Posts

Showing posts from September, 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Champion For Equity In Education

Image
During my high school days, the boys were taking a class on automotive while the girls were in a home economics class. My son, on the other hand, really enjoyed taking a home economics class in middle school. He learned how to bake, how to cook, and how to sew. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was uncomfortable in her home economics class as she longed to join the boys who were doing shop in school. Equity in education involves not only equity in race or socio-economic status. Equity also includes gender. Educating all means educating all, no exceptions. Ginsburg's opinion on the Supreme Court decision to force the Virginia Military Institute to include women in its admission illustrates her firm belief that we are all still working toward the more perfect union in which there are no more people excluded or ignored. Ginsburg's tenure in the highest court of the United States truly embodies what we are seeing in yard signs nowadays: "In This House We Believe: Black Lives Matter…

Physical Activity Is Now Even More Important While Schools Remain Virtual

Image
Fairfax county public schools have been opened virtually for two days now. After all the classes, my children and I ride our bikes in our neighborhood. We spend some time in my children's former elementary school, which has a nice and empty parking lot. With five to six hours of staring at a laptop screen, children do need a break. Their online classes have been running smoothly yesterday and today. There was, however, one incident today in my daughter's class. The teacher lost his wifi connection and got removed from the online class. As soon as this happened, some of the students started playing loud music with explicit language. The chat box was filled with the "f" word and there was chaos. Online classes are indeed very challenging especially when the technology does not cooperate, but even with no technical glitches, there remain huge intrinsic challenges in a virtual classroom. Screen fatigue is a real issue and even with breaks between classes, sitting idle in…

What We Now Know About SARS-CoV-2

Image
Earlier this year, we were hoping that the novel coronavirus will be less threatening during the summer period. Cases in the United States had continued to rise and countries in tropical areas were equally vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19. We also thought that the virus was spread mainly by droplets which probably did not travel as far as 6 feet from the source. Now, there is enough evidence that SARS-CoV-2 could be airborne and therefore, could travel much farther. What remains, of course, is the required conditions before we could safely open schools. There is no possibility of transmission if there are no active cases. This condition unfortunately remains elusive at the moment. A vaccine seems the only way to get out of this predicament but in all honesty, a safe vaccine is still so many months away. But we can control this pandemic if we understand its transmission and act accordingly. And one thing is clear, we must avoid indoor gatherings. Using data on SARS-CoV-2 transmissi…