Re-Opening, Albeit Differently than Before COVID-19
I am agonizing over this and hope that a clear answer arrives next month. As much as I worry about kids in trouble, I think a nationwide protest about going back to school might jolt the country's mindset about safety and T at last. My oldest daughter is teaching, and the other in high school. They are going NOWHERE near schools until it's safe. If we wait another month or two and get covid under control, then they could return for good. (Where in Oregon do you live, Michele? I'm in Salem.) 🙂
I am always, always in awe of the the poetry/posts you make on your cell phone! 😍
My sleep-deprived chronically challenged brain apparently works in stranger and stranger new accommodating to life's challenges' way.
But my auto mis-corrected family texts are quite frankly legendary. 🤣
Oh my I can so feel your heart and these are scary and challenging times!
I am grateful that Gov. Brown seems to really weigh the pros and cons and confers with not only governors from other states but our own experts in many fields.
Has your teaching daughter done any of the online virtual teaching so far? I'm think those with fully open schools will only be in those counties with almost no cases and those in questionable size wise but fewer with cases will be deferred to local school superintendents and school boards as to hybrid teaching with some in classroom and some online.
I truly doubt that anyone here would be forced into situations where parents had really strong emotional fears and opinions.
And i bet there's always the option of requesting virtual substitute teaching IF there's time to get training and set-up.
If i were you or your daughters I'd truly get skilled with home zooming between all of you in a family zoom room to learn how it all works.
Lets face it, this will involve a lot of fear on both sides of all classrooms in real ones for some but online for a lot.
With Oregon having so many rural areas, hybrid programs will create not only school but transportation issues with changing daily schedules.
Just remember they are all working on this like crazy and no matter what they decide it will still be crazy!
Go with the flow has never meant more or been more mentally, physically, or psycho-spiritually important.
Thank you, Michele, your message is very reassuring. Yes, the virtual teaching did work. Gave me a thought about at risk students: perhaps they could be paired as study buddies with students in stable homes that also provide proper technology/skills for online classes. In a host atmosphere, they could be safe, well fed and have emotional support -- like foster daycare school. The paired up system might also help teachers, many of whom had to each track more than 100 kids (I applaud the teachers, I dont know how they did it).
A friend of mine linked today to what appears to be a really useful source of data from Georgia Tech.
It is a map of the county-level risk (in the U.S.) of encountering a Covid-19 positive person in a gathering of 10-10,000. Use the slider to the left of the map to select the gathering size. Then you can zoom into the county you want.
There are also tabs with more data. Also, of course, it is important to pay attention to what data they are using. They link to details on the data at the COVID Tracking Project ( https://covidtracking.com/ ) where you can see, state-by-state, how they are gathering data, how the state reports data, etc.
Overall, I think it gives a useful picture of where risks are higher vs lower and may aid in making reopening decisions.
COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool
More than 7,000 kids have tested positive in Florida. If even one kid in a school tests positive, that child's classmates and teachers and any staff who came within contact distance will have to quarantine for two weeks. Talk about a disruption! Who teaches a class if a teacher has to quarantine? How does another teacher teach if one class out of several is out on quarantine? And what about contact tracing; if that child tests positive, and his or her class and teacher have to quarantine, do the kids who who passed that child in the hall need to quarantine, too? What about the kid who sits in the infected child's desk during the next hour, or played with him or her on the playground at recess? Opening schools would be the worst idea right now. Everything closed down in March when there were only a fraction of the cases there are now. And I saw this as the mom of a high school sophomore, and a college junior who will likely lose his scholarship swim season. I'd rather have my kids safe and healthy and bored and grieving the loss of their school year than then loss of friends and teachers due to covid.
Plus there are studies that show the long term effects on COVID-19 survivors were not good, to say the least. Even if their kid survived the virus, there's a good chance their quality of life will be significantly diminished. Getting a good scholarship or a college placement means nothing if their children don't have the good health to enjoy reaping the benefits of their efforts.
I want to gently ask you not to exaggerate the findings of these studies. No one is saying that all or even most of the covid survivors are experiencing long term effects.
The studies are concerning and they are all over the news now. We need to know about them, but we do not need to assume that if we get covid we will develop chronic illnesses.
The studies are preliminary. The illness is too young to establish that it continues long-term. They are concerned about possible long-term effects because it could be similar to MERS and SARS, but even with those diseases, only a portion of sufferers had residual effects.
On the other hand, it is good to respect that this disease is dangerous and we need to avoid it, if we can and so for that, I thank you for posting about it.
We won't know about long term effects until... the long term but there is scientific evidence to indicate that it is more likely that survivors will suffer from chronic issues, based on what is already known about SARS and MERS.
@laura-f. I think we are coming from different concerns in this conversation about Covid that began with Goldstone's post. I was concerned about the Chicken Little effect of reading some headlines and assuming that a person who has had Covid-19 is doomed to long term chronic illness. They are not doomed, and there are no studies that say that.
But it is a dangerous and mysterious disease, and more than a respiratory disease, and people should do all they can to avoid getting it.
The articles you posted are coming from the perspective that (1) public health authorities and medical providers should be prepared to do long term follow up on Covid survivors and (2) that it is more than a respiratory illness. Follow up should encompass not just respiratory, but all organ systems, especially cardiovascular and neurological.
As you pointed out, there are no long-term studies on Covid-19, only on SARS and MERS, which are similar diseases, but they do not yet know if Covid-19 will behave similarly.
They all say that some (not all or even the majority) of SARS and MERS's sufferers especially those who were severe enough to be hospitalized, showed longterm health effects.
