Stage 3? Stage 2 we hardly knew ye…

So here in Ontario today, the Ford government will announce plans to move the province into stage 3. This is either remarkable good news or a fool-hearty endeavor. Speed to reopening over ensuring the province and our institutions are on sound footing for COVID-19. The entire province only entered stage 2 on June 19, a few short weeks ago. It begs the question, what was the point of stage 2 entirely?

I hope that today’s announcement will allow for some planning about what the future will hold. Right now, many parents and families are anxious about the fall. It appears that there are two different lines of communication coming from the Ford government these days. One toting the need to reopen the economy and for people to return to work. The other is how to restructure the education system to ensure children and the public’s safety. The problem is neither seems to compliment the other.

We are starting to see a patchwork plan of action to return children to schools. In Ottawa the public board voted to have children attend five days a week. However, across the province many other boards are looking at some form of alternating schedule to return to school. This patchwork system of education is a recipe for failure. Even if it proves to keep our COVID-19 numbers down, I don’t see how it helps our economy.

To get both parents back into the workforce and full productivity, they require safe and consistent schools and daycares for their children. Right now that is in short supply. No plan to address this, will result in a hampered recovery with inconsistent results. And I haven’t even addressed the need for a plan to address what is needed for the economy should we be forced to enter back into lockdown due to the predicted second wave.

I’m hoping that this afternoon’s announcement holds more plan than vagueries. We have flattened the curve, now is the time to plan how to get our economy back up and running and be flexible for the curves COVID-19 is going to keep throwing at us. It’s hard work, but it needs to be done. The first place to start though, is getting the education system properly working. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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