Coronavirus

New York, Shamefully, on the Verge of Shuttering Public Schools

Just 0.18 percent of randomly tested teachers and students have been positive for COVID-19. So why the hell would you close the schools?

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I would have reacted sooner to the news that New York City is planning to shut down its public school system as early as Monday, but there's a small kindergarten class in my house today, and I have a bunch of parent-teacher Zoom meetings scheduled for the middle school that my eldest has attended all of seven days this year.

It is hard, as a public school parent, to keep up even with the daily juggle of emails, remote meetings, classwork verification pictures, and alarmingly vague Department of Education "situation room" alerts, let alone have enough spare time to vent outrage at the feckless, child-mangling, "science"-defacing idiocrats whimsically ruining an entire year for hundreds of thousands of families. So let me throw out some contextual bullet points to ponder—nay, marvel at—as the nation blunders toward a second lockdown.

  • Over the past month, the New York City school system has randomly tested more than 71,000 students and 42,000 staff, from 3,000-plus schools. Only 189 came back positive. That's a rate of 0.18 percent. As predicted by those who actually follow the science rather than use the word like a get-out-of-logic-free card, schools have not been vectors for spreading COVID-19. As New York Times education reporter Eliza Shapiro noted, "one of the city's top health officials has declared that the public schools are among the safest public places around."
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio is getting ready to pull the plug because the city's test positivity rate, which had been hovering around or below 1.5 percent since June, shot up over 2 percent at the beginning of November, and will soon cross 3 percent, which is de Blasio's threshold for shutting schools down. How did he arrive at that number? He pulled it out of his ass.

    The World Health Organization recommends a 5 percent community positivity threshold before closing schools, as does New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Europe is keeping schools open with rates well north of that, citing the still-very-low numbers of kids testing positive. The only reason de Blasio came up with such an artificially low number is that it was the best this dolt could do in negotiations with the United Federation of Teachers. As Reason Foundation Director of School Choice Corey A. DeAngelis has documented, the single biggest factor in determining whether a school system opens its doors is not the underlying COVID-19 rate but the comparative power of the relevant teachers union. Just follow the science!

  • You know what'll still be open when the 3 percent trigger shuts down the in-person education option for 900,000 kids? Day care centers. And private schools. So strange that the public school system is losing whole swaths of the population! It's hard to imagine a better advertisement for education provided by non-governmental means.

Speaking of which: Through all of this comedy of errors, the political and educational establishment in New York is still cloaking its decision-making process in the exalted language of equity, inclusion, and combating privilege. There is no gentle way to say this: The people who are about to shutter New York schools should never mouth those words again. It is the comparatively disadvantaged—the poor, the broken-familied, the kids with special needs—who are hammered hardest by the disruptive, logistically caddywhompus, alienating, and educationally piss-poor system of remote learning.

My family will adapt. (Hey look, the 5-year-olds are learning French five feet away from me!) But most do not have my options. I do not want to hear one word about my "privilege" again from the people who are consciously making the anti-scientific, politically driven decision to deny basic equitable opportunity for poorer families. You people should be ashamed of yourselves, and in a just world would be driven far away from public life.

NEXT: Justice Samuel Alito Highlights the Legal Issues Raised by 'Previously Unimaginable' COVID-19 Restrictions

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  1. As we slip deeper and deeper into palpable totalitarianism, we will remember, in the darkest hours of the night, when we are breathing heavily and unable to sleep, that we voted out the one man opposed to these encroachments because we found him to be far too crude and lacking in decorum.

    1. That bit pisses me off more than anything. People try to objectively list pros and cons of both candidates, objectively Trump comes out somewhat less awful, yet they vote for Biden because he’s less crass.

      Someone at Volokh listed one of Trump’s faults as his spending! Said Biden’s spending plans were just plans, not reality.

      I’d rather have Rodney Dangerfield levels of respect for the guy in place, as long as he does less damage. Clinton might have been the smarmiest slicker in office, Obama pretended he was as cool, but both were more destructive of liberty than Trump, and that’s a pretty high bar.

      1. “Someone at Volokh listed one of Trump’s faults as his spending! Said Biden’s spending plans were just plans, not reality.”

        And when Biden’s spending plans become reality, they will praise him for his commitment and ability to follow through on promises.

