by: Hank Martin



Guest Editorial Graphic Schilling Show BlogOfficials are already squawking about the Second Wave of Wuhan—and how we could be dealing with The Wuhan China Virus for two more years.

A serious and sobering inquiry must be submitted. If there is even the remotest possibility that public schools are going to be reactivated, as a former school bus driver / trainer, I am forced to question how safe “social distancing” and the transportation of students is to be reconciled.

Referencing the image below, one can see the typical dimensions of the average American school bus. For elementary to upper middle schoolers, these can accommodate three to a seat, approximately 72 students. For high schoolers seating capacity drops to roughly 48.

Now, enter the mandated six feet of separation, and that capacity is significantly reduced. Even allowing 60 inches between students, instead of the 72 inches currently required, the average bus can carry only EIGHT students, approximately.

I suppose retrofitting plexi-shields or similar is possible, but that too entails considerable cost and time in cleaning and sanitizing.

While there is great discussion about realigning space within the school buildings, the mechanisms that get the students there are not very flexible.

It will be most fascinating to witness the answers that school divisions across the nation devise, post Wuhan China Virus. Even more so in an environment that pre-Wuhan, was already seeing difficulty in recruiting and retaining drivers.

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HANK MARTIN is an Albemarle native, a graduate of Albemarle High School and PVCC majoring in Business Management. He has an extensive history of participating in the local Cub and Boy Scout Programs, both as a Scout and later as Scout Master, as well as having been a member of the Monticello Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. He has also served as a leader in church youth character building programs, such as AWANA's and the Royal Ambassadors. He is an avid student of both Biblical and world history as well as Biblical prophecy. He participated in the adoption of the school anti-bullying legislation sponsored by delegate Rob Bell. In 2006, in response to proposed ordinances by the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors regarding property rights, he founded and chaired Forever Albemarle, a personal property rights group. He resides in Albemarle County with his wife, and one of their two sons, the other now a resident out of state.


  1. I strongly object to the use of the term “China Wuhan virus” In this article which otherwise makes a good point that needs to be addressed.
    The WHO advises that disease name should not include the names of people are places. Some names might have slipped by in the past but going forward we should be conscious of this. In this case it is only an encouragement of xenophobia and fear of our Asian neighbors. There have been too many cases of Asians being reviled, spat at in the street, and a shunning of Chinese restaurants (beyond current restrictions). Yes, it did start in Wuhan, China, probably in a wet market, but we can get beyond that. There’s no real excuse: we have a name for the disease, COVID-19, and for the virus, CORONA.
    You know, there’s something to be said for political correctness in the cause of civility and empathy.

  2. Peter is right. I’d like to read Hank’s excuse for identifying as Chinese a virus that has gone round the world and already has a couple of good names in circulation. But he has none.

  3. Other than the communications I received back in my “Forever Albemarle” days, my submission regarding THE WUHAN CHINA VIRUS and Public School Transportation has proven to be the second-largest generator of private messaging to date. Current and retired school bus drivers, educators, AND medical personnel have indicated that I have broached a most prescient point, one that all agree, has yet to be properly identified and discussed. The RGB color code of #ffd800 (also known as School bus yellow), is destined to be the Canary in the Coal Mine color code for the 21st Century. Why?
    The process utilized by state governments, in particular states like Virginia, where Governor Northam has been extremely reticent to loosen his edicts, to allow Virginia to return back to economic life, will indeed be most revealing. Thus far, the reported purpose of the deactivation of what was the most animated economy in recent history, was to prevent death and illness and to “flatten the curve”. It was also to prevent the overwhelming of medical care facilities with victims of TWCV. Those scenarios thankfully did not play out. The USNS Comfort reentered her homeport of Norfolk, barely utilized, and many of the MASH units erected by the USACOE, were dismantled, unused.
    Enter into the discussions, the looming threat of “The Second Wave” of TWCV in the fall, and all of the “If’s” commence. IF “We the People” are to believe what we have been told by the authorities from March to present, THEN schools are logically prevented from transporting students by bus in typical numbers. IF students are herded onto busses in anything approaching pre-WCV norms, THEN the entire reasoning for the national shut/lockdown is rendered moot.
    IF the science and medical communities are truly convinced of a high potential of secondary infections generated by “The Second Wave”, THEN transportation by bus cannot be logically utilized or defended. Ask any bus driver or educator what it is like under normal conditions. Despite written and oral admonitions to the contrary, parents selfishly and ignorantly send their children to school while presenting fever, dysentery, coughing, etc. Enforce the wearing of masks one may offer, and to do so is to display tremendous naivety of how students act and behave. One can barely succeed at the feat of keeping students safe in their seating compartments while operating the bus, much less endeavor to enforce masking rules.
    School administrations can rearrange classrooms, close cafeterias, required hand washing, and so on, to their heart’s content, and are correct in doing so, however, IF those students are brought in by bus in numbers that fail to enforce the stated necessity and requirements of “Social Distancing”, THEN the canary has tweeted. TWCV has been spread already on the school bus ride, and all of the protocols and paradigms employed between the bus ride to and the bus ride home, is just wind in the trees, the rearranging of the deck chairs on Titanic’s stern.
    Given that, IF state and local governments do decide to ignore all that “We the People” have been instructed in thus far, THEN they now run the risk of creating the very scenario that was heretofore attempting to be avoided. They shall then incur the moral, ethical, and financial burden of the injury and death caused by failing to properly protect the students who will infect drivers, educators, parents, etc. Every school bus operator knows that when fall and winter comes, they are encapsulated in the safety equivalent of a turretless M1 Abrams tank that is also the perfect eight-wheeled petri dish for disease. That’s why they consume Vitamin C boosters and take as many precautions as possible.
    Make no mistake, many school bus operators fall within the stated level of immune system vulnerability. Many are retirees and are older, who seem to be the first victims to TWCV, as indicated by the crisis seen in long term nursing care facilities. Some of them have indicated that they are highly concerned about the prospects of returning to bus operations under current conditions. Just as doctors and nurses have voiced fear of contaminating their families, so too are educators plagued by the same concerns.
    As I mentioned earlier, the opening of the schools shall be a great indicator on many levels, of the sincerity and motives of all that “We the People” have experienced to date. One thing is certain, it shall be a fascinating scenario to observe.


    Thus, PC nomenclature not withstanding, it will eternally and correctly ID’d as “The Wuhan China Virus”.

    John Adams –
    Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence


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