Besty Devos, the US Secretary of Education, is ignoring the advice of health and science experts as she pushed to reopen schools this fall. She’s even trying to cut federal funding from schools that don’t resume in-person classes.
If the virus rages unchecked and the pandemic continues to get worse, what good to the economy are working parents if their kids get sick and infect them? Pushing to reopen schools without strictly following health and safety guidelines is a short-sighted strategy that could have deadly consequences, both for families and the overall economy.
Remember this: children who don’t get sick can become carriers of the virus, putting many adults at risk, including teachers, cafeteria workers, janitors, bus drivers and, of course, parents and grandparents. In Minnesota, COVID-19 cases have risen 80% among school aged children. Experts believe this is due to stay-at-home policies ending and children socializing and participating in activities such as team sports.
What are schools going to do?
Most schools seem to be favoring online classes or a hybrid of reduced classroom time and virtual classes. Nashville public schools were originally going to resume in-person classes on August 4, but given the recent surges in cases across the country, will now start the school year offering only virtual learning. California’s two biggest school districts, Los Angeles and San Diego, will also be strictly remote, for the time being. New York City schools plan to use the hybrid approach, in order to reduce classroom time. Florida, however, is going in an altogether different direction. In Florida, a Tampa Bay law firm is offering to provide teachers with living wills and advanced directives pro bono. Florida’s education commissioner has signed an order requiring schools to reopen in August for in-person classes five days a week while yesterday, the state, now the world wide epicenter of the virus, surpassed a total of 300,000 COVID-19 cases.
The smart solution: save lives, protect health and bolster the economy. Mandate mask wearing. Pass a new stimulus package that funds local governments and their efforts at contact tracing and testing. Give the American people who need it the most 2,000 a month to weather the disastrous toll of the pandemic. If Washington can give huge tax breaks to rich people, then surely they can help working people before it’s too late.
The daily news is filled with chaos. But there’s a lot we can do to take back control of our lives, even if Betsy Devos and other politicians in Washington continue pushing policies that could harm our children and families.
One, WEAR A MASK; it’s not fun, but it saves lives. Two, social distance. Three, wash your hands. Four, join a mutual aid group in your community. And five, make your voice heard and tell the politicians to help ordinary, hard working Americans, instead of making the rich even richer.
Together, we can survive and beat the pandemic.
Yours in Strength,
The Take Back Control Team