Calm Down Citizens. Schools Can Remain Open Despite the Swine Flu. Duh.


School Closed?  I Don’t Think So.On May 5, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced they were no longer recommending that schools close based on a suspected case of Swine Flu.

In a nutshell their recommendations are now:

* Students, faculty or staff with flu-like symptoms should stay home from school.

* Students, faculty or staff who have continuing flu-like symptoms should see their physician.

* Students, faculty or staff who get sick during the school day should be isolated from other students and sent home.

* Students who are ill should not go to child care facilities with other children.

* Students, faculty and staff should frequently wash their hands with soap.

* Students, faculty and staff should cover their mouths when coughing.

Now this is the type of quality advice that you can only get from the federal government.

What would we do without their competent leadership and direction.

The next time a pig sneezes on me, I have all the confidence in the world that our government will protect me.

Of course, I also believe the news media will fairly and accurately report the information.

Now that we have the Swine Flu Saga behind us, we can focus on more pressing issues.

Such as:

* When it rains, go inside. And don’t look up with your mouth open.

* Don”t take a nap inside your oven.

* Don”t eat glass.

* Never mow your yard while holding a baby.

* And most importantly, never smell anything moments after someone says “Eeewww, smell this”

Actually I am lying about the Swine Flu Saga being behind us. I am sure we will get to do this all over again next fall.

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Swine Flu. Just When Schools Thought They Had Heard of Everything.


Common Sense.

You may not have heard, but there seems to be a problem with Swine Flu. It hasn’t really been covered by the news media, so don’t feel badly if you’ve missed it (this is a little thing I like to call sarcasm).

The way it has been explained to me, it could be a pandemic.

I am not sure what a pandemic means, but it sure sounds scary.

There must not be anything else newsworthy at this time of year in order for this story to become so big.

While I don’t want to take this situation lightly, I have grown up in the generation that has been beset by the end of the world on at least 20 different occasions.

The Cold War. Shark attacks. Hurricanes. Fires. Wars. Cigarettes. Y2K. Bird flu. Terrorists. O.J. Anthrax. Planes crashing into stuff. The Unabomber. Global warming. Banks. Weapons of Mass Destruction. Pirates. Drug cartels. Sarah Palin. Gangs taking over schools. Paris Hilton. Michael Jackson and that creepy monkey (or creepy Michael Jackson and that monkey).

There has been a chance all of these could affect me directly and in some cases deliver my untimely death. I was especially concerned about bumping into O.J. at a golf course.

On top of that, the good people at the National Weather Service now tell me a tornado or some sort of storm is going to attack me.

Every 15 minutes. Right in the middle of my favorite TV show.

I have become numb.

As usual the focus of health and safety is dropped directly in the lap of public schools.

The government in all their wisdom (again… for the uninitiated, this is called sarcasm), has recommended that public schools be shut down for at least 14 days if there is a suspicion that a student has a headache, bellyache, or the sniffles that were contrived from a pig.

Easy enough. Students seldom complain about not feeling well while they are at school. Shouldn’t be too hard to tell if a child has picked up the flu from a farm animal.

President Obama might have been more helpful if he had insisted, during his speech, that all schools should clean (w/ bleach) all desks, door handles, bathrooms, etc. each and every night. No exceptions.

Put us all on notice.

To me, this is a better plan of action than just saying this new flu strain is “bad” and we should be careful.

And we need to remember to wash our hands.

Closing schools or even talking about it should be a last resort.

In these difficult economic times, asking parents (especially single parents) to find and pay for extra day care for up to two weeks is a huge burden.

I am not saying that we shouldn’t take the Swine Flu seriously, because we should.

But taking students from schools and putting them around other kids in day care doesn’t really seem like progress to me.

I wonder if our country’s efforts to educate people through the media crosses the line, and we end up just scaring ourselves.

And our children. And older people.

There are so many other issues that don’t seem to qualify as “breaking news”. Most have been on our radar for years and unfortunately don’t have a catchy name like Swine Flu (it should be noted flu is so much scarier when it comes from an animal… I am dreading the Dog Flu next winter because all Buddy the Dog wants to do is lick me and nap).

In 2008, the following are numbers of people predicted to die from each disease or event (yes, I did actual research for this blog… please don’t come to expect this type of extra effort in the future… information taken from the Disease Control and Prevention Database).

In the United States 307,655 people would die of cancer.

7,258 of skin cancer. 21,289 of colon cancer. 26,987 of prostate cancer.

Oh, it gets better. Or worse if it happens to you. Especially if you were one of the 12,372 people who were murdered.

57 people perished by falling off a cliff. 1 person “bit” it by a shark attack. 40 were killed when struck by lightning.

4,624 died in a motorcycle accident. 1,062 unfortunately fell down steps, and didn’t get up.

8,432 passed away from HIV/AIDS. Remember when this was the “breaking story”? Now old news.

