So a student in Georgia takes a picture of a school hallway… crowded with students, no social distancing, few masks… a school where shortly thereafter, 9 people (6 students, 3 staff) tested positive (and you know there will be more)… and what happened? The student got suspended for sharing that picture publicly.
The outcry was swift and biting… and the suspension was rescinded entirely… “optics”, you know… but not before we all got a good look at what’s going on… and it’s frightening.
We get the outward-facing message, quotes like “The health and well-being of our staff and students remains our highest priority” – that from the principal of the school. Yet the inward-facing reality is that these schools will lose their federal funding if they’re not open “for real” – for everyone. Well, not everyone… Barron Trump’s private school is online-only, but you get the idea. Forcing teachers and students into an environment most know isn’t safe.
The fact is, in Georgia, within hours of opening, a student tested positive, resulting in the closing of that school, and a two-week quarantine for all staff and students. That was one school, but in another school, just up the road, a student tested positive and was sent home, but the school remains open. The following day, more schools… more cases. I don’t know the most recent numbers, but it’s hundreds of staff. And hundreds of students. A tremendous example of how not to do things. A beautiful example.
Closer to home, let’s worry about us for a bit. While the world just saw its 20,000,000th case and the U.S. its 5,000,000th case recently, Canada is close to 120,000. Quebec recently went over 60,000 cases. Ontario went over 40,000 today. And by the time we get our numbers updated tomorrow, here in B.C., we’ll be over 4,000. Whereas B.C. was formerly a shining example… now, not so much. Our numbers are still great, in comparison… up to now. But the trend is not good, and the last thing we need is to wind up trying to force “reality” back in our lives when we’re not yet prepared for it. There are unfortunately too many examples of that. I hope B.C. doesn’t become another one.