Parents must decide whether to send their children back to school come June 1. (Citizen file)

Editorial: Minimal risk in sending kids back to school

Time to poke our heads out of our comfortable nests and venture out into the world again.

The province announced on May 15 that schools will be reopening on June 1. This is a really promising development, and we think parents should seriously consider sending their kids back to class.

Physically sending children back to school is still voluntary, with the ultimate decision resting with parents. There are some children who should probably not head back to the classroom just yet, such as those with underlying health conditions. But for most kids the risk will be minimal.

Parents must weigh the fact that there are very few active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island at this time, so the risk of a child catching it from a peer or from a teacher or other staff member is very low. If this wasn’t the case, it would be a whole other ballgame.

Parents also must weigh the fact that this isn’t going to be class as usual. Students will not be packed into classrooms, cheek by jowl. There will be physical distancing and sanitary measures in place. It will involve widening children’s social contacts from what they have been of late, but that’s going to have to happen sometime, and with the COVID-19 numbers being what they now are, a measured relaxation of isolation makes sense.

We cannot live forever in a bubble. What’s more, who would want to? It’s not living. We human beings are social creatures, and most of us don’t do so well with prolonged periods of isolation. Children are no different. We are starting to get on with our lives again, and so should kids.

Parents have to weigh risks for their children all the time that walk the line between preparing them to live in the world and be resilient, and making sure they can handle the situations in which they find themselves. Sending them back to school is a risk worth taking.

At this point, it seems certain that schools will be back in session come fall, and it doesn’t seem likely that the health situation will be very much different then. We’re going to have to find a new normal in the classroom just like everywhere else. We might as well do it now.

We don’t believe that our provincial health officials, who have done such an excellent job of keeping our experience of this virus manageable, would be suggesting a return to school if they didn’t believe it could be done with minimal risk. Time to poke our heads out of our comfortable nests and venture out into the world again.

CoronavirusEditorials

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Beloved Chemainus resident dies at 106

Dorothy Adair adored by the many people she met in the community in two short years

Sudden death leaves Lake Cowichan’s Shanahan family of five children without a father

GoFundMe campaign set up by wife Tiffany’s friend to help during crisis

From theatres to patios, Vancouver Island Symphony plays through the pandemic

A series of pop-up concerts are taking place in various locations from Saltair to Comox

Webinars provide emotional support, training for caregivers

Following the webinars, recordings of the sessions will be available to watch

Duncan model makes quarter finals in ‘Maxim’ magazine contest

Brandee Peart among top one per cent left in competition

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

Man arrested for allegedly pushing unsuspecting seniors, jumping on cars at Parksville mall

Cops arrest man after ‘aggressive incident’ at Wembley Mall in Parksville

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Most Read