Text 9 (August 8th) – Watch or read the latest news about Covid-19. Capture your thoughts by then writing for 10-15 minutes – what are you thinking, how do you feel at this moment?
Cause and Effect
We’re told every school child going back to school in September is the priority. But every teacher in the land, or at least everyone interviewed, says it’s too soon: “What if there’s a second spike?”; “How are we going to maintain social distancing with children?”
I bet most of these same teachers have been out with their mates this week, getting their fill of ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ or leaving their litter on Bournemouth beach.
I really don’t get why news reports are always so one-dimensional. There always seems to be one issue, with one solution or one problem. And the issue and response seem to disappear just as quickly as it appeared.
Today’s issue is ‘Back to School’, the problem ‘Second Spike’. Yesterday it was ‘Illegal immigrants arriving in Dover’, the problem ‘the French’. Before lockdown, the problem was ‘Climate change’ and ‘Greta Thunberg’ the saviour.
- Epstein: MeToo
- Obesity: Sugar Tax
- George Floyd: BLM
…and on and on it goes.
Whilst there is lots of criticism of right-wing media by left-wing Twitter and lots of accusations of bias by one side or the other. I wonder.
I wonder, if the media believe we can’t hold more than one thought in our head at the same time.
At the start of Lockdown, a simple ‘Stay the F at Home’ was applauded as being a clear message. As soon as the rules started to change, no more applause. The media seem to delight in finding interviewees to tell them the rules don’t apply to them or they are being unfairly treated because they aren’t getting a pay out or it is a farce that they have to cancel their wedding or they are stranded in Spain or they just want to hug their mum!
And so, the fake news peddlers and conspiracy theorists get a hold: There never was a virus. It was released by China. It’s just a way for the Government to get us to move to a cashless, completely traceable, society. It’s alien!
I just want to yell; “Think for yourself!”
They say that Coronavirus cases are on the increase in Spain. Up by hundreds. Images of the Smith family; Jonah, Gill, Poppy and Max, masked on the beach, sad and serious (Telegraph). It’s a holiday catastrophe (Sun), Shock horror! (The Times), Thousands repatriated (Guardian), Holiday packages cancelled (Independent), Empty aeroplanes fetching our poor, long suffering holiday makers home betimes (Mirror), another economic crash for the travel industry (Economist), quarantine looming (Daily Mail). Also, (Sun) draconian consequences for school staff should they have the audacity to go to Spain or France, Portugal or maybe even as far off as New Zealand (not of course for employees of the NHS, saints each and every one, who not even the Sun would dare dish) but teachers no longer heroes (oh well it never was going to last).
Why is this a surprise?
Was there ever an exit strategy? No of course not. Lockdown was a knee jerk panic reaction while the powers that be got their ducks in line, their scapegoat identified and PPE made. Of course, cases will rise when lockdown ends. Is that not obvious? But the media, the appallingly short-sighted, sensationalist media are unable to retain a thought in their head for much more than a few days are surprised. Or pretend to be. Surely the journos in Wapping are not really as thick as they appear.
Why are people so stupid – buying this propaganda? Before Covid-19 I didn’t really think to much about the sheep like response to hype. I am ashamed to say I didn’t read much or watch much news. BBC obscure documentaries lured me with their complex reasoning and were enough. Give me the fantasy world of Andy Weir or Kate Atkinson anytime. So, I suppose I did make up my own mind a lot. I am one of those irritating people who has to see evidence and logic and then makes opinions of my own. But now I do follow the news. And I’m shocked at how incredibly bad it is.
Yes, quarantine is back. Yes, it wasn’t the plan. Why is this a bad thing? To my mind it’s a truly excellent idea because I don’t want people to die. Some of us want to keep on living our live but no one should share the consequences of our choices. I am sad to learn the pandemic situation is worse but sadder to find that most of the UK are surprised about it.
I hope you had a really good holiday – I did.
Sense of dread fills my head
Mind’s black brown I could drown
Can I survive another lockdown?
My brave new world imploding
My fragile self exploding
To again not see a familiar face
Exist in a vacuum in my own place
As endless hours tick slowly by
And no-one’s there to hear me cry
Scottish Scandal ‘Highers Grades Lowered’
There has been uproar in Scotland during this last week, after claims that their qualifications body, deliberately downgraded teachers’ predictions of achievement, for pupils in schools serving ‘less affluent’ areas of the country.
