November 11, 2020


When I was in elementary school, before we headed for the buses out front when the clock clicked to 3:30 p.m., we had to turn our chair upside down on our desk. This would make it easier for the custodians to clean the classroom after school hours. We did this every school day without fail, even that one time where we didn’t leave school until around 5:00 PM at night because the buses were having a hard time getting back to the school through the snow after the first run had taken the high school students home.

One of the elementary schools in our neighborhood, a private school for German students, has been holding their classes outside. I believe the Chicago Public Schools are closed, but private schools are open, and this is their way of keeping the students safe from COVID-19.

I had to giggle a little bit when I walked by and noticed the students are putting their chairs up on the tables outside. This is probably a good thing; we had a bit of rain yesterday and the chairs could have probably been swept away in the downpour last night.

I really appreciate that this school is open in as safe a way as possible. With the colder weather now here do I encourage them to be open with the students inside? Probably not. The classrooms look quite small and while I don’t know how big the typical class is, it doesn’t look like they’d have a lot of success in separating the students with social distancing.

I know this pandemic sucks. It sucks for everyone and it’s sucking extra hard for the U.S. because so many of our fellow citizens believe it doesn’t exist. But it does exist.

Do the right thing. Wear a mask. Maintain social distancing. Put your chair up on your desk at the end of the day.