A question we face as parents is whether we would opt to send our children back to school in the fall or not due to COVID-19. I have three kids. One is in college, but the other two are in high school — a senior and a sophomore — and they attend our local public high school.
Like many around the country, our school district has sent out a survey to gauge the majority opinion on a variety of options for school this upcoming fall. According to the CDC, at the time of me writing this, COVID-19 is actually on the decline overall. It is actually under the epidemic threshold, and for children 0-17 years old, hospitalization rates are lower than for influenza. This does not constitute an emergency in my mind, to the point that my kids need to wear masks all day, stay in the same classroom all day, including for lunch (as has been proposed by my district), and especially not to continue with distance learning. Our family does not have anyone at home who is in a high-risk group, but if someone does have someone at home that’s high risk and they worry their kids will be exposed and bring it home, they should keep them home and do distance learning.
I send my kids to school every year without worry about them contracting the flu, strep, bronchitis, etc. I send my kids outside without worry about getting Lyme disease from ticks, Zika from a mosquito bite, or any other thing nature can throw at us.
COVID-19 has been all anyone can talk about, but I don’t believe it’s the deadliest thing we face. I have a 17-year-old driver and a 15-year old with a driving permit. That scares me more than COVID-19.
Sending my kids to school with a student body population of approximately 2,000 students makes social distancing seem like a joke, and if we open back up on a rotational basis of in school & distance learning combined … well, exposed is exposed.
We are still grocery shopping, putting gas in the car, getting our hair done. The UPS man is still manhandling my packages from Amazon. The people shopping for me and delivering via Instacart are still touching my fruits and veggies. We can do all those things but we want to debate sending the kids to school? For me, there is no debate.
As parents, we should have the choice and our family’s choice is to send them back to school. The risk for my children and our household is no greater than for any other illness they could contract from being out in society, and quite frankly, while I applaud the efforts my school district and the teachers and staff went to for distance learning, my kids (and my sanity) do better in a classroom setting.