        At some point, when people spend their days deliberately gaslighting others, they begin to forget which side of the lie they were supposed to be on.

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      2. Not just crass, but incompetent, random, idiotic, and authoritarian.

        1. I hope you remember all of that when they are boarding up your doors for leaving the house without a permission slip.

          1. In the plague that is what quarantine was. They just boarded up your doors.

            1. What is your first language?

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        2. He said Trump not Biden!

        3. “Not just crass, but incompetent, random, idiotic, and authoritarian.”

          Stuff your TDS up your ass, so your head has some company.

      3. “Someone at Volokh listed one of Trump’s faults as his spending!”

        Then there was Ilya “open borders” Somin, also at Volokh. To summarize his view: Biden is worse than Trump on every issue except immigration, therefore we must support Biden.

        Sorry, as a libertarian, immigration is not the number one issue for me. It doesn’t even make the top 10.

        1. Really? As a libertarian I have one issue, government initiating force.

          1. There are other issues, like spending, regulations…

            1. Which wouldn’t exist if government was prohibited from initiating force.

              1. And which deity is going to prevent governments from initiating force? Government is force. No force, no government.

              2. So how do we deal with violent criminals or defend the country?

          2. Government and initiating force. What’s the difference?

            1. Just because we have bad government mean we can’t have good government. The proper function of government is to defend liberty. It does that with the retaliatory use of force which is completely moral. When government initiates force we call that tyranny. Which is the situation we find ourselves.

              1. I understand that seems possible in theory, but the actual implementation, everywhere, seems to always end up with the latter rather than the former. :-\

              2. It’s not true just because it’s simple.

                Is shooting a trespasser retaliatory force? Why is merely walking on grass force?

                Is it okay to maximally retaliate against minimum force? We need a rule to limit these things.

                Also, um, how does a government “retaliate”? You mean it’s retaliating on your behalf, right? It’s doing what you couldn’t get done with your own arsenal. It’s a service.

                It’s a service no different from a contractor, except that it acts on your behalf and the behalf of the person who initiated force at the same time. It mediates. You don’t get to just have it do your bidding, you have to obey the law, even if someone clearly and unambiguously trespassed against you. Trespass isn’t defined by anything in the absence of law, except force.

                That’s why we put all legitimate force in one place and call it government. It’s gotta go somewhere.

                And it’s all paid for by taxation. So, we must agree, there is no such thing as a tax that is equivalent to illegitimate force. A tax is just a law, exactly the same as the one that says I can’t set foot on your grass.

                1. Tony, have you ever seen a libertarian support shooting someone for merely walking on their grass, assuming no other circumstances that make the person an imminent threat? Neither have I, yet you put the bogus trope forth as if it were the case. Get a clue.

                  So taxation, which is taking one’s property under coercion (whatever amount the government decides to take), and threats to my life, liberty, and property, is the same as someone walking down the street who happens to briefly walk on my grass, causing no real damage to the yard or me? How did you get so f’ed up logically?

      4. to be fair, Biden’s spending plans are somewhat detached from reality.

      5. “Trump comes out somewhat less awful”

        Not an objective fact!

        1. Not if you’re a communist idiot.

    2. This. Congrats on being so principled you lose the ability to act on them.

      1. There is such a thing as “Libertarian Socialist”. Field organizer for Jon Ossoff in Georgia, Dino Nguyen, calls himself this. I imagine the label resonates with millennial Reason staffers.

    3. “voted out the one man opposed to these encroachments”

      You seem to be referring to Donald Trump, since he is the President who was just voted out. But that cannot be right since he is not actually opposed to big government and authoritarianism.

      1. You will learn the true meaning of authoritarianism in short order.

      2. Name a President who was.

        1. Pres with the best legacy: William Henry Harrison.

      3. He did speak out to end the lockdowns, and to bring back Big 10+ football….

      4. Trump kinda talked a good game, when it served him, but he did not get one single reform that mattered passed. He was too incompetent.

        1. A shit dictator, if you ask me. But, of course, that’s if you ask.

        2. USMCA. Three SCOTUS Justices.

        3. You don’t even shovel bullshit well, but TDS has many symptoms.

    4. Who do mean “we”?

    5. I’m a man and I’m opposed.

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    8. It is bizarre to read this, just one year ago or something every conservative was whining that public school is a re-education center making people accept the trans gender ideology, undermine the nuclear family and forcing kids to be drag queens.

