Hopefully we can now start to minimize the damage
With schools and colleges opening back up after the longest closure in recent memory, today is a big day for students. Indeed, with all our businesses and institutions open, and the vaccination program moving ahead in full swing, it was making little sense in dragging out the closure of schools. Of course, no one is doubting the risks that are still very much there, but ultimately, we must be consistent in our policies, and it does not bode well to put children -- the very future of this nation -- at the bottom of the priority list.
Of course, there are health guidelines in place, which must be followed carefully, every step of the way. These guidelines are the Covid-19 basics we have known for quite some time now: Use masks, ensure social distancing, stay vigilant about symptoms in teachers, students, and staff. Anyone suspected of having Covid-19 will be isolated for 14 days, and they will not be penalized for being absent.
We must acknowledge that we are in uncharted waters with the opening up of schools, and to that end, it is good to keep in mind the possibility that if there is a spike in infections, or if further lockdowns are necessitated, schools may have to close again. This is, of course, not an option anyone wants to seriously consider at this juncture, where students finally have a glimmer of hope in getting their education back on track, but hard decisions may need to be made in the interest of public health.
School and college students have been affected deeply by this pandemic. It is too early to say exactly what the long-term effects will be of depriving them of a normal schooling experience, but hopefully we can now start to minimize the damage.