âOn Thursday evening, we received the letter confirming that our daughter was close contact, and we were to be tested, isolated for 14 days, then tested two more times.
âThe tests all came back negative today. And we’re back to e-learning next week.
“We are not firing her this year.”
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The impact on schools and teachers.
Belinda in Albury-Wodonga said the situation for parents and schools was an “absolute nightmare”.
âWe have had over 30 schools closed this week, with households being asked to self-isolate every time, regardless of their immunization status,â Belinda said.
âParents cannot work for two weeks if their elementary child is a contact, the retail industry is struggling to staff stores and our hospitals are struggling.
âFamilies are told to isolate themselves at home, but many do not have the resources to access grocery deliveries, so we make an effort to distribute food packages and cleaning supplies to people passing between. mesh of the net.
“Our school staff have to contact trace in addition to managing staff, students and family welfare and they are exhausted.”
How have schools reacted abroad?
Nic lives in Colombia and says his children are back to school full time after returning to school part time in August.
âMy daughter’s school started in August 2020 but each class was divided into three, so the kids did one day in person, in groups of eight, followed by two days online from home.
âIn October 2020, they switched to 50/50 in-person and online learning. In January, cases increased and schools closed again for two months.
“Now they are back to school 100% of the time. Masks are compulsory and there are temperature checks in the morning, but other than that everything is ‘normal’.
“The risk is still there, but everyone I know is vaccinated and people are still super vigilant.”
Frances, a mother of two who lives in the UK, said when the children first returned to school after the lockdown they were placed in age group ‘bubbles’. If a person tested positive, the whole bubble had to go home to self-isolate.
âWith the bubbles, that meant there were always groups of years outside of school and learning at home,â says Frances.
“Now if someone in your household has COVID, if you are double vaccinated, or if you are under 18, you can come and go as you please and go about your normal business – which includes going to school. .
“If there is a positive case in the classroom, the other children are advised to take a PCR test. And if they are positive, they should stay home for 10 days.”
What future for Australian parents?
With a quiet policy change in New South Wales that allows fully vaccinated parents to leave their homes if they have a child isolated from school, public health policymakers recognize the current situation is not sustainable .
For all parents who are currently isolated with their children, like teacher Melissa, they hope that more changes will come soon.
“It was tough, I worked from home on some things for school, my husband worked from home. I home schooled the boys. We can’t even go out for a walk,” says Melissa.
“The boys ask how many more sleeps each day until they can go to the park. It’s so sad.”
Read more: âMy son went back to school this week. In 4 days, we were isolated again.
Have you had any experience with the closure of your school? How do you deal with work and isolation? Let us know in the comments.
Featured Image: Getty.