Monday, July 13, 2020

COVID and Tyler II

It doesn't seem like 2 months since I've posted here.  In a strange way, we are experiencing a "Groundhog Day" type of vortex in this world.  Our calendar remains mostly bare of engagements and appointments.  Outside of brief visits with close family and close neighbors there is not much of a social life. 

Tyler remains in constant quarantine at his residential home.  We have not seen him since the end of February, which at times seems like years ago.  He is doing "just ok" but I think the isolation is beginning to rack his nerves, as it would anyone.  The amount of outside socialization can't be good for him, and even fresh air and exercise seem more difficult to come by.  His staff and the agency are doing an amazing job protecting his well-being, as well as the health of his staff.  It's all they can do right now.

COVID has been unique in that most problems stemming from it have no clear answer.  The most notable I find is the argument of health versus economics.  This is not a new thing....workplaces and households make these kind of decisions all the time.  Our workplace could always spend more money making things safer but at some point if the company can't make a profit it won't matter anyway.  COVID is different as it is turning these decisions into true life-or-death propositions.

Tonight our school board will be deciding how to resume school in the fall.  Most parents have voiced that we need to get the kids back to school and start getting things "back to normal".  Unfortunately, this ignores the undeniable fact that the virus is actually thriving and not dying.  We are hearing people justify the decision by saying how kids do not seem to get it as bad as adults.  The problem is we truly DON'T KNOW how this effects children long term.  Most schools were closed and children quarantined very early on.  We are also just finding evidence that those who have even mild symptoms are experience long term effects that were not seen before. 

The other infuriating denial statement is something like "well, its only elderly people that seem to be dying from this".  First, this is not true.  Secondly, people that are vulnerable are not expendable.  By sending children to school full time we will be jeopardizing loved ones that we should be protecting.

So...I'm going to document how I see this going over the next few months and we can see how close I get:

Most schools will vote to re-open fully with the foolish notion that they can use social distancing and masks.  Have you ever tried to get a kindergartner to eat peas?  Try keeping the mask on them every day all day.  Try not having them touch other kids.  By day 3 they will be licking each others faces and making bubbles with their snot.  Many schools, lets say within the first 8 weeks, will begin reporting positive cases, some a handful, others a full outbreak.  Emergency meetings will be held and schools will close back down.  Unfortunately it will be too late and older administration and family members will fall ill as well by the time we take action.  We may even find out more effects it has on children than we knew before.  It will be March all over again but now we will have already lost people due to the rush to become "normal" again.

I pray I'm wrong....but I doubt that I am.  We are ready to gamble lives for the sake of normalcy, selfishness, economics, and saving political face.  Exactly all the wrong reasons.

Be well and God bless.   Tom