There’s no doubt that the upcoming school year will be even stranger than the last in Alberta. Many students are being welcomed back in class at schools across the province, and others will be
For those learning in school, things will look very different. As the government has mandated, students will be wearing masks in common areas and places where it’s not possible to be socially distant, and teachers will be protected by masks as well. Beyond these necessary precautions there are several other strategies that will be extremely important as the school year progresses.
Two masks per person and hand sanitizer will be provided by the Government of Alberta, but it will be in everyone’s best interests to have a spare mask available in their bag, just in case. Having extra sanitizer or wipes is a must, for times when you can’t wash your hands. Schools will likely have sanitization stations situated around the school for frequent use.
Staying distanced will be tough in the classroom environment, but students and teachers can try and keep apart in common areas, outside, on the school bus, and before and after school. Sharing food and drink or anything else that touches a person’s mouth should be avoided completely, not only due to COVID, but other viruses such as cold, flu, mono, etc.
Washing your hands is one of the most important things you can do to stop the spread of any virus, so please make the effort and wash several times a day at minimum, for at least 30 seconds per wash. You can also sanitize your devices every day, as well as any remotes or gaming controllers or consoles you might be using before or after school.
Part of keeping yourself and others safe every day is tracking any symptoms you have. As with any contagious illness, you should stay home if you have any signs of sickness at all, and use that time to call Health Link or complete a COVID self-assessment online and follow the instructions given. Don’t be afraid to get tested if it is recommended!
Keeping yourself healthy mentally as well as physically is extremely important in times like these, where heightened stress, fear or anxiety can creep into everyday activities. At SafeGen we talk a lot about being “fit for work”, but being fit for school is important too. Going through a mental checklist and checking in with yourself is something you should do consistently. If you are feeling stressed out or fearful about going to school, you can reach out to a trusted friend, counsellor, educator, or a help line. When you need a break, try an activity to chill out and relax.