The coronavirus will change society. I’m just not sure if it’s for better or for worse, yet. What I’m sure of is that education will be different moving forward. Unfortunately, I can see a few ways in which the movement will eventually manifest. Here are 5 things that a may change after coronavirus.
1. Social Distancing
Now, I have been practicing this for a long, long time. My nature is to be more reclusive and take things in rather than fill my daily schedule with things that occupy my boredom. Regardless of the brand of person you are and how inclined or acidic you may be to this new trend of social invited-ness, social distancing may be the cop-out in education, especially with teachers, for their unwillingness to get “close” to their students. We don’t need contact to show love, but there are millions of students every year that needed that one teacher who showed love in a physical form; whether it was their 2nd grade teacher giving them a hug or their 8th grade teacher dappin’ them up after a good job. I fear this may all be lost, depending on how severe the finality of this contagion takes us.
2. Online Learning
This subject has already been tossed around for the last few years. After this pandemic, the advocation for this change to schooling will only get stronger. So a few words to the wise – teachers: prepare yourselves to become two-dimensional; students: prepare for new, and easier, ways to cheat. Unless studied and subsequently implemented after scaffolded testing measures, online learning, as a general practice for academic accreditation, will not work. In 50 years, it’ll be kosher. Rushing to it in the next decade? Bad, bad idea.
It is absolutely imperative to take this precaution while this pandemic unfolds all around us. But this is the 90-degree angle on the already slippery slide of social networking. We were already pulsing towards a negative charge of this through cyberbullying, group chats, and the splurge of social media apps that foster an appreciation for distance and voyeurism rather than collaboration. The smoke and mirrors of the infinite benefits of social networking is finally clearing up. The shit has indeed hit the fan. Although this is crucial for global general health, I cannot see any upside to the experience youth are going through unless we make direct changes to the curriculum we teach them. We are in desperate need for self-introspection. Judging by my social media, I’m not sure that this brand of imposed self-isolation is getting us there.
When 9-11 happened, western demography woke up. What arose directly from that – Islamophobia. We took an event that could have drastically changed our philosophical interpretations of how commerce, corporatism, capitalism and religion intertwined, and instead, focused on the “group” that caused the travesty. Groups don’t cause shit. Evil people cause evil things. Trump calling this the, “Chinese Virus” and a storm of people online defending his semantics … I guess they were right: racism doesn’t die, it just remolds and revamps and recreates itself. “Quarantine” looks like an extension of the lexicon of racism that we are struggling to get away from. If I could place a prophetic bet, I would gamble on the fact that “quarantine” will be part of our racist lexicon under the trope of incendiary semantics that have never ever left our western worlds.
5. Super skepticism
Hopefully we combine enough collective common sense to make this a positive thing that will happen post the coronavirus pandemic. The second and third amendments are starting to make a little more sense to the public. Aside from political fandangling, and despite our quasi “woke” society, general skepticism of Power is generally good for society. There is a thin line when dealing with the omniscient catalog of Google: it leads some people to merely question why cars still need gasoline while others construct tin hats and cut off their 5G WiFi packages. Balance is key. Subsequently, everyone’s ideas are valuable to an extent (hence, why I think Twitter is the most valuable social media tool, but they, or we, have to figure out how to make it more serviceably functional). Super skepticism will happen and “super skeptics” will replace the now irrelevant “emo’s”. This will be a “thing” for sure.
There are a lot of things that will change after coronavirus. Maybe it’s because I am a teacher, but I am most worried about the impact this pandemic will have on education. I would hope that we will take this time to recenter ourselves, every single person. Consider what is important, what is straight flatulence, and look beyond both the smoke and the mirror. Because if we don’t, the inevitable next time will have us digging out of a deeper psychological, philosophical, and curative hole.
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