Today is Labor Day, the unofficial start to fall and the kickoff of the school year in many places. There isn’t as much celebrating today as we are used to seeing.
People are dealing with too many uncertainties to be in a celebratory mood. Especially about the return to school.
In many places children are returning to the classroom having been absent for more than just the summer.
Classes were held online on the months preceeding the annual break. And now that schools are once again open, parents are voicing their fears. How safe is it for children to gather together in a school setting?
It has been a long time since my children were students. But I still remember what the first day of school is like. You have expectations for your children, hopes and dreams about what the future will hold. Fear was never part of the equation.
Which has me wondering if I missed a shift in society. Why are parents afraid their children will catch COVID-19? The experts agree that for most it would be no big deal.
There is a possibility of death, but for children I would think the risk of a COVID death is lower than the risk of dying in a traffic accident on the way to school. It really isn’t that big a deal for most children.
Or are parents afraid their children will bring the virus home home from school to infect other family members? That strikes me as more likely – but still not a big risk given Canadian vaccination rates.
All of this has me thinking back to my childhood. There were a number of childhood diseases that packed a pretty severe punch, some even potentially life-threatening. Yet I don’t remember anyone expressing fears about that or keeping their children home from school. Disease was a risk that came with being born human.
So what has changed that some parents are now afraid to send theor kids to school? I don’t know. Do you?