By Travis Mounts, managing editor
Life is going to continue to be bumpy.
Lots of people have their hopes tied on the return to school, but anybody who thinks things will be like they were when school started last year are delusional.
And I’m not even taking into consideration the masks and the plastic shields and social distancing and new lunch routines and bus route changes, and all the other things that will immediately tell us that life has changed completely.
I’m saying that you better count on remote learning happening at some point, and that there will be classrooms or buildings or entire districts that have to shut down at some point.
Already, nearly every local district has pushed back the beginning of its school year. Last week, the State Board of Education refused to affirm Gov. Laura Kelly’s effort to have all schools start after Labor Day.
But many school districts already were thinking about changes. The State BOE vote doesn’t mean there aren’t delays, it just means the length of delay differs from school to school. Haysville and Goddard and other large districts in the area have mostly decided to wait until after Labor Day anyway. For other districts, the delay is a few days to about a week. Some are still undecided.
Lord only knows what the sports season will do. All we have to do is look at what’s happening in the world of sports, especially Major League Baseball.
Basketball, hockey and soccer restarted but with players, coaches and staff in bubbles. They have a few cases here and there, but nothing that will cause major disruptions.
The MLB season is only a week old, and already the Miami Marlins’ season is up in the air. More than a dozen players and staffers tested positive for COVID-19 at the beginning of the week. Their games are postponed at least through this Sunday. By the time the weekend wraps up, the Marlins will have been on hiatus twice as long as they had played.
There were at least four players who were positive before Marlins’ players voted to play on Sunday, exposing opposing players to the highly contagious virus. A majority of Washington Nationals players, who were supposed to face the Marlins this weekend, voted not to play Miami. Miami’s midweek opponents, the Baltimore Orioles, have now had four games postponed. The Marlins’ most recent opponents, the Philadelphia Phillies, are missing games after potential exposure.
And there’s no room in the schedule to be making up games.
This will happen in high school sports. Teams will have to cancel either because of direct illnesses or because their district has called off classes. There will be teams that suspect illnesses but don’t report it. Contact tracing could be a real problem. High school teams aren’t in bubbles, so the coronavirus could come in from anywhere – family members, other students, trainers.
Look, we all want things back to normal. I’m a parent – I get the stress of having to find childcare, and of having to be a teacher when that’s not what you are trained for. This is tough.
However, rushing back to our normal lives is why we have cases skyrocketing. Opening too soon and not wearing masks has given us the current situation, and it’s not getting better soon.
We may be too late to turn it around, too. I just don’t know. If we don’t get better about wearing masks and staying home and just being smarter, things will continue to get worse.
And the worse things get, the longer and longer we’ll have to wait for normal to return.