Thursday, August 20, 2020

Pandemic Shifts

Folks have changed. Some are direct consequence of impositions forced by the pandemic. Others, more indirect, are a result of time afforded by the pandemic to reflect on lives and how they are being lived. There will be changes and some, many being improvements, may well be permanent. This pandemic will not fully subside anytime soon and only the most naive believes this is one and done. 

One change taking hold is the renewed affection for suburban and rural living. Hopefully this will put a stake thru the heart of plans being made by high profit high density developers and their lackeys at city hall. God willing some of those lackeys will become redundant. In any event it is gratifying to find that the folks who moved to Dunwoody and created their sense of place, a suburban place, had it right all along. 

Folks have planted pandemic gardens, because you can do that in the 'burbs. Many have revisited a lost art called "cooking." Some have realized their home cooking is actually better than a lot of what they previously got where someone else did the dishes. Many have found life not just survivable without a daily eat-out but significantly better calling into question the viability eat-outs going forward. 

Working from home has not only worked it has proven more productive than rush hour to and fro with break room decompressions and afternoon dread. If work-from-home maintains its current level there will be fewer employees in cubby holes and consequently fewer occupational tax payments. Maybe we'll see folks at the Developers' Authority who traded away school taxes to gain occupational taxes wearing face omelets. 

Then there are the public schools. Buses are no longer schlepping kids to classes but since it is part of revenue stream they are now meals-on-wheels. Teachers have gone from heroes to traitors by insisting they be outside the classroom. A year ago teachers would have a hissy fit if someone suggested cameras in the classroom and now the classroom is the camera. And they want it that way. Or so they think. Unfortunately this form of flipped classroom does exactly what teachers so don't want: exposing classroom activities to review, particularly by parents. Now it is virtually impossible for a parent to NOT see what is going on. If Stan Da Man's post of virtual learning weekly calendar is correct, and it probably is, then DeKalb is offering three hours of instruction four days a week with the remainder mostly fluff. As a point of reference, the State of Georgia requires that home-schools provide four and a half hours of instruction for 180 days per year. And what are the teachers' big concern? That their Professional Development Institute didn't cover how to create their own bitmoji classrooms. Any parent that giggles that (it really is a thing) will likely seek an alternative to this virtual learning which is proving to be useless. If enough parents agree, this pandemic may finally result in a public school revolution where schools shed burdensome extras and return to core learning.