Should We Go Back?
Updated: Dec 5, 2020
Wait! Isn’t education essential?! Only essential businesses are allowed to be open right now. Businesses have been able to reopen safely by doing the following: Cleaning frequently touched surfaces, keeping a mask on when around others, washing hands frequently, and taking temperatures. These are the CDC recommendations. They have also done social distancing marking and installed plexiglass to separate cashiers. Can we implement this in our schools, and reopen or is it not possible, and do schools have to stay closed?
We’ve seen innovations in all businesses. CVCHS has done a good job, but why can’t the schools innovate and reopen safely?
Schools enable parents of young children to work; many kids are on free and reduced lunch, and many schools offer after school programs. By cancelling these activities, it negatively impacts families that are the most vulnerable to the emotional and economic impact of COVID-19. Not to mention the simple fact that kids are not dying of the disease. Less than 0.2% of COVID-19 deaths are people under 24 years of age, whereas over 80% of deaths are people over the age of 65.
Schools have the benefit of innovation and a government safety net; so they could reopen while still allowing vulnerable teachers and students, or those privileged enough to be able to be home with a parent, to learn or teach from home. They literally can do what businesses cannot because of laws that protect children and will make every accommodation so they don’t get left behind.
So, how can we reopen schools safely? The CDC recommends washing frequently touched surfaces. Frequently touched surfaces in schools are desks, chairs, tables, light switches, sinks, lab materials, sports equipment, etc. To prevent the spread of COVID-19 students can be given a Lysol wipe or other disinfectant to wipe their desk and chair at the end of each class. Light switches can be cleaned before and after every class period, lab materials can be cleaned after every session, along with sports equipment. Sinks and water fountains can be wiped down, and bathrooms can be refilled with soap and paper towels on a regular basis.
Every classroom should have hand sanitizer, along with soap, next to the sink. Students should, unfortunately, be required to wear masks during all classes except P.E. and lunch. We can leave windows and doors open so there is more air circulation in the room. Before entering first, or zero period, students can get a temperature check.
Again, CVCHS has done a great job. The precautions taken for walkthrough, including checking everybody's temperature, requiring the use of masks, keeping us socially distanced, and separating materials into bags, was successful in keeping everyone safe. The only reason schools are closed is because the political elite will do everything opposite to what the President says. We need to innovate and stop being afraid of this virus. We are the next generation, and we shouldn’t be prevented from a good education because the teachers are afraid, or because the governor doesn’t like the President. What matters most, education or politics?