Some people are calling for “Pandemic Amnesty.”
I believe in forgiveness. But I also believe in accountability, and so no forgiveness, much less amnesty, can begin until after we have voted out every local politician and school board member who harmed our children with pointless lockdowns in 2020 and “remote learning” in the 2020-2021 school year.
We owe it to our children to punish the people who harmed them out of stupidity, incompetence, malice, or corruption.
In spring 2020, many of us believed that school closures were a good idea. We thought COVID was like a really bad flu. The flu spreads on surfaces, which means that little children (who don’t have the best hygiene) are superspreaders. Also, the flu has always been especially dangerous for children.
But by the time school districts and local politicians were making decisions about September 2020, we knew that children were exceptionally safe from COVID and that they were unusually unlikely to spread it. Also, by summer 2020, we knew that school closures were harming children. That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics called for opening schools before a blatant political reversal.
The harms to children were immense, from learning loss to emotional harm to crime sprees to RSV outbreaks to diabetes.
It wasn’t merely school closures. State and local politicians implemented policies that were so idiotic that it’s tempting to attribute them to malice. Los Angeles County was still closing outdoor playgrounds in December 2020.
The municipality where I lived during the pandemic, Montgomery County, Maryland, was as bad as anyone. Little Leaguers in spring 2021 needed to wear masks in the outfield. The county parks department removed most basketball hoops and placed wooden crosses through others. The county closed the libraries for 15 months, kept them at limited hours for much longer, and required masks into 2022.
So, who’s to blame?
Had he not already driven me out of the county, I’d start by voting out Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and then also vote out every incumbent on the County Council. They not only closed the public schools. They fought like crazy to also harm the children in nonpublic schools, attributing resistance by these schools to “white privilege.”
On the local level, every voter should recall which elected officials closed schools in Fall 2020 and kept libraries and children’s sports closed after June 2020.
But this goes all the way to the top. President Joe Biden in July 2020 was campaigning on school closures (he was in favor).
Karol Markowicz deftly draws the picture: “It starts with voting out every Democrat from top to bottom. Do it for the kids.”