We’re In This Together
Our kids head back to school next week. There is a strange mix of excitement and anxious energy weighing on me in this time of COVID-19. Our school has been quick to adapt to the ever changing recommendations associated with this novel pandemic. I’m a parent, school volunteer and healthcare professional. My background in the biomedical sciences and immunology makes me far from an expert but it does give me the unique perspective to know enough to know how much we really don’t know. Confusing right? I don’t think we will really know until scientists can look back retrospectively at the data. It may be months or years away. We are impatient for knowledge and guidance because we want safety and security, whether or not information is vetted or politically skewed.
All of the unknowns aside, I believe our children need to get back to school. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently published its endorsement of children returning to in-person learning at school amid the coronavirus pandemic with recommendations for safe reopening. I appreciate the efforts that our school has made to remain abreast of the newest CDC reports and guidance on behalf of our learning community. I have confidence that our school is prepared and will be diligent in the daily practices that will reduce the spread of infection among our students and teaching team.
But I still worry. Parents, we are the weak link. All the efforts that our school is taking will be in vain if we are not as diligent to protect our community. I know we are all fatigued. I would love a girls’ night out or to give my mom and dad the biggest hug. Right now, I won’t. Too much is at stake. For now, my family pledges to:
-Follow the basic guidelines: frequent handwashing, social distancing, avoiding unnecessary high risk contact.
-We will wear masks in public. Our children will also wear masks at school where distancing can be difficult. We have practiced with them so they have become more comfortable wearing them. They know that wearing a mask can protect others and that they can talk to their teachers if they feel the need to remove their masks for any reason.
-We will be prepared with arrangements if our child has a fever and must stay home. We won’t temporarily reduce a fever with medication and send them anyway (we’ve all done it in that pre-Covid world.)
-We will be prepared if the school requires a temporary shutdown.
-We will remember that even with all our efforts, one of us may get sick. We are responsible for informing those we’ve been in contact and self-isolating until infection free.
We love our school. We love our community. We love that we’re able to send our kids back to a place where they feel loved and supported. Let’s do our best to keep it open.
Wendy Poczatek, D.M.D