This problem is the subject of an inquiry, instigated by Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon and is of especial interest, with the teacher predicated A level grades, due to be released for all English pupils, tomorrow.
This cohort of school leavers, have borne the brunt of the effects of the Covid19 pandemic, on education; having missed the final six months of their school life, when major decisions are made on their future educational destinations and last minute revision, ready for the assessment of 2 years of hard work, is undertaken.
The rationale behind the qualification body’s decision, is that teachers in many under-performing schools, may have taken this opportunity to inflate their grade average score. Indeed, looking at the increase in the number of pupils gaining A-C grades, seems to suggest this. However, in claiming this the scots qualification body is casting doubt on the professional integrity of these highly qualified teachers. There has been no consideration of the fact, that the 2020 school leavers, may just have performed better than previous years pupils.
Then there are the individual cases, where a pupil has lost out on the offer of a place at University, merely because of the siting of the school they attended. One student who was offered a place at Medical Schools, dependent on her achieving 5 A’s in her Highers exams, (which she was predicted to easily be able to achieve, by her teachers) had her results downgraded to 3A’s & 2B’s, because the school she attended was in a ‘lower class’ area, hence her not getting the promised medical school place. This penalising of high achieving pupils because they live in a poorer area, is a disgrace
It is not only a year of these pupils lives, that has been affected here but the whole of their future employment prospects. The 2020 pupils will always have the unenviable distinction of being ‘those who didn’t actually sit their exams’-good or bad, whichever that may be. Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister, has promised action to sort out these ‘unfair’ cases and has now stated that the teacher predicted results will be adhered to. Unfortunately this will throw the UCAS system into even more confusion.
The English GCE A level awards grading, will also have to be scrutinised in detail, in order to avoid a similar situation and it transpires today, that the Tories Education Minister, Gavin Williamson, has personally apologised to students and allowed for their grades to be changed, either the mock grade or the exam regulator assigned grade, whichever is the higher of the two. However, this is not equivalent to the promise by Nicola Sturgeon, for the Scottish Higher students, who can choose to be assigned the teacher predicted grade, an option not available to their English counterparts.
It seems to be just another ill thought out response to the Covid pandemic, by the inept Tory government led by Boris Johnson. The government ran a ‘major pandemic’ simulation in 2017, which highlighted a lot of the things, that have in reality caused problems but no actual preparations were done to avoid these because it was believed a global viral pandemic, was not likely to occur in the foreseeable future. How short sighted is that? It seems to be a ‘case of closing the stable door, after the horse has bolted.’
To Have or Have Not? That is the question.
How would you respond to Jenner Institute?
Be brave? Be stupid? Be aware? Be conscripted ?
Be injected with a potion derived, untried for the sake of mankind.
Knee jerk quick fix to satisfy the do-gooders, the parliamentarians, racing to become world leaders to defeat Covid 19? How do you square the logic of ‘one size fits all?’
Baby, child, teenager, twenties, sixties , and over eighties, over weighties.
Shooting best guessed arrows, at willing arms with fingers crossed in the dark.
Vaccine may give you a banging head – they said,
If only that was all! I said, following twelve months of being unable to walk with arthritic swollen feet, gigantic hands.
Conscripting others hold a cup or cut up my food for me drink and eat.
Resulting from one simple ‘flu jab,’ widely available on Doctors’ advice.
Polyrheumatoid, the consultant said, probably vaccine related but cannot be proved.
That was 2006 – my notes now forbid. How many more may fall?
Covid is just another thing thrown at us to overcome. Every time we conquer one species exterminating disease we have another following close behind. Maybe God wants us for sunbeams. I am surprised by the split in attitude between the older generation and the younger generation. People are not taking this pandemic seriously enough. I can understand that the younger generation are invincible I was once. Wisdom is no good if people ignore the wise words from their elders. The two sides seem to be diametrically opposed and the younger generation are not giving any ground. They don’t have to do what we do, wearing masks etc., but we have to do what they do by opposing us. We have to breathe their germs in and risk infection every day. Sometimes I am embarrassed to be human and this is one of those times.