|“OPEN THIS SCHOOL!”|
I feel like we’re living in an Idiocracy.
Wisconsin’s Republican legislature is fighting the mask mandate ordered by the Democratic governor…because, of course they are.
Fearing more deaths statewide, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers reissued a mask mandate Thursday, standing up to a Republican Legislature that had repealed his previous mask order earlier in the day.
“We know that wearing face coverings can save lives and prevent death. We know it’s supported by science,” Evers, a Democrat, said in a two-minute video.
He said repealing his previous mandate to wear face coverings in public places put at risk about $50 million a month in federal funds to help hundreds of thousands of vulnerable residents.
Experts, i.e. those who are educated and actually know things, understand that masks, along with other mitigation measures, help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (See here, here, and here. The idiocrats in the Wisconsin legislature aren’t experts.
…BUT MASKS ARE NOT ENOUGH FOR SCHOOLS TO OPEN
So what do experts say about opening schools during a pandemic? Teachers are worried about their own safety, as well as the safety of their students, co-workers, and families. Some teachers are refusing to return to school until they can get vaccinated. In Indiana, the governor has decided to forego vaccinations for teachers even though the CDC recommended that teachers be vaccinated at the same time as other “essential” workers. Our governor is not alone. Others are saying that teachers should just go back to work and quit whining.
So, do teachers need to be vaccinated before schools can open?
If you have seen or read any news recently, you might think that the new director of the CDC believes they don’t.
Teachers do not need to get vaccinated against Covid-19 before schools can safely reopen, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.
“There is increasing data to suggest that schools can safely reopen and that safe reopening does not suggest that teachers need to be vaccinated,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters during a White House news briefing on Covid-19.
“Vaccinations of teachers is not a prerequisite for safely reopening schools,” she added.
This is the extent of the reporting that most folks see on Facebook, cable news stations, or the headline in the newspaper. The article above even has “Key Points” of the article bulleted at the top which further discourage readers from reading any further…
That’s it. Case closed. The science has spoken. Right?
Notice what’s left out of the “Key Points.” There isn’t anything about what needs to be done before schools can open other than teachers have been worried, and they don’t need to be vaccinated.
If you keep reading, however, you get to this paragraph…
A study from the CDC published late last month found little evidence of the virus spreading at schools in the U.S. and abroad when precautions were taken, such as wearing masks, social distancing and ventilating rooms.
Did you see that?
…when precautions were taken, such as wearing masks, social distancing and ventilating rooms.
In Indiana, our idiocratic governor, aside from postponing teachers vaccinations, now says that students and staff only need to keep a “social” distance of three feet instead of six. And now that there are more contagious variants of the disease, the governor, in his (lack of) wisdom has decided that schools are…
…no longer required to quarantine if someone is exposed in the classroom, if they kept three feet socially distant and wore a mask.
According to the CDC, social distancing is still six feet. Even if it wasn’t, how am I going to fit 25 (or 30 or 35) kids in my classroom and keep them even three feet apart?
PROVIDE AND EMPHASIZE MORE INFORMATION
Since many citizens in our idiocracy (including some legislators and, apparently, our governor) don’t necessarily read entire articles, or only get their news in small bites from the TV, more information about what schools need to open must be emphasized! The director of the CDC should emphasize that teachers don’t need to get a vaccine before schools open if and only if…
1. all staff members and students have masks
2. strict social distancing (of six feet) is followed and
3. school buildings and classrooms are properly ventilated
If a school can’t do those things, and if the state or federal governments can’t provide funds to allow them to do those things, then it’s not safe for schools to open.
Think about the special education teacher or special education paraprofessional who can’t social distance from their high-need students, whose students have trouble keeping masks on, and are working in an old school building with poor ventilation. It’s February. Opening windows is not an option in some parts of the country.
Think about the preschool teacher who has a room full of two, three, or four year olds. Can she keep a social distance between them? Can she make sure that they all keep their masks on? How about snack or lunch time? How about diaper changes? What if the classroom is in an old building with poor ventilation?
Not every educational group or age group of students are able to follow the guidelines from the CDC. Not all school buildings are equiped to keep students socially distanced or to provide adequate ventilation.
When someone makes a blanket statement that “it’s ok to open school buildings even if teachers aren’t vaccinated”…
…it sounds like an idiocracy to me.
You might also like this post by Nancy Flanagan.
The 12 Point Covid-19 DISCONNECT Between Teachers and Those Who Want Schools Open Now!