2020 Foresight

James Proclaims (4)

The return to work after Christmas is always a difficult one. January is not the best of months anyway, what with all the obligatory self-improvement and cold weather, and having to work seems to just be adding insult to injury. January 2021 comes with some bonus challenges of course, thanks to the ongoing pandemic which, as it turns out, was not just a 2020 thing.

No-one was more surprised than me to discover that Covid 19 was still around on the 1st of January, but it was, and with a super extra contagious new variant, that has, in fact been around for ages, but that no-one really knew about until now. Except for all the people who did know, but it turns out that they didn’t tell anyone what they knew. Except the government. But what could the UK government be expected to do with information like that? Especially when it obviously meant that they would have to cancel Christmas. Which they did, but not until they had told everyone that Christmas would be fine and that they could go ahead and make plans and spend money because Christmas definitely wouldn’t be cancelled.

Anyway, the new variant has officially been launched, but it is still called Covid 19, even though it is an upgrade on the old Covid 19. Apparently the new design wasn’t quite radical enough to justify calling it Covid 20. I think I might call it Covid 19+ though. Anyway, regardless of its name, this is definitely the variant that you want to catch if you want to stay on trend. I’d be mortified if I got the old version of Covid 19. I wouldn’t be able to show my face in public.

So the promised land of 2021 looks like it might just be another 2020. But with a different name. We can’t just call it a ‘new variant of 2020’ because that isn’t how the calendar works, but we can still continue to use phrases like ‘the new normal’ which is a relief, because I would have been sorry to see that go.

Anyway, as of yesterday I was back at work. I work in a secondary school which, according to our Prime Minister, is actually the safest place in the entire universe but there was some uncertainty over what was actually supposed to be happening. This uncertainty was because some other people, some supposed ‘experts’ were saying that maybe schools aren’t that safe. So there weren’t any students there yesterday and there weren’t too many staff either. But there were plans for students and staff to be more or less all back within a fortnight because while a lack of staff and students does make a school safer, it does also make the other stuff that schools are supposed to do quite difficult.

The government has kept the original version of Covid 19 in a state of confusion by constantly changing their strategy towards schools, while simultaneously claiming to have adopted a clear and consistent approach. To be fair it was a brilliant plan that would have bamboozled most viruses but it seems that Covid 19+ is smarter than the average variant and is wise to this particular game. So, even though constantly changing the rules was amazingly successful before it appears that total ineptitude and incoherence is not going to work any more.

So the new plan is to go back to the old plan, which is to close all schools for an indefinite period of time, and fortunately, because very few lessons were learnt last time around, it should have exactly the same devastating impact on the most vulnerable children in our society and further widen the gap between the haves and the have nots.

Regardless of whether the school is open or closed, I do have plenty of work to do. It may well transpire in due course, and depending on the latest government advice, that some of that work won’t actually need to have been done. Which was very much the case for quite a lot of the work I did in 2020.

But whether my endeavours are futile or not, at least I have something to do. Which, in the current climate, is definitely better than nothing.


  31 comments for “2020 Foresight

  1. January 5, 2021 at 6:12 am

    I keep telling everyone (I don’t remember if I’ve said it here or not) that when you say the name of this year you are saying twenty-twenty won.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. January 5, 2021 at 7:06 am

    killin’ me smalls….laughed out loud…literally:)

    Liked by 2 people

    • January 5, 2021 at 9:16 am

      At this point you can either laugh or cry so I think you made the right decision

      Liked by 1 person

  3. January 5, 2021 at 7:56 am

    It’s perfectly fine James, apparently kids don’t need education or any kind of learning from the collected intelligence of humankind gained through experience and expertise over thousands of years to end up running the country anyway.

    Liked by 5 people

    • January 5, 2021 at 9:16 am

      The evidence does rather support your point

      Liked by 1 person

      • January 5, 2021 at 9:23 am

        However, it probably does take returning to all that to make the planet better than it currently is, so let’s hope the era of utter cluelessness is ended soon.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. January 5, 2021 at 10:25 am

    What I’m really curious about is that everyone’s been blaming the absolute hell of 2020 on… err, 2020. ‘I’ll be glad to see the back of this bloody year!’, has been a constant refrain. So now that we’re still in this quagmire of chaos, who or what is going to get the blame?

