what this article states, what about the school staffs? They're not kids, they're adults and will be susceptible to the virus from the snotty (as in runny noses) kids they have to teach.
This includes teachers, teacher assistants, administrators, staff, crossing guards (if they still exist), bus drivers, cafeteria workers, janitors, coaches, ...

This is a huge support system, that operate schools.

Keep your kids home.

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #18)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 10:44 PM

29. Thanks, ...

The 10News.com doesn't appear to exist anymore.

The OBRag article just makes me feel like the (R) want to kill us all.

Thanks for the links.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 09:12 PM

12. This should be on social media- Twitter

Does your friend have an account wherein she could post and we could echo?

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Response to Sienna86 (Reply #12)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 09:34 PM

19. It's on Facebook....

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 09:13 PM

13. Thank you one teacher to another!

My high school, Title 1, classroom is full of teenagers that don't want to wear masks, didn't participate very well in distance learning this spring because most of them do not owe a computer or have internet service. About half our kids, especially the kids of color that did participate in online classes did so using a cell phone. My school gave out 700+ laptops, 1 per family, and Verizon provided 200+ hotspots to help our kids and their families stay connected. On top of that our school system if changing from the PowerSchoolLearning platform to Canvas this fall, with no training for the faculty...here's the slide deck, some links to help sites with Canvas....good luck you are on your own teachers. Be ready to go by August 17th......Thanks again fro you posting.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 09:15 PM

14. K&R

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 09:22 PM

15. Sharing, can I give anyone credit?

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #15)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 09:35 PM

21. He name is Maureen Nelson.....

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 09:23 PM

16. I have been saying the same thing for months.

Nobody is going to go back into colleges and schools to teach since teachers are not fools. Professors are already telling the govt that they will not be returning...
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/03/us/coronavirus-college-professors.html

The schools that open will be guinea pigs, an experiment. It will be costly both in $$$ and in human resources. Schools will open then have to close again...costing even more $$$ that the govt is NOT giving them.
I taught and the majority of the time I was ill...really! Classrooms are germ factories and they infect everyone around them...including Mommy, Daddy, brothers and sisters and their friends. Have fun spreading the germs and getting sick folks because that is what will happen since the Fed Govt has failed us in every way and wasted months and billions of dollars doing NOTHING!

I read this article and saved it...
"In other words, it is completely unrealistic to expect schools to open and to stay open without interruption in 2020-21. What is realistic is that schools may open and may have to close if they cannot function due teacher, admin, and staff shortages from their contracting COVID, or if the threat of such contracting is deemed imminent and schools are shuttered proactively, or even if too many adults are exposed to a person with COVID and therefore must quarantine for a couple of weeks per instance. Think about that. It is possible that a student in my room contracts COVID. One student. Letís say that student has been in contact with at least one classroom of 10 students (small, I know, but stay with me) and rides a bus with 20 other students (and with a bus driver) and has class with six teachers per day. So, right there, we have at least 37 individuals needing to be quarantinedĖ six of whom are responsible for instruction."
https://deutsch29.wordpress.com/2020/06/25/parents-need-to-go-to-work-does-not-stop-covid-at-the-school-door/

This is what Taiwan did and they were successful, our govt botched it from the start and we are not even close to where they were.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/taiwan-covid-19-lessons-1.5505031

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 09:26 PM

17. The last 'graph ... again ... for more visibility

The worst part about this is the completely cavalier attitude I see from far too many about doing what needs to be done if you have even half a prayer of opening schools this fall. Wear a mask. Stay home. No, you donít need to eat in that restaurant. No, you donít need to go visit your parents or friends 5 states away. No, you donít need to go hang out with your friends because youíll really stay 6 feet away - let me assure you that the pictures youíve posted show me that is almost never true. Yes. You need to wear a mask. Yes. You need to stay home unless itís really important. If you canít do any of those things, but want me to go back to school in August with a smile on my face, youíre asking me to make far bigger sacrifices than the ones youíve been willing to make so far.

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Response to UpInArms (Reply #17)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 11:00 PM

31. Yep! I'd do an extra recommendation just for this part.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 09:34 PM

20. Wonderful!

Thanks for posting this.
Former school nurse here.
Can you imagine schools without a nurse in the middle of a pandemic?
There is no guidance from anyone on how to safely open schools.
Here is to all school staff that do the best they can, with what little they are given and expected to perform miracles. Three cheers!

