Lets begin with the basics, Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, is sincerely passionate about schools and the education of the British people. However, when a deadly virus stalls all financial and economic progress, there must be some consequences that the British government must enforce on the population.
With Covid-19 spreading faster due to a not-so-recent mutation, schools have been called “vectors” of transmission — meaning that the children are able to spread the disease more easily due to most children potentially catching the disease and being asymptomatic. This poses a major threat to not just parents, but teachers too, as the children may have caught it from their parents and transmit it to their teachers; or vice versa. The fact of the matter is, with these children being so close in contact in schools, and not needing to wear masks (according to the UK government guidelines), it becomes harder for schools to be nominated as “Covid-secure locations”. Children are the key components to a global virus spreading — having stronger immune systems than the considerable majority of the British population, they are able to catch the disease, yet still show no symptoms. This is worrying for parents who, before the third national lockdown was introduced, had to go to work and couldn’t afford to be caught off-guard by a virus. This issue is even more present in the households of key workers. These are the people who are keeping the country going even through this period of increasing uncertainty, and yet their children are allowed to go to school. Although this brings significant benefits to the dynamics of family life, the argument of transmission doesn’t disappear. Their children are just as likely to catch and spread the virus as in any other family — making it even riskier for these key workers (or ‘heroes’) to continue on their daily jobs.
With London hospitals now being at “near breaking point” according to Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, there is an ever important message that is being repeatedly spoken to us through television, radio and articles online or on the papers — stay at home. An interview conducted by the BBC on what people should do if they were to fall ill during these current circumstances of hospital overwheling was met with the same short and breif answer of “stay at home”. It is all well and good telling peopel to stay at home, but what if my son has just collapsed with a heart attack? What if my wife is having an asthma attack? Who do I call? There is nothing more concerning in these times than a government and its ministers repeating the same message to all, without even knowing what to do in the case of the above (and indeed many other) circumstances. “But how does this relate to schools?” I hear you ask. Well, with more children going to school, the infection rate is obviously going to rise due to more parents going to work, and children going to school, then meeting at home in the evening while exchanging kisses and hugs. The next day, to nobody’s surprise, the father of the family (and in this example the main income earner of the household) has got a positive Covid test. Is this down to his own incompetence in the lack of understanding of the rules? Probably, due to the government’s lack of clear instructions — as evident when Police officers issued £200 fines to two friends walking socially distanced at a natural lake the other week — but unlikely. Is this perhaps, then, down to the fact that the child has gone to school with other children whose parents may have received a positive covid test and only found out about it after the 6-day waiting times of the suffering and merciless NHS? Well, the answer is pretty self explanatory — yes it is!
Therefore, to conclude this article, I want to mention the fact that schools, both primary and secondary, are a breeding ground for Covid-19 positive test resutls. With families indirectly mixing through their children’s daily school experience, there is no doubt in my mind that they should remain shut — and completely disagree with the Prime Minister, when he says that “schools will be among the first things to be re-opened”.