Another week of lockdown in Sydney passes and the sense of control diminishes even further. As rates of infection climb higher than previous weeks, it feels like we’ve lost control of the situation.
The virus rates aren’t getting better, in fact they’re getting worse – which is why it’s weird that the state government has sprung on us the return to school for Year 12 students, in order to complete their final school-based exams before they complete their final matriculation state-wide exams, in October.
Yep. Just like that.
But of course, no one can force them to complete these exams. They may have health conditions. They may have mental health conditions. They may be terrified of the disease: like some of my students, who haven’t been outside of their house for about 30 days now.
Flow on effect: game the system.
Calculate where your marks are at now. Calculate whether it’s best to get an estimate or actually do the exams.
This of course will lead to some not so legitimate doctor’s certificates being churned out. Or students, who really shouldn’t be at school, coming, in order to try to boost their marks.
Because don’t think there’s not dodgy doctors out there that won’t print out a piece a paper to make an extra bit of dosh. My personal favourite was the 3 months back-dated medical certificate once received from a student so that they didn’t get zero on an assignment.
Yep. What a joke.
But it’ll happen. And it’s clear from chatting with my students that they feel like they’ll be cheated and are forced to cheat too, in order to regain control.
And that’s just the students.
What about the teachers?
The government says they’ll vaccinate Year 12s in ‘hotspots’ but what good is that? No (supposedly) ‘essential teachers’ have been vaccinated as a result of their profession.
Now this blog isn’t usually political, rather, deliberately not. But this is ridiculous.
The double standards have infuriated me, as a teacher, throughout the entirety of this pandemic.
Teachers really have been sacrificed for the sake of the economy, health workers and, now, student exams.
Of course, no school principal can make a member of staff come onsite when a virus is raging. That was made clear in a school staff meeting.
But that’s not the government’s decision.
Sure, health workers are working their guts out and hats off to them. They rightly were vaccinated first.
Then what happened? Nothing.
Now what happens: a sense of loss of control.
This leads to fear, so I’m reminding myself what God says:
“Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When we feel unprotected by others, we can find comfort knowing the protection of a God who loves us.
This doesn’t mean we behave foolishly. I just came back from a walk during which I was masked and wearing a hat to protect myself from both the virus and the Australian sun (even in winter it burns at times…).
Neither does it mean we live in fear.
We use the brains God has given us and walk in his grace.
Yours in her home still,