Bars and Pandemics don’t mix

There was an article in the Seattle Times this week about Seattle Public Schools.  When in person learning ended in March, the district instituted ‘remote learning’.  The data shows that less than 50% of K-5 students logged into their learning management system.  The data was even worse for children of color.

To be clear, I am not an educator or parent of a school aged child. But even I know this is not OK! 

We need to put our (K-12) kids first.  I think it is essential that children and teachers SAFELY return to the classroom as soon as possible. I am not talking about Friday night lights or other extracurricular activities. I mean back in the classroom.  And yes, schools will need to make some changes to improve safety.

This is only going to be possible if community COVID infection rates decline sharply.  There is no way that will happen before September, or anytime soon, if things don’t change.

I get that schools need to start with remote learning.  I guess that is a reasonable stop gap measure, but it should be temporary.  And it won’t be temporary if policies and individual behavior don’t put our kids front and center ASAP.

This means that gathering at bars, casinos and other indoor venues need to go by the wayside.  It means that people can’t congregate in even semi large groups – indoors or outdoors.  And this includes weddings and funerals. 

The other hard truth is that bars and large gatherings need to stay a thing of the past for now.  Until we have a well vaccinated population or a miracle, this virus will be with us.  We need to drive the infection rate down and keep it down. That means we need to behave differently for the foreseeable future.

But if policies and behaviors don’t change and stay changed, we are putting a cohort of kids at risk.  And we may not be able to get them back on the learning track.  Is going to a bar or party worth that?  I certainly hope not! 

What’s good for kids is good for the economy and society as well. So let’s play by the rules to get kids and teachers safely back to the classroom.



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