None of the articles say that if you get Covid 19 you are going to or are likely to suffer longterm chronic illness. I believe you know this, but I am putting it here for others who don't have the time or inclination to read the whole articles.
So if you are reading this post and are a Covid-19 survivor, you are not doomed, and there are no studies that suggest you are.
Sorry about that, I didn't mean to do that. I think its events that were occurring in Melbourne are starting to wear me out I think, exacerbating my mental illness once more, which clouded my judgement. I'm trying very hard not let get to me, but it's difficult
You're right. It's still the preliminary stage in the studies and they haven't found a conclusion to it at the moment. It's true that surviving from COVID is not a spell of doom.
Even that's not the case, they still shouldn't open up schools. Especially when teachers and children are exposed to such dangers.
@goldstone Agree that they should not open schools. It is a dangerous disease. It boggles the mind that they would open the schools before they have a working vaccine but the GOP politicians eschew science. And they do not care about people. Let Ivanka and Melania send their kids to schools now. And McConnell, and Barr send their grandkids. In fact, I agree with @triciaCT that Betsey Devos and Donald Trump want people to die.
So my message to all the teachers and parents out there: don't jeopardize your life or your children's lives to help out the Republicans.
Our school system in Ohio (near Cleveland) is currently looking at 5 days a week for 5 hours per day. We have expressed our concerns to the Superintendent of Schools about opening this fall. They sent out a survey. We will not be sending our children.
An interesting statistic came out of the school survey - of all the parents who replied 73% said wearing a mask in school is important 22% said they didn't think it was important. When we read this statistic, , my husband and I looked at each other and said - well that's your risk factor. Those who don't think it's important will make it too risky. We were surprised it was that high. (22%)
Interesting to hear. Our public district here in Michigan announced a virtual start to the year last week. Our one daughter goes to a private school and they just sent out their plan for an in-person option (with lots of restrictions and precautions) and a virtual option. We will be doing the virtual option for her (fortunately, my husband and I can both work from home.) Our older daughter is in a public charter, so although we haven't yet received their plan, my guess is that it will be online or at least have an online option. Many of the schools in our area seem to be going online at this point.
@cc21 We have two children. Our daughter would very much like to go back in building. The district has lots of financial resources to put in place very good precautions. New Filters, masks and shields required. 15 kids max per classroom, in classroom lunch, movement through the halls single file, no lockers, staggered start times, frequent bathroom cleaning and cleaning. All this seems quite good - But I keep coming back to IS this a false sense of security? We can't control the virus. Staying home is safest. And yet, we know our daughter needs to be in the classroom. The start date has been delayed a week. It's now a "slow start on August 24. Meaning they will start with 2 days on and 1 day virtual. I wonder if this slow start is a way to get them introduced and send them out to virtual. There are two flaws in the well thought I back to school policy - IMHO - one is students changing classes. Although there will be required wipe down before leaving the classroom and 2ndly the teachers. Our dedicated hard working teachers being exposed to 200+ kids per day in their classrooms. I would like to see virtual learning for this fall. I say that and this little voice in my head asks "how will January be different?" UGH... SIGH....
Yes, I hear you when you say is this a false sense of security. It makes you wonder if it is enough or is it inevitable that things will go downhill? In our state, Michigan, we are in Phase 4 of a 6 phase reopening plan, but are waffling close to Phase 3. If things continue in that direction, the governor may declare Phase 3 and that would mean all kids go virtual (no in-person school allowed.) I think there is a lot of doubt that we can hold Phase 4 or continue to Phase 5, especially with college kids coming back. I feel for the families, like yours, whose kids really want to go back and/or feel they will do better in-person. It is a tough call and not going to be an easy or typical transition, regardless.
The private school our younger daughter goes to has a very thorough plan for the in-person option and I do appreciate all of the precautions for those that need/want to be there. For our daughter (who definitely is an empath), regular school can be draining, so with all of the additional changes to accommodate for COVID, we feel like it would just be too much of a distraction and draining for her. She is in total agreement with that and is willing to put in the effort to make the virtual option work. It will be an experiment for all of us, but I feel comfortable about our choice (which is saying something for me! I am always in constant doubt about what direction to go with the school situation...) I also have been researching and thinking about homeschool/unschooling for years, so this may be an interesting experience for our kids now that the allure of in-person (the extras and social aspects--for example, for now there will be no band or choir; no theater; strict protocols staying with your classroom cohort; not even interacting with the classroom of other kids in that same grade, etc.) is on hold. A different time for us all, for sure!
Saw a Tweet recently that said:
"You're gonna send your kid to school with that Paw Patrol mask, he's gonna come home with a Batman mask because he did a trade at lunch, and then they're gonna have to shut down your whole school."
I think that the deep cleaning once a week thing is a false sense of security, because we know that surface transmission is not really the problem - the problem is that COVID is true airborne - particles linger in the air for hours and can travel in the air.
So unless they plan to fumigate the schools nightly, I wouldn't be comfortable.
That being said, I recognize that some special needs kids will suffer in this, and my idea is to have just the special ed professionals go to the school building, and each only meet with one student at a time in 1 room, preferably with windows that open. Maybe just one or 2 visits per week would help these kids from falling too far behind.
As for social aspects at all levels - yeah, well, this is why I know kids who are dropping out of Ivy League colleges to go to CCs at home. Without the social aspects of schooling, there is little to no point in opening ANY school. Boarding schools that are locked down - maybe, but I think it's way too soon to reopen public schools unless a particular county has had zero cases (we actually have 2 counties in CA that have had zero - very rural), in which case I say go for it, but that's the exception, not the rule.