when-the-school-bell-tolls:-to-open-or-not-to-open

WHEN THE SCHOOL BELL TOLLS: TO OPEN OR NOT TO OPEN

Written By: Terry Budget

Messages sent from the highest level of government have a trickling effect on those holding local governing authority. The data presented by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) informs the country that wearing masks work as a deterrent for the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, the Trump administration maintains that while wearing masks are good, they should not be mandatory for the country. From his administration’s perspective, we are in a good place. Let me remind you that the United States’ death toll is over 140,000 and rising daily. Are we still in a good place?

The states are now in discussion regarding the opening of schools for the Fall season. What is the impact of this choice? We must take into consideration that each student is placed at risk in addition to the teachers. I understand the desire and more so, the need to place our children back into an environment of academic learning, but what is the plan to do it safely? Clearly, this administration is not providing any guidance. Even Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education, cannot or does not provide any clear directive on how to do so. Her only comment, “We have to get our schools opened.” She has become the befuddled mouthpiece of a single-minded administration that appears to be driven more toward maintaining power than saving the lives of the citizens they are mandated to protect.

I find it strange that as the occupant of The Oval Office, such messaging regarding masks is so off-balance between him and the experts who are specially trained in this field of knowledge. Leadership is obligated to focus on the welfare of the people, not just personal ambitions. This has been and is currently, the plight of this occupant. Therefore, the culmination of states which make up this country is suffering because of that selfish ambition. What is the real cause behind this action? You guessed it; POWER!

As previously mentioned, the school year is approaching and the need to educate our children is at the forefront. If the rhetoric from The Oval occupant is, “Masks cause problems too”, then why does the science prove that mask-wearing is the first deterrent to transmission? Isn’t our life preservation worth even a little inconvenience? The White House has gone as far as to block the CDC director from testifying to congress regarding the openings. My question is, will he be sending his own son to school without a mask or clear guidance from that department? Humm, I wonder!

Governing is a major responsibility and the nation should trust in its leadership. However, if the belief is that this governing body, specifically the occupant of The Oval, is not trustworthy nor acting in the best interest of the people, then those citizens have a moral obligation to question that leader’s actions and demand explanation or initiate a change in direction. The problem is the messaging that citizens buy into and the irrational adherence to that information. Sun Tzu, author of The Art of War wrote, “All war is deception.” WAKE UP, you cannot fight against an unjust leader if you don’t know you are being deceived.

We all want the same things; an open economy, vaccine for the pandemic, a safe environment for our children, and jobs returning. The intent was never about wanting something different for the country, but we must be smart and deliberate about what we’re doing. Georgia Governor, Brian Kemp, and Atlanta Mayor, Keisha Lance-Bottoms are locked in opposition regarding their perspectives of mandating the masks and school openings. If the Atlanta residence is mandated to wear a mask to open the economy, don’t both sides get what they want? We cannot open a vibrant economy or safely open schools until we deal with the barrier that prevents it.

To open or not to open; that is the question. Who will stand on the right side of this equation? You have the right to refuse to wear a mask and risk your own life regarding the virus, but you don’t have the right to risk someone else’s life because you refuse to wear it. Take a step back and assess what is more important at this place and time. We will find out who was right when the school bell tolls!

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