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Queries, Questions, Posers: Coronavirus Unknowns

Updated on April 7, 2020
Mr Archer profile image

I am old, and growing older. It is a fact of life that the days ahead are far outnumbered by the days behind.

Is this our new reality? How long will it last?


This question has terrifying ramifications.

Was COVID-19 tested on Chinese citizens in Wuhan? Did the Chinese government have an antidote prepared and ready? Was it then released worldwide in order to destabilize governments, destroy economies, and terrify citizens of the world so that China could become the world leader, replacing the United States?

Dear God, if this is remotely true, it means this could be the opening salvo of World War III. Literally.

The fact that China is representing its losses as being dramatically down, with no to very few new cases, that fewer people have died in the original hot spot than Italy, America and other locations is worrying, to say the least. I have waffled back and forth on this question, believing there is no way a country would intentionally infect its people with such a killer, and then I remember this is China we are speaking of. China, who routinely flaunts reason and common sense, who defies conventional wisdom regarding what is safe and what is not. China, who sent children's toys made in their country to our country containing lead in the paint on the toys, knowing full well the damage that can do to little children. China, who disregards any minimal safety levels in their infamous "wet markets", who laughs in the face of our safety requirements for our citizens.

Yeah, I can see China doing something like that.

But the question is, would they? They own a surprising amount of our debt, our land, our companies. They also ship an inordinate amount of goods to our markets while not reciprocating on anything close to a level playing field. We are perhaps the biggest market in the world for their goods, so would they take a chance on destroying their income in order to destroy ours?

I cannot say, but I do know that conventional wisdom says that China and its people are able to take the long view on almost anything, not weeks and months in the future but years and decades in the future. Who can say if they have a game plan that is so far advanced of anything we can imagine that they literally are playing a game that we do not know the rules for. If this is so, we have already lost.

Read the article I included as a link to the USA Today; it is thought provoking and when one continues on to read the comments, it is more than that, it becomes apocalyptic.

What will schools do if they cannot return this school year?

I hear people talking about lost athletic years in high schools and even more, college levels. What will happen if athletes are not able to play their senior year of eligibility? Will they forfeit that year? Will they be able to play next year? Will that affect underclass students who might make a team next year but won't because of someone staying an extra year? Will something be put in place to assist them?

It becomes a domino effect with no end in sight. But my question is a bit different, and all the more important:

What will our children do when they cannot go back to school for close to three months? That is a full quarter of the school year lost with no learning or preparing for the coming year. How do they recover from that loss?

I do not believe our children will return this school year; at best we are looking at sometime in May and that is when they would be getting out of school for the summer. Will parents stand for their summer vacation to be taken from them? After this situation, if a family has the means to take a vacation, to escape the house I believe they will take it and not stay home so their child can attend school.

So, do they return early to school in the fall, add on a few weeks to next year's schedule in order to recap and update/inform students in order to prepare for the next level of school? A fact of life is that even in this electronic age we live in, the internet is not available everywhere for online classes, nor are students necessarily prepared to undertake online learning for any intense course, those which require a teacher to spend time explaining and giving examples to every child, nor are all children able to learn from a single setting video prepared for everyone; there will be questions and not all will be able to be explained via video. And what about labs in college, situations which require hands on learning? Again, this will not work for everyone.

Additionally, what about students who were graduating this semester; will they be given their diplomas without completing their studies? Or will they be expected to return at some point to finish? What if a college senior had a job lined up immediately after graduation?

There are so many scenarios that need to be decided, investigated, with answers given and I have yet to hear a single answer or thought on this. As a matter of fact, our school district was to begin a four day school week this next year combined with a later start to the school year because Governor Mike Parsons decreed that tourism is so important to the economy in Missouri that we need to have an extra week of vacation in order to assist businesses across the state in their quest for income. Do you think he will relax that law and start school early if the children need some extra time to complete their preparations for the next school year?

That is, if we make it to post coronavirus.

We are seeing widespread unemployment, supplemental income, additional checks from the government, working from home, and other new and novel ideas even as we hear that some jobs might not come back at all. What will happen to those who worked those jobs? Not everyone can work remotely from home; again, internet accessibility and speed, security, and reliability will reduce this opportunity for those who live in remote and rural areas. We live just outside of town and our internet is pathetic; I know we are not alone.

What if our companies who have work outsourced to foreign countries, such as China, decide that they do not want that work being done there any longer? What if our government demands those jobs return to America or face stiff tariffs and sanctions, making the profits diminish to nothing for having work done overseas? Will our workforce be ready to handle the influx of jobs, will they be able to adapt to the work? Will companies increase pay to attract workers, raising up the price of these goods to compensate and will America purchase these more expensive goods?

Or will these companies just shut down? Will the jobs disappear? Will the unemployed be able to find work when there is no work to be found?

Ultimately, this question is something we have no idea about yet. We are in the earliest of phases concerning unemployment and we have yet to even hit bottom on the jobless claims. But someone, somewhere needs to be creating a plan of action for this one because when it hits, we better be ready or we will fall flat on our faces.

I understand these questions, and more, are on the far horizon at this time but someone, somewhere better be working on them, hard. If China really did this with intent, we are talking Nazi Germany type of treatment of its citizens, and of the citizens of the world at large. Bio-terrorism is something which has yet to become a reality in any form beyond a movie screen and if this is real, WWIII will be real as well.

If not, and we simply are dealing with a naturally occurring virus then we must ready ourselves for the time after, for school to begin again, for budgets of schools to be destroyed as school boards across the nation decide how best to deal with 25% of their school year gone. How to recover from that will impact a generation of students for decades to come when it comes to jobs and learning.

And the job market will be reeling once this is behind us. But what if this virus doesn't fade into the past, what if it is here to stay as an annual situation with ever changing mutations that affect the population in different scenarios each year? The world cannot survive as it has been doing, simply to make money at any cost. It, and we, will have to adapt to a possibly more limited view of how to live, a more rural type which we used to do, from gardens for families rather than buying food at the store; from commuting an hour to work to working in a small community at a job never dreamed of. To removing ourselves from selfish thoughts and greed to caring for our families and our neighbors, sharing what we make in order to trade with other families for what they make. A return to our past in order to secure our future.

These are but a few thoughts running through my mind tonight, a few questions bouncing around in this empty head of mine. But they are real questions which will need real answers at some point in the not too distant future, in order to have a future at all.

What do you think? What questions do you have?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Mr Archer


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