Author Topic: Return to School: Online or In Person?  (Read 7156 times)

malacca

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Return to School: Online or In Person?
« on: August 03, 2020, 09:48:31 PM »
Our state locked down in March and went to online schooling. My kids were fine with it. They are a grade or two above - so school was basically 3 hours a day all in. So they got to do a lot more in the day.

But they did miss many aspect of being at school.

I am quite informed about the virus. Not from the US perspective (we failed) but from how other countries / states are controlling it and the problems that countries are having even though they have actually controlled the virus. We were living in Taiwan up until Nov 2019.

We chose long ago not to put our kids in school this year.

What are your thoughts?

The superintendent of our school district has the difficult task of deciding to open the schools or not (along with the school board). Damned if you do. Damned if you don't.

Here are the downsides:

If the school opens there will be infections within the first week. Then what? Keep your kid in school?

Statistically, if the school opens, one or more of the teachers, students, staff, workers or immediate family members will not only catch the virus from the school population but will die from it in the first year.

Almost every country that had the virus under control (less than 10 infections per pay per million) and opened schools saw rapid spread. We are at 2000 infections per day per million!!!! Just imagine.

Children are often asymptomatic and spread the virus to family. In Asia children are known to have killed grandma and / or grandpa.

______________________

I foresee a huge disaster as many states open up schools for in person learning.

______________________

Well, our governor passed the buck and is making each district decide wether to open schools or go online only. The kicker is the governor said that any student that can't / doesn't want in person education must receive an equivalent online education. AND any teacher / administrator that doesn't want to risk being in the schools can work from home.


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kanga1622

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2020, 01:15:12 PM »
Our governor says schools should open and no masks should be required.

Thankfully our district only partly listened: we go back full time in-person in two weeks but masks are required. The current active infection rate in my county is pretty low but when the local college starts in two weeks.....

But DH and I are both expected to be in the office so no option to choose the virtual school option unless one of us quits our job. Which is ridiculous because I honestly spend 95% of my day in the office with the door shut working online or having Zoom meetings. I can get just as much done at home if I work when the kids are busy or sleeping.

TheFrenchCat

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2020, 07:14:18 AM »
We have until Friday to decide, but we're leaning towards virtual.  We have relatives that were in the school this spring and they said they did a good job switching to virtual.  And, while our county and state are doing well for the US, there's still enough cases that I'm worried cases will explode once schools open.  Our daughter's school also gives us the option to switch between in person and virtual every marking period, so if they open and cases stay low, we can reevaluate then.  I'm really not looking forward to trying to manage 6 classes a day for a 5 year old, but we'll do our best. 

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2020, 07:26:15 AM »
Our schools are starting online, and will continue that way until January (at a minimum) for the middle school district. The high school district is also starting online, but hasn't committed to an end date.

SwordGuy

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2020, 07:48:01 AM »
This is the advice I give to people considering sending their kids to in-person school this year:

"Make sure you can live with the results of your decision if your kids don't."

meerkat

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2020, 08:23:39 AM »
Our schools are starting in person but with two online options. One of the online options (DA) takes place at the same time as the school day and everyone assumed the teachers for DA would be exclusively teaching DA. Nope! Teachers are being expected to have an in-person class and simultaneously teach an online class at the same time. This was not made clear when a survey was sent out earlier this summer asking parents which option they wanted for the fall.

Then last week a bus driver died, she had been cleaning buses was exposed to Covid through that but no one in her chain of command bothered to tell her. She did not have PPE. Earlier this summer, a school that had summer classes going on and of course there was a Covid positive person there and the communication by the school to exposed students/staff was ... less than encouraging. As far as I know, there is no person (much less multiple people across different schools) responsible for contact tracing.

I fully expect an outbreak to happen. I fully expect schools to be closed again and moved fully online within weeks. I fully expect more deaths will happen because of the choices of the school board and the state.

The second online option is more flexible - do the work whenever you want during the given week - so that's the option we went with because both parents are WFH during normal school hours. We have no idea how we're going to balance effectively having to be our child's teachers for Kindergarten and we won't be able to figure that our until school starts and we have the materials in hand and communication with his teacher set up. This is something we never would have considered as a long term schooling option six months ago.

kanga1622

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2020, 09:23:07 AM »
This is the advice I give to people considering sending their kids to in-person school this year:

"Make sure you can live with the results of your decision if your kids don't."

This is truly unhelpful and fearmongering. I am TERRIFIED about sending my kids to school but unless we can magically make life free, both adults in our family need to work outside the home. Not everyone on this site is a high earner with a 50+% savings rate. Not everyone here is in a relationship so they have an option to have one partner stay home with the kids.

In a perfect world Iíd work from home and school my kids from home but we donít live in a perfect world.

MissPeach

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2020, 03:45:10 PM »
Our school opening is tied to case load and it's too high right now so it will be online only. As a single parent I fear I'll get called to work before schools open. My job is saying they won't be the first to call people back in but at the same time they aren't being as progressive as a lot of the Silicon Valley companies about it either even though my job (tech) is easy to do online.

mm1970

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2020, 06:04:56 PM »
Our school opening is tied to case load and it's too high right now so it will be online only. As a single parent I fear I'll get called to work before schools open. My job is saying they won't be the first to call people back in but at the same time they aren't being as progressive as a lot of the Silicon Valley companies about it either even though my job (tech) is easy to do online.
Yeah, we are required to start online (So Cal).  Our case rate is 3x the rule.

waltworks

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2020, 08:53:39 PM »
Our district is requiring masks and doing various other basic safety stuff, and going full in person, full time, at least for elementary. You have the option to do remote.

