The Herman Trend Alert
August 5, 2020
Getting Kids Back to School Should Be our #1 Priority
In a previous Herman Trend Alert, I wrote extensively about a detailed plan for opening schools. Unfortunately, since then, reopening schools in the United States has become a major issue.
One of my daughters has a friend concerned about the schools not reopening. My daughter called me the other day with her friend's concerns and that phone call changed my life. It gave me a different perspective on virtual education that was truly eye-opening. I had been squarely in the camp of staying isolated and keeping schools virtual. After speaking with her, my thoughts are definitely more conflicted.
Intelligence is No Measure for Adaptability
Not surprisingly, with two brilliant parents, these three boys, 13, 11, and 7 are all extremely bright. However, for whatever reason, they did not thrive in the virtual version of education. In fact, when they heard that in-person school would not be happening in Marin County, due to a spike in COVID cases, they cried. They miss their friends; they miss their sports; they miss their teachers.
The Educational Cost to Children
There is a tremendous cost to not educating our kids. Most have fallen behind where they would be had they been in school; and with the current state of COVID cases in many areas, most schools will not restart in-person education in the Fall. Even the highly respected American Academy of Pediatrics has acknowledged the social and emotional costs and encouraged in-person education. Sadly, once COVID began spiking again in many states, they walked back that statement.
The Current Situation with COVID-19
While a few countries in the world have a very good handle on this crisis (notably Spain and France), sadly the United States is not among them. Right now, globally, the pandemic is raging. Many countries in the world, including Brazil and India have fast-increasing COVID-19 cases; however no other country in the world can approach the US for its increase in infections. As I write this Herman Trend Alert, 24 of the 50 United States are considered to be in the Red Zone, defined as those that are spiking or increasing in their numbers of COVID-19 cases. How can we possibly open up the schools there with cases increasing? Elsewhere, in states like Vermont and Maine, in the Green Zone, one would hope that they will be reopening schools---with the appropriate masking, ventilation, and PPE.
The Teachers' View
From the teachers' perspective, reopening elementary education is a nightmare waiting to happen. Veteran teachers imagine the first day of school when little kids exchange masks and exposure to COVID-19. Many teachers are in the twilight of their careers and often have underlying conditions. Without the additional retrofitting of buildings, hiring additional staff, adequate fast testing, and giving the teachers adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), it would be unconscionable to open the schools at this time.
Re-Opening Schools Should Be a Top Priority
No one would dispute that having children safely back in schools is better for everyone. It would be helpful to the parents to be able to work; it would be better for the childrenŐs social and emotional development, and certainly, it would be better for the economy of the country. However absent the billions of dollars to make life safe for teachers and students, we simply must not return to in-person education---especially in spots around the globe where the virus is spiking. Even in the Green Zones, we must be willing to make the extra investments to make life safe for everyone.
One Possible Answer
In the US and abroad, schools confront huge financial challenges, including costs for additional staff, PPE, retrofitting buildings for proper ventilation, and supplementary support services for students. If we were to make the significant investments needed by giving teachers the PPE they need, invest in the facilities, and allocate money to give students what they need, we could send them back into the classroom. All that said, no plan can work without getting control of the virus and establishing a massive testing program. Right now, in the US, we have shortages of testing equipment and processing capability. Moreover, we would need the tracing talked about in a previous Herman Trend Alert,.
Great News on the Testing Horizon
So it turns out that we now know a very important piece of the puzzle we did not have before: we have been chasing tests that are unnecessarily sensitive. . . and, the less sensitive tests which are quite adequate to find people whose viral load puts others in danger, are inexpensive paper tests. And the best part is that the results are available in just 15 minutes.
Next Week: Solving the Testing Crisis and Acknowledging Vaccine Progress
In this Herman Trend Alert, we will cover the new tests, including the 15-minute paper tests and pool testing---two potential solutions. There is also more promising news on the vaccine front. See you next week.
Special thanks to subscriber Craig McDermott for new information about testing.
© Copyright 1998-
by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3548 or https://hermangroup.com. To sign up, visit https://HermanTrendAlert.com. The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."
LOOKING FOR GREAT TRANSLATION SERVICES?
Excellent translation services from English, French, or German into Spanish. Especially well-versed in medicine/pharma and automobile industries. 5-year Bachelor Degree in Translation. Also editing and proofreading of all kinds of Spanish language documents. Flexible rates, depending on number of words, degree of difficulty/technicality, and turnaround. For an instant quote email Mariana Campora Lesti at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact her on SKYPE at marianacampora.
HEAR JOYCE EVERY WEDNESDAY AT 12:30 CENTRAL TIME ON IRA WOLFE'S FANTASTIC PODCAST
Each week, Joyce and Ira will address some aspect of the future on Ahead of the Curve in Normal 2.0. It's fun and informative and you can join here. Subscribe and you will be notified when we are live.
BE FOUND BY THE MEDIA
Our author Joyce gets quoted in TIME Magazine, FORBES, and other national media on a regular basis. You can, too! Sign up for ExpertClick.com. You will be found by the news media and in Google search: 1. Through your personal search-engine-optimized press room by 39 topics you choose; 2. By news releases pushed out 10 ways including Google News; 3. Be found in the 2020 printed Yearbook of Experts, Authorities & Spokespersons. Save 15% when you register by November 10th @ http://www.ExpertClick.com/Discount.
To read this Herman Trend Alert on the web: https://hermangroup.com/alert/archive_10-28-2020.html.
Herman Trend Alerts are produced by the Herman Group, strategic business futurists, Certified Management Consultants, authors, and professional speakers.
New subscribers are always welcome. There is no charge for this public service. The Herman Trend Alert is read by over 30,000 people in 90 countries, including other websites and printed periodicals. Click here to sign up for the Herman Trend Alert.
Do you enjoy receiving this weekly e-mail update? Contact us about our co-branded Herman Trend Alert service.
Subscribe or Unsubscribe to weekly Herman Trend Alert
View this week's Herman Trend Alert
Archived Weekly Herman Trend Alerts