Fredericton — Education Minister Bill Hogan finally spoke out today to address bizarre dystopian rumours related the province’s schools.
For days, stories have been circulating on social media saying New Brunswick schools are deserted, like scenes from a post-apocalyptic nightmare movie.
Even more troubling, there have been viral videos of “zombie school buses” — where buses roll up to the front doors of local schools, but when the doors open, no students get off.
While parents and the general public are speculating wildly, until today there has been no comment from the Department of Education. However, the minister now says the online chatter is out of control and he wants to clear the air.
“OK fine, we admit it! Everyone is sick!” spilled the exasperated education minister. “Me, the students, teachers, EAs, custodians, lunch ladies, classroom pets…everyone! But, just because schools are deserted doesn’t mean anything’s wrong. ‘It’s all good dude!’ as the kids say. Do the kids still say that?”
“The kids never said that,” sighed a reporter.
The frank admission comes as many are concerned about the so-called “triple threat” of respiratory viruses circulating in the province. Doctors are saying of rising cases of influenza, COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are putting a huge, additional strain on the health care system.
When asked if this new wave of illness meant a return to indoor masking or closing selected schools, the minister laughed raspily into his sleeve.
“God no!” croaked Hogan. “Jeez, can you imagine? The Premier would send me to join the ‘Cardy party’ in a hot second!
“So, what’s the province doing? Nothing…absolutely nothing! Actually, less than nothing because we aren’t even talking about it!” he sniffed. “If we don’t talk about it, it’s not happening…KHAK KHAK WHOOOLP!”
The unmasked minister paused while he doubled over coughing, then after about 30 seconds he spat a hearty loogie onto the ground.
As the media recoiled in disgust, Hogan said, “What, no more questions? Are you sure? I’d be happy to get right in your face to discuss it.” The minister then blew his nose loudly into a hanky until every reporter left.