Opening schools for some children a mistake
The Citizen reported that not one but eight Cowichan elementary schools would reopen this week to provide day care for children of our front-line workers, medical staff, first responders, grocery store workers, truck drivers and many more.
These people are our heroes as they put their health and even their lives on the line for us. Vancouver Island has done very well in managing the COVID crisis but is this really the time to back off? Can we really afford to send young children into the classrooms, the playgrounds and washrooms to mix with other children? Kids touch everything and everybody including their faces. Is there a huge risk that these children will then take back the virus to the very families we are try so hard to protect? To quote Chantel Hebert in an interview on CBC’s The National “We all know one place where social distancing will not work, and that’s in the classroom.” As adults we have had to explain to our children that they must social distance and that they cannot play with their friends anymore and now we are ready to send them back to the classroom.
Provinces across Canada have said they have no idea when schools will reopen and at least one province has cancelled until next year. I sympathize with parents who need day care but I don’t think this is the solution. The price may be too high. How will school officials feel if even one death in our area is traced back to an elementary school? If it is a mistake it will be too late to correct it later.
I believe Cowichan District Hospital is operating at 100 to 105 per cent capacity. How will it handle more patients. And one final comment, two metres may be sufficient for talking each other but recent research has found that droplets from a cough can travel four to five metres and a sneeze seven to eight metres. Will the children be told they cannot cough or sneeze?