And can I make a request of all those that read this?
Call a local school in your district. See what they need. And if you can donate what you are able. Tissues, socks, mittens whatever the school needs please help our teachers.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 09:37 PM

22. My daughters middle school emailed a survey

asking parents if they wanted to keep kids home, partial schedule, full schedule.

I don't know what other parents said but she decided to keep them home and she and her husband will both be working full time at home while helping them.

Luckily these are my brainiac daughter and son n law so they can keep up, but my daughter said she had to look up a few things from Algebra 2 to help her oldest son. Makes you wonder what most parents are doing.

She is in San Antonio and survey done before tons of new cases.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 09:41 PM

23. Wonderful message from a wonderful person who is a wonderful teacher

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 09:45 PM

24. My daughter is an elementary special ed teacher

Her school starts on Aug 4th with few guidelines. Some of her fellow teachers have autoimmune diseases, asthma, and high blood pressure. One has cancer and is receiving chemo. I fear for them all.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 10:14 PM

25. My SIL is a teacher and I like his bumper sticker:

Keep refusing to wear a mask -
Twelve more months of home schooling.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 10:17 PM

26. My older brother

is a very smart man in most respects. He's a small-r Republican; fiscally conservative, socially liberal. He's got that thing that a lot of us have; until he experiences it himself, he doesn't have a lot of empathy. But once he gets it, he gets it. My sister in law teaches elementary school math in Massachusetts (she's a career switcher, and is relatively new to the profession), my wife is a high school principal, and I'm a 26 year classroom veteran teaching high school English and most recently Theatre in Virginia.

A few weeks ago, we were talking about getting kids back to school. His thought was that we just need to pull the trigger and get the kids back. Some of them might get sick, but we really can't get the economy back until people get back to work. My response was "That's great. Until the kids go to visit grandma and kill her." He stopped and thought about it. "Yeah. You're right."

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 10:35 PM

27. The young kids could be an issue

But workers in grocery stores, targets, walmarts are being exposed to 10s of thousands of people in a work week. Somehow they are managing. Why is it any different for teachers?

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Response to Mosby (Reply #27)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 10:43 PM

28. Numerous individuals in a confined space for long hours.....

which is the perfect recipe for becoming infected.

Store workers are not exposed to those conditions.

KY

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Reply #28)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 11:04 PM

32. Yes they are, like in convenience stores.

Restaurants, casinos, food processing facilities.

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Response to Mosby (Reply #32)

Tue Jul 7, 2020, 05:34 AM

34. "Somehow they are managing"? Seriously?

Nearly 3 million U.S. citizens infected (and millions more to come) with a virus that scientists admit not only reduces lung capacity of its victims for the remainder of their lives, but is also now believed to be crossing the blood-brain barrier, portending dire neurological health outcomes over the next several decades for those infected (including for the millions of asymptomatic persons never tested)---outcomes that anyone who thinks the frontline workers are "managing" clearly has no cognitive awareness of.

EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE.

Oh, and on behalf of the now over 130,000 dead Americans who succumbed to this virus, I will say it for them since they clearly are unable to do so themselves: "No, WE DID NOT 'SOMEHOW MANAGE,' thank you very much."


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Response to PandoraAwakened (Reply #34)

Tue Jul 7, 2020, 01:35 PM

46. I think you are misunderstanding what I said

Essential workers are trying to manage the situation, even though we are being exposed to 10s of thousands of people every work week, some not wearing masks.

Would you prefer we all stay home and you could forage for food?



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Response to Mosby (Reply #46)

Sat Jul 11, 2020, 04:17 PM

54. Revelations About the Parsing of Words

Last edited Sat Jul 11, 2020, 04:52 PM - Edit history (1)

Got it. When you said teachers should get back to work because other essential workers are "somehow managing" in the face of repeated exposure to non-mask-wearers, you actually meant to say teachers should get back to work because other essential workers are "trying to manage" in the face of repeated exposure to non-mask-workers. I get it. You're saying the same thing, but a little more timidly the second time around, indicating you're open to trying to understand where your thinking on the matter may have gone awry.

Unfortunately, no amount of word parsing can overcome three unavoidable truths essential workers (yourself included?) are now facing with what is only the beginning stages of an already badly botched and mismanaged pandemic:

1.) Nearly 3.2 million Americans thus far, a sizable number of them being essential workers, did not "manage" to escape (whether by 'somehow' or by 'trying') from the devastating effects this virus forebodes for their own future health and the economic welfare of their families.

I will repeat again what I realize may be a difficult thing to initially grasp about the truth of the millions who have been infected but are not dead as of yet: COVID-19 has the rare ability to cross the "blood-brain barrier." If you do not understand what that means and what that portends for those you may be thinking have "managed" their situation, LOOK IT UP.

Over 3 million Americans, with millions more to come, who are infected with the initial strain of this coronavirus are now at risk for developing debilitating neurological diseases, which will cripple their ability to maintain their jobs and will put additional burdens on our crumbling healthcare systems. Brain damage is not to be taken lightly!

On top of this, untold millions of Americans who, having contracted the first strains of this virus, are either asymptomatic infected or have "recovered" from milder symptons without realizing the cause of their initial illness. These people are also now at risk for developing future neurological diseases if even one particle of this virus crossed over the blood-brain barrier. As an unknowingly asymptomatic essential worker who thinks they're dodging the bullet, this could very well be you.

2.) By this evening, 135,000 Americans will have been declared dead from this coronavirus. This is already 5,000 more souls than when this OP was written only a few days ago! Many of those who have died were essential workers. None of those now dead (nor the tens of thousands more to come) were in any conceivable way able to "manage" anything at all about their exposure to COVID-19. Dead is dead, and that's not "managing."

3.) Viruses multiply exponentially when allowed to run rampant. Both the infection count and its corresponding death toll are surging in the U.S., rising exponentially by the hour, and we are nowhere near the peak. Simple mathematics tells us that the exponential risk factor to our essential workers rises correspondingly every workday. If you don't have at least a layman's understanding of virology and exponential mathematics, then sure, the beginning always looks like "somehow we're managing."

These are the three irredeemable facts that no amount of vaguery about this or that particular group of essential workers is able to obfuscate.

In light of these facts, particularly the first one, do you not now see the absolute irony in insisting that teachers, whose very stock-in-trade is their brainpower, must now sacrifice their brains to neurological disease because...why is that again?

Oh yeah...because we live in a society of idiots who think it's a good idea to relegate teachers (or any other "essential" worker, for that matter) to the lower dregs of an arbitrary wage scale. Yep, got it.


"Essential" = "Expendable"

Apparently, Betsy DeVos forgot to send out her memo referring teachers to the edict set forth in "Math for Dummies During a Pandemic": "Low Wage = Essential Worker = Expendable. So get back to work, damn it!"

So many of the greatest follies in human history begin with a determinination about which groups are "expendable." Expendability in America is assigned based on wages. As a society, we prescribe the lowest wages to those seen as "servants" to the masses. This is, of course, an unfortunate hangover from (or some might say merely an extension of) our roots in slavery.

Few will actually acknowledge aloud the corporatist/political belief that low-wage workers are considered "expendable, renewable resources" because that would be just a tad bit too revealing about who we really are as a nation.

So, instead they label these service workers as "essential," which has such a nicer, feel-good ring to it, don't you think? (Funny how their paychecks don"t reflect the "absolutely necessary; extremely important" dictionary definition of the term. Shhh...just never you mind about that.) Note too the parsing of language and, importantly, the difference in pay scale between those deemed "critical workers" versus those labeled "essential workers." Hmm...

The most important thing to keep in mind about the term "essential worker" is that semantics are everything when it comes to manipulating behavior. Thus, "essential workers" is the perfect label to use when, at the height of a pandemic, corporations and their political puppets seek to convince large numbers of the lowest-paid workers that they must now become "heroes," laying down their lives if need be, in service to "the economy," i.e. the already wealthy.

Sardonic, isn't it, that the very same persons demanding such sacrifice cannot abide the thought of taking on too much inconvience themselves, let alone any actual suffering "for the good of the masses"?

Finally, the "essential worker" designation has the added corporate benefit of inciting those who aren't so pleased about their own "you have to risk your life to keep your job" situation into calling for other low-wage groups, like teachers for example, to have the same label slapped on them---"If I have to do it, you should have to do it too!" Neat little trick of pleb-on-pleb jiu-jitsu, huh? Corporations just love, love, love that... especially when there are back-to-school profits to be reaped!

