The Covid-19 War
In the last 2-3 days, I have read the same narrative from teachers "I Love my Students, I Don't Want to Die in the Classroom."
I don't like to publicize it, but my day job is actually at a school district. I was at my desk this week preparing multiple scenarios for Fall as it pertains to my slice of responsibility within the schools. I have personally seen support staff in buildings and some special education classes have quietly resumed. If I walked to the football field, I would see the kids out practicing and I know the band kids start walk-throughs next Monday.
Since the coronavirus reached America, I feel bad for teachers, I really do, BUT every single month...
February: I love being a Doctor, I didn't sign up for a War.
March: I love being a Nurse, I don't want to die at the Hospital.
April: I've been working my way through college, I don't want to die at WalMart.
May: I love my job at the restaurant, I don't want to die at Applebee's.
June: I love playing basketball, I don't want to die in the NBA Bubble.
July: I need the paycheck, I don't want to die at Disneyland.
I read many of the stories from people across all professions. But of all the Covid 19 stories that stuck with me, the one that affected me the most, was the story of Jason Hargrove. He was a Detroit Transit driver who died of Covid 19 before any safety measures were enacted. There was no outcry to close a transit system that was described as "a homeless shelter on wheels.”
Jason Hargrove was an average American whose YouTube video went viral when he begged passengers not to cough on him and to take precautions when riding his bus. As a group, the citizens of Detroit did not care about Jason Hargrove. Mr. Hargrove was symbolic of the working man in America. He could have easily been you or me.
In most countries, the Covid-19 response has been considered a war time effort. Not here. Somehow Americans turned a virus into a partisan talking point. The lockdowns were working, but they tore apart the economy. There's no arguing that fact.
But then the protests started. Many Americans (correctly) questioned: Why are we letting gatherings of protestors in ALL of our largest cities? If Black Lives Matter, why aren't we protecting working class Blacks like Jason Hargrove by staying home?
And then the counter-protestors and the 'truthers' came out of the woodwork. If All Lives Matter, how in the world can you justify the idea that letting 1% (or so) of the population die for economic growth? That's not all lives.
And then the no-mask-wearers cited their Civil Liberties and hired lawyers. All you preppers out there waiting for the apocalypse couldn't stay in your home for 2 months? You got bored because SPORTS got cancelled?
Did someone say the Word of the Day?
As the pandemic rages on in some parts of the nation, while others remain relatively unscathed, America has reinforced the notions of Rich Privilege time and time again. Read that sports article, some NBA players have been tested 20 times already.
Guess what we shouldn't have been doing as a country a few months back? Gathering in groups to protest. Gathering in groups to counter-protest. Gathering in large groups on the beach. Gathering in groups to go to church. Gathering in groups at Oklahoma political rallies. Gathering at bars. Gathering in groups without masks.
I have to admit, I've made mistakes predicting the virus, too. I didn't see the spike in the South coming this summer. I believe my quote was "who's ever heard of the summer flu?" What I didn't anticipate were the studies coming out that link the coronavirus spread to groups who gather in AIR CONDITIONING, which would explain why the spread of the virus has sped in the southern United States, but slowed in the warm climates of third world countries.
The path should have been lockdowns with slow re-openings. Protect (and compensate) essential workers. Stratified re-openings. Concerts and sporting events limited to no fans or sparsely populated attendance.
Instead we got the lockdowns, followed by the free-for-all we got now. "If you're going out, I'm going out too" mentality.
Let me tell you what we are dealing with Covid 19:
My female cousin was 58 years old and, to my knowledge, was a picture of health. If anything, she was slightly underweight. She was an Elementary School teacher with high energy and a love for her students. She got coronavirus and died.
The husband of a co-worker was 58 years old and, to my knowledge, had every disease under the sun. He was morbidly obese and plagued with numerous health problems. I believe he was in every single risk group for the coronavirus. His wife was forced to put him in a nursing home because she could no longer care for him full time. He got Covid 19 almost immediately after arriving at the nursing home and lived. Covid 19 couldn't even slightly nudge him over the cliff he was teetering on into death.
There are no hard rules, simply trends. The numbers are wrong in multiple ways. People who died of conditions like heart attacks (which were caused by underlying coronavirus infections) and those who died of coronavirus (but were asymptomatic. Technically they died of other causes.) Because when there's an influx of death, you can't do a deep dive on all autopsies. There is no "real" number because this only started burning through the human population in 2019. If someone commits suicide due to loss of employment, does that count? Do you blame that on the coronavirus or the lockdown? What about the surge of overdose deaths?
So to re-iterate from the beginning, I feel bad for the teachers. Very bad. Unfortunately, they're screwed like the rest of us. (Except for the 1% working from home until 2021, like Google/Facebook/Twitter.)