You can’t make this stuff up!
I published an article yesterday on my blog with the title “You Can’t Have My Students’ Lives to Restart Your Economy.”
In it, I criticized Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil and a Walton Family Foundation advisor who lambasted social distancing efforts as a response to the Coronavirus global pandemic, especially here in the United States. To varying degrees, they each thought it was acceptable to sacrifice children’s safety by reopening schools early if it would get businesses back up and running again.
I think that’s beyond ridiculous.
Here’s an excerpt:
The rich need the poor to get back to work. And they’re willing to put our lives on the line to do it.
What’s worse, they’re willing to put our children’s lives on the line.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to risk my daughter’s life so that the stock market can open back up.
As a public school teacher, I’m not willing to bet my students lives so that the airlines and cruise industry can get back in the green.
Nor am I willing to gamble with my own life even if it means the NBA, NFL and MLB can start playing games and Hollywood can start premiering first run movies again.
My article seemed pretty reasonable to me, as it has to the more than 17,000 people who have read it since I first hit publish about 24 hours ago.
However, on Twitter, there was a vocal minority who took issue with me.
Someone from an account I won’t name (though he has more than 65,000 followers and the word “Libertarian” in his handle) retweeted my blog with the following comment:
“For the love of God. Students are more at risk of losing their homes and watching their parents split up or succumb to addiction or depression over losing their jobs than they are at risk of ever contracting this virus.”
He had lots of folks who agreed with him.
Their comments seemed to fit into two categories: (1) quarantine sucks, or (2) they’re MY kids you stoopid gubmint Skool teacher!
At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of such comments.
How can anyone really be against keeping children safe from a deadly virus?
After some soul searching, I decided to reply:
Hey XXX thanks for sharing my blog post to so many people who probably would not have seen it otherwise. However, I think your criticism is unfounded. You seem to be saying that quarantine sucks. Yes, it DOES suck. But putting kids lives at risk is worse…
…While it’s true that kids are often asymptomatic, they do get COVID-19 and become carriers. If we reopen the schools too soon, most kids won’t die, but they’ll bring the virus home to mom, dad and the grandparents who are much more susceptible…
…What’s worse is that when you get COVID-19 you’re often asymptomatic for the first week or so. Even adults become carriers though they have a greater chance of eventually getting much worse. That’s why we’re doing social distancing now – to stop the spread…
…We want to give hospitals a chance to treat sick people as they come in and not all at once. Even discounting the effect on children, schools are staffed by adults – many over 55 and with existing health conditions. It’s unfair to make them risk their lives…
…Teachers shouldn’t have to risk their lives – and their families lives – to do their jobs. Seems to me that’s actually a pretty libertarian position. Your political freedom and autonomy seem pretty constrained in a coffin. Thanks for listening.
I don’t know if it will do any good, but I thought the readers of my blog might like to know about it.
After all, if there’s anything more viral than COVID-19, it’s ignorance.
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11 thoughts on “Trumpsters are Furious Over My Refusal to Sacrifice Students to the Economy”
Thanks so much, Poetic Justice!
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It’s a serious concern. I have children too but the reality is that we can’t keep the country closed indefinitely. What if the curve doesn’t flatten fast enough? How long is too long? This is what people like me are really concerned about. We understand the risk in opening up the country to soon. But when people like Cuomo say “And if everything we do saves just one life, I’ll be happy.” we feel that’s cause for concern. No one on either side of this issue wants a single new coronavirus death. In the end we will have to reopen the country no matter what. The question no one seems to have an answer to, and there is an answer, is “How long is too long?” What would your answer be?
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Mark, that’s a question I dealt with in detail in my previous article, “You Can’t Have My Students’ Lives to Restart Your Economy”: https://gadflyonthewallblog.com/2020/04/18/you-cant-have-my-students-lives-to-restart-your-economy/
Basically, there are a few different metrics that have been proposed. The “National Coronavirus Response: Roadmap to Reopening” says we need to continue social distancing including school closures until cases peak and we see sustained declines in new cases for 14 days. That is the minimum standard. At maximum the Imperial College of London prescribes waiting at least 5 months in quarantine before reopening.
I think we need to wait until the new school year and until at least August or September to reopen schools. If we’ve met the minimum standard, we can think about reopening but we also have to consider how to do so safely. My article goes over numerous other considerations.
So much for conservatives’ belief in the sanctity of life.
What’s ironic is that these same people who are suddenly worried about “what happens to kids in poverty?” couldn’t give a flying fig about those same kids two months ago.
They were content two months ago to “let poor people live with their bad decisions,” but now that their wealthy bottom-line is affected and they need their workers to have childcare so that their low-paid workers can go back to work for a pittance, they suddenly “care” about the poor kids.
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