As a baseball fan, I have not always had the funds to sit in the better seats. It can be more fun to sit in the seats with the average avid fan to strike up conversations and listen to others as the grossly overpriced beer starts to affect judgment. I loved sitting in the upper deck and yelling at the umpire that he blew a call on a pitch that clearly was a strike from my vantage point. However, as you move closer to the field, you start to pick up the small intricacies of the game that make baseball more interesting, and the game unfolds in a way that sitting in the upper deck can’t give you.
I have to admit to being quite stressed out due to all of the events in our world for at least 3.5 years. This is my fault for purposely taking myself out of the conservative news bubble and seeing the big picture to look at all sides and focus on news sources that I trust. When my friend Chris removed himself from his Republican Precinct position, it set off alarm bells that I better start paying attention to what is happening in our world. I hate to steal a phrase from Bob Woodward and the Washington Post, but Democracy does die if we do not shed light on what our leaders are doing.
As I have moved closer to the political landscape, I am beginning to see the intricacies of that game. The problem is that this game’s results could lead to much more dire consequences than just disappointment.
Houston is in Harris County and is home to two of the largest school districts in the country. HISD is an inner-city district. Cypress-Fairbanks is a district that is deep into a transition that has taken it from a country school district to one that is very diverse but is still dominated by the conservative local politics of a white suburb. The inner-city school district intends to do virtual learning until at least October. The suburban school district is forging ahead with plans to open for in-person instruction on September 8th. I will now throw in the fact that Harris County is in the red zone for COVID-19 with a positive test rate of 24%. Parents do have the option of keeping their kids at home and participating in the virtual learning program, but the teachers don’t. The teachers get to spend their days with young people with underdeveloped minds incapable of fully understanding how their actions impact others and the devastating consequences of those actions. Many of these teachers need the paycheck and have no choice but to go back. You may have seen them on the national news protesting the re-opening. The union is getting involved, but the teacher’s union in Texas is weak compared to others.
This district is over 49% economically disadvantaged, and is becoming very diverse. Many of these live in multi-generational homes.
The parents of these kids more than likely have to go to jobs, and they need the limited childcare the district offers. Like all kids, these kids will make poor choices when it comes to social distancing and proper hygiene and spread this disease within their homes and the school. The teachers will bring it home to their families, and we will be right back where we were at the beginning of July.
On July 31st, Dr. Peter Hotez, a local epidemiologist with some national exposure, sent a plan to the administration to get us all open by October. Of course, this plan has been ignored because resetting and starting over would mean that Dear Leader was wrong, and his boot-lickers are afraid of the “Mean Tweet” or losing their jobs.
Late last week, the CDC Director said that this fall could be the worst in U.S. history health-wise. Over the weekend from his golf club in New Jersey, Dear Leader said that he disagreed with his top health official on that assessment. Everything will be the best that it ever has been like the economy, health care, and the post office. Even from the view here in the cheap seats, that ball is way outside.