What, if any, are parent's concerns about sending little ones back to school?
On the one hand, more safety measures are in place at schools this year than when the pandemic abruptly closed schools in March 2020. But now, there is the delta variant. As parents send their little ones off to school, what are their concerns?
Michelle Hoalton from Orange County was vacationing with her two young children in San Diego. She is concerned with “people not acting responsibly, not getting vaccinated when they should, and making poor decisions.”
She also said she is worried about the Delta variant being more of a risk to children.
“The increases of children in the emergency room and what that might mean for their health in the long run.”
Albert Saldivar, who was playing with his 5-year-old son who is going to kindergarten this year, echoed her concerns.
“I do have worry, yeah, now that he’s being exposed to other people… I don’t know how they take care of their own, if they’re taking the precautions I do …It’s more of anxiety of other people," he said.
Still, they say their children are better off in school for in-person learning.
Many teachers and students are vaccinated. There is required testing, and students and school staff are required to wear masks indoors while at school. Plus, better ventilation in classrooms and practice of social distancing and hand sanitizing.
“I think we’ve come a long way,” said fifth-grader Kellan Shultz. “It’s not over for sure, but we’ve gotten this far.”
The mother of a 2-year-old, too young to be vaccinated and wear a mask, plans to send her son to school. She said vaccines for teachers and masks that older children must wear in school, “make me feel a lot better than a year ago.”
“With all those things we’ve reached a comfort level where we think the benefit... for his socialization and his education outweighs the risk,” said Kate Onken from San Diego.