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Full Version: Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Why I am not sending my kids back to school
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One of the questions I am getting more than any other: Am I going to send my children back to school? As a father of three teen and preteen girls, this has been a constant discussion in our household, and it hasn't been easy. My girls want to go back to school, and they are placing enormous pressure on us parents to make it so. They miss their friends, the social structure and the immersion in humanity that kids need and crave at this age. Virtual learning has played an important role for them, but it is not a substitute for in-person learning, especially for younger kids. As things stand now, my children are scheduled to start school next week.

Many schools around the country have already made the decision for the students. At least 63 of the 101 largest school districts in the country decided to start the year with virtual learning. There are other school districts that have decided to go in-person, though many with virtual options. My own kids' school left the choice up to the individual families, and while it's difficult, I'm grateful we have options. Families all over the country are struggling with access to childcare, technology and even food -- all of which can make a physical return to school a necessity.

Knowing my family would have to make a decision about school, we started doing our homework a few weeks ago, looking at the data and existing criteria, to come up with the best science-based choice for us.

For starters, I visited my kids' school and spent time with the head of the school to best understand the safety precautions they were putting in place. They are very much in line with recommendations from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There will be a mask mandate, plenty of hand hygiene stations, physical distancing plans, frequent disinfecting of surfaces and even outdoor classes when possible. Students will eat lunch in the classroom, and there won't be any mass gatherings or assemblies. While physical distancing is the toughest challenge, the school has made creative use of space in libraries, gymnasiums and cafeterias to obtain the necessary square footage to try and address this. It has been a herculean effort over the past few months, but of course, none of this works if the students themselves aren't diligent about following these practices on buses, in hallways and in classrooms

Our school also took the extra step of testing all the students and faculty and staff this past week, and the results were made available within 96 hours. My girls all tested negative, and that gives us some reassurance for those kids who choose to attend school, as those students testing positive will be asked to isolate at home. I fully realize this sort of "assurance" testing is sadly still not nearly available enough in this country, and it is also not a perfect tool. Some tests have been known to give a considerable amount of false negatives, depending on the type of test you take and how early you take it. And, while someone may test negative today, there is no guarantee they won't test positive for the virus tomorrow.

Much of the discussion about returning to school revolves around the risk to the health of our children. According to the CDC, the largest pediatric study out of China found that 90% of children with Covid-19 develop mild or moderate symptoms, 4% were entirely asymptomatic and 6% became severely or critically ill.
I was getting many calls and emails from families who want to hire me to be a nanny and teach their kids at home. I am capable of this and would love to teach kids who WANT learn. The struggle is I have a job working part-time for another family. They like me and want to keep me long term. Plus I had a head injury and need an easy job load. If I take the full time job it might not last for long or I could get fired. The problem is one kid is a brat and giving me a hard time.

Not everyone is going to want to be tested or stay home if they are sick. Not every family can homeschool or hire someone to do that. I don’t even have too much faith in a Safe vaccine that does Not even exist right now.
I would think that would make you an essential worker
I can’t see all the kids being physically able to be seated apart the distance required. They gave up on that idea for the younger grades, even not requiring them masks.

There is still talking and talking. Teachers are making demands. Parents are feed up and want to go back to work.

Day camps reopened and some were closed due to sick children. The attendance was down in other camps. The sleepover camps were cancelled.

I expect another lockdown after the kids get back to school. Going to buy more food.

I consider myself an essential worker. I am going to get that letter from my employer.
Getting back to normal without even greater loss of life is going to be very difficult.

My kids have been back at school for a month or 2 but it's still likely that we will all lock down again.
I wonder the amount of homelessness this will cause. History will likely tell us it was the biggest fraud even on the whole world.
massive evictions are coming as soon as the moratorium ends
I am expecting anther lockdown in Oct or Nov.

I thought the first lock down would end it all. No so.

Just several years if gov control which likely will continue for other aspects of our lives. Constant monitoring and fines for everything. As the monitoring becomes more automated. Don’t have people employed to go out and fine and monitor in person. Photo radar stations set up along roads usually near schools and certain intersections. It will ramp up with cameras in the elevators and other places to fine people not wearing masks or going out. Checking my shopping bag to see if I am only buying groceries and necessities. Well I need nail polish. Going out to get some new colours soon.
I don't know which country each of you is talking about, but I am in Australia and where I am right now it's all remote learning except for the children of essential workers and those who for whatever the reason can't learn remotely.

In Melbourne, the capital city of the state I live in, the whole greater urban area is under severe lockdown with businesses closed and a curfew at 8pm for everyone except essential workers. Supermarkets close at 7:45pm to assist with this. That's because the state had a second wave with as many as 700 new cases in one day. At the moment the "State of Disaster" as it's called is due to end on September 13 but that is subject to review.

There have been some people who are squealing civil rights and showing COVID-19 no respect at all - some even claiming it's a hoax. That makes me mad!
A lot of trumpites here in US are calling the virus a hoax, despite over 170.000 deaths
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