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The back-to-school survey also revealed some of the challenges facing parents as they struggle to hold down a job while sending their kids to school in an uncertain time. Forty-five per cent of parents said they don’t have a plan if their child has to return home as a result of COVID-19.
Adrienne Revane has been struggling with tough decisions about work and school since early September when she came down with a sinus infection. The mom of three, including students in Grades 7 and 9, is accustomed to sinus infections and blamed the poor air quality in the Kootenays for her illness.
“I chose to keep my kids home from school while waiting for the results of a COVID test,” she said. “My kids were so paranoid that people would think they had the virus if they weren’t at school.”
At one point, the entire family of five was isolating at home. Revane’s test results eventually showed she didn’t have COVID-19.
“It created a lot of mental anguish,” she said. “Missing school is a big deal with the new system. They’re only taking two classes at a time.”
So far Revane has missed a week of work while recovering from her sinus infection but she’s afraid she’ll have to miss another week as her youngest child, who isn’t yet in school, is showing cold symptoms. She doesn’t qualify for sick pay.
“I’m lucky my partner is working. I couldn’t imagine being a single mom. I have friends who are concerned about losing their job if they or their kids get sick,” she said.