You know who's the only bad-ass, take-no-prisoners teacher in America who also loves that idea? Miss 'Rona, that's who. Yep, she's ready to school us all with a lesson we'll never forget.


Logical Fallacies & Other Such Nonsense

I'm sincerely interested in what's behind the central premise you first postured whereby you're saying: These particular groups of low-wage workers (your examples being retail, restaurant, grocery, food processing, and casinos) have been deemed essential (i.e., expendable); therefore, that particular group of low-wage workers (teachers and school staff) should also be deemed expendable.

I clearly see this as your thesis statement, but I am genuinely curious as to the evidentiary support you might offer that would make this a persuasive argument. The only "reasoning" you offer in support of your premise is a false binary choice: "Would you prefer we all stay home and you could forage for food?"

In the field of logic, this type of false choice is called a "nullary logical connective"---or, in colloquial terms, an "absurd proposition"---for which either answer (yes or no) is necessarily false because the conjunction "and" is itself a false connective between the two parts of the question (i.e., one does not actually correlate to the other given the existence of alternative outcomes).

But, I do get how the mind can easily make that illogical jump. In any cursory examination of the fall of great civilizations, we see the sentiment that gives rise to such thinking; it is, in fact, an easy sentiment to come by when made from a point of privilege:

"It's either 'Die plebs, die!' or we're all going back to the days of nomadic barbarians!"

Fast forward to America, 2020:

"It's either 'Die essential workers, die!' or we're all going to be foraging our own food!"

Nothing new to see there. Anyone who has ever peered into the mirror of history has seen this choice presented to mankind over and over and over and over again, ad infinitum. Indeed, it's a false dichotomy that's toppled many a civilization---a downright philosophical conundrum, if you will.

You've heard the phrase echoed by some about men being "children of God," no? How is it that you suppose children learn? Any teacher will tell you that much of our learning is achieved through repetition. Both success and failure are rooted in repetition. It is no different for the individual than it is for entire civilizations across the arc of time. So, let's use this moment to examine how the repetition of bi-furcated fallacies always result in unnecessary death and human suffering:

You're saying essential workers have been exposed to 10s of thousands of people not wearing masks and because these workers have not ALL died yet (never mind the debilitating diseases to come for those who survive their initial infections), we should go right ahead and throw more low-wage workers into the mix, like for example, the teachers, right?

Okay, okay, maybe "all" is not a fair assessment. Only the psychopaths and a certain percent of sociopaths would actually subscribe to that. Let me revise:

You're saying essential workers have been exposed to 10s of thousands of people not wearing masks and because only a certain as yet unamed and unknown percentage of them will be condemned to die or suffer in service to the masses, we might as well go ahead and throw in another group of low-wage workers, like for example, the teachers. Better?

Ahhh, and therein is the rub, isn't it? It's that "certain percentage" whose very lives you will have to deem to be of zero value if you continue down this path of logical fallacy.

So, tell me, what percentage of death and/or health degradation amongst the low-wage "essential workers," a group highly skewed toward people of color, is acceptable to YOU personally in service to your needs? Go ahead, name your body count.

Is it 1%, 5%, 10%, 25%? Maybe your tipping point is actually much further down the scale. How about just over the halfway-mark? So, perhaps we should say 51% of the designated expendable workers should have to die and/or suffer future deadly diseases to fulfill everyone else's needs.

Does that work for you, 51%? In the name of serving the comforts and desires of the masses, is that your acceptable rate of death and suffering for essential workers? I wouldn't fault you for it. That's the number at which many throughout history finally cry uncle, because, after all, at that point the balance of profits begin to shift for those who've been reaping the benefits of such sacrifice.

A little too steep a price, you say? Fine, let's go backwards: 40%, 30%, 20%, 10%? Go ahead, name your death price. DO IT. If that's the hill you wish to die on (no pun intended), state your selling price with conviction and honesty, rather than hiding behind logical fallacies.

It's uncomfortable, even squeamish, to name your price in terms of body count, yes? But name it you must if you wish to actually persuade anyone to your side of an argument that is both logically and ethically flawed. Never fear though, history has proven that many men will gladly follow you down that rabbit hole if you but name your price.


