At some point, the people who did this have to face the music and come to grips with what Covid maximalist school policies have wrought. In this case: outright failure.
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The major conclusions drawn from this working paper are that lockdowns did very little if anything to help mitigate Covid-19 deaths, especially when you account for differences in demographics that give some states an advantage, and some a disadvantage.
One of the reasons we were told masks were essential for school kids this year was that masks would reduce the likelihood of school closures, by reducing disease incidence. Unfortunately, like so much the CDC has promised, the opposite turns out to be true.
I would have hoped that the arts community would be the first to welcome a return to seeing faces, exchanging smiles, and including all who want to benefit from the inspiration of art. Sadly this has not been the case.
Some old friends have disappointed while others have surprised me—including some new friends I had not previously known while at the University. Recently, a professor of English at UCLA sent this unsolicited letter to the UCI Chancellor. I am publishing his extraordinary letter here with his permission.
To mandate a medical intervention is to violate the fundamental right to medical choice. Therefore, the decision to mandate must be based on nothing less than incontrovertible medical necessity. In the case of Covid-19 college vaccine mandates, that standard cannot be met based on current science and real-life experience.
When restrictions were lifted, it was often only because they were nudged (or required) to do so by politicians – or when said politicians lifted their own orders upon realizing their policies might be costing them politically, as was the case with masks at many schools, including UChicago and GMU.
Yet, throughout this pandemic, notice how many global health scholars were totally silent on lockdowns. How many global health researchers said nothing as India sacrificed the future of a generation with school closures? How many US based disparity researchers or early childhood advocates were silent on school closure? I believe most were quiet!
A review of college mitigation policies suggests that the more elite the college the more draconian the mitigation measures. With some digging, you can uncover a wide range of excellent private and public colleges. Most important to keep in mind; any school that makes complying with mandates a non-negotiable condition to making dreams come true should promptly be removed from the list.
Freedom is not an option, despite what they say. It is not something granted to us by the powerful at their discretion. It is a universal right, one protected only by a culture that loves it, institutions that guard it, and people who fight for it. We can get there. We are in a position to help prove this, to rebuild, and work for a world in which nothing like this ever happens again.
Not one governor performed perfectly during the pandemic and lockdowns. With media pressure, a desire to balance their constituents, and a desire to get reelected and move on to federal positions down the road, it was an enormously difficult job for all of them. For every single one, from Governors Newsom and Cuomo to Noem and DeSantis, it was the most challenging policy-making of their careers, and for any governor in perhaps American history
In a world where, to paraphrase Zygmunt Bauman, all is liquid and most are driven by the search for fleeting sensations, and where establishing a personal hermeneutic through reading and contemplation is considered quaintly quixotic when not impossible, the mutterings of the authority figure nearby take on an enhanced attraction.