We publish the letter from the mother of a student, Michelina, sent to us on December 30, a few hours before the announcement by Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, about the reopening of schools on January 5 instead of the 3 of which it was learned only in the afternoon of December 30, after days of total silence from the provincial government of Ontario.
TORONTO - I am a suburban mother. I find it remarkable how we are exiting year two of this Covid-19 phenomenon that has put us at the mercy of the government and a "round table science elite" and still nobody can figure out if we should send children back to school on Monday or not. Let's see if I can help by recapping the last two years.
Last year, nobody was vaccinated and the fear of the hospital emergency rooms over-filling helped Minister Lecce make the decision to send the students back to school and then call them back home. Children love the teeter - totter and the swings, so that was a good call!
Teachers were all vaccinated during the last lockdown, so they were ready to deal with children during the summer break. "Swing and a miss", or was that "peek- a -boo"? Regardless, it was fun to play too.
Summer of 2021, with so many people and children out and about, at large gatherings packed together (Euro Cup parties), beaches, resorts, restaurants, malls, religious events and of course, street patios. Every parent's dream is to sit on the street with buses passing a fingertip away from your child's face while enjoying a pizza. The summer sort of seems like jumping in a giant ball pit and popping up anywhere hoping nobody else jumps onto you. Always a kid's favourite!
In September, all children needed to be in school. For their mental health. Minister Lecce killed all the fun there. Pack the students off to school. Mostly unvaccinated. All in rooms no bigger than most of our kitchen and living rooms combined. More importantly, no extra curriculars, because of course, because Covid-19 might spread that way.
Exercise, sports and leisure activities are an integral part of mental health programming for children. There are a plethora of articles suggesting the correlation of the two on any google search of the internet. The Government of Canada website for Children and Physical Activity even states that children between 5-17 years of age need 60 minutes of vigorous activity -daily - to decrease health risks associated with diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease.
The website goes on to mention that it is beneficial for mood and mental health and well being. Most importantly, only 37.6% of this target group is meeting the criteria. This was published prior to the Covid 19 outbreak.
Minister Lecce likes playing hide and seek! Put the kids in tiny rooms and hide them from the world - no hockey, skating, soccer, dance, singing, theatre, art classes or volleyball. If any children sign up- zap them with a vaccine or lock them out again. Well played Stephen!
From September 2021 to December 2021, many school lockdowns occurred. Magically, those vaccinated and unvaccinated tested positive for the virus. Go Figure! Over this past week and a half, I don't know of anyone, double vaccinated and unvaccinated, who hasn't tested positive for Covid.
In fact, the public skating rinks are overflowing with children playing shinny and skating. Malls are packed. Stores that are under 1000 sq feet have signs posted "no more than 132 people at one time". Honestly, does anyone know the size of Ontario school classrooms? The limit should be 2 people maximum.
The hospitals aren't in an emergency room crisis. Being vaccinated or not isn't changing the spread of the virus. Minister Lecce, what's the next game? We all loved the blind folded game "Pin the tail on the donkey". Your turn!
Michelina, mother of a student