It’s more than likely that your child has gone from zoom classrooms to being back on campus this semester. As we watched our kids return to school, I know many of us wondered whether we made the right decision. I struggled with having our last child attend in-person classes again because we’re still in a pandemic. He’s in the 11th grade and vaccinated. However, I have no idea how many of his peers are vaccinated or even if the teachers are vaccinated. Despite these factors, I made the decision because I wanted him to get his high school experience back and participate in sports again. I know I’m not alone in feeling anxiety over my decision and I personally know many who opted out of in-person instruction.
Unfortunately, our concerns weren’t unjustified. There is currently an increase in the number of cases among school-age children. These are our students and, sadly, children make up more than 25% of the weekly COVID-19 cases being reported. This means that one in four students is getting infected. While some have symptoms and are facing severe illness, others have little to no symptoms.
At the beginning of the semester, schools made promises to keep our children safe and put in measures to maintain healthy environments. But the reality is they weren’t ready to deal with this ongoing pandemic. At my son’s school, there’s a shortage of janitors. This leads to schools not being properly sanitized every night because they don’t have enough personnel. In high schools, the staff is having issues with getting students to keep their masks on. Quite frankly, they can’t even get teachers to keep their masks on.
What’s even more disheartening is that students and teachers are getting COVID on a weekly basis and schools are not notifying parents when their child’s been exposed. I tried to stay positive at the beginning, but I’m truly uncertain about how much longer we’ll be able to continue this way. I think schools will inevitably have to shut down again and we should all stay vigilant to prepare for the worst.
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