Elliott Freeman / Staff reporter
B.C. Premier John Horgan recently announced on Friday, May 15, that the government will start to allow a limited number of students back into school for face to face teaching starting on June 1. The students in the B.C. province will have the choice to attend if they feel safe and comfortable with the situation they are placed in. The government’s hopes that its decision will pave a path towards a full time return to classes in September.
“the coronavirus is still a ongoing issue and is still at its prime, so the reopening of the Coquitlam center mall is a mistake and so is the reopening of the schools.” said Kieran Dixon, grade 10.
“Having kids in a confined space even with precautions is still a risk that a lot of students and parents are still not willing to make, so I think the quarantine should still be in effect for at least another month or two just to get the infected numbers down to a minimum.” Dixon speaks for many when he says that the openings of public places are too much of a risk to make even for small groups of people.
Others such as Rob Fleming, Education minister, think that reopening schools to students who need the face to face contact for better learning and is a good idea because “kids learn better around their peers.”
With the new reopening, the schools are not fully open but will be available to a certain percent of students. Elementary schools are going to be limited to 50 percent class teaching and have middle and secondary schools opening to 20 percent in class teaching one day a week, hopefully limiting the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Stuart Freeman, a VP of commercial banking for HSBC, has been affected drastically with trying to help businesses try to stay afloat during the quarantine. A great majority of family owned, and commercially owned businesses are heading down the road of bankruptcy but a lucky few are barley staying afloat.
Freeman’s banking teams have also been forced to work from home and try their best to help but unfortunately have not been able to help every business that come to them. “It’s not easy giving the harsh truth to so many business owners they will go out of business after years of working hard to make a successful businesses profit and all of a sudden be stricken down with the bad luck of the economic collapse due to covid-19” said Freeman.
“The decision to stop the quarantine sounds like a good idea on paper but taking the risk of spiking the virus again is something nobody wants or needs but will eventually happen if the reopening’s aren’t regulated to the maximum way possible.”
Christopher Heale, grade 10, is “on the fence” about the openings of schools and “is scared to see the situation turn sour.” Heale agrees with Fleming’s statement about kids learning better with peers saying, “I find it significantly harder to commit to schooling online because I’m not in the right mindset at home to do academic studies, but at school it feels like I’m in a place where homework and stuff usually happens. At home in in the mindset of sleeping and wanting to hangout with friends.”
With the opening of schools, the progress of controlling the virus could take a turn for the worse but could also help kids in need of help and staying on track to hopefully pass with good grades. If the openings are regulated and not everything opens all at once the end of quarantine decision should hopefully run smoothly so everyone can go back to rebuilding their regular lives.