As the back-to-school date in the US is coming closer, schools are weighing the risks of reopening amid the recent surge of Covid-19 cases. And while many school districts are playing it safe with virtual learning to start, others are letting parents decide.

Cultural analyst and blogger Melissa Hillman has joined in the debate and laid out a not-so-unlikely scenario we may see if schools reopen on her Twitter account. And honestly, things are not looking good. From a shortage of teachers and union strikes to deaths that could have been easily avoided, these are sobering points to think through before it gets too late.

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Melissa has listed all the things we could see if schools get reopened in this scenario on Twitter

Image credits: bittergertrude

Image credits: bittergertrude

Image credits: bittergertrude

Bored Panda reached out to Melissa, a writer and educator who has spent over 25 years in the classroom as a university lecturer and the last seven years as a private high school teacher. Melissa, who created this viral thread, agreed to elaborate on the risks of letting students and teachers back to school.

First of all, Melissa explained that one of the first things any new K-12 teacher learns is that you’ll be sick more often than you’ve ever been in your life: “Schools are notorious petri dishes.”

She added: “It’s just common sense that we are much more likely to see the kinds of infection clusters we’ve seen from churches, weddings, parties, and other gatherings.”

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Image credits: bittergertrude

Image credits: bittergertrude

Melissa also believes that “You can’t safely reopen schools when a third of your parents are not following the basic directives that keep the local community safe.”

At this point, she said that she has been hearing from teachers all over the country that they’ve been asked to prepare for distance learning and hybrid classes “with no more support than that single sentence.”

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Melissa said that she or any experienced teacher could have made a workable, low-cost, nationwide plan for reopening in times of pandemic.

All of this could have been done “with a team of 10 classroom teachers and access to the CDC, as long as they represented a variety of regions, at least two were SpEd, and at least half were of color.”

Unfortunately, Melissa claims that “teachers are the last people anyone listens to when creating ed policy.”

Image credits: bittergertrude

Image credits: bittergertrude

Image credits: bittergertrude

Image credits: bittergertrude

Image credits: bittergertrude

With coronavirus cases spiking, many major school districts are refusing to open their doors to the public until cases start to drop. However, these plans can change any time based on the rapidly changing situation of the pandemic.

As of July 20, CNN reports that virtual learning through online classes will be employed in these districts: Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, and Houston. Meanwhile, New York, Chicago, Miami-Dade, New Orleans, and Greenville County, South Carolina are leaving the decision on returning to school or attending classes online to parents.

Other countries around the world are also wrestling with whether to reopen schools after 60% of schools across 186 territories were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. After a month of lockdown, Denmark was the first to open school doors to its pupils on April 15.

In South Korea, schools have taken a cautionary approach to reopening with mandatory mask policies, temperature checks at entrances, and frequent hand-washing. Israeli children returned to school on May 3, but by June 3, 2,026 students, teachers, and staff tested positive for coronavirus and the schools were shut down again.

More people joined the thread to comment on whether reopening schools is worth the risk

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