By Marc W. Polite
See you in September? Are you sure about that? As we head towards the Fall, there’s still a lot of uncertainty as to whether the public schools of New York City will be reopened for in person classes. There has been a very public battle about this, with the city administration determined to press forward.
What we are certain of, is that we’re still in a pandemic, and are witnessing coronavirus cases skyrocket throughout the South and West. While New York City is no longer the epicenter of the coronavirus in the United States, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s safe to reopen schools.
Especially in light of all of the public concerns expressed about having an adequate amount of school nurses, and cleaning staff. What about co-located schools with like 2 to 4 different student populations in the same building? How is that going to work? How will staggered school schedules work out with this? Especially when it’s an issue of proximity. What about all of the different potential contact points children can come into just getting to and from school?Daily testing of students will do little good when we’re dealing with a 2-14 day incubation period. It’s sure to be a logistical nightmare.
It appears as though the most adamant reopeners have just talked themselves into buying into a flawed strategy. In case anyone needs a reminder, as of this moment there is no vaccine or treatment available for the coronavirus. The only answer at this point is prevention.
This insistence about in person school works against that. When you have teachers making out wills and parents protesting about this, it’s pretty serious.
To give an example, a school in Georgia started up last week Wednesday, and as of this week, had 260 employees have to go home to quarantine. That is not even a full week, and the virus already spread to 100s of people. Given, parts of the South are covid-19hotspots, but that doesn’t mean a similar pattern will not emerge here.
Do you still think that in person public school for the Fall is a good idea? Feel free to explain why in the comments below.