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Norfolk/Wrentham - Local Town Pages

Guest Column

Herd Management

By G. Gregory Tooker
As the experienced and vigilant Grand Shepherd, Tony Fauci, prods his sometimes-stubborn flock along the edge of a forest infected with predators two-legged and four, he ponders the enormity of the task before him. The stalwart pillars of science have supported him well through a long and successful career. Once each plateau of progress had been scaled, he naturally assumed that society as a whole would readily embrace the fruitful product of intensive research and development. Now, however, the unanticipated briar patch of politics and ignorance stretches before him, threatening to block the trail to the shelter of herd immunity.
In a nation that has long prided itself on the resourcefulness of its people, what has happened to persuade citizens to reject scientific progress on such a scale that it threatens to undercut the health and economy of the country? This writer believes it derives from a failure to educate our children in the basics of science and social civics that are essential to an emerging, informed population of young adults. Two generations ago, these subjects were foundational in the curriculum of every grade school. Now, few students understand how local, state and federal government functions. How many of them have had the opportunity to look through a microscope at viral and bacterial forms to gain an understanding of how these life forms can potentially bring the human race to its knees?
Those who would weaken our democracy thrive on such ignorance. They peddle their lies and misinformation through a social media network that itself has taken on the characteristics of a rogue virus. Various of our leaders entrusted with our health and safety have lost sight of that sacred oath and refocused on the sole mission of power acquisition. Alarmingly, those not armed with the weapons of knowledge are sadly vulnerable.
Those of us who understand the threat posed by years of inattention to the educational needs of our youth must vigorously advocate for the reintroduction of science and government as a required component of primary education. But at the same time, we must reach out to our fellow citizens and help the Good Shepherd restore a sense of direction to the herd before too many wander into the forest.