Pandemic 2020 – Some Positive Thoughts

School in the Australian Outback

Education is the USA constantly evolves (sometimes revolves), however, nothing like what has happened over the past few weeks (March 2020) thanks to a pandemic that should have never happened. However, in some ways, this is an exciting and challenging time for adults as well as for our children. While spoiled adults and kids bemoan schools closing forcing homeschooling, this is how Australia has handled their challenge for years.

The majority of kids in the remote areas of the Outback participate in the School Of The Air. School materials are delivered to students via mail. During the school day, teachers set up in a radio station booth and the kids dial into a conference call with them to discuss their work and hear their lesson for the day. The kids also log into an internet site to follow along with lessons if they can.” (Australian news)

How can this be exciting? First, our young people are going to learn responsibility and self-motivation if they want an education. We are in the electronic education era. The downside to this is that there will arise a separation within this young generation (the Corona Generation?) – those who kept up with school work and those who found ways to blow it off despite school administration efforts.

Parents are now forced to actively become involved in their children’s education as a teacher or monitor. They can no longer send their kids off to supervised daycare and expect someone else to teach them while they go off to do their own thing. This is also a great opportunity for grandparents to step up and become more involved in their grandchildren’s education, even if that means phone calls or visual Internet connection.

I live in the county where social separation is not a problem during this time of “house arrest.” Unless going to town for supplies, we don’t live especially close. In my neighborhood, we still gather outside to talk at the mandated separation space. Some grandparents (fleeing the confines of city life?) are playing and teaching their grandchildren. Some of us are educators or former educators and have offered to tutor/help our neighborhood kids. Our little subdivision is more like a family. With one of the biggest cul-de-sacs in the country (the open space is the size of an American football field), we gather for block parties and socializing while the kids play.

For those who already work from home or have been evicted from “regular” work, they now have the time for family, teaching/supervising school work, and even learning something themselves. For one, I have tackled the Analytics of Confucius while editing my latest novel, babying a garden, spending time researching and sharing some of that on Facebook, and a host of ancillary activities not to mention walking the dogs further than usual. (With spring-like temps we spend more time exploring. I’m looking at the new flowers and cacti blooms and rocks while the pups explore new scents since yesterday and exercise the rabbits.)

Unlike previous epidemics, this one does not appear to be one that will fade into history. It and the changes that are resulting will be with us for quite some time. As science corrals this disease to a dull culling of the herd, we need to stop cowering in fear and look forward and capitalize on the positive effects. Change is not always desired or easy but we have no choice except live with it and make the most of the good things.

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