How to make a decision

Day 99 of coronavirus in France

Day 48 of enforced confinement

This week my daughter, who up until this point had been fighting distance learning tooth and nail, has decided that after four out of five good days, she now prefers school at home to school in the classroom. Yes, that’s right. As she adapts, she also builds strong attachments. Sigh. What a roller coaster of emotions.

Now, as we are drawing near to voluntary classroom return on the 12th, everyone is weighing pros and cons and everyone wants to know what their neighbors are choosing, but each case is unique. I know a few who will certainly keep their kids’ home because they have members of their household that have fragile health. My extroverted only child would really benefit from the social stimulation. A mom of a preschooler says that not being able to share toys will be more frustrating than fulfilling, so even though she is sending her two elementary age kids back, the youngest will continue at home for now.

Not all pros and cons are accorded equal weight. Three cons might be outweighed by one pro, or vice versa. That is the case in neighborhoods with higher population density where the virus is still active.

Another factor we are navigating includes my daughter’s genuine fear of the virus. She’s one that hates getting sick in general, so that’s nothing new. Remember when she asked us to never mention the virus again? We do talk about it from time to time, and television school keeps her informed every day in the form of commercials. Even her teacher discussed with her what the classroom would look like when she returned.

The neighbors we’ve talked to in her class are about fifty-fifty.

1st Define your values

Brainstorm as a family what values inform this decision.

Some we came up with were:

Health & safety, socialization, emotional stability, finances

anything else you can think of?

2nd Sort the values in order of priority.

  • #1 Emotional stability
  • #2 Health & safety
  • #3 Socialization
  • #4 Finances

3rd Take inventory of your resources (for each priority)

We only came up with a handful of resources to respond to the need of socialization. It is the value with the weakest response, as a result it is our family’s strongest felt need. But we also agree that other values are a higher priority. Supposing that those other values are met we would like to meet this need.

  • Emotional stability – coaching methods, strong connection with parents, the art of negotiation, understanding the virus, appreciating the benefits of distance learning (being content in all circumstances)
  • Health & safety – availability of masks, standardized temperature checks at the door, smaller class sizes, only in the classroom two days a week.
  • Socialization – Starting a Jesus Pandemic (random acts of kindness), play dates over video calls,
  • Finances — We have not made significant changes. So far the increased costs have been compensated for by other decreased costs.

*barring all unforeseen circumstances*

I do plan on sending my daughter back on May 12th. Based on the fact that the private hospitals in les Yvelines are back to business as usual. Last week there was only one COVID- 19 patient at Les Franciscaines and not in serious condition.

Another friend in a public COVID-19 specialized ward in Paris is sending his kids back on May 12th. Before confinement we had no masks and had no choice but to stay home. Today we’ve had time to train our kids and we will show up with new protocol.

Case in point: The Thursday that the president announced the classrooms would be closing, my neighbor informed several parents that their kids had fevers. The next day my neighbor stayed home and kept her kids home because she suspected she was contaminated. It was Friday, the last day of school in the classroom, and those same three kids were sent back to school for the day. Later they were confirmed positive.

In the last couple of weeks, we’ve learned from China to scan temperatures at the door before drop off. I expect that simple, clear and consistent measures will make all the difference.

France has color coded maps to illustrate regions that the virus is still active. The color coded maps make sense to me. There is no need to keep kids out of classrooms in regions that have no cases. In contrast to areas of high population density where the precautions should reflect that.

I know kids can catch it and spread it, but I’m also confident that we can be smarter than this virus if we’re willing to learn from others around the world.

As you are reading articles click the links they provide to see if it’s a link back to their own opinion articles, or if the studies they claim are confirmed by the scientific community.

“one of the researchers that authored the review in question, Alasdair Munro, insists their findings were misunderstood, and that children can indeed pass the virus to adults.”

Always go back to the source.

Children do transmit
An interview with a researcher who includes links to scientific studies

Children can develop severe infections (12 kids were in ICU in Paris)
Scientific study

Children make up 2% of the cases
Several scientific studies

4th Wait a few hours & the rules will change.

So the schools took a poll of parents and only 34% of parents were favorable to going back. And taking that into consideration with the fact that the teachers and the buildings themselves were not designed to maintain the sort of heavy safety measures that are being required upon reopening…

School will continue by distance learning, there will be no classrooms opening up in our town. My daughter will be thrilled.

Remember a few weeks ago, when I projected that based on the curve of other countries around the world I didn’t see us going back to school before the fall…. yeah, it looks like our brains are entertaining those thoughts again. The city has not issued an official statement about that, but I, for one, would find it a relief. Everyone would benefit from a definitive decision rather than all of this rollercoaster of preparing yourself emotionally for eventualities that change hours later.

5th Give Thanks.

Just be glad you are healthy… call someone and tell them you love and miss them… nothing else matters.

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