Rex Huppke’s column in Monday’s Tribune was about the teacher’s strike and their fight with Mayor Lori, and there was a paragraph that I especially liked. I liked It because I always felt being in the minority when I tried to explain this to other people: public guidelines change not because all officials are stupid, but because our knowledge about the situation changes.
And also, because overall circumstances might change.
Here is this quote:
We need to do all we can to get back to a semblance of pre-pandemic life. And at this point virtually everyone agrees that a top priority is keeping kids in school for in-person learning.
But that desire for normalcy doesn’t jibe with the unpredictability of a virus. The problem we’ve had, almost from the start, is a lack of patience and an unwillingness to accept that sometimes our understanding of new things evolves, and circumstances change.
First we were told masks weren’t necessary, then we were told they’re crucial. That’s because scientists developed a better understanding of how the virus is transmitted, but many took it as, “Well, they don’t know what they’re talking about and I don’t want to wear one of those face diapers anyway!”
The vaccines were good at preventing the spread of earlier variants, but the omicron variant has proven better at infecting vaccinated people. So some see that and as evidence vaccines don’t work, totally ignoring the fact that vaccinated people who get COVID-19 rarely need to be hospitalized.
The pandemic seemed to be receding, but now, with omicron and the colder winter months, it has surged again. Some can’t handle that concept and say we just need to open up everything and live our lives.
That’s what many are saying about the public schools in Chicago: “How dare they shut down again! Open it up! Even if my kids gets COVID-19, they’ll be fine.”
The words “my kids” are at the heart of this country’s problem, and the reason we’re all but destined to continue struggling with this virus.
It’s an excellent article in general, but I find these paragraphs I cited especially important. For months now, I do not understand why many people can’t understand just that – that our collective knowledge changes, that virus evolves and that recommendations have to change, it does not mean that officials “do not know what they are doing/saying.” And I do not know why it is so difficult to understand.