+
A teacher in China describes what post-lockdown school reopening looks like

Parents who have been home with their school-age children for weeks and will most likely remain that way until next school year may be wondering what school will even look like when it finally resumes. With the coronavirus pandemic sticking around for the foreseeable future, we clearly can't go back to packed buses and classrooms, school assemblies, close contact sports, etc.

So what will school look like post-lockdown?


A teacher living and working in Hangzhou, China shared a description on Facebook that might offer some clues. Michelle Lomabardi Henry works at Wahaha International School and explained how life has changed for students, teachers, and administrators after a 14-week pandemic shutdown.

"Many of my teacher friends have been curious about life in school after COVID19," wrote Henry. "So, I thought I would explain it in detail once."

First, she described the phased approach to kids returning, with different grades coming back at different times.

"We were out of school a total of 14 weeks, 3 of which were planned Chinese New Year break. The first week, April 13th, all teachers were called back to learn the new protocols in place while continuing online learning. The 2nd week, grades 4-8 were called back, and today is the 3rd week with K-3 joining us. Having the kids come back in stages allowed us to practice protocols without full traffic in the building."

Then she explained the temperature and mask protocols:

"Each morning before we get to school, we need to send in our temperature and verify we have no symptoms. When we get to school we go through a face recognition scan that records our temperature again. We take our temperature for the 3rd time by lunch. Masks on campus are optional now and there are special trash cans for masks on each floor."

Finally, she described what life in the classroom is like:

"In the classrooms, desks are in rows 1 meter apart. Kids get up one at time to do anything. Specialist are doing lessons in the classroom, unless the class has 10 or less students then they can do it in their own room. Each student has their own supplies and they do not share. Four times a day, at scheduled times kids get their hands sanitized with a chemical free spray (Enozo). All afterschool activities, as well as any meetings, assemblies or other crowd gathering events are cancelled. Kids still have recess but are encouraged to keep their distance from one another….not happening. This is very difficult, especially in the younger grades, as you know. Dismissal is in stages and from two locations on campus."

Henry also explained how the school is disinfected by cleaning staff several times a day, and how they use UV lights overnight to destroy any residual virus on surfaces. She says if they have even one case, she imagines they'll have to shut down again.

One of the most striking photos Henry shared is one of children eating lunch at separate tables, spaced apart.

Michelle Lombardi Henry/Facebook

Seeing desks in a classroom spread apart is one thing, but seeing kids separated during lunch, when they would normally be able to socialize with friends, just tugs at the heartstrings.

At least one school, also in Hangzhou, have young kids wearing homemade social distancing hats as a reminder to keep their distance from one another. The same thing could undoubtedly be accomplished simply by kids lifting their arms and staying far enough way not to touch, but anyone who's worked with kids knows what an impossible task that would be.

Primary school in Hangzhou lets children wear "1m hats" to enforce social distancing measureswww.youtube.com

The silly hats are a fun visual reminder for kids to leave space between one another—and also a strangely haunting reminder of the serious reality we've found ourselves in.

It's hard to say what will be happening in August or September, when most schools in the U.S. are scheduled to start the next school year. When—or if, perhaps—schools do resume in the fall, these posts give us clues as to the kinds of protocols and provisions our kids may be experiencing.

via Chewy

Adorable Dexter and his new chew toy. Thanks Chewy Claus.

True

Every holiday season, millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.

But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.

Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?

Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?

Keep ReadingShow less
Celebrity

U.S. Soccer star expertly handles an Iranian reporter’s loaded questions about race.

Tyler Adams’s response proves exactly why he’s the captain of the US soccer team.

Tyler Adams expertly handles Iranian reporter's question

Reporters are supposed to ask the right questions to get to the truth but sometimes it seems sports reporters ask questions to throw you off your game. There's no doubt that this Iranian reporter who was questioning Tyler Adams, the US soccer team captain at the press conference during the World Cup had an agenda that didn't involve getting to the truth.

It's not clear if the questions were designed to throw the young player off of his game or if the goal was embarrassment. It really is hard to tell, but Adams handled the unexpectedly harsh encounter with intelligence and poise when some may have found it justified for him to get angry.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Jeremy Wong on Unsplash

Teen raises $186,000 to help Walmart worker retire.

In America, many people have to work well past the age of retirement to make ends meet. While some of these people choose to work past retirement age because it keeps them active, some older people, like Nola Carpenter, 81, work out of necessity.

Carpenter has been working at Walmart for 20 years, way beyond most people's retirement age just so that she can afford to continue to pay her mortgage. When 19-year-old Devan Bonagura saw the woman looking tired in the break room of the store, he posted a video to his TikTok of Carpenter with a text overlay that said, "Life shouldn't b this hard..." complete with a sad face emoji.

In the video, Carpenter is sitting at a small table looking down and appearing to be exhausted. The caption of the video reads ":/ I feel bad." Turns out, a lot of other people did too, and encouraged the teen to start a GoFundMe, which has since completed.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 07.22.21


As if a Canada goose named Arnold isn't endearing enough, his partner who came looking for him when he was injured is warming hearts and having us root for this sweet feathered couple.

Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts shared the story on its Facebook page, in what they called "a first" for their animal hospital.


Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Mom's praise of audiobooks 'post-baby' has parents sharing how it changed their lives

'Audiobooks have helped me regain a part of myself I worried was lost. Let people read however they can.'

Canva/Twitter

Let people read however they can.

Not too long ago, it seemed like you could only be loyal to one team—team “physical books” or team “e-readers.” There was no neutral territory.

That debate might have dwindled, but it echoes on as people take a stand on physical books versus audiobooks, which have become increasingly popular—nearly half of all Americans currently pay for an audio content subscription, and the average adult in the U.S. listens to digital audio for a little over an hour and a half each day, 28% of that being spoken word. Audiobooks had a particularly big surge during the COVID-19 pandemic, as listeners found the activity more comforting and satisfying than a regular book while under quarantine.

You’d think that the general mindset would be “reading in any form has great benefits, so do whatever you want!” But alas, humans do find odd hills to die on.

Keep ReadingShow less