By Sherman R. Frederick

It’s a brave new world out there and nothing illustrates that more than the decision about in-person school this fall. Everyone wants school to resume, of course. But fears of the ill-understood coronavirus make things complicated.

America’s pediatricians weighed in last week strongly advocating that communities do all that they can to have “students physically present in school.”

“Schools are fundamental to child and adolescent development and well-being,” the doctor organization said.

The attempt at virtual learning last semester “hurt education progress,” the doctors said, adding “isolation breeds serious social, emotional and health issues,” especially among the poor, minorities and children with learning disabilities.

Dr. Scott Atlas, a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution and the former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center, chipped in his 2-cents.

“You don’t lock down the children because you are personally afraid.”

He sees the spiking of COVID-19 cases in low-risk populations as a good thing because “that’s exactly how we are going to get herd immunity, population immunity, when low-risk people with no significant problem handling this virus which is basically 99 percent of people, get this and they become immune and they block the pathways of connectivity to more contagious, older, sicker people.”

“Since children pose little risk of dying, experiencing complications, or even transmitting the disease,” he says, “there is tremendous harm in not having in-person schools.”

He’s right about not making decisions out of fear, of course. But this is a generation of the world’s future we’re talking about. And, science doesn’t exactly have a spotless record in real time when it comes to understanding and predicting the outcome of the coronavirus.

The mask fiasco is one glaring example. And, remember when they told us that the virus would die out in the summer heat. That’s not happening. Initial death models were wildly wrong, too.

I’m not downplaying the virus. Just the opposite when it comes to putting our kids back in school. I think the pediatricians may be on the right track. But, because there’s still a lot we don’t know, if we send our kids back to school in the fall, we need to watch them like a hawk.


Golden Gate Bridge folks touted a change to the bridge structure that made the world’s most beautiful bridge make a noise when wind conditions are just right. The bridge keepers called it “singing.” Well, that’s not what others call it. People say it sounds like “screeching” and it can be heard from miles away. It gives them headaches and it might be more dangerous than 5G wireless.

Hoo-boy. We’ve become such a generation of whiners may I suggest we incorporate this into all state flags.


I ran across this meme deep down an Internet rabbit hole. I pulled it up for you as a way to finally explain the principle for why we must wear face masks — not for ourselves, but for others. Enjoy.


The prize this week goes to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan who called the Black Lives Matter mob the “Summer of Love” when it terrorized downtown Seattle residents and businesses, but called it inappropriately “dangerous” when it came to her front doorstep to press grievances.

Behold brave Mayor Durkan.


Carl Reiner moved along last week in the cosmic scheme of things at the age of 98. He created “The Dick Van Dyke Show” among other shows making him one of the greats of his era.

Dick Van Dyke said it well: “My idol, Carl Reiner, wrote about the human comedy. He had a deeper understanding of the human condition, than I think even he was aware of. Kind, gentle, compassionate, empathetic and wise. His scripts were never just funny, they always had something to say about us.”

Goodbye, Carl. By all accounts, a good man.


— $300 for a new hairpiece? That’s too much toupee.

— My parrot died. It was a weight off my shoulders.

— The funeral director owned two cars: His and hearse.

— How hard is English? Well, consider that “Pacific Ocean” contains three different ways to pronounce the letter “C”.

I sincerely apologize to the late, great Dean Martin for that last one. We’re all getting a little stir crazy these days. But hey, the year is half gone. The next half can’t be worse, can it? Until next week, stay well, protect yourself and avoid soreheads. Life is better that way.

Sherman R. Frederick is the founder of Battle Born Media, publisher of intensely local community newspapers in rural Nevada and Northern California. He may be reached at