Saturday, August 14, 2021

Anti-social Distancing

I'm quoted in this Chalkbeat article on social distancing. Some say social distancing is not as important as vaccination. They're right of course. But there is a saying to err on the side of caution, and the city is choosing to err on the side of hoping that not TOO many people get sick and die.

One of the worst aspects of this idiotic thinking is that someone will, in fact, get sick and die. I'd say that will be on the conscience of Mayor de Blasio's DOE, but if they did, in fact have any such thing as a conscience they would not have allowed the rampant overcrowding that exists all over the city.

In fact, as true as it may be that vaccines trump social distancing, the fact is we have no idea how many of our students 12 and over will be vaccinated. We know that some UFT members are not vaccinated, and even though they're tested weekly, we have a vaccine variant that's as virulent as chicken pox. That means that people in schools, vaccinated or not, can acquire and spread the virus.

Of course we also know that no one under 12 is vaccinated. How can the city rationalize overcrowding by saying the vaccine trumps social distancing when so many students will have neither? This is a disaster waiting to happen.

Now I know schools may have plans to mitigate this. Of course, with school three weeks away, there's precious little time to accomplish this. Once again, Bill de Blasio and his band of DOE geniuses have left things until the absolute last minute, and once again we can anticipate a very messy opening. 

I hate to say this, but there is a tremendous chance that schools will close once again as a direct result of DOE negligence. One reason I hate to say this is I do not like remote instruction. Not on a boat, not with a goat, not with a mouse not in a house. I honestly do not want to do this job sitting on a computer. I love to teach, but I don't love looking at icons representing students who are sleeping. 

The grotesque incompetence of the DOE, which can't be bothered finding sufficient space for the kids it ostensibly serves, is entirely to blame. Too bad Jeff Bezos would rather go to space than find some for those who need it. For Bezos, de Blasio would move heaven and earth and buildings in Astoria.

For the actual children he's tasked to serve? 

Forget it.

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