Cloister Commentary, Day 135: In Person

About this school reopening?

As far as Columbia, Missouri, is concerned, if we were all-virtual in April, we should be going all-virtual this month, as COVID is relatively rampant here now, FAR beyond April 1st, and shows no signs of being curbed soon. It pains me to say this, as kids in environs that are the most challenged under normal circumstances will get screwed–but they will get screwed PLUS their and their families’ health will be more vulnerable if we re-open in-person. And I definitely get the devastating economic impact of virtual-only education, but why is it that it’s up to schools to support the economy? I think that’s another body’s job, a body that’s lately exclusively taken care of its own and its deep-pocketed buddies and hollowed out OUR resources. Not to mention child-care: back in the early ’70s, there was a movement to provide for that for all of us, but ultimately that was seen as a pinko plot. We’re great at shooting off our own toes.

Personally, when I’ve been presented with crises, I’ve tended to put my head down and stoically prepare on an emotional level, then step quietly into the fray. But this situation is SO painful for us to contemplate. Nicole, if we open in-person, will be daily entering a mass of humans that will put her at risk of illness and possibly death (this IS virus roulette), and in which she can possibly put others at the same risk, including me and our families and friends. I’m on another campus of older students which is also considering opening in person. We talked yesterday about how we are gonna deal with in-person days: specific house spots to discard clothing, staying clean, possibly masking and socially distancing INSIDE the house, living on different floors and sleeping in different beds–those are just some of the possibilities.

I don’t want to die–three or four in every 100 infected, but do YOU like those odds? I would be TOTALLY bereft if I lost my soul mate because of this, or if I passed the virus to my mourning mom. Or if I died or got and stayed sick because of what I was born to do. I am frustrated that, to the powers that be, this is even a tricky decision, one most are putting off and we are in AUGUST. I’ve thought about the soldier analogy, but it’s not perfectly apt.

This election, laser-focus on who’s interested in creating a firmer infrastructure, an inexpensive and reliable health care system, a more deeply and richly supported public education system, and a taxation system that holds EVERYONE accountable for the common good. And try not to forget what this crisis and our leadership and OUR PAST VOTING CHOICES have cost us.

Streaming for Soulmates:

What a team-

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