Things that bother me

Opinion: Columns

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By John Hubbuch

It bothers me that after three years, despite giving him the benefit of the doubt, I have concluded that the person with the most agency to launch a nuclear attack in the entire world is not a self-proclaimed "very stable genius" but rather a very unstable idiot. Frightening.

It bothers me that not so long ago religion could have provided solace, compassion and humility to people in perilous times such as these, but alas modernity and secularization has marginalized this once-powerful force.

It bothers me that some of the Black Lives Matter protesters prefer the selfish orgiastic pleasure of tearing down old statues to the harder work of convincing elected officials, or failing that, running for office to effect desired change. What would John Lewis say?

It bothers me that I almost didn't write the preceding sentence lest, as a white person, I be charged with racism.

It bothers me that somehow along the way civic discourse died. We have come such a long way from a time in which neighbors could respectfully discuss the political and social issues of the day. Now each day many of us self-quarantine in pods of red or blue, seeking the comfort of paid oracles and news readers who provide us with our own curated narrative of the news. We then share that narrative with friends and family who share our bias. We are active participants in our own brainwashing. As a result, instead of civic discourse, we just yell at each other about masks.

It bothers me that millions of people are spending billions of dollars on sanitizing objects, despite hardly any evidence that COVID can be gotten from touching such items. I feel sure that with all the contact tracing, it would have been big news that someone got it from a cellphone, golf flag stick, fruit, or car steering wheel. The CDC seems to indicate that infection is "unlikely." How unlikely? One in a billion? In fairness I believe I read somewhere there was a dog who got it fetching a stick in Rouen, France. But it was a mild case.

Finally, it bothers me that teaching seems to have changed from a calling to just another job. I'm just glad that doctors, nurses, EMTs, drug store clerks and supermarket employees have not refused to work because of fear for their personal safety.

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Diane Deckert from Oak Park  

Posted: August 14th, 2020 10:37 AM

It's not fair to label teachers' concerns about COVID protection as refusing to work. I also don't think it's fair to say that teachers are refusing to work when they are teaching remotely. Teaching with remote learning is still teaching, and it requires teachers to learn new skills and develop new strategies. I also recognize that some teachers are better at remote teaching than others, but that's another story that shouldn't be confused with concerns about the health and safety of both the adults and the children in schools.

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