Skip to content

On eagles wings: Our recovery from Coronavirus (IV) A self-critique of last education kick-off proposal

Important Correction Note- 28/May/2020:  “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines warning that antibody test results can have high false-positive rates and should not be used to make decisions about returning people to work, schools, dorms or other places where people congregate”. Given the CDC’s last advice, it is clear for Eleonora Escalante Strategy that serological testing can´t be used when it comes to planning for economic-educational recovery. Please take notice. Serological testing can´t be used because it is inaccurate, and I am correcting all my episodes related to Coronavirus testing accordingly.

“…For only one person that is not diagnosed properly in a community, if that person is infected, he or she will continue to spread the contagion… particularly if it is an asymptomatic and mobile carrier…”

Have a beautiful week. Sorry, it is not Friday, but as an author and writer, I have to write when it is pertinent. This pandemic crisis is giving us surprises every day, and my work has to be shared.

Sensible bird x blog Eliescalante

“A sensible bird that can´t stop”. A petit aquarelle by Eleonora Escalante 2020. Handmade with love using Fabriano 5 watercolor paper. 240GSM. Size: 5 inches x 7 inches. If you wish to buy it, please let me know.

Today it is my aim to make a self-critique of my educational proposal that was given to you last Thursday. If you have the time to read it, probably you have observed, we, at Eleonora Escalante Strategy cautiously started with the education economic sector (kindergarten, primary, secondary and high-school, universities, and any other form of education such as technical-vocational, extracurricular activities, art-sports instruction, etc), Anything that belongs to the education industry. Please revisit the model that we introduced by clicking here: Eliescalante On eagles wings Education Kick-off proposal

Wait, please. Wait. Before proceeding further, we will add some insights into the educational industry. The student population (includes students, professors, and educational-administrative-research staff) is one of the most vulnerable of all when in times of pandemic. In consequence, my general strategic advice before considering to open schools and universities at the moment is to wait, not just to wait for a treatment meanwhile the vaccine is rolled out to the world, but also to wait because any strategic proposal to solve a problem has also to be tried first in several low-risk locations, before moving forward to test it in high-dense population cities. And this trial and error finding process takes time.

Self-Critique comments about the Eleonora Escalante Strategy Educational Kick-off model.

About testing. I believe testing to find out if people are sick, is simply just the first step on how to solve the problem. Testing only helps to diagnose. And the diagnosis is not the cure. Don´t confuse diagnosis with the solution of the pandemic.  Diagnosis only helps to identify who is sick (or has been sick) with the purpose of targetting that person specifically. Now that we don´t have a vaccine in our hands yet,  testing helps to identify the sick, so we can isolate the sick carriers with the purpose to stop them to continue expanding the Corona contagion wave to others. But the scope of testing is limited when we confront such a viral pandemic that is transmitted when we breathe. Testing has its disadvantages when it comes to the following variables:

  1. Quantity: if testing is not enough in numbers to cover specific areas and all its communities or populations at the same time, those who do not take the test can continue spreading the virus.
  2. Quality: if testing is not done properly it can provide false results. PCR and serological testing have been designed with different technologies (including NAAT). Each laboratory has provided its testing models to the FDA, and many have been approved and are being manufactured.
  3. Frequency: This factor is crucial when it comes to testing. You can be tested today and show a negative COVID19 result but one week later you could be contaminated by an asymptomatic carrier and show a positive COVID19 result. The virus doesn´t stop to expand with asymptomatics, and in order to keep communities safe, testing has to be regularly done.
  4. Territory: if communities are open to mobility and external entrance from other foreign carriers, testing doesn´t help either. It is useless. So, if we want testing to help us to stop the contagion, territories must be under a temporary dome lockdown to help that specific community to be Corona free.

No cure is found through testing. The essence of testing helps simply to diagnose a sickness at a particular place, time, and space. The diagnosis helps to isolate the sick carriers and stop the contagion. But this only happens if testing is done properly and in a well organized systemic manner. For example: Let´s imagine for a minute that your neighborhood gets tested. Your community has 3,000 members (all ages, adults, and kids).  Testing is conducted by the Health authorities on one specific day, and all your community members show a Corona negative result. Happy, happy you are!!!. The health public team assumed that your neighborhood was Corona clean. Wrongly, one of your neighbors was sleeping and he forgot to show up and take the test and no one took notice of it. He lied to everyone telling that he took the test. The neighborhood representatives decided to keep a dome lockdown strategy, which means your happy clean community closed it to external people to enter. And inside the community, everyone relaxed the protection measures. Everyone in your neighborhood was able to work, trade, play, transport, touch others, dance, go out, party, drink or attend concerts, etc. In one week, the Health Authorities returned for a second testing campaign and they found 400 new Coronavirus cases in that specific community. What happened? Do you remember the guy who forgot to be tested a week previously? Well, only because of him, only for one person that was not tested in that community, who was asymptomatically infected, he spread the virus again and the community had to return to a stay at home seclusion again not for 14 days, but for 21 days quarantine. This is a tiny example of how things are with Coronavirus’s inadequate or insufficient testing.

Even with testing limitations, I took the risk to propose to use them when opening schools. Why? Because at least testing (if done properly) may provide the tools to diagnose and isolate anyone who is sick in that school entity. By exercising this simple model, school authorities will be able to try to control their school territories and keep them clean from Coronavirus. But for this to occur,  proper testing must be available, well done and under frequent regularly scheduled (every week, etc).

About social distancing. To reduce the population density in a specific location helps to prevent contagion. The whole purpose to reduce the number of people inside the school per day is a preventive measure to avoid students getting closed to each other.  I proposed a 25% of the total school population for this specific school of my proposal per day. But this percentage has to be given and approved by the Health-Education Government authorities, and it varies from school to school. Some schools have more land and classrooms than others, and that is why we have to segment them accordingly.