We could do remote, but our kids hated it in the spring and learned nothing. Like every other kid of someone who posts here, they're far "ahead" so we could just shrug and not worry about it, but we'd rather have them socializing and being physically there.

They'll shut it all down if there are significant cases, so we'll see how it goes, I guess. Our entire county has only had a case or two a day (or zero) for months now after being the epicenter of the UT outbreak, so *touch wood* we might do ok.

We did send grandma to live elsewhere, that seemed too risky. Everyone else is low risk and should be fine.

-W

SwordGuy

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2020, 05:23:17 AM »
This is the advice I give to people considering sending their kids to in-person school this year:

"Make sure you can live with the results of your decision if your kids don't."

This is truly unhelpful and fearmongering. I am TERRIFIED about sending my kids to school but unless we can magically make life free, both adults in our family need to work outside the home. Not everyone on this site is a high earner with a 50+% savings rate. Not everyone here is in a relationship so they have an option to have one partner stay home with the kids.

In a perfect world Iíd work from home and school my kids from home but we donít live in a perfect world.
If someone has done the best they can then they should be able to live with their decision.

If they've just sent the kids off because -- although they have other options they simply don't want to use them due to laziness or greed or selfishness or stubborn ignorance -- then they'll have that to think about at the funeral if their kids get unlucky.

That's not fear mongering.    That's reality.

I would not want to be in a position of realizing that I though I did have the option to keep my kid home I chose not to use it  -- and my kid died as a result.   If I didn't have a  choice because we have to work to keep a simple roof over our heads and food on the table, then, well, I would be mad as hell at Trump and his enablers for making this epidemic far, far worse.

ender

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2020, 05:48:14 AM »
This is the advice I give to people considering sending their kids to in-person school this year:

"Make sure you can live with the results of your decision if your kids don't."

This is truly unhelpful and fearmongering. I am TERRIFIED about sending my kids to school but unless we can magically make life free, both adults in our family need to work outside the home. Not everyone on this site is a high earner with a 50+% savings rate. Not everyone here is in a relationship so they have an option to have one partner stay home with the kids.

In a perfect world Iíd work from home and school my kids from home but we donít live in a perfect world.
If someone has done the best they can then they should be able to live with their decision.

If they've just sent the kids off because -- although they have other options they simply don't want to use them due to laziness or greed or selfishness or stubborn ignorance -- then they'll have that to think about at the funeral if their kids get unlucky.

That's not fear mongering.    That's reality.

I would not want to be in a position of realizing that I though I did have the option to keep my kid home I chose not to use it  -- and my kid died as a result.   If I didn't have a  choice because we have to work to keep a simple roof over our heads and food on the table, then, well, I would be mad as hell at Trump and his enablers for making this epidemic far, far worse.

It's worth understanding and contextualizing actual risks here.

https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Provisional-COVID-19-Death-Counts-by-Sex-Age-and-S/9bhg-hcku

Of all deaths in the 0-14 age range since February 2nd, 0.3% of them are a result of covid (a total of 45. Additionally, 1.3% of deaths in 15-24 range were from covid but that's unfortunately including a much larger age range than high school).

Almost 10% of those who were 75+ who died in that same time period died of covid.

While we:

  • Do not know the exact infection rate in kids (so determining an IFR is hard; only 5% of tests were for kids 0-17)
  • Do not know the long term impacts of covid (particularly on kids)
  • Do not know how easily spreadable covid is by children

Using the data we have now, it's probable that the main impact of kids going to school is not going to be on children themselves but on the adults they come into contact with.

waltworks

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2020, 07:48:27 AM »
Yeah, I'm not worried about my elementary aged kids. There are lots of things in life that are risky or dangerous, if you're healthy and 8/6 years old, Covid really isn't one of them based on what we know so far.

-W

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2020, 08:28:36 AM »
We're choosing remote for our tween and teen, even though we live in a state in the Northeast with low numbers right now. My husband has a high-risk condition, so for us it was a no-brainer. And with so much distressing information coming out about formerly healthy people dealing with Covid symptoms months after their diagnosis, it really has made me wonder about the impact of this virus even on the rest of us low-risk members of the household.

StarBright

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2020, 09:46:34 AM »
We are in Ohio. We chose virtual for our 1st and 3rd grader.

Today was my husband's first day back at his school after having the summer at home.

This morning I am regretting choosing virtual. My gut says I want my kids home, but I don't know how I will do this.

ETA - Now every school district surrounding ours has decided to start remote but our town has more cases than many of these other districts. Word on the street is that our school board is determined to start in person. I am feeling better about choosing virtual.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2020, 10:32:01 AM by StarBright »

Sibley

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2020, 06:01:42 PM »
This is the advice I give to people considering sending their kids to in-person school this year:

"Make sure you can live with the results of your decision if your kids don't."

I would modify this.

"Make the best decision that you can with as much information as you have."

Whatever my local district had decided to do, the virus is completely disregarding those decisions. The situation is changing rapidly. Last I heard, at least the first month or so would be online only. No idea if that's changed in the past couple days.


TheFrenchCat

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2020, 06:30:44 PM »
Today we made the firm decision to have our daughter do virtual learning at least for the first marking period.  We're allowed to reevaluate then (and at the 3rd and 4th marking periods) and if cases haven't gone up and there haven't been any outbreaks at the school, we might send her in person then.  Also, we heard today that our local public school is only doing virtual to start, so that makes us feel better, since they're in the same town.  Hopefully, this will keep her safer and keep the class safer by not exposing them to us.  My husband still goes into work, and though he's not public facing, it's still another contact point.  Now I just need to keep a 5 year old on task for 4 hours of video lessons a day.  Yaay.