    Liked by 3 people

    • January 5, 2021 at 10:32 am

      I think we should assign blame on a month by month basis. Personally I think that January 2020 gets a rough deal by being lumped in with the other 11 months and even February 2020 only really joined the party at the end. Alternatively we could just write off the whole decade now.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. January 5, 2021 at 10:43 am

    As I said to my son-in-law ‘So you have been to a union meeting to say schools should close, but you can send your son to school as both his parents are key workers – but if schools close then you will be at home and won’t have to send him – except looking after a five year old isn’t conducive to doing on line lessons…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. January 5, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    I did something once.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. January 5, 2021 at 6:38 pm

    There is a very neat catch-22 in your observation that “very few lessons were learnt last time around”. No school = no lessons – so how could you possibly learn from and improve on that situation? Question is rhetorical of course as I have a teacher and a retired teacher in the house with me so more-or-less get the ironies involved …

    Liked by 2 people

    • January 7, 2021 at 2:15 pm

      You may well understand more than I do


  8. January 5, 2021 at 8:32 pm

    Nice blog post.
    It has been ever thus in terms of the relationship between schools and the DfE (and all its iterations).
    The only exception I can remember was Estelle Morris, who, ironically, resigned on the grounds that she considered herself not bright enough to be a Secretary of State for Education. It was her self-awareness that helped her innovate and seek the advice of those who could help. I am glad I am now retired from teaching!
    Good luck in the coming months & thereafter.

    Liked by 2 people

    • January 7, 2021 at 2:15 pm

      Much luck will be needed I fear


  9. January 5, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    I dispute your safety claims, James (I also enjoy that rhyme).

    I believe you stated that secondary schools are the safest place, according to Bozza. Yet primary schools are clearly more sterile than your lot – the first two weeks of January were deemed very dangerous for high schoolers and you were told to avoid them like the… erm… virus.

    But not us. No, we were allowed back into our cosy petri-dishes from day one. Until the science had a rethink.

    And now, shouldn’t we all be taking refuge in a nursery? You can’t catch anything in a nursery. The government guidelines say so. At least that’s what the parents of our 40 strong setting appeared to think this morning when clamouring at the gates.

    Still, school may be quieter overall but it’s never dull – one of our ‘vulnerables’ decided to take the label literally by performing some parkour manoeuvre in the playground, which resulted in an adventure to A&E.

    All fine, thank goodness. But I may need to take another holiday after the excitement. Wouldn’t want the public thinking we did actual work…

    Liked by 2 people

    • January 7, 2021 at 2:19 pm

      I apologise – of course primary schools are even safer and my understanding is that nurseries actually cure the virus. Obviously being the hypocrite I am, my little one is still going to nursery but even in an empty school I am technically a key worker so I will embrace that hypocrisy. But it would be a public relations disaster if the public found out that I’m still working full days and going home exhausted every single day.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. January 6, 2021 at 12:43 am

    It’s a new year James. The Virus Made A Resolution, simple as that. It’s just more successful than people are.
    Personally I don’t think we should self-improve. It would be easier to become A**holes and force others to do it.

    Make a resolution to Laugh

    Liked by 2 people

    • January 7, 2021 at 2:20 pm

      I do admire the virus’s work ethic

      Liked by 1 person

  11. January 6, 2021 at 1:05 am

    You had me laughing quite uproariously until I hit the line about the poor little kids. I feel so worried about kids and what this pandemic is doing to so many of them. The gap between the haves and have nots is growing by the hour and it’s tragic.

    Liked by 2 people

    • January 7, 2021 at 2:22 pm

      I spend all day on the phone to distraught parents and I’m almost immune at this point. Which is tragic in itself. Not immune to the virus though. Which I suppose is the point I have to hold onto.

      Liked by 1 person

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