We have to get back to normal as soon as possible, the students need good leadership.
Will They or Won’t They
I am now going into my third year of tutoring college students online. I have noticed many ups and downs during that time that the students have gone through. Students are still doing their best to live their lives despite of constant lockdowns and school closures. And during that time, the students have also had the promise of going back to classes face-to-face hung over their heads, just out of reach. Will they see their friends and continue building meaningful relationships or not? Will they get to see their teachers and professors and feed off their energy and gain the proper type of experiences for learning or not? The people in charge (local health units and administrations at schools) have decided that the best thing for students is to remain away from the very things they need to become well-rounded individuals and life long learners.
Here where I live, in Ontario, before the new year, the premier promised the students are going back to in-class learning for the winter 2022 semester. Then they decided to walk-back that promise and said students are going back to virtual learning. Then, only a few weeks after saying students are to be online again, they said they are in fact going back to in-class learning on January 17th. I know nothing about politics, but to me this seems dumb and unorganized.
Look, I understand there are people who are afraid of going back to school, but a decision needs to be made and stuck to. If teachers are fully-vaccinated and boosted, and are in relatively good health themselves, then I see no reason they should be afraid to go back to school. We can’t be afraid any longer.
What are we afraid of?
At the beginning of this pandemic, when we saw the videos of people passing out in China, or the videos of dead people being piled on trucks in New York, and when Tom Hanks was reported to get C*VID, it freaked us out. But now that we (and by we I mean scientists) have a better idea of the situation, what are most people still afraid of?
Currently, the C*VID hospitalization rate in my province is 3.8%. That means 3.8% of people who get C*VID go to the hospital. The COVID death rate in my province is 1.15%. That means 1.15% of people who get C*VID, die. So most people don’t go to the hospital for COVID. And most people who get C*VID don’t die from C*VID. There are always exceptions, healthy people have got C*VID and have died from it.
Let’s look at children and C*VID. Children are approximately 1.6 times lower than adults to get infected. When it comes to the severity of the children getting infected, “The proportion of severe outcomes, including hospitalizations, ICU admission, deaths and complications are much lower among cases in children compared to adults. Two deaths have been reported in children compared to 9,255 deaths reported among adults.” (source) That was from January 2020 to July 2021. But, just in the last two weeks, two children in Ontario who got infected have died.
What the hell is my point? My point is that I have no idea what to compare this to, but not a lot of children get C*VID, not a lot of children have symptoms if the get C*VID, and no a lot of children who get C*VID die from it. Let me make one thing clear, children dying is not good. That shouldn’t need to be said but some people who will read this will take it the wrong way, that’s just what we get for posting our opinions online. It comes with the territory. But in the grand scheme of things, how long should we deprive children from a good education and meaningful relationships with their peers just because adults are afraid of a virus?
I don’t speak for the parents of Ontario and I don’t have any children. I also understand that not every student wants to go back to in-person learning. But there should be at least options. And damnit, we need to give them back their feeling of normalcy and let them take reasonable risks. Because the whole point in teaching children anything, is to give them the tools to make the right decisions. But if we keep showing them that the adults are afraid to make decisions, or can’t even make a decision and stick with it, what is the point? And should they even listen to us?
A Way Forward
Not once, since this whole thing started, have we been given a plan to end the lockdowns, shutdowns, and mandates. And when we have, they just end up changing the date. Everything is temporary. This tells me that the administration at schools and the people in charge in communities lack the leadership skills to tell anyone what to do. I have no idea what I would do in their position and I image it has been hard on them as well, we all have families and have been effected by this. But it’s been a heck of an eye opener for me. I will mention, I got both my vaccine shots, wear my mask (only when I need to an no more), and have followed rules when it makes sense for me to protect others.
We need to move forward and move on. Adults need to get their sh*t together and be better role models for the children. This virus is here to stay and we can’t let it control every single aspect of our lives. We need to get the students back to face-to-face learning in-person. They need to be around their friends, and schools are when they spend most of their time building relationships – which is the most important part of growing up.
Did you know I have a book about tutoring?
It’s called The Tutor Template: A Step-by-Step Guide to Tutoring, you can find it here on Amazon and Gumroad.
The price will be going up soon so get your inexpensive copy now while you still can!
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