Coronavirus & U.S. School Summer — Looks Like You’re on Your Own This Summer, Kids

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Teacher Kyle Schwartz works with students in her third-grade classroom at Doull Elementary School in Denver, Colo., in 2015. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)

Right now, just about every school in America is closed for the rest of the school year.

Across the country, “thousands of day-care facilities have shut down, either by decree or because demand has cratered . . . As of early April, nearly half of child-care facilities nationwide had closed completely, and 17 percent remained open only for the children of essential workers, according to a survey of 5,000 child-care providers conducted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.”

Public school districts have already decided that summer school will be distance-learning only or canceled entirely in Ames, Iowa; Tempe, Ariz.; all over Indiana, Houston, Texas, Columbia, Missouri . . . and probably communities near you.

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County and city-run summer camps are canceled in Montgomery County, Md.; Palm Beach County, Fla.; Denver, Colo.; Evansville, Ind.; Piscataway, N.J., and probably communities near you, too. Private summer camps are being canceled in the San Francisco Bay area, Atlanta, Ga.; Austin, Texas; Marion County, Fla, various places in Maine . . . you get the gist. Camps are at least partially canceled in Raleigh, N.C.; Chicago, Ill.; Charleston, S.C.; and more.

New York City’s public pools are closed for the summer, as is the summer youth-employment program, and the city is still deciding on city-run camps. Swimming pools are expected “to be one of the last places to reopen.”

Apparently, the plan is to just reopen up the economy without working parents.

In normal circumstances, grandparents and other relatives would be the most natural choice to watch over the children when their parents return to work . . . but we’re trying to minimize the amount of contact that the elderly have with other people.

No summer school, few camps, no public pools . . . just what the heck are kids supposed to do this summer?

While we’re on the subject, most of the country’s children haven’t seen any of their non-sibling peers in person since March, a level of isolation that cannot be psychologically healthy. Kids may be the least at risk of contracting coronavirus, but they may be paying one of the steepest prices, nonetheless.

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