Tomorrow, many schools in the province of Quebec will reopen to students. While everyone is eager and anxious for schools to open, it does raise the question of whether Quebec is the right place to start. According to Global News’ Covid tracking, Quebec leads Canada in terms of Covid-19 cases, with 36,986, representing 54% of Canada’s total. But what’s important here is to look at active cases. Recovery rates are quite high in many provinces outside of Quebec.
When you subtract recovered patients and those who have died, Canada has 31, 816 active Covid-19 cases. Quebec has 24,932 active cases, representing a WHOPPING 78% of the active cases in our nation. And yet off to school they go.
Granted, there are safety measures in place to limit children’s proximity in the classroom and on buses. And hard-hit Montreal schools will not be re-opening yet. Nonetheless, it is a dangerous experiment. While it’s only elementary schools that are opening, young children may find it harder than more mature students to effectively keep their distance and practice good hygiene.
The risks are generally obvious but for those who make any claims about the low Covid-19 death rate among children are missing a key point: any infections in children would be brought home to their family, and the risks of Covid-19 increase with age – parents and grandparents are most at risk through this aggressive strategy to reopen schools.
We’ll be watching and certainly hoping that the safety measures are effective and the stay-at-home measures have helped reduce the spread of Covid-19.