For this proposal to be successful, kids and teenagers have to learn to keep a distance of at least 1 meter in between in outdoor spaces, and inside the classroom, it has to be 2 meters between desks or seats. That is what it takes to keep social distancing triumphantly. Are students going to be able to make it? If consciously, I believe students can do it. Even when running or doing individual exercising, the social distancing will require practice, but in the end, people at least will reduce the possibilities to be infected during the first kick-off phase. If testing is done properly, the social distancing can relax petit a petit when time passes by.

About cleaning. The virus is killed by cleaning often with specific catalysts and sanitation supplies. If the sanitary measures of cleaning, hygiene, and disinfection of surfaces are done properly and constantly all day in that specific school, all the effort will pay off. The school has to incur hiring additional hygiene personnel and keep a strict regime of cleansing not just the hallways, classrooms, desks, library books, and bathrooms. In addition, each student has to learn to use alcohol gel or other hand disinfectants constantly. This requires a lot of discipline. It requires a family budget for it, or the school has to offer it for free to each student. The usage of cash cards at the cafeteria can help students to don´t touch coins or money. But all these cleansing measures are costly (for the family or the school). Someone has to pay for them.

how long it last coronavirus afp

Source: AFP.

About using masks or any protection gear of the students’ eyes, nose, and mouth. Masks are extremely important for kids and students. Eventually, the pupils probably won´t be able to keep social distancing all the time, but by having a mask they are basically protecting themselves. Nevertheless, the correct usage of the mask has to be taught by parents and teachers, not just by instruction but by role-modeling, as an example. Who will pay for this gear? Private schools won´t have any problem to afford them, but when it comes to public schools, the government has to be ready with all these gear at a massive scale to provide it daily (masks) to each student.

Coronavirus mask

Using masks to go to school in the future. Photo Source:

About the frequency of school attendance. To go to school once a week is limited, but we can start as such. In the beginning, we proposed only the school attendance as such, to test the waters. But once the testing, cleaning, social distancing, and using of protective gear becomes a habit, the school will be able to increase the density population per institution. Probably after the first month or so, students will be able to attend between 2 to 3 times per week at different schedules (morning or afternoon journées).

In summary. Trying this educational model will require a lot of discipline, massive testing resources, available free gear (masks) provided by governments, and cleaning resources and habits.  It also will be a temporary solution meanwhile we get treatments to attack the virus. In addition, it will take a change of mental frame. I wouldn´t recommend starting school if the resources to prevent and protect the students are not in place. That is why I started today´s post with telling us to wait. Wait until testing is available, affordable. Wait until cleaning resources are in place. Wait until this educational model gets examined and experimented on several trial and error locations, wait until further analysis and considerations are added or removed.

The education kick-off model in times of pandemics can be used in other scenarios. This model can be applied to manufacturing plants, to working places, and to any office that can reduce or keep a low worker density using different work schedules and distinct contrasting entrance-leaving hours. But in order to be successful, it has to be tried first in low risk working for communities, and later could be replicated to more populated cities. The last cities to start with this model are those with higher density populations, usually the nations´ capital cities, which will require more capacity for healthcare supervision and social control. A pandemic as this one (that is transmitted just by breathing) will require new temporary rules of behavior and social organization. Any current working restriction can be sorted out if people comply with social distancing, protective gear, constant cleaning, and discipline.

The online model at the moment will crush economies. Not all industries can be done using the online model.  Not all jobs can be done on-line. And that will be the case for many developed and developing countries. Particularly in Latin America, Africa, and some nations in Asia. The services and entertainment economic sectors can´t be done online (traveling, food and drink, personal care, leisure-recreation, large massive events which sell the person to audience experience, etc). The internet can provide mechanisms of substitution of the experience, but will never replace the human adventure of spontaneous contact between human beings, landscapes, buildings and natural environments.  The food security and agriculture value chain depends on people to be done. Even massive working environments as Call Centers and Retail needs real people to be handled. Do not confuse the transaction component of the value chain with the production and delivery components of it. Purchases can be performed online, but the act of selling and receiving money is not the whole product or service. We still require people to produce them, and the mobility component of the delivery of the goods. In the middle of pandemics, construction, automobile and other industries that are labor-intensive can be done petit a petit if our rules of the game and working organization are conceived differently.

Don´t use a pandemic to automate the world. I also recommend to those world leaders who are pushing for a robotic automation universe in times of a pandemic crisis to review your ethical motives. People need to work, not only for a living but for self-realization.  Our entrepreneurial efforts or employments provide us wisdom and human experiences to feel useful and happy. It is impeccable to feel that our job goes beyond our own survival, but it also provides satisfaction and contentment.

If people are not able to work, the social dissatisfaction will raise. This social weariness will grow, because in order to keep it, tyranical non-democratic governments will have to take place. The social discontent will be worst than the pandemic consequences. The social anxiety that will be caused if you disrupt millions of jobs and supplant them with a basic universal alimony to the jobless,  or replace those jobs with robots, machines and any usage of disruptive technologies will inevitably cause more chaos. The social discontent will be so unstoppable that your own robots and machines will be burned and destroyed by the fury of those who will have more time to think about how to disrupt your own technological disruptions.  Your technological-based cash cows won´t be able to fill the needs and wants of the poorest, and your own businesses will perish.  It may happen that your own technologies will be consumed by the roots of the not just authentic famine, but also because of mental starvation and scarcity.

See you soon again, with a new article in relation to strategic reflections about how to help in our recovery during Corona times.

eagle look

Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY.  Nevertheless, the majority of the pictures, images, or videos shown on this blog are not mine.  I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.




1 Comment »

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s