The new normal systems are going into effect for our children. This is not a happy occurrence. Schools, since their inception in the industrial revolution, have been based on regimentation and an assembly line mentality. Children are fed information, and recent “innovations” in the form of common core and “teaching to the test” have continued to stifle the ability of teachers to encourage creative thinking in children. Now children are going to practice some bizarre form of separation as well, wearing face masks and keeping their distance, and sanitizing their hands. They will be discouraged from touching things in the public setting of school, unable to play together outdoors, encouraged to be suspicious and fearful. This brings up some stark issues.
What has become of the philosophy of children learning from play and free expression of their creativity? Where are the music lessons and art classes now in the new normal? Funding for these activities has dried up in recent years, and now these types of group activities will be even more difficult. With increasing rules and restrictions, schools are starting to seem like bleak places. And summer camps will be hobbled by the same requirements. And forget the exuberance of sports. Once there were admonitions to get exercise, keep children fit through movement and dance, encourage the camaraderie and cooperation of teams. Now children are expected to spend endless, mind-numbing hours on computers and pads and phones and Zoom classes doing tedious work and research.
At some point, perhaps parents may rebel and say enough of this. We won’t support a culture of separation and deprivation. We may decide that freedom, play, celebration, and worship in community are basic human needs. How long will the world’s communities tolerate this robotic lifestyle? And what happens the next time some virus mutates or the next virus appears?