Should Asthmatic children be going to school with the current Coronavirus outbreak? This is what I’d like to know, and I wish I was seeing some guidance from the experts on if Asthmatic children (and teachers) should be going into schools right now. We know Asthmatics are more at risk of complications if we catch Coronavirus. Yes I understand that getting reliable information about how Coronavirus affects Asthmatics is going to be difficult at this stage. But right now it doesn’t seem like the government has given the question of school attendance for kids with Asthma any thought.
At the moment the advice for Asthmatics doesn’t seem to be very different from the normal day to day advice – keep your Asthma under control. After that the advice seems to be pretty much the same as everyone – lots of handwashing and avoiding crowds.
My GP surgery is now refusing face to face appointments – only telephone appointments are available. Those of us who rely on the NHS week in week out are feeling even more stress than usual – stress can cause physical reactions, like, for instance a tight chest, so it’s a bit of a vicious circle. This is also why we need regular briefings and thoughtful leadership.
The government appears determined to keep the schools open, but doesn’t seem to have a plan for, or given any thought about, children with autoimmune disorders. Every year, I get a cold which turns into a chest infection. Until now I’ve not given that a tonne of thought. Now it’s playing on my mind – I get a chest infection from the common friggin cold. Just as I’m remembering Molly being rushed to A&E with a severe asthma attack. When you live with memories of your child hooked up to a multitude of beeping machines, being pumped full of steroids, and discussions of admission to ICU your viewpoint is a tad different than the man on the Clapham omnibus. So for us, it’s really important to have clear guidance at times like this. Right now it seems like the government hasn’t even considered those children that aren’t 100% healthy.
Obviously at the first hint of a cold we’ll be staying in as per the current advice. Just to add to the mix, this is Molly’s GCSE year, so there are lots of levels of stress at the moment. There are a lot of things people don’t know right now:
will the exams will happen on time?
will exams will happen in September instead?
what’s happens if my child is sick during the exams…for weeks on end?
what happens if only half the kids are well enough to sit exams?
Nobody knows how this is going to pan out full stop. I understand that the government wants key workers to be able to work, but surely senior years at Secondary Schools could be told to stay at home as they are old enough to look after themselves. Presumably, it would slow the spread through exam years if they weren’t in school. This would be my preference, revision at home isn’t the end of the world. Not ideal…but nothing is right now.
Hopefully next week we will get an answer to my question – Should Asthmatic children be going to school? In the meantime we’ll each have to make the decision for ourselves but my own view is to be cautious right now and prioritise health.
If you think schools should be closed you can always sign the petition here: School Petition