Fandango’s Provocative Question #78

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

By a very wide margin, The United States leads the world in both COVID-19 cases and deaths.5D43EE67-C712-4BD2-8F19-520E2B1BD7BEAnd with between 60,000 and 70,000 new cases each day and 1,000 or more deaths each day, the virus shows no signs of abating anytime soon.

Donald Trump, the President of the United States, is trying to pretend that everything is fine and that we need to reopen the country and return to “normal.” To that end, he is demanding that schools physically reopen in the fall, even as the coronavirus pandemic is surging through much of the country and is threatening to overwhelm many health care facilities in the hardest hit areas.

Trump is arguing that the social, psychological, and educational costs of keeping children at home any longer would be worse than the virus itself. “We’re very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools, to get them open,” he said. This pressure includes cutting off federal funding for school districts that don’t physically open for this upcoming school year.

My children are adults and my grandchild is only seven weeks old, so I, personally, have no skin in this game. But I’m curious about how those of you who are parents or grandparents of school-aged children feel about schools being required to reopen in the midst of on out-of-control pandemic.

So here’s my provocative question this week.

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?

If you don’t live in the U.S., has your country or local school district reopened yet? If so, how has it gone?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

35 thoughts on “Fandango’s Provocative Question #78

  1. ruddjr July 15, 2020 / 5:36 am

    This question is so complicated. Parents want to keep their kids safe but at the same time most of my friends that have school aged kids also work (and some are teachers themselves). Working from home and teaching kids doesn’t work. Our government doesn’t have a plan yet.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango July 15, 2020 / 8:54 am

      Our government does have a plan — “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” 😡

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Paula Light July 15, 2020 / 6:15 am

    I also have no skin in the game, but I believe that, at a minimum, online-only education should be available for everyone who wants it. When people say that children are in a super low risk group for the virus, they aren’t thinking about the teachers. The issue of using schools as a dumping ground so parents can work complicates things for sure.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. XingfuMama July 15, 2020 / 7:28 am

    Beau of the fifth column put out a YouTube video about this, yesterday, I think. The title was about talking points, it addressed why he believes the admin is doubling down on this. I don’t have skin in the game…And I homeschooled my son for middle and highschool, while working some of that time. If education is the goal it certainly can be done by distance. Since a lot of socialization will be curtailed for safety sake it comes down to students who need the social and health services provided through the schools being the main argument for opening. Kind of weird for this administration that that is the main argument.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Fandango July 15, 2020 / 10:54 am

      Everything this administration does is kind of weird.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Astrid July 15, 2020 / 8:02 am

    WTF? This is totally ridiculous! I mean, schools reopened here in May for primary schools and June for secondary schools, but we don’t have a lot of cases of the virus anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango July 15, 2020 / 11:09 am

      If you don’t have a lot of cases, then the answer is obvious: reopen the schools. But if the cases are surging, like they are here in many states, the answer is far from obvious.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. bearmar July 15, 2020 / 10:15 am

    I think each parent should have the choice of what is best for their children. I think the variables are quite different for region and age. For us, my son spent the last 3 months of the school year at home. The last minute programs were busy work at best (no fault of the school), and I do not have high expectations this would be different going into this school year. For us, I believe that presence in school is important. #FPQ

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Haunted Wordsmith July 15, 2020 / 12:23 pm

    It really needs to depend on your city and county. Places with high population densities are being hit worse. We still have a lot of counties in Kansas with single digit case counts and those are all recovered. In my county, we are “having a surge” since reopening because adults are idiots (but they haven’t done squat anyway). We will be hearing this week what the state and district have to say about our schools. Like with any virus, good personal hygiene will go a long way toward prevention. Exposure doesn’t mean contraction and there are lots of things schools AND parents can do to minimize exposure.

