I appreciate your opinion. I did, after all, impose mine unsolicited! I also appreciate that you are into diet science and are an athlete yourself. As am I, a competitive runner, a martial artist, a weightlifter, and for ten years now, also a vegan!! You and I have met, although it was several years ago.
So, I reply to you, sir, not to be combative, nor disharmonious, nor in bad faith. Rather, it’s just that, on ethical grounds, and as a communicator I feel obligated to be clear, and I want you to know that neither your agreement, or disagreement, is my goal here. This is peaceable dialog, and I thank you for your time in reading, and conversing with me regarding this important matter. As you may imagine, as a journalist, a mathematician, and these days as an educator, I see all sorts of major red flags w.r.t. the politics, quantitative science, and role-modeling amid the national dialog and am very careful about how I put my arguments and inputs, as not to make the communication problems worse. This approach comes in handy in teaching as well. There is much good dialog, and there is much bad, as you know, regarding this topic.
I just wish to reiterate, there are nuances to this issue, and there are coherent caveats which should accompany the various valid points regarding precautions, that you kindly offered to me. In other words, it is a complex and important subject, and one must be clear in their direction. And yes, I’d be happy to volunteer with your organization, when times are more accommodating for public assembly, if I have not relocated my family to a more welcoming community by then, which is a decision I will likely be forced to make, to reduce the political exposure of me and my family members in this red county.
As an educator, in my classrooms (when they were in-person), I welcome and make room for all opinions as long as they are civil and made in good faith. Generally, I favor freedom to think and speak critically in all venues. Our civil behavior (or lack thereof) is the model upon which young people (among others) model their own behavior. That’s how we all learn, as lifelong learners.
Regarding your accusation that I’m an “armchair quarterback,” I should clarify: I am not a layabout. I am civically minded. Now I have witnessed what this elongated reaction has done to the secondary students who cannot afford private school and whose parents are not in a position to effectively home-school. I have donated most of my adult life to civics, volunteer work, grassroots support, public education in one form or another, and inter-agency cooperation. I am a forty-five year old single dad. Many, upon hearing of my non-traditional family structure, tune out immediately. If that is your inclination now, feel free to go ahead and do so. Otherwise, here’s the full position, regarding the politics of emergency response:
As an educator, I assure you, the past year has been catastrophic for the public school system. Like the economic fallout from it, the educational fallout from it will haunt this nation for decades to come. This coronavirus matter arrived while I was in the middle of my graduate certificate in secondary education (previously I was a substitute teacher). Last fall, I completed my student teaching under a hybrid scenario.
I was a local newspaper reporter for four years, where I covered all locally operating first response agencies. Although I am no longer doing that for a living, I still have a first response shingle as a member of the Radio Amateur Civilian Emergency Services. And so:
***If someone is part of a sensitive demographic, that’s where the extraordinary attention needs to be focused. One of the key principles of emergency response, and often considered as the first principle, is to DO NO FURTHER HARM during the course of one’s response.***
One example of severe social harm, is that which has been inflicted upon secondary public school students’ educations and social integration that have suffered gravely as a result of the yearlong lockouts and intermittency (and due to the very obvious political confusion and in-fighting among “adult leaders”). As have there been notable difficulties with the teenagers in my own home, who are torn between the rationalizing of “the world’s ending anyway dad, so why does it matter” and the tacit reinforcing of the sentiment “give me more lockdowns so I can play more video games.”
SARS is not the flu, but it’s similar enough to be fairly said: It cannot be eradicated from the planet any more than can the flu be eradicated. So, the futility of certain response procedures cannot be discounted, regardless of severity — especially in light of the collateral damage which is absolutely undeniable. It can also be said that people die of heart disease, or lung cancer, or alcoholism, or suicide, in pandemic proportions both before covid-19, and all-the-more-so during the lockdowns, economic meltdown, and suspension of civil liberties.
But again, all responses are not one-size fits all. All things considered: I have never seen anything more politically motivated, in my entire life, than this coronavirus response. That’s my professional, credentialed, tenured, and very valid opinion, rendered in good faith, and with great circumspection, as a writer, an educator, and a mathematician.
Frankly I’m surprised there aren’t more Title 42 lawsuits, and I think one of the reasons there aren’t more, is that people understand a failed state when they see one (and/or they are complicit with the jaded and skewed “response”). That is a grim dynamic. Of course, in my eyes, the corporate media bears much of the culpability for spreading confusion and politicizing the situation. Media literacy is a real problem in our nation today and the established corporate media is virtually never an objective press.
The politics of the past year have contributed to, and are an intrinsic aspect of, coronavirus response. Therefore, the politics of coronavirus have become part of the disease’s vector, and it’s been aggravated by the corporate media’s (and professional politicians’) intentional politicization of it.
Statistics correlating corona deaths w.r.t. age demographics are unfortunate, but they are evident and typically involve comorbidity. I would also like, if anyone is able to refer me, to see any peer-reviewed documentation of SARS-CoV-2 being affirmatively isolated – that should provide a direct perspective at the actual biological vector apart from its political and media connotations which are now so heartily attached to it, notwithstanding any lack of satisfaction with the Barrington Declaration.
We now begin the eleventh month of martial law in many places in the United States of America, and throughout the world. Yesterday, I read that the governor of California has decided to un-lockdown. I mean, do you really feel he’s doing that out of altruism and selflessness, or do you think it’s substantially political? If the partisan political lines in this matter aren’t obvious, then I don’t know what is — but that only makes sense when the DNC and RNC are viewed as two parts of the same one-party occupation. They are both functionaries of the war state and other corporate special interests. Ask any seminarian, or if you prefer, any secular philosopher. But I’ve digressed! Back to the narrow topic:
Regardless of the colors of the shorts worn by the various competitors, I ask, who is now laying unconscious on the mat? Alas, , it is us and people like us, and our kids. Vectors like the SARS family, harrowing as they are to the demographics at risk, are simply are not smallpox. And to treat them as such, at the expense of such vast collateral damage, is pure folly.
The core infrastructures of the American model have been scuttled — its inputs (public education system), the outputs (small business capital / entrepreneurs), and the venue of civility (Bill of Rights guarantys of liberty). One cannot rely upon what a corporate media monolith and the one-party special-interest occupation of our national government (via RNC and DNC caucuses) have to say (or not say) about the economic and special interest power grabs which have occurred under the mantle of “pandemic response.” It’s just too easy for any one person, and certainly for any small group, to seize the complete control of such a centralized power construct. [So, instead, one must consider the bigger picture and the major institutional role players therein, in order to see this situation unfolding for what it really is.
This was the first widespread, elongated suspension of freedom of assembly that I’ve ever seen in the United States of America. I’d rather not have ever seen it. It removed a key defense – that is, free assembly – available to the citizens for defending against hostile ideological regimes, elongated harmful propaganda campaigns, and aggressive political occupations. Hence the apparent staying power of this ongoing attack upon the core domestic infrastructure in the U.S.A. – the schools, the small-cap businesses, and personal liberties was, or is, unavoidable.
It is worth noting that restriction of public assembly, by itself, is not strategically sufficient for such a coup. Rather, it requires restriction, censorship, surveillance, and specialized occupation of public speech and press].
At your service,