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    1. Tyranny?
      What could be more libertarian than shutting down public schools?
      Keep them closed. Educational outcomes will improve and taxes can be reduced.

      1. Taxes reduced! ROFL! That’s a good one.

      2. Schools are prison for children!

  2. If you don’t like de Blasio, why do you all keep voting him in? It’s not like his totalitarian impulses are a new discovery.

    1. For people living in New York City, voting democrat is like paying $3,500 a month rent for a broken down studio apartment. You don’t have to do it, but — fuck — everyone else is doing it, so there must be something to it, you know?

      1. Wilhelm is such a complete and total nightmare and disaster that according to most of the estimates I’ve seen more than a million residents have fled there since March, probably permanently in most cases. It might be the biggest mass exodus a particular location has seen in a short period of time in this country since Emancipation.

        Not Welchie Boy though. He’s one of the fucking idiots who’s still there despite having the money and freedom to live anywhere. What does that tell you.

      2. The pleasures of living in one of the world’s great cities.

        Some people prefer country life. There was a documentary called Green Acres about it.

        Apparently the ones shoveling pig shit get to tell the ones living advanced, interesting lives what to do, because the founders said so and they were geniuses.

        1. Go drink Drano, you stupid snotty bitch.

        2. Funny, because there was an article in the Denver Post recently on urbanites leaving Denver to move down to Trinidad, an old mining town that’s basically a gas/weed stop for people coming up from New Mexico, precisely because they couldn’t take living in the behavioral sink of DA BIG CITY anymore.

          I’m sure the riots that took place there this summer had a lot to do with it as well.

          And let’s not overlook the fact that NEW YORK CITY has had its own Great Migration over the last few months as well. Being able to get a piece of shitty pizza at 2 am and having “culture” doesn’t really mean shit when you have to step over bums crashing on the porch of your brownstone and everything is locked up anyway.

          1. Whatever floats your boat, as long as our votes for president, Congress, and state legislatures count the same.

        3. Know this, Anthony, farmers can live without big cities. Big cities cannot live without farmers. Think about that before you denigrate farmers again. Better yet, do us all a favor annd refuse to eat anything produced by those pig shit shovelers for a few weeks.

    2. Yeah. They asked for it so….fuck em

  3. Don’t vote for democrats and watch your lives improve.

  4. Of course teachers don’t want schools to open-they know they’re going to get paid whether or not they do any work. Why not lobby to keep the schools closed? Their positions are utterly unassailable.

    Public sector education was a very bad call. Public sector unions are retched.

  5. Lots of places in the country never opened schools. Got a post about any of them?

    1. There’ve been plenty about these districts where the teachers’ unions are firmly in charge.

    1. But Trump says mean things on Twitter, so…

      1. And says moronic, and random things on Twitter. And has a boner for one-party dictatorship.

        1. They are not going to spare you just because you talked shit about their vanquished political opposition.

        2. So he’s just like every other Twitter user.

        3. “And says moronic, and random things on Twitter. And has a boner for one-party dictatorship.”

          Stuff your TDS up your ass so your head has some company.
          Oh, and fuck off and die.

  6. Suck it NY. This is what you voted for.

  7. The party of “the science”. The science of such thing as “science says paperclips are more effective than staples.”

  8. “De Blasio calls the 3 percent threshold “effectively a social contract” – he has been clear the the conservative number was a way to reassure parents and teachers, not necessarily based on any obvious scientific metric”

    How is it a social contract when one person sets the rules and everyone else must obey them?

    That sounds an awful lot like something . . . else . . .

  9. But, they are DOING SOMETHING. That has to be better than doing nothing, right? RIGHT?

    1. It worked for Biden.

      1. Doing nothing that is.

    2. As Nassim Taleb says ” if your horse is blind, may he also be slow”

  10. There has to be another shutdown so they can say they fixed the problem and then let Biden open everything back up. It is like when the tv or some other electronic device stops working, I get my toolbox, unplug the device, then plug it back it. 99% of the time it is fixed, and the wife and kids think I am a genius.