About the "Food Supply"

Interesting that you name "casinos" as an "essential service" given that this pandemic has provided the 1%ers an opportunity to play a brand new game of chance called "You Bet Your Life" while comfortably laying wagers from the sidelines about who gets to die for the sake of another's haircut or the ability to wipe one's ass with two-ply instead of one-ply toilet paper.

Stop pretending that what's actually happening in our country with this runaway pandemic amidst both an ever-increasing wealth gap and a healthcare crisis that's been building to boiling point for the past three decades is somehow only about the "food supply."

I mean, come on, the whole "Yikes, you'll have to forage for your own food!!" is, after all, the very same fear-mongering excuse that certain men put forth as "reason" to not follow science, to not implement bold, new ideas, nor even to use old-fashioned common sense.

But, most of all, this particular excuse is used to great effect to most definitely NOT put into place adequate safety, testing, and healthcare measures for line workers within the food distribution chain. News flash: America's food supply industry is one whose front-end is almost wholly owned and directed by rich, old, white men safely quarantined in comfort within their gated-community mansions---NOT by the overly romanticized "small farmer" who the Monsanto and Tyson corporate execs of the world have run roughshod over to the point of near-extinction.

If you're going to carry the banner for "Big-Ag," a predatory industry that heavily propagandizes the notion that they can force you to forage for your own food at any moment if you don't let them continue profiting from human death, then at least be honest about who you condemn to die for the sake of assuaging your foraging fears.

I am, of course, talking about the actual essential workers who make it possible for you to not spend your days foraging (sorry, that's not the blackjack dealers and bartenders). No, that would be the hackers & packers in the large-conglomerate produce and meat processing plants and the pickers & sorters in the Big-Ag fields who are predominantly underpaid, low-wage immigrants and migrant workers performing grueling, tedious, and increasingly more dangerous tasks in the shadow of this deadly pandemic, all the while with their healthcare ranging from none-to-junk.

That is who gathers, chops up, and packages most of your food in America. They are considered by their employers and by the privileged class to be "expendable, renewable resources" who need not be invested in or cared for because they have no political power and are easily replaced.

Most importantly for the employers, and certainly not by accident, a large number of those "expendable" workers who save you from foraging your way through life are undocumented. This is by design on the employers' part who are fully aware of their employees' illegal status, and it has been this way in America for many, many generations. In this way, the frontline food workers, who are, of course, mostly persons of color, have no voice and can readily be manipulated into silence on threat of deportation, which for some is itself a death sentence.

Even these workers' U.S.-born children and grandchildren, upon reaching working age, are often pressed into underpaid service in the same factories and fields as their elders on threat of their parents or grandparents being deported---threats made by the employers. In this way, at least three generations of cheap labor can be squeezed out of each family.

Yes, it is indeed a very nasty business at the frontline of America's food chain where the real foragers dwell---one that has been made even uglier beyond belief by a mismanaged viral pandemic that forces these workers to play Russian roulette between death by virus, death by starvation, or death by deportation.

It is so easy for the soulless amongst us to insist these "expendable" workers must lay down their lives in deliverance of bounty to affluent dinner tables. It's easy to demand such sacrifice when those to be offered up to the altar of gluttony-on-demand are seen as "less than human" by those drowning in greed, egocentricity, and, yes, racism.

For the many Americans who only fool themselves into believing they're privileged (when an assessment of their cash-on-hand to debt ratios clearly indicate they are not), the "expendable" workers on the frontline of the food chain are simply not seen at all.

It really is so much easier to simply turn a blind eye to exactly who it is you're demanding should sacrifice their lives to fill your tummy, don't you think? Question: Are those who willfully blind themselves any less evil than the willfully greedy? Another philosophical conundrum...

So, if anyone feels compelled to continue yammering on about their foraging fears, let's at least do so in honest terms: How many of our immigrant foragers do YOU insist must die to maintain your current level of culinary desires?

Go ahead, name your price.


Conclusion

America is at an inflection point wherein many who come to the table lacking a basic understanding of the trajectory of human history (other than their own personal niche in that history) will be quick to whip out a sliding scale showing which "values" should be applied to which perceived "groupings" of human life.

Never mind that history has already taught us that such an approach only ever results in delaying the pursuit of more sensible, and certainly more worthy, alternatives to any given problem.

