One day, I hope we will talk about COVID19 and schools; about the do or die attitude around school attendance, where parents, teachers and school heads are willing to risk their lives & the lives of students as long as they don't miss a few days of classes.
Case in point:
My 11 y.o and 2 y.o started in person classes on May 11. A little over a week later, they both came home with cough, runny nose & fever. I decided they would skip school the next day (Friday) and possibly Monday the week after (with the weekend)
On Monday Teacher #1 called me:
Teacher: Why didn’t D come to school?
Me: She has a cough and cold
Teacher: Is she seriously sick?
Me: No, but I am being cautious in case it’s COVID
Teacher: Laughs incredulously: COVID??? Where did she get it from?
..Me: I mean she started coughing a few days after starting in-person school, so…….
Teacher: Mama D, just send her to school. It’s okay

**D didn’t go back to school until she stopped coughing – she missed about 4 days in total of school. 2 y.o. missed about 6 days.
As I speak, nanny got a cough, I got a cough, hubby got a cough, so imagine if indeed the kids had COVID?

A more heartbreaking scenario has unfolded in UG.
The second wave of Covid19 is sweeping across the country. It is worth noting that about three weeks ago, some schools closed and students went home for a short 2-week holiday.

Schools were supposed to reopen on Monday before the new restrictions came into force. A few schools however, were still open and social media was awash with stories of outbreaks in some boarding schools

As I speak, hundreds, if not thousands of parents are dealing with seriously sick children who were picked from boarding schools after the president’s directive. Some parents went straight from school to hospital for admission.
Some parents have reported finding their kids on oxygen in the school sick bays. In some cases, this was happening without the parent’s knowledge!!!
Some are thanking the president for saving their children just in time!

It turns out, that as soon as schools opened some parents sent kids who had been diagnosed but had not yet tested negative; some parents sent kids who should have been in isolation because they had been in contact with Covid positive family members 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

When kids started falling sick with cough, it was treated as a common cold and they continued attending class with their class mates. When kids started falling seriously sick, that’s when COVID was suspected and schools started testing and isolating cases. And now here we are!
It’s heartbreaking hearing from (mostly unvaccinated) parents struggling to manage sick teenagers at home (because hospitals are full). Parents are throwing everything they have at the virus but at great risk to themselves & other family members.
#WearAMask Please!
I have some questions; lots of questions!!
What is soooooooo important about school attendance that parents feel their child should not miss even a few days of school, when they could be a danger to their teachers, cooks, and classmates?

#StayHome - if you can
What is so important about school attendance that teachers feel like a child should not miss even a day of school when they could be a danger to them (teachers) and their classmates? When shall we ever get out of this do or die mindset about school attendance?

What COVID prevention protocols have been given to schools regarding students or staff with ANY COVID19 symptoms? In this day and age, should children with “flu” be allowed in school when they could have COVID19?
How many parents here are aware of the Covid protocols related to children/staff with symptoms? Are these protocols, if they exist, being enforced?
Do schools have compliance staff for Covid protocols?

Do our children need to go back to school, having missed out on much of 2020? Absolutely!

Have we done enough to make schools safe for children to resume in-person classes?

Have we done more than hand-washing stations and temperature checks (all useless btw)???
Resuming in person schooling cannot be business as usual! Schools need to tighten their Covid prevention protocols and there should be some enforcement mechanism, voluntary or otherwise
Ultimately we, as parents should also be ready for our kids to lose a little (a few days or weeks of missed classes) for us to gain more (no cases, no deaths, no school closures, no waves, no lockdowns…..).
#StayHome - if you can


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More from @CKyobutungi

9 Jun
Have we ever considered the cost of common cold due to lack of protocols in schools if a child has a cold?? In some countries, children with a cold are expected to say home for at least 72 hours if they don't have fever & for those with fever, 48 hours AFTER the fever has stopped
Without such protocols here, one child gets a cold, passes it on to all their classmates, who pass it on to siblings who pass it on to their classmates in other schools, who pass it on to parents who take it the workplace to other parents who take it to church and pass it on.....
The nannies are not spared, they also get a cold and pass it on to their kids who take it to a different school and the cycle continues. During "flu" season few people are spared. Out of those that get it, some are seriously affected and can't work, some get hospitalized.....
Read 6 tweets
25 Apr
My fellow Africans, I can say without fear that if the predicted Covid19 tsunami had hit the continent as predicted, we would've been on our own. If a catastrophic wave hits the continent, we'll be on our own, caught between clueless politicians and an uncaring global community
The unfolding catastrophe in India and in recent times in Brazil, shows how clueless politicians can easily bring a country to its knees and how the rest of the world will look on, still hoarding vaccines, opposing patent waivers & maintaining export bans.

As the rest of world races to vaccinate everyone, we are left to grapple with a future full of new variants, multiple waves, travel bans and economic collapse.
To see rich countries in business as usual mode as India faces catastrophe is unconscionable but unsurprising.
Read 5 tweets

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