    1. The truth is that the problem is already fixing itself without more shutdowns. They have to do something so they can credit for a problem that is fixed, or maybe never needed fixing in the first place. The last thing they want is people to figure out that shutdowns were never the solution.

  11. This isn’t about COVID, it’s about Biden initiated Federal cash transfers to bankrupt states and cities. The COVID spin gets rid of the pesky taxation without representation issue.

    1. Well, after two centuries, I have my doubts about taxation WITH representation.

      1. “Forcible Theft With Representation!”

        For centuries, the state has robbed people at bayonet point and called it “taxation”. Coercion and violence by the direct threat of confiscation or imprisonment.

        — Murray Rothbard

        How many votes does it take to make a crime not a crime?

        If ten people come up to an eleventh, and vote that he’s going to give up his wallet, does that make it not a mugging any more?

        A hundred? A thousand? A million?

        And if ten men surround a young woman, and the vote says that she *is* going to have sex with all of them, does that vote make it no longer a gang rape?

        A hundred? A thousand? A million?

        The supply of pretty college girls is unevenly distributed! I demand my fair share!

        1. Confiscation via the common cold

        2. “How many votes does it take to make a crime not a crime?”

          Depends on the system, but to simplify, 50%+1.

          Why? Where else do laws come from? Your asshole? God? God’s asshole?

  12. For all your lamentations about the school system going hard on “equity, inclusion, and combating privilege”, you sure go through a lot of effort to avoid pointing out how **anti-white** it is. If racialized rhetoric and policies were being directed against any any other racial group you’d have no qualms about pointing out the unjust racism of it all.

    1. Haven’t you heard only whites can be racist.

      1. I’ve seen that only whites can be so browbeaten and demoralized that they’ll refuse to explicitly take their own side.

  13. “Just 0.18 percent of randomly tested teachers and students have been positive for COVID-19. So why the hell would you close the schools?”

    Because something must be done and the morons in charge don’t have any better ideas.

    1. They aren’t morons they’re doing it on purpose to create chaos to take over the country

      1. Wake up and smell the coffee. Trying to create chaos to take over the country is not mutually exclusive to them being morons.

        1. I guess it depends on who they are. The rabble, definitely morons. The leaders, not so much.

    2. Because they’re all a bunch of worthless cunts.

  14. It’s pretty simple we’re in the middle of a communist revolution. The Dems WANT to create chaos. They’ve been doing it all year! Tear everything down and rebuild with everyone dependent on government. It’s very obvious. They aren’t even trying to hide it.

  15. Message to Matt Welch: Drop the arrogance. Just because you attended public school does not mean it’s a good thing.

  16. What is actually happening…

    1. Dem governed states and cities have been going without needed taxes since they started locking down for covid.
    2. Biden elected president will/has offered to cover their losses and then some (union pensions) once he is in office.
    3. Biden will only has access to the purse strings during an emergency.
    4. Forcing everyone go into lock down to exacerbate the situation and claim emergency will be required.

  17. You’re really an idiot, Matt. Do you have any understanding at all what is occurring here in regard to the pandemic? No, you don’t. You have a religion that says if it’s a problem the free market can’t resolve, turn your blind eye to it. That’s you. Willfully ignorant. Just over a week ago we had an unreal 100,000 new cases. Seven days later 160,000. This is insane. We aren’t even in December yet. Forget lockdowns, which Republican governors in Ohio and Utah are starting…the population on its own will lockdown. They won’t go out.

    This website was all over Cuomo for shutting down bars at 10 PM. You know who else has done that? Your supposed libertarian stronghold, Sweden (the country that libertarians now love, including their universal health care system?).

    It’s funny how you libertarians keep trotting out your disdain for Cuomo, who at least has been able to keep the pandemic at bay since a disastrous Spring. Nothing about Republican DeWine (Ohio), who has a mask mandate. Nothing about Republican Herbert, who has a mask mandate (Utah). In fact, this pandemic is raging all over the Midwest, not New York. Nothing about the Republican mayor of El Paso, who now is facing a catastrophe and is begging for federal help.

    As this pandemic is spiraling completely out of control in this country, and Republican governors are issuing restrictions, here is what Reason is concerned about…Biden’s estimate of deaths that will wind up off by a couple months, and Cuomo insisting that NYC live up to its pledge that itself made if positive tests are above 3.0 schools will close.

