Some very smart people have already put their brains to work around how best to get through this pandemic, so I do feel a little out of my depth, but I’d like to give it a bash anyway.
It sounds a little over-simplistic, but I have been saying for a while now that we should simply cancel 2020.
I don’t mean that in a funny joking sort of way.
I mean literally cancelling the year; suspend the credit cycle, supply everybody with food stamps for the next six months and restart everything in 2021.
I know that there’s an argument that it would cause havoc in the education system, because of all the new learners waiting to go into their new grades.
The way I see it, there are two solutions to that.
They can promote everyone into their new grades and spend the first quarter of 2021 catching up on the work they missed.
This would mean shorter school holidays next year, but at least everyone will be alive enough to enjoy them.
Or they could keep everything exactly as it is and continue in the next year.
Just every learner will be a year behind their corresponding ages, but again, they will be alive; which I reckon is a major benefit.
Neither plans serve the matriculants very well, but that would be the only exception that would require some innovative thinking.
Since matriculants do new work in the first two terms only, perhaps they could be examined entirely on the Grade 11 work.
So there will be a few things they would not have learned.
Considering that they will all still be alive, government could come up with a plan to teach them those things later on.
Offer them a few extra credits, if they sit a short exam on only the work they missed out on.
I’m not saying these are definitive solutions at all.
But the more deeply I consider our circumstances, the more our actions confound me.
I cannot think of any good reasons to restart the academic year and economies so quickly, beyond the greed of a few wealthy industrialists.
Yes, nobody gains anything materially if we suspend all economic activity for the rest of the year, nobody loses anything either.
We all go into a kind of economic suspended animation for a period of time; remaining in the exact same boat as we are now and kick starting ourselves a few months later.
I am very keen to understand why this is not possible!
Or are we okay with people dying, just so we can have agency?