How we respond to the surge in COVID-19 says a lot about what we think, believe and value. Research shows that the virus is more likely to spread by adults than by young children. Yet, in many places, we are closing schools while keeping bars and restaurants open.
Many other places around the world, especially in Europe, are doing the opposite. They are following the science and doing everything possible to make the schools safe. They are shutting down bars and restaurants (except for take-out or outdoor dining) precisely because they want to slow down the virus and keep their schools open.
Research shows that many children fall behind when teaching moves online. Children need schools for social and cognitive development as well as their mental health. Keeping schools open is also important for parents of school-aged children who need to go to work.
We preach family values and say that our children come first. Our actions show that what we value more is our personal freedom and our right to keep our businesses open. Those who own or work in bars and restaurants do need our financial assistance but not at the risk of holding super spreaders.
If we really care about our children, then opening the schools should be our #1 priority. That means doing everything that science can teach us to make our classrooms safe and doing all we can to control, mitigate and expel this virus so our children can safely go to school.