Many parents said they did not trust other members of their community to take precautions.
“I sent my kids to public school with sturdier masks than they usually wear, but I have no other way to protect them,” wrote Andrea Rease, a health worker in San Francisco. who said there were unvaccinated children and parents at the school where her three 5-year-olds attend kindergarten. “They’re freshly vaccinated, but I don’t feel the relief I thought. “
Others described the toll that a year or more of distance learning had taken on their children and the pain of suddenly returning to it.
Danielle Kline Haber wrote that about an hour after the distance learning started on Monday, after months that her son’s school in Hamilton Township, NJ had been open, “our 14-year-old stepped out from her bedroom and said, ‘I forgot how much I hate virtual learning.’ In a follow-up interview, she said she was exhausted from the “ever-changing advice.”
Marise, a mother from Philadelphia – who asked to be identified by her middle name because she didn’t want to cause conflict in her children’s private school before she could transfer them to the public school, which is open in no one – said her children, aged 6 and 8, suffered mentally and academically from distance learning.
The coronavirus pandemic: what you need to know
The global wave. The coronavirus is spreading faster than ever in early 2022, but the final days of 2021 have brought encouraging news that the Omicron variant is producing less severe disease than previous waves. As such, governments are focusing more on expanding immunization than limiting the spread.
“Our school is still operating as if it was March 2020,” she said, adding that she had no idea when the school would reopen; administrators plan to test the entire student body on Tuesday before making a decision. She is a nurse and cannot work remotely, and although her husband can do so this week, they will not have access to child care once he has to return to the office.
“Schools should be the last thing to close,” Marise said. “I can eat in a restaurant today, but my children are at home. This is insane. “
Kate, who has asked that her last name not be released because public speaking could compromise her job, is also frustrated. Schools in her hometown of Maplewood, NJ are remote this week, and she said she feared that even when they reopened for in-person learning, her children – ages 7 and 10 – would be sent home. because every student in a class needs quarantine if even one person in the class is positive.