With COVID-19 scares sweeping the nation, schools that are remaining open are doing everything in their power to keep kids safe. In addition to extra sanitization and encouraging frequent hand-washing, schools are implementing policies that restrict students from touching one another. This, of course, includes the game of tag.
But kids being kids, they are making adjustments and coping with hysteria the best they can. Unfortunately, it is pretty solid evidence that local officials may want to try to move everything online.
A man on Reddit shared a text his girlfriend, a first-grade teacher, sent him about the school’s recent “no tag” policy.
Redditors were understandably horrified, but many noted how it is just how children are coping with the “hysteria,” and shared their own stories.
“Kids at my son’s school were playing the same game with the same rules,” wrote another parent. “Incredible. How does this happen so quickly? Is there a first-grader newsletter or something?”
And there were other versions of the game being played as well.“I asked my 10-year-old if kids were talking about Coronavirus at school and he says ‘Yea! We play a game called Coronavirus at recess!'” said one parent. “Apparently it’s the same rules as a game called ‘infected’ that’s similar to tag. I had a good laugh about it actually.”Although there aren’t that many Corona coping stories flying around yet, people did share the ways they dealt with tragedy and big emotions as children.
“We used to play ‘divorce’ on the swings,” shared one user. “If you swung the same way together, you were married, but if you went out of sync, you got divorced and jumped off the swing. There were other, increasingly disturbing games I can’t fully articulate, but boy howdy, kids are a trip.”
Fellow teachers following the thread commented on how this is proof that schools might need to shift online.
“I’m a teacher and my school district is saying that they aren’t closing schools because kids can’t be carriers and can’t be affected by the virus even though our county has confirmed cases and counting,” wrote the Redditor. “Even if that was true, what about my coworkers? I can’t comprehend the level of stupidity.”
Of course, shutting schools down has a ripple effect in the community.
In the US alone, more than 12 million kids live in food-insecure homes. There are 22 million children who rely on free or reduced-price lunch at school, which is funded by the National School Lunch Program. Closing down the schools, coupled with the eligibility to qualify for SNAP still tightening despite the outbreak of COVID-19, it places children in direct danger of not having enough food.
Closing schools to continue online is also a controversial topic, as there are many children (18% of US students) who don’t have access to the internet at home, either.
As the days tick by, many community members are looking to local officials, waiting for them to make the call on school closings.
So far five states and Washington, DC, are mandating that schools be closed for the following two to three weeks to help slow the curve of the Coronavirus. In many locations, nonessential businesses are being implored and even mandated to shut down as well.