What A Difference A Day Makes
As of yesterday, this was the governing philosophy in Sacramento County regarding coronavirus:
California’s Sacramento County is calling off automatic 14-day quarantines that have been implemented for the coronavirus, saying it will focus instead on mitigating the impact of COVID-19.
In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, Sacramento County public school districts are canceling classes for up to three weeks. The closures will begin Monday and affect more than a dozen school districts. “This decision was not made lightly as all districts recognize this may cause a hardship for some families. As districts have done in the past, they will make provisions for meals for students. Each district will continue to communicate directly with families and staff with updates,” the Sacramento County Office of Education said in a news release. David Gordon, county superintendent of schools, said the closures will allow the districts to help prevent the spread of the virus and make plans for the future.
My district is closed for the next 3 weeks, plus spring break. The earliest we’ll return to school is April 13th. Today is March 13th.
In my district we are being paid, which tells me that they will not extend the school year into summer. Teachers are expected to conduct “virtual office hours” during specified hours during the days off, but we’re not to assign new work. The watchwords are “reading, review, and enrichment.” Essentially, students who want to have 3 extra weeks off with no work can do so, but those who want to stay current or perhaps get a breather and catch up, these 3 weeks can be valuable.
Will be conduct state testing? Will the SAT be given on weekends for those who have signed up for it? My school has been chosen to have certain students take the NAEP, will that be postponed or canceled? Will AP tests be given at all, given on time, rescheduled?
What about the parents of all those young children who won’t be in school for a month, what will they do for child care? Is it wise to have grandma babysit?
Will people do what it’s hoped they’ll do and stay home and self-quarantine, or will they still go out and about and mingle with others? Remember, people can spread this virus for weeks before showing symptoms.
And this isn’t just schools. Airlines, for example, are parking hundreds of aircraft for the foreseeable future. Professional sports are canceled–what about the hourly parking workers, security, ushers, and concession workers? Restaurants are cutting back and closing temporarily–more workers who won’t get paid.
And the dominoes continue to fall.
This is a big deal. Whether or not it’s an overreaction I don’t know, but it’s a big deal.