Opening Schools Too Soon Is Hell for Hourly Workers
Low income workers are already the most at risk and more affected by the virus.
For most low-wage workers, remote work is not possible. Their communities have borne a disproportional brunt during the pandemic and so it may seem like a good idea to send their children back into the classroom at first. However many of them, often parents of color, have said they are scared about the consequences. These parents cannot afford to stay home and teach their children full-time like some, but sending them back into the classroom puts their health at risk as well. A blended schedule combining both could be impossible to navigate depending on work schedules, multiple children whose days at home or in the classroom may not line up with siblings, and childcare. Many have had elderly relatives move in to assist with childcare, but those people are being put at the highest risk if children are exposed to the virus in schools and bring it home. For other low wage workers, sending children back to school too soon means exposing themselves as cafeteria staff, bus drivers, teachers' assistants, and janitorial staff. These workers are largely not provided with proper protective gear and the lack of city or state measures in place regarding hygiene, cleaning schedules, special cleaning supplies, building ventilation, and social distancing in small spaces puts them at even more risk.