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Back to School: Is it safe to go back when Covid-19 is around?

The rope pulling between parents and school going kids is coming to a halt as authorities decide to open schools across the state

There are a lot of parents who weren’t able to contract enough me-time for themselves as soon as government initiated lockdown and wanted to hear this news as soon as possible but there are those too that never want this to happen.

Now as governments are deciding to open up in those countries where the infection ratio is declining like the United Arab Emirates, are parents ready to send their children back to school? The threat of this pandemic is far from over and any wrong step at the wrong time can send the improving economies crying back to the financial crisis they recently crawled out of.

Crushing recession, plummeting figures

It was a time of turmoil and chaos for those countries who were already facing economic crisis as the pandemic unfolded. The deteriorating effect engulfed not only the health sector but also gripped the economic wing, pushing struggling countries further in to darkness. Sure, it can be rightly said that loss of lives can’t ever be equated with a surplus in economy but in this case, there was nothing good on both ends.

Going down the dark well

The loss of lives in some way or another added negatively to the dilapidated Ferris-wheel of economy and the effects of which are still evident. Though the race to create a vaccine is still on but many countries have lately hit the bump on the road to success, with the recent being the biggest one.

It is still therefore not sure when the vaccine would be available to the suffering populations around the globe. The best defense at hand is indeed washing hands with soap and water and hence, should be followed religiously. If you think that COVID-19 is going anywhere anytime soon then you are wrong.

Though there are different methods of maintaining hand hygiene but which one would be most suitable for school going children? Has anyone given this any thought or to the possibility that hands hygiene might not be followed at all? On top of all this, will children be able to maintain social distancing? There are a thousand questions that need to be answered and each should be addressed in a systemic manner because any mistake at this point could be fatal.

Most of the parents are ready to send their children to schools and approval rating for this consensus is increasing steadily but are kids ready too? For those who don’t want to go to school, of course it’s bad news and those little ones that are unable to follow any instructions should never be asked to come to school.

There is still a risk of transmission of virus and if you talk about U.A.E, the country has been reporting more cases in the recent weeks than any time in the past few months.

The authorities have promised ultimate level of cleanliness and sanitization as schools reopen but there is always a chance of error because circumstances can’t be controlled always. Sheer graveness of the matter makes it one of the most important decisions that any country could take in these testing times.

On the other hand, who will bear the backwash of these decisions in case things go south - Are the authorities ready to deal with any such predicament? These are the questions which might haunt the higher offices day and night but weighing the options aptly might just pull them out of this particular labyrinth.

Online classes might have suitably compensated for the educational loss during these times but experts think that the importance of in-class learning can’t be equated with any other alternatives. Therefore, opening up schools is indispensable to smooth transfer of required knowledge from teachers to students directly. However, it is very important to follow the suggested standard operating procedures (SOPs).

What to do?

The policy of ‘catch it, cover it, and eliminate it’ should be followed by ensuring the availability of a bin with lid in every class and someone emptying it regularly throughout the day. Surfaces should be cleaned thoroughly with the recommend products such as multipurpose cleaners, disinfectant sprays, and others.

Never allowing anyone with symptoms or one who is in close contact with someone who has had symptoms, to enter the childcare settings. Ensuring the availability of hand sanitizers throughout the school premises. Cleaning hands frequently by washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Eliminating any points of contact such as sharing of equipment, pencils, books, or any other things.

Above all, strict implementation of all these practices should be ensured. A holistic approach should be adopted in this matter to make sure that schools don’t become the next hotspot for the spread of this virus.

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