It’s a good rule of thumb to avoid looking like an idiot in front of children.
I mention this because New York’s governor and government are about to do exactly that. They are currently muddling through the implementation of an absolutely idiotic move.
Namely, a ban on extracurricular activities for students 12 and over who are vaccinated, but not boosted, and who are exposed to someone with covid.
This has “dumbass” written all over it.
And students know that.
Students know that this new rule is illogical, punitive and ineffective, that it isn’t about public health, it is about submission to government authority. It’s not about protecting people, it’s about oppressing people.
Here’s what Kathy Hochul wants to do. If a student 12 or over is exposed to someone with covid, that student must semi-quarantine for five days, unless he or she is boosted. That means they can ride the bus to school, they can attend class, eat in the cafeteria, go to assemblies, engage in all school-time activities, and then ride the bus home.
Other than that, they must quarantine.
Specifically, they may not participate in any afterschool extracurricular activities.
No basketball practices or games, no chess club, no concerts or play rehearsals. Nothing. When the final bell rings, Cinderella turns into Typhoid Mary.
And that’s preposterous.
Think it through.
The exposed but not boosted student is stuffed onto a school bus, an area ripe for transmission. Then packed probably 30 students in a classroom. Running around and bumping into each other in gym class. The happy bedlam of lunch in the cafeteria. Every 45 minutes the bell rings and you shuffle into another packed classroom with a different group of people.
And that’s OK. The governor approves of that.
But that all ends at about 3 p.m. Apparently, that’s when the bad covids come out. Apparently, some aspect of aerosol viral transmission changes just before 4 p.m. Eastern standard time.
For example, Kathy Hochul says it is safe to sit in a geometry class with 25 students at 2:30, but it is not safe to sit in that same classroom with the 10 members of the yearbook staff at 3:30.
That makes sense, right?
Or, the state of New York Health Department sees no threat of covid transmission playing basketball in gym class at 11, but – in the name of public health – cannot let that same unboosted student go to basketball practice at 7?
How do you think the average adolescent reacts to that idiocy?
How savagely do you think the TikToks will mock this?
But wait, there’s more.
Let’s say you are 11, this week. Ok, let’s say you are 11 the first half of this week. And you turn 12 on Wednesday. And let’s say that on Monday after school a kid in your reading class tested positive for covid. That means you and everyone else in that classroom was exposed on Monday. Start the five-day clock. Tuesday, being unboosted and 11, you can go to middle-school play practice after school, to get ready for Friday night’s show.
Then on Wednesday you have your birthday, and turn 12, and Kathy Hochul claims your unboosted soul.
That means that 24 hours after you were perfectly fine to go to afterschool play practice, you are now a threat to the public health and must be banned from play practice. And heaven help you if you can’t or don’t want to get a booster before Friday, or you are going to miss the play.
That’s Kathy Hochul’s New York. That’s what “science” and “doctors” are saying must be done to protect society against covid.
And every student affected by this policy knows it is pure bull crap. One-hundred percent Grade A stupidity.
Particularly in the era of omicron, in which vaccines and boosters are ineffective against transmission, everyone is apt to be exposed, and everyone has a good chance of infection.
This isn’t about public health, this is about government power.
It is about putting damaging pressure on children’s lives in order to extort their parents’ obedience to the whim of the governor’s vaccine policy.
Every oppressive system says “Kiss the ring” in its own way, and this is how New York is doing it right now.
And nobody will understand that better, or with greater resentment, than the young people directly affected by its capricious injustice.