School Nursing

The Relentless School Nurse: Why Do We Have to Beg for Safety in Schools?

 

When the future asks what we did to protect our children during COVID, how will we explain that there were governors and school boards of education that blocked public health mitigation strategies in schools? As the story of the Delta variant unfolds hour by hour, the data and science are clear that this is a dangerous, highly transmissible mutation. At the same time the Delta variant is ramping up, schools are getting ready to return to school and the perfect storm is brewing. We do not need a crystal ball to predict what will happen next, we have science to inform us. 

It is unconscionable that we have arrived in this moment when keeping children and school communities safe is not only questioned but banned. What more of a wakeup call do we need in America? We have the highest number of deaths in the world! Here is the link to this graphic: 

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1093256/novel-coronavirus-2019ncov-deaths-worldwide-by-country

Most troubling is seeing article after article about parent groups fighting against public health mitigation strategies in schools. This, more than any government entity refuting the science, is deeply disturbing, as parents are usually our biggest allies in protecting the health and safety of children. We are fighting within the family of school communities and that is a dangerous precedent.

Here is a sampling of headlines from across the country of parents protesting and suing school districts who want to implement universal mask mandates:

‘What’s Changed Is The Delta Variant’: Parents Sue State Over School Mask Mandates As Infectious Disease Experts Ask For Data-Based Mask Metric

Parents Plan To Sue California Over School COVID Mandates: The Science Behind Their Fight

As new school year looms, debates over mask mandates stir anger and confusion

Demonstrators outside a Hillsborough County School Board meeting July 27 in Tampa. (Octavio Jones/Getty Images)

 

Masks are not symbols of fear, they are life-saving facial coverings that help stop the spread of a deadly virus. Our children are watching us, we have failed them miserably on so many levels. We are handing them a future that no one should inherit. The least we can do in this moment is to keep them safe from a preventable illness with unknown long term effects. We know how to lessen the spread, the fact that the very tools we know work are being banned by governors, state legislators, school boards and even parents. 

I will not fly a white flag and surrender to the naysayers who do not believe in science. I will fly a red flag of warning and shout from the rooftops that the crisis of COVID has deepened with the Delta variant. If we truly want our children to return to school, stay safe and remain in face-to-face learning, the answer is in our hands. We must implement universal masking, promote vaccinations when eligible, ensure proper ventilation, and follow the public health protocols that work. This requires personal and shared responsibilities that includes working together for a goal bigger than ourselves, it is for our children’s present and future.

 

 

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