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We are waiting for an email every night. Sometimes it comes late in the afternoon, but many nights it didn’t hit my inbox until 22:00 or 23:00. Eventually he will come, wrote the head of the school, who is being harassed and who informs us that my son’s high school is still closed.
My family is in the same position as thousands of other people in Victoria, where about 100 schools face similar situations.
After months of distance learning, the 11th and 12th students in Melbourne returned to class on 14 July. For my 11th grade son, this personal training lasted less than a week – on July 20, we were informed that a student at his school was positive for coronaviruses and all people’s learning was suspended until the school was cleared and completed. contact tracking.
To date, July 31, the school is clean, but contact monitoring continues. Parents or students have never been provided with a timetable on how long the follow-up will last. Every day we are waiting for information on whether the school will continue the next day. The director is waiting for the Ministry of Health to inform him when the contact monitoring is over, and the overwhelmed Ministry of Health – I assume – is best, probably with some waiting for the results of the coronavirus tests.
When it comes to discussing in the United States whether schools should open after the annual summer break, there are some useful lessons in the struggles of our schools in Victoria. One opinion in the Times asked this week: “What happens when the Covid-19 case occurs at school?” Many schools here in Melbourne are already answering this question.
Today, I spoke with Times Times reporter Eliza Shapir as she completed a brief report on plans to reopen a school district in New York – the largest in the United States. It is one of the few districts in the country that has attempted personal education in the foreseeable future, with most large districts opting for distance education in the near future.
Eliza’s reports, along with Dana Goldstein, have shown that most major school districts risk expanding large coronaviruses in the community if they reopen, but New York wants to move forward and the plans Eliza has described to me are complex and ambitious with specific standards. when schools will be closed and under what conditions.
“It’s really complicated,” she told me. “We have so many vulnerable children, so many children with disabilities, so many homeless children, so there is great interest in getting as many children back into the class as possible. But once we actually open up – if we open up – real life will collide with these plans and it will be really hard. “
What Americans may not fully understand is what we already learned in Victoria: Plans can quickly disappear when the unpredictability of the virus begins to play out. Each case or group becomes its own secret, time and resource consuming, while taking anxiety to the next level.
To be clear: I don’t blame anyone for my son’s school situation. It is an exaggerated word in these bizarre times, but the situation is unprecedented and extremely difficult. Thank you to everyone involved for trying to keep the community as safe as possible. However, Victorian schools are in a much better position in almost every metric than many American school systems, and yet things are chaotic and unpredictable and often delayed for reasons that are unknown or not fully shared.
Like our night-time learning ritual, what our situation will be the next morning, the most dangerous thing about this virus is the extreme insecurity and perseverance it requires. What will it bring tomorrow? Or the next day, month and year? I hope that what we are experiencing can at least help inform and prepare other parents, students and school districts about what their future may have. And so far, it’s mostly expectation, followed by disappointment.
What are your biggest concerns about reopening schools in Australia or elsewhere? Let us know at email@example.com.
Here are the stories of this week:
frequently asked Questions
Updated July 27, 2020
Should I refinance my mortgage?
- It might be a good idea, because mortgage rates have never been lower. Refinancing applications have moved mortgage applications to the highest level since 2008, so be prepared for compliance. But the default values are also up, so if you’re considering buying a home, be aware that some lenders have tightened their standards.
What will the school look like in September?
- It is unlikely that many schools will return to a normal schedule this fall, which requires continuing online learning, temporary childcare and busy working days. California’s two largest public school districts, Los Angeles and San Diego, said on July 13 that distance learning would be limited in the fall, citing concerns that the sharp rise in coronavirus infections in their areas posed too great a risk for students and teachers. Approximately 825,000 students will enroll in these two districts. When reopened in August, they are so far the largest in the country to give up plans for a partial physical return to class. For other districts, an “all or nothing” solution will not be the solution. Many systems, including the largest in the state of New York, propose hybrid plans that include spending some days in class and others days online. There is no national policy in this regard yet, so check with your local school system regularly to find out what is going on in your community.
Is the coronavirus in the air?
- Coronavirus can stay up in the air in small droplets in the standing air, infecting people by inhalation, scientific evidence suggests. This risk is highest in crowded, poorly ventilated interiors and can help explain the extremely widespread events reported in meat production plants, churches and restaurants. It is not clear how often the virus spreads through these small droplets or aerosols compared to larger droplets that are eliminated when the patient coughs or sneezes or is transmitted by contact with contaminated surfaces, said Linsey Marr, an aerosol specialist at Virginia Tech. Aerosols are released even if the person is exhaling, talking or singing without symptoms. According to Dr. Marra and more than 200 other experts who presented this evidence in an open letter to the World Health Organization.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Does Covid-19 become asymptomatic?
- So far, this evidence seems to prove it. A widely cited document published in April suggests that humans are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms, and it is estimated that 44 percent of new infections were the result of transmission from people who did not yet show symptoms. A top expert from the World Health Organization recently said that coronavirus transmission to people without symptoms was “very rare”, but later returned to the statement.
And for you …
Last week we wrote about pandemic reading, and they asked what you were reading. Here are some answers and suggestions from readers:
I read a novel that is not about pandemics, but I think it captures the spirit of claustrophobia in the home: “Gentleman in Moscow” by Cupid Towles.
– Kurt van der Walde
Nicola Tallis’ illuminating biography entitled “Uncrowned Queen” really helped me in my current situation when I am safe. This is Tudor’s maternal wife Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry V11 and her extraordinary life.
– Peter James
During the quarantine in Covide, I discovered Australian authors and enjoyed books that focus on life at stations in rural areas outside the hinterland. I considered authors like Fleur McDonald to be excellent at developing complex characters, relationships and behaviors that affect Australian rural areas. I quite liked a lot of books by Karla Lane, also based in rural Australia. I can recommend researching the books of Anne Rennie, Di Morrissey and Kate Grenville; all successful writers of Australian fiction.
– Wendy Williams
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