Ok, I swear I’m not trying to bore my usual readers who come here for complete mental relaxation and laughs. Just this last post and it’s done, I swear. A few days ago, I wrote about what I was doing to get my quarantined, healthy child back in school and on the fields. The post did ok until a local journalist retweeted it and it blew up. Though a few trolls popped up, the overwhelming response was support and outrage over what is happening to the healthy kids.
So What Is Happening?
I can’t speak for the rest of the country but in Ohio, healthy children are being quarantined. This is even when they’ve played it safe. Now, when the health department says we need to stay 6′ apart and if we were being honest, that’s a ballpark. I’m not discounting the 6′, I’m being practical. Unless every person is prepared to attach a 3′ stick on all four sides of their body always measuring 6′, we’ll never truly be 6′ apart. Instead of looking at the 6′ rule and understanding it will never be exactly 6′, many health departments are taking the safe way (and by safe I mean no teacher grievances/lawsuits) out and quarantining every single child that wasn’t exactly 6′ away. I truly believe that this one size fits all approach is detrimental to our youth and needs to be reconsidered.
Avalanche of Problems When Kids are Quarantined
I’m obviously not a doctor. Hell, I barely graduated college with a Fashion Merchandising degree. I am however a parent and I’d like to think I have common sense. That being said, let’s look at what happened this afternoon. After working for a week now on getting my son reinstated to school and to a soccer tournament tomorrow, one of his teammates tested positive for covid. That means all teammates who were “exposed” will be contacted by the health department and quarantined for 2 weeks. Right now that’s 6 kids we know of. But that’s not it. These kids have multiple classes so now any classes where they weren’t 6′ away, those children are quarantined too.
Then there are the parents. Since many families are 2 income families, the decision must be made on who will take 2 weeks off or perhaps they’ll split it up. Maybe they can’t afford to stay home and the child will be alone during the quarantine.
If most school districts are like ours, it was decided in advance who would be in-person and who would be remote. The remote kids are being taught by a third party. For the in-person kids, however, the teacher now must adjust lesson plans for the kids being quarantined. This will always be fluctuating as kids come back from quarantine and kids going into quarantine. Teachers will teach their regular class and spend time on additional zoom calls or the telephone, attempting to teach or tutor the quarantined kid. Imagine how many kids this will end up being? All being on different time lines, all having perhaps the same question but it will be answered individually since they’re not in class.
Breakfast and Lunch
For kids that are getting free lunches and breakfasts, does paperwork have to be filled out to pick up the food? Will too much food be ordered or not enough because the number of pick-ups will constantly be changing? Perhaps the schools have this down to a science which I hope they do.
With the quarantine of healthy children, as much as this breaks my heart to write this, there are going to be kids that aren’t going to do well with quarantining. There’s going to be kids that live in bad neighborhoods and parent(s) can’t take off to be with them. There are some kids that absolutely need the socialization, they’re social butterflies. I saw this in my 11-year-old in the Spring. Had the entire family not been home, I think things would have turned out a whole lot worse.
Where We Are Now
My son has 3 days left of quarantine and obviously missed his soccer tournament. I thought about ending my fight but quickly tabled the idea. Why would I? Healthy (masked) kids missing the 6′ by a few inches will continue to be unnecessarily quarantined and it’s not right. Someone told me last week that these are just the rules we have to go by. My gut/heart is telling me it isn’t. I’m all for using masks and keeping our distance but I’m also for looking at all the conditions and making a decision based on every factor, given how important in-person learning and socialization is.