Edited to add: We're in PA.  According to the governor's plan our cases are low enough to open the schools, but it's up to each district to decide.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2020, 10:28:59 AM by TheFrenchCat »

chemistk

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2020, 05:52:34 AM »
We're sending our son (5) to in-person Kindergarten. Our district is enforcing the statewide mask mandate for all individuals over the age of two inside school buildings. We're also fortunate enough to live in a district with enough space in the elementary schools that they can space the kids out without making makeshift classrooms around the buildings.

The alternative for us, given what the district outlined, was to do virtual Kindergarten run by a third party provider. Our son would never meet his 'classmates' under this option and would only have a personal (Zoom) conversation with his 'teacher' a handful of times this semester. Each day we as parents would be required to supervise a variable amount of learning and 'homework' - all prerecorded videos and lessons for the most part. We have 2 younger kids at home and I'm going into work more frequently now, so there's no way we (my wife) could supervise his learning while also tending to the needs of a toddler and an infant.

Now, it may all be for naught - if our county sees an uptick in cases or there's a significant outbreak at the school, our son will switch to virtual learning anyway. The only difference is that it will be real-time videochat with his teacher and classmates and not through a third party.

malacca

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2020, 10:25:26 AM »
** It would be helpful if people listed the state they live in. **

I am in MN.

Our governor passed the buck and made each school district decide. But all schools have to offer an online option that is "equivalent" to the in class option (good luck with that).

Also, any faculty that don't feel comfortable can work from home.

So our district came up with this crazy hybrid system:

K-3 go to school all day. Each class will be split in two groups. 1/2 taught by teacher and 1/2 by Para. Then switch groups.

4 and 5 are put in the high school and spread out and go to school 4 days a week.

6 to 8 go two days a week but split into two different groups.

High school kids go to school one day a week (when the young kids are not at the high school).

They also bought masks and large air filters.

Oh, they also bought 55 gallon drums of hand sanitizer (they still believe the virus is spread by touching!).

The other option was to have online only and any kid that couldn't stay home went to school but just studied online like the rest of the students (this was done during the shutdown and was largely successful). Of course there are parents out there that can't stay at home with their kids. And there are parents that can but just do not want to : )

We long ago chose the online option (or just home schooling). I FIREd long ago and my schedule is flexible. I have always been very active in my kids education and even homeschooled them when traveling.

Luckily my kids are self disciplined and online was not an issue.



GuitarStv

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2020, 10:36:55 AM »
In our province of Ontario we have the options of:

- don't put your kid in school

Or

- in person in classrooms with no reduction of class size, no mandatory mask wearing, no possibility of social distancing

Both of which suck.  We're still undecided.  Our son needs more social interaction and we both work full time . . . but the current plan in place seems like a really, really bad idea.

malacca

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2020, 11:08:39 AM »
                    ** Let's look at the risks vs rewards **

Keep in mind that even to this day we have very little accurate information on the virus.

*** The virus is primarily spread by people breathing on each other. Period. ***

*** Don't be fooled by hand sanitizers or wiping down desks, grocery carts, etc. It creates employment but that it is it ***

As a nation we have failed miserably. If you are not aware we are pretty much LAST PLACE in the world in dealing with the virus. National leadership was near zero. And most states also failed. And this is not a Republican or Democratic issue - all sides have failed. Only NY, NJ, CT, RI and HI have been successful in controlling the virus (maybe I missed a state or two).

So on the back of massive failure, don't expect your school district to somehow do a better job.

1. If your state has a high infection rate, the chances of it being a major problem in schools is near 100% based on all of the schools that tried to reopen worldwide (and most of those schools have far better social distancing measures and enforcement).

And if your state does not have a mandatory mask policy - then my advice is for you and your kids to stay home and self lockdown best you can.

2. Children do catch the virus. And they are harmed by the virus - even if they don't die. Further, we do not know the long term implications of the virus's impact on the body.

3. Children do spread the virus. Children are more than likely to be asymptomatic carriers. And children are much less likely to be tested. So they keep spreading.

4. We still have pretty much zero track and trace in place. And testing in most states is hit or miss at best.

5. There is a huge difference between younger kids and those 15+.

6. The virus statistics for children look better because we had lockdowns, they don't go to work, summer vacation, etc. Mark my word once school is in session the numbers will come out. All we have to do is look at countries that start their school year at different months.

7. What about you? What if you kid brings it home? How vulnerable are the people living in your home?

8. This virus is not going away anytime soon - especially in the USA. And forget the BS about developing a vaccine. Those press releases are about pumping up stocks so the insiders can make millions. For 17 years we tried to make a SARS vaccine but failed. How about a common flu vaccine? Ask yourself why we don't have a true flu vaccine? Sure, they sell a NEW one every year but it is very clear they have little efficacy. But the marketing / disinformation works well : )   Are people willing to take a new untested Corona Virus vaccine every 6 months?

9. Emotional stress. Imagine going to school knowing that one person per month was going to get randomly shot by a 22 revolver. They may not die from it but....  Well, that is what is going to happen as for sure sooner or later the virus WILL spread at school. Some people can handle this emotionally and some not.

So what is your kid missing out on?

1. Being with friends / socializing. Absolutely. My kids feel it. But I don't think it will harm them missing out for one year. They will still Zoom friends or meet them after school (preferably outside).

2. Academics. Yes, for many they will miss out on some stuff. Unless you are in Kindergarten or last 2 years of High School it is probably not critical.

3. Soft skills / other learning. This is where the kids will lose out the most. The art / music / plays / sports, etc. But a lot of this will not be taught even in school as social distancing is not feasible.

