Sunday, August 01, 2021

Now the Kids

We've made some progress here in NYC, and it looks to be happening in many places nationwide. Of course Florida loves COVID, and that's why they vote in troglodytes like DeSantis. But a whole lot of people seem focused on survival. If only we could get the new generation of Trump-inspired anti-vaxxers to understand, but I digress. 

The compromise de Blasio struck is now being replicated all over the country. If you want to go to work, get vaccinated or be tested weekly. It's a great improvement do any goshdarn thing you please, the Florida policy soon to be replicated elsewhere. For those of us who teach high school, our students are eligible for the vaccine. My feeling is they should be subject to the same policy as employees. 

One argument I've been offering to those who say the state has no right to place anything in our bodies is that our students are required to be vaccinated. Many times I've had nurses step into my classroom and tell students they would have to stop coming in unless they were vaccinated. I don't know about you, but I'm kind of glad we don't have to worry about things like smallpox and polio. It's remarkable that the first time in our lifetimes we've faced a deadly disease there is so much resistance to vaccination. If students have to get vaccinated, we do too. We simply are not so special that we merit an exemption.

Months ago, I remember people saying we ought not to come to school in person until there was a vaccination. It seemed untenable because we had no idea when there would be such a thing. At the same time, there were voices from many quarters saying we should just go in regardless. This made a lot less sense to me. Fortunately, the testing regimen we used was able to keep most people safe last year. 

Now that we have a vaccination, I'm really amazed by a lot of the resistance. I can understand some people, recalling how their people have been screwed over and over by the government, being wary. I really do not understand people who watch Fox and deem themselves rugged individualists. I remember being in East Berlin in the 80s, seeing Pravda sold on every corner, and seeing absolutely no one buy it. What does it say about us that millions of us suck up similar crap from Fox?

Meanwhile, for those of us not yet mired in delusion, it behooves us to not only be as safe as possible, but also to keep everyone else just as safe. That means every student 12 and over needs to be vaccinated or tested weekly, just like us. Just as we ought not to have vaccination privileges our students do not, they ought not to be excused from those required for us. 

Sure, Mayor de Blasio will get pushback if he asks kids to be vaccinated. Personally, though, I'm willing to take that risk. I'd be fine with him getting a few more bad headlines, and in the long run, the only route for him to salvage his lost rep will be to stand for reason and drive us as far as possible out of this apocalypse. 

And let's not forget children under 12. Pfizer expects to have data on safety for that age group by the end of September. If we push to mandate vaccines for students 12 and older now, it will be that much easier to push them for younger students later. It's the smart thing to do. 

Despite that, NYC should do it anyway. Let's make this the exception that proves the rule.

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