Monday, May 11, 2020

Corona Virus - another month later

Switzerland is starting to make progress in reopening the country post Coronavirus.  After a few weeks of less than 100 cases a day (and none here in Basel), today schools for students up to the age of 15 open.  There are a lot of rules that are in place for that opening (kids will be very restricted in their movements).  Today Finley and Cainan return to school.  Arlington and her age group do not go back until June 8th.  And Mat's job is still requiring everyone to work from home.

Some of the highlights for the return are: 1) kids will not move around from class to class - all teachers will come to their class and they will stay put all day.  2) all desks will be 6 feets (2m) apart and studnets are assigned a desk and are not allowed to get up and visit other students for any reason.  3) lunch will be in the classrooms  4) one class outisde at a time and they must social distance.  5) When students arrive, they are met by a teacher/staff member at the door.  They have different doors assigned for entrance for different age groups.  And only a few studdents can enter at a time.  6) no locker use at all - no time in the hallways unless they need to use the bathroom.  7) no clubs, after school care, after school activities.  8) PE will be modified.  9) all staff and teachers are in masks and no close contact with students.  These are just a few of the rules.  The instructions are even more extensive for the little kids.

Restaurants also open today.  Again - with lots of rules in place.  Most shops also open today.  Even some museums.  Groups of 5 or more cannot still gathering in public spaces.  But progress has been made.  I am anxious to see how it goes.

We are getting there.  By June 8th - the next opening time (if all goes well) zoos and most museums and workplaces begin to open.  The groups that will be allowed to gather - the number will increase (don't know what that number will be yet).  We were told that there will be no gatherings of 1000 or more until well into the fall.  The borders will not open for us who just want to cross "willy nilly" will not happen until the fall.  The Swiss are being cautious.  And they should be.

Only time will tell how this will go.  In a city where almost all travel is done by public transportation - I will be anxious to see if our numbers increase with a bunch of people now released into the population at once.  Switzerland has done a good job with this.  They have kept strict quarantine measures in place for a very long time and truly saw the virus almost all but disappear before they even considered opening ANYTHING.  They have also made very straight forward plans that have been consistent to the public.  They have warned us that if things change, they will put everything back in lock down.  We have had good leadership through this, which I know the US is lacking.

We shall see.

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