There are lessons we should already apply from COVID19

We are in week whatever of COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. It’s not surprising that talk is shifting to re-opening our economy. We’ve been cooped up for too long it seems. We need to get back to normal. Across the country various provinces are releasing their plans to re-open their economies sector by sector. This is good, but we need to apply some of the lessons we’ve already learned from our failures, to the re-opening.

I’m thinking of course of the state of our long-term care homes. Or how it’s become apparent that the system itself was a perfect storm for the spread and incubation of COVID-19. The province is rushing to step in to fill gaps and provide necessary care to our most vulnerable population. Our long term care homes have become our most vulnerable front in the fight against this disease. Our seniors and care workers there need vital support and massive restructuring to help save lives and prevent further illnesses. There are lessons to be learned here though.

I bring this up because of another front that is at risk of opening. One that is much closer to home for me. As we talk of re-opening our economy a topic that I am very concerned with is our nation’s daycare centres. As a parent of a toddler registered in a day care, I am worried about sending them into a situation we do not fully understand. It’s a concern that I am confident is shared with every other parent in the country.

We’ve seen how quickly and relentlessly COVID-19 can spread through a facility like our long term care homes. Often because social distancing is not easily facilitated in the environments. The long term care homes were not created with the threat of a pandemic in mind. The same lesson should be applied to our nation’s day care facilities.

Much like our long term care homes, our day care facilities are there to provide protection and care for our society’s most vulnerable population. Day cares are built to facilitate social interaction. Everything from their physical construction to their daily activities are all built around teaching children how to interact with their peers properly. Expecting toddlers to follow strict social distancing instructions is not only naive, it is foolhardy.

If the provincial governments are going to re-open our economy, then they need to provide a clear plan to keep our children safe. Our experience with privatized long term care homes is that they are clearly not equipped to handle this pandemic. Our privatized day care facilities are the same way.

If we cannot safely protect our youngest populations then it is irresponsible for us to move ahead in this fashion. We should take heed of that ancient proverb: Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

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