    Nothing about positive tests skyrocketing, nothing about hospitalizations skyrocketing, nothing about Republican governors asking COVID positive nurses report to work, nothing about deaths per day rising.

    This website is really a joke. It’s nothing more than a religion, where reality never enters.

    1. Oops. Made a mistake. I said we were at 160,000 new cases in a day. Turns out 172,000 cases.

      But public schools might close willingly NY!

      1. Looks like your mask totem failed, Jerkweed Taste! All those mask mandates, all those restrictions on gatherings and occupancy rates, and they didn’t do shit.

        AHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    2. So what? How many will die in a Great Depression? Do you know what it would mean in a million Americans die? 329 million other Americans have to go on with life. That’s not going to happen with a destroyed economy. We need to move forward and what happens happens and that’s not callous either because I’m at risk too but I’m a patriot and willing to die for my country nee the human race. Are you?

    3. It was Cuomo that caused most of New York’s Covid deaths by forcing nursing homes to take sick people. Do you now that despite the Covid deaths, all deaths combined are actually down this year compared to last year. Sure we have more Covid deaths (because we know of none last year) but heart attacks and cancer deaths are down. Mostly because every death today is labeled a Covid death. Still the overall death rate according to the CDC is down.

      1. > Still the overall death rate according to the CDC is down.

        If you have a cite for that, I would like to see it, so I can have it on hand. I had been led to believe that the opposite was true. And I just used three different search engines and the CDC’s own website and could not find anything showing an answer in either direction. Perhaps I was just using the wrong search terms.

        1. You will not find it because it does not exist. Just like the conspiracy theory that “every death today is labeled a COVID death”.

          1. Before you know it they’ll be calling every sprained ankle a covid death! And JFK Jr. is still alive and Donald Trump will win the election.

    4. Jackand Ace
      November.13.2020 at 8:28 pm
      “…Willfully ignorant…”

      This from a jackass who supports several ‘sciency’ positions which have made the claims that:
      (1) ‘India is lost; there is no reason to send aid’. Ehrlich, 40 some years ago, and India is now a food exporter.
      (2) ‘FDR Drive will be underwater and highrises will have windows boarded up by 2000’. Man, ditto.
      (3) ‘Millions of people will be dead of this by the end of summer’. More bozos than I care to count, last spring.
      And this lying piece of gullible lefty shit has the nerve to call someone else ‘ignorant’.
      Fuck off and die, asshole, but first please tell us how the magic words ‘fight climate change!’ will make the wildfires go away.

      1. Only the truly non-gullible know that somebody being wrong about something in the past means science is wrong (and Sevo is right). Where would we be, Sevo, without your lack of gullibility?

        1. Now that Science! charlatans have been proven wrong about the efficacy of masks to prevent community spread of a virus, they aren’t accepting that they were actually wrong, they just make excuses for why their totems failed.

          1. To be clear, you’re referring to completely irrelevant research while ignoring all the research on the actual virus we’re talking about?

  18. The fact that you still live there defeats your article.

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  20. The teachers don’t want to have to go back to work. It’s that simple.

    1. I make $5,000/mo. + “Cadillac” benefits and pension. Learn how below:

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  22. Yes. There is no gentle way to say this.

  23. Not clear at all to me why people would want to send their children to government indoctrination centers disguised as education centers.
    Or put another way, what person in their right mind thinks that turning their children over to the government for 30+ hours a week is a good idea?
    Home school
    Private school

    1. Very good point! I’m about to yank mine out if I can figure out a way. Complete indoctrination to double speak and double standards.

  24. Just don’t expect a refund on your school taxes.

  25. What a refreshing article! Finally, someone at reason has stopped being a “all these measures are necessary but we prefer that people do them voluntarily” to actually recognizing the damage done by these policies AND noting that the risk from the virus is comparatively miniscule.

    Here’s the problem: We bought the lie about flattening the curve and quietly acquiesced to massive government restriction in our daily life, up to and including whether or not we could plant a garden this year. Only a fool who knows nothing of power or human nature could have believed those measures would be temporary. Government said, “We need to borrow your freedom for a couple weeks, but we promise we will give it back!” And we said “Okay!”

    There is now precedent for all the authoritarian measures about to be put in place to stop this virus. We have accepted them once, then it became a political fight, and now there is precedent. We can’t very well complain now when we gave in so easily before. Or we can complain, but it won’t make any difference.

