My wife and I will be pulling our kids from their Bay Area school effective now, even though the school itself remains open.
We’re doing this for three reasons.
- Every expert I’ve read or listened to has shared information suggesting this is the right move; including another parent from our school who is the smartest doctor I know and who is also pulling their kids. The more knowledgeable the person, the more worried they are.
- My 80-something mother-in-law lives with us, and the risks associated with getting her sick is off the charts. My parents are 90-something. I foresee the need to run errands for them, provide supplies, and visit with them often. My kids can miss some class to keep their grandparents safe.
- We can afford to do this. We can stay home with our kids and care for them with no real financial impact. Pulling our kids from school makes sense for us, but doing so also makes sense for the rest of the students and adults at the school. The fewer people gathered, the less chance of transmission. Everyone who can stay home, must. Everyone who can pull their kids from school, should. All these decisions need to take into account both individual circumstances and the well-being of the community.
(For those fellow Marin residents reading this, it’s worth noting that in the past couple years, we’ve closed schools because of the threat posed by smoke from Napa/Sonoma fires and PG&E power outages. The threat from this virus is easily 10,000 times more extreme than both of those combined. And yet, the schools are open now. In what world does that make sense?)
(And I know our school will not lose any funding if it closes, since it is private — this is an issue that the state and federal governments need to address immediately. The primary purpose of these institutions is to keep us safe.)
By the time you’ve read to this point, every public gathering of any kind may have been canceled anyway. But if not, I hope this explanation is helpful and will urge those who can avoid public assemblies of any kind to do so.
(Update: This seemed to spark a bit a movement at our school. School will be closed as of Friday…Update 2: The danger of my whole family being home together all day is second only to the danger of the virus.)
Dave Pell writes NextDraft.