It’s a great day to be a Dillo!
In 1938, when radio was king, a now famous broadcast was presented that put the listening audience into a panic. It was a typical radio show, and the host was Orson Welles. It was a Sunday night on October 30th, and many folks were enjoying some Halloween fun. The radio program was an adaption of the book “War of the Worlds.” What made this radio program unique was its real-time interruption with news bulletins about the invasion. The news bulletins were all part of the show.
For people who missed the introduction to the program, all they heard was that aliens from Mars had invaded earth. To the listeners who heard the show from the beginning, it was very entertaining. For those who had not heard the whole story, they found themselves in a panic.
Panic, by definition, is a sudden overwhelming fright. Some people have panic attacks that can be brought on when there is no real danger or apparent cause. The fear is real, and the physical manifestations in the person having the attacks are real. But the threat is often imagined. When people assume a threat is present, their first response, like Chicken Little, is to tell the world that the sky is falling.
We have been experiencing the COVID panic for three months. By what I see around me, most people are over the fear of the virus, and many things are going back to normal. I mean, people are over it, like - let’s get a haircut and go to the river with a thousand other people, over it.
The initial panic is over, but there seems to be a new panic. That panic is: What will the start of school look like in the fall?
There is a fear of virtual online education. Teachers are worried what their classes might look like, parents wonder if they will need more childcare and school officials are concerned about funding.
Like the radio broadcast in 1938, some people hear the weekly Education Commissioner reports and do not hear the whole story. Commissioner Morath outlines some scary options and what if’s, but he also suggests that some more rural schools could very well have a normal start. It is called worst-case best-case scenarios.
Some people hear a broadcast, and some hear that we are being attacked by Martians. What’s worse is when people who heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend or read it on social media, and the panic sets in. When you see me running, it would be a good time to panic.
Many school leaders are already making major changes in anticipation for the worst case. I am still waiting because the changes are changing almost every day. The language is changing from shall to should and must to may. New words describing education as synchronous or asynchronous have been added to our vocabulary.
So here is my advice, recommendation or opinion for us as of June 18, 2020: So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Sorry, that is not my advice; that came from Jesus. It’s good advice. Go Dillos!