This morning I figured out how to open schools safely. I did this in two hours while lying in bed trying to get back to sleep without falling back into nightmare (my dreams are reflecting the world outside my head again and it’s not. . . pretty.) My daughter just called to tell me that she solved the world’s economic crisis and also that she has been exposed to Covid – again, but quite definitely this time – and is getting tested again.
Gods forbid we stop reopening the bars and restaurants and everything else; the rich might be inconvenienced. They might lose a tiny fraction of their wealth if the serfs aren’t out there every day dying for the economy. In just a few short days, the extra unemployment goes away and then people will begin to starve. More people, that is. There are a fair number already there. And there are federal troops disappearing people in Portland and soon, Trumpacabra promises, there will be more: in Chicago, in Baltimore, in Philadelphia, in Oakland, in LA, in NYC. In everywhere, actually, that might be counted on to vote against the idiot orange criminal in DC. Including, of course, DC.
I cannot think about it. I want to go to Portland and join the Moms – I too am a Mom, after all, and it’s only two hours away – but I have no one to watch the dogs and I need to take my immune system, or current lack thereof (between the blood thinners and the surgery three weeks ago, I basically don’t have one) seriously. Which sucks. I feel helpless, hopeless and terrified and I don’t have any solutions. Except for the schools, that is.
Hear my school solution! The answer is this: we must hire hundreds of thousands of teachers. Everyone who is unemployed and seems reasonable should be hired. Me, for example. I actually have a background in education that I’m not using and I can’t be the only one. Schools get broken into bubble groups of 8 – 10 kids. The parents and neighbors and so on get a say in who is in their bubbles, thus lessening the chance for outside contamination. Each bubble group of kids has 2 teachers. All the school buses get turned into housing for the houseless (hire more people to convert them) and we buy fleets of 10 passenger vans, one for each group, or, okay, two groups can share one, I guess. The bubble groups go all over the place, learning about nature out in the woods, about construction on construction sites, about trains in the trainyards. The unemployed people at the airport get to show them the airport and the planes. They go out on fishing boats. They go to farms and volunteer. They go, if they are in Baltimore, to the Golden Eggs of Poo, a beloved and memorable field trip for many young Baltimoreans. Meanwhile, set up big tents around the schools. That’s where your bubble group goes for meals and reading time – each kid has their own reading beanbag to lie on; it travels with them. The bathrooms are port a potties. Each one is cleaned between kids. That’s the worst job, so the person who does that makes the most money. The school day runs from 10 am to 4 pm. When the weather is too cold to be outside, then school is over until it gets warm again. The school buildings get turned into a combination of intensified social service agency – we also need to hire thousands of social workers – and emergency family housing.
Now we have revolutionized education in a good way. However, that’s the solution for younger kids. For high school kids, we go full metal Hogwarts. High school kids and their teachers go to boarding school. Everybody lives there. Nobody leaves, nobody comes in. Where are these schools? Hotels. Mansions. All nationalized for the greater good and now an educational Covid free zone! And what do the kids do all day? They farm, thus ensuring that our food supply doesn’t go away (this incorporates my daughter’s plan, which involved paying the unemployed to farm.) They go on massive nature oriented field trips and multi day backpacking adventures. And, they do WPA style infrastructure projects, learning trades in the process. Who cleans up Flint’s water? High school kids! Who converts massive plants to solar? High school kids! Who converts all those school buses to housing? High school kids! And every day they work is applied towards college tuition, so when the pandemic is over, if they want to go to college, they can go for free.
I believe this all has a chance of being enacted roughly equivalent to that of the proverbial snowball in hell. This is too bad, because the course we are on is going to kill hundreds of thousands more people and the trauma of that is – already has – going to permanently scar a generation or two. And the hell of it all, the true hell, is that all of this could have been avoided if we had fixed our fucking rigged election system after Bush the Second. If we truly lived in a democratic society and truly had one person, one vote, then I honestly believe we’d have a sane adult human being in the White House right now and representatives in the Senate and Congress who actually gave a shit about the people they are supposed to be representing.
But, you know, that would have inconvenienced the rich and we cannot have that.
PS in other news, I can and am walking again, huzzah; the bachelor elk herd is in Fort Stevens with fuzzy new immense antlers, see above; I have decided to bake all my own bread, which is not going swimmingly – I had to off my sourdough starter and I nearly cried; I think naming it may have been a step too far – and I have discovered that I can, in fact, eat All the Fat now and this is not, probably, a good thing. But oh gods grits are just better with cheese and tofu is better fried than baked, oh yes it is.