At the tail-end of Covid-19, closing schools is not an option

Ideas

At the tail-end of Covid-19, closing schools is not an option

What we need is vigilance because a sense of normalcy is vital for pupils’ and teachers’ wellbeing

Columnist

Will you fall at the final hurdle?

At the height of the pandemic and in near total isolation, our small group of about 10 childhood friends held a weekly Zoom meeting to connect, encourage and share concerns. We would take turns to present a perspective on the enveloping crisis. A doctor friend spoke about lessons from the history of pandemics and a coach about drawing on our inner resources, that type of thing. At one of those sessions, to underline the realness of the Covid-19 crisis, I made the point that by the end of the year one of us could be gone. Ours was an older group (50s and early 60s), with a fair spread of comorbidities and a few working in health professions. By the end of the year, one of the most gifted members of our small group was gone, succumbing to Covid-19. It was heartbreaking, but predictable, given the deadliness of this viral pandemic.

There is a good chance you or someone you know will fall at the final hurdle, just as people are starting to get their vaccine jabs. One way to gauge the seriousness of our state now is to pay attention to the messages being sent this week by well-placed schools and tertiary institutions. On Monday, my own university shared “a strong warning” from an expert in epidemiological modelling about a sustained increase in infections countrywide. This quote by Prof Juliet Pullam got me worried:..

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