It’s not as exciting to report on anymore. But people are still sick.

It goes on and on. 7 died from an incident with sports equipment. 1,737 in a fire. 2 got it when their idiot doctor left something in them during surgery.

28 in an earthquake, avalanche, or landslide.

55,105 had a stroke from which they didn’t recover.

43 got stung by a bee and didn’t recover.

My point here… research is exhausting. And it is evidently not safe to leave your house, play sports, or have surgery.

Americans get sick, hurt, and die from lots of things. What we shouldn’t do is scare children needlessly and close schools because it makes people feel better temporarily.

Schools certainly have to do their part, but why are we the only ones being mentioned that need to help slow down the pandemic.

What about malls? And churches? And businesses, factories, colleges, the Kentucky Derby, NASCAR, Major League Baseball games, the NBA playoffs and even CNN?

I wouldn’t be surprised if more people work in the CNN building in Atlanta than there are children attending school in the 5 closest counties to me.

Any chance they will close? Didn’t think so.

Can’t we be proactive with our safety and still use good judgment?

I think the only thing that won’t recover from this latest drama is our common sense as a country.

It may be dead forever.

Please remember to cover your mouth when you cough, wash your hands, and stay at home if you are sick.

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Schools Need to Teach Common Sense Along with Math and English.


Say What You Want... These Guys Are Go Getters.Public education has changed in the last 5 years.

Government has done a good (please feel free to replace good with poor, less than adequate, terrible, dreadful, completely appalling, or pathetic) job at dictating what curriculum schools must teach.

I believe that educators need guidelines in the area of curriculum, but there is something that we should be mandated to teach; yet it continues to be overlooked.

Common sense.

English, math, and science are important areas for students to master. But isn’t common sense an even more important skill to learn before graduates head off into the world?

I believe that most people think you are either born with common sense or you are not. You have the gift or you don’t. It is not something that can be learned.

I disagree.

I think it is time that schools recognize the importance of teaching this skill. We must do a better job of preparing our students for the future.

Why is this so important?

We are teaching a generation that is going to take care of me in a nursing home one day in the near future, and their poor judgment frightens me. I want to make sure the person changing my diaper has a good head on their shoulders.

We have to find the time in school schedules to teach common sense.

Our country can’t continue to parade students through graduation ceremonies who lack this basic skill.

Examples of our societies pathetic mastery of common sense is all around us.

We live in a world where people buy bottled water. Why? Walk over to the sink and turn on the faucet. It is the same water. And it’s free (basically free, don’t email).

Just because they put a mountain on the label doesn’t mean the water is from some mystical mountain spring.

It doesn’t come from Colorado; it comes from a garden hose in a factory in New Jersey. And I am willing to bet the guy running the hose hasn’t even washed his hands.

If more people had common sense they would notice that EVIAN spelled backwards is NAIVE.

If that isn’t enough to convince you to join my movement to add a Common Sense Class to every school curriculum, I have more.

My truck’s service manual says to change the oil every 5,000 miles. So why is it that I change it every 3,000 miles? The answer is that I have no common sense.

Actually, I do this because some 17 year old kid with grease all over his shirt (with his name above the pocket) puts a sticker on my windshield. I must follow his directions, or my truck engine will blow up. I have no common sense.

Lack of common sense mistakes are all around us.

Neck tattoos. Why do people think these will stand the test of time? My ties look out of style in 9 months. A tattoo of Bugs Bunny on the side of your head doesn’t show much common sense (or fashion sense).

The buying of houses that are too big and unaffordable is yet another example. Who needs 5 bathrooms, and more importantly who is going to clean them? Just because your friends have a brand new house doesn’t mean you need one. Use some common sense.

Americans are not taking care of their health. We spend trillions of dollars fighting illnesses. Why don’t we spend that money on prevention instead of trying to cure what has already happened? No common sense.

As soon as you’re done reading this, put down the donut and take a walk.

People are making more and more mistakes that prove our lack of common sense skills.

We don’t save enough of our paychecks for a rainy day. We put what should be embarrassing pictures of ourselves on MySpace. We spend time watching Brittany Spears’s life go into the dumpster instead of reading a book.

We buy permanent life insurance when term life is what we need. We supersize our fast food meals, simply because it seems cheaper (with no regard to its effect on our impending death).

We waste time watching TV or reading blogs instead of something more productive (okay bad example… I do love that Mike Rowe).

Schools have to step forward and save us from ourselves. We can be taught common sense and we can’t afford to wait.

In education we feed kids twice a day, look after their health, teach them to drive, help them get into college, provide extracurricular opportunities, discipline them, and test them and then test them some more.

Surely, we have time to teach common sense. We have to do this for the good of society.

And more importantly we must do this for my sake.

I am not getting any younger. Every day I am inching closer to that nursing home.

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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.