Fandango’s Provocative Question (15 July 2020)

Prompt image for the Fandango's Provocative Question prompt

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.

Author: Mister Bump UK

Designed/developed IT systems for banks, but had a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Returned to developing from home, plus do some voluntary work. Married, with a grown-up, left-home daughter.

8 thoughts on “Fandango’s Provocative Question (15 July 2020)”

    1. Yup. It’s interesting, though, because I think we need to also define what would make it safe. Zero cases? In the world? Nationally? State? County? Plus, of course, if there are cases, how good are we at detecting them?
      I’m wanting to look for local data atm, but having trouble. So I’m sitting @ home. I know our region is teens of cases, but I want finer data – out region is 1,000s sq. mi. We’ve had news reports that the real number of cases could be 4x the “official” number, but I think getting to zero local official cases is a good place to start.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a difficult one, though, that’s why I stopped short. What if your inability to find childcare meant that you had to stay home for months, that you maybe lost your livelihood? What if there were no cases i your area (but there might be someplace else)? I dunno, I don’t think you can just take one thing and base your decision on it, but yes, I’d be worried.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If I lived in a country or an area where there are no, or few, new cases, that would definitely affect my thoughts. But I live in an area where new cases are on the rise (again), so until that is reversed, I would opt for the safety of my children and any other people they cane in contact with.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. yeah, that’s where geography comes in. Our region of the UK (several 000 sq mi) had just 17 new cases last week. But of course we need to get to that stage first. I’d want to know though that testing is in place in order to jump on any outbreak, but I’m not sure that’s the case.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. I think the year is lost already. They opened schools here but with a whole of restrictions. Maybe not to save the year in terms of academic achievements but too see their friends and teachers again (although restricted).
    I’m especially worried about children in abuse households, who can’t escape to school anymore. How many children get their only warm meal at school? And parents who have children with disabilities, it’s so difficult to take one stand.
    I would say to look at the figures nationally and when it’s safe enough to go to work, it is also ok to open schools up with restrictions.
    Where I live there is no choice about it, when the schools are open, your child must go. I don’t think it is allowed to homeschool them all of the sudden.


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