The weekly email and automated telephone call of where and how school classes will be conducted is a weekly happening in this era of COVID. The repercussions of the virus have accelerated technological change in many quarters, but regarding education it remains detrimental.

Just like the virus was ineffective for Antifa and BLM protests, high school sports’ continue, while classroom attendance, not so much.

Undoubtedly, this virus possesses a higher intelligence than your average flu.

Combine COVID with idiocy and you get “covidiocy” something the Hoover Institution defines as “the irrational and hypocritical underside of the pandemic.” With covidiocy, the facemask is the armband of obedience. Still unanswered is how effective masking, quarantining, social distancing, and lockdowns have been in reducing infections?

After Dominion tabulated the numbers of Pfizer’s vaccine, the success rate jumped from 90% to 95%, but the vaccine will not put the virus to rest because it isn’t 100% effective. However, it could prevent ten thousand Americans from dying. Democrats in Georgia are already crying “voter suppression.”

Researchers at Stanford University say virtual learning is putting many students behind in reading and math. “Students learn very differently when they’re confronted with a screen than they do when they’re actually sitting in a classroom with their peers and with their teacher in the same facility.” The report and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted students in disadvantaged school districts have tended to fall even further behind. “Of key significance,” the CDC advises, “in-person learning is in the best interest of students, when compared to virtual learning.”

Scholars at the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom found that “school districts in places with stronger teachers’ unions are much less likely to offer full-time, in-person instruction.”

Downloading is not why children attend school – a time-honored and traditional place to explore ideas and study concepts – while interacting freely among their peers. Primary-school-age children learn better in such a setting. Whereas, there are documented cases of children contracting COVID, and recovering, they remain the least compromised.

According to economists who have studied the long-term effects of remote learning, the academic losses could cost the economy between $14 and $28 trillion. The World Health Organization’s Peter Navarro flip-flopped on lockdowns, admitting that they do far more harm to society than good when more than 99% survive.

Genevieve Briand, the assistant program director of Applied Economics at Johns Hopkins compared COVID deaths to the number of total deaths: “All of this points to no evidence that COVID created any excess deaths. Total death numbers are not above normal death numbers. We found no evidence to the contrary.” Some in the medical field that believe a significant number may have lost their lives due to the shutdowns. Life expectancy is 78.7 years, which corresponds with COVID deaths. The left whines about the virus, while embracing abortion as more lives were ended through abortion this year than have died from COVID.

Taking a year off from college does not disrupt cognitive development the way missing out on phonics and reading can impair a generation of school-age children. Logging into digital kindergarten is ineffective without a parent present, while virtual schooling greatly hinders families with elementary school children whose parents work full-time.

Schooling is not totally quantifiable solely by lessons learned, but by also dealing with other students and teachers in harmony and conflict. Moreover, some don’t have access to a reliable internet connection, while teachers report difficulty in reaching their weakest students. To recommend that online schooling is an adequate replacement for face-to-face education exhibits a limited understanding of the issue’s pertinent studies.

The initial concept of virtual learning was supposed to enhance education among demographic groups that are lacking.

It hasn’t.

Internet resources like Coursera and Khan Academy are overwhelmingly utilized by students and parents vested in their child’s education, not the opposite.

Virtual efforts remain inferior in terms of assuring quality control. Nothing about online education is the free lunch some believe.

Zoom is for meetings, not educating.

Indigent families whose children have the most to gain from an education outside the home are falling further behind.

For the development and education of our youth in a robust society, school is essential as there is no virtual substitute.

Greg Maresca is a longtime columnist from Pennsylvania’s Northumberland County.

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