Good news! The schools are opening and kids are going back! It’s been a long, long summer. But should the kids go back to school with the current mandates of mask-wearing and social distancing? Is it worth it to send the kids into that type of environment where they can transmit the virus to their more-susceptible teachers and staff?
Most schools are currently mandating that if they do start in-person learning, that all students and faculty must wear a mask.
What about the kids who are barely able to follow the dress code every day; the kids who refuse to wear a jacket to protect them from the cold; the kids who can’t stand to have anything touch their face; the kids whose glasses fog up when wearing a mask? What about the children with special needs, how will we mandate their wearing of the mask? What about the children of parents who simply refuse to believe that masks will help protect anyone?
Ah, it’ll be fine! We all know children are perfect examples of cleanliness and manners. No one will lick their hands and chase the other kids, yelling “CORONA” around the playground! The masks will always stay precisely where they are supposed to be, and no one will stick their fingers inside the mask to pick their noses, or chew their nails…. Hmm, maybe not.
And what about our teachers? How do we protect them from this blatantly impossible task of keeping masks on faces, while teaching through their own mask? How easily will their speech be understood or heard through the mask and the sound of 10+ kids breathing, humming, and muttering through masks? Another consideration: We aren’t able to even ENROLL our children into a public school without proof of their vaccination record, yet, the far-removed government says it’s just fine for them to attend during a pandemic, for which there is no vaccine? How do these two things correlate? How will we enforce the vaccination of children in public schools after we open during Covid19?
Without masks, school is unsafe; with masks, school is pointless.
To compare our teachers to other essential workers, such as the military and grocery store workers, is a false equivalency since we all need groceries to eat, and our military is our first defense from threats outside the nation. For both these jobs, physical presence is required to stock the shelves and man the equipment, and unless we are all going on a long-term diet of fresh air, we all need grocery stores to feed our families.
If only there was a way to teach without in-person interaction with grubby children! If only we had some technology that helped us communicate over long distances!
What’s that? We DO have this ability? Of course, we do. We have Zoom. And Google Classroom. And Google Hangouts…
These may not be ideal, but they are the safest options for both children and teachers. Between the roving satellite trucks bringing the internet to remote communities, and companies offering reduced and deferred payments, it’s possible for all of us to come together and accept online instruction for the vast majority of the population. This way, only the kids who truly must attend in-person classes will be on campus, and teachers will have a much lower risk of exposure.Read comments