    So the people who care most about equity shut down schools, harming the poor and disadvantaged. The children sit at home, unable to effectively learn, while throngs of rich white people march through the streets proclaiming that black lives matter. They can march – for some reason that’s okay – but black children without means lose their education.

    School is not okay. Huge street celebrations are totally fine. And the word “science” has indeed been weaponized and become a “get-out-of-logic-free” card. That’s been true from the beginning. It’s a shame it took some people so long to see it.

    1. They tell us who can come into our house. No one says anything. It’s bananas. They threaten to take away HOLIDAYS. They constantly threaten to close schools.

      WHERE IS THE SCIENCE AND EVIDENCE FOR THIS?

      Legault in Quebec never presents evidence. He just talks out of his damn ass. Him and his flunkies.

      Criminals.

    2. “the risk from the virus is comparatively miniscule”

      Not what any medical authority says. Are you smarter than them? Do you get to decide that a few million dead Americans is “comparatively minuscule”? Compared to what?

      It’s glorious to see you appreciate, for once, metrics of relative harm. Funny how you only see them on extremely narrow self-serving occasions. “This affects me, so I care.”

      I wish it was mere selfishness, but it’s probably even less. It’s probably just a thought someone on TV told you to have.

      1. .002 mortality rate for those <60. Crap, the mortality rate for those above average life expectancy in the US is <.05. Now tell us about these anecdotes about people with "life-long" ancillary medical issues when no one has had the WuFlu for more than 9 months. Next tell us about how the intensive care beds in your area are all occupied even though, based on your statements, this has been the case since May.

        1. When people start dying on the street and in hospital waiting rooms like they did in Italy, maybe you’ll take it seriously. Or maybe you’ll be one of those who almost dies and then finally takes it seriously. Until then you’re just a menace to public health because you’re in a political cult.

  26. Because Matt. The pandemic is a fraud. Like the election. Criminals run the show at the moment.

    It’s a hysteria on all fronts.

    And in a time justice and no mercy exists, they swing and sway against the backdrop of a gentle wind in the sunset. Just saying.

    Follow the science my fucken ass.

    Crimes against humanity.

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    2. The pandemic is getting so bad it will probably kill someone you know soon.

      Isn’t it wonderful that we can’t solve a problem that affects us all until the abjectly most stupid of us decide to see what’s in front of their dumb fucking faces?

      1. Ah yes, itsgongetcha. God, you’re such a coward and a cuck.

        Someone close to me is more like to die of heart disease, cancer, be killed in a car crash or other diseases. They are are just as likely to die from the flu as well since the IFR is in line now.

        Take your false compassion and failed logic and shove it down your masked face.

        Go cower in your bed Tony and let the rest of us get on with it.

        1. False compassion? Moron.

          Now I have to worry about you trying to run people over with your car or give them cancer. Your right as a Merican!

      2. I know lots of old people. Still haven’t seen it.

  27. 2.8%???? We have shot past 13% in my Michigan county and our public schools just closed Friday! And why? Because the number of teachers in quarantine due to the high COMMUNITY spread meant they simply couldn’t staff the school any longer.
    Over the last two months of full time 5 day a week in person schooling, I’ve known of so many kids (including one of my own) who got contact traced and quarantined due to a classmate testing positive and in no case I’m aware of did they in turn test positive or develop symptoms. It’s spreading among friends and family members outside of school – NOT in the classrooms.
    There’s a point where it becomes untenable to operate but that’s a logistical problem, not a safety problem. While our middle and high schools (with 1000 and 2000 students respectively) have now gone remote, our district has prioritized keeping elementary schools open (though some individual classrooms have gone remote with their teacher, temporarily, to get through a quarantine together.)

    Credit to our local school district, who appropriately listened to parents and staff in a community with thriving private & charter schools, and a robust homeschooling community. (They also, for those concerned about in person learning, offered a fully virtual option through a county consortium operated by an established virtual provider, with additional remote support from our district teachers. About 15% of students opted into that for the semester.)
    Amazing what a little competition can do for a community!

  28. I would say that Reason has picked a bad hill to die on, but perhaps the simple fact is that it has no choice but to die on it. That’s the trouble with incorrect theories about how people should live.

