I have worked in the education sector for nearly 40 years. In that time we have had to manage SARS, bushfires, teacher strikes, and a myriad of other challenges. None of these will have the impact of COVID- 19. COVID – 19 is scary. COVID – 19 has fear attatched. COVID – 19 is causing social isolation, COVID – 19 is causing us to change the way we live our lives. We can’t see COVID – 19.

There’s no question that our emergency services and management are doing their absolute best in dealing with this outbreak. Are they getting it right? I could possibly give you an accurate answer to this in about 6 months time, but maybe not. All of this makes us as individuals feel insecure and powerless. As a result, we end up jumping at shadows, panic buying and doing everything we can to avoid what many experts say will be our inevitable infection with this virus.

While the safety and welfare of staff and the community are all really critical things, each and every one of us must manage in our workplaces and our own lives, I say the following:

Enough about COVID- 19!

Rather than dwell on this rather bleak outlook, lets look to the future. We have to realize that 99.9% or more of the population will come through this with minimal impact. In 12 months time our children will still be going to school, many of us will still be going to work, again we will be worrying about our superannuation and so on. As we use up the last of our hoarding toilet paper and baked beans, we need to be thinking about how we can move forward as individuals and a community.

I run school camps and have done so passionately for nearly 40 years. I would love to see schools and parents learning from the COVID- 19 experience and realise there is more to life than just academic study, online and in the classroom.

In the future, send your children to school. Get them to participate in sporting events. Make sure they participate in the art, music and drama events available. To quote somebody I don’t know:

“Sing like no one is listening,

Love like you’ve never been hurt

Dance like nobody’s watching,

and live like it’s heaven on earth”

COVID-19 is hopefully a once in a lifetime event, one we need to be wary of. We all know what we have to do to minimise the spread of this virus.  However, we are not defined by this and from this we should be invigorated to give ourselves and our children life experiences that come from living life.

Best advice I can give a parent is to send your kids on camp.

 

John Lindros

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