Three emails came from the school on Thursday afternoon, each of them announcing, in turn, that another case of Covid-19 had been discovered. 2 in the high school, 1 in the middle school. School was on the "all virtual" plan on Friday to allow extra time for them to do a "deep clean" of the affected buildings.
This morning 2 more emails arrived. The first notified us that there were 2 more cases discovered, and that school will be on the "all virtual" plan for at least this coming week, with a decision to follow on Friday about the week after. The second email was a gentle reminder that "virtual" classes, unlike last year's virtual arrangement, are required attendance.
We have been on the "all virtual" plan from the beginning, so this is not a change for us. Our jobs allow us to mostly work from home, and this was the case for us before the pandemic began, so having our kid home isn't an inconvenience (most of the time). I can only begin to imagine the stress other parents have been through last year, and again now.
Last week, Silas needed help with some of his chemistry homework. I'm no chemistry genius, but I can find my way around balancing chemical equations. There is a 40 minute period for teachers to be available for extra help after the official end of classes during this virtual week, but that doesn't seem like enough time to cover all the homework help I can imagine a lot of kids need.
Given all the chaos and insufficiency of so many resources on so many levels, it's amazing to me how so many people keep their lives together at all. I feel like I ought to volunteer to run a nightly chemistry and algebra homework live virtual help desk, and just the prospect of it scares me. How the hell do teachers do it?
Earlier this week, several of my contacts on Twitter referred to this article by Indi Samarajiva about societal collapse. Here's one telling line:
In the last three months America has lost more people than Sri Lanka lost in 30 years of civil war.
We are there.