Sunday, May 16, 2021

Got a Better Idea?

When I was little, my parents told me never to complain unless I have a better idea or a solution that can work. They likely did that to stop me from complaining so much, but it's actually pretty good advice. I was thinking about that watching the news about the anti-lockdown protests yesterday. Nobody wants to be in lockdown, of course, but what's the solution? We can't just decide to stop the lockdowns (which are barely lockdowns relative to what happens in places like NS) because it gives the virus a chance to spread even more, and our numbers are still pretty high. If they want to stop the lockdowns (and masks and vaccinations - I'm so confused!), then they need a different solution to slow the spread of a deadly virus. Or perhaps they need to watch some videos of people actually suffering and dying from Covid until they believe it's all real and could happen to them. I'm all about rights and freedom, but not the freedom to increase the risk of harm to others. That just doesn't make sense in a civil society. 

One fight they could take on, though, is demanding to be paid to stay home from work through some type of CERB or - gasp - UBI. For many taking to the streets yesterday, it might be less about government control and more about struggling to pay rent. But then that's what all the signs should say. And then I'd totally get behind them! Lots of people need help to weather this difficult time, and that help should be secure, not in bits and pieces. 

I said something similar about protesting almost a decade ago to students striking against teacher strikes. You can't just rally around 'everyone stop fighting so we can play sports'; you either have to argue that teachers have to follow provincial rules OR that the province has to negotiate fairly. Telling both parties of a disagreement to just ignore the problem isn't a viable solution. 

And here's an unpopular opinion: I also stand on this point with hybrid learning. Tons of teachers are protesting the potential move to hybrid for September, where a teacher teaches half the class in the room and half at home. I also hate hybrid teaching, but we need to clarify an alternative or we could end up with something worse to keep contacts low, like teaching one subject at a time, for five straight weeks, with 30 kids in the class. But I've been yelled down on this one, and it looks like many boards have agreed NOT to use the hybrid system. So the protesting worked, but now who knows what we'll have instead. I predict 30 kids in each class, no tests available beyond a questionnaire about symptoms, and kids will take off them masks at one for lunch in the building, relying far too much on the vaccinations to keep us safe.  

I won't say anything about people being allowed to march in the streets without any police stopping them despite the province's 'soft lockdown', though, because I was pretty pleased at the number marching in solidarity for Palestine. The virus pales in comparison with the intentional bombing of children. 

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