Monday, September 28, 2020

The Fogginess of These Times

I had laser surgery over a decade ago and love not wearing glasses, but I've started wearing my sunglasses regularly, even on my walk to work just as the sun's coming up. It makes no sense to have a barrier to our nose and mouth but leave the most defenceless intake for viruses completely uncovered. Those of us seeing things unaided need tinted lenses to manage these times.

But, despite trying all the tricks touted online, they fog up. So I meander my way towards my workplace with a fraction of my usual vision. I've just been accepting the fog as I gingerly pass the hospital on the way, sometimes holding my breath like we did as kids when we drove past cemeteries, unbuckled in the back of the station wagon, in a curious ritual that would somehow keep us from joining them. The car headlights passing me in the early mornings all have sparkling rainbows around them, and I love the irony in the possibility that I'll trip off the curb and be hit while trying to keep myself safe from a virus. But so far I've made it all the way under the good fortune of Mr. Magoo.

We're at two official cases in our school, but we're not allowed to know who they are. The infected tell Public Health who they may have been in contact with, and those people are called to either get a test (which is all but impossible right now) or to sit at home for 14 days. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Oh--What's a Teacher to Do?

Starting next Friday, secondary students in my board will be forced to be in a room with about 15 other students they might not know, many of whom will take off their masks for a 45 minute mid-morning snack deemed necessary to get them through to lunchtime dismissal. They're not exactly forced, since they can choose, instead, to be exclusively distance learning, but that comes with a risk of losing their electives and possibly a more difficult time with complex instructions. So that's not much of a choice. And once they choose to be with a teacher in a classroom, then they're not permitted to leave that room while others unmask. 

It's like telling kids they can either get a ride to Toronto for a concert or watch it on TV, but if they take that ride, then they have to take off their seatbelts while they're on the 401. The car's not going to pull over to let you out if you change your mind! So, what's it going to be? Sure, it's a choice, but many kids will make the riskier choice, such as kids are. And, sure, they might all be totally fine. But they might not be. And then it will be our fault. It's ultimately Ford's and Public Health for approving this plan, but the board has to take some responsibility too since neighbouring boards don't have a secondary nutrition break. And teachers, on the front lines, also bare responsibility.