Thursday 14 May 2020

Infested Waters

I am in the fortunate position of being able to decide when I go back to schools. That is, of course, if I decide to go back at all.

Most of the UK schools’ workforce of over 1.4 million teachers and teaching assistants will not be able to choose for themselves. They have to rely on the judgement and planning of others.

The latest talk is of schools returning to action at the start of June.

This is an absurd plan which should be immediately stopped.

Imagine if people have to stop swimming in the sea because it is infested with highly dangerous sharks.

Then imagine people in authority make a lot of promises about testing the waters before they will people to return.

One person in authority boasts of visiting the sharks, metaphorically shakes hands with them, is badly bitten and then portrayed as a hero in some quarters.

Not only are the tests not carried out, but the amount of sharks is allowed to grow considerably.

Older people are forced back into the sea - and their friends are dragged in too. The number of fatalities is horrendous, but kept hidden.

Nothing has changed regarding the danger of the situation, but suddenly everyone is told they can return to the water too - as long as they stay alert.

Such actions are tantamount to manslaughter.

Would anyone be happy with such a situation?

Back to the real world - and the virus has not gone away. It will not go away in the near future. It thrives on situations of close social contact. We have over 67 million people in the UK.

Anyone who has worked in schools will know how ridiculous it is to suggest social distancing will work. Is everyone going to walk to and from school, two metres apart? Is it possible to stay two metres from anyone else in a classroom, a corridor or a school hall? It is completely unreasonable to expect young children to understand the situation and be compliant to any restrictions.

Some schools have remained open as hubs for the children of key workers. Fortunately, the numbers involved have been smaller than originally anticipated but that has not meant it has been a comfortable experience for anyone directly involved.

Specialist training and Personal Protective Equipment would be required for all staff to even begin to tackle the task. Is any of that in place?

Do you still think schools should return to action at the start of June?

Nobody seems able or willing to agree on a figure, but statisticians claim there have been 50,000 deaths, up to the start of May, over and above the rate we should expect for this time of year.

50,000 grieving families.

The hidden number of elderly victims is unlikely to be revealed in full. They were sacrificed, with infected patients being sent back to care homes in order to free up hospital beds. It should not have been a surprise that care homes were then so badly hit by the spread of the virus. They had no chance whatsoever. They were sacrificed following a particularly despicable piece of action.

School staff and children are to be the centrepiece of the next big experiment. Schools are the most social of all settings. Someone, somewhere will be crossing their fingers and analysing the figures.

I care about the children in my schools. I care about my friends and colleagues. I don’t want to see them used in this fashion.

The phrase ‘collateral damage’ is being used, which is not correct, for that relies on the key definition point of being ‘unintended.’

Just before the schools were forced to close, I witnessed, at first hand, the effect the situation had on the staff in my schools. Some were openly crying at the enormity of the challenges ahead. They are not weak people. They understood life was going to change and, in many ways, it would change beyond recognition. That is quite something for young people to have to accept.

People we know are going to die. The finishing post is NOT in sight.

Schools should NOT return to action unless it is absolutely safe to do so.

I hope schools are able to make a stand against the latest plan. Everyone is much too valuable to be used as an experiment.

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