I’m watching the start of the school year speed closer. With that, comes my increasing fear about what is going to happen to those in the schools because of the rampant spread of Coronavirus. Yet, schools seem to have no choice, being forced to open or they will lose the government money they desperately need.
While not the first, this sweet boy lost both his parents within 4 days of each other.
The reality can be students going to school, taking the virus home with them, infecting the rest of the family. As we know, those who have underlying health conditions fare far worse than those who are healthy.
COVID orphans, a blip of a phenomenon at the moment, will, as the school year begins, be seen more and more.
It really does seem like schools are set-up to become superspreader events. Superspreader events tend to occur when groups of people congregate without masks or social distancing.
Rich schools are able to retrofit their classrooms with partitions, but what are schools without those resources to do?
Overcrowding in schools have been an issue for decades, some states setting limits on students in the classroom. But when they spread the students out into different classrooms, do they have extra money given to them to hire more teachers?
Here is a great list of teacher-student ratios including how much money each state averaged on each student. You can easily see how little states like Arizona and Alabama spend on their students (about $7000) whereas New York spends $22,000+ per student. Where is the money coming from to Corona-Proof the classrooms?
Schools Already Spreading Coronavirus
Schools have not even opened yet, but in Georgia, teachers have been going in to prepare for the school year.
However, after ONE DAY in the classroom, Coronavirus cases and exposures sideline 260 employees in Georgia’s largest public school district, Gwinnett County.
While students in that county will be attending virtual classrooms, the teachers were expected to teach from the school’s classrooms instead of at home. No explanation seems to be had for the dichotomy in locations. Teachers tried hard to be allowed to teach from home, but that was denied.
It seems Ms. Newman made the right choice looking at the number of sick in that county after one day.
Bring in the Kids!
There is research that shows kids under their teen years might not spread the disease as much as adults do, but that does not mean they are not carriers at all. Testing and research is still gathering information.
What if they happen to be carrying the virus more than we think now? What happens if they spread coronavirus to the teachers? To other students who then take the virus to susceptible members of their families?
Multitude of Trials Regarding Children and COVID-19
When one becomes a COVID Orphan, the enormity of the situation seems to reach far beyond what we could imagine.
COVID-19’s Devastating Impact on Children: Governments Should Mitigate Harm, Protect Most Vulnerable writes:
“More than 1.5 billion students are out of school. Widespread job and income loss and economic insecurity among families are likely to increase rates of child labor, sexual exploitation, teenage pregnancy, and child marriage. Stresses on families, particularly those living under quarantines and lockdowns, are increasing the incidence of domestic violence. As the global death toll from COVID-19 increases, large numbers of children will be orphaned and vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.”
The article made me cry, the pending reality being so bleak.
Plans for Sick Teachers
- Are there plans for sick teachers or staff? How likely will a substitute want to come into a classroom where there was a sick teacher?
One extreme is to basically do nothing — just tell the sick student or teacher to stay home. The other extreme is to shut down the school for each case. If a school plans to do the latter, it may as well not open at all. There is an intermediate option: Close the classroom for a few days, clean it and reopen.
I am very glad I am not a teacher or a mom with school-aged kids right now. I would not be sending them to school, but what if I was a midwife and had to go to a 30-hour birth? What would the kids do?
What a world we live in. So many choices and all really sucky.