    This is a once-in-several-generations collective, global crisis. There are at least two mature responses here:

    1) Libertarianism was wrong. Oops.
    2) Libertarianism is mostly right, but in a once-in-several-generations collective global crisis, yeah maybe we have to implement measures that don’t apply in normal times. Tough it out libertarian soldier, you’re a big boy. You’d have to be to live in the world you claim you want to live in.

    Pandemics can be civilization-ending. Viruses behave in unpredictable ways. No theory can account for all the variables.

    Of course there are still unfortunate implications for you. Wouldn’t it be best to have collective enterprises and plans in place for these eventualities, so that they are indeed less bad than they could be? Starting from a nonexistent bureaucratic state and going to full-blown global cooperation is just dumb.

    And since these events aren’t in fact that rare, and are increasingly less rare as climate changes, it’s probably best to maximize capacity and stick with #1.

    1. Masks in public and outside don’t work. May as well wear a bag like the Unknown Comic.

      /Tony’s head explodes.

      1. Well you’re just wrong about that fact.

        https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/masking-science-sars-cov2.html

        And by the way:

        “An economic analysis using U.S. data found that, given these effects, increasing universal masking by 15% could prevent the need for lockdowns and reduce associated losses of up to $1 trillion or about 5% of gross domestic product.”

        1. LMAO. Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Multiple states with mask mandates and public gathering restrictions for MONTHS. MORE people wearing masks than they were six months ago. And what are these states getting for their trouble?

          MASSIVE fucking spikes in coof cases in these same states! Lockdowns in Deep Red Oregon, Colorado, and New Mexico! Looks like the Power of the Mandate is pretty fucking useless against a 1.5 billion year old organism.

          Their totems failed, but they’re doubling down, like all government bureaucrats do when this happens, by saying “We didn’t do _________ hard enough!” Because their own pride won’t let them admit that their Big-Brained Solutions are helpless against Corona-Chan.

          1. So you’re smarter than the CDC.

    2. What’s the crisis? The virus has killed .01% of the world population. That’s if you believe the numbers. Hell a million Americans die every year just from heart disease and cancer. Is that a crisis?

      1. 1.3 million dead with no end in sight is a crisis. As is the economic damage. And you’re making it worse.

        1. Tony ~ There is no crisis. So far this year, the world’s population has grown by 70.6 MILLION people. Take your fear and cowardice and go hide in a hole so we can be rid of your idiocy.

          1. Exactly how much death would you people completely dismiss in order to maintain your Trump worship?

    3. I am on the hill, but I choose not to die.
      I choose to continue my life as far as the open businesses allow.
      My county dictators issued a “mask mandate”, with the CDC approved exceptions. I wrote an email asking how to qualify for the 3/A/ii exception (Persons for whom a face covering would cause impairment due to an existing health condition).
      I got a response I found very interesting;
      “As a point of clarification, the Mayor’s Executive Order requiring Face Coverings is not an enforceable mandate. As such, there are not procedural requirements in place for those individuals who cannot tolerate a face covering for medical, sensory or any other condition which makes it difficult from them to utilize a face covering. Further, the CDC document you reference are guidelines – also not an enforceable mandate, but the Mayor’s Executive Order and the exceptions therein do align with the CDC guidelines.”

      So I don’t wear a “cloth face covering”. If a business does not want my business because of that, I discontinue patronizing them.
      No one has yet confronted me in the grocery store, the one place I have no choice about going; I have to have food.

  29. Celebrate this chance to turn on parents to home-schooling. For one, many of them will find out exactly what garbage their kids are being taught in school.
    Two, they’ll realize that the teachers aren’t really interested in the kids’ well-being. They want full pay but don’t want to do a lick of work or put out a socialist’s wish-list of demands that have nothing to do with schooling.
    Three, they’ll see that the public schools are just glorified day care centers set up so that dual-income families can be tax cattle at maximum work output.

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  32. All of a sudden Reason realizes the Democrats / Leftists are authoritarian tyrants. Where were all these articles before the election?

    1. Closing schools is the opposite of tyranny.

  33. I don’t see why I should care about this, the real totalitarian act was forcing kids to go to school in the first place, so schools being open or not during Covid is unimportant. (Can you have more articles by Peter Gray?)

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