Is parent power the answer to making schools more covid safe?
Updated: Feb 9
Mitigations in school should be a no-brainer. As a society we traditionally protect children. Most parents would die to save their child. And yet here we are, two years into a pandemic and parents are expected to send their children into schools that have little or no mitigations against an airborne virus.
A virus that can kill – even children.
CHILD DEATHS - Updated with date regularly
146 children have died with covid-19 in the UK - (As of 9th February 2022)
145 children have died with covid-19 in the UK - (As of 7th February 2022)
There are thousands of parents who have an issue with this situation. But they find themselves fighting a government, who seem preoccupied with scandals and making money, rather than focussing on protecting our children.
Dr. Amir Khan raising the alarm about covid in schools on GMB - end of January 2022:
16 children including 4 babies die with Covid in worst month of pandemic:
Chesterfield mums share terrifying experiences of the life-threatening illness that kids suffer after having covid:
Mum calls for children under 12 to receive covid jab after son was left fighting for his life:
Mitigations are a pain, but they also allow us to move forward as a society during a global pandemic while helping to protect the vulnerable. And here’s the thing. In this pandemic we don’t know who the vulnerable are, because perfectly healthy people in the prime of life, have become very ill and in some cases died with covid-19.
So by wearing a mask and social distancing, you could actually be protecting a loved family member or friend that you don’t even know is incredibly vulnerable to the virus.
What can we do about the lack of mitigations to protect our children in schools?
Parents forget that they have a tool available to them – people power. They just need to agree in large enough numbers that there is a problem here. And then decide what they are going to do about it.
Dealing with the pandemic and ever-changing rules, seems to have created a kind of ‘pandemic fatigue’ where the stress of doing the right thing seems greater than just giving in and ‘learning to live with it’ – we hear that phrase everywhere.
But an educated, responsible society’s version of learning to live with an airborne virus, would definitely be to have mitigations in place to protect each other. There are many unknowns about the long-term health effects – it is better to employ the precautionary principle while we learn more.
All this talk of “we can’t keep telling people what to do” from government ministers, doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny.
Seat-belts are mandatory. ‘No smoking inside’ rules were introduced in the fairly recent past - to huge uproar at the time. Now, we all just accept them because – well, they make sense and passive smoking does damage your health.
We all follow rules on the road. What if half of us declared it was our right to drive on which ever side of the road we like? Carnage.
Well, that’s what is happening in UK schools at the moment – carnage.
1 in 8 children off school with covid
1 in ten teachers off school with covid
And increasingly it seems, there may be long-term health issues as a result.
Channel 5 news report on children with long covid:
Our children are the ones who will be suffering the most. What will they think of the decisions we are making now, in ten or twenty years time? Will they blame us for not protecting them?
At the risk of people thinking we’re making a fuss about nothing, it seems the better choice is to make your voice heard on behalf of your child now.
117,000 children have had long covid for more than 4 weeks in the UK
20,000 of those children have suffered for over a YEAR
At the bottom of this article are some links about the long-term health issues that scientists are increasingly becoming aware of. This is not a comprehensive list, there are many more articles.
More information is emerging all the time and these links are just to show that there are a lot of unknowns, but many systems in the body can potentially be affected by covid.
But first here are two petitions if you want to be one of those parents who can say to their child “I did what I could to protect you. I raised my voice and advocated for safe schools”
Funding for ventilation in all school/college/uni classrooms
Fast-track rollout of Covid vaccine in 5-11s post MHRA approval
CONTACT YOUR MP:
Ask your MP to support and sign this Early Day Motion - Covid mitigation in schools:
Briefing notes for the above:
Cases and hospitalisations rising in children - clusters not being investigated in mainstream schools
Anecdotal account of ‘First two full weeks with HEPA filters in place throughout school’
COVID-19 (coronavirus): Long-term effects
COVID-19 symptoms can sometimes persist for months. The virus can damage the lungs, heart and brain, which increases the risk of long-term health problems.
COVID Brain Changes Show Parallels With Alzheimer's Disease
A faulty immune response may be behind lingering brain trouble after covid-19:
Long-term cardiovascular outcomes of covid-19:
It would be good to get some feedback on any school/covid related topic from parents in the UK (and anywhere in the world as this is a global problem).