Dr. Anthony Fauci announced this week that come fall, the back-to-school decision is still up in the air. He noted the improbability of effective widespread treatment or a vaccine being available by then, but said that despite these facts, the real factor was testing capabilities. Either homeschooling will continue to boom (out of necessity) or public and private schools will see inch-by-inch movement forward into a whole new world and a drastically different “new normal” for everyone. Fauci stated that the main determining factor will be safety.
One dad-doctor Tweeted:
Many on the Right are incredulous and critical of the possibility of lockdown continuing for that long. A prominent pediatrician as well as an epidemiologist by training, Dr. Dimitri Christakis, said we must assess not only the physical safety concerns associated with the coronavirus but also the mental and emotional safety concerns of children regarding going back to school. Sen. Rand Paul (R) from Kentucky agreed: “I think it’s a huge mistake not sending our kids back to school.” Trump said ultimately the decision will come down to what governors think is best for their state. Paul seconded this, arguing that since predictions can be erroneous “…the power needs to be dispersed” and we should go forth on the basis of state-to-state decisions.
There are a mix of perspectives from the Left on this topic. Some think that the possibility of outbreaks, which Fauci has warned of, make opening up not worth it. “We are not out of the woods yet,” agreed Dr. Robert R. Redfield, who is the director for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Others fear that the risks of keeping schools closed – increase in child abuse, anxiety, mental issues, possible suicide – outweigh the risks of opening. Danielle Allen, a professor at Harvard University and a columnist with The Washington Post, argues that the government needs to do everything within its power to aggressively test and trace the virus so that come fall, students can return to school.
The market is beginning to respond with companies like Cross Street Academy positioning to bring high-caliber learning environments to home-schoolers.
On a lighter note, Tweets and memes have been circulating online since the stay-home orders were issued, and parents on both sides seem to agree: homeschooling isn’t for the faint of heart.
One meme displaying great erudite: