This year, I had the great pleasure of facilitating a middle and high school health and PE class for our parent-led homeschool group.
Little did I know, the kids would finish out the year witnessing a major historical public health event. At the end of the year, I gave them the option to choose their own health-related argument to make for their final papers. I was quite pleased one student opted to critique the government response to the coronavirus pandemic, a critique which he argued quite passionately.
Rhetoric is something that is not only not utilized by the majority of politicians or mainstream pundits these days, but is not being taught in most schools any longer. This student applied the rhetorical structure his older brother had learned in his Lost Tools of Writing course, which I highly recommend if you have upper-grade students you'd like to teach how to argue ideas clearly and coherently while mastering command of the English language.
I thought I would share the paper with you all, since I so enjoyed reading it. There's nothing quite like the unfiltered opinion of a 13-year-old to put those in power in their place, is there?
I believe the government is doing a bad job handling the coronavirus for three reasons. The first reason is that It’s your choice if you want to be quarantined. The second reason is how the coronavirus compares to other diseases. My final reason is most people who have severe reactions to the coronavirus are elderly and immune-compromised.
It should be your choice if you want to be quarantined. I’m saying this because the government should have absolutely no power to decide if you should stay quarantined or not. They’re overstepping their boundaries way too much on this. To force us to stay in quarantine is the same as putting us on house arrest. Only we have done nothing wrong or committed any crime. American citizens should have the freedom to travel freely. If the government feels the need to quarantine they should quarantine the infected not the healthy.
Second is how the coronavirus compares to other diseases. During the year 2020, the United States of America estimates that 20% of the population will get the flu and 15.5% will get the coronavirus. If you compare the side effects of the coronavirus and the flu they both have fever, chills, cough, sore throat, muscle/body aches, headaches, fatigue, and nausea, they’re all the same side effects. For people ages 10-49, the odds of contracting the coronavirus are 1 in 500. Those who get it have an 80.9% chance of having mild symptoms, 13.8% chance of severe symptoms, and a 4.7% chance of critical symptoms. If a young healthy individual gets the coronavirus they are likely to make a full recovery.
Finally, most people who have severe reactions to the coronavirus are elderly or immune-compromised. When you look at all the coronavirus deaths 3/4 of those are found in the elderly and in people with underlying medical conditions. One-fifth of all deaths from the virus in the US have been tied to nursing homes or other long-term facilities. A lot of people have been tested for coronavirus and their bodies had formed antibodies. That means this is not a new virus, and more people have been exposed than we thought. Older individuals and those with other health conditions should take precautions, like they typically would during flu season, to avoid getting sick. Healthy individuals should be able to partake in normal activities if they choose to.
This is why I think the government is doing a bad job handling the coronavirus. It’s your choice if you want to be quarantined, how the coronavirus compares to other diseases, and most people who have severe reactions to the coronavirus are elderly and immune-compromised.