Before schools can re-open, we need to do our homework


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3 comments

  1. Beverley MacLean-Lindsay

    Thank you Emily for your reflective comments concerning the reopening of schools in September.

    I am a former Public Health Nurse and a semi-retired elementary school teacher. I applaud the leadership of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto in releasing the excellent guidelines document for a return to school opening this September. I too have had very serious concerns about the impact of the lockdown on the physical and mental health, (in addition to the learning), of children and youth. I absolutely welcome the idea of moving forward with a coordinated plan, particularly with schools being flexible and nimble in responding to changes as warranted.

    I agree with all of the recommendations in this document, however, I was particularly pleased to read the guidance statements concerning the wearing of masks and social distancing issues. In the case of students wearing masks all day at school, I also worry about the impractical and potential risks of such an expectation. As well, strict social distancing among children in the school setting is definitely not practical nor psychologically healthy. Based upon my long-time Public Health experiences in schools, I will be thrilled to see extremely strict and regular handwashing hygiene become commonplace, and hopefully, for schools to provide the infrastructure for this to happen.

    All school staff already navigate a challenging minefield daily. In the case of COVID-19, they require consistent health information to empower them to feel confident that they making the best possible decisions based on current evidence. The document from the Hospital for Sick Children is a very credible start.

  2. rick

    Bizarre – as the risk of covid complications (ie. death) to this age group is so low. In fact children in this age group are at a higher risk of dying from a car accident than dying from covid. Teachers and support workers on the other hand would need to take the current due diligent precautions of washing their hands more, masking themselves with n95 if there are ‘snotty nose’ kids in their midst etc. We cannot become paralyzed by covid, we never became paralyzed with H1N1, or even the routine flu in its nastiest seasons

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