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Families prepare for back to school as Indiana COVID-19 cases continue to rise

“We feel being in the classroom is the best choice for our child, and learning in-person with friends is what’s going to help him grow,” one parent said.

INDIANAPOLIS — Besides the normal back to school jitters, concerns surrounding COVID-19 are still there for parents, especially as the number of cases continue to go up. 

The start of school is still nearly two weeks away for brothers Finn and Ewan Scott, but they’re all ready go with new backpacks to start first grade and kindergarten. Anything beyond that, their mom Victoria Barrett said, is just a wait-and-see kind of thing. 

“If we learned anything last year, it’s to be able to roll with it,” Victoria said. 

So that’s what this mom and professor is ready to do, should shutdowns or quarantines happen at the kids’ school. 

“There’s going to be exposures. There’s going to be the '14-day gotta go home situation.'  We’re ready for that. We’re lucky that we have enough flexibility with work that we can make that happen in a way that’s not easy, but that’s not overly complicated,” Victoria added

The Centers for Disease Control hasn’t opened vaccines to kids Finn and Ewan’s age. Victoria admits she is nervous of her boys going to school unvaccinated, but she is comfortable enough with the school’s safety protocols to send them.   

“At present, I think the value of school for them is too high to trade,” she said.

Another mom, Bethany, agreed.

“We feel being in the classroom is the best choice for our child and learning in-person with friends is what’s going to help him grow,” Bethany said about sending her preschool-aged son back to school in a few weeks. “I think we all hoped we’d be in a different spot, starting this school year.”

With numbers going back up, though, that’s just not happening, and parents like Victoria are planning, but also just taking it day-by-day. 

“I was so prepared last year, and it was still bonkers, so there’s only so prepared you can be for something like this,” Victoria said. 

She said when Finn and Ewan ask about a virus, they’re really too young to understand fully, she tells them this:

“Your whole life, you’re going to be the generation that lived through this as children. You’re going to know eventually how hard everyone worked to make it OK for you,” Victoria said. 

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