Never mind that history has also taught us that every single time we allow false dichotomies to turn human life into a price tag for something else, the inevitable result is unnecessary death and suffering. Indeed, it is this very notion that is at the heart of every war and every genocide that has ever occurred---including genocidal actions achieved under the cover of plagues and pandemics.

And now we are once again about to be schooled in the follies of the "slide-rule approach" to human life currently on display for all the world to see in how America has chosen to deal with COVID-19.

And to think, all it takes is a large enough number of persons willing to name a price as they leap down that rabbit hole of false choices. Who could have guessed it? OH, WAIT...history told us that, didn't it?

Maybe we better hold off on that whole rush to kill the teachers thing. Something tells me their services are going to be sorely needed to help pick up the shattered pieces.

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Response to Mosby (Reply #27)

Tue Jul 7, 2020, 06:14 AM

35. 10 vs 60 minutes

ever been in any hallway at class change? I avoid that as much as possible in fear of being trampled, yes in someways I am kidding. So far I am not hearing much in the way of plans for the next school year.

My job is IT support in school districts.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jul 6, 2020, 10:44 PM

30. Excellent!

Going back to school in August when we have not flattened the curve is dangerous.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Tue Jul 7, 2020, 03:59 AM

33. Two HS choir directors in one city quit on the same day.

No warning.

These are COVETED positions. But considering Music Teachers (like myself) have no idea how we are going to be able to do, let alone justify, our job, I can certainly understand.

I see classes of 65+. In a room too small for 65. There are no plans for my safety.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Tue Jul 7, 2020, 06:27 AM

36. So spot on I have chills!!!!

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Tue Jul 7, 2020, 07:16 AM

37. This is very powerful - thanks for posting!

I guess my issue with home schooling is that not so many parents are willing or equipped to do "their share." It depends so much on at least one parent for the system to work. Every parent who slouches or fails, creates even more work for the over-burdened teachers, and how is that fair to the teachers?

Who will teach the teacher's children while she's spending all of her time on our/your kids?

Parents need to step up and take responsibility. Brush up on school lessons, brush up your computer skills if need be. Spend time talking with your kids and understand where they need help. Then find out how you can help them. Parents don't want to do this, but so what? We're all having to do things we don't want to now that Covid is here.

If schools aren't reopening this fall - and it looks like they won't - then coaching programs must be made available for the parents who need guidance in home schooling their kids. That's my two cents.

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #37)

Tue Jul 7, 2020, 12:48 PM

44. "Who will teach the teacher's children" struck a chord with me, FakeNoose

Iíve asked myself this question numerous times as both my parents were teachers. They are both deceased but I do wonder what their views on this would have been....

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Tue Jul 7, 2020, 10:16 AM

38. KNR for visibility.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Tue Jul 7, 2020, 10:37 AM

39. Now I know why I didn't think it was gonna work to re-open the schools

I thought of a few things nothing as detailed as this.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Tue Jul 7, 2020, 11:49 AM

40. K&R

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Tue Jul 7, 2020, 11:50 AM

41. I don't see how schools can open

Do the people behind this want to see more people infected? More deaths?

Rather than reopen the schools, let's put the effort to reopen into getting more hand sanitizer, more disable paper products, more masks, made and available. And try to find a way to get the public at large onboard about using these lifesaving products.

As hard as it might be to keep the young children supervised, there are online classes. I have grand kids and their parents did a lot of juggling to get the school work done and stay on a work schedule, even though they both had to go out to their jobs. No it isn't easy. But we all want our kids to stay healthy. We want teachers and staff to stay healthy.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Tue Jul 7, 2020, 12:09 PM

42. K + R

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Tue Jul 7, 2020, 12:17 PM

43. This is trump's failure

It didn't have to be this way.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Tue Jul 7, 2020, 12:55 PM

45. +1!!! Two out of three of my kids are teachers in Texas, where we are having a virus

meltdown! The schools should be setting up proper distance learning, not business as usual. Instead, my oldest daughter has to go on a ďretreatĒ Next week with 35 other teachers staying in the same house and sharing bedrooms for a week. Who the Hell thought this was a good idea?

The stupidity this epidemic has uncovered is beyond the pale!

