doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

I’m thinking

It’s before the Premier’s news conference at 11:00 this Monday morning. As we now know, the cabinet met over a plan for going forward due to the yet again increasing numbers of COVID sicknesses. We’re now finding that the majority of the cases are of the Omicron variant with numbers rising so quickly.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

We already suspect, from information released yesterday, there will be some pretty tough restrictions coming like no dining inside, limiting indoor groups to 5 vaccinated people, limiting the number of people that can go into stores, no more concerts and casinos, and …

All of the speculation seems to be to tie us all down yet again. You could argue that it worked fairly well, at least for a while until this new variant came along and the numbers of sicknesses started to rise again. Actually, the numbers are rising quite rapidly. Something needs to be done and those that are earning salaries to lead the province will be making a decision.

Missing from all the speculation and report is day care and elementary/secondary education. Universities and colleges have the latitude to make decisions themselves and have done so. My heart goes out to those students who home studied during Grade 12 and the pandemic and are now attending first year post-secondary school in the same way. I think we all know that the decision made was from the perspective of making the best decision at the time. We’ve never been through something like this before so it’s the proverbial building the bridge as we’re crossing it as a society.

So, what about day care and elementary/secondary education? It’s a tough call for the politician. Particularly, politicians who will be facing elections later the year. Around here, the town of Tecumseh has decided to close a number of things,

Tecumseh plans ‘circuit breaker’ closures to slow spread of COVID-19

As we know, that’s one level, but the province has the say on the bigger picture. And, of course, I’m looking at education. When you look at the controls on the rest of the province, it seems that a bunch of these checkpoints are just amplified in schools.

  • dining inside
  • groups of more than five people

A lot has been said about the two day extension to the Christmas Break and the speculation that every teacher will now have access to N95 masks and there will be more filters put into place in classrooms. I thought that the filter issue was already taken care of but apparently not everywhere.

We know that vaccinations are available to teachers as adults in our society and recently school age kids have become eligible to get shots. That does require a whole lot of hurdles to make it happen; if mom and dad aren’t getting vaccinated, then they’re probably not in a rush to get their kids done. Even those that are vaccinated themselves want the best for their children and some are hesitating.

Given all that we know, school classrooms just appear to be a disaster waiting to happen. As teachers, we’ve seen how the regular flu just flies through a classroom and you’ll agree with me that there are times when, as teachers, we’ve gone into class sick as a dog because you just don’t want to endure the alternatives.

Over the weekend, we’ve seen parts of society hit and shut down by the flu. I’m thinking of all the airline flights and sea cruises that have made the news.

So many things about society are paralleled in the classroom but the numbers are even worse. I think the only time I had only 5 people in a classrom (4 students plus me) was an occasion where students could buy a ticket to a school event and those not buying had to stay in class.

Giving all this, I’m predicting at 10:11 as I wrap up this post, that schools will be shut down for at least two weeks starting from today. I don’t see any other scenario that makes sense.


5 responses to “I’m thinking”

  1. You make really good predictions, Doug, and for our safety and those of kids, I’m glad that we did.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, you were right. The difference now is that daycares are no longer the safe havens they were a year ago as we went into a month of online learning. Their staffs have no RATs, no access to PCR tests, and no reporting mechanism. So our children are much more vulnerable.

    I look forward to reading your reflections, and Aviva’s, as I repeat last January, but this time with a grandchild in SK, and another missing her pre-school program. I am again unsure how teachers will be able to multitask; teach their own classes while supervising their own children in theirs.

    I already see my colleagues sharing resources, in preparation for this shift back online. I hope that parents and caregivers will do the same.

    Thanks again for your thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Terry. I love to see the sharing amongst educators; it’s too bad that the Ministry isn’t in a position to curate or create exemplary and best-of-breed activities given the upcoming environment.

    We have three older boys who should be able to fare for themselves online with the operative word being “should”. Yet, they’ll still need supervision as well as a Kindergarten and pre-schooler so I’m anticipating a pretty active next two weeks. If you lived closer, we could have a play date. (socially distanced, hahaha)

    There was a good article in today’s Windsor Star that really resonated with me –

    Stay safe, everyone.


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