4. Upsides? Learning to work remotely is a life skill the kids will have to have as that is the way organizations are moving. So that is a huge advantage. Also, learning to be self disciplined is also a big plus. My kids had to keep a daily calendar so they would know to log on again for such and such event / class.

5. Teacher discipline. I think this is actually the parent's job. I cringe when parents' complain the teacher isn't doing enough.

I am sure there is more.

I think the most impacted will be kindergartners and juniors and seniors. Oh, don't forget about college students.

Everyone's situation is different. MN failed in controlling the virus even though Minnesotan's are more community oriented than most states. We locked down but not that well. We just started a mask policy a few weeks ago. Infection rates are surging.

*** Our leaders have failed at the basics - like math. ***

 If the infection rate is rising it will not miraculously start going down by itself. That is not how the virus works. The only way to bring down the rate is to lower the R0 to below 1. That means that if one person gets it they will on average spread it to less than one person.

The only way to stop the spread it to prevent people from breathing on each other.
--- THAT MEANS EITHER LOCKING DOWN OR REQUIRING MASKS. ---
We have not found any other way to stop the spread. None. Nada. Zero.





malacca

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2020, 11:37:20 AM »
That is bad. Well, just plain stupid.

I know overall Canada has been much more successful that the USA on controlling the virus. But Canada - like most countries - still has the virus spreading. 

No masks & people being inside = spread. Period.

Oh, you have one of those leaders. I know his brother was a crackhead. At least he is not the Prime Minister : )      > Yet.

Well, I spend a lot of time in Canada. Overall I rate it a grade higher than the US (well, until winter comes).

I would be there right now if we were allowed in : )





In our province of Ontario we have the options of:

- don't put your kid in school

Or

- in person in classrooms with no reduction of class size, no mandatory mask wearing, no possibility of social distancing

Both of which suck.  We're still undecided.  Our son needs more social interaction and we both work full time . . . but the current plan in place seems like a really, really bad idea.

waltworks

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2020, 11:48:48 AM »
Our schools (Park City, UT) are opening and requiring all kids to wear masks. We have around 5 new cases a week in our entire county, and dropping. A ton of parents have hired personal teachers/tutors and so I think we'll have pretty small class sizes.

So I think we'll be good, but who knows.

-W

okits

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2020, 12:29:13 PM »
In our province of Ontario we have the options of:

- don't put your kid in school

Or

- in person in classrooms with no reduction of class size, no mandatory mask wearing, no possibility of social distancing

Both of which suck.  We're still undecided.  Our son needs more social interaction and we both work full time . . . but the current plan in place seems like a really, really bad idea.

I'm hopeful some of the pressure being exerted by parents, public health units, and teachers' unions will encourage movement on the class sizes issue.  I see a little backpedaling happening already, hopefully there's more.

Improved ventilation would be pretty welcome, too.

There's still four weeks for them to come up with slapdash improvements and/or for infection rates to soar.  We can make a decision now and change our minds if the situation changes, too.  (Sure, there will be hassle dealing with the school system bureaucracy but that's the least of our worries at this time.)

Context for non-Ontarians: our province is holding steady at around 7 new cases daily per 1 million people.  Our city had one new case today (for almost 3 million people). 

charis

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2020, 01:13:29 PM »
So we have a low infection rate in our county (<1%) surrounded by 0-case counties and state is at 1%.  So it does feel like fear mongering when people paint school opening as a death sentence.  Obviously, if you have wide spread community infection, you probably should not be opening schools in person.  But our county is not in that situation and our numbers continued to decrease even after the lock down was loosened.  Our children, as well as numerous friends and neighbors' children, have been in daycare and day camps for months at this point with very few cases and no transmission (to the extent that this is accurately reported) in those places.

So I would personally be comfortable sending my (younger) kids back IF I was confident that covid protocols could be followed (which they appear to be, but we are monitoring the situation as things unfold).  I am in general an anxious person when it comes to my kids' safety, but am hard pressed to find any rational reason why I NEED to keep them out of school in this specific situation.

malacca

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2020, 01:59:54 PM »
It is unclear what you mean by 1% rate.

But if you are in a truly low infection area then in-person school is fine provided they do follow reasonable safe practices.

Places like Connecticut are OK as they have very low numbers.

But most states are FAR from being able to open safely.


So we have a low infection rate in our county (<1%) surrounded by 0-case counties and state is at 1%.  So it does feel like fear mongering when people paint school opening as a death sentence.  Obviously, if you have wide spread community infection, you probably should not be opening schools in person.  But our county is not in that situation and our numbers continued to decrease even after the lock down was loosened.  Our children, as well as numerous friends and neighbors' children, have been in daycare and day camps for months at this point with very few cases and no transmission (to the extent that this is accurately reported) in those places.

So I would personally be comfortable sending my (younger) kids back IF I was confident that covid protocols could be followed (which they appear to be, but we are monitoring the situation as things unfold).  I am in general an anxious person when it comes to my kids' safety, but am hard pressed to find any rational reason why I NEED to keep them out of school in this specific situation.

malacca

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2020, 02:07:18 PM »
If you are in a truly low infection area (and the rate is dropping) then school is fine provided they do follow reasonable safe practices.

Places like Connecticut are OK as they have very low numbers.

I didn't see Utah on a low case count list. But within the state some areas may have started mask policies or locked down longer and are doing better.

Low case count & mask = OK!


Our schools (Park City, UT) are opening and requiring all kids to wear masks. We have around 5 new cases a week in our entire county, and dropping. A ton of parents have hired personal teachers/tutors and so I think we'll have pretty small class sizes.

So I think we'll be good, but who knows.

