Report from Louisiana: I’m armed with a spray bottle and a rag.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Admittedly, I am more than a little obsessed with reading about coronavirus and learning everything I can about mitigating the spread in my classroom as I prepare to return to in-person classes soon. The medical and research community is learning so much about the virus, how it spreads, and how we treat it every single day. What we thought we knew in May or June is already out of date.

I’ve been increasingly alarmed about returning to the classroom as regular readers of my posts know. My classroom usually holds 27 kids, it has no ventilation, and the windows don’t open. There is one door. It is a small room, as classrooms go, and so 25 kids in there is a wall to wall, but we always push those limits. I am told this year, as long as Louisiana is in Phase 2, there will be no more than ten students in the room at a time.

Every teacher will be supplied with one spray bottle of HALT, a hospital grade cleaner and disinfectant, and one microfiber rag. We are to use this rag to clean desks between classes, for the entire week, then the rag will be washed.

Every teacher will be provided with a cloth mask, and disposable masks will be available to students who do not have a mask. Masks will be mandatory for all, but “flexibility is expected,” assumingly for students with asthma and other medical conditions.

And pretty much, that’s it.  Good luck.

I’m honestly not sure how long we will be in school; as schools across the country are beginning to open up it does not seem to be going well. In Indiana, there was an issue on Day One at Greenfield Central when an infected student came to school. Also in Indiana, Elwood Senior High School is closing for one week because a staff member was positive for Covid.

White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said on Sunday that “areas with high caseloads and active community spread should ‘distance learn at this moment so we can get this epidemic under control.’” In Louisiana, our community spread rate has been in the upper 90% consistently.

So, I’m kind of resigned at this point; I’ll go back into my classroom which will in no way resemble the normal classroom that everyone wants to return to. It will be distance learning in person. I won’t be able to consult one on one with kids who need help because I can’t get that close to them.  I won’t be able to walk through the room to monitor work or behavior. There can be no fun group projects or activities.

And then someone will get sick; I hope it’s not the teacher on the third floor who has been doing chemo. I hope it’s not the teacher who gets pneumonia every year and struggles with respiratory issues. I hope it’s not the teacher with an auto-immune disease on my floor. I hope it’s not any of the students. I hope it’s not me. I hope none of us bring it home to at-risk family members.

And you know, there are these people who say that teachers are griping and worrying for nothing, that we are lazy and just don’t want to go to work. They point out that retail workers and grocery workers, hospital workers and law enforcement, have been working all along. This is true. They have. And thank goodness for that.

But which of them works in a small, unventilated room enclosed with 10 to 25 people, for six hours a day, for 60 to 90 minutes at a time? Not to take away from what other groups are doing at all, but what we are about to ask of teachers is unprecedented.

So. Armed with my spray bottle, my mask, and my microfiber rag, I’m expected to do what Major League Baseball can’t even do: protect my charges from a pandemic. With all of their money, and all of their resources, MLB can’t protect their million dollar investments.

But me and my spray bottle will try.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

Want Accountable Government? Vote Trump

Four years ago when I re-endorsed Donald Trump after the Billy Bush tape dropped I posed this question to Jonah Goldberg:

Update 4: I respect Jonah Goldberg whose point is valid:

Either way, this video is not an aberration. It is not a special circumstance. It’s him. There’s no pivot in him. There’s no “presidential” switch to flip. He’s Donald Trump all the way down.

However given the reality that either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States I ask Jonah this question:

If we concede that Donald Trump’s character is bad, Would it be better for the country to have a President of poor character who will be under intense scrutiny by the press, pols and law enforcement agencies (Trump) or to have a President of poor character who will be given a pass and or defended by the press, the pols and apparently the FBI regardless of what they say or do (Hillary).

I submit and suggest the answer is clearly the former.

Now it’s four years later and on twitter a general question was asked as to why one supports Donald Trump for President. This was my answer:

However there are others who have a much dimmer opinion of the president & his accomplishment who find themselves in the Trump column this time around for completely different reasons:

While I have issues with some of the characterizations in this thread the primary point that is being made is rather critical

When it comes to the media/left is has now been amply demonstrated that DaTechGuy’s Laws of media outrage are in full force and no action by a Democrat, by the Democrat Party or even by people who are part of the Democrat base may be critiqued or highlighted if it might reflect badly on the potential return of Democrats to power or the maintenance of said power if it happens. And as Glenn Reynolds pointed out this view is not confined to pols and press:

It’s disappointing to see not just the usual gang of idiots, but also some people who should know better joining the hysteria here. As I said before, we had elections during the Civil War and there’s no need to delay them now. But once again, just because a tweet — or other presidential action — riles up the political class doesn’t make it an impeachable offense. And if our political class had been as dedicated to actually defending decency, decorum and tradition as it is determined to weaponize them against Trump, we wouldn’t have gotten Trump.

Amusingly on Facebook where this was originally posted, one person explicitly agrees with Steve Matthews’ legal argument — except for Trump. Because #OrangeManBad. Rule of law!

Put simply we now know that if the Democrats in general and Joe Biden in particular are given the reins of government, no action they take will be subject to critique by the mainstream media in print or television (except perhaps a 30 second segment at the end of Jake Tappers show to throw us a crumb).

However we can be assured that if Donald Trump is reelected, his words, his deeds, his facial expressions, his companies, their business dealings, his family and even his passing of gas will be scrutinized by this press to a level that will be the envy of the Chinese Totalitarian state (and likely financed by it too).

The bottom line is clear, if you don’t trust government and what to be sure that the press shines a bright light on anything it does, you need to re-elect Donald Trump.

If you however are a relative of a Democrat pol or of a large Democrat donor and want to be sure that you can get rich either off the taxpayer’s dime or via foreign money contributed to you as a favor. Well vote democrat.

Your call people.