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Fandango’s Provocative Question (15 July 2020)

Wednesday. Fandango’s Provocative Question once again. Do you believe that what goes around, comes around? Because somehow my marathon session of last week became just an hour this week. All done and dusted, and with a bit of time on my hands. Time to address this week’s FPQ, which is:

Do you believe that students should be required to return to school for the new school year? If you are a parent, are you at all concerned about sending your children to school? Or are you relieved to get the little rugrats out of your hair?

Okay, straight away, I have no vested interest here. My child long since left school and is now finding other mischief to fill her days.

From the earliest days in this pandemic, I’ve only really been sympathetic to one argument – that of caring for the children of essential workers, so they are free to work.

I commented only this morning on a post that this virus will contain a lot of “tough luck” stories – nobody wants it to happen, but it is better than the alternative. Things like childrens’ mental health and certainly their education are two such areas.

So, there’s my ideological stance – it seems flippant for some people to complain about losing a year, when other people are losing their lives. Personally, I would have written the year off – any time in school is a bonus, but let’s start again next year. And any exams, I’d have put off until next year. There will be tweaks and variations, of course, but that would be my broad-brush approach.

But having said that, I’d be happy to be overridden by evidence.

One of the things which we’re seeing here is a very low number of children ending up in hospital because of the virus. Some do, of course, but statistically, far fewer than expected. Which would tend to support the argument that it is safe for them to go back.

The flip side, though, is that schools also have to be safe for staff, and while not many children may be laid low, it is simply not known yet what part children play in spreading the virus.

So I think the question boils down to which way you jump, given that there’s no compelling evidence. Do you exercise caution, or do you just go for it, gung-ho style? But gung-ho is how Trump approaches everything – frankly, he’d have been better suited to the Wild West. It’s also concerning that, by doing things like cutting funding, he is trying to coerce schools along his chosen path, rather than allow them the free rein to make the decisions they think are for the best. I thought this guy was meant to be pro-liberty?

I know if I were a parent now, I’d be worried. Not particularly for my child, but for anybody (including me) that they come into contact with.

Fandango’s One Word Challenge (15 July 2020)

Yesterday, 14 July, the UK government mandated the wearing of facemasks in shops, from 24 July.

Wouldn’t you have thought, if the evidence was compelling, that they’d have said this way back in March?

Wouldn’t you have thought, if the evidence was not compelling then but is now, that they’d have made it compulsory immediately?

For Fandango’s One Work Challenge (FOWC), vacillate.