-W

GuitarStv

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2020, 03:03:11 PM »
In our province of Ontario we have the options of:

- don't put your kid in school

Or

- in person in classrooms with no reduction of class size, no mandatory mask wearing, no possibility of social distancing

Both of which suck.  We're still undecided.  Our son needs more social interaction and we both work full time . . . but the current plan in place seems like a really, really bad idea.

I'm hopeful some of the pressure being exerted by parents, public health units, and teachers' unions will encourage movement on the class sizes issue.  I see a little backpedaling happening already, hopefully there's more.

Improved ventilation would be pretty welcome, too.

There's still four weeks for them to come up with slapdash improvements and/or for infection rates to soar.  We can make a decision now and change our minds if the situation changes, too.  (Sure, there will be hassle dealing with the school system bureaucracy but that's the least of our worries at this time.)

Context for non-Ontarians: our province is holding steady at around 7 new cases daily per 1 million people.  Our city had one new case today (for almost 3 million people).

I'm hoping that they'll choose to listen to the public health officials on this.  Big class sizes is something that Conservatives have been pushing for in Ontario (because then we can hire fewer teachers - which saves money!) for an awful long time and it's near/dear to their heart . . . which dampens those hopes.

As far as ventilation . . . that's also going to be tough.  Many classrooms either have no windows, or windows that do not / cannot be opened.  At least that was a constant complaint that my mother had when she was teaching elementary school five years ago.

Many older schools were not built with proper ventilation systems to move air, and there's no money whatsoever allocated for this.

waltworks

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2020, 03:30:29 PM »
If you are in a truly low infection area (and the rate is dropping) then school is fine provided they do follow reasonable safe practices.

Places like Connecticut are OK as they have very low numbers.

I didn't see Utah on a low case count list. But within the state some areas may have started mask policies or locked down longer and are doing better.

Low case count & mask = OK!

UT's case counts have been steadily dropping for at least a month now, and the state mandates masks for everyone in schools. Kids have been participating in summer camps, sports, going on trips, and goofing around at the playground/lake/trailheads for months now without causing any noticeable increase in cases. Other than masks indoors and seats spaced out more in restaurants, everything here is open/normal.

If kids were going to go infect their grandparents they would have by now, I'd say. It doesn't appear that's a big risk, at least so far.

-W

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #29 on: August 08, 2020, 03:51:40 PM »
In our province of Ontario we have the options of:

- don't put your kid in school

Or

- in person in classrooms with no reduction of class size, no mandatory mask wearing, no possibility of social distancing

Both of which suck.  We're still undecided.  Our son needs more social interaction and we both work full time . . . but the current plan in place seems like a really, really bad idea.

This is exactly the choice we were left with - it felt impossible to decide. I clicked the "commit" button 5 minutes before the midnight deadline.

charis

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #30 on: August 08, 2020, 08:54:05 PM »
1% infection rate, less than that now.  I'm not sure why you seem to be questioning "if" we are in a "truly" low infection area. Do you think people are making this up?

We also opened summer camps, in and outdoor, playgrounds, and pools and cases numbers continued to fall. Masking is mandatory indoors but not outside in many places where kids are gathering.

I'm not saying that it's 100% safe anywhere but to suggest that parents should be self-flagellating if they send their kids to school for any reason other than that they have no choice (as one poster did) is ridiculous.  If that's the case, why would we ever expect teachers to go back into schools? Are they more expendable than children? (Likely not since we need them to teach, apparently). Should they refuse to return, or go on strike? What about their children?

It is unclear what you mean by 1% rate.

But if you are in a truly low infection area then in-person school is fine provided they do follow reasonable safe practices.

Places like Connecticut are OK as they have very low numbers.

But most states are FAR from being able to open safely.


So we have a low infection rate in our county (<1%) surrounded by 0-case counties and state is at 1%.  So it does feel like fear mongering when people paint school opening as a death sentence.  Obviously, if you have wide spread community infection, you probably should not be opening schools in person.  But our county is not in that situation and our numbers continued to decrease even after the lock down was loosened.  Our children, as well as numerous friends and neighbors' children, have been in daycare and day camps for months at this point with very few cases and no transmission (to the extent that this is accurately reported) in those places.

So I would personally be comfortable sending my (younger) kids back IF I was confident that covid protocols could be followed (which they appear to be, but we are monitoring the situation as things unfold).  I am in general an anxious person when it comes to my kids' safety, but am hard pressed to find any rational reason why I NEED to keep them out of school in this specific situation.

SwordGuy

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #31 on: August 09, 2020, 08:28:16 AM »
This is the advice I give to people considering sending their kids to in-person school this year:

"Make sure you can live with the results of your decision if your kids don't."

I would modify this.

"Make the best decision that you can with as much information as you have."

Whatever my local district had decided to do, the virus is completely disregarding those decisions. The situation is changing rapidly. Last I heard, at least the first month or so would be online only. No idea if that's changed in the past couple days.

Depending on information sources in the US, your information may be totally bogus, with a very false rosy picture.

I would caution people to look at the preponderance of evidence from recent scientific sources, not right wing "news" sources.   I would not include doctors in my list of reputable sources who believe demon sperm is the cause of sex and reproductive organ issues no matter how much Trump recommends them.

Over 338,000 children have been diagnosed with Covid in the US as of 31-July.    That number may be artificially low because schools were closed last spring and it's been summer break.    A recent YMCA kid's summer camp had 260 confirmed covid cases out of 597 attendees after just a few days in camp.    FYI, that's 260 cases out of 340 tests, not everyone bothered to get tested.   Half the cases were kids 6-10 years old.    No masks, no outside ventilation in the buildings -- JUST LIKE schools in various parts of the USA are now doing.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out schools without masks are going to be breeding grounds.

