We are living in the new normal.
Some people might still be tempted to think that things will go back to how they were last year before the pandemic hit, but the reality is those days are never coming back. COVID-19 has irrevocably changed the world and our attitude towards how life is. This is the new normal. That’s not to say that things won’t get better, but we are never going back to how it was back in 2019.
That means that it’s time to start thinking about how to keep our families safe long term. Children are still going to need to go to school, and even if you are opting for home schooling, we can’t simply cloister children at home forever. Children need to go out into the world; it’s part of their development and their right to live.
The best option to take is the one where we minimize the risks while trying to go about our normal lives and letting children live their lives. And at uHoo that means advocating for good air quality.
There is a strong link between poor air quality and viral infection. We knew this as far back as 2004 when scientists in Hong Kong found a link between the SARS virus and airborne infection. The micro particles in the air serve as anchors for the virus to stay aloft, increasing the chance of infecting people that pass by.
It’s imperative to keep the air quality in schools clean, as children are going to have to return to school and spend eight hours of their day learning.
The First Step is Awareness
Parents and school faculty need to be made aware of the link between air quality and viral infection. It’s only when everyone is on board with the science that people can commit to doing what it takes to keep the air clean. In the next PTA meeting parents and teachers alike need to learn the science behind it and be convinced that steps need to be taken, or else they are risking the health of the children.
Come up with an Action Plan
After that, it’s a matter of finding best practices that can be observed by everyone, from the parents at home, the teachers in school and the children themselves. Awareness without a solid blueprint to follow will just result in confusion. Have an an action plan in place, and create a document that will serve as a guide for everyone on what to do.
These can include:
- A basic overview of the virus, how it travels, and how unclean air promotes it
- The proper use of face masks to reduce the likelihood of infection
- Cleanliness and hygiene practices
- Practices to ventilate the school grounds
With a manual like this in place, you make it easier for everyone to follow the program and do what needs to be done to keep the air fresh.
Keep the School Facilities in Good Repair
Finally, the school faculty will need to make sure that the school itself is in good repair. Bad air quality is often a result of poorly-maintained or cleaned facilities. A dusty screen is a particle magnet, and poorly-maintained air conditioners or vents will dislodge dust into the classrooms. The school will need to do its part to keep the grounds and the air safe.
It is a lot of work, but this is the reality of our times. The virus isn’t going away, and even when a vaccine is found people’s attitudes aren’t going to go back to how it was in the past. We will have to learn to live with this new reality and make sure that our families and our children can still have a fruitful life despite the pandemic.