All San Diego Schools Should Remain Closed to In-Person Instruction
San Diego schools and universities should remain closed to students and staff until our vaccination rates are high enough, we have the right support for schools to reopen tackling the airborne nature of the COVID-19, or both.
COVID-19 Spread By Students, and Air
Schools and universities that reopened last fall turned their counties into hotspots throughout the nation. We’ve lived with COVID-19 for nearly a year now; we continue to make the wrong choices and are shocked when we’re faced with the consequences of them. We are now in the worst period of the pandemic and within a few days will have a different federal response that San Diego needs to capitalize on to get us back on track.
We’re nearly a year into the pandemic and we are:
- still questioning whether or not young people can transmit the disease — as if white lies will provide cover for our inability to better support teachers and families with children.
- still ignoring that COVID-19 spreads by air; not just by touching a surface someone sneezed on.
A Tale of Two New Administrations for San Diegans
When I last wrote on the topic this past summer we had a different mayor, less than 200,000 deaths due to COVID-19 nationally, and a federal administration actively muddying the water with lies about how good things were. We now have a new administration in San Diego and the White House. The Trump Administration’s strategic lies to the public on COVID-19 alone has cost us lives. Any and everyone associated with this administration’s “response” should be held criminally liable, more so than just be shunned.
In late December 2020, Mayor Gloria took a good step by signing an executive order calling for stronger enforcement of current COVID-19 measures. I haven’t seen much leadership on the topic since then, but it has been a busy two weeks.
At a glance Mayor Gloria needs to:
- open and staff more vaccination super-stations,
- leverage relationships with local pharma: ensure their commitment to our community and secure more vaccines for San Diego,
- better communicate with the public regarding how to prevent the disease,
- close willfully blind gaps in tracking outbreaks,
- and not forget that our teachers should still be next in line as we begin vaccinating San Diegans outside of our healthcare workers.
Also: requiring teachers in California to teach from the classroom because parents wanted teachers in empty classrooms - without the appropriate support - is also a horrible idea that will continue to put teachers in danger. Teachers should be able to teach from home: COVID-19 bubbles don’t work if we all share the same bubble without knowing it.
Our Darkest Winter: COVID-19 Deaths Are Accelerating
Articles lately have said that we are approaching a dangerous period of the pandemic with lasting disproportionate impacts, even without misinformation and lies these articles tend to lag: we’re already there. Our approach to 400,000 recorded deaths due to COVID-19 happened two days ago. That is 400,000 Americans who had families, livelihoods, aspirations, coworkers - and their lives cut short due to a disease we are still not taking 100% seriously.
The rate at which people are dying due to COVID-19 is averaging 3,000 per day in the United States. To put that in perspective the time it takes for 100,000 Americans to die from COVID-19 is shorter now than it ever has been.
- <100 days to reach 100,000 deaths on May 22nd, 2020.
- 116 days to reach 200,000 deaths on September 15th, 2020
- 87 days to reach 300,000 deaths on December 11th, 2020
- 35 days to reach 400,000 deaths on January 15th, 2021
- 33 days are expected for us to reach 500,000 deaths on February 17th, 2021 if we continue at this rate or things speed up.
In closing, I am very hopeful that the Biden Administration can help spur stronger local efforts to beat COVID-19 right here in San Diego. You can tell the tide is changing as some in the media are returning their focus to migrant caravans and pearl-clutching over the federal deficit. I hope you have as long of a memory as I have about all media that are acting in bad faith, but I hope even more so that you and your loved ones remain vigilant during these dangerous times.
We’re halfway through the COVID-19 pandemic and we will make it through together.