One of the unfortunate mainstays of local schools is the well known transmissibility of every bug and virus making its way through the halls and classrooms to be carried around by students and teachers alike. The flu bugs and the typical array of colds and rhinoviruses enjoy a season of days or even weeks, making their way home to infect parents, siblings and friends until they run their course and burn out like a meteorite in the atmosphere. So, we have a well known, predictable model regarding normal seasonal and other transmissible viruses and many families can attest to the annoyances of picking up the latest bug from school.
Now I read that many communities are eager to reopen their schools, including a recent survey in Raleigh querying 330,000 parents about their comfort with returning to status quo in schools restarting:
In the parent survey – parents were allowed to submit more than one response if they had multiple children in the district – 58% said they didn’t want to remain in remote learning while waiting for the county’s COVID-19 infections to go down, and 63.4% said they didn’t want ot remain in remote learning until vaccines are more widely available.
Most responses – 90.8% — said they were somewhat or very comfortable with returning to classrooms in rotation. Fewer responses – 70.3% — said they were somewhat or very comfortable with returning all students to classrooms everyday.
A few observations and questions appear to be in order:
- Is COVID done with infecting communities or is it going to continue doing damage at the level that is killing more people daily than 911?
- Is there any reason to assume the new variant that has become dominant wherever it has been introduced will be less impactful than the old?
- Will teachers be expected to risk their health or lives and that of their families to accommodate a consensus whether or not it is based on fact and reality?