Reopening Schools Amid The Covid-19 Pandemic: What Are The Risk Factors

Trade-off Between Reopening Economies And The Worsening Corona-virus Crisis

The risk factors associated with reopening schools amid the pandemic have raised concerns about the practicality of this move.

Since the Corona-virus outbreak, many unknown facts regarding the pandemic still linger. Researchers say that toddlers are less probable to infections and unlikely to get severely ill when they catch the disease. However, experts argue that more decisive evidence is of the essence.


Some cities have reported signs that show the virus is under control in those areas. With a sustained decrease in Covid-19 cases and deaths, school systems now shift their attention to reopening schools for open learning. Nonetheless, the risk is still awfully high.

The main concern in parents' and educators' minds is whether or not the reopening of schools amid the pandemic is the right move. Below are some of the risks accompanied by this decision.


Increase In The Spread Of Coronavirus

The chances are that reopening schools may cause the spread of the virus to spike. Research shows that children are not susceptible to infections as easily as adults. However, they still pose a great danger to their parents and grandparents. Most children in developing countries live with the elderly. This consequently raises the risk of children transmitting the virus to their parents and grandparents.


The only way to flatten the curve is by controlling the spread of the virus. Reopening schools will only hinder this. As much as education is important to a nation, so are the lives of the people. Moreover, it is not evident whether young toddlers as young as 4 years old will adhere to the rules, such as wearing masks the entire day at school or keeping a safe social distance from their peers. Any early childhood educator or parent knows that children at this age are not good at maintaining the rules.


The Risk Of Immune-Compromised Kids

One of the few commending things about the pandemic is the perception that children are not severely affected by its symptoms. But what about kids with poor immune systems? These children are more susceptible to a viral illness. Therefore, chances are they would have more severe symptoms if they got an infection. Other toddlers who exhibit a high risk include lung complications since their lung capacity has already been jeopardized.


Lack Of Significant Resources To Control The Spread

Decisions on whether to reopen schools for in-person learning must be made. This is in consideration of the fact there will be low transmissions that can be controlled. Many schools lack proper spacing, making the social distancing rule difficult to enforce.

In addition to this, sanitary facilities are in poor condition and many schools do not have washbowls in classrooms for children to regularly wash their hands. Making these overdue renovations require adequate financial resources that respective municipalities lack.


Furthermore, the resumption of schools will require frequent testing, relaying of results, and immediate contact tracing and isolation of people infected. Considering that most healthcare facilities are overwhelmed, most states are not at a safe level to reopen schools.

The reopening of schools should not be considered if the surrounding environment cannot be controlled. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a set of directives that will ensure the safe reopening of schools. However, most school districts do not have a budget in place to implement these guidelines. As the famous saying goes, better to be safe than sorry.