I gotta go back, back, back to school again Whoa, whoa, I gotta go back to school again
Return to full classes and full time schooling with “enhanced cleaning protocols”, “frequent hand washing and sanitizing throughout the day”, “increased cleaning of shared spaces”, and “maintaining physical distance” is the solution that is being eyed as the most probable right now.
As a parent, I have been sent the gazillion emails keeping me in the loop about reopening, I have done the surveys from different school boards asking for my input, I have weighed the options and it is with a loud and clear voice that I say, I will NOT be sending my children back to school.
I understand that many parents may not have the choice. Not everybody can work from home or take a leave of absence and with CERB ending, it will be ever harder. It’s a legitimate point. But as Kate Conway put it, in a letter to Mr. Ford and Mr. Lecce, among others, “I can’t order a freakin’ Timbit without a plexiglass shield between my masked mug and that of a gloved, mask-clad cashier who has to endure our brief 30 second interaction before passing my order across the counter via a stainless steel tray duct taped to a hockey stick to ensure distancing. Tell me again how returning to school indoors, full classes, 6 hours a day, without PPE is even an option right now? ”
You can read Kate’s letter here. High school is one thing, but elementary? How can we expect teachers, who already have their hands full with overcrowded classes to give MORE individual attention to everybody? How do you social distance properly? Kids are attracted to each other, they crave interaction, how do you make sure they don’t step into each other’s bubble. Does their class of 30 become their bubble? And with the age average of infected people trending lower and lower, is this even realistic at all?
Reopening schools, for sure, is the decision that makes the most sense for the economy, but where did the “we will not put our children at risk” rhetoric that Ford has promised?
In my eyes, nothing has changed. We’ve manage to avoid a strain on our medical system, but that’s where it ends. The pandemic is very much here. We may be tired of it, but the virus doens’t tire. It has not gone anywhere.
So at this point, the idea of reopening schools full time, full classes seems like nothing more than wishful thinking.