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Tue Jul 7, 2020, 01:56 PM

47. It's complicated for public universities.

Most people don't realize just how much of a public university's revenue comes from tuition. In order to function, we rely on students from out of state who pay higher tuition. My own institution worked very hard to recruit students from out of state (and out of the country) in the aftermath of the 2008 recession just to blunt the apocalyptic budget cuts coming from state appropriations.

Who would send their kid to college in another state if the kid is working from home in a virtual environment?

I completely understand why opening classes this fall is seriously problematic, but efforts to keep at least some in-person teaching aren't about making extra money - they're about preventing furloughs and worse.

(Moreover, some classes simply cannot be taught in a virtual environment. They require equipment that can't be replicated online, or they're field-based courses. Some such courses are required for the majors in my department. We've been waiving the requirements for students at the present time, given the situation, but we might have to completely reconfigure the major if this becomes a long-term problem. And many would regard the reconfigured major without the non-virtual content to be a diminished, less competitive degree.)

Just trying to shed light on some of the thinking behind the push. It's not merely greediness or carelessness; it's an acknowledgment that the current situation creates very real complications or everyone.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Tue Jul 7, 2020, 02:10 PM

48. Half the people in my extended family are teachers or have been teachers.

When I was teaching there were times I wished I was wearing a hazmat suit. I can't count the times I was in the direct line of fire of coughs and sneezes. Whenever I wasn't actually sick it seemed I was coming down with something or recovering from something.

I taught children who were supposedly old enough to practice some personal hygiene -- cover your coughs, wash your hands, etc..

Little children will rub snot on everything, including their teachers, in a most endearing way.

I've been barfed on. You expect that as a parent, but not as a science teacher. I don't recall that getting barfed on, or cleaning up barf, was in my contract. But I was expected to suffer it.

My wife's sister is my age and has been teaching since she graduated from college near forty years ago. Her immune system is well practiced. But it doesn't seem fair to throw teachers out of the shelter first just so we can pretend everything is back to "normal."

This virus is not normal.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Tue Jul 7, 2020, 02:28 PM

49. I wish this were required reading for every American.

The FACT that we FULLY fund our killing machine, but wont fund the education of the children of America is the most damning statement one can make about the state of our nation.

There are whispers out there about a mass teacher exodus. I couldn't blame them if they did.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Tue Jul 7, 2020, 03:25 PM

52. My 4 year old Grandson is on the Autism Spectrum

He has not received any mandated in person services since March, and has regressed back to biting himself, his brother, and parents. Also, not verbalizing. Sit him in front of a computer to learn his ABC's and 123's?

My daughter is at her wit's end and FURIOUS with Cuomo. Some Summer Camps have re-opened but they will not take special needs kids. No TEENAGE Counselors should be in charge of these kids anyway. They need trained PROFESSIONALS. Grandson needs Special Ed Teachers and Paras, Speech and Physical Therapists, ABA Specialists. One size does not fit ALL.

Grandson will NOT wear a mask at all and will bite himself until he bleeds, OR the person trying to put one on him. Opening schools, apart from other issues with these kids, there will be a MAJOR problem trying to keep them wearing masks and "social distancing".

So for your fears about coronavirus, what do you propose to do with these special needs children not receiving their mandated under Americans with Disabilities Act services? Bring back the Willowbrooks, put them in there, and throw away the key? All because the ONLY thing that matters is to protect YOU and YOURS from the virus?

This Granny is also Retired Special Ed Para. Damn, I am not even supposed to come into contact with my Grandson because of this virus, BUT I have and tried to do my best with him. I am 71, live over 100 miles away and cannot be his 1;1 Aide.

Stop thinking about just yourselves, people, and walk into someone elses shoes. It isn't just about babysitting.

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Response to HockeyMom (Reply #52)

Tue Jul 7, 2020, 06:55 PM

53. Some special ed schooling or services could open but that's different

than opening up all schools. The point is that national and certain state governments have failed to provide adequate resources for the general populace to provision themselves while aspects of the economy have closed, and have failed to meet basic standards for lowering the pandemicís rate of infection. I bet special ed teachers would be willing to work with small groups of students in spacious places especially if given extra personnel support to lower teacher student ratios. But have any districts made such provisions of been given funds for them? Anyway this is not about people not caring. Nor should they have to elect to risk their deaths or those of their loved ones in the face of governmental negligence.

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