The Coronavirus Is Spreading
Florida just recorded more than 15,000 new cases of the coronavirus and that, unfortunately, is a one-day high for the United States.
A teacher died after returning to the classroom. Three public school teachers who were working in a shared summer classroom in Arizona tested positive for coronavirus last month. Two are still sick. One has died. Each of the teachers wore masks, gloves, followed all social distancing rules, used hand sanitizer, and took every precaution. As Jeff Gregorich, the Superintendent of Hayden Winkelman Unified School District said,
“…the three teachers were careful and still got Covid-19…..I think that's really the message or the concern that our staff has is we can't even keep our staff safe by themselves ... how are we going to keep 20 kids in a classroom safe? I just don't see how that's possible…. Many grandparents, wind up being caretakers to kids when they get off school- mom and dad are working and a lot of grandparents are even raising their grandchildren. So, many of these grandparents fall into this high risk category of being older with more health issues…. They have no business opening the schools to try and get back to a traditional classroom ... let's get through this pandemic first before we try to get back to normal."
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and all of the families who have suffered and lost loved ones, but I’m very grateful that this family shared their story. Too many people are still saying that coronavirus is a hoax, that it is not dangerous, that it is just a political trick. Wrong.
The coronavirus pandemic is very, very real, and it is killing real people
There is absolutely no way we can safely open schools in the fall for the children or the teachers and staff. We must stop playing political games. Politicians can no longer sit in their white ivory towers and ignore the daily statistics or deny that there is a lethal virus attacking our country. People are dying. We can’t save the economy until we stop coronavirus.
Earlier Post: Should Schools Reopen in the Fall?
Yes, I know that the American Academy of Pediatrics came out with a statement strongly saying that schools should reopen in the fall. They’ve now changed their story. They now say only if it is safe and the coronavirus numbers are not surging. There are very few places this week where the coronavirus numbers are not surging, so we obviously should ignore their advice.
Several schools have already announced that they plan to go against the recommendations coming out of the White House.
Florida first mandated opening. Now, they say they’ll wait.
California is applying pressure, but the California Teachers Association is insisting on waiting until it is safe. David Fisher, president of the Sacramento City Teachers Association said,
“We hope we don’t have to go there, but if it comes to it, we do retain the right to refuse to work under unsafe conditions…. The virus is raging, and the circumstances that we were thinking we might be dealing with in September only a few weeks ago seem to be changing by the day. It just is looking increasingly unlikely that we will be able to teach in person at any level when schools first open.”
A 61-year-old social studies teacher from Sarasota High School in Florida who is in her 27th year of teaching said, “I’m at an age where I am scared for my life…. What good is money if you are sick or dead?”
Earlier Post: Helping Children Learn about Reading When the Schools Are Closed
Oh yes, the battle lines have definitely been drawn. President. Trump has threatened to withhold funds to schools that do not do what he wants, but it doesn’t look like he actually has that power. Betsy De Vos, Secretary of Education, has also made threats. Vice President Pence is trying to bully the CDC, but fortunately they did not buckle under and rewrite the guidelines for the safe reopening of schools when the White House demanded that they do so.
The New York Times also uncovered a document this week that says,
“Since May, the C.D.C. website has cautioned that full reopening would be 'highest risk,' and that in both K-12 and higher education settings, the more people interact, 'and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of Covid-19 spread.' The 'lowest risk,' the guidelines say, would be for students and teachers to attend virtual-only classes — an option the administration this week began a full-court press against.”
Dr. Thomas File, president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and Dr. Judith Feinberg, chair of HIV Medicine Association said in a joint statement,
"We will not gain control of this pandemic or successfully reopen the economy unless we protect people and public health first…. The safety of our children, their families, teachers and other school staff must be guiding factors in all school reopening decisions, and no school should be forced to open in a situation that presents unacceptable risks."
Exactly how much evidence do we need that it would be unsafe to open schools in the fall?