Pandemic diary 70: Schools start to reopen

Back to school, it's all fine, says the government! Clem is not impressed. 

Primary schools are reopening today for children in reception, year 1 and year 6. Nurseries are also able to reopen. Apparently 28 primary schools opened in Birmingham today.

Have the five government tests been passed to be sure this is safe action? There seems to be some debate.

Even if the risk is low to to children, the risk that they might bring Covid-19 back into households with vulnerable adults seems to have been underplayed. And, tbh, I'm not even sure the risk is low to the kids as long as they play or have classes indoors. Viral load is much higher in contained spaces and the risk of transmission much higher as a result.

Plus, so many people don't trust the government's advice anymore.

I don't know. If I had kids, I don't think I'd be sending them back yet.

Meanwhile at the opening of our local IKEA… massive queues.

Today I am thankful for not having to make tough decisions about children, schools and risk management. Decisions are coming soon to my world, though. There is a wedding happening in August – it's outdoors but still. It is low-level stressing me out that it might go ahead even with risk mitigation. Anxious wedding guests will be the norm for quite a while to come.

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One thought on “Pandemic diary 70: Schools start to reopen”

  1. I share your doubts. A primary teacher has informed me that she was shocked when she saw the 2m distancing rules literally marked out with black and yellow hazard tape.

    And – seeing as she shall remain anonymous along with her school – I am happy to share that her senior management team is convinced that children will be so traumatised in the first couple of days by their new learning environment, that they will stop attending.
    Very strong argument in fact for opening schools when the two metre distancing rule is no longer needed due to low rates of infection.
    And even more disturbing is the fact that the pupils they most wanted to be attending (due to vulnerability concerns about their home environment) are not the ones who have signed up to return today. They are still at home.

    So much for the argument that school is important for the most vulnerable pupils.

    It seems clear to me that, if parents do have any choice in the matter, they would want to keep their children at home for just a few more weeks and then review the statistics. And wait for the test and trace process to be fully in place (apparently not due until end of June).

    Schools have been provided with guidelines by the government about health and safety procedures. They will be cleaning all equipment and surfaces every day. However, this will make no difference to children who can still breathe in the virus through their nose and mouth. The 2m distance practice only makes a difference in outside spaces.

    COVID-19 it’s not absorbed through the skin, it is breathed in through the nose and mouth. So cleaned surfaces are still less important than fresh air. In a matter of weeks, and only if lockdown guidelines are followed, the rates will be significantly lower. Returning to school early June simply does not follow the science.

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