THE DOCTOR IS IN - I very much prefer the company of children to that of adults, because only children act their age.
It's one thing for children to act out, and decompensate during times of personal, regional, or worldwide crisis.
It's another thing altogether when adults decompensate during those times of crisis, and both set a poor example for our children and worsen their lives altogether.
In other words, throwing the kids under the bus (school bus, perhaps) because adults are being overly alarmist, prioritizing their own needs over those of their children, and because they're REALLY not willing to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of the children.
Kind of like how adults (men, mainly, in a bygone era) were supposed to sacrifice themselves while the children and elderly were to be spared the brunt of a threat--weapons, starvation, lawlessness... you name it.
1) When UNICEF (and just about every pediatric/children's advocacy group) documents and raises the alarm of the mental health of children being severely and negatively impacted by the pandemic, limitation of social interactions with other children, and school shutdowns: it's a societal problem.
We can dance around the fact that children were and are NOT impacted by COVID-19 nearly as much as adults...but it was and is true.
2) When the excessive freakout and over-reaction of teachers and their unions to COVID-19, and their willingness to deny children proper education, and their failure to do anything it takes is the "new normal" for educators, it's a societal problem.
Heck, all sorts of money is spent on questionable K-12 educational endeavors, so why not COVID-19 safety measures to keep in-school learning OPEN? LAUSD and many other school districts didn't do what it took (even after vaccines became available) to focus on the students, and Chicago is probably just the worst of the worst.
3) When too many teachers (NOT ALL, mind you) show their true colors as self-centered, overly emotional, and prioritizing students dead-last in their efforts, it's a societal problem.
Particularly when teachers are proven to have NO higher risk of severe COVID-19 than any other adult population.
There would and could have been plenty of remote separation of teachers from students, better ventilation of classrooms, and young teacher's assistants willing to keep older and/or immunocompromised teachers out of harm's way...but too many adult educators were having NONE of that.
4) When we ignore the fact that kids really didn't get too hurt by COVID-19, including and especially the new Omicron Variant, it's a problem.
5) When we don't have the ability to fast-track (and carry through!) a separation of in-school and at-home learning for vaccinated and non-vaccinated students, lawsuits be damned, it's a societal problem.
6) When "following the science" for REAL shows that getting Omicron to achieve "herd immunity" is much safer than waiting for a more virulent strain of COVID-19 to show up, it's a societal problem.
7) When treating the Omicron variant like the Delta variant, and ignoring the fact that even Dr. Anthony Fauci proclaims what ALL doctors know--that sooner or later everyone is likely to get COVID-19, it's a societal problem.
So let's cut to the chase--we prioritize more than a few things in our current early-21st Century United States of America.
But the children really, really, REALLY aren't one of those priorities...particularly by an American adult population who refuses to "save the children", even if it means that adults have to sacrifice in the process.
(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He was termed out of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) twice after two stints as a Board member for 9, years and is also a Board member of the Westside Village Homeowners Association. He previously co-chaired the MVCC Outreach, Planning, and Transportation/Infrastructure Committees for 10 years. He was previously co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee, the grassroots Friends of the Green Line (which focused on a Green Line/LAX connection), and the nonprofit Transit Coalition His latest project is his fictional online book entitled The Unforgotten Tales of Middle-Earth and can be reached at Ken.Alpern@MarVista.org. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)