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did all the primary hubs use social distancing?

(9 Posts)
CurlyhairedAssassin Sat 23-May-20 14:34:30

I've just seen a photo on Twitter from one of my local primary schools, of about 18 kids in the playground, all standing in a line next to each other (right next to each other, elbow to elbow). There is a "Thank you Keyworkers" written in chalk on the ground in front of them.

I was shocked as I assumed all the hubs had to stick to strict social distancing, even if it were the exact same kids coming each day. Considering these are probably the kids of key workers who could well be bringing the virus home with them, passing it onto their kid, and sending it into the hub, I am baffled at the photo. It had the 18th May 2020 written on the floor in chalk so definitely a recently photo.

I haven't had to use a primary hub myself and so don't know how they have been operating. Could someone explain if letting the kids all mix so closely like that was allowed?

(I have replied to the tweet asking if they could explain why there wasn't any social distancing in the photo - hope it didn't come across as stroppy, that wasn't my intention.)

TheDailyCarbuncle Sat 23-May-20 14:39:14

No, of course not. Social distancing among primary children is a fictional notion. I think teachers are harping on about it wrt reopening in June as a way of expressing their fear around infection - they know themselves that it'll never actually happen.

CurlyhairedAssassin Sat 23-May-20 14:49:54

I know it's difficult to enforce, @TheDailyCarbuncle, but surely you wouldn't put a photo out showing not even an attempt at it?

Or has this been done on purpose, do you think? To show that it will be impossible. Interestingly, I am in an area where the council has rebelled against instruction to open to the specific full year groups on the 1st June. So makes you wonder.

SansaSnark Sat 23-May-20 14:57:29

No, they haven't.

I don't know if the school you're talking about has done this cynically or not- I'd suggest not, but who knows.

It really is impossible for children to social distance- they just can't do it. So after a while, I think it's normal for school staff to become more relaxed and forget how photos like this might look to others.

I'm a secondary teacher, but we also have primary school children in our hub. We attempt social distancing with the secondary children, although it's not always perfect and they do share equipment etc at times. The primary schools have got to the stage where they aren't social distancing at all, really- but they are trying to stick to bubbles with no mixing.

user1000000000000000001 Sat 23-May-20 14:58:54

I think rules during the past 7 weeks were as strict as they are now suggesting.

My DDs school have firmly done the bubble idea with relative freedom within the bubbles

HakeFish Sat 23-May-20 15:02:20

I don’t agree with social distancing or PPE in primary schools. I think there will be lots of upset DC if there are barriers up and teachers in face masks.

TheDailyCarbuncle Sat 23-May-20 15:04:03

I doubt it's done on purpose. From what I can see, people have been scared so shitless by the whole situation that when they think about a normal situation like children working together in a classroom they can't get their head around it - they can only think of danger and of how they've been banned from interacting with the world as though death was around every corner. Once people actually get into the situation, they start to realise that it's not as scary as it seemed and they just relax. So they talk about restrictions in theory but in reality they just end up accepting the situation and getting on with things.

In Denmark they said lots of parents kept their children at home when the schools opened, fearing infection. That lasted a grand total of one week. Once normality started coming back people started getting out of the 'danger everywhere' mentality and realising that in fact normal life is far preferable to hiding at home in fear.

Healthcare workers I know have commented that it's easier being at work than being anywhere else. At work they have to get on with things so while PPE is used in covid situations and there are sensible precautions elsewhere, staff are just getting on with things, working together and chatting as normal. It's only when they get outside that they see people fearfully jumping out of each others' way.

I wish people would just drop the social distancing thing when talking about schools. It's an unnecessary source of worry. Just go back to school with sensible hygiene measures or just forget it.

Risotto4tea Sat 23-May-20 15:08:53

My daughter went to school this week (keyworker) they talk about 'safe space' so they know why they are on separate desk and encourage them not to sit right next to each other at break times. But otherwise they were in 'pods' with same teacher all day and lots of handwashing. I think her school is doing the absolute best they can and am very happy with the provision

CurlyhairedAssassin Sun 24-May-20 14:34:13

I think you're right, @TheDailyCarbuncle. I had a look at some other social media posts from the past few weeks from the same school, and to be honest it just looks like a normal school holiday club. Kids not separated at all, all sitting close together with the staff. Maybe they've had a bit of the bubble approach to some extent, or maybe they just thought it was silly in the end if their parents were keyworkers and possibly coming home infectious anyway.

I do think that from the BBC news website this morning, we seem to be shifting towards a "we have to live with this, we have to get used to living with the constant risk" type of mentality. I think people know we (UK) won't eradicate the virus completely like New Zealand and can't just hide away forever, as you say. I actually believe that half the government had this mentality from the start, whatever they protest or advise us to do, which is why half of them got the virus. I just think they didn't like the public reaction to the initial "herd mentality" thing, or the potential to overwhelm the NHS. Now cases are coming down below 1 then I think the thinking they'll try and put across will become much more "mitigate your risk, but get back to life as normal. A lot want this anyway, I think. THey've had enough and are starting to think "fuck it, bring it on, if I get it I get it."

And of course now that idiot Cummings has proved that government members have not followed government instructions, then that's a green light for the public to start doing the same. Whether the R will stay low enough is another matter.

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