Whether the new school year can start as scheduled in September involves real considerations in public health, economic reality, educational resources, etc. The problems are intertwined, and so far there are still many uncertain variables. Expert analysis shows that from the perspective of parents, the bottom line is that unless confirmed cases of the virus approach “zero”, very few parents feel comfortable letting their children return to school.
According to the latest statistics, 46 states in the United States plus the Washington DC Special Zone have announced or suggested that students will not return to school this school year to avoid the spread of the virus.
Although the state governments in the United States are actively preparing to restart economic activities, allowing home-based epidemic prevention regulations to be gradually unblocked, and the federal government has also published recommended guidelines for reopening after the outbreak , from the actual situation, most American students should not Then go back to school.
Under economic pressure, many schools may have to reopen this fall, so local governments must also prepare for large-scale virus testing before the school starts.
In the past month, double-paying families whose parents have been working have to work remotely at home while taking care of their children who are suspended from school instead of studying at home. The problem for many families is that unless the child can resume normal classes, one parent will Stay at home to take care of children.
As for whether parents are willing to let their children return to school, it depends on whether the educational institutions, school districts and schools have comprehensive anti-epidemic measures, so that students and their families will not face the risk of contracting the epidemic due to the resumption of school.
Ashish Jha, a professor of health policy at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, pointed out that although studies have shown that children have a relatively low risk of serious illness or death after being infected with the new coronavirus, children may still spread the virus.
Gaha said that in September, if the campus is to be reopened, the supporting plan must include enhanced virus detection for students, and strict implementation of maintaining social distance. Specific measures include the cancellation of assemblies, and sports activities that have appeared in the autumn in the past years must also be suspended.
Gaha said: “If schools are to resume classes, they must have a complete and comprehensive plan. It would be beneficial if the federal government can play a certain leadership role in this regard.”
Robert Reich, a former labor minister and currently a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, pointed out that if regular tests can be put on the road, parents will feel relieved.
Lai Xu said that if the school starts in September, at least the number of tests must be three times the current; he said: “If the vast majority of people feel uneasy about going out, even if they announce that the economy has restarted, the people are still very afraid. Everyone feels that it is not the time for the home to avoid epidemic prevention regulations. “
Even if the school starts smoothly in September, if the epidemic rebounds, it may be a last resort to suspend classes again. Gaha said that the new coronavirus epidemic will not be successfully developed until the middle of 2021 or even the end of the year. In reality, it appears that the “second wave, third wave or fourth wave” of the epidemic may occur Is inevitable.