    So, in short, it really depends on the area. If it is uncontrolled growth, no (but then why are adults going out?). If it is flattened and controlled, yes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 15, 2020 / 12:46 pm

      True, but so many people seem to believe Trump and other virus deniers (i.e., Republicans) and don’t maintain appropriate social distancing or aren’t wearing masks. Because, as you said, “adults are idiots.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haunted Wordsmith July 15, 2020 / 12:48 pm

        Our county has residents who threw covid parties, traveled to see sick relatives and brought it home, and people who refuse to wear masks because “the liars aren’t going to kill me.” You can’t fix stupid.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Taswegian1957 July 15, 2020 / 5:23 pm

    I don’t have kids or grandkids and I am in another country but of course we have the same issues in Australia on a smaller scale. For us it is a state issue and while the Federal Government, can and have requested that schools open as soon as possible they can’t force it.
    In Tasmania where we have had no cases for two months schools are back, well it’s school holidays but you know what I mean. Other states had also reopened their schools.
    However, the state of Victoria is experiencing a second wave of cases so their government decided that senior students and colleges would remain open but all the younger students up to Year 10 I think are back to distance education again. This is just for the greater Melbourne area, the regional areas are as normal.
    We are dealing with smaller numbers than you in the USA. Melbourne is currently getting something like 200 new cases a day. I think it is best left to the states or even individual school districts to decide but if we had the kind of numbers you are getting in the states none of our schools would be open. Even (PM) Scott Morrison wouldn’t want that and he’s an idiot too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 15, 2020 / 10:18 pm

      It’s remarkable how there are so many idiots leading countries these days. 🤦🏼‍♂️


  8. Marleen July 16, 2020 / 12:28 am

    I think it’s clear that formal schools, such as most private schools and the public schools, are geared toward being there. It is ideal to be there, when that is the orientation [that goes for college as well]. However, it shouldn’t be absolutely compulsory everywhere in this country right now. If anywhere in this country. A parallel thought is that a parent can theoretically choose to home educate the child(ren), as is the standard understanding under our rights [up through twelfth grade in terms of basic schooling]. However, some parents don’t feel up to that task. It’s different from doing whatever ad-hock thing is being thrown together to impose in a pinch by officials or teachers who aren’t accustomed to online teaching, although there is a lot of euphemistic talk as if “everyone is homeschooling“ right now. Home educating can be coordinated by parents directly (either individually or in community without any “school” intervening). Also, there are established schools that are set up to correspond through mail or to interact online.

    Meanwhile, many parents need to work and are stuck (truly or in the sense of feeling that way) between two imperatives — the need to not only have their child(ren) supervised but cared for while learning and their need to earn a living. Then, yes, there are parents who want the kids OUT just “because” (the rugrat or brat phenomenon). As for the need to earn a living, probably some of (but not all) parents can get that figured out if they know or can discover what resources are available. Perhaps many are satisfied with current make-do public solutions, including some parents who wouldn’t normally feel “up to” it. When home educating, other arrangements are enjoyed to organize social occasions or sports and so forth. But, here again, much of this is not advisable at this time. We can’t be sure who would best oversee interactions of groups in safe ways. The parent(s) of each child should be able to keep a child home even if all schools are open. Should “the schools” be open, is the bottom line, or is that too risky?

    Ultimately, there are many pushing and pulling embodiments of wants and worries… obviously. But anyway: parents, teachers and other staff, various kinds of employers, city and district personnel due to practical considerations, Trump for possibly a number of reasons but seemingly mainly ego or “positive” (supposedly but more like wishful or boorish) thinking and surface appearances, the secretary of education (Betsy) because she’s a greedy profiteer (sucking money out of public school systems and so on for her own enrichment… which she can’t do without butts in the seats), some kids who would rather go for various reasons, some kids who would rather not go for various reasons; I’m sure I’ve forgotten “somebody” or some ulterior interest. I’m really glad I don’t have to deal with it one way or another. My children are grown, and I have no grandchildren. I’ve chosen both leanings in my time. I suppose I see overall that Trump — et al. — botched addressing the matter in any significant way. And we are just left to experience the fallout.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Marleen July 16, 2020 / 12:47 pm

    Trump, GOP, on Wrong Side OF
    EVERYTHING Since Coronavirus Began

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 16, 2020 / 11:15 pm

      Not just since coronavirus began. Since the inauguration on January 20, 2016.


      • Marleen July 17, 2020 / 1:06 pm

        I agree with what you’re saying there, but some people are slow to catch on… like Saagar is admitting he has been. He’s seeing that Republicans are “a corrupt scam.”

        (There, I have to go beyond Inauguration Day.)

        I also like his word choice: “wish casting.”

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Marleen July 16, 2020 / 1:17 pm

    Trump’s Next Bailout Could Be A DISASTER …

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Marleen July 16, 2020 / 1:18 pm

    … Billionaire Reveals Why They’re Happy …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 16, 2020 / 11:17 pm



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