Sunday, March 22, 2020

Co-(vid) Education

Whither Betsy DeVos?

Here is the Secretary of Education at a crisis point in American education and she is...silent. Don't get me wrong; under normal circumstances I would welcome, indeed pay for, silence from Ms. DeVos. Her disdain for, and ignorance of, public education, will unfortunately become one of the lasting effects of the Trump Administration and the era of conservatism that seems to be unraveling. I certainly understand that public schools are the purview of the states, but it would be nice to have the Secretary of Education deliver an address or a letter that outlines the objectives that all schools need to meet with online education. I guess if you don't educate for money, Ms. DeVos doesn't want to hear from you. This is more than disappointing. It's malpractice.

Of course, we know that this administration as a whole is educationally-challenged, beginning with the president. His history of undermining and ignoring science has finally caught up to him, and us. In the last few days, he's even hyped drugs that people with lupus need to live as a possible remedy for Covid-19 (19, 20, whatever it takes). This bit of irresponsibility could cause severe shortages for a medicine that we don't know will actually address the virus. And that doesn't even take into account the fact that the president says he knew there would be a pandemic, after denying it and blaming the hype on the Democrats. Could they also have White House briefings where people stand six feet apart from each other? Anthony Fauci should know better. I want to see him in a space suit.

And speaking of blaming it on the Democrats (we were and don't you deny it), along comes this parable about conservative FOX-watching Americans who were sure that Covid-19 was a fake until...wait for it...one of their own contracted it. I sincerely hope that the man who is sick gets better soon and I am not in any way engaging in schadenfreude. What gets me is that people actually believe politicians in times of health emergencies. Or in this case, they believe that the Chinese created this disease for the purpose of unleashing it on their people and Americans in order for the Democrats to subvert the president and undermine his leadership. I just don't understand that serpentine illogic. The article also tells of how the conservative media saw the Covid threat as overblown, so the people dismissed the warnings and didn't take the necessary precautions. That's the danger inherent in an administration that blames and vilifies the media.

Finally, what happens when there's a shot for Covid-19 and the anti-vaccinators rebel? I don't have an answer. I just pose the question.

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