And if you send your kid to school with a cool mask expect them to trade it for a mask they think is cooler....    You know they will.

Schools in the US are suspending students who take photos of crowded hallways chock full of students without masks and they are now threatening to fire teachers who allow those photos to be taken.   That tells me that they want to hide what they are doing wrong rather than do what's right.

There is a lot of political pressure by the President to re-open schools?  Why?

Because you can BS people about the numbers.  You can tell them that things are better than the media portrays.   But if they are tripping over their kids at home because it's too unsafe to have the schools open, you can't BS them on that anymore.    Trump and his enablers don't care how many kids and parents and teachers die as long as they can pretend all is normal once again -- at least until after the election.






gooki

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #32 on: August 10, 2020, 01:11:09 AM »
Quote
Many classrooms either have no windows...

Sorry to go of topic, but WTF? Why does any parent or teacher accept classrooms without windows?

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #33 on: August 10, 2020, 05:37:00 AM »
d00d, my HS was built for 2,000 students and we had 6,000 when I graduated in the early 2000's.

I had 1/3rd of my classes in trailers, the kind that are used as temporary offices at construction sites.

Forget about the hallways between periods. You were shoulder to shoulder and sometimes it was easier to go up a few flights of stairs to cross to the other side of the building and head back down the other side than trying to get across on the ground floor.

That particular school in NY is absolutely fucked if they go back to business as usual.

GuitarStv

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #34 on: August 10, 2020, 07:16:18 AM »
Quote
Many classrooms either have no windows...

Sorry to go of topic, but WTF? Why does any parent or teacher accept classrooms without windows?

We have conservatives in Canada too . . . and sometimes they don't like to spend money on frivolous stuff like windows.  Lower cost is always better, right?

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #35 on: August 10, 2020, 09:29:48 AM »
I find that it's important to read every school's reopening plan VERY carefully. For example, my DC's school's reopening plan makes it clear that masks will be required "at all times when social distancing is not possible". However, if the desks in a classroom are spaced 6 feet apart, social distancing is assumed to be in place and thus, the masks can come off in the classroom during instructional time. Which is where each cohort of students spends the vast majority of the day. So, in other words, my kid might be spending several hours a day in a room with dubious ventilation and 12-15 potentially unmasked classmates.

So I had to ask.... if the students can remove masks during instructional time in the classroom, and they obviously can't wear them while they're eating lunch, when exactly are the masks required by the school?  The answer was: in the hallways, in the restrooms, and upon arrival/dismissal.

chemistk

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #36 on: August 10, 2020, 10:26:41 AM »
We've been receiving regular updates from the district about the coming year and how the reopening plans are developing (and in some cases changing).

In this particular update, as of this past weekend nearly all the 3800 students/their parents in our district had chosen what they will be doing for this first semester.

81% have opted to do in-person learning.
16% have opted to take advantage of the virtual option being offered.
3% have decided to withdraw their kids' enrollment and switch to homeschooling.

Given those numbers that's well over 700 students that won't be attending school in class. I'd call that a pretty significant number. Parents are also being warned that the virtual learning option is going to require patience - the organization that's administering the virtual classrooms says there is an overwhelming amount of demand and that they're trying to figure out/make sure they can accommodate all the thousands of new kids onto the platform.

Cyanne

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #37 on: August 10, 2020, 09:11:57 PM »
** It would be helpful if people listed the state they live in. **

I am in MN.

Our governor passed the buck and made each school district decide. But all schools have to offer an online option that is "equivalent" to the in class option (good luck with that).

Also, any faculty that don't feel comfortable can work from home.



Iím a teacher in Minnesota and the governorís office has clarified his statement. I canít choose to work from home unless I have a physicianís letter that documents my health condition puts me at high risk if I get Covid. Teachers may also take a FLMA unpaid leave if they donít have childcare or need to take care of a family member.

Many of my colleagues are uncomfortable returning to the classroom and donít feel itís safe for them or students (75% of the teachers in my district said this in a poll). They are being forced to go back or resign if they donít qualify for an exemption.

Freedomin5

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #38 on: August 10, 2020, 09:46:24 PM »
We are choosing in-person school. But then...

- We have to fill out a daily health questionnaire
- Temperature is taken at the school gate
- Social distancing measures are in place
- Mask wearing is in place
- Hand-washing procedures are in place
- Increased cleaning and disinfection procedures are in place
- We are not allowed to leave the city. If we do, we are required to self-quarantine for two weeks before returning to the school campus.

In addition, the school has given us access to:
- Online reading program
- Online mathematics program
- Online language arts program
- Online library resources
- Online resources for kids' yoga and physical activity
- Classroom management app so that we can move to online lessons at a moment's notice

School re-opened for about two months in May/June, with staggered start dates. There were no COVID cases reported and a lot of peer/parent-to-parent shaming if a family sent a kid to school sick or when they were supposed to be in self-quarantine.

We live in Shanghai.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #39 on: August 11, 2020, 07:09:40 AM »
This is the advice I give to people considering sending their kids to in-person school this year:

"Make sure you can live with the results of your decision if your kids don't."

This is truly unhelpful and fearmongering. I am TERRIFIED about sending my kids to school but unless we can magically make life free, both adults in our family need to work outside the home. Not everyone on this site is a high earner with a 50+% savings rate. Not everyone here is in a relationship so they have an option to have one partner stay home with the kids.

In a perfect world Iíd work from home and school my kids from home but we donít live in a perfect world.

Seriously.  What a horribly unhelpful thing to say to already worried parents.

