US Infected: 2,650,771 Dallas Infected: 22,928 Texas Deaths: 2,416
The worldwide COVID-19 infection count is now at 10,316,516. Worldwide there have been 505,746 deaths due to Coronavirus. My mind cannot absorb these numbers. My heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones from this terrible pandemic. Prayers go out to all of those doctors and nurses and pharmacists who have to deal with the outbreak. My ire goes out to all of those who still call this a conspiracy, to those who consider their own rights over the rights of others, to those who are making things worse.
Educating the Masses
The United States has a bad habit of ensuring entitlement in its citizens. While our country was founded on rights of the individual, I don’t believe our founding fathers intended for the individual’s rights to overtake the rights of the masses. Often I tell my children, “Your rights end where someone else’s rights begin.” The thing is, if you believe in individual rights, then you cannot ignore the individual rights of your neighbor. If you have the right to believe your side of an issue, then your neighbor has the right to believe her side of the issue. Pushing other people out of the way or ignoring their rights does not make them believe and support your ideology. It simply makes you selfish.
The epidemiologists and doctors who are on the front lines of educating Americans about COVID-19 have a tough job. Essentially, they are having to tell a bunch of spoiled brats that they cannot have the things that they want. And of course, Americans are throwing a temper tantrum. In typical Americana decorum, they are kicking (literally!) and screaming (literally!) and throwing (literally!) the biggest hissy fits you have ever seen! Sadly, I saw a video of a woman from Dallas who was told to wear a mask in the grocery store. She got mad and started throwing the groceries out of her cart onto the floor of the store before storming out. Way to go, Cinderella!
Governor Abbott has walked back his reopening of the state. He closed down the bars again, and dropped the restaurant capacity down from 75% to 50%. Suddenly, it seems that he’s aware that we cannot just open it all back up. As Texas hospitals are starting to fill up rapidly, our dear Governor has suddenly hit the panic button. Unfortunately, it’s already too late. It remains to be seen what he will say about schools opening back up in August. So far, they’re scheduled to open up.
As a teacher, I am well aware of the headaches that come with teaching students remotely. Being a parent, I am aware of the headaches that come with having the kids home all day and trying to make them learn! There’s a high level of frustration associated on all sides of trying to give our students a quality education and keep us all from getting sick.
One of my biggest frustrations though is not from the public schools’ attempts to transition to online learning. They actually have done quite a decent job here of managing a difficult situation. My biggest problem has been with the touted online school whose whole program is built around online learning. I have never been so frustrated with my child’s education as I am right now. It’s a pitiful excuse when teachers won’t respond to help a child and you as a parent don’t even have access to any teacher’s info to contact them independently! There is no way that a “read and answer these questions” can be a valid form of education if the teacher does not provide feedback on why the answers are wrong. Even worse, there’s no chance of redemption if you answer the questions wrong! (To compound a difficult situation, try answering multiple choice questions where there are two identical right answers to choose from, or a free response question where you are marked wrong if you don’t write the exact words they chose).
Learning to Learn
Despite all of these obstacles, Sunshine is learning how to learn. It’s one of life’s little lessons that we all undergo. I tell both kids daily that learning is not regurgitating answers. Learning is understanding to the point where you can use the information to make your life better. I consider myself a lifelong learner, because I’m constantly researching this or that so that I can better understand something. For example, I’m watching a Turkish drama on Netflix right now. I wanted to know how far it was from the Knights Templar castle of Bagras to Aleppo. I searched and found my answer. Now I can understand why the politics were the way they were and how far they had to ride.
Perhaps education should undergo a vast reform and rethink how we are educating our students. I’ve long thought that students learn best when they can direct their own learning to their interests. Now would be a perfect time to implement changes toward that end.
Gearing Up for Fall School
A friend of mine was posting that she’s so ready to return the kids to school that she’s already shopping for school supplies. In response, I would also like to gear up for school with some supplies. Do you know where I can get isolation containers and rubber walls??