I am a mom and have a Kindergartener starting in September. I am seeing a range of emotions from other parents and a lot of uncertainty about the September school year beginning during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Vancouver Island has been very lucky so far with our low number of reported cases of Covid-19. I think we are all wondering if that will stay the case when September rolls around.
Do we think our schools and the safety measures they put in place will be enough to prevent spreading Covid-19 in our community?
Are our children or the teachers going to be wearing masks all day and how do we feel about that?
Young children especially will get the common cold and other viruses during the winter season and these snotty noses and coughs can linger for weeks. How do we manage keeping them home?
There is a lot of talk from the powers that be, about the importance of getting children back to school for their mental health. Of course we all know how important education, exercise and socialising is to our children but from my perspective the reality of making sure the economy is kept going is probably their main concern. We need an available workforce in order to do that. Don’t get me wrong, it is a tough position for our government to be in and our economy does need to keep running but I’d prefer if that was the message given rather than saying it is about mental health.
The mental health of our little people is fundamental but my main concern is not whether they are at school or not, it is about how our school system will manage social distancing protocols while also not inducing stress and worry in our children. That for me is the real mental health concern. We need to be discussing how going back to school is managed so that this new school environment does not cause mental health issues.
Older children can at least understand more about the situation and how it is only temporary but for our younger elementary kids, this experience at school in the formative years could have lasting harmful effects on both their mental health and their opinion of school/education overall, if not handled with care.
What are your concerns or thoughts and what kind of conversations are you having with your children?