Why Schools Should Be the First Thing to ReopenOn November 30, 2020 by Julia Weber
During these unprecedented times, we have all gotten used to rolling out of bed ten minutes before our first class starts. We enjoy turning our cameras off and doing zoom calls from the comfort of our own bed. With these habits, it is almost unnecessary to state that we clearly aren’t learning as much as if we were in person. Right now, you’re probably thinking that it’s not safe to reopen the schools, but the opposite is quite true.
Let’s start with why reopening schools would not only benefit the kids who are learning less. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, 40% of parents have had to change their job situation, and according to CNBC, this massive job change has disproportionately affected moms. If the schools were to reopen, up to 85% of these working parents could resume their normal work schedule thus boosting the economy and our American workforce.
In the past month, Europe and America have both suffered a Covid-19 surge, however there is one main difference in the way we have each handled this situation. In Europe, they have closed nearly all non-essential businesses in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus, but have still left their grade schools open. In America, we have kept our schools virtual, and did not pose any additional restrictions on non-essential businesses. In recent weeks, the US’s Covid cases have continued to break records, but in the majority of Europe, cases are diminishing. Based on this, and other data, most public health officials agree that reopening schools would be worth it, for the students and the economy.
As I have already explained, so long as schools continue to wear masks and follow all Covid-19 guidelines when reopening, they are not a high-risk activity. Our country should prioritize the education of millions of kids, and choose to carefully reopen the schools. When COVID cases increase, schools should be the last thing to close, not the first.