My kids are not school age, but our pediatrician has told us it should not be a concern to have them in daycare.  (They are there.)  They have had 2 teachers test positive at the daycare since July, in both of our kids rooms, but no kids have been infected. The staff wear masks, the children do not. (Sometimes my daughter does because she loves her mask, but it isn't a requirement. My son is too young for one.) 

I think the biggest concern for school is the older kids and the teachers. 

Would you give this same "advice" to a parent who sent their kid to school where they contracted, and died from, meningitis?  "Well, you have to live with the decision to not homeschool them. You knew that schools could expose them to diseases."   Yes, the risk of being exposed to Covid-19 is much greater right now, but most scientific evidence, including the AAP recommendation, is that kids are not high risk. If they have pre-existing conditions, or live with people who are high risk, that, of course, needs to be considered. 


GuitarStv

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #40 on: August 11, 2020, 07:56:15 AM »
Yes, the risk of being exposed to Covid-19 is much greater right now, but most scientific evidence, including the AAP recommendation, is that kids are not high risk. If they have pre-existing conditions, or live with people who are high risk, that, of course, needs to be considered.

No, this is incorrect.


The risk of younger children DYING from covid-19 is expected to be very low right now.  Most recent scientific evidence shows that children are at risk for the long term complications associated with the disease - even if they have no pre-existing conditions.  We don't know what percentage of children are at risk for this, but opening schools and allowing infections through the population will naturally lead to better data on this issue given time.

charis

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #41 on: August 11, 2020, 09:01:37 AM »
Yes, the risk of being exposed to Covid-19 is much greater right now, but most scientific evidence, including the AAP recommendation, is that kids are not high risk. If they have pre-existing conditions, or live with people who are high risk, that, of course, needs to be considered.

No, this is incorrect.


The risk of younger children DYING from covid-19 is expected to be very low right now.  Most recent scientific evidence shows that children are at risk for the long term complications associated with the disease - even if they have no pre-existing conditions.  We don't know what percentage of children are at risk for this, but opening schools and allowing infections through the population will naturally lead to better data on this issue given time.

It is true that we do not know whether covid-19 infected children will suffer long term effects.

We do know the percentage of positive cases in children who then developed serious complications, and it is extremely rare.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #42 on: August 11, 2020, 09:21:23 AM »
Yes, the risk of being exposed to Covid-19 is much greater right now, but most scientific evidence, including the AAP recommendation, is that kids are not high risk. If they have pre-existing conditions, or live with people who are high risk, that, of course, needs to be considered.

No, this is incorrect.


The risk of younger children DYING from covid-19 is expected to be very low right now.  Most recent scientific evidence shows that children are at risk for the long term complications associated with the disease - even if they have no pre-existing conditions.  We don't know what percentage of children are at risk for this, but opening schools and allowing infections through the population will naturally lead to better data on this issue given time.

Can you link this evidence?

As far as I can tell, there is NO evidence of long term complications, because we haven't gotten to "long term" yet.

charis

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #43 on: August 11, 2020, 09:37:06 AM »
Yes, the risk of being exposed to Covid-19 is much greater right now, but most scientific evidence, including the AAP recommendation, is that kids are not high risk. If they have pre-existing conditions, or live with people who are high risk, that, of course, needs to be considered.

No, this is incorrect.


The risk of younger children DYING from covid-19 is expected to be very low right now.  Most recent scientific evidence shows that children are at risk for the long term complications associated with the disease - even if they have no pre-existing conditions.  We don't know what percentage of children are at risk for this, but opening schools and allowing infections through the population will naturally lead to better data on this issue given time.

Can you link this evidence?

As far as I can tell, there is NO evidence of long term complications, because we haven't gotten to "long term" yet.

At this point, everyone with covid is at risk for long term complications.  This may be a reference to the belief that because children have mostly mild symptoms, they would generally be fine, when actually there have been indications of continued lung damage even in the absence of underlying conditions.  I don't recall where I read that but it should be easy to pull up the articles regarding these findings.

The virus is no joke. But there have been several studies to show that children are much less likely transmit the virus.  So while that should be reassuring to teachers, in areas of widespread community infection, schools appear to reflect that rate and experience outbreaks.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #44 on: August 11, 2020, 09:42:42 AM »
I should say that I do not think parents with school aged children have an easy decision at all, and I think those who choose to keep their kids home are making a perfectly valid choice.

I just think the quote I responded to was ridiculous fear mongering, and completely unfair to parents who are often stuck between a rock and a hard place with this choice. Keeping the kids home also has potential negative effects, even if their risk of covid-19 is much lower.

Like I said, our pediatrician recommended daycare. The AAP has recommended students do school in person.  People have to make their decision based on their interpretation of the information they have.  But telling people "you have to live with it, even if your kid dies"- that's not helpful.  If your kid dies after going to school, you have no way of knowing they also wouldn't have died if they stayed home, but got infected at the grocery store.

GuitarStv

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #45 on: August 11, 2020, 09:46:00 AM »
Yes, the risk of being exposed to Covid-19 is much greater right now, but most scientific evidence, including the AAP recommendation, is that kids are not high risk. If they have pre-existing conditions, or live with people who are high risk, that, of course, needs to be considered.

No, this is incorrect.


The risk of younger children DYING from covid-19 is expected to be very low right now.  Most recent scientific evidence shows that children are at risk for the long term complications associated with the disease - even if they have no pre-existing conditions.  We don't know what percentage of children are at risk for this, but opening schools and allowing infections through the population will naturally lead to better data on this issue given time.

Can you link this evidence?

As far as I can tell, there is NO evidence of long term complications, because we haven't gotten to "long term" yet.

