Opening schools threatens more than just kids

People who are clamoring for schools to reopen as if nothing has happened need to realize something: Kids are not the only ones in danger.

The buildings are packed with adults, including teachers, aides, administrators, janitors, librarians, lunchroom personnel and others. Even bus drivers, who are not actually in the schools, can contract the virus in the confined quarters of their vehicles. Many of these people are older and have high-risk conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.

Medical professionals say that children can transmit COVID-19 to adults both in school and at home, and that is scary.

While children could be required to wear masks in school, I can’t see many of them keeping them on all day, especially when they eat, play or have to sneeze or blow their noses. And when the masks come off, the danger level rises, not only for other students but for the adults as well.

These adults should not have to be put in harm’s way because parents simply want their kids out of the house. I understand that parents need to get back to work because they are having financial difficulties. And it is obvious that schools are a preferred learning environment.

But the health of their children and the adults who have to deal with them in the schools should be of utmost importance.

Instead of the issue being “just reopen the schools,” Americans should be upset at the Republicans who refuse to help make their lives easier by expanding unemployment benefits and approving another round of financial assistance.

That is where we should be focusing our anger and attention, not on school officials who are trying to do what’s best for the children.

The government needs to do more. These are unprecedented times and require unprecedented action. While big businesses get tax breaks, families suffer. Parents should be writing letters, sending emails and calling their representatives, senators and the president to let them know more help is needed.

And, of course, on Election Day, let your feelings be known if the people in office refuse to help.

People also must understand that many of the adults in the schools who contract the virus will have to be hospitalized, which means fewer beds will be available for those with other health problems, whether illness- or accident-related.

Many hospitals are overcrowded now, and the situation is getting worse daily.

Imagine you or a loved one having a heart attack, or a stroke, or an accident, and your local hospital has no room for you. That could be disastrous.

It’s plain to see that the “just open the school” issue goes far beyond children.

This situation concerns everyone, and everyone must be concerned.

Published by Mike Sturman

I am a retired journalist with nearly 30 years in the field, during which time I was a reporter and held numerous editor positions at local newspapers and a number of magazines. After I retired, I was a sub in my local school district, then did PR for that district. I hold a Bachelor's Degree in journalism, and as for my politics, that's simple: I'm a liberal Democrat. I'm married, and my wife recently retired after 25 years as a teacher. We have one daughter, who has earned her PhD and works at a UC. Through this blog, I hope to pass on some interesting thoughts and ideas, entertain with some lighthearted posts and generally quell my pandemic-induced boredom.

One thought on “Opening schools threatens more than just kids

  1. Well said. I’m glad you are speaking up for all the staff. I’m glad Gov. Newsom made the decision to force distance learning to start the school year.


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