Letters to the Editor: Jan. 7 – 13, 2020
F.C. Schools Virus Metrics Not Adequate to Gauge Reopening
One would be hard-pressed to question that Covid-19 has presented the greatest challenge, numbers-wise, during the recent cold holiday season. It’s also wrong to question the importance of health and well-being of our teachers and school staff.
What I will question, however, is the idea that the plausibility of our schools reopening is measured by our school board as purely the function of the burden and spread of the virus.
Firstly, those metrics are only somewhat relevant, since they measure the numbers and spread overwhelmingly for adult populations. Secondly, where are the metrics having to do with the rest of the community? Where are the metrics of how many classes our children are missing, or the work that goes unsubmitted? Where are the metrics of harm and depression they endure as they sit in front of their screens all day long? Where are the metrics of damage to the Falls Church City families as parents (predominantly, women) drop out of the labor force to help augment our children’s education? Or those of financial and health stress on the parents who, despite the pandemic, have to show up to work every day?
I am not saying this is an easy problem to solve, or that the school board isn’t trying. But I am saying that the metrics they are using are woefully incomplete, and that the quality of our children’s education and their health should drive the discussion and the urgency of reopening in addition to adult health concerns.