I’m a self described COVID moderate – follow the science, avoid hysteria, balance costs and benefits at all times.
Because of that philosophy, I did not spend the past year and a half in a bunker; I went out with a mask and did everything that was legally available, including restaurants and local travel. As soon as the vaccines were available, we got them. No drama. No internal debates. I made appointments for everyone in my family, including my parents.
We seem to have lost of 1 million Kindergarten students because of remote education. The data keeps coming in. And it’s all bad.
I strongly believe that bad decisions regarding COVID permanently damaged children and young adults, with the worst damage happening to the most vulnerable populations, so I have been very much looking forward to a normal school year starting on September 1st. However, the rising rate of COVID among unvaccinated people could derail that goal. That danger makes me more than a little upset.
That’s why I support vaccine mandates.
Jonah’s college placed a vaccine mandate on all students, but not the professors. Why? The professors have a union. Apparently, 95 percent of professors are vaccinated at his school. (thanks, bj) Great! Let’s vaccinate them all with a mandate. Does that 95 percent also include the vast majority of faculty at Rutgers who are adjuncts, who are not represented by the union? Not sure. That’s why a mandate should include everyone.
And even though all the students and most (maybe) of the faculty are vaccinated, students still have to wear masks and social distance. None of the lecture halls classes, which are the majority of classes for Freshman and Sophomores, will be in-person this fall. Even though all the students are vaccinated and masked.
Remote education at Jonah’s college started okay in that spring 2020, when professors were still on board and had some relationships with the students. But fall 2020 and spring 2021 was a disaster. Jonah could not get professors to respond to simple emails with questions about assignments. He is currently working with the Dean of Students to try to get one asshole to answer his emails. It has involved dozens and dozens of emails. That situation is completely insane.
In a self-reported survey (not very accurate) 90% of public school teachers say that they’ve been vaccinated; 10% say they won’t get a shot. If Jonah can’t enter a classroom with out a shot, then no teacher should be allowed to enter a classroom without a shot.
Those mandates have to go beyond school employees. To get students back in the K-12 classroom and college lecture halls, every person in this country needs a shot. We’ll mask up if absolutely necessary, but these kids MUST be in a classroom in three weeks.
And to be clear, it’s not just MAGA-types who are refusing to get a shot. That’s why we’re seeing a softening of the message about vaccine refusals. Now we’re supposed to be kind and compassionate about their reasons for refusal.
In addition, if we are going mandate vaccines and mask up again, then we need consistency. Nobody was wearing a mask in our packed church yesterday. Ball games, pubs, music festivals, malls, restaurants — no masks, no distancing. I’m not really nervous, because I’ve been vaccinated, but we need consistency. And school kids should be the LAST ones to make a sacrifice.
But lots of people have no interest in making a sacrifice themselves. Obama had a big party this weekend. He lost me. More on this later.
We put kids last for the past two years. Now it’s time to put them first.