July 20, 2021

From Gerald R. Lucas

The July Funk

Man, I wish I could snap out of it. I have so much to do, but I have a funk weighing me down. I’m not sure what it is, but it could have something to do with the fall semester starting in less than a month and everyone pretending that the pandemic is over.

The CDC states that less than 29% have been vaccinated in Bibb County. Am I reading this right?!

In every state in the country, cases are on the rise. Every state. Frankly, if you’re so dumb that you believe a handful of vaccinated conspiracy theorists over the experts, then you deserve to die from a preventable disease. I’d be totally happy to let Darwinism take its course, but for one thing: my son cannot be vaccinated yet, so he is at risk from all the privileged, obdurate, and misinformed fools who believe some conspiracy they read about on Facebook rather than the facts.

Under-40% of Georgians have been vaccinated (less in Bibb County according to the CDC—seriously the deep-red Houston County has a higher vaccination rate?!), and I have three face-to-face courses in the fall. I’ll bet a paycheck that I will be the only one wearing a mask in my classes, so two-thirds of people breathing the same air—back in classrooms where, as the dean informs us, “Covid-related accommodations are no longer available”—putting us all in continued danger, including Henry. I am sick of it. Here's the whole callous statement from the dean:

Barring changes in state, USG, or University guidelines and policy, fall semester will mark a return to full campus presence.  This means:

  • Covid-related accommodations are no longer available. Lack of vaccination is not grounds for a request for accommodations.
  • Faculty should return to customary office hours on campus.
  • All face to face classes should meet each class period, every week of the semester. Please confer with your chair and make alternate arrangements if illness or scholarship necessitate you being off campus.
  • All hybrid classes must meet 50+ percent of the regular seat time.

In other words: we, like the rest of the Georgia government, are pretending the pandemic is over. Tough shit for you. I am even more anxious going into this fall semester than I was last year. And of course, the class that I should be teaching F2F, ENGL 2122 is online, and the classes I could easily teach online are all going to be in crowded classrooms. This is a continued failure of leadership.

Yeah, this may have something to do with my funk. Funk you if you’re adding to it.