It's true that most studies are currently being done on acute cases of covid-19 in chidren where hospitalization is required, not the asymptomatic ones.  But evidence about asymptomatic children that is emerging is cause for concern:

ďAnd while many of these especially younger children are asymptomatic when you take x-rays of their lungs, down in Miami and other places across the country, theyíre seeing that there is damage to the lungs in these asymptomatic children.Ē - Doctor Alina Alonso, director of the Department of Health Palm Beach County
https://www.winknews.com/2020/07/17/health-officials-worry-about-long-term-effects-of-covid-19-on-kids/

ďThese kids could have coronary artery aneurysms, their blood pressure could drop so precipitously theyíre in the ICU, getting aggressive fluids and medicines to elevate their blood pressure, they could have permanent blood vessel damage from vasculitis, they could have permanent heart damage from myocarditis, these are things we do not know fully yet,Ē - Emergency Response Dr. Stephen Stack

https://www.wkyt.com/2020/07/31/doctors-warn-covid-19-could-cause-long-term-effects/

There are a variety of anaecdotal experiences related here https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article244849067.html of kids who are showing symptoms months after infection.



When discussing their roles in spreading the disease in schools and then to the greater community, I think study showing that children carry 100 times more of the virus in their noses than adults do:  https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2768952
is probably worth reading as well.

waltworks

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #46 on: August 11, 2020, 01:14:11 PM »
There's some risk in anything. I personally think the risk is low, so my kids are going (for however long that lasts).

In our case, the whole family has almost certainly already been exposed, so that changes the calculation a bit.

-W

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #47 on: August 11, 2020, 02:29:27 PM »
GuitarStv- I think one of your quotes are saying exactly what I I am saying "These are things we do not know yet."  We have ZERO idea what the long term effects are, because this novel coronavirus hasn't hit long term yet.  Months isn't long term.  There is some evidence that there may be long term effects, there is some evidence that the vast majority of kids have minor infections.  We just don't know.

And for those showing signs of damage now, we do not know yet if that will heal or not (I don't know if lung tissue actually heals, but other tissue can take over it's function), and what effect the damage may have on someone's life. Would it be tragic for an olympic athlete in an endurance sport, probably; will it affect the average person- maybe, but maybe not. We don't know yet.  People can have remarkable levels of damage and be fine, others minor and not at all. (When my fetus was missing a cerebellum, a well meaning doctor showed me cases of people who didn't find out they were missing their cerebellum until adulthood; but by and large, those people are the outliers, and a missing cerebellum is a bad sign.  I bring this up to say- without actual long term studies though, we have zero idea what the long term effects are. All decisions made are guesses.)

Based on very recent news though, if your kid is a vaper, I'd keep them out of school... 

I wish we could make decisions on complete information, but we don't have complete information.  A crystal ball would be nice too.

chemistk

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #48 on: August 12, 2020, 05:50:26 AM »
A crystal ball would be nice too.

Wouldn't it?

Here's how I can find the risk of infection and the potential for side effects palatable:

-If I take my kids swimming in an inland lake, or river, there's a risk of drowning (dry drowning is even scarier). There's also a nonzero risk of flesh/brain eating microorganisms.
-If I allow my kids to ride their bike or scooter on the sidewalk, there's a risk that they'll fall and injure themselves or that someone without a backup camera hits them in the driveway.
-If I bring my kids to the park, they could be walloped in the head while running too close to the swings, or they could fall off the play structure and break a bone (or worse).
-If I give my kids medication to help with teething pain, headaches, or a foot, they could develop side effects that lead to hospitalization.
-If my kids go to school or to daycare, there's a petri dish of illnesses they can bring home - some benign while others severe.
-If my kids play on our back patio, there's a risk they could be stung by a bee. I have bee allergies and they may too.
-At every meal, there's always a chance a undeclared cashew could make its way to my 3 year old, requiring a trip to the emergency room.
-At every meal, there's always a chance that a new food causes a severe allergic reaction in our infant.
-If I keep my kids inside the house with no social interaction, there's a risk they'll develop separation anxiety that requires counseling.
-If I keep my kids inside the house with no social interaction, there's a risk one of them may eventually develop depression.

The list goes on.

Some of these are greater risks to our family than the virus (cashews, bees, chicken pox [I was never vaccinated for the pox and never got it], drowning, etc.).

Others are far out there and very unlikely to affect us.

If I live in fear of everything that could hurt, maim, disable, or kill my kids, we'd never leave the house and would probably live out in the boonies with no social interaction.

Granted, almost none of the aforementioned risks are transmissible to others, but I can't take every decision I need to make and create a list of all the impacts to those around me. I wear masks, my kids wear masks, we avoid crowds, we wash our hands and carry hand sanitizer. Above and beyond that, Covid is a risk that we now live with. We cannot take every action or decision and look at it through the Covid lens.

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #49 on: August 12, 2020, 12:45:58 PM »
In our province of Ontario we have the options of:

- don't put your kid in school

Or

- in person in classrooms with no reduction of class size, no mandatory mask wearing, no possibility of social distancing

Both of which suck.  We're still undecided.  Our son needs more social interaction and we both work full time . . . but the current plan in place seems like a really, really bad idea.

In Alberta - ditto

The school divisions basically said screw you to the government and are offering a HUB online learning option (against the gov'ts wishes) through to Feb. 1st - we have 2 weeks to opt in or out. And fancy that -  there are some enterprising businesses offering to babysit/tutor your kids on the online learning HUB for a fee of 1000-1200$/month in small groups similar to the way they ran summer camps this summer. One is a trampoline gym of all places. Also private school inquiries are up!

We are also undecided - we'll probably decide 10 minutes to the deadline... along with everybody else and crash the system. I think we are all hoping that we get a delay or a better option soon.